Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Matthew 1:23

Merry Christmas, everyone! Have a wonderful holiday, safe travel, and much love from family and friends. Looks like we have a white Christmas here, maybe even snow Christmas day. How perfect! I can't wait to snuggle in with my family and enjoy the day.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Craft Corner: Paper Snowflakes

I needed a quick and easy winter craft to do with E today, and I saw these snowflakes on mmmcrafts. E is nowhere near being able to cut anything, so I folded and cut out the snowflakes from the templates, and E and I decorated them with different colors of glitter. Once they are dry, we'll hang them up in the window and celebrate winter!

Tot School: Christmas!

Tot School
E is 23 months old

We've been doing a lot less tot school the last couple of weeks than we usually do. Just so busy with Christmas things, I guess! E has been having a lot of fun working with our Christmas Tot Pack that I got from 1+1+1=1.

Christmas shape matching:

Christmas tree pattern/color matching:

Counting stockings:

Stacking cups:

For our alphabet letter last week, we did letter O for octopus:
She's also been into measuring - she takes my measuring tape and announces that everything is "22 inches."
E has also been helping me with my holiday baking. We've made peppermint popcorn and peppermint fudge already, and tomorrow when it snows we will be making some super awesome chocolate chip cookies for Santa.

I've been so behind with our crafts! I keep getting called in to work on my days off, so I haven't had time to gather any supplies for our open-ended art. E is getting an easel for Christmas, so we will start up those posts in the new year with a vengeance!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Children's Museum Trip

We finally got around to going to the children's museum here in Denver. It is an amazing place! E had such a great time, and cried when we had to leave. Here are some of the fun things we did during our trip - and we didn't even see a good half of the museum!

First we went to the museum section for kids 4 and under. We spent the majority of our day here. There was so much to do! A forest and meadow to play in (and a log to crawl through) . . .

Fairy dust to stir in a tree house . . .

A garden to plant and harvest vegetables in . . .

A little house to play in . . .

And costumes to wear!

Then we did some polar painting (with frozen tempera paint on craft sticks) and some regular painting. E can't get enough of painting!

We visited the habitat exhibit, where the kids got to dress up like different animals and play in their habitats. E tried out being a bird in a nest . . .

And a frog in the marsh.

We ended our morning with the train room. E put on a conductor cap and refused to leave the room until it was time to go. Our friends went off exploring in other rooms, but E stayed put. I guess someone will be getting some trains for her birthday this year!

I hope to have another Tot School post up next week, things are getting really busy around here with Christmas and all. I'll have another post later in the week to show off what I've been working so hard on. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Trimming the Tree

E's special ornament this year

Helping Mommy hang the ornaments on the tree

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Felt Sets!

Tools For Tots

E needed some new tot school activities, and I have a box full of felt bits and pieces - time for a couple of felt sets for Christmas! I'm working on a Nativity one, but it's a little more complicated. Here are the easy ones I whipped up in about 20 minutes the other day during naptime.

Snowman with several outfits. Two scarf and hat sets, plus a top hat and vest. Also a carrot nose and some arms. You can't have a snowman without arms! We will work on body parts and where things go. The hat goes on the head. The nose goes on the face. That kind of thing.

Christmas tree with ornaments. There are three of each color, except no green. We can do counting with these and color recognition.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tot School Nov. 30-Dec. 5

Tot School
E is 23 months old

E had a great week of tot school this past week. It has been SO COLD and snowy here, I have just wanted to hibernate inside, and that means we need lots of activities to occupy E so I'm not tempted to plop her in front of the tv.

Tot Trays/Learning Toys:

I went with a new method this week for our tot trays. I still don't have a good space for them, and they live on top of the piano when we are not using them. So when it's time for school, I put them all on the floor. Then I have E choose the one she wants to work with and carry it (with help) over to the rug. When we are finished, E puts away all her materials and I help her carry it back to the rest of the trays and put it away.

This week's new tray, and a smash hit, was the water transfering. We used a sponge, and I showed her how to let the sponge soak up the water from one bowl and squeeze it into the other bowl. There were a few spills, but I gave her a dishcloth and had her clean up the mess herself. We did this one every day, and it was so much fun, she requested it from her grandma on Saturday as well!
Counting things that go with markers:

I found this puzzle at Target the other day. E actually likes it better than a lot of her wooden puzzles. Once she saw what to do, it was pretty easy for her. The puzzle comes with 20 matches, I split them up into sets of 5.

Blocks! Mommy made a "block train," and E had fun destroying it!

Our red shape sorter is a perpetual hit:

Alphabet/Reading Basket:

We revisited letter A this week to make a letter A Advent wreath for the fridge:

Our reading basket included many Christmas and winter books this week. I will put up the list next week, as they will stay the same until Christmas.

Arts and Crafts:

Along with the fridge letter Advent wreath we made, we also got started on our toilet paper roll Advent wreath. One of E's tot trays for the week was to rip up a sheet of green construction paper. This was harder for her than I thought. I think the paper was too heavy for her to rip easily.

We also wrote our letter to Santa, and colored him a picture!

Pictures of the Week:

We did some imagination play with all E's toys, putting them all into a parade.

Then E took one of her cars and led the parade with a "vroom, vroom!"

To see what others are doing in tot school, visit Carissa's blog here.

Letter A is for Advent

I can't seem to find an inexpensive Advent wreath anywhere! I am having a hard time even finding purple candles! So to celebrate the season of Advent this year, E and I are doing a couple of crafts. First, we needed a new fridge letter, since our Triangle T has been up since before Thanksgiving, so we made this cute Advent wreath with letter A's as the candles. I don't have in progress shots for this one, a final product photo will have to work for ya!

I had E color 3 letter A's purple (I helped a little, she wanted to color her hands and face instead), and one letter A pink. Well, sort of, I didn't have a pink washable marker, so she colored red over an A on pink paper. Having washable markers at this point is ESSENTIAL.

E colored a green oval with red and green and brown (her choices!) for our wreath.

While she napped, I cut out all the pieces, and when she woke up, she helped me glue them all down on a piece of black construction paper.

Then, I cut out a "flame" from yellow craft foam and double-stick taped it to the first letter A "candle." I guess, since it's Sunday, I need to get another candle "lit!"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Craft Corner: Advent Calendar

I love Advent calendars! We had one when I was little that was a chimney with Santa coming down it. Inside the chimney were little boxes, one for each day. And inside each box was a fun activity my mother had planned for us all to do together. I am so excited about sharing this tradition with E. My only problem is that I have no Advent calendar! Well, it was a problem. I remedied it last night.

I saw these beautiful Christmas countdown envelopes at Blue Cricket Design, and I thought they would be just perfect for what I want. Something simple, beautiful, and that I already have the supplies for!

Here's my version. Instead of using library envelopes, I just cut the flaps off some regular letter envelopes I had laying around.

Each envelope contains a note with something fun for our family to do together. E was so excited to pull the note out of the envelope this morning and have me read it.

Once we discover what our Advent activity is for the day, I hang the notes on a string in our dining room. It looks a little silly now with just two, but once we get a few more, it will start looking really cool, I promise!

What do you do to help celebrate the Advent season?