Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Muffin Tin Advent Calendar **How To**

I posted this on my craft blog, but I thought some of you Tot School peps may like it, too : )

YAY!!! I am SO excited about Christmas this year! As Liam gets older and is understanding things more and more it is so fun to start holiday traditions with him. I was really wanting to make an Advent Calendar to start counting down the days to Christmas, but I kind of waited until the last minute, so I was searching online for something that I could make relatively quickly to have ready by the 1st of December. I came across this, and knew it would be perfect!
It was SUPER EASY, and only took a couple hours start to finish : ). Can't beat that! I will give you a little supply list incase you want to whip one up.

1. Mini muffin tin (24 holes)
2. Adhesive magnet sheets (I got mine at Wal-mart in the craft section. They come in 5x8 sheets in a pack of 2. You will need 2 packs to make this project)
3. Card Stock
4. Christmas Scrapbook Paper
5. Glue or Modge Podge
6. Embellishments (stickers, gems, glitter, etc.)

1. Adhere you magnet sheets to the card stock then cut out 24 2.5inch squares (or smaller depending on the size of your tin)
2. Cut out 24 2in. squares from your Christmas scrapbook paper and glue to the magnet squares. (I used Modge Podge so that they would be sealed, but you can do what ever you like.)
3. Arrange in the pattern you would like and add your numbers. (I used my Cricut to cut out numbers, but you could also use stickers or a sharpie to write on the numbers as well.)
4. Add cute embellishments :)
5. Fill with treats or slips of paper with fun ideas for you and your family to do together.
6. Admire you cute little Calendar!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Tot School- The Letter "D"

Liam is 21.5 months old

It has been a while since I have posted. I am trying to get back in the swing of things around here. We have been doing Tot School, I have just really been slacking on documenting everything with pictures and such. So, this post is a little lacking on pictures, but I promise to do better :-)

Letter "D" Activites
All of our printables came from this site (as always :-))

We had a lot of fun with the dinosaur theme, and I was really impressed with some of the activities that Liam was able to do.

I made a matching game using these number dinosaurs, and Liam was able to match them all up on the first try! I was very surprised since this was the first time we had really worked on anything like that before.

We also did some painting, coloring, playing with play dough and "D" cookie cutters.

Tot Trays
This is one of the new trays I tried. It was just to get Liam familiar with sorting and colors. He wasn't too interested in this game, maybe next time :-)

AND in other news...

Liam is going to be a BIG BROTHER!! We are all very excited!!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Tot School- The letter "C"

Liam is 20 months old

Letter "C" has been fun. We have spaced out our projects and have been a little more relaxed over the last couple of weeks, but we are still learning a lot and having lots of fun!

**Letter "C" Activities**
All of my printables for this letter came from here this time.

Daddy and Liam painting our "C" Caterpillar

Liam has been really into coloring lately. He will come up to me and say "color" color" and run over to his table. It is so cute. The actual coloring usually only lasts a couple minutes, but I think it is cute that he will come ask me.
Making "C" cut out cookies. We made crosses, cars, circles, and C's.
I used my 50% coupon a few weeks ago at Joann's a got a box of 101 cookie cutters for only $8. It has all the letters and numbers and tons of shapes and holiday cutters, too! Funny the things I get excited about these days :-)

Liam did a great job helping :-)

Enjoying the cookies, the best part. Cute story, After I had given Liam his cookie I turned around and was putting all the cookies away. A few seconds later I looked down at Liam and his cookie was already gone. I said "Wow, you ate your cookie already!" He looked at me and signed "cookie" and "dog". I walk over, and sure enough, Lucy is sitting in the living room chomping down on Liam's cookie.

Using the "C' cookie cutters with our play dough.

Gluing pom pom's to our caterpillar
I "helped" a lot on this one.
**Memory Verse and Sign Language **
Memory Verse is taken from this book
Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
Colossians 3:20

"C" Signs we used this week
1. Cookie
2. Car
3. Chip
4. Coat
5. Color
6. Circle
7. Cross
8. Caterpillar
*For those of you interested in signing with your children, this is the resource that I use. I LOVE it, and have enjoyed the benefits of early communication with my son.
One of the things that I really like about it compared with some of the other "baby signing" programs is that this uses ASL whereas some of the other programs just use "baby" signs or "signed english" which is not the same a ASL.

Additional "C" activities we did this week (without pictures)
1. Starfall Letter C and Alphabet activities
2. Sesame Street Games (Liam LOVES this site!!)
3. Played with Cars
4. Played with our stuffed animal cats (Liam's favorite animal)
5. Made Crazy Crayons (Liam is not so sure about these yet)

**Things Liam Learned**
1. How to recognize the letter "C"
2. The sound the letter "C" makes
3. Words that start with the letter "C"
4. The Sign for the letter "C"
5. How to sign "cross" and "caterpillar"
6. How to say "C"

**Things Mommy Learned**
1. Liam's memory verse
2. That Liam can tell me things he likes to do
3. That it is ok if it takes 3, 4, or 5 times to finish an activity :-)
4. Attention spans of toddlers are not what we wish they were.

We also had fun celebrating the 4th of July with our sweet family :-)

Be sure to check out all the other tots here!

We are moving on the the letter "D"

Monday, 28 June 2010

Liam's ABC book

Liam is 19.5 months old

With summer in full swing, and Liam just beginning Tot School, I have decided to start spending 2 weeks per letter as we go through to alphabet. I think this gives him (and me) a little bit more flexibility with our learning and a little more time for us to fit everything in that I want to do. Week one will focus more on the identification and phonics of the letter, and week two will be more games and projects including the letter. That is my plan at least :-) I will post our full post on each letter at the end of the 2 weeks so I can share all of the highlights.
So, this week I just wanted to share a little project I made for Liam to help with our alphabet learning. His own personalized ABC book! This was such a fun and easy project, and Liam LOVES it! First, I just went through all of my pictures and choose one for each letter of the alphabet. I was amazed that I had one for every letter except for x and z already on my computer! I just saved them all in a folder on my desktop and renamed each picture by the coordinating letter to make it easier for me to see which ones I had, and which ones I still needed. After I had chosen all the pictures I uploaded them to Picnik to add my Letters to them. If you haven't tried this program, it is AWESOME, and FREE!! Then, I just sent them on to Wal-mart's 1-hour photo and picked them up later that day! I put them in a little photo album, and Wha-La, Liam's very own personal ABC picture Book! LOVE IT!!

Here are a few of my favorites from the book

I have made a "family" book like this for him as well that has pictures of everyone in our family including all of his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and pets :-). Another one of his favorites!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Review Week- "A" and "B"

This week we reviewed the letters "A" and "B". I did not introduce any new letters or material this week, but took time to go over some of the fun letter "A" and "B" activities we have done over the past couple of weeks. We did have the opportunity to have a "Tot School" day with a couple of other mom's who are Tot Schooling, too! It was a lot of fun, and I am looking forward to our regular get togethers with the kiddos :-)

Our theme for our Tot Day was the letter "B" and "Bugs". Jenn did a GREAT job lining up activities for us to do.

All the kiddos. A mess, but having a ball :-)

Making hand print spiders to go along with the "bug" theme

Loved this project! Contact paper collages with torn paper. We then cut the final master piece into a letter "B" to go along with our theme of the day.

Our lunch went along the bug and "B" theme as well, hotdog butterflies. I got the idea from this blog, which has tons of super fun food ideas.

For dessert Jenn made "dirt pies" with hidden gummy worms and bugs for the kids to find. You can tell Liam didn't like this one bit :-)

This was a new Tot Tray activity we did this week. I found these little containers at Joann's for .99 cents. I love that they have clear tops! I have colored pom poms down in them and I had Liam open the containers and take out the pom poms and put them in the ice cube tray. He is all about taking lids on and off of things ALL THE TIME, so this was a hit!

Next week we are moving on the letter "C"!

Be sure to check out all the other Tot Schoolers here!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Tot School- The letter "B"

Liam is 19 months old

Week two of Tot School :-) This week we focused on the letter "B" and reviewed the letter "A". We did a lot of running around this week, so structured time didn't go as well as last week.

**Tot Trays**
Here are a couple of the highlights of our Tot Trays this week.

Coloring "Brown Bear"
Lacing Blocks with pipe cleaners
Liam isn't quite old enough to use the string yet, but he is pretty successful with the stiffness of the pipe cleaners.

**Letter "B" Activities**

Finger Painting the letter "B" and gluing Blue and "B" things to it.

We painted a coffee filter with water colors and made a Butterfly :-)
He was excited to show Aunt "E" his butterfly :-)

**Memory Verse and Sign Language Review**

Our memory verse for the week was taken from this book.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Matthew 5:9

I try to read the verse to Liam at least 3x a day just so he can become familiar with God's word.

"B" signs we used this week
1. Ball
2. Bear
3. Bread
4. Book
5. Boy
6. Bird
7. Bath
8. Blanket
9. Bed
10. Bubbles (Check out this fun song to go along with the "bubbles" sign)

Liam already knew almost all of these signs, but I just made sure to emphasize the "B" and say the "B" sound each time we used them this week.

Additional B Activities we did this week (minus the pictures)
1. Starfall letter "B" Activities
2. Played with Bubbles
3. Played with Blocks
4. Played with Balls
5. Alphabet Flash Cards

**Things Liam Learned This Week**
1. Sign for Bubbles
2. Letter "B"
3. Recognize the sign for the letter "B"
4. The sound the letter "B" makes

**Things Mommy Learned This Week**
1. Liam's memory verse :-)
2. Finger paints will end up everywhere regardless of precautions taken
4. Liam LOVES Flash Cards (weird, I know)

Next week we are going to continue reviewing A and B and doing some more fun activities I didn't get to this week. We also have two Tot School Play dates planned for next week :-) Fun stuff!
Check out more Tots here