Monday, January 5, 2015

My Favorite Animal: Dogs

Recently, we had the opportunity to read and review My Favorite Animal: Dogs by Victoria Marcos.  Having a 5 and 8 year old, they fit perfectly into the suggested 4-8 age range.  Although my 8 year old was able to follow along perfectly, this book is quite advanced for a 5 year old.  I really feel like the suggested age range should be more like 7-12.  Even though there is a glossary in the back of the book, we had to stop every few words to explain what they meant - which made my little ones eyes gloss over quite quickly!

The photography is the book is adorable - I'm pretty sure that's what my 5 year old enjoyed the most!  I loved being prompted every few pages to ask reading comprehension questions - which often led to us discussing even more about what we just read.

In all, it's a great summary of some general aspects about dogs, I just would definitely recommend adjusting the age range a tad!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Home Depot Kids Workshops

I want to start out by apologizing - I have been gone for way too long!  Life happens, and I set aside my blogs for much longer than I expected to.  I'm going to try to get back on track, though!  So, here goes:

Did you know, the first Saturday of every month Home Depot offers a free Kids Workshop at each of their locations?  We've been attending these for almost two years now, and they are always SO much fun!  They may say it's for ages 5-12, but Kirsten has been going since she was 2, and I've seen "kids" as old as 16-17 there having a blast!  We've made napkin holders, herb gardens, garden planters, trivets, jewelry boxes, and so much more!

Home Depot provides everything you will need to complete the project - supplies, tools, paint, etc.. Everyone who comes not only gets to take their project home, but they also get a certificate of completion and a pin to put on their apron!  (You also get a Home Depot apron on your first visit.)   We always try to get there as soon as the store opens, because our location tends to run out of kits quickly.

This past weekend, they were making lawnmower pencil holders.  I'll admit, I was really not interested in having Kirsten make a lawnmower pencil holder.  I even asked the employees if there were any leftover kits from last month that we could make, instead.  Kirsten, however, was thrilled to get started!

When I first started taking Kirsten to the Kids Workshops, you can imagine that I had to do 99% of the work.  She's definitely gotten better with her construction skills over the past year, and now is quite impressive with the hammer!  I read off the directions for her, and find the proper pieces - she takes care of any gluing that needs to get done.  I start all of the nails, but she does an excellent job at getting them all of the way in!

She also has gotten much more detailed when it comes to painting.  A few quick strokes with random colors was all she cared to do at the beginning, but now she selects one color, and makes sure the entire project gets one - if not two - coats!  (I do have to occasionally help her out to avoid any drip marks or paint build up around the corners.)

Not only has she learned gluing, hammering, and painting skills from these workshops, but she is always so proud when she gets done, and goes around the store showing all of the workers what she just made.  The sense of accomplishment that it instills in her is amazing!

When we got home, I expected the lawnmower to be tossed to the side, but she used it all weekend with her toys, and made sure to "mow" our living room carpet multiple times!

The next Home Depot Kids Workshop is on July 6th - and it's a Despicable Me themed project!  I've never seen them post a "surprise" workshop before, so I am curious as to what we will be making!  So, what do you think - do you plan on taking your kids to the July Kids Workshop at Home Depot?  You can get all of the information you need at:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Seedlings - Body Parts

Body Parts is the first unit in a series of lessons that I have planned for children under the age of 12 months, which I call "Seedlings".  To learn more about the Seedlings lesson plans, please see my previous entry.

Nursery Rhyme –
Tony Chestnut (Repeat Motions Throughout)
Toe (Point to your baby’s toes)
Knee (Point to your baby’s knee)
Chest (Point to your baby’s chest)
Nut (Point to your baby’s head)
Nose (Point to your baby’s nose)
I (Point to your baby’s eye)
Love (Cross your arms across your chest)
You, (Point to your baby)

Song –
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, Knees and Toes,
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, Knees and Toes,
Eyes and Ears and Mouth and a Nose,
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, Knees and Toes!

Vocabulary –
Name off each body part as you give your baby a massage.

Activity –
Mr. Potato Head

Mommy’s Homework –
Treat yourself to a pampering of some body part – a pedicure, a manicure, a full body scrub, etc..

Literature –
Where is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz
Ten Little Fingers by Annie Kubler
Whose Knees are These? by Jabari Asim
Whose Toes are Those? by Jabari Asim

Friday, July 2, 2010

Free New York Lapbook Kit - Limited Time Only!

Mini State Lapbooks New York

I just received an e-mail telling me that CurrClick is currently offering the Mini State Lapbook Kit for New York for free at

This is for a limited time only - and although it's not the materials that we use for lapbooks, it might be something that interests your family!  Be sure to check it out before it's too late!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Seedlings Start

June 16th will be our official start of our "Seedlings" curriculum.  These activities will be focused on children under 12 months of age.  I wanted to start this with Kirsten around 4 months old, but with the various medical issues that we've been having with her, I've had to set it aside, but I feel that we are ready and hopefully these activities can take her mind off of the other things going on.

Each week there will be a theme, and accompanying literature, songs, nursery rhymes, activities, and a "Mommy's Homework" activity.  Any suggestions on more to add would be absolutely wonderful!

Our first weekly theme is Body Parts, so keep your eyes peeled for an update sometime next week!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Father's Day (or any other day!) Gift Idea

With Mother's Day over with and Father's Day coming fast, I wanted to link a craft project that I did last year for Father's Day with a bunch of my nephews and nieces.  Everyone had so much fun with this - from 2 years old to 12 years old, they all seemed to really enjoy, and I know the fathers liked the gifts, as well!

What you're going to need are:
Wooden Plaque (I get mine at Michaels for around $1.50 each - they come in all shapes and sizes - some are hangable, some are not)
Tacky Glue / Hot Glue
Googley Eyes
Permanent Marker (optional)
Glue Dots (optional)

The first thing that you gotta do is go out and find your rocks!  We were extremely lucky, because we were at a beach that had all types of rocks in the sand.  Tell them to find a rock for each member of your family.  This is probably the funnest part for the little ones!

Then, I like to place a glue dot on the back of each googley eye, so that the kids are able to place them exactly where they want, and if they mess up, you can just pull it off and re-position it.  With tacky glue, this would get really messy.  Tacky glue is necessary, though, if your rocks aren't smooth enough for the glue dots to work.

Glue each rock down to the wooden plaque however you'd like and let it sit for a few hours so that the glue dries completely.  While you're waiting, you can write the names of each family member behind the rocks (I didn't do this on the rock below and I wish I would have now, because I've forgotten who some of those rocks are) and "The ____ Family" on the plaque.

This is the plaque Jase made his Papa for Father's Day.

He had so much fun with it that he also made this one for me for my birthday.  I was pregnant at the time, hence the strange hole in my "head".  Once Kirsten was born, he added the baby rock beneath us to complete our family!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Learn the States Resources

There's a great PDF currently available for free that comes with lesson plans and worksheets to learn the states and the state abbreviations.  I thought it'd be great for any of you who are tying the postcard swap into a unit.