Friday, May 31, 2013

A is for Artist

A is for Artist: A Getty Museum Alphabet

Another really fun art inspired book. Each page contains a letter, what it stands for, and the coordinating painting. 

At the back of the book there are thumbprint pictures of the paintings in their entirety and it was fun to look for the individual object, but the paintings are so small it's hard to see them.

 The boys and I spent a few minutes searching online for some of our favorites so we could see the painting in it's entirety up close.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Homemade Suckers

I'm finally getting around to posting some of our Christmas photos :). Better late than never. A made chocolate suckers that looked like Santa Clause. I got the molds at a garage sale for a quarter I think, and we had the chocolate on hand from another project we never got around to.

The Wilton website had some really great tips to help us get started.

 Over all it was a realatively easy and fun activity. Using sandwich bags for the melting chocolate was pretty messy and wasteful, I would suggest a squeeze bottle or icing bags. 

We kept it very simple, A did white chocolate and J did milk chocolate. They turned out well and the boys used them for Christmas gifts. Unfortunately I put the molds in the dishwasher and they didn't survive. Guess we'll have to try something different next time.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kitchen Sensory Fun

I needed something to keep A busy while J and I did school the other day so I whipped up a quick sensory bin for him. I have a couple of empty plastic bins I keep around (perfect for sensory bins and messy play). I set one up and threw in some black beans, split peas, and oatmeal.

 When we're done with a sensory bin I toss the filler into a gallon Ziploc bag so we can use it again later, and not waste it.
 I threw in some wooden blocks and a few random tractors and construction vehicles.

It's been out for a week now and A still stops by to play frequently. He adds and takes away so it changes a bit each day.

The same haircut :)

Some days it's zoos with wolves and dinosaurs. Some days it's helicopters and army men. Dragons and knights.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Hopper Books by Marcus Pfister

Hopper books by Marcus Pfister

My mom bought me one of these books when I was younger and I have since found two more in the series. I had rabbits as a kid and one of them was named Hopper (original I know). They were white with black eyes and ears much like the bunnies in these books.

The stories are cute and the illustrations are beautiful.

We have been reading them this week to go along with our spring studies and spent a few minutes talking about the illustrations. Bubby guessed that they were done with paint and I showed him how they have a blurry or watery effect so we are able to guess that the illustrator used watercolors. 

We also talked about the fact that a "hare" is a rabbit of sorts. The book doesn't refer to many of the other animals but the illustrations include shadowy figures of wart hogs and an adorable owl if you look closely.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Photo Randomness

Sometimes I'm going through photos for whatever reason and realize that there is the most bizarre mix of photos on my computer/camera/phone. So here's a few that popped out at me today, and their story...

This is my four legged niece Lola. She is sweet as can be, is scared of her own shadow, and is obsessed with tennis balls. My sister orders tennis balls by the case and they arrive like this. I'm pretty sure this is Lola's idea of heaven. She takes ALL of the balls out of the box, and then her four legged big brother chews the box up. It's a good relationship.    

This is the part to a sander that the crew I work with uses. I'm sure I took it so that I could email the manufacturer and get a new part. Why it's still on my phone a month later, I have no idea.

This is A last year when he was staying with my sister. She took this picture while he was napping and was going through a suck on his blanket stage. Fortunately that stage didn't last long!

Picture of a table base and chairs that I took at Goodwill and sent to my sister because my nieces were looking for just such a table for the college apartment they will be sharing next year. I think my mom scored it for twenty bucks or something. It's going to be awesome when they are done. Again, more than a month later and it's still on my phone. I really have to start deleting these things.

 This is a test folks, only a test. The Mister is the training officer for our local fire department. J often goes along to the meetings, and on this particular night they practiced back-boarding pediatric patients.

A's taco salad. This is what he apparently thought of the salad part. I think I took this to send to The Mister just because it cracked me up.

Lost tooth number two. :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Skeletal System

We've touched a bit on the skeletal system lately, though our science studies tend to be a bit helter-skelter.
I found this great printable skeleton here. He's actually part of a Halloween craft, but he worked perfectly for the beginning of our skeleton studies.

I was originally going to have the boys each make their own, but by the time I got done cutting out the pieces for one, I decided they could share. Ha!

We started with the scull and worked out way down, each time I would ask the boys "what comes next?" We used these two guys to help us out. J bought these with some Christmas/Birthday money off Amazon and he and The Mister put them together. We keep them on display and will continue to use them during our anatomy lessons. 

 Work in progress.....


 At some point I'm hoping we'll get around to labeling him.

We happened to find these foam puzzles at Staples for a buck! J has put them together several times over the past couple of weeks. There is also one of the brain, and one with organs. They are a bit tricky to put together because they aren't of the highest quality, but the repetition is helping him remember the major bones.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Letter A with Notebooking

This is going to be a looong post, but we did lots of fun activities, and I have some resources to share as well.

I don't "make" A(4.5) do school at this point, I suggest activities and if he's game then we go with it, most days he's game. We spent about 3 weeks on our letter A activities because we really only focused on it about one day a week.

We kicked off our week with these really fun printables from Carissa at 1+1+1

ABC Find It Letter A

She has printables for most letters up, but not all. I printed the pages on half sheets and they were still plenty big enough to have fun with. I normally would have laminated these but since my laminator is currently out of service, I couldn't, and I'm glad! We ended up using this single item for SO many activities.

We started with a couple of suggestions from Carissa's "Ideas for Using" page. First I buried the picture cards in a bowl of split peas (it's what I had on hand) and A used a set of plastic tweezers to find the picture and match it to the picture board. He refused to put the cards on the board, but chose to line them up around the outside instead. He and J continued to do this on and off throughout the day. As he found the pictures we talked about the letter A, the sounds it makes, and what each of the pictures were.

Then I read the "clues" on the word cards and A matched up the corresponding pictures.

We used the Alligator A and several of the Alligator Extras from Carissa's Animal ABC section.

He diligently cut out the alligators for the Alligator A. The tongue cracks me up! He does that every time he cuts, super concentration.

His finished Alligator A

Alligator colors. A has known his colors for a long time, but still gets confused with black/gray and pink/purple. I colored with him at his request :).

Hard to see because it's in pencil, but he used this printable to trace.

I've recently become really interested in Notebooking, and our first attempts have been very successful. I saw a post with Alphabet Notebooking pages and I really liked the idea, but they weren't exactly what I wanted. I needed something with minimal writing and lots of free artistic space since A has zero writing skills at this point, and that's not the area I'm focusing on. I made my own pages using Microsoft Word. I can not figure out how to get the file to link up properly, one day I'll figure it out and share it with you. If you want the link please leave me a comment and I will send it via email.

I pulled out some of the picture cards from Carissa's ABC Find it printable and A glued them into the picture space at the top of the page. I also gave him this great letter limerick from this site. I printed them 9 to a page (by using multi-page print) so they would be small enough for the notebooking page.

Here are his first two notebooking pages all filled up
The apple, A/a sort, and little A Book came from here. They were part of an full A lapbook but I just printed off the pages I wanted to use. There is also an alligator poem that we will be including in his book, I don't have it pictured.

He also did this color by letter picture from here. This site requires you to sign up for a membership, but it's free.

Finally we used some more of the ABC Find It cards to make mini-books. I had these mini-books on hand because they printed with a separate (generic) notebooking page that J used in the last week. Since we already hand them on hand, I threw this idea together. Besides, what kid doesn't love a lift the flap book?

We also built the letter A out of K*Nex because I randomly thought of it when A had them out.