Monday, November 30, 2009

Astronaut Training...

We finished our unit on space and decided to have a mini celebration and eat our astronaut ice cream we bought at the space center. Dehydrated ice cream had everyone a little puzzled:

and it tasted about as good as it looked!

Will wasn't sure, but he braved through it since mommy was offering him sweets!

I've mentioned before that both boys,but especially Wesley, are space obsessed! He also likes showing off for the camera lately so here he is showing his "pace" ice cream:

We all kind of gagged and choked our way through the 3 flavors (some of us anyway- others refused after the first disgusting bite!):
Will bravely tried the strawberry:
We all laughed and laughed because as much as the rest of us hated the nasty stuff, guess who begged for more and more????
Now we KNOW he is definitely going to be an astronaut when he grows up since he can obviously handle the dehydrated food, as long as he doesn't inherit mommy's claustrophobia...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fun in the Box #13...

As part of our "mappin' Mondays" we were learning about reading grids. We looked at some maps and did some worksheets practicing our grid reading skills. To make it more fun I also made this grid reading game. They rolled dice I modified- 1 with a free space over the number 6 and 1 with the letters A-E and a free space. Then they located that square on the grid. Before they could mark that spot (with a penny or dime) they had to follow the silly directions on their square. The directions were things like "walk like a monkey, touch your toes to your nose" or "do the chicken dance".
Skill wise, it was a bit easy because they really got the grid reading. However, they loved it and kept begging to play again!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Galloping the Globe Notebook...

As we gallop the globe we needed a notebook to record our travels. I printed this cover off the Galloping the Globe Yahoo group.
We spent so much time on China we made a lapbook of all we learned. I used several resources from Homeschool Share. We won't do this for every country. My goal is to make 1 lapbook per continent. I simply punched holes through the file folder in order to put it in the binder. We did mini books on several topics like Mt. Everest,counting to 10 in Chinese, Chinese picture book summaries, the Great Wall, emperors, and basic facts about China.
I also googled images of the money and printed a few on cardstock.
The cover has their name in Chinese, the flag, and a paper doll dressed in Chinese fashion from Making Friends.
Here's the boy version :)
The back cover also has their Draw, Write Now pages and summaries they did after reading The Story of Ping. Behind the lapbook we included our notebooking pages. We use the great country info and Children Just Like Me notebooking pages from Jolanthe.
This is Ashton's version where she writes "he goot a sackne" translation: he got a spanking!

That is our 1st country in. We will add other countries in behind and divide them with tabbed dividers. We're enjoying our trips so far!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fun in the Box #12...

This is what the kids found in their box today:
I put lots of random items in the box and a paper folded in half with 4 flaps cut. They each had to secretly pick 4. On top of each flap they had to write 3 adjectives that described the 4 different items they had chosen. Underneath the flap they drew a picture of their item. Lastly, they took turns reading each other their 3 adjectives to see if they could guess what they chose. Then they lifted the flap to show the picture to see if they were right!
They did well and had fun. We also practiced labeling our adjectives with our chant "What kind? Which one? Hooooooowwwww many?"

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fun (Almost) in the Box #11...

Today the kids found this Little People house on their school table. Today's lesson was prepositions. I remember being taught in school they were anything a mouse could do to a house. So, ours became anything this bird could do to this little house. They worked together and Jackson recorded all the prepositions they found. I did have to give some hints and tell them to think of opposites. They really found a lot.

Then I showed them a list of all the prepositions. Jackson read them and Ashton highlighted the ones they found.

I was impressed by how many they found and hope this helps them remember what a preposition is!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Candy Time...

Last week we did graph our candy, and I was planning on doing some candy experiments we never got around to, but this week I am totally inspired. Head over to one of my favorite blogs and check out her awesome ideas and free printables for candy week. We'll be doing lots of these fun activities this week. I'm so excited both about learning and experimenting with candy instead of eating it!

Twin Tot School #16...

Will and Wesley are 27 months old.

This wasn't technically Tot School, but I had to snap a picture of one of those beautiful moments where they are actually happily playing together! They loveLittle People almost as much as I do!

They are masters of all farm animals now. This is Wesley in the middle of making his pig noise while showing me the finger puppet. I love that Tot School makes old toys new again. I bought this farm set 8 years ago and it never gets played with until I made it part of farm week. It's amazing to me how intentionally playing with your kids can enable them to play with things on their own later, giving you time to blog:)

Will was very proud of his cat!

I have this puzzle out for weeks now. In fact, I leave it on the shelf all day. It's the first puzzle they have ever worked without any help. Mostly they love it because they think the house looks like Grandmother's house and are always showing it to me!

This was another moment where I caught them playing on their own. Wesley was feeding Will a pretend waffle. I love how they are using their imaginations so much together.

As we begin learning about zoo animals, nothing beats riding a zebra. Look at that hair go:

I was surprised to see Wesley take his toy over here to play because that is the time out corner! I have also always helped him match the animal halves up on this game. I was very surprised to see he can now do it on his own- smart boy.

I love anything Leapfrog. While I am not actively tryingto teach the boys the alphabet, they are learning that letters make sounds. This is a great toy to reinforce that as it sings the song and makes the sounds.

I got this file folder game back out because we haven't used it in months. It is matching different colored Baby Moses to same colored grasses. They did a great job except for the two shades of pink which were very tricky.

My dad's favorite snack as a child was peanut butter crackers with sugar sprinkled on top. Leave it to my daughter to glamup the traditional snack by adding pink sprinkles. I decided it would be fun to let the boys add red and blue sprinkles. They "ate" it up- hee hee!
I just got these droppers from Oriental Trading. I put a drop of blue food coloring in water in a divided bowl and showed them how to transfer the water from one side to the other. They did it then decided it would also be fun to squirt it on themselves and up in the air. As you can tell by the picture of Will's mouth this was after the peanut butter snack.
This puzzle was just more exposure to the letters as I made their sound for them as we put the pieces in.

Wesley worked dilligently at hammering for awhile. You give that boy a hammer and he'll do anything- just like his dad.

I was very excited to order these paint trays from Oriental Trading and began imagining the things we could do with them. I started with one-to-one coorespondence hoping they'd put 1 pompom in each circle. Instead, they threw them all over. Maybe next time...

I got out some foam zoo animals and my favorite divided tray. I handed them one animal at a time. They had to say its name and make its sound then sort it with other animals like it. We usually sort by color so sortingby type was new for us. They got it right away. This became this week's favorite activity, and we did it several times. They stuck with it long enough to sort about 40 animals- much more than I expected.

Again, Will loves to show me the animal. The lion was his favorite as he got to roar.
Wesley was a big fan of the kangaroo who we made jump because Mommy has no idea what and if kangaroos make a noise.

I thought it was funny that Wesley kicked back in his chair to work a puzzle so laid the pieces out for him on the arm, and he loved it.

Their favorite activity of the week was definately not one I had planned since they decided to "IEIE" (what they call writing) on my walls!!!! At least they look contrite-not!

In their sweet defense I did later catch them using their mop to try to get it off- how sweet is that?!

Apparently between picture taking and laughing I didn't properly convery the naughtiness (go figure?) because the next day I discovered Will had IE'd on his face with a pink highlighter!

When I asked him what he'd done he wouldn't look at me and tried not to smile:

I finally got him to show me his handiwork with his signature tongue stuck out:

Whew, what a week! What do tots do at the end of such a busy week? Why kick back in their recliners,of course!

I'm pretty sure Will is calling all his peeps to see what they did in Tot School:

If you want to see what all your peeps did this week in Tot School, kick back and head over to Carissa's blog!

Friday, November 6, 2009

At Least She's Retaining Something...

Ashton was telling me that she was digging a hole in their new secret hide-out.

A: I have a lot of digging to do. I want to go down all the way to the magma, I mean the mantel.

Well, it's not the stereotypical China, but I'm glad to know she remembered what we studied all the way back in January!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dollar Store Centers #8...

The dollar store had this pack of the cutest little plastic boxes. I looked at them 3 different times but couldn't figure out anything to do with them. Finally, I bought them anyway:)
I wanted to do something with estimating and I remembered these boxes. I filled them with different amounts of black beans (I had them for Halloween sensory tub for the little ones.). I made a control group with 10 and 100 to show them what those look like.

I put little post its on top of each box and wrote blanks for me, J and A to make our own estimates. At the bottom was a line for the actual total. After everyone made their estimates, we divided up the boxes and counted the beans (another great math activity!).
When the numbers were higher their estimates were farther off. I think this was a great activity to get them realizing what big numbers look like.We will definitely be repeating it- maybe with candy corn, yum!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Twin Tot School #15...

Will and Wesley are 26 months old.

It is sad how much I love empty Parmesan containers :)
This time I just cut bright plastic straws (or rather my mini tot teacher did!) into smaller pieces for them to put in the holes.Wesley was all about dumping them back out:

Will was pretty excited about his magnetic letters, until he dumped them in the floor :(

Ah, the Parmesan container again. This time they put in beads:

How many times have I shared this activity? They love it. It is probably their favorite tot school activity ever:

Thanks to the T-Jay dollar bin we got monster stamps. They were a B-I-G hit!

Big bro had to give some stamp tutoring and do a little stamping of his own, of course. They spent forever taking the tops on and off. That was their favorite part. You just never know :)
I made 2 October sensory tubs. One was filled with pumpkins, plastic bugs and spider rings hiding in black beans. The other was filled with Halloween shapes and cups for pouring hiding in corn. Who loved them the most? Sissy. I even found them in the bathroom one day where she had played with them while, well you know!

The bins I had them in were way too little, and they made a huge mess. I need to get a bigger and deeper bin!

To go along with farm week, we had a trip to a local pumpkin patch which had a petting zoo. Wesley was beyond excited by the goats! They stayed there petting the goats for about 30 minutes! I was pretty proud of our farm week learning because they knew right away they were goats!
They also were thrilled to milk a fake cow. This picture isn't the best because they kept milking it from behind.

Forget my little bin. They could've stayed here for hours.
When I talk to people about Tot School they always say, "My kids would make a mess." Here's my answer, "yep, but it was fun while it lasted."
Exhibit A: my floor:

Exhibit B: what was under Will's bottom:

And last, but certainly not least: Mommy's favorite of Will peeping through a hole a playset:

For more great tot fun check out Carissa's blog!