Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Snow Igloo Fun

We get lovely snow here in Denver, and having covered the letter I and igloos earlier in the year, my husband decided it was time to make one for the kiddos.  Here's the chronicling of their creation.

  Daniel marked out the place and size for the igloo.  Then, using a plastic tub (shown in photo beneath), he made solid bricks with the snow.  You do need wet snow, and ours was nice and wet once the sun hit it and began to melt it just a tad.

Then, they would turn the bricks out on the snow and re-place them where they wanted them to go.  The kitchen knife was for leveling stuff off.

This was much harder work then it may look, and halfway through both igloo makers took a hot chocolate break...

And had some Snow Ice Cream, which you can find the recipe for here:

Then the went out and hit it again...and at dusk, it looked like this:

 The colored window is made from colored ice that we froze in baby food containers in preparation to create a fun colored window in one side of the igloo.  Problem was:  the containers were too small and melted before we finished, so we came up with another way which you will see later...

Thank goodness, more snow was on the forecast because they were going to need more for the top of the igloo.  Next snowy day, here they are, finishing it off...

Even at half way through, the kids were having a blast with the igloo. 

Once it was this far completed, I think they figured that this was the coolest thing they'd ever seen made from snow.  Caedyn told his daddy, "Wow.  I love you, Daddy."  Which is always fun to hear.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the house, we had frozen these colored ice globes in celebration of New Years...
These things were really fun and we got a lot of compliments on them.  We made them simply by filling up some large latex balloons with water and then dropping a couple drops of food coloring in the water before knotting up the balloon.
Once frozen, these puppies were solid, SOLID and very pretty in the sunshine.  We moved them around back and...voila!

And a few days later, after the Denver sunshine had a chance to melt everything down...

And the next day after, the joys of kicking the last of it all to pieces with the help of a few neighbors!

It's snowing again now as I write this down...just imagine the possibilities that await.  Just get out there and create!  Woo hoo!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Letter of the Week for X

Let's talk the letter X for a moment, shall we?

Because we all know, it is not the most utilized letter in the alphabet.  In fact, sometimes, this poor letter seems to be downright ignored.  But you can't blame folks.

I mean, X usually gets put at the end of words, or somewhere in the middle.  So finding activities to work with it can be tricky.  This is EXACTLY why Glimmercat Education decided to offer a packet full of ideas and activities for free.

Not only do we have crafts related to the letter X (an X-ray craft, an xylophone, the ever popular X-ray fish, and creating your very own boX), but we also include a fun Dot-to-Dot, an "X marks the spot" color by letter treasure map, and lesson plans if you wish to try these activities out in a Letter of the Week styled program.

We also recommend some lovely picture books, "Christina Katerina and the Box" by Patricia Lee Gauch and "Not a Box" by Antoinette Portis.

But enough talk!  Let's explore some of the pages we include in this fun pdf packet that is downloadable for free right here:

 We try to introduce every one of our new letters with a picture that tells a story to illustrate the sound.  This is our introductory letter card that tells the story for X:

With this picture, we introduce the letter X, the sound of X and X-rays all at the same time!

We pretend that our friendly character Glimmercat discovers an X-Ray machine and when the machine takes her X-ray (Xxxx!) she here's the X sound (Xxxx!).  Of course, it is super important to put a lot of fun emphasis on the Xxxx! when you say it.

Then, we explore the letter X through flash cards, or this fun Matching Game...


And with this X-citing introduction to a variety of words containing the letter X, we can begin some of the delightful letter X crafts, like the Xylophone.

 When we first released this post, the top image looked like this: 

But we upgraded a few things for the packet.  This is our new Xylophone Craft:

So although, I love the Xylophone Craft that we did before, using popsicle sticks and colored foam, you can't exactly print it out.  I'm still going to leave these photos here, because I think if you can do this craft with the foam, it was a lot of fun for my kiddos.

It was a great craft for discussing colors, different sizes, "longest" and "shortest", and putting things in order, small to large.

  Especially after they watched this video of this little girl rocking out on her xylophone like a boss:

Isn't that awesome?

So, for the classic X-ray craft, last time we traced little hands on wax paper and then used hot glue to recreate the "bones".  I wielded the glue gun, but after the glue cooled, the kids were able to peel their "bones" right off and then glue it to the black paper.

I still love the idea above, and would recommend it, but for an easily printable classroom craft, we created a unique and fun X-ray Craft, here:

Now, you can use a photo of your child, like I did here:

Or your child can draw in the face and then add the small Q-tip pieces and the little heart.

Then, there was our X-ray fish that we made last time using glue and food dye to color their insides.   

Here was the problem we ran into with this one:  it took so long for the glue to dry in the air-tight baggy that it was a tricky craft to complete in one day.  Which isn't always practical.  But they turned out so cool!

The "bones" were just white foam cutouts (like the foam squares we used in the xylophone, but white instead.  We tucked our fishy bones inside the sealing plastic bag, too.

The finished product, with googly eyes was very fun and the kids were very happy with their X-ray Tetra fish. So, I figured, maybe we could create something similar as a printable.  Here's what we made:

Since it is just paper, we didn't add colored glue to the inside of the baggies.  We glued the fishy skeleton inside the baggie, and added the other parts to the outside with glue.

And we discovered such a fun book for our Reading Literacy Page!  Now, the letter X being what it is, there aren't a whole lot of children's books that begin with X.  But, there are some useful words that include x in them, and so we made the most of the word "Box" and focused on the X at the end of the word.  And thinking in this direction, we snagged this amazing book called "Christina Katerina and the Box".

This is the story we utilized for our Reading Literacy activity:

AND for our last craft, my son created a Box of his own with our printable Box and decorated it all himself.

Because that's what boxes are really for, as every child knows, especially Christina Katerina.

For a lot more X activities, both printables, reading literacy activities, flash cards and a Letter X Matching Game, all FREE FOR DOWNLOAD 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

Letter of the Week for Z