Friday, January 30, 2015

Ss is for Snowman

This theme was so much fun!  Lots of snowman themed activities and the letter s.  Here's a look at what we did:

Snowman Color Sort
For this snowman color sort activity we used pompoms, a clothes pin, a tea strainer spoon and the snowman color sorting mat (included in the download below).  I gave Isla both a clothes pin and a tea strainer spoon for picking up the pompoms and she mostly used the spoon.  I liked that both options were good for building fine motor skills, and using them made it more fun!  She practiced naming each color and played this for quite a while! 

Dot the Letter Ss
Once again Isla LOVED dotting the letters!  This activity was great for recognizing the letters and practicing saying the letter's sound.  "When you find an s, say it's sound!"   

Stamp the Letter
I looked ALL OVER for my snowflake stamp, and it's still nowhere to be found :(.  Any who, Isla didn't notice or care what the stamp was.  She was just happy to stamp!  

Q-tip Painting the Letter S
For this we used washable Crayola paint.  She loved it!  This was the first time she ever really got to paint.  The idea of painting the letters was abandoned after about 8 seconds, but she had a great time!

Snowman Sensory Play
When I found this idea on Pinterest I thought,  'How PERFECT!  Isla will love it!  It will be so fun!'.  So... you see the picture above?  That's as much that little had ever touched the "snow".  She absolutely refused to give it a go.  I had to really convince her to even do that much, lol!  But if you're interested in giving it a try, you can check out the link and how to HERE.  

Snowman Puzzles

Isla had a fun time putting these puzzles together.  I've included two more (not pictured) in this week's Ss is for Snowman FREEBIE.  You can download all of the freebies you see in the pictures above by clicking HERE.  The fun didn't stop there though, check out our snowman snacks and meals below!

Snowman Snack
I made this snack using banana for the bodies, pretzels for the arms, raisins for the eyes and buttons, and carrots for the noses.  

Snowman Pizza
Just looking at this pizza makes me want another one!  I rolled out a can of crescent rolls and cut out the snowman shape (adding the cut off pieces back into the snowman).  Then I spread tomato sauce all over and sprinkled it with Italian seasoning.  Next I added shredded mozzarella cheese.  I used olives for the eyes, mouth and buttons.  The nose and scarf are orange, yellow and red bell peppers.  Super yummy!

Snowman Pancakes
Our week wouldn't have been complete without these snowman pancakes.  I free handed the snowman shape on the griddle.  The eyes, mouth and buttons are raisins.  The nose is a slice of strawberry.  The snow is banana and the scarf is a slice of bacon.  I made the bacon bend like a scarf while it was fresh out of the oven and pliable.  We topped this off with some organic maple syrup from Trader Joe's.  I don't know about you, but using organic maple syrup somehow made me feel much better about the sugar that's in it! Haha!  I've seen lots of snowman pancakes that use whipped cream and chocolate chips (which sounds delish!), but I wanted to do a version with less sugar.   

I hope these ideas and printables will help you in your home or classroom.  Do you have any snowman activities you like to do with toddlers?  I'd love to hear about it! 


Monday, January 19, 2015

M is for Martin

Today I was searching for my snowflake stamp when I found my beloved MLK Jr. stamp!  It HAD to be used today.  So I made this little MLK Jr. themed letter m page for my daughter.  We are all about learning the alphabet these days!  Hearing her say "Martin! /m/-/m/-/m/!" totally melted my heart.  She loved stamping Martins inside of the m.  If you don't have a stamp like this, (because really, how many people have MLK Jr. stamps lying around?)I would use scrap pieces of paper and glue them onto the m.  You could also pick a color to reinforce your color of the week.  You can grab this letter m freebie by clicking HERE.    

Graphics from Creative Clips and A Sketchy Guy.
We also talked about who Dr. King was and read the book Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport.  I love this book because it has a simple message and nice illustrations.  I paraphrased the book for my daughter and she enjoyed it! 

If you are a K-2 teacher you may also like my Martin Luther King Jr. NO PREP Pack.  You can find this in my TpT store by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Polar Animals and the Letter Ii

With the start of the new year, I made a promise to myself that I would get more organized about the educational (and fun!) activities that I do with my daughter every week.  AND I'm going to blog about it!  I'm all about themes, and because it's January I decided to start with polar animals.  It's always been one of my favorite units to teach my students about!  I also decided to focus on one letter a week.  My daughter's name is Isla, so we started with the letter Ii.

This was our first attempt at using Do-A-Dot markers.  It was a BIG hit!  She loved finding all of the letters in the igloo.  Each time she did a dot I prompted her to say the sound for i.  You can download this page and a few others we did this week by clicking HERE. (We also did the included penguin page and polar bear puzzles, but I forgot to take pictures of those in action.  I laminated both of those pages and printed the polar bear puzzles on card stock for durability.)

This is one of the other letter i pages I made.  I laminated it so we could use it over and over again.  The markers we used are Crayola Washable Dry Erase Markers.  They aren't stinky like Expo markers and they are WASHABLE!  I modeled how to write the capital and lowercase i, then let her practice on her own - she felt like such a big girl :).  This was a quick activity but she asked to do it every day!

Penguin clip art from Creative Clips,
I made this color sorting game with things I had around the house.  The wood baskets are from a Melissa and Doug play food set my daughter got for Christmas.  I'm so glad I didn't toss them!  The blocks are a Melissa and Doug Wooden Blocks set.  I printed out the penguins(sticking with the polar animals theme), laminated them and taped them to the baskets.  This is a game I kept out all week and she kept going back to it.  I also had her practice naming the colors and shapes as she sorted them.

This idea came from No Time for Flash Cards and I couldn't wait to try it.  It was so easy to prep!  I used a blue paper bin from the Target Dollar Spot.  I filled the bin with a few inches of water and then put a small bowl in it(for the ocean) and filled the bowl with potatoes so it wouldn't float.  Then I placed it in the freezer overnight.  When I took it out the next day the bowl was stuck in the ice, so I filled the bowl with some lukewarm water and let it sit for a few minutes until the ice around it melted enough for the bowl to come out.  I added a little water to the ocean for the animals to swim in.  The ocean was her favorite part of the activity.  All of the animals went swimming!  She also liked breaking off small pieces of ice as they melted away from the ocean and eating it(so I'm really glad I cleaned the bin before hand!).  We added a couple ice cubes for "ice bergs" and she loved that as well.  You can see in one corner of the bin the ice was raised and the animals were able to slide down it.  I don't know how that happened or I would recreate it because she also had a lot of fun with that part.  We talked about the names of the animals and their colors, how some animals live on land and others in the water,  and talked about cold vs. hot.  The animals are from the Toob Penguins and Artic sets(which are crazy expensive on Amazon today so I didn't include a link).  Did you know they sell Toob Animals at Michaels Craft Stores?  You can use a coupon and get them 40-50% off!  

SNACKS.  So while I was searching Pinterest for polar animal ideas, I came across these cute snack ideas.  How could I resist?  The polar bears were SO easy and quick to make - she loved them!  The penguin sandwich (from Disney) took more time, but when my daughter saw her lunch she GAVE IT A HUG! Literally, she hugged her plate - lol!  Made the time it took to make it all worth it.  The penguin cup was a gift from her aunt last year(from Target).

That's a little bit about our week.  I took more pictures of our letter Ii activities, but can't find them so I will be better about where I put them for my next post!  It you'd like to see more polar animal ideas you can check out my January Pinterest board by clicking HERE.

Coming up next....the letter s, as in s is for snowman!  Check back next week to read all about it!