a content='IE=EmulateIE7' http-equiv='X-UA-Compatible'/> Kenna's Felt Forest: July 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Baking Bread with Daddy!

I'm still on my Montessori kick, and baking bread is a big thing in that curriculum. There are so many awesome components to bread-making- measuring, spooning, reading recipes, following steps, mixing, kneading, watching it transform from dough to bread, and then finally, cutting and eating it!

That said, Bill and Kenna bake bread together all the time. Since she was very little, he's dragged her pink table into the kitchen and put her to work. Unfortunately for our precise bread recipes, Kenna is not the most precise pouring, measuring or mixing gal. They usually turn out edible, though.

Here's Kenna, scooping flour VEEERRRY carefully. (You should see my floors after these sessions!) Daddy told her to fill to the "2" and she is doing a great job.
Reading the recipe together.

I love that Bill spends this time with Kenna. I love that we have homemade bread every week. (No, I don't bake bread.) And I love that it is educational and fits the Montessori model, even though we didn't know it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Front Page of Etsy!

Getting a spot on the front page of Etsy is a coveted and very special event. Last night, from 9-10pm, my felt sandwich set was featured in a treasury, right on the www.Etsy.com homepage!

I almost missed seeing it, as the baby was being fussy and I was trying to enjoy an episode of DesignStar... but my husband was surfing the web with his new Ipad, and found himself staring at my sandwich! At first he was confused and thought it was just his "handpicked items" list... then it dawned on him that this was the homepage and was being seen by EVERYONE!!!

I want to give a big Thank You to the curator of this beautiful treasury, Meliza. What an exciting day!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Letter D

This week was a lot of fun. Kenna thinks dinosaurs are neat. We liked roaring and stomping around, and pretending we had spikes and horns.
I realized that Kenna is very confused about the difference between D and B, especially when looking at the lowercase letters. (Makes sense... they are the same shape, flipped.) So we spent a whole lot of time trying to convince her "d" said Duh, not Buh. :) I'm still not sure she's convinced, but I'm moving on for my own sanity.

Here are some of the fun things we did with the letter D. We watched our very first episodes of Dinosaur Train this week, and we also attempted to watch Dino Dan, but it didn't hold Kenna's interest. The dinosaur books we checked out from the library were a HUGE hit, and even my husband enjoyed reading them! There are lots and lots of great picture books about dinosaurs- fiction and non-fiction. Check them out at your local library.

Dino Shape ArtLet me first say that I didn't name this guy, Kenna did. "Angar". Hilarious.
Anyhoo, we cut out shapes together, picking different colors, and talking about how many sides each shape has. She helped me decide what shape his body and head should be. (apparently "oval" is her fav. this week!)
Then I gave her the glue and walked away. (screaming baby...) When I came back, this is what I found. Impressive, I think. She's 29 months old.

Dino Shape Art
Lowercase d dinosaur was simple to set up. I drew a d and extended the top and bottom to create a head and tail. Kenna couldn't bear to color it until I added an eye, a mouth and some feet. I let her use colored pencils today, and she reveled in making squiggly lines all down the dino's back. Then she diligently colored in the "hole" in the d with a pen, and finished off with some purple trees for the dino to eat. (she also tried to give him a hat, but it kinda looks like an ear! Love it!) Finally, I provided glue and foam triangles for her to add spikes to the dinosaur. We looked at an illustration in one of our books so that she could see the spikes sticking UP (at first she was gluing them point down, if that makes sense...)

Dinosaur jewels- I printed this off of www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com and we used some green "gems" to cover the blanks. I really like this activity- Kenna, not so much. It was like pulling teeth to accomplish this today. (Forgive my poor printout- my ink was dying and I didn't notice until I had printed everything for the WHOLE week. sigh.) We did some other activities from COAH- dino sequencing and dino clothespin matching. Check em out here!

We had a dino texture tub and a few other fun things, but alas, I didn't get pics!

Friday, July 8, 2011

C is for Circles, Cats and Cupcakes

Here are some of the activities and Tot Trays we did this week. We did a ton of Letter C activities, and read a lot of books about cats (Kenna's favorite C word!) We also spent hours playing with coins, a zippered change purse and a little bank. Doing activities with a toddler while nursing a 2 week old and comforting a teething 9 month old has been interesting, but totally worth it! Kenna is learning and is engaged, and I don't feel so guilty about the half-hour of Little Einsteins that we watch late in the day.

This first activity tray was fun and easy... some circle stickers and the outline of the letter C. Fine motor skills are required to peel each little sticker off the sheet, and Kenna loved the bright colors. She took a LOT of time and care placing each circle... I tried to convince her to only put them inside the C outline, but that was not her plan. :)

Cat Can and Cupcakes- I found this activity (and printables) online during my search for C activities. I used an empty formula can and some black paper for the body. I simply cut out and taped on the cat body parts, and made a little slot in the top of the lid. The cupcakes were included in the printable, along with a sweet poem. We fed the cat, counting as we did. This encouraged her to count up to twenty! Also, the small slot for feeding the cat is good for fine motor and coordination, and of course it was fun to fill and dump the can over and over. (We also ended up feeding the cat coins. I had mixed feelings about that, which is why we pulled out another can and made a money bank. Poor cat is going to have serious tummy troubles...)

I really like that there are several different "varieties" of cupcakes... we used the little pieces to play matching games, Memory, sorting by color, and make patterns- blue, white, blue... Okay, we played with these silly cupcakes A LOT!! :) I am going to look for a small donut image to go with the letter D so we can keep the fun going next week, for sure!

Okay, you are going to have to use your imagination here... I printed off Kenna's name onto cat clipart to make letter cards, but of course as soon as I found the camera and a clear space on the table, the K and the N disappeared. I suspect a toddler is to blame...

Anyhow, I put the cards into name badge protectors, which just happen to be the perfect size to fit into Kenna's Schylling Mailbox mail slot. We play a game where we scramble the letters of her name, and then put them into the mailbox in correct order. Fun!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Uppercase C

C is for Cereal!
And Circles, and cupcakes, and cats, and coins. And cookies and cake, and caterpillars. Okay, we went a little crazy with C words this week. Partly because C is pretty easy (since it looks the same uppercase and lowercase), but mostly because I found lots of fun C activities to do, and couldn't pick a theme.
We started the week by gluing cereal to the letter C outline. Kenna LOVED this, and carefully placed each cheerio into the glue and then onto the paper. For about two minutes. Then it was a glue-dipping, cereal sprinkling free-for-all. Ah, well. Cool thing is that cheerios apparently don't take a lot of glue to stick, and every single one she put on the paper stayed glued down! Please notice that Kenna kept all the cereal inside the outline of the C. (later in the week she had no interest in staying in the lines, so I'm gonna take this one as a victory!)

We had taken a week off of "learning" since baby Quinn was born June 19th. My husband and I are full of joy and happiness to add this little darling to our family.
*I'm in love!*

Kenna was really interested in everything we did this week. She was really cooperative and excited to work. We got a TON done, and then I added a few more activities since she was so receptive. We did many of the games several days in a row, and she mastered all of them.

1:1 correlation- we used mini-clothespins to show "how many" on each cupcake (printed from www.FileFolderGames.com). The 1 cupcake got one clothespin, the 2 cupcake got two clothespins, etc. This is really hard for Kenna, especially because she really loves clipping clothespins to everything! Showing restraint and just clipping one clothespin on a cupcake was really challenging. (We did 1-5 one day, and 6-10 another.)

This game is also good for fine motor skills (all that pinching and squeezing.)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Craft- This was a game I cam up with on the fly. It had a lot of learning components, and you can let your toddler do as many or as little of them as you want.
1. Let toddler trace around a small glass 6 times.
2. Toddler tells you what number to write on each cookie. (we did six cookies)
3. Toddler colors/watercolors the cookies, trying to stay in the lines.
4. Toddler cuts up strips of black paper to make "chocolate chips" (toddler could also rip paper)

5. You and your toddler do 1:1 corrolation with the chocolote chips, allowing her to place the dots of elmer's glue and place the choc. chips. One on the number 1, two on the number 2, etc.
Here's Kenna, cutting just a few more chocolate chips to finish up our cookies.
I thought this was a great activity, and hung it on the wall. While I was switching laundry, Kenna took it down and decided to cut the cookies apart so she could sequence them. WOW!!! Another level to this game!

Now remember, you could have skipped toddler participation all the way to the last step, where you do the actual chocolate chip counting. And you definately don't need to glue the choc. chips down... if you just lay them on the right cookies, you could play this game over and over. Like I said, Kenna was just super-interested in working this week- had she been less cooperative, I would have prepped the whole activity for her. (I'm glad that she was up for more, though- it was so fun!)

*brag alert* I just have to mention how much I loved that Kenna was really careful not to cover up any of the numbers... she kept the choc. chips to the outside. So awesome!

Sequencing- We read Very Hungry Caterpillar, and I found these sized caterpillars to do some sequencing. Amazingly, Kenna noticed that there was one for each person in our family, and found great joy in introducing each family member to their caterpillar counterpart. :)

Lots more C activities coming soon! We had a busy week!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Butterflies and Beans

Our texture tub this week goes with our letter of the week, B.  Butterflies that we dyed together (details in THIS post) and some white beans.  I think Kenna could have played with this tub forever. She loved butterfly pasta, she loved sorting by color, and she really loved trying to scoop out the white beans from the pasta. 
All I gave her, tool-wise, was a small ladle and a muffin tin. /

She didn't get bored of this tub, and I almost hated putting it away!  I have a feeling our butterfly pasta will be making an appearance again soon!
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