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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Snow Ice Cream

My dad used to say, "Don't use the first snow of the season," (on account of air impurities) and some snows (the more frozen ones for instance) don't work as well as others.  But Snow Ice Cream is some of the yummiest ice cream there is, especially after a hard day of snow play!

The Four Ingredients, as seen above are:

Milk
Jello Mix (we used raspberry)
A Touch more Sugar
And...Snow!

Start out with maybe a half cup of milk and add perhaps a Tablespoon of Jello mix.  Scoop in spoonfuls of snow and stir.  Taste.  Add a bit of sugar if needed (we added maybe a Tablespoon more), and then...ENJOY!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Letter W Activities for Ages 2-4


Well, we have the letter W packet up and available!  Woo hoo!  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Letter-of-the-Week-W-2244260


Let's begin with the little whale craft we came up with.  In the past, I used baby food containers and they worked great for little whales.  This was when I had 2 and 4 year olds in my home (plus plenty of baby food containers!)


The kids LOVED their little whales.  And so when it was time to do our W packet, I definitely wanted to include this craft.  But, since not everyone has such easy access to baby food containers, we decided to revamp this one just a tad. 


Here's what we created for the printable.  But rather than a baby food container for the whale body, we decided to use an egg carton cell.



He turned out awfully cute, too.


So, last time we made a walrus, we used a plastic fork.  But toxic fumes being what they are, we decided this needed some revamping too.


So, we made a printable that you could simply add a Popsicle stick for walrus teeth while still using pop poms for those fun walrus cheeks.


So, this is the walrus craft we offer in our craft packet.

Now, last time we did this fun craft to illustrate the Wind.




 This was fun for 2's and 4's.  This sample posted above, was actually one of my 2 year olds.  I helped with the chalk lines showing the blowing wind, but other than that, he did it almost all by himself, and here you can see Mystery is doing a great job at her dandelion also.  (This was when little Mystery was still 2 years old).


   What kid doesn't love to blow dandelion seeds to the four winds?  So, understanding the concept of illustrating wind, when we cannot actually see it, was fun and easier than I thought.  Also, poking Q-tips into Styrofoam is just plain fun for kids to do, because it sounds so destructive.


Although, you may decide to go with green pipe cleaners and leaves...rather than white ones.

One of the new crafts we did this time, was our little Worm.  The beads are really an optional add-on for decorative purposes.


We formed the pipe cleaner into a W shape, because that is just an awesome thing to do.

We discovered a new book, too!  David Pizzoli's "The Watermelon Seed"!

This is such a cute and fun story, and here is the Reading Literacy Activity we created to go along with it:


For a lot more W activities, both printables, reading literacy activities, flash cards and a Letter W Matching Game, head over to our teacher store here:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Letter-of-the-Week-W-2244260

For the other alphabet letter of the week packets, we offer the following blog links with crafts included:

Letter of the Week for A: http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/07/letter-activities-for-ages-2-to-4.html

Letter of the Week for B:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/07/letter-b-activities-for-ages-2-to-4.html

Letter of the Week for C:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/07/letter-c-activities-for-ages-2-to-4.html

Letter of the Week for D:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/07/letter-d-activities-for-ages-2-4.html


Letter of the Week for E:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/07/letter-e-activities-for-ages-2-4.html


Letter of the Week for F: http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/07/letter-f-activities-for-2-4-year-olds.html

Letter of the Week for G:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/07/letter-g-crafts-for-2-4-year-olds.html

Letter of the Week for H:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/08/letter-h-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Letter of the Week for I:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/08/letter-i-activities-for-ages-2-to-4.html

Letter of the Week for J:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/08/letter-j-activities-for-ages-2-to-4.html

Letter of the Week for K:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/08/letter-k-activities-for-ages-2-to-4.html

Letter of the Week for L:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/09/letter-l-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Letter of the Week for M:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/09/letter-m-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Letter of the Week for N:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/09/letter-n-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Letter of the Week for O:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/09/letter-o-activities-for-ages-2-to-4.html

Letter of the Week for P:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/10/letter-p-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Letter of the Week for Q:   http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/10/letter-q-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Letter of the Week for R:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/10/letter-r-activities-for-2-4-year-olds.html

Letter of the Week for S:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2014/11/letter-s-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Letter of the Week for T:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2014/11/letter-t-activities-for-ages-2-4-year.html

Letter of the Week for U:   http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2014/12/letter-u-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Letter of the Week for V:   http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2014/12/letter-v-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Monday, December 15, 2014

Lego Organization PreOccupation, Otherwise Entitled "My Lego Addiction"


Oh yeah--there's a little instruction booklet in there.
I'm not OCD.  I'm not even a clean freak, although I do appreciate a tidy home.  So, what is it with this Lego thing I have?

In the spirit of giving every affliction, real or otherwise, a meaningless acronym for a title, I'm going to call this "LOP":  Lego Organization Preoccupation.  For others who suffer from the same malady, symptoms may include:  frustration at Lego blocks strewn about house and home, an inability to leave your child's Legos simply dumped altogether in one great big container, browsing Pinterest for hours in the hopes of discovering new ways of organizing these colorful little instruments of foot torture.  Here's a link by the Kid's Activities Blog to 37 ways to organize Legos so I know I am not alone.  http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/55067/lego-organization-ideas

At first, I tried to create a logical reason for my Lego organizing fanaticism.  I said, "If I label small containers by color, my four year old can learn his color words".  I said, "My organization is going to teach system and structure skills to my son."  I said, "Isn't anyone else bothered by everything being dumped together in one great heap???!!!!"
Make it stop!!!

My husband laughs at me.  My son loves it because when his Lego mess gets too much for me, I join him in his room and reorganize it all while he plays with his Legos close by.  This is how Mommy plays Legos, of course.  Even if she calls it "cleaning".  He'll even come over every once in awhile to check up on me and see how I'm doing and offer suggestions to "help" me with my self-appointed task.  I'm actually glad he likes me to mess with his stuff, because if he didn't I might be forced to creep into his room at night while he's asleep, my LOP is seriously that bad.
See the baggie nearby?  That's what I'm talkin' about.

The real problem is that there is no good way to organize Legos.  Seriously.  You start by color.  But do you know how many different colors of "green" legos actually exist?  And then, when your green Legos are heaped so high that the lid won't fit on their container (purchased at Dollar Tree expressly for this purpose, I might add), you are then tempted to organize by size instead.  It's rough to dig through an entire container of green Legos in search of one little two piece.  And I have a lot of baby food containers hanging around these days. (I knew I was hanging onto those for a good reason!)
A use for baby food containers!!


Now of course, if you have a child at home with Legos, you know that the kits come with everything needed to make the item advertised so colorfully on the box.  There's an instruction booklet which your child can effortlessly follow, even without being able to read.  It's brilliant.  But once the pieces in that kit become mixed in with all the other Legos in your house, ever using that instruction booklet again is over.  Even if you have the instruction booklets beautifully organized and orderly placed in little sleeves inside of a binder.  Yes, I've done that, too.

The instruction booklet binder.
So, here's the new LOP resolution I currently follow:  1.  You bring home kit.  2.  You make amazing creation.  3.  Mommy hands you a plastic baggie when you are ready to take amazing creation apart again.  4.  Baggie with all parts and the instruction booklet all go back into the box that the kit came in.

But before I came to the resolution that this is how all future kits must be handled, a bunch of Legos, (and Kreo and Tyco bricks, and Construction Blocks, and Megabloks) had crept into our house and they must still be organized...somehow.
Must stay organized...at all costs...*gasp*


I know what you're thinking.  The psyche of my poor child will be damaged forever if I continue to enter his room expressly to organize his toys with overly excessive systems.  (I know, I know.  I've seen "The Lego Movie".  I  promise I don't use the Kraggle, however tempteed I might be!)  Well, not to fear.  His father bought him a huge container of random blocks that I am not allowed to touch.  See?

This is where the boy becomes a Master Builder, with not one instruction booklet to hamper his innate creativity.  Organization be damned. 

So, what to do with my LOP?  I'm not too worried about it.  I've got a plan in place now. (Insert maniacal laughter).  Every future kit that arrives in our house goes into its own container along with its instruction booklet and the loose little Lego buggers that get slung around the house from time to time (and inevitably get stepped on) will get thrown in the Tyco bucket.  I am NOT allowed to touch the Tyco bucket.  I am not allowed to touch the Tyco bucket.  *Repeats to self...*

This tiny lego turkey kit fit perfectly in a baby food container, with it's little instruction page all folded up and tucked in, too.  The turkey decal was an extra I had floating around from Seasonal window decals picked up at Dollar Tree.
 So the kits are all organized and my Master Builder can still create to his heart's content.  In all honesty, I think my son has got it nailed.  Lego Organization PreOccupation is just Mommy's way of playing with Legos.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Letter V Activities for Ages 2-4


We have finished off our Letter of the Week for V packet, and with that, we are updating this post for letter V crafts and activities. 


To check this packet our in more detail, see this page in our store:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Letter-of-the-Week-V-2226482

To just look over the crafts we did and get ideas, then please, read on, read on. 

Let's begin with our volcano.  In the past, we did one like this:


I still like the idea of using cotton balls for smoke.  And we had dinosaur stickers, and this was a fun use for them, especially with orange glitter .  But now, in our letter V packet, we created a printable Volcano craft to go along with our Volcano day. 


So, here is my son, trying it out.

  
First, he cut out the two pieces.  After cutting out the orange rectangle, he curled it around a pencil.


Then, he cut down the dotted black lines and rolled it together.


This made a nifty little Lava Explosion.


Which we then tucked into the hole made by gluing our volcano together.


Haha!  Success!  And for context, here's a video of an actual volcanic eruption.  Nothing explains it better than the real thing:



Next, we did a Vase.  This also is a printable from our Letter of the Week for V packet.  It is an easy cut-out page, with orange outlines for children to easily follow.


You can do this version very simply with just scissors and a glue-stick.  Or you can do a variation, using pipe cleaners and half a toilet paper roll.  Here's how we did it: 


First, Caedyn cut out his flowers and the vase.  He took special care on the flowers.  They were tricky.


Then, we used pipe cleaners in place of the stems.  (Give them plenty of time to dry).  We propped up the vase by gluing it to the toilet paper roll and with a twist of the flower stems, they stood up beautifully.


That one looks neat all put together, doesn't it?  Now, vegetables are a great V word because every kid has their own love -hate relationship with vegetables.  In our home, we began by starting with a big construction paper V and cutting out vegetable pictures to glue to it. 


This was fun, and to highlight vegetables, even further, we created a fun Reading Literacy activity to go along with this book:


This is one of the best books on vegetables out there, involving a crafty Hare and a lazy Bear who learns to not let Hare run his life or his vegetable garden by the end of the story. 


This fun Reading Literacy activity gives children the opportunity to compare and contrast the vegetables, while discovering which parts are the edible pieces: the tops, the bottoms, or the middles.

Now, if you get the opportunity in your week with the letter V for some pretend play, I would suggest that gentle Vikings are not a bad play option.


Converting the Cardboard box into a ship was easy.  (Hey, with preschool, all you really need to do is say, "Here's your ship!") and I dug up an old costume Viking Hat.




Along with the Viking theme, if "How To Train Your Dragon" is a little intense, you could show your tots "Lyle the Friendly Viking", which happens to be my favorite 30 minutes of the entire Veggie-tales franchise and includes a great message about "Sharing".



And to finish off, here is our Vulture craft (again from our Letter of the Week V packet)...


Using the other half of that toilet paper tube, Caedyn painted it up.  The craft paper suggests using black or gray, since the body of the vulture is roughly that.  But we didn't have those colors, so I mixed up a kind of orangey red.  Worked great!



After it dried, Caedyn taped on the paper wings, head, tail and feet that we'd cut out earlier.  And there we were, Vulture complete!  Yay!

For a lot more V activities, both printables, reading literacy activities, flash cards and a Letter V Matching Game, head over to our teacher store here:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Letter-of-the-Week-V-2226482

For the other alphabet letter of the week packets, we offer the following blog links with crafts included:

Letter of the Week for A: http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/07/letter-activities-for-ages-2-to-4.html

Letter of the Week for B:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/07/letter-b-activities-for-ages-2-to-4.html

Letter of the Week for C:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/07/letter-c-activities-for-ages-2-to-4.html

Letter of the Week for D:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/07/letter-d-activities-for-ages-2-4.html


Letter of the Week for E:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/07/letter-e-activities-for-ages-2-4.html


Letter of the Week for F: http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/07/letter-f-activities-for-2-4-year-olds.html

Letter of the Week for G:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/07/letter-g-crafts-for-2-4-year-olds.html

Letter of the Week for H:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/08/letter-h-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Letter of the Week for I:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/08/letter-i-activities-for-ages-2-to-4.html

Letter of the Week for J:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/08/letter-j-activities-for-ages-2-to-4.html

Letter of the Week for K:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/08/letter-k-activities-for-ages-2-to-4.html

Letter of the Week for L:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/09/letter-l-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Letter of the Week for M:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/09/letter-m-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Letter of the Week for N:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/09/letter-n-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Letter of the Week for O:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/09/letter-o-activities-for-ages-2-to-4.html

Letter of the Week for P:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/10/letter-p-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Letter of the Week for Q:   http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/10/letter-q-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Letter of the Week for R:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2015/10/letter-r-activities-for-2-4-year-olds.html

Letter of the Week for S:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2014/11/letter-s-activities-for-ages-2-4.html

Letter of the Week for T:  http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2014/11/letter-t-activities-for-ages-2-4-year.html

Letter of the Week for U:   http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2014/12/letter-u-activities-for-ages-2-4.html


Monday, December 8, 2014

Letter of the Week for U



Letter U can sometimes be a challenge.   ESPECIALLY, when you are trying desperately to stick with the short u sound only.  So, that means just using words that begin with the "uh" sound.

Still, we came up with a quite a few utterly amazing things to share with U (I mean, you!) from our letter of the week packet for U.


Our "Story" for the letter U is that Glimmercat begins to get rained on and is trying to open up her Umbrella.  She is pushing on the opener and makes a little grunt as she tries to open it and the grunt sounds like:  "Uh!  Uh!"

So, we open with a fun image and mnemonic for connecting U with the short u sound.

We appropriate the word "Under" as a prefix for several of our activities, and you should know we don't shy away from "Underwear", as seen here with a Bear in Underwear.  In fact, we even utilize this idea for one of our crafts.


I'm sorry, you just hafta do underwear with young children.  They have a blast with potty humor and pretty soon, you will be giggling too.  Is it funny?  Not really.  But the giggling kiddos make it so.

Our underwear craft is pretty basic.  It's just a diaper shape on paper.    But what makes it useful is that it is a pretty good size for using on stuffed animals.  You have to have a stuffed animal.  I know, we call it optional on the Craft sheet, but it makes the underwear so much more fun.


I mean, look at that grin.  You see what I mean?  You really need a stuffed animal.

Another day in our Letter of the Week packet, we use "Under", as in Underground.  We begin with a dot to dot page that shows an underground insect world....


 And the craft we have for this day was just so much fun:


This is our Underground craft.  Here, you can see my son cutting out his underground square all by himself.   Now as you know, if you follow this blog at all, I love to use snacks in our crafts when possible.  This craft calls for raisins.  The ants are made out of raisins.


How much fun is it to munch and craft at the same time?  We also lined the surface of the dirt with a mixture of flour and coffee grounds.  I would have just used coffee grounds, but mine were still wet from that morning's coffee and I was not far-sighted enough to save the previous day's grounds and dry them all up.


Our raisins almost dwarfed the little ant legs that are drawn onto this sheet.  We used big raisins.  But you still get the idea.  And the "soil" is fun (and messy!).

Getting back to Umbrellas, let's chat about this Umbrella craft.


I wanted something special for the Umbrella Craft in our Letter of the Week packet, so I created a melted crayon craft to simulate the look of rain.  And I love how this turned out, even though our printer was just running out of green and blue which is why we got that faded orange background.  It's still so COOL!!



So, kids can choose a boy or girl image.  We also have it in black and white so that they can color the child they choose however they please.


Here's my son's print out.  We attached the umbrella...



And then dug out some broken crayons.  We chose crayons in various shades of blue, but you could use all the colors if you wanted.  It will still look fun!


Here is my boy, taping on his crayons.  He chose a pattern for them because he loves patterns.


And then I manipulated the blow dryer.  It didn't take long to get these crayons to melt!  We saw the crayons begin to look wet and melty rather quickly.  And then I tried to steer the paper a bit.  This was SUCH a fun craft!



For a lot more U activities, both printables, reading literacy activities, flash cards and a Letter U Matching Game, head over to our teacher store here



For the other alphabet letter of the week packets, we offer the following blog links with crafts included:

Letter of the Week for A

Letter of the Week for B

Letter of the Week for C

Letter of the Week for D

Letter of the Week for E  

Letter of the Week for F

Letter of the Week for G

Letter of the Week for H

Letter of the Week for I

Letter of the Week for J

Letter of the Week for K

Letter of the Week for L

Letter of the Week for M

Letter of the Week for N

Letter of the Week for O

Letter of the Week for P

Letter of the Week for Q

Letter of the Week for R

Letter of the Week for S


Letter of the Week for T

Letter of the Week for U

Letter of the Week for V

Letter of the Week for W

Letter of the Week for X