Tuesday, October 30, 2012

HLPSACEM- Fire Fighters

 We always start off our little school day by looking at our calendar.  We also sang our pumpkin songs and added some turkey and Thanksgiving songs.  The kids know the pumpkin songs better than I do.  They had to correct me twice.  Our theme was fire safety and fire fighters so we read two books, Firefighters A to Z and part of Things People Do. Next we started our letter activities.

This week we reviewed the letters H, C, L, S, A, P, E & M.  I tried to think of games to make it more fun.  We played a little Thanksgiving letter matching game found here.  I just limited the letters.  We fished for letters with a magnetic fishing pole.  The fish were cut out of paper with a paper clip on it and the back had a letter to identify and then an action like jump on one foot.  The kids got really into the game.
 We also did some counting file folder games.  I'm trying to get the kids to be able to recognize how many objects are in a group and recognize their numbers 1-10.  I have a bunch of file folder games on the topic.  We focused on counting animals in pictures.  We also did a couple more simple file folder games for matching letters. 

Next we talked about fire safety rules.  I have a whole family home evening kit on the topic with little signs listing the rules with little pictures.  We practiced crawling around and checking doors for heat.  We practiced our stop, drop and roll.  We talked about fire fighters and what they do and I tried to reinforce the idea that we never hide from a firefighter because they are there to save us.  We did a lot of role playing.  It was fun.  No pictures because I was too busy directing.

The games took a long time so we just did a quick art project and drew on scratch boards.  Then we played in our spooky sensory bin for the last time.  I'm going to pack it up and think of something new for next month.  It was a good school day and the kids always amaze me with how much they know.  They act like we are a little silly for reviewing things that are so obviously old hat.

Monday, October 29, 2012


We have been going on a lot of outings lately.  We have needed to be out of the house frequently for some reason.  Maybe because when we are home I feel like there is too much work to be done and I can't concentrate on the kids enough.  We've been swimming several times and to the library frequently.  The girls swim every week but we've been going to the dive shop pool and my Mom's gym.  We went snorkeling in the dive pool on Saturday.  Red Fish can dive to the bottom of the pool and then surface and clear her snorkel without taking her face out of the water.  It amazes me. I swear she is part fish. We took another trip to the aviary with friends.  The kids had a great time.  My little animal lovers can't stay away from zoos, aquariums, museums and now the aviary.
Nobody looks very happy in this picture but they had a great time.
 We carved our annual pumpkins for Family home evening.  I'm kind of over Halloween now.  We may have overdone it this year with all of the seasonal projects, outings etc.  The kids can't have too much Halloween though.  This year we let them do a lot of their own carving and complete creative control.  It was fun to see what they came up with.  New Fish loved carving so much we had a really hard time getting her to quit and go to bed.  The dog kept trying to eat everyone's pumpkin guts and grossing Red Fish out.  She kept gagging and saying he was eating goober.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Face Paint- More Costumes

 We had fun with the face paint tonight for a church Halloween party.  We decided it was time to break out the face paint.
 New Fish wouldn't hold still for the paint so hers turned out kind of crazy.  Good thing she is cute because she is bringing out my intense fear of clowns a little.
 I was a Roy Lichtenstein painting.  Hardly anyone knew what I was.  I was pretty pleased with my results though.  I had fun painting my face for the first time.  I will definitely be breaking out the face paint for future costumes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Costumes

 My girls went to a little Halloween party with my parents tonight.  It was the first time they dressed up in their costumes.  Red Fish wanted to be her favorite animal, a giraffe, for Halloween.  All of the costumes I could find online were ugly and expensive.  Luckily, I have a super talented Mom who made her costume for us.  It is so fun to make my kids dreams come true.  After Halloween Red Fish can just wear the jammies.  I'm not sure why Red Fish insisted on holding a moose in the picture but she is the cutest giraffe ever.  She is going to wear it school tomorrow, another Halloween party on Friday and then next week.
New Fish has been insisting for months that she was going to be a princess for Halloween and not a clown.  She changed her mind tonight (Yay!)  She might still wear her Rapunzel dress for trick or treating but I don't really care.  This clown costume was made by my grandmother for my Dad over fifty years ago.  I wore it twenty-eight years ago and Asia wore it two years ago.  It was so cute to see New Fish carrying on the tradition.  I need to dig out pictures to show us all wearing it over the years.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

H Is For Halloween

This week in preschool was a review week so we talked about all five of our senses.  We redid our Montessori based sensory activities that we have done over the last two months.  It was fun for them to explore all of them again but they went through them pretty quickly.  They know a lot about their senses now and they weren't interested in repeating anything for too long.

 We did singing time with the aid of the kids' special brown blankies.  Apparently wearing them on their heads made them sing and dance better.  We used crocheted pumpkins to sing three little pumpkins.  We also talked about the letter H for Halloween and our nursery rhyme of the week was "All The Pretty Little Horses."
 The kids cut the letter H out with scissors. Actually, they just cut the papers into tiny pieces but I think it still familiarizes them with the shape of the letter and it helps them learn to use the scissors.  We also learned how to walk with a pair of scissors safely.
 We decorated cookies to celebrate the holiday a little bit.
 We decorated foam shapes with glitter glue, fuzzy balls, feathers and paper.  Then we made our traditional ghost footprints.  They are a favorite every Halloween.  I think they just like painting their feet.
Red Fish's feet/ New Fish's feet
 Red Fish came home and made all of our projects and did all of the sensory activities.
 Red Fish has been working on her ordinal numbers so we tried lining up Halloween characters in a line and saying the order.  We have been fun with our spiders and Halloween erasers.


 Red Fish is going through an interesting shift in her artwork.  She has started doing more representational drawings.  She has brought pumpkins in off the porch to do observational drawings.  It has been fun to watch.  Yesterday she was asking me all of these questions about the earth moving and why we don't feel it.  We ended up talking about the earth moving around the sun and rotating to create day and night and the different seasons.  She decided to make an art project of the four seasons during her quiet time.  She took tape and made tree branches on four trees and then asked me to come downstairs and write the seasons on the sides of the trees.  I should have just spelled them for her so she could have written them herself.  I'm still getting used to the idea that she can do that sort of thing.  Then she decorated the four trees.  Spring has pink flowers, summer has green leaves, fall has colored leaves and winter is bare.  I think it's pretty amazing.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Making little fairies
Mustache party for Thing 1's birthday.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall Break Part 2- Festival

 We spent the day at a Halloween festival with friends.  We checked out giant pumpkins, jumped in bouncy houses, rode on a hayride, took a train ride, watched a puppet show, played in all sorts of tractors and play structures, ate fair food, stopped in the princess land for dressups and dancing, watched a pig race and generally had a good time.

Fall Break Part 1- Spooky Dinner

 We are having our Fall break from school right now.  We've been swimming and to the dinosaur museum.  We have several other fun things planned for the weekend.  I think the kids are having a great time.  We had our second annual spooky dinner this year with our friends the Buddys.  It was fun coming up with new dishes to try.  We did make the mistake of watching a slightly spooky movie and the girls didn't sleep all night.  It will be a long time before we watching anything that hints at being scary again.  I made mummy juice boxes inspired by this post but I didn't have white electrical tape so I used masking tape.
 I made melted witch dip with avacado dip, carrots and almonds.  C cooked our main course in a pumpkin using my friends recipe.
 I made shrunken head apple cider by carving apples.
 I made this pumpkin fruit dip and jello worms.  They were so disgusting looking.  My kids loved it.  I couldn't eat the worms- they made me gag. Far too realistic.
We had an awesome night with friends.  My kids didn't eat much but that isn't any different than any other dinner I cook.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

M Is For Monster, Music & More

Yesterday morning New Fish was up early and I was downstairs starting breakfast.  It was going to be a baked oatmeal dish.  New Fish came down and said: "Oh Mommy!  I love you!  Did you wake up early to make pancakes with me?" [Insert clapped hands here.]  It's impossible to say no to someone who is that cute in the morning so we started off our day by cooking pancakes together.
 We started off school day by watching a little video on the different musical instruments and the sounds they make.  Then we sang songs and looked at all of the musical instruments we have in the house.  We talked about our 5th sense- hearing.  We read books about animal sounds and counting.  We talked about high and low, loud and soft sounds.

Then we worked on our number recognition with a counting game of putting googly eyes on monsters drawings.

 Next we talked about the letter M. Our nursery rhyme of the week was "Little Miss Muffet."  We read a book with a lot of M sounds.  Then we decorated letter M collages to look like monsters.  Red Fish made one the second she got home from school.  Googly eyes are always a hit.
New Fish/Red Fish
 We made spider handprints with black fingerpaint.  It is actually quite difficult to come up with enough activities to keep two kids totally engaged for two hours.  A larger group might be easier because everything would take longer.  It's nice to know we are accomplishing a lot together so there is a reward. I had planned to make woven spider webs like the one Red Fish made the other day out of a paper plate and yarn.

New Fish asked if we could dance to Peter And The Wolf.  That actually fit in perfectly with our theme today so I quickly agreed and the kids danced and pretended to be all of the animals and instruments.
 Next we used the Easter eggs I made last spring to play a matching game with sounds.  Some had rice, pennies, beans etc. inside of them so the kids spent awhile trying to listen to the sounds and line them up.  It is a very fun activity.  We ate snacks, talked about our calendar and then went outside to play in the spooky sensory bin.

 Red Fish came home from school with a new monster mask and New Fish insisted on making one.  So Red Fish made a monster M and a handprint spider while New Fish made a mask.  I think that should be enough projects for one day!