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

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Felt "Build a Jack-o-Lantern"

AKA Halloween Tot Trays, Week 4.

I hear you now, complaining that after four weeks of Halloween activities, there has been NO FELT???
  My favorite medium is felt!! I sell felt items. I give felt items as gifts. Everyone is making felt "build a face" Jack-O-Lanterns.   What gives?
Well. Have no fear.  There was felt.  :)
 I just forgot to post about it, since I actually made this game for Kenna last year. 

 Such an easy project- one piece of felt to make a giant pumpkin, and glue or sew on a stem.  Then use a piece of black felt to get creative with different features.  There are a billion felt pieces to choose from, as I went a bit felt face crazy, but here are Kenna's favorite faces. Worried pumpkin at the top. Happy in this one!
 And the one that makes her explode into giggles- The "daddy face".  She insisted this guy needed a mustache, despite the fact that her Daddy has NEVER had a mustache.  Weird.

 I only put out a few options a day, and rotate them each day. Otherwise all the facial feautres would overwhelm Kenna.  (Did I mention that I have made waay too many??)  The strange little bits at the top right are eye brows.  They are silly!
 Aside from our felt pumpkin game, we had even more fun with our awesome spiders that I purchased a couple weeks ago. I set out the pole part of our Rainbow Stacker, and an assortment of spider rings.
Kenna's job was to lace all of the spiders onto the pole. I have to say, the fit was PERFECT!! A little tight, but not too tight. She had to really work to center the ring over the pole to get it on.  She LOVED doing this.
 Kenna crammed over 20 spiders onto the pole, and then pulled them off and did it again. What fun! Gret fine motor work, and also hand-eye coordination.
 Another activity I set out this week was a "small space" activity.  I put out a breastmilk storage container (Love these things!) and some spiders. Kenna had to really poke and prod them into the container, and then use an awesome finger grasp to get them back out. She enjoyed this as well.  I didn't have to give her any instructions- it was like that container was screaming for spiders- she saw the tray and started stuffing!
Since it is 41 degrees out today, Kenna washed our pumpkins in the laundry room. I gave her warm water, an ikea scrub brush, and two of our pumpkins.  She loved it and was very meticulous about scrubbing them, including their "bottoms".  She wanted soap in the water, so I squirted a few pumps of our foam dispenser, which has castille soap and water in it.  (Castille soap is totally green and foams really well. Plus it is uber-cheap to refill our soap dispensers, since a tiny squirt is all you need.  Oh, and if you haven't switched to foam with your toddler, consider this your wake-up- DO IT NOW!! Foam is a thousand times less messy than goopy, slimy, impossible to wash off hand soap.)
 I didn't get any other pictures of this activity, because right after I took this, I had to throw the camera down and pull Little Man out of the bowl of water. ( He had been sitting across from kenna with a pumpkin and his own scrub brush to amuse him, but alas, the water was too tempting.) Awesome.
Halloween is tomorrow!! Hooray for Trick or Treat!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Apple Picking

Pick Some Apples at my Etsy shop!

It's that time of year! Fall is in the air and pumpkins and apples are ripe for the picking. We took the kids to an orchard and had a lovely time.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Handprint Bats

Fold a piece of construction paper in half, trace around your hand. Open it up to make wings!
Add a circle of construction paper and decorate with ears, a painted mouth, and some googly eyes. Instant bats! These three bats are my kids' hands- 3 months, 13 months, and 33 months.
Kenna wanted Mommy and Daddy bats, so we obliged.  She also wanted to do her own hand tracing, and then proceeded to cut them out. She basically recreated the whole project on her own- paint, googly eyes and glue.  I didn't get a picture of it, but it looked fairly bat-like when she was done! Sometimes I underestimate her... I am so glad I let her do it on her own later that day.  I get hung up on perfection- I wanted these to look good, so I didn't want a lot of her "help". I find it hard to let go sometimes. How about you?

Halloween/October Texture Tub

This awesome texture tub was so fun and so easy! I just saved my coffee grounds each morning for a week.  Each day, I dumped them into the dehydrator to dry them out, and when I had a big enough bag of grounds, I threw in some creepy toys from the Dolllar Tree.  (If you don't drink coffee, you could pop into Starbucks and grab a giant bag of grounds for free. There is usually a basketful by the door.)

Kenna loved playing with it. She enjoyed burying the bugs, and then making them crawl out of the tub and over my feet. Great...

I don't think I 'll keep the grounds- I'll just chuck them in our worm bin and collect new ones next year.
Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shell Counting

 We found all of these great shells (and shell bits) at the beach last week! I had a few activities that I wanted to do at the beach but didn't get to, and this was one of them.
 I put out some shell-themed number cards, and asked Kenna to do some counting.
One through four was simple. Easy peasy, mama! 5-9 got a little tricky. She counts faster than her finger moves, if that makes sense. (she touches one shell and says, one two)  Anyhow, we got through nine before I ran out of patience. :) 

Check out our other ocean activities, too! Click "ocean" on the sidebar to get you there.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ocean Tot Trays

 As I have mentioned in my previous Ocean Week posts here, here,  and here, our family went to the beach for a week!   I brought along a bunch of activities for Kenna and her cousins to do during "down time".  This activity was really fun... I brought ocean erasers and our number rocks. I didn't have a real plan in mind, but I figured we could do lots of things with both manipulatives, and I was right.
 This tray had the girls doing 1:1 correspondance. I lined up #1-4 for Kenna and #5-8 for her 4 year old cousin. Simply choose an ocean animal and get counting! They also used the erasers for some made-up game I wasn't privy too, and they used them as throwing stones in hopscotch.

 Stamping fun! I got these stampers from Oriental Trading before we left. I let the girls stamp with them on paper just for fun, and to get it out of their systems.
 Then I set them to work on a 1:1 activity- stamp to represent each number. It was fun!
 Taking a break to count the stamps.
 Our finished work. This was novel for all of the girls and they liked it. After they did the work, I let them do free-play with the stampers.
I printed this cute accordian booklet from an ocean tot pack on ????  I gave the girls crayons and encouraged them to color each ocean animal. They weren't really into boring ole coloring though. We did go through the booklet and ID each animal, so that was something.

Okay, that's all the photos I've found. We did some other things, but unless Kenna and I pull them out to play again at home, I have no photo record of them! :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spiders and other Halloween fun

 Whenever I get free time, I always find myself at Target or Walmart. Because really those two stores are best tackled alone! Anyhow, I escaped babyland over the weekend and grabbed a couple of necessities at Walmart... ahem...
 What?! These were necessary!!! Cool spider rings and cool color-coordinated bracelets!!
 Right. So when I got home, I was bombarded by babies, my husband, and, when she spotted the spiders, an especially delighted toddler!
 I have big plans for these two "Learning Manipulatives".(heheh, my husband didn't buy it, either...)
 Our first tot tray was a cookie sheet filled with the bracelets, lined up in ABAB pattern.  I asked Kenna to fill each circle with a matching colored spider. Delighted toddler complied. Yay!
 I also found some awesome "learning stamps" :).  I wrote out numbers 0-10, and Kenna chose a stamp and counted as she pressed. She was engrossed. She loves stampers. She loves the caps that snap on, she loves the pictures, and she loves to smooosh them hard on the paper.

 Hilariously, the stamp that was her favorite was the one that said "I heart vampires".  Um, yeah, if only she knew what a vampire was!!
Back to the spiders- they also made their way into the playdoh tot tray- I set out murky purple playdoh (murky thanks to some great color mixing), some ghost cookie cutters, and a few spiders. Kenna made a big rock for them to climb. This is the only time of year that I refrain from screaming when I see a spider in the house- I just assume it's a fake.  Sometimes my assumption is wrong, though... AACCK!!

I may not get a chance to update this post, but here are my other tot tray ideas for the spiders and bracelets:
make an ABAB pattern with the bracelets, across the floor, or on her baby doll's arm.
Use our Rainbow Sorter base to thread the spider rings onto.  (You could also use a dowel, or a stick from outside.) Encourage threading the spiders in a pattern, or all of one color, or draw a number card to decide how many spiders to put on the stick.
Sort by color into a divided tray.  (Posted HERE)

Make impressions of the spiders in playdoh.

Can you think of more fun things to do with $4 worth of party favors? :) I'll keep a set for myself, and give the rest out with candy on Halloween night. (mostly so I don't have to store it all...)

Linked up to these awesome Linky Parties:

Halloween Tot Trays, Week 3

Halloween is getting closer, and Kenna and her Mummy are having so much with spooky themed trays! :)
Found a squirrel coloring sheet in our Kumon workbook for Kenna to color. She loves squirrels, especially after our cat brought in a live one- one that ran like crazy all over our house for a couple of hours before Daddy came home to catch it.  She thought he was sweet, and after he tore around her room, she was so pleased, squealing, "Mommy, he LOVES my room!"  Oh lord. I barely survived the experience, especially after he ran right across Quinn, who was in tummy time.
I gave Kenna some awesome new Halloween crayons to use this week (yes, she broke one instantly...) She really likes them and they are inspiring more coloring than usual. (She's been resisting coloring for the last month or so. I guess it's just a phase.) Each crayon is so spooky and features a mummy, vampire, witch, jack-o-lantern, ghost and bat. I think I got these at Target last year in a clearance bin. 
Each day one of her trays had the Halloween crayons and a coloring sheet from a Halloween themed "jumbo coloring book" . She really liked the different, spoooky sheets!
Sorting with our spiders and bracelets. I put one colored bracelet in each section of a shallow, little wooden box. Kenna sorted the spider rings accordingly.  She liked putting all the spiders in, and then slamming the box shut. 
  Color sorting is really simple for Kenna(33 months) but pulling apart the spiders was a little tricky, and I challenged her to match them up as quickly as she could. 
Another Tot Tray this week featured our pumpkin ice cube tray and some orange pony beads. Kenna tweezed beads into the pumpkins, counting as she went. I found that she lost track of counting really easily because the tweezing took so much concentration. It was a good challenge for her, but she was not able to complete it independently. I made this activity self-correcting by providing only 55 beads, and I tried to explain that if she messed up somewhere, she would have too few or some remaining. Hard concept.  She really just liked tweezing the beads.  :)

Linked up to these great blogs:

Soap Scrubby

My husband (he's such a Handy Husband!) made some soap a couple weeks ago. And by "some" I mean like 35 bars. And by "made" I mean combined our fryer oil with some other stuff, mixed it for EVER, and then poured it into empty baby formula cans to harden.  ( I didn't take any pictures, or I would devote a whole post to his amazing soap...)

Anyhow, it is a bit, ahem, mushy.  The soap, that is. According to Google, this has something to do with the veg. oil ratio, but th epoint is that it is hard to hold onto, and really dissapates quickly if theft to it's won devices. The solution- a soap scrubby buddy! :)

Embarrassing as this might be to say outloud, Handy Husband crocheted this while watching the Panthers play football (aka lose.) He crocheted the sleeve, and then made a cord. It really came out great. His homemade soap fits nicely, and it will hopefully be easier to hold onto now. 
Confession- I haven't been brave enough to use the soap yet... he swears I won't smell like french fries, but I am not convinced!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I'm no artist, but this was a fun and silly glue activity for Kenna and I.  I drew heads in different shapes, added bodies and arms.  Kenna told me what shape mouths and noses to draw.  Then I gave her a bowl og googly eyes and a bottle of glue.  I told her mpnsters can have lots of eyes! 
Monster matching:  Got these erasers at the Dollar Tree. I lined up matches on our dry erase board, and Kenna used a marker to draw lines between each match.
Sorry- camera died and I resorted to my cell phone...  After we played it this way a few times, I added a twist. I lined up erasers on one side only, and drew squiggly lines to the other side. Then she had to follow the lines and put the correct matching eraser at the end of each line. (does that make any sense?) It was fun!
And of course we made Frankenstein's Monster! I found a tutorial online and we whipped one up with a toilet paper roll, a do-a-dot marker, and some googly eyes.  We looked at pictures of him online,and we spotted some other decor in the house that features Dr. Frankenstein's Monster!  :)
I have a few more montster activities planned before Halloween gets here, so be on the lookout! It's my favorite holiday! (You should see my house, all decorated and scary-like. I have more rubbermaid bins of Halloween decor than I do of Christmas. And that is saying a LOT. )

Friday, October 21, 2011

K is for Kite

 K week was kinda dull compared to the excitement we had during ocean week, at the actual ocean!! I just kinda let Kenna do what she wanted, and we stayed really calm and cool this week.  I pulled out each of my tot trays and snapped a picture for ya. All printouts are from www.confessionsofahomeschooler. (her site rocks!)

size sequencing

Tracing the letter K with dry erase markers. (I just stick my sheets in a sheet protector, so I don't have to laminate so many things.)
Letter tiles- I provided the lowercase letters to go with the uppercase word card. Kenna hated this tray this week.


We pulled out our awesome, cool and very special DRAGON kite!! It was a super-windy October evening, so we quickly ate dinner and surprised Kenna with it. 

She was very excited. Like squealing, jumping and growling excited. 

The wind was great, but we decided that trees and powerlines were making for bad kite-flying. We threw the three kids in the car and headed to the park. 
Ready, Set, Go!

  Our dragon kite sailed on the wind, and it was magical. 
Then sadly, it crashed and burned.

  Quinn was relaxing in her carseat as we attempted a few more flights of the dragon. Little Man was trying out his army crawl on the basketball court. (ruined that shirt...)

 Bill and I were totally and utterly determined to get the kite to stay aloft. Kenna lost interest and we found her on the swings.   
 We're flexible, (and frustrated by the kite...) so we all got on the swings.  Kenna, Little Man and Quinn would still be swinging if the sun hadn't gone down. It was really peaceful to have all three kids happy at the same time. ahhhh.
 As I declared Kite Day over, Kenna and Daddy raced for the big red slide and took a ride down together.

 Down they go! Wheeee!
And that, my friends, is what I call a perfect evening!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...