Sunday, March 28, 2010

tot school - letter u

Tot School
Noah is 18 months old.

We really had a fun week! We learned all about the letter Uu and the weather...I'm not sure why I chose this letter, but I knew I didn't want to keep going in order so we could be sure and do Ee Easter week. So anyway, we learned about Uu and had lots of fun with it:)


Uu is for for Umbrella
(...and weather, even though it doesn't start with a U:) )

Our only book for the week was Itsy Bitsy Spider by Katie Toms...we never made it to the bookstore or library for more. But we read our book a lot and did the fingerplay about a million times this week. This has always been his favorite fingerplay, and he got very good at doing it along with me by the end of the week.

I printed two activities from Home Grown Hearts (here) for the letter Uu and umbrellas. Noah had a hard time with the letter sorting since the upper and lower case look alike. I tried to help him see that the lower case u has a little tail, and that seemed to help a bit. Mostly, though, he liked playing with the raindrops:)

Noah did great with these! I didn't do all of the colors provided and I also decided to not individually cut out each rain drop...mostly because I was too lazy to cut that much:) We had not reviewed colors like this in a while (since we did color boxes several weeks ago), but Noah still knew every color no problem and really enjoyed this activity.

We did LOTS of art projects this week, and Noah was very into all of them:) First, we made our letter page...

He gets frustrated with glue sticks (I guess he thinks they're like markers and gets upset when the markings disappear), but I was out of white glue that day. He still did most of the gluing on his own, and LOVED making the raindrops with paint. He also boycotted coloring the umbrella despite my encouragement except for a few stray purple marks.
Even so, Noah was very proud of this particular letter page and talked about it a lot over the week:)

Next, Noah made a rain cloud...idea on this post from The Shafer Family (LOVE that blog!). We used rice to fill up the paper, so Noah got to practice using a funnel. He loved that, and it was great pouring practice.

He also really enjoyed gluing on the cotton balls...using white glue of course:)

I love how this one turned out, and Noah did as well. He loved shaking it around, making the rain sounds.

This one didn't turn out as cute as I hoped, but it still got the concept across. Noah made a windsock (idea here) using construction paper, tissue paper, leftover stickers, and a pipe cleaner. Even though it wasn't the prettiest thing we've ever made, Noah enjoyed hanging it different places to "test" for the wind. We had fun making our own wind and blowing the streamers when we were inside too!

Last, Noah made a handprint sunshine. I try to incorporate at least one handprint activity in each week just because Noah has come to love making handprint art:)
Other Uu/umbrella/weather activities we did this week that I didn't get pictures of included...
*Starfall letter Uu...these are always one of Noah's favorite activities!
*Rainy day walk around the driveway using our umbrellas:)
*Pretending to make it rain in the bathtub
*Warm clothes/cold clothes sorting with a few lingering winter items in Noah closet

Finally, earlier in the week, we had beautiful, really warm weather (unlike the cold & rainy weather today) and really enjoyed the sunshine:) Noah learned to climb up on his outdoor castle on his own (kind like a mini rock wall for the foot part)...

...and learned how to go down the slide by himself.
He was QUITE proud of his accomplishment:)


That's all for our week! See what others are doing for Tot School and share your own ideas at 1+1+1=1!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

wordless wednesday

Noah loves to put stickers on his nose...
I have no clue where he learned to do that, but it sure does make me smile:)

Monday, March 22, 2010

tot school - letter d

Tot School
Noah is 18 months old.

First, sorry I'm late in posting this. I woke up Sunday morning with my left eye in terrible shape! I think my contact may have scratched my cornea or something, but I was miserable all day long and couldn't stand to look at anything bright (like the computer). Nonetheless, here I am with our week!


Letter of the Week: Dd
Dd is for dragon, dinosaur, & dancing

Books for the Week
Dizzy Dragon by Roger Priddy
T-Rex & Friends by Roger Priddy (no amazon link)

I was on Spring Break from nursing school all week, and though I had several clinical days scheduled, we managed to get in lots of fun Dd activities!

Noah did SUPER with his letter page this week! I was going to do a dino page, but saw this dragon-D (from here on No Time for Flashcards) and knew we had to do it:) He glued everything almost completely on his own, and even "helped" me write dragon on the bottom. I think it turned out great!

Noah really enjoyed all of the dinosaur activities for the week. I'm amazed at how well he does with the upper/lower case matching activities from here at Confessions of a Homeschooler.

I made our own simple pattern activity this week too just to see how he would do with it. I just searched for some cute dino clipart on google and made these on Word. This was one of his favorite activities of the week, and he asked for it many times! He did really well with it too.

Noah made a clothespin & shape dinosaur (from here at No Time for Flashcards) as well. He has loved these mini clothespins, so I thought this was a perfect activity for him. He didn't do as well with the gluing though....he would rather take the top on and off of the stick. And we named him Steggy because that is what they call the stegosaurus in T-Rex & Friends:)

I've seen this done many times now, but I think the first place I saw the dino digging sensory box was here on Chasing Marcus. I didn't get quite as fancy with the molds (since I had no modeling clay), but Noah didn't mind. He LOVED this sensory box...

...and he LOVED that I filled the box with instant grits:) I caught him many times licking the dinos then sticking them in the grits to sample the "sand" :)

Noah also enjoyed these stickers from the Target $1 section. They all had wiggle eyes, which Noah thinks are hilarious:) The sheets had more than dinosaurs on them, though, so we picked out all the dinos first, then I let him play with the others too.
Noah also learned how to roar like a dinosaur this week:) He has really taken off with animal sounds and mimicking in the last couple of weeks, so I'm excited for when we go to Animal Kingdom at Disney in a few weeks to see his reaction to the animals up close!

The letter Dd would not be complete for Noah without some dancing in there! I have honestly never seen a child love music so much. So we danced and played with his little instruments many times over the week (like always).

Miscellaneous Activities
I felt pretty unfestive for St. Patrick's Day...all Noah made was a handprint 4-leaf clover. He loved it though...he has really gotten into making good handprints for pictures now that we've practiced a lot:)

Otherwise last week, we spent a TON of time outside. The weather was gorgeous almost all week long, so Noah did a lot of Tot School outside, played on his castle, and practiced riding his trike. I'm so excited for summertime to get here so we can spend even more time outdoors...Noah just eats it up:)

And I know I didn't get a Bible lesson in...I was conflicted on the verse to use, but I'll make up for it this week.


So that's it for us! See what others are up to in Tot School and share your own ideas at 1+1+1=1!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

my hubby rocks:)

I don't really listen to "popular" music. Typically, my music of choice is praise/worship, Christian kind of music. I don't really think there is anything wrong with listening to music that isn't "Christian"...I just tend to not like mainstream music very much.

The one exception to this is John Mayer....and its a BIG exception! I have loved John Mayer since his first album years ago, and I have wanted to see him in concert for forever. His tours haven't really come to my area, though, so I've been out of luck.

Until my oh-so-sweet hubby happened to see about a week ago that he was coming to Greensboro, NC (about 1.5-2 hours away) on March 15. And being the amazing man he is, surprised me with tickets!

We had a wonderful evening together, just the two of us...and about 12,000 other Mayer fans:)
(I have video, but I can't get it to load on my computer)

My hubby was quite skeptical about going...he isn't John Mayer's biggest fan. But he truly had a great time. I know this because he put all of my John Mayer music on his iPod this morning:)
Michael Franti & Spearhead was with John Mayer on this tour. Neither my hubby or I had a clue who they were. I didn't take any pictures of them, but he was quite energetic. But not bad....just not our style of music (we're not into reagae...sorry I can't spell!). He seemed to be a very nice guy and went into the crowd to see & dance with a disabled child, and even invited the other kids in the audience to dance on stage with him.

The only downside to the night was the umm...not-so-shy couple next to us that spent the evening groping and dancing on each other. They really made us uncomfortable after a while, but we did our best to ignore them. Our section also seemed to be completely full of high school girls. So if the music didn't make us deaf, their screaming and shrieking definitely did. But I won't complain...we had great seats and could see really well.

Really, I thought that John Mayer was amazing. I was a little nervous about how the whole experience would be since I've only ever been to Christian music concerts before, but I really did enjoy myself. And even if you don't like him, you have to admit that he is an incredible musician. He was super entertaining and funny too. The show really did exceed my expectations!


So, my point of sharing this was:
#1)record the memory for later, and
#2)take time to do fun stuff with just your spouse.

So often I get caught up in trying to be a good mommy, a good nursing student, and all my other responsibilities that being a good wife can fall by the wayside. But taking the time to do things alone with my hubby and focus on our relationship needs to be a priority if I want all of my other roles to be fulfilled too!

Take time this week to do something alone with your husband....your husband will thank you, your children will thank you, and YOU will thank you:)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

tot school - letter Cc

Tot School
Noah is 17 months old.

Even though we got started a little late with all of our themed tot school this week (our printer was out of ink!), we still managed to have a full, fun week of learning:)


Letter of the Week: Cc
Cc is for caterpillar and cookies

Books for the week:
The Best Mouse Cookie by Laura Numeroff & Felicia Bond

For the second week in a row, Noah was a little less than interested in our art projects:( He only glued the eyes and two of the Cs on to our first picture...but it was a good lesson in connecting the dots.

He was much more excited to play with the marker! He helped color in the Cc and made several of the legs. I got the idea for this picture from Ramblings of a Crazy Woman via Totally Tots.

I tried using mini clothespins for with these caterpillar number cards (found here) this week, and Noah did much better! He really loved the pincher work, and did super with numbers 1-3. I think its time to add a few more numbers now:)

Noah also had a two caterpillar snacks this week! I don't have pictures...again. Sorry! I don't bring the camera into the kitchen usually, so it isn't typically handy during snack time. Anyway, the first was shared here and the second I made using circular crackers, nutella, and raisins. I thought the banana one was much cuter, but Noah liked mine better:)

Overall, I think Noah enjoyed the cookie activities much more than the caterpillar ones! He was much more agreeable in helping with this picture, and really enjoyed filling in the circle with paint (we used cotton balls to dab the paint on this time) and gluing on the "chocolate chips."

He also really enjoyed some pretend play with baking cookies:) Using playdough, Noah had a ball stirring up the dough...

And making the little balls to put on the "pan" to bake. We played with these for hours over the week, and he loved every minute of it:)
Noah also enjoyed flattening out the dough balls and using cookie cutters on them, but I didn't get pictures of that either. Geeze...I need to get it together!

Other Cc activities this week included...
**A little outdoor play with chalk...this was the first time Noah had played with sidewalk chalk, and he was totally enthralled! I'm so ready for spring to really get here so we can spend more than 15 minutes outside at a time!
**Watched the Starfall Cc video. He really liked this one and even did well identifying the letter a as well at the end to spell c-a-m-p!
**Learned Cc animal sounds. He did great with "cluck", but refused to learn "meow". He already knew "moo." Noah also reviewed his other animal far he knows cow, dog, chicken, pig, sheep, horse, lion/tiger, and elephant (complete with the nose wave!).

Bible Lesson
2 Corinthians 5:17a
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation"

This was the perfect verse to use for this time of year, as well as given the caterpillar stuff this week and butterfly stuff last week! I was also inspired by Carisa's Easter printables, but for some reason the writing on the pdf files weren't showing up correctly. So I made my own bible verse paper, and used similar ideas.

We talked about the bible verse all week, and I tried to tie in how caterpillars turn into butterflies is like how God makes us into new creations in Him. I doubt Noah really understands any of this just yet, but I think it is so important to begin Bible lessons with little ones really early.

Noah also made a craft (inspired by one of the printables) to go along with his verse. First, Noah made a caterpillar out of big pompoms...

We talked then again about becoming a "new creation" and then made the caterpillar into a butterfly. Noah LOVES to fingerpaint, so making handprint wings was right up his alley:)
He also decided that my Bible verse page was a little plain and needed some paint as well:)


That's all for our week! See what others are up to in Tot School, and share you own ideas at 1+1+1=1!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

tot school - letter b

Tot School
Noah is 17 months old.

I had a SUPER crazy week last week in nursing school, so my apologies on being a little late in posting our stuff. But, we still managed to get in a TON of fun tot school even with my crazy to-do list:) I am really loving having a letter of the week....Noah is doing really will with it, and it making planning activities easier!


Our letter for last week was Bb!
Bb is for butterfly, bee, bear, and bubbles...

I am really itching for spring to get here, so I was happy that Bb had lots of springy things to focus on:)
Our books for the week were:
Benny's Garden by Genny Haines (couldn't find a link....this is a pull-the-tab book about a bee; lots of bee/butterfly pictures)
Brown Bear Brown Bear & Polar Bear Polar Bear by Bill Martin Jr./Eric Carle
Bubbles Bubbles (Sesame Beginnings book)

I must be honest...Noah was not very into making his letter page this week. He was really against holding the black marker ad scribbling away, so I made the stripes and colored in most of the top myself. I think Noah was hoping to paint, but I didn't have any black finger paint, so I colored the tip of his finger with the marker and let him smear a little before it dried....that made him a little more happy:)
Noah did, however, help me glue the B and b down, as well as the wiggle eye and wing. He really does will with glue too.

Here is out finished alphabet page...I think this one turned out so cute:)

We also made coffee filter butterflies. Again, Noah was NOT into coloring with the markers, but he was amazed at how the colors blended with water. He carried that dropper around for two days after we made these:)

In keeping with butterflies, I printed more letter activities from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I LOVE the letter ideas cute and fun! Here, Noah had to sort B from b....he did really well with this when he would sit still long enough to do it:)

Noah also worked on sorting large, medium, and small butterflies. He really enjoyed this activity and went to it on his own a lot over the week.

I also printed off the butterfly number cards. These clips were from the Target dollar section a couple of weeks ago, and they're really too hard for Noah to do on his own, but did pretty well in helping me clip the correct numbers on to each butterfly (we only do 1-3 for now).

I didn't get pictures of any other Bb activities we did, but I'll share a list of those things now....

*Watch Starfall Bb over and over and over....the "big brown bear" always seemed to scare Noah a little though!
*Pull out some of the Brown Bear tot pack activities from 1+1+1=1. Noah enjoyed doing the heads & tails and size sorting activities, and did both very well!
*Played with bubble wrap! Noah thought this was really fun, and I intended on doing some bubble wrap painting, but never got around to it.
*Took a BIG bubble bath! About once a week, Noah gets to take a bath with the whirlpool jets on, and I put extra bath gel in that night so he would have lots of bubbles to play in. He had a ball, and especially loved making beards on himself and Daddy:) I hate I don't have of the beard pictures, but Noah can get a little splash-happy in the tub, so valuable electronics are best kept away!


Bible Lesson
I decided to combine last week and next week's letters to talk about caterpillars turning into butterflies to focus Noah's Bible lesson. The verse will be 2 Cornithians 5:17....Totally Tots just did a lesson on this verse, so I'll be using some things from there as well. I'll share what we do with next weeks post!


Misc. Tot School
Noah is always doing additional learning activities throughout the day, and this week was no exception. He kept himself busy with puzzles, other books, animal figures, and more. But I wanted to share his latest sticker pages from his Kumon workbook. Noah put all of these stickers on by himself. I told him the names of the stickers, and only that mittens go on your hands...everything else I let him decide where it should go. I was SO proud at how well he did!

I was also super proud at these pages....I didn't prompt him except to say "let's choose the [red, green] sticker" when he picked them off the page. I did reinforce the shape name after he stuck the sticker down.
I was really amazed at how well he did matching the sticker to the blank space because he has not shown much interest at all in learning shapes so far.


That's all for our week! See what others are doing for tot school and share your own ideas at 1+1+1=1!