a content='IE=EmulateIE7' http-equiv='X-UA-Compatible'/> Kenna's Felt Forest: February 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

New Schoolroom/Playroom!

Well, we are finally getting settled in our NEW Playroom/schoolroom!! I am so excited. My husband and I decided that having a master bedroom the size of a basketball court was a bit wasteful, spacewise, and we traded our tiny playroom with the giant master bedroom! So far, I am so happy I keep quietly squealing. 
Since we are planning to put our house on the market in a couple months, the sage paint has to stay, but I am making myself comfortable and I plan to decorate with funky, modern artwork and colorful posters.

 Baby Tot Trays. The babies get 6 "trays" a week. (ah, I just noticed that Kenna added her ABC puzzle to the shelf and moved the ring stacker. *sigh* She's my personal redecorator.) This week they have stacking cups, bean bags(mama-made) some wooden animals from Etsy, and the Ring stacker (melissa and doug?) Bottom shelf has handmade wooden trucks, a discovery basket for Quinn, our favorite cloth barn with little animals, and a basket of soft blocks for stacking.

(Imagine some maps, some books and a few work trays on top of that bookshelf. I can't find the picture!)

The top of this shelving unit is where I am creating my Social Studies Area for Kenna.You can see our current study work (penguins and Antarctica) include books, a continent puzzle, and some "snow dough" for the penguins to live in. Still hoping for a globe and some other goodies to add to this area.
 Under our clock I hung a foam clock for Kenna and I to begin talking about time. I have been setting the foam clock for various times(like 11:30, lunch) so that she can try and figure out when the real clock matches the hands of the foam clock. She is really interested in time right now!

 Our awesome reading nook. Ikea chair and lamp, with a daddy-made bookcase next to it.

 Bookcase holds games, books and our musical instrument basket. The top is a great work area for Little Man(16mos) to do puzzles and drive his cars. It's just his height! (Yup! That's right! He's pulling to a stand and taking steps! His physical therapists are all abuzz over it! We are so proud of him.)

 Light box, with sensory bin full of water beads sitting on it.  The clear shoe organizer holds light box manipulatives.

 This corner has a large mirror and a basket full of dress up clothes.  The blue square on the door is our large mama-made felt board.

 Magnet Board from Ikea, with a bit of shoe organizer to hold four types of magnets. ABCs, Leap from Letters, numbers, and Melissa and Doug Animal magnets (most of which are on the board this morning).
 Okay, other side of the room- we FINALLY have room upstairs for our train table! Tracks and blocks are in the two drawers. Table can be pulled out when the kids want to play. To the right is a couch,  and to the left is our school room area!

 Couch, (please excuse the mess... blankets on the floor, computer and clip lights for taking pics!) train table, and on the wall is a little Ikea picture rail that I'm using as  book shelf.
 Above the couch I just hung this awesome "artwork display" area. Three Ikea picture frames with fabric inside. I plan to hot glue some cute clips to the glass so we can easily hang artwork.

For now, we are just taping it up. 

 And the school area!! A nice big space to do all of our "learning" as Kenna calls it. YAY for a dedicated space!To the left of the blue chair, nex to the clocks, is our shelving for tray work. 
 Daily Workboxes, and above it all of our art supplies. Everything is out for Kenna to use whenever she wants. (This is my Reggio-Emilia inspired art area attempt.)  She has full access to paint, glue, markers, scissors, beads, feathers, and so on. It works wonderfully for us.

And look, I finally printed out numbers for our workboxes, and made a sheet for Kenna to velcro her numbers to after the workbox is completed. Finally.

So, everything is a work in progress, and there are little changes every single day. (Even since these pictures over the weekend, there is a Plan Toys tree house, Kenna's Rose Cottage tent-thing, and a baby floor mirror.  And a new little wood table for two by our giant white board. Okay- that's a LOT of changes!)

 Overall, I am so glad we made the room switchero, and I dread having to give it all up when we put the house on the market in a few months. (We have a feeling buyers would rather see a bed in here than an awesome playroom...)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Valentine's Trays!

I wanted to get some Valentine's Day work on the shelves for the next two weeks. I am leaving four of our Antartica trays out, along with four of our Money trays. This is officially the most work I've ever had out at one time. I am curious to see what happens when she has almost 18 trays to choose from. Is this too many? We'll see...
Cutting hearts. Kenna cut out one heart to show me how it's done. She loves the "reveal" of opening the heart once it's cut.
: Stickers, Letter matching:
I wrote a few simple words out in uppercase, and Kenna will find the matching stickers. These little heart stickers connect like a puzzle- they are so cute!
:Transferring Hearts:
Use the strawberry huller to place one conversation heart in each space.
 Here are the hearts, out of the box, moved into the tray. I have a feeling Kenna's favorite part will be the little candy box, with the tiny tab closure.
: Button snake:
Like our Fall leaf button snake, this simple Practical Life activity is two buttons sewn to the ends of a piece of ribbon. I cut some felt hearts and made a slit for buttoning work.  I think I will number these with puffy paint so that she can practice buttoning them in number order. (I will likely start with #11 and go to 20, since that is our focus right now.)
*Had a nostalgic moment while searching for ribbon- this brown and pink ribbon was used in my wedding decor!  I thought I had a closeup pic of the button snake- sorry. It's all contained in a red box with a cool toggle closure that Kenna loves.
:Letter V:
 Printable from COAH, we will use the pop blocks to make a V. We'll also use playdoh, candy Conversation hearts, and possibly even heart stickers before the week is over. It's in a sheet protector right now, but if we decide to decorate it with stickers, I'll just remove it.

Great printable from COAH, count the white hearts and match to our number rocks. (I was going to make some cute red clothspins to do some clipping, but alas, a sick baby took precedent. The printable actually comes with number cards, but Kenna has gotten overwhelmed in the past with two sets of similar looking cards, so I am going to use them for another activity.)
 Did I confuse you? This is how we'll match them up.
 :Coin Identification:
We are doing money this month, and this heart-shaped mat from is perfect for laying out and talking about coins. That nickel is still sooo tricky!  (You could of course put magnets, conversation hearts, or even pink m&ms on the mat instead.)
 Our first Hundreds Board. Two colors, and a key at the top telling us what numbers to color pink, and red. I think this is going to take all week. I also think that if she makes it through, and sees the fun heart picture we create, she'll be willing to do another one. We haven't counted higher than 31 yet, so this will be fun! I will link to this printable in a minute... when I find it again!

 :Size Sort:
Three sticker designs, in large and small. From Oriental Trading, I think? Sort them into two piles. We can also do some pattern work with these.
I drew some simple patterns in hearts. These cute silver hearts, in two sizes, can be laid out to match and then continue the patterns. (Ack!  Another throw-back to my wedding! These were the "scatters" on the table!)

: Sequencing:
Size sequencing hearts from COAH. (Seriously, check out all her amazing free printables. It will make your life easier!)

 :Water Transfer:
Kenna is going to FLIP!! I finally ordered some droppers from Amazon (initially for our Antarctica Iceberg work, but they didn't come on time) so now we can do small water transfer work! I also plan to do color mixing with our droppers. They were less than $5.00-- just splurge!
Anyhow, there is a jar of red water and a cup to transfer into. I really, really hope the babies don't pull this one off the shelf, since our new playroom has CARPET!  (*Post coming soon all about our new play and workspace!)
Pouring red and white pony beads between two creamers.
I am not a mushy, gushy kinda girl, but I do love hearts, the color pink, and any excuse for receiving chocolate... so BRING ON Valentine's Day!

Linking up to:

Thematic Thursdays

Thursday, February 2, 2012

P is for Penguin

(Kenna is 35 months old.)Antarctica is an interesting part of the world, and since we aren't seeing much snow here in our neck of the woods, I thought it would be a good first continent to learn about in Geography. I pulled out our Penguin Toob and we got to work with some fun penguin and snow themed-trays.

 Of course, we started with an iceberg. And since Dora is our favorite little friend, we became Diego and tried to rescue Baby Penguin. (Notice the glass of ice water, with a straw? I think all that talk about ice and water made her thirsty...)
 We used salt water in a squirt bottle. We talked a lot about why salt makes ice melt, and all about how water freezes into ice. She was rivoted.

 And Kosher salt to sprinkle around. It ate through the ice beautifully.

 Finally, Diego spotted the poor baby penguin's feet. He was in desperate need of rescue.

 Tada! Rescued! We did it! We did it!

P is for peanuts, the perfect snack for after rescuing a penguin.

Here are our trays for the week.
Use snowflake stampers to count to ten. Stamp one snowflake next to the number 1, stamp two next to the number 2.  Talk about snowy/icy Antarctica.
:Pattern Blocks:
I love this cute pattern block penguin mat. It's black and white, which should be harder compared to last week, where the pattern mat was color-coded.
From Prekinders.
White playdoh snow for our penguins to play in and make tracks in. We love our homemade playdoh.
 :Penguin Identification:
Five species of penguins, to talk about differences in each penguin species. These little cards are great- they are meant to be strung up in a mobile, but they are really detailed illustrations and have the species name labeled. Printable at Scholastic.
 :Continent Map:
I got this great idea from AdventuresofBear. Turn a world map into a puzzle of the seven continents. Ours is backed with magnets and stored on a cookie sheet. Kenna and I have been placing and naming all of the continents, but this week we will examine the map and find Antarctica.
 :Thermometer Clipping:
Use these great little cards from Making Learning Fun to learn how to read a thermometer. Kenna practices with the thermometer every day during calendar time, so she will likely understand this quickly. Also, these cards practice reading "tens" numbers.

Snowflake patterns to put back together. The snowflakes are all black and white, so Kenna will have to acutally match the pattern on the cards. I did simplify it a little by splitting the cards into two compartments, lefts and rights. Got these here.

:Penguin Cards:
I was going to attempt to turn these amazing cards into three-part cards, but I decided that Kenna is going to love looking at the pictures, and be done. I may still create an extra set of labels for her to match up, but with words like "Galapogos" and "Emperor", I'm not sure it matters if she can ID them or not.  The cards are from Lapbooks.com.

M is for Money

Santa got Kenna a cash register for Christmas. It's like this one, only I paid five bucks at consignment for it Santa made it. Also, it was missing all those fun accessory pieces pictured, but they appear to be in pounds or euros or something, so no loss! I made a new Dry Erase notebook using fun scrapbook paper and the laminator, and a hole punch. Then I tossed in some coins, some old credit cards, and some Bunny Money. It's awesome! I have some really fun number trays planned for this old cash register. Look for them soon! We are heading into a big unit on money, and it's going to be fun.
 Meet Bunny. Kenna's beloved friend. She's good at dancing, singing and snuggling.
What do we have here? Bunny Money!!!   I googled "money template insert face" or something like that, and found this fun free template. Five minutes in Microsoft Publisher, print, and a quick run through the laminator, and we have Bunny Money! This is going to be so much fun!

Meanwhile, here are our M trays for the week. Money, monkeys, and M&Ms (when Daddy wasn't looking!)
:Graphing, 1:1 correspondance:
 Count the M&Ms and put the corresponding number of pom poms on the bar graph.
Since Kenna is doing great with 1-5, I only made cards for 6-9.
Printables here. 

Tracing a laminated M with a dry erase marker.  From COAH.

Put the stinkin' adorable monkeys in order from big to small, or small to big. Use questions like "Which monkey is the smallest?" and "Which monkey is smaller than this monkey?"
Printable here at COAH

lower case m. (We didn't get to it last week.)

Using a spoon (or tongs, whatever she prefers) move the m&m candies to the silicone baking tin  (from Ikea). You could probably use opaque gems in place of candy, and I might switch to them once Kenna sneakily eats all 16 of these!  
:Sorting, Coins:
I provided a jar of 20 coins for Kenna to sort. (Darn you, nickels, you are so confusing!) After we sort out the coins, there are two sets of flash cards. One have coin value, and the other set has the coin names written in words. I  think we'll start with coin values, and then try to sound out initial sounds (p, n, d, and q) to find the right word to match the coins.  This is very advanced, but I'm kind of doing it as a "pretest" to see what exactly we need to break apart and work on.
 :CVC Ladders:
(consonant, vowel, consonant) We are using a metal tray and some magnet letters to start forming some small words. We've never done anything like this, and I'm excited to see how she likes it.
Printable here.

I love these patterns! I haven't decided whether we are going to use m&ms or just pom poms, but I know Kenna is going to love this. I actually printed two different patterns- one is on the back of this sheet. Awesome! Thanks, COAH!

:money, fine motor, shapes:
 This is part of a whole set of "do-a-dot" shapes that I foiund on kinderland.com.  I laminated a bunch of shapes, not really knowing what I wanted to do with them. Kenna doesn't need to practice shapes, so I was sort of saving them for Little Man. In the meantime, I realized that this mat is perfect for sorting coins. I provided a bowl of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Kenna can fill the circle, make patterns with the coins, or try to put only quarters around the outside, and only pennies in the middle, etc.
:Coin Values:
Simple worksheet where Kenna will match coins to their values. She'll need help, but she'll love drawing the lines and erasing them.
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