Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Who Me?

I didn't eat the kid's swimmies and tubes out of the pool!

For more great "Wordless Wednesday" posts, be sure to stop by Go Graham Go and check out the links.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tot School-Beach and Ocean Theme-Part 2

This is our second week posting our official "Tot School" activities and it is also our second week of Beach and Ocean themed fun and learning. If you missed our first Tot School posting with our introduction my boys are 28 and 51 months, my eldest son has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS and has some trouble with learning, even though he attends a special pre-school 5 days a week, we are working hard at home with helping to prepare him for kindergarten.

Last week we still focused on the letters O and F and re-read all of the books from last week.

We tried to do a color by number that I printed from my membership at Kid Soup but my big guy got frustrated and would not complete it.

We also did a tried a color by letter also from Kid Soup, which he got partially done before yelling "I do not have to finish this, it is an octopus"!

We made some colored salt "Rainbow Fish" which you can read my detailed post here if you are interested. They were lots of fun although the boys were not two concerned with keeping the colors separated.

I printed this awesome "Shadow Match Game" from Kid Soup which can be used mat style or as a memory game. I laminated them and used them mat style so I could separate them giving two pages to a child without overwhelming them. Both boys absolutely loved this one and did a great job at it too.

I love the big guys "whipped cream mustache" in this pic.

I also made this beach scene using some construction paper and a palm tree from an enlarged computer graphic (I wish I would have laminated it before I spilt water on it, oh well).

I then printed out a bunch of beach/ocean themed items such as beach balls, crabs, fish, sharks, turtles, etc. I used these little pictures to work on numbers and spatial concepts with the boys. I gave them directions such as put three crabs on the sand, put one crab on the right of the palm tree, put the boy in the water, put two sharks on top of the boys (ouch). This went over pretty well so I will be thinking of more of these for our future themes.

Although I do not have any pictures we also work on our gross motor skills this week with lots of physical activities such as crab walk races and swimming in the pool like fish.

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to come back next week, we will be working on a Garden/Farm theme. To see what others are doing with their tot's be sure to check out the weekly posts here at 1+1+1=1.
P.S. I asked the big guy at the end of two week's what does fish start with and unfortunately he did not know. Since we are having so much trouble with learning letters we were thinking of ordering the "CORE" books. Does anyone have an opinion or another suggestion? I would love your help with this.

$5.00 CVS Challenge - My Week 16

All of the above items (plus a 20 ounce bottle of Diet Coke and a local Sunday newspaper) would have cost a total of $82.23 without any sales, coupons or previously earned Extra Bucks but I paid a total of $10.87 out of pocket (a savings of $71.36)plus I earned an additional $12.97 in Extra Bucks for next week's shopping. So again if you think about it, I earned $2.10 towards next week's shopping to come home with all of this stuff!! Not to shabby!

I will not bore you with the breakdown on exactly how this transaction played out but if you are interested just add a comment and I will break it down for you.

Since next week's circular will be for August, here is the breakdown for my July spending:
Total Amount of Merchandise Purchased (prior to sales, coupons, etc): $349.09
Total Amount Spent Out of Pocket: $59.43
Total Savings: $289.66
Total Extra Bucks Remaining: $12.87

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rainbow Fish

Colored Salt Style

After reading "Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister the boys and I decided to make some Rainbow Fish pictures today using colored salt.
The salt was very easy to color, I just put about a 1/4 of a cup in a sandwich size bag with 4-5 drops of food coloring mixed it together and poured it onto a paper plate to dry.
It makes a great alternative to colored sand which can become expensive if your project calls for mutiple colors.

We made the fish outside because of the mess factor and the boys had a great time.

Here you can see their finished pictures. As you can see they had a great time mixing all of the colors together!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WFMW - Quiet Dr. Office Distractions

Recently I did a post on my son's delay of bedtime by playing with pipe cleaners (you can read the original post here so the rest makes sense to you). In an effort to get them away from him, so he would actually go to sleep I threw them in my pocketbook.

Fast forward a day - We were sitting in the pediatrician's office and the boys were starting to get antsy to say the least, so I reached into my pocketbook for some paper for them to scribble with and my son saw the pipe cleaners. To my surprise he wanted to play with them again. They both sat still the whole time while I made shapes, letters and numbers for them to identify.

Again, the picture below is not a secret code, just an example of what we were doing.

So I guess the moral of the story is, keeping some pipe cleaners in my diaper bag is what works for me!!

For some more great tips, stop by We Are That Family to see what others are posting about today.

Wordless Wednesday - Ready for the Pool?

Where's my towel? I can't see so good with these things on but don't you dare take them off!

If you want to see some more great Wordless Wednesday posts - stop by Go Graham Go and see what people have posted, enjoy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Who Knew?

That "Pipe Cleaners" a.k.a. "Chenille Stems"
could be so much fun!!!

In an effort to prolong going to bed, my big guy rummaged through my desk drawer and came running into my room holding up two pipe cleaners professing to be a deer.

and then said he could not go to bed until he shaved his mustache....

and then as luck would have it his little brother grew a beard....

then the big guy had a pair of earrings...

then one big really fancy earring!

I have to admit reaching for my camera did not make the antics settle down nor make bedtime come any quicker but I did change the game to be more educational.

A few minutes later the bed was filled with all kinds of shapes, letters and numbers (no that is not a secret code).

What a quick, cheap, mess free way of using their imaginations.

Monday, July 20, 2009

$5.00 CVS Challenge - My Week 15

The following items plus a package of Gummy Bears would have cost a total of $23.12 without any sales, coupons or previously earned Extra Bucks but I paid a total of $1.85.

Everything was on sale plus I used a $1.00 off coupon on the batteries, $3.00 off $15.00 coupon and $10.00 in previously earned Extra Bucks. I also earned an additional $12.98 in Extra Bucks for next week's school supply shopping spree!!!!!

If you stop for a second and think that I spent an actual $1.85 plus $10.00 in EB's that is a total of $11.85, plus I earned $12.98 in more EB's so I actually "got paid" $1.13 to roll-over my EB's and come home with free school items, not a bad deal.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tot School - Ocean and Beach Theme

Well, this is my first official "Tot School" post. Our boys are 28 months and 51 months old. My older son has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS and along with the issues that coincide with his diagnosis he also has some learning difficulties. Although he has been attending a special education pre-school I personally feel that they do not focus enough on his actual learning of skills. He is very smart in some areas and lacking in so many others. This is why I am committed to taking a bigger role in his education and in turn hopefully making him better prepared for kindergarten.

We have always focused on learning new skills a small part of everyday but we never actually had a game plan. Now I think we do, or at least I am working on it now. My oldest's school works off of the Creative Curriculum which is theme based so I will try to work along this schedule possibly staying a week behind so I can follow-up with anything they have missed.

Here is our week 1 -

Beach/Ocean Theme

We worked on the letter F - for Fish, this week using some writing template that I printed from my membership at Kid Soup (although it is a premium site with a fee it is a great resource for printables and little games; we use it constantly).

If you look closely you can see where he did his letter in pencil.

I printed out these fish patterns also from my membership at Kid Soup to make this file folder game for matching capital and lower case letters. I broke up the letters into three folders. Since I planned a lot of ocean themed activities we will definitely work on this one again several times since me son has trouble with letter recognition.

My son did an open-ended art picture to work on his imagination.

We also made some fun sea creature crafts together this week. Since my sons loves to make things with me I generally use craft time to work on fine motor, listening and attention to direction skills. You can find my original post on these crafts here (lobster and crabs, jellyfish collage and paper bag whales).

The boys and I read the following books. My 4 year old really loves the facts and details that are in the Cat In The Hat Learning Library series so we read two beach/ocean themed ones this week, it is a really great series for kids who are into technical fact based information (which my son thrives on).

For Some Quiet Time (also known as must get dinner on the table time) the boys watched this:
and we watched this one for family movie night!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Some More Sea Creature Crafts

Egg Carton Lobster and Crabs

The boys helped me paint the egg cartons red (1 section for each crab and three sections left in a row for each lobster) but they lost interest in the decorating so I pulled through the legs and clued on the details. Once completed they did love playing with them though.
If you are interested in more sea creature art check out my post about our jellyfish collages here or our paper bag whales here.

Jellyfish Craft

Jellyfish Collages
The boys had a great time making this one (they especially liked being tickled on their heads with the tentacles). I just wished that the thunderstorm waited a little while longer and we could have completed this one outside like I had originally planned as my kitchen took a beating.
Here is all you need to make some quick and easy jellyfish collages:
  • two sheets of clear contact paper
  • sheets of blue cellophane cut into strips
  • collage material (we used sequins, cut up little pieces of the blue cellophane, sand for our sandbox and glitter)
  • possibly some tape, my little guy but a lot of stuff on the edges which made it difficult to seal in some spots so I just closed it off with some clear tape

If you are interested in some more ocean/sea life crafts check out my post on our paper bag whales here.

A "Whale" of A Good Time

Paper Lunch Bag Whales
Such a quick fun easy craft and the boys had a great time. The following items are all you need to make a whale:
  • paper lunch bag
  • blue paint
  • google eye
  • red construction paper or marker to make mouth
  • rubber band to tie the tail
  • 4 sheets of crumbled paper to stuff body
  • white tissue for "spray"