Sunday, December 16, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Reading... and a Button Christmas Tree craft!

   In light of what happened this past Friday in Newton, Connecticut, I was too heart broken to post  on Friday and offer up a Freebie. I will post it another day.
   As an Early Childhood teacher and a parent, all I can say is that I cannot even begin to imagine what those families are going through. My hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to each and every one of them during this very difficult time.
    It has become a sad world to live in, hasn't it?  It serves as a reminder of how precious life is and how we should always stop to count our blessings and never, ever take anything or anyone for granted.

   On that note, I will quickly share a new tradition that I started this year with my little munchkin. "12 Days of Christmas Reading". I wrapped up 12 books (most purchased from Scholastic, some were taken from my classroom stash and given to her). We began our Christmas Reading on Dec. 12... The first book she unwrapped was Little Critter: The Night Before Christmas!

  And here is another Christmas tree craft that she did this past weekend.  As I was cleaning house to prep for our family (who will be here this coming Saturday), I gave her some red & green buttons, a sheet of cardstock paper and some glue. I drew a triangle on it and told her to glue the buttons to make a tree.
And that was all I had to say! She knew how to start and went right to work!
         It was time consuming but she finished it all by herself!
Now, I need to go get another picture frame, b/c this one is definitely going on the wall!
Now to get settled for the night and get ready for the last few days of school before 
Christmas break! =)
(I will be back later this week with the FREEBIE I needs some tweaking!!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bit by the Christmas Craft Bug!

   This past weekend, I was bit by the Craft Bug and since I was in a Christmas-y mood, I pulled out some of my scrapbooking supplies and started to make a few simple holiday decorations for the house. 
 I only got around to completing one, but I am working on two more.
(Thanks to BHG for this cute and simple idea!)
   I guess my little one felt left out, because she later refused to let me go to the nail salon (which was something I needed badly) because she wanted to do “work.
   So I pulled together some simple Christmas crafts for her to do.
   I cut up strips of different types of green scrapbook paper and she made a beautiful tree!
This tree will be going in a frame!
   And then we did some cutting practice as she made another tree! 
This is as far as she got and then she just wanted to snip away!
   She got a little carried away with the cutting, as you can see!
This evening, after dinner, she told me she wanted to do more work!  
I love it! I have TONS of cute and fun activities planned for her! 
As I prepare the house for my family in the coming week and a half and plan for the Winter Concert at my Head Start Center, I am also finishing up a little Freebie, that I will post by the end of the week- just in time for TBA's Freebie Friday!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Counting Christmas!

    My little munchkin has been counting down the days until Christmas! And I am not sure she fully understands the whole tradition of Christmas,..or if she is just counting down the days until our family is here!
   Anyhow, she has amazed me in her math skills lately! We read the book, Counting Christmas by Karen Katz and have been working on lots of fun math activities. 
   I took advantage of the sales on cyber Monday and found some awesome Christmas Center Packs!
   Here is the pack I purchased on TpT which I am featuring in this post.
   I loved these worksheets but since she cannot write numbers yet- I found an alternative way for her to use this worksheet. I used foam numbers and I was very impressed by how fast she completed the sheets!
   Then we worked a little bit on patterns. Umizoomi is one of her favorite shows at the moment and I heard her making patterns along with the show and she was kicking butt! =) So, I knew she was ready for a little pattern work!
   First we worked with some die cut shapes from my xmas stash. There is one of our shih-tzus watching her work! =)
       Then went on to the worksheets included in the math pack.
And then she made her own pattern:
 In my Christmas junk, I also found some stockings with numbers on them. I couldnt remember exactly how I had used them ( I think they were counting mats), but I had her do some ordinal number practice and asked her to line them up and put the stockings in order. And BAM- she was done!
This is just a sneak peek of all the things we have been doing at home! 

Stay tuned for some more... and shhh... a FREEBIE is coming soon!! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sensational Time for Senses!

     Yikes! Where is the time going?So I know Christmas will be here before we know it and I have been BUSY, BUSY trying to keep up with work related stuff and home life!! I am already frazzled... the thought of it is enough to make me want to stay awake all night long just to get things done! I need at least 3 more hours to every day!!
    Anyhow, at my center, we are not "allowed" to celebrate holidays.... BOOO! =(
But I will be trying to squeeze in some holiday fun, in a very sublte way!
     In the meantime, I am going to post a few pics about the unit that we zoomed through in the past week or so:
Sensational Senses!
Here are the Sensory Bags I created to start off our unit (I have posted these before)
And then I came across a 6 pack of VOSS water bottles for my Discovery Bottles!  
They were the perfect size for my kiddos to explore their sense of sight!
     In the first bottle, I put rice and tons of random objects I found lying around in my daughter's playroom. Another bottle (my absolute favorite) was filled with corn syrup (that was just taking up space in my cupboard) and marbles.  Yet another was filled with water and random objects, along with red food coloring. And to make things colorful, I filled one up with sprinkles (which were also just taking space in the cupboard). 
The kiddos LOVE them!
       These things have managed to stay intact!! Which I was worried about b/c my preschoolers can be quite rough!
        I got a little crafty and made a new "What's Inside" sensory box with some of my scrap booking supplies and added some fun stuff inside for the kids to explore their sense of touch.
       I LOVE the look on his face as he uses only his sense of touch! (I did have some cheaters, though who could not help themselves and had to peek!)
       For some fun with our sense of smell, I bought some Scented Oils at the Dollar Tree and added a couple of drops into some of my ink pads for a new stamping experience!
        I also created a Smelly Station, where I put different scents inside of salt & pepper shakers (Also from Dollar Tree) and had the kiddos smell each of them and then we made a graph of which smell they actually liked! (Cocoa Powder was the clear winner!!)
       I have lots more to post... Letter Activities and the beginning of the Christmas Fun at home with my little munchkin! But for now, this will have to do...  =)
     Until tomorrow...