Friday, June 29, 2012

L is for Links: Last Week of June

Here are my favorites from last week:

Find The Ducks from No Twiddle Twaddle
A great activity to go along with the classic story of the Five Little Ducks.

Group Painting with Colored Ice from The Children's Art Group
A fun activity to beat the heat this summer!

Thanks for all the great ideas and remember to link up all your new ideas this week.

Friday, June 22, 2012

L is for Links: 3rd Week of June

Here are my favorites from last week's link-up:

Mess Free Painting/Sensory Activity from Play Through the Day
Great for when you don't have time to deal with a painting mess.

Cool Whip Painting from Create, Play, Teach
Fun sensory project especially for smaller ones who still try to eat the paint!

How to Capture and Preserve a Spiderweb on Paper from Play, Create, Explore
This is so cool!

Thanks to everyone who linked up! Don't for to link up your new ideas all this week :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MeMeTales Readathon Week 1: Animals!

Have you signed up for the MeMeTales Readathon yet? The Readathon started on Monday and the first week's theme is animals. There are a few free books to go along with this topic on the Readathon database. The one we've read over and over is The Five Little Ducklings illustrated by Kristy Kelm.

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The Five Little...
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We've read it on my phone. We've read it on the computer. We also sing the five little ducks song pretty often too. Since Zel really loves ducks, I decided to make some felt puppets to go along with the story. All I did was draw 5 smaller ducks and 1 big duck on yellow felt and cut them out. Then I duct taped them to wooden sticks. He was pretty protective of the duck puppets and wouldn't let me do a little puppet show for him. He just enjoyed holding them and swinging them around while listening to the story. However, while he was in his high chair eating lunch, I did a little puppet show for him using the table as a stage and he seemed like it.

If your child loves ducks, I also recommend reading Ten Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle. This one is a favorite around our house. It is great because it has ducks, but the ducks also meet all sorts of other animals too. We have a lot of fun quacking and making other animal noises and movements.

Here are some great duck activities from other bloggers participating in the Readathon:

Duck Pond from Emma's Childcare

Rubber Glove Duck Finger Puppets from make, do & friend

Keep reading and we'll see you next week for another MeMeTales Readathon project!

Friday, June 15, 2012

L is for Links: Favorites from Last Week

Here are two activities that caught my eye from last week's Kid's Co-op Link Up:

The Bubble Master form Sugarsnips
How fun! It isn't summer without bubbles!

Jamberry Crumble Bars from Off the Shelf
A tasty activity to go along with the book Jamberry by Bruce Degen. There is also a link to a great pop art activity using bubble wrap inspired by the book.

Thanks to everyone for linking up and I hope to see all your great ideas this week!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

MeMetales Readathon 2012

I am excited to be a part of this summer's Readathon with MeMetales and PBSkids. Reading is an extremely important part of your childrens' cognitive development, which is why I am happy to support this great summer reading program. Why is it great? You can download the MeMeTales App to access the books on your android phone, iphone, or ipad and get 20 books FREE when you register. Each week there will be a theme accompanied by a book list. There is also a free book featured that everyone will have access to for that week. There are print-outs for weekly certificates so your child can feel proud of their reading accomplishments. As if that wasn't good enough, for every child that registers, MeMeTales will donate a meal to a hungry child through #ReadForGood 
Learn more about the Readathon 2012 here.

Join Readathon 2012

I have just joined the MeMeTales website and downloaded the Android App for my phone so that Zel and I can start reading all the books we can. I will feature a book each week from the program that Zel and I have enjoyed. The Readathon starts June 18th, so go to today and get started!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bug Books and Activities for Toddlers

Zel was so excited when he saw his book bucket full of bug books. I also put some bug finger puppets in there too! He just kept saying "bugs" over and over. He looked through every book on his own then asked me to read them to him. I love that he is such a little book worm.

Here are some great bug books for toddlers that are approved by Zel:

The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Bugs That Go! by David A. Carter

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner

Giant Pop-Out Bugs: A Pop-Out Surprise Book by Chronicle Books

The Itsy-Bitsy Spider by Rosemary Wells

Some great bug crafts and activities:

Giant Spider Web from Making Boys Men

Use fly swatters to make Spider Web Art from Fit Kids Clubhouse

Recycled Magazine Butterflies from Mama's Little Muse

Check out our Coffee Filter Butterflies too

Make a Buggy Breakfast with famiglia&seoul

Or try the classic Ants on a Log from Cheerios & Lattes.
I always used to eat these as a kid, but my Mom made them with celery instead of banana (I never ate the celery).

We also made our own edible dirt cups using this recipe from Quirky Mama:

Zel had so much fun making these and eating half of it in the process!

That concludes our bug week (well it turned into almost 2 weeks because Zel loved it so much). Have a great Monday!

Friday, June 8, 2012

L is for Links: Last Week's Picks

Thanks to everyone who linked up last week. Here are my favorite ideas:

 Drive-Thru Alphabet from crayonfreckles
This is a simple and fun alphabet activity.

Sensory Stepping Stones from Adventures at home with Mum
Feet are important too! This is a great way to incorporate little feet into sensory activities.

Foam Bath Stickies from Raise A Boy
Easy, homemade bath stickies. You can make any shape tailored to your child's interests.

Looking forward to seeing everyone's new ideas on this week's link up!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Visit to the Bug Museum

Sorry it has been almost a week since I last posted. Zel has been sick and I am finishing up my spring quarter classes, so we have been pretty busy. Last week before Zel came down with this sickness, we discovered that our town had a little bug museum and it was free! It was small but how much space could bugs take up anyway?

  It was mostly dead bugs that were pinned and displayed in cases. They had some pretty scary looking ones as well as some really beautiful butterflies.

They also had a chalkboard in the back to draw your favorite bug.

There was a wall that was made into a giant series of interconnected ant farms. Zel liked looking closely to see what the ants were doing. 

  I think the most exciting part for Zel wasn't even a bug though. They had a large tortoise in a pen. Zel loves turtles so he really enjoyed this. We have an Eric Carle book called Around the Farm that plays a specific tune for the turtle since it doesn't make a noise, but Zel thinks that is what turtles say. So every time he sees a turtle he sings the cute!

 There was also a giant caterpillar statue with springy antennae that Zel thought were hilarious.

 Do you have any fun bug exhibits in your area?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bug Bath

Zel LOVES water play. I can't say the word "bath" unless I am going to let him take one. This kid loves water. I decided to incorporate his love of water play and bath time with our bug theme this week. This is really several activities that are all related. So you could do them all or spread them out on different days like we did.

Before you take a bath, you need to get dirty, right? So we had a dirt sensory bin and filled it with pretend bugs, leaves, and dried flowers. Zel dug around with his shovel and every time he discovered something in the dirt he asked, "What's that?" Zel was soon distracted by his ride on car so we moved on to that activity and covered the sensory bin for another day.

That night we decided to grow bugs in the bath tub. Earlier in the week, I bought a pack of the little pellets that grow into sponge shapes when placed in water (it cost $.99 at Michael's). We put a few in the bath and waited for them to expand. Zel didn't really get it and they took a really long time. I think the key is to use really hot water, but Zel's bath was lukewarm. Once some of them did finally form into bugs Zel enjoyed ripping them to shreds. That's my tough guy!

The next day when we were feeling a little bored, we collected all of the bugs out of the dirt sensory bin. Then I filled a pot with warm water and gave Zel a soapy sponge. I told him that the bugs were dirty and he needed to give them a bath. I also added the rest of the pellets that grow into bugs.

He proceed to dump all of the bugs in the pot. 

Then, one by one, he took the all out and put them in his bucket. He then reversed it and put them each back into the water.

Then he took each one out and threw them across the floor.

I then showed him how to scrub each one with the sponge. He chose a few to get clean then placed them back and forth between the water and the bucket.

When he was taking them out of the water, he liked to put his face really close to the water to see the bugs better. Whenever he took out a bug, we talked about which bug it was and what color it was.

He must have been doing this for at least 30 minutes. This is a great go-to activity if you don't mind cleaning up a little water. I usually lay a towel down on the floor to help with any spills.