Friday, January 3, 2014

A day for sledding

I wanted to get the girls out of the house.  It's been a cold spell here.  We have been inside for days, due to the fact that I came down with a virus.  The sledding hill was packed with hard snow and someone built an amazing jump.  The middle child kept missing the jump and lay face down on her sled at the bottom of the hill because she was so dissappointed that she couldn't seem to catch any air.  Here's hoping your New Year is as awesome as the sledding.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

How to make a christmas tree

I have a ledge in my entryway that has baffled me for sometime.
I'm not sure what to put there that would look nice.  Then I thought some little trees would be perfect.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money so I decided to make my own.  I recycled one, used, artificial tree into three. 
Here is a picture of the bottom half of the artificial tree.  I picked one that had good branches.  I didn't want big thick and bushy branches. I wanted one that resembled a Blue Spruce.  Then I bought some dowels, I wanted that trees to be staggered in height.  One dowel was 58 inches and the second was 52.
I measured my dowels and marked off every ten inches so I could drill three holes around the marked area. 

The wires on the artifical tree were too long so I took some needle nose pliers and cut them off. This was pretty hard and I had to use some muscle to get them cut, but I did it. Next I placed the wires into the holes to make my smaller trees.
I stained the dowels a maple color to resemble tree bark and attached the branches by wrapping the first wire branch around the trunk. This gave some greenery to the trunk and held the branches in place.
I had to make the Charlie Brown tree stands for my dowels. I used scraps of wood to put the stands together. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Preschool ideas

  • We hold preschool three times a week.  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings for a couple of hours.  Another good option is a Tuesday, Thursday schedule if you have a younger preschooler. 
  • We start off with calendar time, identifying the month of the year and day of the week.  We also count how many days left in the month.  Then we sing the days of the week song.  
  • We discuss the weather.  Is it sunny, hot, windy, raining, snowing, foggy.  What kind of clothes do we wear today?  
  • We try to go for a hike or field trip every week.  We invite friends to join us for this part. 
  • We also have Wednesday as cooking day.  This is were we try cooking something new or  making something that goes with the theme of the week.  Like goo, eggs, applesauce, or cookies.  
  • We have a letter for each day and practice writing the letter.  There are several ways to do this, dot to dot letters, highlighter letters, copy the letter, and freehand.
  • We read a couple books that have the letter in the story multiple times, and find the letter on the pages as we read. 
  • We have music time. I play piano and we sing.  
  • We have coloring, painting, or craft time.  
  • We have Science on Friday.  
We change the schedule around when needed. We are flexible with our time.  If an activity really interests my little one and she enjoys it, I encourage her to pursue her passions.  Sometimes what I have planned is discouraging to her.  For example, for the letter e I planned to cook eggs.  She has done this several times with me and I thought she would enjoy it.  She did not want to cook eggs that day, so we switched it to another craft instead.  Neither she nor I enjoy it if we are arguing about what we are going to do.  We try to make it a fun learning time.  There are lots of great ideas on the web, a quick search can give creative and fun activities.  Happy hunting and good luck. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fish for letter F

We just had to put together the 100 piece puzzle, when letter F day came around.  It was much to hard for my daughter on her own, so we ended up working together.  I would get the piece and show her how to stick it together.  She really enjoyed doing this puzzle and was the one to request it. 
For craft we made a fish bowl.  I cut fish out of construction paper and let her glue them on and decorate them.  This took her a good twenty minutes.  She made them a little castle, (the brown arch) and some sea weed.  She wanted to draw eyes and mouths and fins. 
I found a great book series at the library that showcases letters.The series is put out by ABDO publishing company,  called: Super sandcastle, It's the alphabet.  The book we checked out is called It's F!  The book is written with the letter in initial, medial, and final positions in words.  I really liked that not all the words had the letter at the beginning.  The pictures were great and we got to find the letter in all sorts of fun places.  We also read: Catfish, Cod, Salmon, and Scrod, and Do you know about Fish?  Another great book to read, but one we did not is One fish, two fish, Red fish, Blue fish

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

E preschool ideas

We sat down with some books and looked for things that started with the letter E.  Then we made a list of them.  Here is a rundown of some of the words we found:
  • elephant
  • eagle
  • egg
  • earring
  • envelope
  • eel
  • electricity
  • easter
  • elmo
We read: Where's Elmo? A peek-a-boo book, Easy Street, The dumb Bunnies' Easter, and The best mistake ever!  We took a walk after reading Easy Street, to the construction area, and looked at how they make a road.  We talked about sequencing by discussing how the men first smooth dirt, second they smooth gravel, third they smooth the asphalt, and fourth they paint the lines. 
With The best mistake Ever!, we discussed what foods are healthy and which ones are junk food. 

 We did two crafts with construction paper.  We made an Elmo with red, white, and orange construction paper, and a hand print elephant with ink and a black marker.  First we pushed my daughter's hand into an ink pad until all her fingers were covered and then we pushed her hand, palm down onto the construction paper.  The trunk is made from her thumb, while the legs come from her fingers. 

Then we practiced writing big letter E.  First I wrote the letter with a highlighter and my daughter traced over it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Story Spinners Writing Contest

The Ontario Community Library is hosting it's 5th annual writing contest.  Both my school aged girls are excited to enter the contest, because, the grand prize..... is a Kindle.  I figure if they are encouraged to write a story through bribery, it is o.k. with me. 
The theme this year is: A Library Memory, and can be fictional or not.  Both my girls are opting for the fictional aspect.  Ask your kids what their favorite library moment is.  Share it with us in the comments below.  We would love to hear what kinds of things you do at your public library. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dinasour Preschool Activities

Since we are focusing on the letter "D" this week, we had to discuss dinosaurs.  Almost every preschool child I know loves dinosaurs.
  1. We put together a giant floor puzzle.
  2.  We read a couple books, My first Dinosaur touch and Feel and Dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles. The book on the right belonged to my husband when he was a little boy and we enjoy looking at all the pictures he drew inside.

3. We even wrote our own story fashioned after the stories written by Laura NumeroffShe has written several books, one we recently checked out at the library was, If you give a Pig a Party.  This is a great activity for teaching sequencing.   
Our Story:

If you give a dinosaur a Danish
If you give a dinasour a danish...

he will want a glass of milk to go with it.  When you bring him into the kitchen and get him the milk,

he will dip the danish in the milk and gobble it up.

But, he will accidentally spill the milk because his arms are so tiny. 

Then he will ask you for a napkin.  When he see's the napkin he will remember that he also needs to clean up in dinosaur-ville.  He will go back to dinosaur-ville and help all the dinosaurs clean up.
Try making your own stories up.  It can be a lot of fun.
    4.  We also made patterns using the Melissa and Doug dinosaur stamps. For example, blue triceratops, red spike tail, blue triceratops, red spike tail.  What comes next?

    Monday, September 16, 2013


    It's preschool time for my little one.  We looked into a local one, but it cost way too much money, and this is my last year at home with her before she heads off to kindergarten.  They grow up too fast, so I decided to do my own preschool.  I have a degree and access to the local library where we go for craft and story time and some interaction with other kids. 

    This week is Letter D.  We are going to have "dog" day.  Read stories like Dogerella, Go Dog Go, What is love Bisquit?, and Dr. Suess ABC.
    Practice writing the letter D with washable markers and a clear plastic protective sheet over tracing pages. 
    Sing silly songs.  And of course cooking day.  Where we will try to make donuts. 

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Hippopotamus birthday cake!

    My daughter is hippo crazy! So I came up with this cute pond for a hippo to lounge in, complete with grass near the shore. The only problem was when we lit the candles. The heat from the flames started to curl the grass and I was afraid we might catch it on fire, but all was well when the birthday girl blew out the candles! Good thing we sang extra fast. If you plan to use this idea, please be very careful with flames near plastic grass.
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    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Mineral Point

    We took the girls on a hike called Mineral Point. It was a 4 mile round trip hike which I thought my girls could handle. Only, I didn't plan on the wasp sting that LuLu got, on her neck, about one and a quarter mile into the hike. I wanted to see what mineral point was and ran until I got to this sign. I thought once we got to Mineral Point we would see Lost Lake. This sign states that Lost lake is still 3 1/2 miles from Mineral Point. I realized at that point we will have to give the trail to Lost Lake a try another time.

    This trail was very fun and scenic. We went through patches of red cedar trees and then back out to the ridge where we could see Lake Pend Oreille.

    Near the parking area is a location for camping and this beautiful beach.
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