Monday, June 25, 2012

Snack Mixes

When I did my student teaching, I worked with a fantastic kindergarten teacher. I learned many wonderful things from her, and one of them was a simple trick. When the snacks were getting low in her classroom and there was a little of this and a little of that at the bottom of each box, she would take all of them and make one big snack mix.

When I need a quick snack for a bunch of kids, I go to the pantry and see what I can find. I usually pop some popcorn, then add any combination of raisins (or any other dried fruit), chocolate chips, cereal, mini marshmallows, crackers, nuts, seeds, or anything else I find. I've made different mixes several times in the last few weeks and each time, the kids have been thrilled. There's something about the variety of ingredients that gets them really excited and they eat it all. A few mini marshmallows and chocolate chips will get them to eagerly eat healthier ingredients like plain popcorn, whole grain cereals, and dried fruits. It's also a great way to make a fun snack out of the last of the cereal or crackers left at the bottom of the box or bag.

With this particular mix, we had fun making mini smores with the Chex or Cheerios, a marshmallow, and a chocolate chip.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Great Sidewalk Chalk Playdate

Now that school is out, we get to have our friends over more often. On this particular day, Trip had six friends spend the day at our house. He was thrilled! A box of sidewalk chalk provided the perfect distraction for all those kids. They worked with chalk two times, both of which lasted about an hour and they made sure that our driveway was well covered with artwork!

Since they were all taking swimming lessons, I created a little ocean scene for them to "swim" in. They loved posing for their pictures!

A little editing added to the underwater effect.

The girls created an ocean scene of their own.

Trip wanted to "swim" with them. :)

The older boys were quite pleased with their stop sign.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Waterbead Fun

I recently found myself at the craft store with a 60% off and a 50% off coupon. The other things I was getting were already on sale, so I decided to get Trip a couple of packages of multicolored water beads. He loves playing with them and we hadn't had any in a while, so it was high time. I hydrated both packages and put them in his water table. He was thrilled.

He loved transferring the "jellies" as he calls them from the container we hydrated them in to the water table.

Pretty soon, he discovered that it was super fun to pour the jellies down the slide.

This kept him occupied for quite some time.

When we were done playing, we covered the water table with a heavy duty trash bag, which worked well to keep the water beads clean. We played with them almost every day, using different cups and scoops. Since they are biodegradable, we also had fun throwing some of them in the yard. I had intended to add some letters too, but after about a week, the water beads started to get what I think were little mold spots on them, so we stopped playing with them. They sure were fun while they lasted!

If you haven't tried water beads yet, get some soon! You can also check out the other things we've done with water beads, such as our letter D sensory tub, Halloween sensory tub, and monster sensory tub.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fizzing Sidewalk Paint

Trip absolutely loved this activity! It was the perfect thing for a sunny afternoon. I found this super easy recipe from Hands On: As We Grow and it took just minutes to mix up the four ingredients (cornstarch, baking soda, washable paint, and water) and fill a small spray bottle with vinegar (which makes the paint fizz).

Once outside, Trip and I got right to work painting. I wrote his name,

but also had to paint him a baseball diamond (because we can rarely do an art project without drawing some sort of sports field). 

Once we had done some painting, I gave Trip the spray bottle. He loves using a spray bottle anytime, but he was especially thrilled with what the vinegar did to the paint. He proceeded to walk around to everything we had painted and spray each thing.

He loved the fizzing and did a lot of giggling. :)

We will definitely do this activity again!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Alphabet for Lunch

This lunch was slightly challenging to create, but it was lots of fun to put together. I started it on a serving platter, but had to move it to a cookie sheet in order to fit the whole alphabet. I tried to stick to food that I knew Trip would like, including carrots, celery, bread, pickles, pepperoni, fruit leather, pistachios, mini chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows. He was quite happy with his special lunch, and ate just about all of it, which makes it all worth it for me.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hmm, What's Next?

This spring has been a crazy one for me. As I have mentioned a few times, it has brought a lot of work, which has been good in some ways, but hard in others. I'm very thankful to substitute teach, though, so I am not complaining here. I taught full time in Colorado for four years before Trip was born. I worked at a bilingual school, which was right up my alley. I threw myself into my job wholeheartedly. They were years full of growth, challenge, fun, and lots of learning. I went back to work full-time when Trip was seven weeks old. That was a tough school year, but we made it through. At the end of that year, we moved back to Oregon, and I got to go back to subbing. I get the opportunity to be in the classroom and interact with students, without the planning, grading, report cards, parent-teacher conferences, and staff meetings.

Now, as the school year is coming to a close, I just have a few days of work left. I'm excited to get back to planning fun learning activities for Trip. We have now spent a week (and sometimes more) on each of the letters of the alphabet, so I'm at a crossroads and need to figure out what we're going to do next. I think that we will probably go back to doing a letter of the week in the next few months. Until then, we'll do some little thematic units. Right now, we're doing some general alphabet activities. We will also spend some time focusing on the letters in Trip's name. We have several fun things planned for the summer and I'm looking forward to incorporating those into our learning activities. Daddy will be directing a week of summer camp for high schoolers at the end of July and we get to go along, which will be lots of fun. We also hope to go on a couple of camping trips, do some fishing, take swimming lessons, attend a rodeo or two, and spend a day at the water park. Plus, living in the mountains, we have to take advantage of all the warm weather that we get and spend all the time outside that we can.

I hope you'll join us over the next couple of months for lots of summer fun!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Y Week- Yarn Art

Trip was eager to join me outside for an art project. He loved pouring the glue into the container.

Thank you Auntie Rachel for giving us the colorful yarn!

I diluted the glue with some water, then we were ready to dunk the yarn. Trip put the yarn in the container and then was done with the whole thing. He went off to play and let me do the rest.

I only made a few shapes since Trip wouldn't ever come back to try it.

I let them dry on the waxed paper. They peeled off fairly easily and were stiff enough to hold together.