Sunday, December 6, 2015

spicy activites in the house!

Last week in the classroom we read Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. Along with the usual suspects,we set out additional fine motor, math, and craft activities with a little extra spice added, like our story basket complete with a gingerbread baby, gingerbread house, and animal masks printed from Jan Brett's website. I found the gingerbread baby and house at Michael's on clearance a few years ago. They have similar items this year.
These adorable gingerbread men cookies came from Homeschool Creations. I printed them out, laminated them, then backed them with felt. I placed five ofthem on our cookie sheet, along with a spatula and set them on top of a shelf with no explanation. The children took the cookie sheet to the floor and practiced scooping them up with the spatula. All day long I was offered cookies, and at clean up I found them in the play kitchen. The cookie sheet is from an Ikea set and I only had to re-glue one felt back (so far). 
These kooky silicone dealios came from a Japanese Dollar store. I'm not even sure what they are for as they are not sturdy enough for cookie dough or rice. Either way, I pulled out coordinating pompoms and set this up to see what the kiddos would do. They very carefully filled in each gingerbread baby with matching pompoms AND they cleaned it up when they we finished. This photo is from last year, this year, I put the pompoms in a small lidded basket and the element of reveal was really fun to watch. I loved this activity! 
Oh how I love these! I got this happy set from etsy seller how we learn at home, the bowl came with a separate set from another seller. 
So simple and so cool! The mancala board was a thriftstore find and the bells came from the dollar store four years ago. The ladle came from a set of kitchen utensils I found at Tuesday Morning. Setting out the ladle and spatula (above) allowed for an introduction to new tools and vocabulary.
Another fun one from Homeschool Creations. These we for scissors practuce but I laminated them and added Dry Erase markers for line tracing. Again, I had this set up at a table with no explanation and the kiddos sat down on their own and traced the lines! Then they wiped off their lines, turned the sheets over to the blank side and drew pictures. 
I made these felt pieces two years and they are still going strong. On the tray are assorted shapes cut from felt and pieces of yarn and rik-rak. 
This is a retro candy themed matching game from eeboo. The children sort out matches, line up the squares, carry around the pieces, and pass them out as if they were real candy. I love this! 
Last, we have this wooden bead stringing activity that I found last week at Home Goods! Serendipitous! The children love this and again, the pieces end up being used in so many different ways.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein Winner!

I am delighted to announce the winner of the Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein giveaway from scrumdilly-do! and Penguin Random House. Thanks to random name generator, our winner is D. Schmidt mummytotwoboys! Please email me your mailing address and congratulations!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein Book Giveaway

Happy Holidays, Everyone! I am delighted to partner up with Penguin Random House to give you this opportunity to win two copies of Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein written by Amanda Peet, and Andrea Troyer, with illustrations by Christine Davenier.

Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein is a sweet story about a young Jewish girl who absolutely loves Christmas and wants nothing more than for Santa to come visit her house. While she may not get what she wishes for, there is a happy ending. We're talking serious cuteness!

A little background on the folks behind the book:

Amanda Peet is an actress and playwright. Her first play, "The Commons of Pensacola," starring Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker, opened to critical acclaim in 2014 at Manhattan Theater Club. A native of New York, Peet graduated from Columbia University with a degree in American History. She has appeared in numerous films, including "Please Give," "Syriana," "Something's Gotta Give," and "The Whole Nine Yards." She also starred in the TV series "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," and the Broadway revival of Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park." Peet stars in a new comedy series, "Togetherness" for HBO, debuting in fall 2014.

Andrea Troyer grew up in Minnesota and received an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two young boys.

Christine Davenier is the illustrator of many children's books, including Julie Andrews's "The Very Fairy Princess" series. She lives in Paris, France.

Here comes the giveaway part:

Come together with friends celebrating different holidays! One winner will receive 2 copies of Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein, one to keep, and one to share.

To receive two copies of Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein leave a comment here, like our Facebook Page, or follow me on Instagram and leave a comment on the post. A winner will be selected at random and announced on Wednesday, December 2nd.

**Giveaway open to US addresses only. Prizing and samples provided by Penguin Random House.
#RachelRosenstein #XmasEnvy #ad

Sunday, November 8, 2015

vehicle match with free printable

Howdy! Last spring I purchased two packs of toy cars with the intention of making a matching game that never happened. Flash forward to the new school year and a burst of creative energy and I have a freebie for you!
use folded scrapbook paper for a background
a piece of tape stages where to place each vehicle
tiny vehicles!
The cars came from T.J. Maxx and were $2.99 each (for a pack of five). Score! I created a mini photo studio by placing the vehicles on two different colors of textured scrapbook paper near a natural light source. Before printing, I upped the brightness and saturation of the photos and cropped them for a tighter visual. I then used PicMonkey to add two pictures to one photo so that the finished size would be about the size of a business card. Photos were printed at a photo kiosk, cut by hand, and then laminated by me.
To set up, I popped the vehicles into a small basket and set out the cards. I was interested to see what the children would do.
Turns out, they did exactly what I intended, along with some hoarding and some playing. For an added bonus, I demonstrated how the cars moved when you pulled them back a little and released them. The children soon found out that if you pulled back for too long the car would break. No worries though, they were still able to match 'em up!
For clean up, the cars were returned to the basket along with the cars. When we were looking for the cars, we played the matching game to discover which cars were missing and then used the card to identify the runaway! The children loved it!

I can't sell you a pack of cars but I can offer up access to the cards. Save as a PDF and print out two copies of each photo and you have an instant matching game! Enjoy! (Let me know if you are having any issues)

Vehicle Match Printable from scrumdilly-do!

Friday, November 6, 2015

classroom activities for: The Quilt

One of our favorite books that we revisit every year is The Quilt by Anne Jonas. I've had a lot of fun over the years coming up with different activities that focus on squares and/or sewing. Some are a hit and some are a miss. Last year we did a month-long study on the Women of Gee's Bend and I am kicking myself over the photos I did not take! They may be there but I cannot find them at this time. We just finished up our week of The Quilt and so while it was on my mind, I thought I would share some of the activities we have done over the years.
small quilt tiles on a grid
paper quilt at the art table
Learning Resources Parquetry Blocks
cubed desk set
paper shapes and frame
sewing notion Discovery Bottle
tiny spools of thread and laces
felt and fabric for our felt board
shape tiles and picture frame
Guidecraft Nesting Cubes
Buttons and sorting mat
Laminated Stained Glass Coloring Pages for the Light Table
CP Toys Bristle Building Cubes

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

what's in the mystery bag: elmer

I have to admit I have no idea where the mystery bag is right now but a year or so ago, I was pretty constant at filling it with items relating to our story and introducing it at circle time. This week we read Elmer and dived in to all elephants all the time...I found this photo in my archives and  thought I would put it here to remind myself to find that darn mystery bag (handmade by me from this diy) and fill it up! Here's what was inside:

*handmade Elmer beanbag
*Elmer domino
*elephant beads from a Jungle Animal Pack
*squares of color (red & green)
*animal flash cards, the Elephant is from this set and lists facts on the back

Sunday, October 18, 2015

centers: the mixed-up chameleon

color mixing at the light table
color sorting
animal mix-up color forms

animal block puzzle and nesting boxes
circus mix-up cards illustrated by Chris Raschka

Friday, October 9, 2015

how about them apples?

napkins and napkin rings
apple scented play dough and apple leaves
small acrylic apple gems and an apple ice tray
apple scented rice
wee apples and tongs
play apple pie with cinnamon scented cotton balls