Friday, August 17, 2012

Hip Hip Hooray! It's Olympics Book Club Day!

It is a special blessing to be raising children with the support of other moms! Welcome to our loud, chaotic, FUN, Olympic's Book Club! After having to reschedule twice we finally had time for some red, white and blue fun! 

                      Let's sort colored M&M's and use them to make the olympic rings! Yummy!!
                                    Everyone is busy at work! Eating... Sorting M&M's
                                              Good Job! Look at all of your colors!!
                                       Now, let's paint with Bingo Markers!
                                                    And sort with Unifix cubes!
                                                       Can you make a pattern?

                                                          Now, let's make a flag!

                                                        The littlest learner in the room :)

                             Can you create an olympic medal on the light table using pattern blocks?

                      Olympic T-shirts with potato stamps (cut up a potato into the shape of a torch and flame)

                                                      Let's draw the olympic rings!

                                                               ....and make music!

                                             Isn't it fun to learn and play with friends?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Sneak Peek at Friday's Book Club

                                I found this awesome Olympic Ring print out through Pinterest.
                                 For a copy, click here

                                 This picture makes them look green, haha! But they are really red, white and blue!
                              Light Table and Pattern Blocks = Olympic Medal Puzzle

                                     Olympic Torch (on the back of Olympic Ring) t-shirt
                                      Stamped using t-shirt paints and a potato

                                           American Flag craft inspired by Pinterest

                               Olympic "Beach Volleyball" Math story problem activity

                                                            T-shirt Stamp Station

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympic t-shirts

Since deciding to stay at home with our children a year ago, I find that I truly miss the back to school season.As crazy as it may sound to some,  I miss setting up my classroom and all of the excitement of the new year. Although I am so thankful to be staying at home with my children during this phase in their lives  and wouldn't trade it for anything--- I, also, miss teaching!  I see opportunities everyone to teach, explain and explore with my kids. This Friday our toddler book club is going to be learning about the Olympics. Throughout the week I will be posting about the many activities we will be using! One of the fun things we will be trying for the first time is tie dying! 

Yesterday, the boys and I went out in a torrential down pour in search of t-shirts and liquid dye. It turned out to be a good excuse to play in the rain and get our supplies.

We ended up with two 8 oz bottles of dye for $3.99 a piece. One Scarlet and one Royal Blue. I googled for a refresher video on how to tie the shirt with rubberbands for different patterns.

This video helped refresh my memory on what exactly to do...

Then, I found t-shirts on sale for $2.99a piece! Don't forget to wash your t-shirts first when tie dying.

Finally, I purchased Tulip brand t-shirt paint in the colors of the olympic medals. I thought they were a little pricy ($1.50 per bottle for 1 oz)

Originally, I had planed to use jar tops to stamp the rings on the t-shirts from an idea I found on Pinterest. It was really hard for my 3 year old. So, I started looking around my kitchen to see what else would work. I started thinking about preschool vegetable stamping and decided to see what would happen with fruit! We cut up an apple and got started!!

Apple Stamping                               Jar lid stamping

With the jar lids being so narrow it was hard for Noah's developing fine motor skills to hold the lid steady enough to stamp. However, the apples were much easier. At first I thought about how I would cut out the middle and finally realized it would be easier to just paint the outside ring.

Step 1. Paint the blue ring on apple. Stamp on t-shirt. Remove apple.

Step 2. Repeat with all olympic colors. (Please note that each t-shirt you make, you will need to repaint your "stamp" apple a fresh coat of paint.

I decided to go ahead and paint the rings on the book club t-shirts so on Friday the shirts will be ready to tie dye! Friday the mommy's will be helping their little ones rubberband the  shirts and then we will be tie dying our olympic shirts! Check back to see the finished product!

For the two babies in the group....I made thumbprint Olympic rings. :)

I let the shirts dry overnight. Then, the I put the rubber bands on. Today I tested out tie dying (before I do it with the kids). Let's just say I could use a little  practice :). However, the shirt still is very "patriotic"! Haha! Here is to getting better before Friday. Check back later this week to see how the kids shirts turn out!


My red, white and blue tie dye turned into purple. I guess I didn't watch my refresher video as closely as I should have! As we did in the classroom...monitor and adjust. Tie dying with 3 year olds will probably produce more purple shirts. So, we will stamp the backs! This time we are going to use a potato to make an Olympic torch!

I cut the potato into two sections (one for the black flame holder and one for the actual flame).

Monday, July 30, 2012

Jack the Builder, by Stuart J. Murphy

While teaching first and second grade over the years, I fell in love with Stuart J. Murphy's Math books. I highly recommend them for all young learners! Our three year old really enjoys how Murphy connects his concepts to real life examples that kids know about!! For example, in this story Jack the Builder, Jack uses three dimensional shapes to build things and his imagination brings his creations to life! All of Murphy's books show on the front cover what math concept the book will focus on.

 To see the level, look in the top left corner (the yellow triangle). It says, "Math Start Counting On". This book also allows for great teachable moments with 3-Dimensional shapes and making predications. It was fun to look at Jack's shape and ask Noah, what do you think his imagination is going to turn his creation into? Then we would turn the page and see!!

After reading the story, I invited the boys to build. We had a wonderful time mimicking Murphy's creations and coming up with some of our own.

I am finding with my three year old that it is so important to never underestimate his ability to learn "hard stuff". While we were playing I used the 3D shapes' names. (Sphere, cylinder, rectangular prism, cube, triangular prism, cone, etc.) He begin to use some of them without my prompting. Although his pronunciation was not always spot on he is beginning to realize that a ball is also a sphere.

       Even the little one enjoyed playing with the shapes! He decided to chew instead of build. :)

I encourage you to look for Stuart J. Murphy next time you are browsing on Amazon or at a book store! His books are incredible for introducing and reinforcing math concepts. Noah has discovered our math book basket is full of Murphy's books so I think he has picked an "Author Study" without knowing it! We will be exploring another tomorrow. Check back to see what we discover!