Pirates, Paper Planes, & Penguins

Pirates

At the beginning of the week we went to a local museum where we learned about different ships and dressed up like pirates with some friends. The kids really enjoyed climbing up and down on a play ship and pretending to sleep in a hammock like a pirate. They all also really love “Moana,” so they had a lot of fun learning about the culture of the Polynesian islands and seeing some life size rafts like Moana and Maui use in the movie.

This little girl loves to color. She asks to draw constantly. We have spent countless hours coloring and drawing at our kitchen table. That being said, a lot of our activities have been including a lot of craft time. A few weeks ago I found this cute pirate door hanger at Walmart and tucked it away. Em was extra excited to see the pirates like we learned about earlier in the week and to make something that we could hang on her door.

Pineapples

We really try to tie in our lessons with our day to day life. While we were at the grocery store this week, we just happened to spot this pineapple plant in the floral/ fresh fruits department! How neat is that! Em was really excited to see how pineapples grow and be able to touch it. Luckily, since we were in the fruit department anyway, we were able to grab a full size pineapple and compare the sizes.

Paper Planes

I have never been very good at making paper planes, but luckily the hubs enjoyed making paper planes as a kid. He made a couple different types out of some holographic paper that I found at Dollar Tree and Em had a lot of fun chasing them around our back yard. It was pretty hot, so this activity lasted about 5 minutes, but everyone enjoyed it. If Em was older, we would talk about how each shape of the paper planes changed the wind resistance and have her try to fold her own paper planes. At this age, she was more excited to throw the paper plane and crumple it up when we were done.

Penguins

Em’s Auntie V loves penguins, so for “P” week, I knew we needed to learn about them. First we started by watching a couple short videos about penguins on youtube. You can find the ones that we watched here, here, and here. We also found some really cute songs about penguins and sang them while pretending to be penguins. Since we used my phone to watch all of these videos, now every time that I pull it out she tries to convince me we need to watch the baby penguin videos. We also found some Aldi brand chedder snacks that were in the shape of penguins, also known as knock off brand Goldfish snacks. Em really liked eating these throughout the week during snack times and even made them waddle around the table before eating them.

Pony Rides!

This week we had an awesome outing  featuring pony rides! Perfect for “P” week! Wooo-hooo! Don’t you love when events just line up perfectly with your lesson plans? Em absolutely adored the ponies. These pictures are definitely worth clicking on to enlarge. Her grin says it all!

Advertisements

Octopus, Orion, & Ovals

Oh boy how the weeks fly by so quickly with a toddler.The weeks all just seem to blend together and I feel like I’m always playing catch up! Lucky for you lovely people, that means there should be some scheduled posts for the next couple of weeks to help get me back on track!

So here we go with “O” week!

Owls

One of my favorite things about working our way through homeschool activities with Em, is that we can literally do a lesson any time! Sometimes our lessons don’t start until 15 minutes before dinner is ready because we need something to distract Em. This was one of those nights and my awesome husband was able to take some time and sit down with Em to work on this adorable wood owl cut out, while I finished up dinner! How awesome is that?! They talked about where owls live and Em had a blast learning what sound owls make. At this point it is weeks later, and she still loves pointing at her owl and saying “Whoooo whooo!”

Ocean & Octopus

We love learning about animals. This week we focused on animals that lived in the ocean. I found a tube of ocean animals at our local Dollar General. We used these all week because Em thought they were so cute. It has been extra hot lately, so anything that includes water play is an instant success these days. One activity that Em especially loved was playing with these little animals in her water table. She enjoyed putting the animals on the top of the slide in the table and then pouring water to make them slide down.

We also made a fun octopus craft. This was a craft that I spaced out throughout the week because it took a little more concentration on Em’s part. I cut 8 strips of construction paper and numbered them 1-8. When we had a few quiet moments, Em and I would grab a strip of paper and glue the labeled amount of buttons onto it. At the end of the week, I cut out a large “O” and we glued each of the strips to the bottom of it so that it looked like and octopus. Em really liked gluing the eyes onto the octopus.

Orion, Ovals & Orange

Unfortunately, none of these have any pictures to go with them (#toddlerlife) so they are getting randomly lumped together. Sorry!

We are planning on learning all about outer space during “S” week, but we did take a few minutes to learn about the Orion constellation. This was just a little abstract for Em, but she thought the story was pretty fun to listen to.

Em thinks it is pretty neat to practice drawing different shapes. This week we tried to learn the difference between an oval and a circle. This was a little hard for a 20 month old, but Em had fun coloring the ovals that I drew for her. We also laid out our shape flashcards and pointed to which ones were ovals. (We found ours at Dollar Tree but here are some similar ones.)

Oh boy do we love to color. Any time a LoW has a specific color attached to it, Em is instantly in love. This week we did an orange bath (like we did here for “G” week) and enjoyed looking for anything we could find that was orange while we were on errands. Em thought it was especially funny there there was a color AND a fruit called orange. She loves mandarin oranges, so we enjoyed a few of those for snack time throughout the week. We also used our shapes flash cards to point out the color orange.

Olaf

This one is a little bit of a cheat, but there was a local ice cream festival that happened to have a few special visitors from Frozen. Em has been OBSESSED with all things Anna and Elsa, so we thought she would have a blast with meeting the characters. She was so awe struck when she met Elsa that she wouldn’t even look at her! We felt like she was just trying to “be cool” as Elsa held her. Once we walked away she kept saying “SALSA!!” (Her way of saying Elsa at this point.)  Em was a little more excited to meet Olaf, which could have been because he was in air conditioning! Although She wasn’t really interested in taking a picture unless Mama was with her. She did LOVE meeting Anna and this was the only character she even slightly acted her normal, happy self with.

 

 

How have you been spending your summer weeks? Have you been able to keep up with normal lessons or have you been a little more spotty like we have?

Newspapers, Noodles, & Numbers

Newspaper

One of Em’s favorite chores is to get the newspaper from our front door. This week we were able to watch the delivery person bring our newspaper to the door and Em thought it was so exciting to run out and grab it. We then took a few minutes to read a few articles and look at the pictures. If Em was older, I would have had her try to make her own newspaper or do some fun crafts with the paper itself. After reading the paper a little bit, Em was pretty much done with learning, so we called it a day.

Noodles, Necklaces, & “N” Art

While Em was taking a nap, I dyed some rigatoni noodles in various colors. (I used this technique if you want to give it a shot. I did let my noodles dry outside rather than keeping them inside because the alcohol smell is pretty strong, especially in our little house.) The drying process took about 4 hours outside, so we ended up using these the following days.

 

Em loved the fun colors! We practiced sorting the pasta by color, although Em is still pretty new to this idea. It didn’t go quite the way I had hoped, but it worked overall.

Em is to the point where she loves all jewelry. “N” week was a perfect time to make noodle necklaces. I had found a 6 pack of shoelaces which were perfect to use for this project. I gave Em one shoelace that I had tied at the end and let her thread as many noodles as she wanted. This took a little while, because she would drop the whole thing and the noodles would come off, but overall, she loved the outcome.

 

After a quick snack, I drew A capital “N” on some card stock and cut it out. I had Em put glue all over the letter and then let her go wild with noodles. I miscalculated how big to make the “N”, because it could have been half the size and she would have been content. That being said, she still ended up taking about 15 minutes and covering the entire “N” with the noodles. I ended up going back in and gluing some noodles back down later on, but this now hangs on Em’s clothesline in her room with our other letter crafts.

 

Numbers

This week we practiced counting quite a bit. We usually randomly count while changing Em’s diaper, driving, or just playing with blocks. I found some small number magnets while at Target in the dollar spot. Instead of putting the numbers on the fridge, we used a cookie sheet turned upside down, and practiced putting the numbers in order. Em loved picking up the numbers and showing them to Tori. She is slowly starting to recognize the numbers themselves, but isn’t quite to the point where she can put them in order all by herself.

 

Letter Practice

We usually try to practice writing the letter of the week, but it doesn’t always work out very well. This week I found a dry erase board at a dollar store and Em really enjoyed trying to write the letter “N.” She has officially mastered the art of drawing a (fairly) straight line, so the “N” was pretty easy for her, but she wan’t a fan of the lower case letter.

IMG_3289

“N” week went by in a whirlwind, just like all of the weeks before. Have you been doing LoWs? What have been your favorite activities lately? We are always looking for new activities.

 

Stickers. Are. Life.

Recently, Em has been obsessed with stickers forever. In the last couple weeks we have been using stickers almost every day. I usually try to keep some in our diaper bag so that Em has something to do when we are at restaurants or if an appointment is taking too long.

Lately we have been working on learning body parts. She already knows things like nose, ears, and feet but we have been struggling with things like elbows and knees. Insert Em’s love of stickers and mama’s need to turn everything into a teaching moment. We spent about 20 minutes using stickers to find different body parts that we had been struggling with. Em especially loved putting bug stickers on the bottom of her feet and trying to stomp on them.

We have also been using stickers to work on fine motor skills. Sometimes I will draw a few different lines or shapes and have Em take the stickers and put them onto the lines. She really enjoys using different shaped stickers and things it is really funny when they follow a theme. Last week I drew the shape of a flower and then had her use flower stickers to trace the shape. I also use this trick to have Em practice the shapes of letters.

20170713_113856.jpg

Do you have a toddler obsessed with stickers? What are some activities that you do with them? Let us know in the comments below.

Music, Museums, & Magnets

Boy the weeks go by so quickly during the summer. We spend a lot of time at the pool and being outside as much as we can without melting. Somehow, it seems like this means that I will continue to play catch up on our LoW posts. I apologize but hope everyone enjoys them as I find time to post them.

So without further ado, continue reading for our adventures with “M” week.

Music

One of Em’s favorite things at this point in life is music. She loves to dance to music and sing as much as possible. This week we fully embraced all things music. I tried to play a variety music including jazz, rock,  and, of course, many Disney soundtrack sing-a-longs. We also fully embraced the idea of making music ourselves. We had many jam sessions beating on drums, pretending to play the trumpet, and finding our whistles that were left over from our Jungle Jamboree. Tori even joined in the fun, although she wasn’t quite as excited as we were.20170627_094725

 

Monkeys

I had some leftover monkey cut outs from our Jungle Jamboree. Em decorated 5 monkey cut outs and while she was napping, I put them on colorful popsicle sticks from Dollar Tree.  ( A quick side note about these colored popsicle sticks. The color did rub off onto Em’s sweaty little hands, so next time I would modge podge over them before using them for something that will be touched a lot.) The next day, we used these monkeys to sing the finger play “5 Little Monkeys.” Em thought it was hilarious to make the monkeys jump around and hit their heads. We used these a couple times throughout the week, but by the end of it, they were looking pretty rough.

I also found an inflatable monkey that was left over from another activity we did a couple weeks ago. Em enjoyed giving the monkey a tour around the house and dancing with it to the music.

Museums

We are lucky that we have some fantastic kid friendly museums in our area. This week we decided to make a day trip to a science museum a couple hours away to get a change of scenery. We had a ton of fun learning about bumblebees, spiders, light, speed, and so much more. We spent about 3 hours just wondering around and having fun learning. I definitely recommend looking for something out of the ordinary to do as a family. We will be checking out some more in the near future.

Magnets

While we were at the museum Em discovered these awesome magnetic building blocks. The are officially on her birthday wish list. (If you are looking for your own set, you can find them online here and here.) The museum had them paired with a light table, but you could pair it with your own diy light table like the one we used a couple weeks ago in this post.

 

Mermaids

Everyone loves a little bit of wonder and whimsy in their lives, so for “M” week, we had fun with mermaids. Em really likes to decorate little sun catchers and I found this perfect mermaid one in the Dollar Spot at Target a couple weeks ago. I always love how proud she is after her craft projects, especially the one with her Papa. We also watched a few mermaid movies and pretended to be mermaids while we were at the beach swimming.

Magnifying Glass

We found a really neat book at a thrift store that is like an “I Spy” book with an attached magnifying glass. It was usually around bed time when we would read this book and start quiet time, but we had to account for at least 15 minutes of looking at this book and finding all of the types of cars and trucks. I couldn’t find the exact book online, but there are some similar ones here and here. You can buy your own little magnifying glass at Dollar Tree or wherever, attach it to a string and glue it to the book if you wanted.

 

And that officially wraps up “M” week! What have you all been up to? We would love to know!

 

Lights, Laundry, & Laughter

 

Love & Laughter

“L” week was an emotionally rich and draining week all at the same time. This week we spent a lot of time with some very dear friends who were in the process of moving to another state. Em’s best friends, P & H,  were her companions on a daily basis. From them, she learned what it was like to have siblings and what unconditional friend love was like. Their big brother W has been an amazing stand in big brother for Em and during the school year I helped tutor him in reading. He is an awesome kid and definitely gives me hope for our future. They have all been featured in the blog multiple times and their mama is one of my dearest friends. She is one of the main reasons I started this blog and the one person I knew would always come to our events or activities. IB is another one of Em’s very best friends who lived down the street and moved away this week too. Em loved IB’s baby brother L and wanted to hold him as much as we would allow her to. Even toddlers can’t get enough baby snuggles.  We spent a lot of time loving on them all as much as possible and sharing as many laughs as we could before our families were separated. This is one of the main reasons that our blog posts have been a bit delayed.

We also made sure that Tori didn’t feel left out by giving her A LOT of extra love this week. I think she greatly appreciated being included. 😉

Lions

After realizing that “L” week was almost half over and we hadn’t done any sort of crafting, I quickly cut up some orange and yellow felt, found some glue tubes, pipe cleaners, random buttons I had laying around in our craft section, and a yellow paper plate. Thank goodness lions are fairly easy to make. For this craft, I put Em in charge of putting the glue on the paper plate. She loved that she was “in charge” and we worked on making a pattern of yellow and orange for the lion’s main.  Em held our giant permanent marker and I helped her trace the lion’s nose. While we were decorating the lion, we did a lot of roaring and talking about where lions live. She was very excited to use the lion head as a mask and run around roaring throughout the house.

Laundry

I have talked about my ideas on toddlers and chores previously in this post. One of Em’s usual chores is to “help” me to rotate laundry from the washer to the dryer and from the dryer to a clothes basket ( or more likely to the love seat in the living room where it sits until nap time and I find the energy to fold it).

Lack of Library & Licking

This one is a bit of a stretch. We had planned on going to the library one of the days that it was too hot to do anything outside and we were tired of being in the house. Unfortunately, this also happened to be the day that Em was not in the mood to be quiet or sit very still. Instead, we decided to go to a local snow cone place and “lick” our snow cones. It didn’t fit as perfectly, but sometimes you just have to roll with those toddler mood shifts.

19490186_10213262195970087_1662948512_o

Light Table & Flashlights

I had seen a couple posts on pinterest and a few DIY homeschool pages about how to make your own light table and I figured that “L” week was a great week to introduce this new activity. I used the same plastic bin that we usually use for our rice sensory activities. I had planned on using a little battery powered string of lights, but they weren’t bright enough, so instead I used the husband and my cell phones on flashlight mode. We ended up doing this activity in our hallway because it is the darkest part of our house. I had found some “small, plastic, clear cups” (aka shot glasses) and some colored plastic drink stirring sticks at Dollar Tree to use for this activity. Em really enjoyed seeing the light through the cups and trying to layer the cups to make different colors. She thought it was hilarious to watch me build little castles and then either try to blow them over or knock them over. We used the stirring sticks to make various letters on the light table but they weren’t as exciting since Em is on the younger side. I had also brought some flashlights with us and she thought it was funny to hold the cups over the flashlights. We had fun trying to make shadow puppets on the walls and exploring our hallway with only the light from our flashlights.

 

And with this post, we are officially caught up! We will be doing “M” week this week and would love to know if you are following along with us. Do you have any big plans for the coming week? Have you tried any of the projects we have done in the past? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Kites, Kicks, & Keys

“K” week took a little bit of time to get back into the swing of everyday life. We had some family spend part of review week and part of “K” week with us and our usual routine was thrown off a little bit. We didn’t do as many worksheets or coloring pages as we usually would have done, but we did get a few activities in.

Krispy Kreme

During review week we took a trip to Krispy Kreme to get free doughnuts. It was towards the end of review week and beginning of “K” week so even though this wasn’t actually during “K” week. We will include it. Em is always up for doughnuts and loves spending time with her friends plus, let’s be honest, free doughnuts are the best.

Keys

Em is obsessed with keys. We have to hang our keys above her reach in order for us to be able to find them again when we actually need them. She has watched me lock and unlock our backgate enough times when we play in the back yard that she actually takes my keys and tries to unlock it so she can go to the park on her own. Luckily, she isn’t quite tall enough to get the key in the lock, yet. This week I let her play with my keys and we even made our her own set of keys by cutting out key shapes from an empty cereal box, wrapping the “keys” in foil, and letting her use permanent markers to decorate her keys. The big one got added to her LoW banner in her room and the smaller ones she played with throughout the week, until they finally fell apart. She loved having her own set of keys and showing them off when her papa got home from work. Of course I couldn’t resist wearing my leggings with keys on them and Em was so excited to point out each of them.

Kicks

Later in the week, we met up with some friends at a park near us. We spent some time swinging and just playing with friends. Miss Sam’s son, W, brought over his soccer net and worked with the little girls on learning how to “kick” a soccer ball. He is great at working with the younger girls, and treats Em like a little sister. W is a fantastic soccer player and really worked hard to keep the little girls focused and actually trying to get them to kick the ball into the net. Unfortunately, a 2 year old, 1.5 year old, and 3 year old will only be entertained for so long before they decide it is time to switch tasks. When the other littler girls got tired of playing soccer, Em loved spending some one on one time with W and I think W enjoyed having an audience that was enthusiastic about his kicking lesson. This probably lasted a total of 15 minutes but Em spent the rest of the day trying to kick any ball she found in our house. Next time we will have to make sure that we start teaching some sort of kicking etiquette.

Kites

One of the days that we played at the park, we decided to try out Em’s tiny Doc McStuffins kite. (In case you didn’t know, it needs to be REALLY windy for a tiny, cheap kite to fly.) We spent about 3 minute trying to get the kite to fly, and about 10 minutes untangling the string and tails. For the 15 seconds that it actually was up in the air, the kids couldn’t have cared less. HA! Isn’t that always how it works out? Oh well, the adults had fun and on a windier day, we may have enjoyed it a little more. With all of the kite excitement and chasing toddlers, were weren’t able to get any pictures. I swear the toddlers were tag teaming to make sure there wasn’t any photo evidence. Maybe next time.

Kinetic Energy

Science has never been my strongest subject. I would rather read a Charles Dickens novel than try to figure out why something works the way it does, but lucky for me, I married an awesome man who loves math and science. As I was struggling to come up with some sort of sensory/ science activity, he suggested a family outing to our local bowling alley. Once we got there, we set Em up with a bowling ramp and the hubs jumped in to a quick (30 seconds max) lesson about how the bowling ball going down the ramp and lane had kinetic energy because it was in motion. BOOM! A quick science lesson, a family outing, and a very tired toddler after bowling 2 full games! Em had so much fun that we have already added bowling to our rotation of family outings.

This week we tried out a new layout where you can actually click on the pictures to make them bigger and see more details. What do you think?

Did you celebrate a LoW while we were on break? We would love to see what you have been up to! Have any suggestions of things we should do for our next letters? Leave a comment and we will see what we can do!