Friday, October 19, 2012

Puttin' Our Spin On It!

I do remember doing this in grade school and have many pinterest pictures of this from various sources, but I saw this more recently on Artful Parent!

Using a Salad Spinner for art fun!

Found this gem at the thrift store for $1 (half price day).

You can cut paper, use paper plates to fit inside, or use coffee filters- which fit perfectly. 
We tried both.

Add paint or liquid watercolors or food coloring/water...and...SPIN!

This was the fun part, my girl loved it! Remove the lid and see what you made...

We then played with it some more...added some glitter and white paint!
 Gave it another spin...and...

We also did the classic record player spin art. I remember doing this as a kid too! So fun.

We're working on a collection of these so we can string them together and hang somewhere. I love that this captured my girls interest for quite some time (of course, we listened to records too!).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Brush Yo' Chops!

I love the Montessori style of teaching/learning. Didn't think it wise to spend $70 on a fancy dental model. I figured this wind-up set of chops from the Dollar Store would do the trick.

We used dry erase markers (yellow and green) to 'gunk' up the chops. 
Time to brush them clean!
Reinforced the  importance of brushing (length of time and brushing method), dentists and what happens when you don't brush your teeth.

She had a lot of fun with the chops and this activity!

Here are some freebie things we used in addition:

Free coloring sheets:

Free tooth brushing chart (customized with your kiddos name!):

Happy brushing!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Falling for Fall

We've been busy! We LOVE Fall!

Here's a little of what we've been up to lately...

We gathered leaves and pressed  them inside wax paper & made garland!

 A contact paper tree, using real leaves stuck to clear contact paper.  The tree is wood grain contact paper.
A little pumpkin bead transfer, counting game. Gotta love the $1 Target aisle (plate).

Fall sensory/sorting activity. Leaves, wood acorns, cinnamon sticks, small pears and apples...with a book read!

 Easy pine cone owls in a nest!

Shaving cream/paint leaves. Put shaving cream on plate/in dish and gently swirl paint colors on top. Use cardstock leaf for transfer.
A little Fall balance!
A little Fall decorating around the fort.

Happy Fall Y'all!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Super Easy Suncatchers

We love suncatchers around here. This blog post is going to be short, but sweet.

We took our pony beads (get at WalMart pretty cheap) and put a single layer of them in a muffin tin and a pie pan. These are pans we use only for art.

We then melted them on the grill. We didn't do it inside because the smell of burning plastic...ewe.

On the grill (325 ish) for about 10-15 minutes. Let them cool (don't be alarmed by the cracking noises, it's just the plastic setting/shrinking from the pan).
 Hang to enjoy! You can drill holes, or loop string through any openings you find. We made several of these and plan to give a few as gifts! So much fun.

If you want to see fancier sun catchers and other artful ideas, check out the Artful Parent!

Monday, September 10, 2012

To Pee around a Tee Pee?

So I really wanted to make a garden tee pee this year. You know, with morning glories and green beans, fun project for the girl.
Here's a great image of one that sold me...

We planted in the Spring with green bean sprouts that we germinated. They were going great, that is until..deer came and ate the majority of them overnight! My girl was really upset. She had tended to the plants all Spring and half of the Summer, only to have them disappear overnight.
Luckily, the Morninglory's that we planted really took off fast & we were able to add more fairly quickly.
Here's the status of our tee pee now...
I'm really hoping it will fill in more before it gets too cold to get inside and enjoy.
We used 6ft. bamboo poles and we speng maybe 2 hours setting it up. This is so easy to do & it's something you can do with small kids.
The fun part was adding the string (and ribbon) around the tee pee for the vines to climb & then checking on them each day. It's amazing what grows overnight!
Ehow has a great tutorial on how to put one together. A great idea for kiddos and so fun to hang out in and harvest too!
We did enjoy a handful of green beans from the tee-pee, we ate them outside frsh off of the vine...they are better that way, says the girl.
Now, the title of this post is a bit odd, no? A neighbor told us to put urine or human hair in a parameter around the tee pee to ward off deer. many questions about this one.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Home Preschool Attempt

My biggest project lately has been to switch the 'play area' in the basement into more of a preschool learning environment. We've decided to keep our girl home this fall/winter(she's 3.5) , so I thought a somewhat structured environment for learning/exploring would be in order. BTW, I'll also be home with her baby brother, so that should prove to be an INTERESTING mix!

Here's what I've come up with...again, mostly garage sale and thrift store finds. This is a small corner area in the back of our basement (no door).

Leaving 'imaginative play' market in place, I just reorganized, added and labled stations for learning. The station signs were free downloads (just search 'preschool station signs') and print/laminate/hang.

A bookshelf and Lego table with building blocks underneath.

Sorting activities, lacing cards and stringing beads.

Mostly Dollar Store or thrift store stuff. My plan is to add/rotate new activities every couple of weeks.

Workbooks, school literature books and magazines sorted.

Phonics/ABC's area on the ledge.

This is The Geo Safari system we found at a thrift store! It's awesome (although a bit old school). You can find them on Ebay ( a pic from Ebay below). We LOVE this thing. We have cards for Phonics, Science, Math, Concepts, Bible and many it all for $12.

Thrift store phonics game, homemade phonics box (click here to see how we made it).

Here's a simple basket we made using a dishtowel, cards and wooden letters (Dollar Store stuff).

Music and movement area in front of mirror with a basket full of instruments.
We have a CD player/radio with different music selections on the ledge above.

Independent reading/quiet time area.

Science... we are using a thrift store play workbench for this center.

Exploring magnets!

 Random science/practical life stuff under the bench.

Puzzles and math area 

Pegs, counting games, number cards and puzzles..oh boy!

Since this area doesn't have a door, I'm a bit worried that it will turn into a 'free for all' and be hard to keep in order (like the playroom was). I'll just hire an off-duty officer to keep it in check.

I have also decided to do the FIAR (Five in a Row) program with her as we can, the rest will be as time and energy levels permit!