Wednesday, December 29, 2010

January Sensory Bin And Play Dough Walking In A Winter Wonderland

I know it's not January yet but it's only 2 days away! Wow 2011 here we come.!!!! I have to admit that the past 5 months have been tough, really tough. I have been using my blog as a creative outlet to forget my troubles as I'm sure most of us bloggers do. So a huge thank you to all of my followers for continuing to read my blog. I'm new to this whole blog world thing and have learned oh so much in just a few short months. For one, for the love of Pete link back to where you got an idea or the blog world will explode. No, not really I'm just joking but really I had no idea this was even expected as I was unaware of the social rules in blogging. So again, thank you for your kind comments and sticking by me though my awkward posts, poor grammar and bad picture quality. I'm really hoping that 2011 will be kinder to us all and we can all rally together with creative ideas and support one another along the journey of teaching our little ones.
If you have read this far I will get back to your scheduled programming.....

This months theme is winter and snow. Since we have done a lot of pom pom activities and cotton ball activities I thought I would use rice to look like snow. I did add a few pompoms to add some color and interest. Now keep in mind I am not a fan of using rice in sensory bins because it bounces off our floors and we find rice in the strangest places long after the bins are put away. However, I do have to admit it really does look great and is a lot of fun to play with.

What I used:
Pom poms
rice to look like snow
scoop and bowl
peg people ~ gift from Santa. I just love them! we may paint some up in the coming months
winter trees
magnifying glass ~I added this because there are some very tiny buttons in there and some pretty cool textured ones. Plus we just got a new one is this is a great excuse to try it out

Building snowmen play dough kit

Sparkle, sparkle. I know it's hard to see but trust me it sparkles. My only regret is not adding the peppermint extract

I got this idea from HERE

I love saving those liquid laundry detergent caps. They come in so many different colors and shapes. They make great hats for our Snowman play dough activities and they will be great for scooping and pouring

I knit all the different colored scarves in less than 30 minutes. The rocks are left overs from our Dino sensory bin and his nose is just a tiny lacing bead.
Thanks for stopping by:)
Linking up with
We Play

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Vacation

We are on Vacation until next Tuesday. I have been busy working on my to do list and making up actvity trays for January. I have been putting together the materials for our play dough and sensory bin too. I still have a lot on the to do list that I just don't think I will get finished before school reopens. That's o.k. as it seems the to do list grows daily. I really don't think I will ever see the end of that list...ever
Here are some pictures of our vacation so far:
Cooper sleeping

Jada setting out Cookies and Chocolate milk for Santa

Helping Cooper get into the picture

Bum change for her baby

"Cheese Mom"

Christmas morning

Jada was less than impressed with the learning doll. And I was so excited for her to open it too:( oh well maybe in time she will warm up to it

Jada finally got around to playing with her Tree blocks tonight while I was cleaning up the daycare so I grabbed the camera

Trying to be careful not to knock them over. About 10 seconds after this picture was taken she kicked them down with lots of yahhhhh's
Well back to the to do list I go. I really hope I find the energy to cross off at least 3 more things before Friday.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Last Minute Gift: Mitten Clips

I'm a teacher and a mother so I see a lot of missing mittens. Or more like I spend a lot of time looking for lost mittens. Last year I went on a search for mitten clips and there were none to be found in our area. So I decided to make my own. I ordered the clips off of EBay in bulk and bought the ribbon at Michael's. So easy to make all you do is cut your ribbon and seal the ends by taking a lighter to the ends very quickly to melt the wax that acts as a seal. This is so you don't get any runs in your ribbon. Then feed your ribbon through the clips and sew the under side. To make 1 set it should only take a maximum of 5 minutes. So there you go an easy, quick and inexpensive gift. I think they ended up costing around $2.50 each to make. Awesome stalking stuffer or small gift idea. I gave each child a pair along with a book.

On another note this is my last post for a while. Tomorrow is our Christmas party and we have such a hectic schedule over the holidays, any spare time I have I hope to get some home improvements finished. You know like my baseboards that haven't been painted in the 4 years that we have been living here ! Not to mention January teaching plans need to get started. I will still be around just won't be posting. When I get back from my break (hopefully by the end of next week) I will post pictures of Jada playing with the homemade goodies she got for Christmas:)
Happy Holidays to you all and I hope you all get to spend some time with the ones you love

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas is all wrapped up

Christmas is all wrapped up at our house, literally! I have been debating on if I should do this post for many reasons. One good reason is that I don't want people to think I'm "showing off" how many gifts Jada is getting and two people might think we didn't get our child enough. I want to do this post because I wanted to share with all of you that gift giving can be simple and educational. Or at least I tried to stick with the educational theme and asked our family to do the same. So here it goes...

First up is the super soft numbers that I purchased here.
Also the tree blocks and lacing buttons that I blogged about HERE and HERE. And in the snowman gift bag is a CD rom of learning numbers, colors and shapes with the help of Elmo and friends. This group of Gifts is from Mommy and Daddy.

This learning doll was purchased off EBay second hand in mint condition for $5.oo it has zippers, snaps, laces buttons etc. And the Little Tykes drawing board is double sided for all sorts of learning fun. I bought it at Toys R Us for $10.
Here is Jada's stalking from Santa. Markers from the dollar store, Matching wood discs from HERE, Wooden people from HERE, a tooth brush, little daisy earrings, and the rag alphabet I made and blogged about HERE And lastly the little quilt I made for her doll and blogged about HERE All of this is from Santa

And this is what her stalking stuffers look like all wrapped up and waiting to be placed into her stalking Christmas eve. It took me all year to get ready for this Christmas but it was so worth all the time spent creating, planning and shopping for bargains.
We also got her a cleaning cart that was $5 at walmart after Christmas last year and a easel that was $8 after Christmas at Winners. They are already wrapped in gift wrap but I will try to post about them in the new year. In all I think I spent between $100 and $150 I don't think that's too bad consittering the quality of the materials.
Over Christmas break I plan to get working on making more Eco friendly gift bags in large, medium and small so next year we can eliminate the use of gift wrap paper altogether

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Advent Day 16: Pop Bottle Christmas Trees

Recycled Pop bottle Christmas trees was our advent activity this morning.

to make these you will need a green pop bottle, green paint, water, sparkles, foam or cardboard star x2, pompoms, hot glue gun, scissors, pipe cleaners and any other decoration you want. I did things a bit backwards so I will tell you how I SHOULD have done it.
Step 1: Fill the bottle with water, add sparkles and some green paint. This will not only look pretty but keep the bottle in place when your child decorates it. This is where I went wrong and was very frustrating for Jada because the bottle was moving all over the place.
Step 2: hot glue the pipe cleaners on for garland
Step 3: hot glue the stars on both sides of the bottle cap

See she is trying to decorate the bottle only to have it slide away:( lesson learned the hard way.
Step 4: get your child to dip the pompoms in glue and stick to the bottle. I used white school glue and it didn't work very well at all. I ended up hot gluing them on after she was finished.

Step 5: Enjoy your Christmas tree. This would make a great gift if you filled it with homemade apple cider instead of water, paint and sparkles. Hmmmmm maybe an idea for next year???

P.S. I am still learning how to use my new camera and I'm having back light issues

Linking up with:

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Homemade Recycled Gift Boxes

This Christmas I am trying to avoid waste that comes with wrapping paper. So I decided to make my own boxes made from my old greeting cards.
To make cute recycled gift boxes you will need:

A pen, ruler, tape, old Christmas cards and scissors

Cut the card at the fold line and mark an x with your ruler to find the center of your cards.

Next fold all four sides towards the middle of your x

Next cut the fold lines on the 2 sides across from each other. So you will make 4 cuts in total

The cuts will be your tabs to fold in to make the sides of your box. You will need to tape these in place

Now you are finished the top of your box. You can trim any uneven tabs that may be sticking up

As you can see in this picture I had some tabs to trim before moving onto making the next box

Now you will have to repeat the steps above with one small change. You will have to cut the opposite fold lines than the ones you did on your first box. This is so your boxes won't be the exact same size and will fit into each other.

Instead of cutting off the excess tabs that stuck up I folded them in and taped them. Then just add tissue paper and a little gift item. These are our recycled crayons that fit nicely inside.

And now you have a gift all ready for giving without the guilt of making too much waste.

Here are some more examples of the different sized boxes we made. I used scrapbook embellishments for one of my boxes. Depending on the size of your cards you can make bigger or smaller boxes.

Having trouble following my tutorial? You can follow this one for the exact directions or if you like things that are more advanced you can follow this one. I personally like the first one listed as that is how we did them when I was a little girl. However, I just don't have the time to wait for glue to dry so I used tape.

Have fun!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent Day 14: Apple Cinnamon Ornaments

Today we made our traditional apple cinnamon ornaments and then decorated them. This was an all day activity with many steps that took lots of patience.

First we made the dough (1 cup apple sauce, 1/4 cup white school glue and lots of cinnamon until you get the consistency you like). Mix together and roll flat (I used my palm to flatten the dough) onto wax paper. Cut out shapes, poke top of ornament with straw to make a hole for hanging after cooking. Bake at 350 for approximately 40 minutes.

This picture was before baking. This part of the activity took all morning

And this picture was after baking and tying on the strings

Next the children added lots and lots of glue and stuck glitter gems, pompoms and buttons onto the ornaments. This part of the activity took a good 20 minutes. (Jada refused to get out of her P.J's today. Pick your battles right).

Let dry completely. DO NOT LET YOUR TODDLER TOUCH THEM IN THE DRYING PROCESS! I turned my back for a second and Jada broke a few snowmen in half.

What a great job!

Aren't they pretty? The last few years we made these we didn't decorate them. We just cut the shapes and hung them on the tree. I think the decorated way is my favorite
I think Jada did a great job. She did try to eat them a few times though lol

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