Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I'm Still Here!

I'm still here!  Lots to say.  So little time!  For now a quick photo update of the fam. . .I'll be back soon with about a zillion things that I intended to post during the month of October!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Have you thanked a teacher lately?

Tonight I took a little bit of time to prepare a gift for the boys' teachers.  It took about 10 minutes, and it was super easy.  Earlier this week I found these cups at Dollar Tree.  We've been stocking up on candy for fall festivals and trick or treaters so I just pulled out their "favorite things" cards, added their favorite candy, wrote a short thank you note, and added some ribbon.  Have you thanked a teacher lately?  To you it may not mean much, but it might be just what they need! 

Fall Teacher Treat

Fire Safety Mural

We just wrapped up a huge art project.  I didn't plan on doing this, but when I thought about using hand and footprints to show a "fire scene," I thought the boys would enjoy it.  Our house is smelling so strange because the mixture of paint, homemade applesauce, and a scentsy is not the best combination!  Despite the weird smell, I think it was worth it!  I was unable to take pictures along the way for obvious reasons. . .otherwise I would have had two boys covered in paint along with our tile, walls, and furniture!  I really tried to take pictures along the way, but it just wasn't happening!  This is a pretty simple activity, and I have included some helpful tips below.
We began with a blank slate.  I did pre-cut the labels and cut a huge sheet of paper. I got a huge roll of art paper from a teacher friend who was cleaning out her supplies a few years ago.  It has been a wonderful art tool.

I also gathered all f the paint that we needed so there would be no need to leave the "fire scene."  Leaving the scene would have been dangerous! 

Every time we paint, I prepare our "paint bowl."  It's an old bowl that I fill with warm soapy water.  I also grab an old towel for easy wiping and cleanup.  

I got this tray from Dollar Tree.  I use it for almost all of our messy crafts or for crafts that have lots of pieces.  It keeps me organized and makes cleanup much more efficient.

Here is Sol getting huge blobs of red paint removed.  

Easy cleanup with no spills!

our mural...

This was lots of fun, and the boys had some great dialogue.  All I can say is thank GOD that Jax was down for a long nap!
Fire Labels

Good [Craft]ernoon Everybody!

Our week has been FULL of some great crafts!  I just thought I'd share a few with you.  Beware some of the pictures look a bit messy, but that's o.k. it's all part of the fun!

We started our week off by making some fire.  I just plopped two blobs of paint on card-stock and let the boys have a good time.  They looked at me with a shocked [you are not my mother] face when I said "just get the paint all over your hands and mix it up!"  It didn't take long for them to get comfortable with the paint all over their hands.

This is a great activity for exploring colors and textures. 

Here's a look at those messy hands with paint everywhere!  I'm surprised my little Sol did not end up with red, yellow, and orange hair. . .we did manage to stay dry and paint-free!

We added a bit of red glitter for special effects.

I have absolutely fallen in love with the prinatbles from LearnCreateLove.  You've probably seen them all over pinterest, but if you haven't. . .check it out!  You will not be disappointed.  Kim is pretty amazing!

These are not quite finished up yet, but they will be mounted soon.  The boys love painting, and this firefighter was perfect for our week!

I love this series of books.  Even though this one doesn't talk about a "firefighter's" tools, it is the perfect book to introduce different community helpers/jobs and how everyone uses tools.  After we read the book, we talked about the special tools that a firefighter uses to do a very important job.

He is enamored with glitter!

Adding the final touches!

Sparky.org has some great printables and games for teaching about fire safety.  There are a few crafts on the site too.  I chose this activity because I wanted to see how well the boys understood the concept of "heat."  The boys did a great job on this one, and I think "sorting and categorizing" are such important skills.  We focused on them explaining why they chose "hot" or "not hot."  It's great for Christian's reasoning/logic skills, and definitely gives me a glimpse of Sol's language development.  Tomorrow we're doing a science experiment called "What Melts?"  This was a great introductory activity.  

O.k. this part really has nothing to do with fire safety or being crafty, but I am so proud of this picture!  Christian did this in his calendar/math journal, and I love it.  Painting, drawing, cutting, and doing all kinds of crafts have strengthened his finger muscles so much.  His penmanship is so neat, and writing comes very naturally for him.  That's why I {heart} crafts so much!  The benefits are just endless. They're fun, they encourage creativity, they allow my boys to make a huge mess [sometimes], and they promote esteem.  

This project was a "directional art" activity that was created by April from Chalk Talk.  I got a copy from her TPT store. Christian had so much fun with this because he LOVES Curious George.  

Sol collected scraps for us while I modeled how to cut and assemble.

This is what happened when we were nearly finished.  I looked at Jax, and then I looked at Sol.  He said he got tired of putting scraps away!

This turned out SO cute!  Why #80?  No clue!  I love that it strengthens listening skills as well as fine motor skills.  With directional art, students have to have much stronger cutting skills because there are no dotted or solid lines to cut.  It forces them to curve, snip, and cut based on the directions that they are given.

We deviated from our plans just a bit [surprise, surprise!], and today for snack/science we started making applesauce!  Last week we learned a lot about apples and Johnny Appleseed.  We didn't get around to this, and I really wanted to have some homemade applesauce.  It makes our house smell so wonderful.  So today instead of mixing food coloring and frosting for cupcakes, we've been heating and mashing apples.  I would have loved to visit an apple orchard to pick fresh apples, and I searched and searched and searched.  I found none so we did the next best thing.  Target!

We can't wait to have applesauce for our afternoon snack!

I snapped this picture yesterday morning before we headed out to school.  These boys are best friends.  One minute they are building structures and tearing them down, the next minute they are arguing.  Five minutes later they are wrestling and back to being best friends.  Just think in about 3 months I'll have a little one who's on the move.  Who knows what will happen to the dynamics.  I hope they let Jax become part of their BFF club.

Yesterday was "Isaac Newton" day at school.  I thought to myself, what in the world are they going to do?  Well, I was pleasantly surprised when Christian showed me "Newton's long hair" and his diagram of the sun, Earth, and moon.  He's learning things in pre-school that I learned in high school. . .wow!  That's all I could say when he explained what he learned about Newton.  Wow!

Sol's class did some great things too.  My favorite was the marble painting. They learned about gravity, force, and motion as they rolled their marbles all over the paper.  I think they were inside a ziploc baggie and they shook them from side to side.  What a great hands on, authentic activity.  

Some time yesterday I decided that since we got a new door installed we needed a more "festive" entryway.  I made a little wreath with just a few things from the Dollar Tree.  I think I spent about $8.  It's nothing spectacular, but I think it adds a lot of character. 

We're heading to the pumpkin patch this weekend to get a few pumpkins for the porch area.  I'd like to add a "P" and a little pumpkin to this eventually.  

How's Jaxon?  I'm glad you asked {only kidding}, but just in case you are wondering, he's as jolly and delightful as ever. . .though the teething process has begun!  He is a drool factory lately!  He can also roll from tummy to back and back to tummy.  His doctor projects that he'll be long and lean.  His head is almost off the charts. . .this picture provides evidence of that. . .ha!  Mr. Perry and I go back and forth about who's side of the family our kids' large heads come from. . .yep, it's definitely his side! 
Hope you had an wonderfully amazing Wednesday!
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