Monday, October 31, 2011

C Week- The List

I made a list of C words and activities some time ago when my sister-in-law was starting a letter of the week with her son. It was so nice to just open the document and have the list ready when it was our turn to learn about C. I chose C for us a couple of weeks ago because we spent a week taking a long drive in the car to Colorado for our friend's wedding, which was held at Camp RedCloud. There were just too many Cs to ignore so it made it easy to plan what we would do. A letter of the week may not always work when we're not home, but I figured we might as well give it a shot. We were able to do some things during our trip and did others when we got home. We ended up spending two weeks with the letter C since there were several days when we didn't do any special activities.

Here is what we were able to fit in:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

H Week- Humpty Dumpty

Sesame Street recently aired an episode called "Humpty Dumpty's Big Break." I had recorded it for Trip and it has been a daily activity this week. In the show, Humpty Dumpty plays football, which makes it completely irresistible to my sports-loving son.

He loves to hear my say the nursery rhyme, and this is his version of it (which totally cracks me up!): 

"Humpty Humpty
Great fall.
All king's horses.
Play football.
Hike! Hike!"

I have a feeling that Humpty Dumpty will now forever be associated with football in his mind.

Friday, October 28, 2011

H Week- A Hungry Hippo

I saw the idea for an egg carton hippo on Pinterest and figured that Trip would enjoy having one of his own.

I took an 18-count egg carton and glued some cardstock over the top to cover the holes.

Then, I let Trip have at it with blue finger paint. I was pleasantly surprised that he was eager to paint it.

As soon as I joined in with my own paintbrush to work on the sides, he wanted both brushes and did some two-handed painting.

Soon, there was paint all over his hands and painting turned to clapping.

After Trip was cleaned up, I painted the sides, then cut out some eyes from another egg carton. I finished the eyes with a black marker, glued them on, and our hippo was done.

Hippo could then eat a picture of Grandpa and Noni's house (on a postcard that Trip got in the mail this week),

some foam letters, horses, another hippo,

and my hand.

This activity was definitely a hit! Trip liked the hippo's mouth opening and eating things and had fun painting something other than regular paper.

I'm linking up with:

I Can Teach My Child

The Attached Mama's Alphabet Craft Collection

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

H Week- Homemade Halloween Decorations

With Halloween quickly approaching, I have been working on some easy and cheap homemade decorations. Last year, I made these milk jug pumpkins. They are super simple and fun. I just painted milk jugs with orange acrylic paint. Once the orange was dry, I painted the tops brown and added faces to some of them with black paint. Next, I put some dry pasta in each one to weigh them down. Beans, popcorn kernels, sand, as well as nuts, bolts, or washers are some of the many other things that would serve the same purpose. I then pushed Christmas lights into each jug. A strand of one hundred lights filled two to three pumpkins effectively. They are nice displayed in the childhood wagon that my sister and I shared.

Trip has a hard time leaving them alone!

They look cooler and cooler as it gets darker.

Another project from last year was a welcome sign for the door. I cut strips of Halloween scrapbook paper, taped them together, and added tagboard letters.

This year brought a couple of new projects. First, I made a bunting for our kitchen/dining room shelves. I used the same paper from the welcome sign and cut out a bunch of rhombuses. I then folded each one in half around some ribbon and added a piece of double-sided tape to hold everything in place.

A few days ago, I saw a tutorial for trash bag spider webs on How About Orange and was sold. We have tons of spiders around here right now (much to everyone's dismay), so it seemed appropriate. In fact, we have so many spider webs forming outside the house, that we don't even have to add any fake ones for Halloween. Yuck!

Anyway, I got out some bags and got to work cutting.

I ended up with three good spider webs and arranged them on our large sliding glass door that faces the street.

Apparently they were nice enough that a real spider took refuge near one of them. The only reason it survived was because it was outside!

When the sun shines through the window in the morning, the spider web shadows show up on the blinds inside. At night, they look great from the street with the light coming from inside the house.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

H Week- Halloween Sensory Tub

Since I didn't have enough objects that start with the letter H to make a hide and seek bowl, I decided to make a Halloween sensory tub instead. There is a very nice one with black beans and yellow lentils on Counting Coconuts, which I considered imitating, but I decided to go with orange water beads instead. They were such a hit during M week, that I figured we should use them again. I added some foam Hs and some Halloween-related items I had around the house, and voila! Trip was quite excited when he saw this new sensory tub. So much so in fact, that he had to stop his breakfast to explore it.

On Halloween, I will take out all of the objects, add some more beads, and put candy at the bottom of the bowl. Then, our trick-or-treaters will have to reach through the beads to get their candy. I think it will be a hit!

Monday, October 24, 2011

H Week- The List

Although I had planned to share our letter C activities this week, I'll save that for next week so that you can see what we're doing for H week and Halloween.

This is what I have in the works for this week:
You can see my list of words and ideas here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Little Break

We have been traveling for the last week, so our letter of the week activities have been a bit sporadic. Our travels have taken us to Colorado and to one of our favorite spots there, Camp RedCloud. I will be back next week to tell of our adventures and to share our activities for the letter C.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

O Week- Opposites

Opposites are a great concept to work on anytime. They are especially fun when toddlers can actually experience the difference between two things. Opposites can be too abstract of a concept for them, so it's good to make it a sensory activity. This week, we worked on opposites in a couple of ways.

First, we practiced opposites in the bathtub. We put rubber duckies in the water and took them out. We put them on the shelf and took them off. Toys went up and down. Things were wet and dry, warm and cold, big and little. What Trip loved the most was me turning the lights on and off. He especially liked me using the dimmer switch so that it didn't get light or dark all at once.

We also experienced some opposites with a cool substance called oobleck. It's simply one part water mixed with one-and-a-half to two parts cornstarch. This non-Newtonian fluid acts like a solid when you apply force to it, but is like a liquid when you touch it gently. You can mold it in a ball, but as soon as you let go, it will "melt" in your hand. It can be hard or soft depending on how you touch it.

Trip mostly just wanted to taste it,

touch it, and keep me out of it. Each time I tried to show him some things, he said, "Mommy no touch!" He wanted it to himself.

As you can tell from the table and Trip's hands and clothes, this was a little messy, but the great thing is that it cleans up easily and if any gets on the carpet, it dries up fairly quickly and can be vacuumed up.

By the way, this same paste is great for getting blood stains out of fabric and carpet. Just put some on the spot, let it dry, and it absorbs the blood. Just brush off the dried cornstarch and launder clothing or vacuum carpet.

Friday, October 14, 2011

O Week- Owls

On the first day of school a few weeks ago, I made these super cute owl cookies for the kids who attend our church. Trip and I delivered them to each house just before school got out so that our friends would have a special snack to enjoy when they got home. Of course Trip sure enjoyed his cookie too. They are pretty simple to make and I will definitely make them again. Had I had more time during O week, I would have made some for sure. You can find the recipe here.

Instead, I made Trip a simple owl lunch with bread, olives, pineapple rings, and turkey pepperoni. He was quite fond of all of it and had to have more of everything except the bread.

When my sister-in-law did O week with her son, she made this super cute owl sandwich. If Trip liked to eat bread, I so would have copied it!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

O Week- Orange Fun

We have no shortage of the color orange around our house. Our favorite college football team is the Oregon State Beavers, whose colors are orange and black. Trip has been given lots of clothing and toys with those colors, so doing an orange scavenger hunt was not difficult. Trip wasn't so interested in the idea, so I mostly ended up pointing things out.

He did enjoyed some orange fun with a new batch of playdough, however. I saw this pin for pumpkin pie playdough on Pinterest and couldn't resist. It smells SO good! Of course, Trip had to taste it to see if it was a good as it smelled.

We got out all our orange cookie cutters and played for a while.

After that, we had a lunch of tomato soup and toast.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

O Week- Octopus

When I saw the idea of poking uncooked spaghetti noodles through hot dogs on Pinterest, I knew I would have to make this sometime. O week seemed like the perfect fit. In order to make this look more like an octopus, I cut a hot dog in thirds, then broke twelve pieces of fettuccine in half to make the legs. I stuck the noodles about 3/4 of the way through the hot dog pieces (but discovered that they don't have to be in that far- half way should be plenty).

I then dropped them in boiling water until the pasta was cooked. They ended up looking a little more like a squid, but Trip liked them anyway and got the idea.

He had requested olives to go with his octopus lunch.

 After a few olives, he began pulling the legs off an octopus.

He also took a break to play with his toilet paper roll octopus.

Then, it was back to eating the legs.

I had hoped to get Trip to paint this octopus, but he never would. I offered to make a face on it, and he didn't want that either. He was just happy with it in its most simple form and got lots of practice trying to say octopus.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

O Week- Oil and Water

Oil and water in a bottle is a classic science experiment and one that Trip actually enjoyed. I took the label off of a plastic water bottle, then poured some water in it. I added orange food coloring to keep with the O theme, but the water can be any color. Next, I poured in some oil (I had canola oil on hand but any will work).

Trip enjoyed shaking up the liquids, then we would watch them separate.

It's amazing how in just a few seconds, you can already see the oil rising to the surface.

A few minutes later, the water and oil are separate again.

If you're careful, you can even put the bottle on its side and the oil will stay on top the whole time.

In the future, I would like to try this homemade lava lamp experiment with Trip. We should also do these oil and water fireworks.

Trip enjoyed watching his oil and water bottle while he got a special snack of an Oreo. I love it that one little cookie can make this boy's day!