Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Making Clouds

A quick post of today's activity.

I know, I know it seems like a weird time to do rain and clouds. I should have covered this in April, but this is how it worked out for me. It is not always easy to blog activities in the right month juggling all the hats I wear. I am learning though.

There is a fun book called Rain by Manya Stojic. I have all my friends shake our plastic eggs that we use for music every time I say the word rain in our story. They have fun shaking their little hearts out. We also do some fun fingerplays/songs where we make the sound of rain and thunder.

We also read Raindrop Plop. It is a counting book as well as talking about rain. It is a bit more simple and is good for younger ones. I apologize I do not have it next to me and I cannot recall the authors name. I will come back and insert it.

There are so many art activities to choose from and it was tough just picking one.

Marshmallow cloud painting: you will need marshmallows, white paint mixed with corn syrup (makes it glisten) and paper. Have the child make clouds in the sky by stamping marshmallows. While the child is painting discuss how it feels to stamp with the marshmallow. Remember to let them paint any way they want. A few of my friends decided to use their fingers; caution it is sticky!

You can do several things to make this your own. You can add black paint to make the clouds grey and full of rain. You can use shaving cream instead of corn syrup and your clouds will have some puff to them. You can also use cotton balls and glue. It is up to you as you know your child and their abilities best.

Have you made clouds?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sidewalk Chalk Painting

Today I had my boys experiment with sidewalk chalk painting. It started with painting with water, but they quickly got frustrated with the tiny paint brushes I had. Then we moved on to plain old sidewalk chalk. I decided to kick it up a notch once they seemed bored. I brought out a bowl of water. Water always makes for more fun in our world.

They asked what they did with it and anything you want was my reply. My youngest quickly sprang into action by throwing his chalk into the water. "Exactly!" I exclaimed. Now see how drawing is different with wet chalk rather than dry chalk.

I did not need to say any more. As expected, my boys got crazy and started to paint themselves. It was a fun activity on this hot afternoon. I just sat aside and let them do whatever they wanted and they loved it.

Do you play with wet sidewalk chalk?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Bucket List

Have you seen all the summer bucket lists on the blog-sphere and Pinterest?

I am going to work on mine and post soon. In the meantime, I thought I would share some that some of my favorite bloggers have created.

Teach Preschool 
Creative Family Fun
Play Dr Mom - who is a local blogger
Living at the White Heads Zoo 
52 Brand New

Friday, May 25, 2012

In Our Small, Small Pond

It is getting warmer out and the wildlife around ponds and lakes are emerging and growing. It is a perfect time to discuss ponds and the animals you find around them; in particular turtles.

It inspired me to do an art activity that I have been meaning to try for a long time; turtles made with bubble wrap.

First you need green paint and bubble wrap. I cut my bubble wrap into circles. This acts as the shell of the turtle. I also had blue construction paper, but you can really use whatever color you like.

Have your child paint the bumpy side of the bubble wrap. I had my friends feel the smooth side and then the bumpy side for an extra lesson on sensory. Some friends laid the paint on thick and some hardly put any on. A word of caution, more paint will take forever to dry.


Next I had my friends flip over the bubble wrap and tap, tap, tap the "turtle shell" with the help of parents.

Then I had my friends draw legs and a head. I reminded the parents that it does not matter where the legs and head are, I just want them to try and draw them. Remember it is process and not product.

We finished off our class with a few fun pond songs and our sensory tub full of water and plastic turtles. Whenever water is in our class we spend a long time at the sensory table. Water+Children=Fun!

Here are some links to other great pond activities.

 Pretend Pond Play at Greening Sam and Avery.
Walnut Shell Turtles at No Time For Flashcards
Tadpole Sensory Tub at make, do & friend.
Pond Sensory Table at Familylicious.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Car Building Minus Daddy

Just a quick post to say how proud I am that I built cars with my boys today! This is not my strong suit, even with the directions. I normally leave this play up to daddy.
Today daddy was at a baseball game, leaving it up to me. I told the boys I would try my best. My best was actually building the car!
My boys cheered me on. We all got a great lesson in trying; you just might be able to do it.
I didn't get a photo of my achievement because as fast as I built it they destroyed it. I did get a photo of them working together on another car. Such is my life.
Have you found yourself in a similar situation? It was a perfect life lesson on this gorgeous Sunday.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I think worms are fun. Fun to look for and dig up. Fun to hold, and fun to save after a rainy day. Plus my boys love to do all these too. This is why an activity with "worms" is a must do for me.

I did not use a particular worm book, but I do love the Diary of Worm book. It is really a diary of a worm and his friends/family. They are really cute, but are more of a preschooler book. I made today about silly animals and read the book Bark, George. I know, nothing to do with worms; my friends didn't seem to mind.

You will need brown paint, white construction paper, and cooked spaghetti.

I tried this a couple ways and the best result is place the spaghetti down on the paper and then pour the brown paint over the spaghetti. I learned that many of my friends did not want to touch the spaghetti without the paint because it was too sticky. I am sure if you use freshly cooked spaghetti this would not be too much of a problem. Mine was in the fridge over night.

Let your child move the spaghetti with their hands and talk about how it feels. If you find that they do not want to touch the spaghetti offer them a tool. I used toothbrushes. The ones that would not touch it, loved it once I gave them a tooth brush.

The end result is what looks like worm tracks on your paint.

Have you used spaghetti before in your art?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is this weekend and what is better than some flowers? I love having my friends make a painting of a bunch of wild flowers; this time we used wine corks and marshmallows. I found a simple statement regarding moms that I thought was perfect to add to the artwork.

You will need bright colored construction paper (pink, yellow, or light blue), wine corks, marshmallows, and paint. I chose pink and purple. You really can use any color.

I make sure I stress to my parents that they are not to help their little ones, let them stamp any way they want. I had some friends who stamped nothing but perfect circles and one friend who used the marshmallow to paint her entire page; it looked like a sunset. All of them were beautiful. Once the paint dried I added the simple statement about moms.

A few of my friends even decided they loved the way the paint felt and colored their faces!

We finished off the day with the book Does A Kangaroo Have A Mother, Too? by Eric Carle. It is a simple book with great illustrations (of course). Each page names a different animal which I had my friends tell me what it was and what sound it made.

Here are a few other Mother's Day activities that my favorite bloggers are doing:

A cute bouquet at the Trendy Treehouse

A dandelion Bouquet at Small Potatoes

Coffee Filter Flowers at Hands On As We Grow

These are just a few. If you are on Pinterest visit us at the Kid Blogger Network Board for more ideas for your little ones.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

5 Senses

This week we explored our 5 senses. Well actually we always explore our senses, I just decided to point it out to my little friends.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do you See? started us off. I love having the kids act out the book and act like the animals. We pretended we were searching for things to see by placing our hands over our eyes. It was obvious that this story has been read before because many of my friends yelled out the answers before I turned the page.

Our art activity involved pudding painting. I wanted them to feel the thickness of the pudding, smell the vanilla, and after adding food coloring exploring the different colors.

All you need is vanilla pudding, food coloring and/or Kool-Aid, paint brushes, and paper. I don't plan on my friends keeping the paintings; it is more about the process. This is always hard for parents to do; letting their kids make something that doesn't look like what we know it to look like.

My 2-3 year olds had a blast with this. They sat for a good 10 minutes. Some dipped their hand in the pudding and some just stuck with brushes. I had two that sat even longer. I am not sure if it is because they can really feel what they are moving around on the paper, the smell, or the color. Perhaps it is a bit of all of that.

We supplemented our theme with Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, and home made play dough at the sensory table.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I have had a lot on my plate lately, like many moms out there. I am keeper of the home, head chef, mom of two active boys, wife to a great man, PTA mom, involved in my local chapter of MOMS Club, and I happen to own my own business. Phew, I am tired just writing that.

I rarely ask for help. I solider on, and create a vicious cycle of work, play, sick, work, play, and get sick. This last time was tough. I (figuratively) hit a wall going 100 miles per hour without a seatbelt. I had several days of sick time and I believe it was the longest period of rest for me since I had my second c-section when my youngest was born three years ago.

While I was busy relaxing and going crazy, because I could not move 100 miles per hour, I saw a woman on a talk show discussing women in business. As far as I am concerned she could have been talking about women in general. She stated that women's biggest mistake in business and in life is trying to do it all.

Shut. The. Door.

Yep, I try to do it all. Doing it all only runs me into the ground. I decided then and there I need more help and I had to learn to say NO. NO, and NO!

Later on that day I watched my boys playing outside collecting sticks. They came across this huge branch and neither of them could lift it alone. They looked at each other and knew what to do. They did it together. They did not try to be super heros (well maybe just a little) and do it all themselves. They knew they needed help and gladly accepted it to get the job done. Okay, lesson learned. Get help. Check.

That being said, I am super excited to say I got help. Not only did I hire one teacher; I hired two. I also am seeking help for other aspects of the business. I will stay hands on and teach, but now I know that together we can accomplish more.

The bonus is I am not as stressed and it shows. My boys will get a much happier mom and that makes me happy.

Are you trying to be a super mom and do it all? Where has that lead you?