Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fun parks

I've been working on slowly finding and learning great parks in my area. So, here's the one we went to this week: Katherine Fleischer Park.

Unfortunately I didn't have my camera out much, so the only good picture I have is this one:

This is an awesome park, and has several different features. Of course there's the usual playground, but since this is an older playground, it's actually shaded most of the day. A very important feature in Texas. It has a couple of different playscapes to play on. There's also a fun house to play in with a couple of stories and lots of little nooks and corners in it.


I just remembered I have pictures from an earlier trip, so here's what it looks like inside the house, forgive the weird blurriness, all of the pictures in the house look like that.


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There's a great set of trails behind it that lead to a frontier village. How do you like the genuine vintage dress on Princess? It's about mumble mumble years old (also known as I wore it when I was a baby).



There's also a frontier village, which sadly you can't go inside the buildings except on special occasions. I understand why they need to do that, but I wish it wasn't neccessary. I found a post elsewhere on the village: http://www.texasescapes.com/MikeCoxTexasTales/237-Wells-Branch.htm


So overall I'd say it's a great park. I only wish it was a little closer to my house and not a 10 minute drive. I treat you to a look at an adventerous squirrel on my stroller. Batman thinks this picture is absolutely hilarious.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jack and Jill

Today we made our latest foray into the fun of nursery rhymes. I wanted to try something a little different and made another interactive feature.

As always first we glued the rhyme down onto the page. I have no pictures this week because Princess was busy trying to cut her lines into individual letters, and then Superman decided to cut his into separate words. So no pictures of that step.

Next we went through and colored the pictures I'd hastily drawn to illustrate the rhyme.

 
They were all set to scribble one line and then get right to the glueing, but I reminded them we like lots of color, and they started working harder on the coloring.
Princess was all set to cut everything into little pieces, so I set her to cutting out the hill for Jack and Jill to climb.

 
Then to provide some background color and also to stiffen up the paper so it will not be destroyed quite so easily the kids cut up blue construction paper and glued it all over to make the sky.


Finally I glued on the last hill, since I had made it a more complicated piece to glue. And here's the completed picture:

Hmmmm…… No completed picture.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Calendar time

I decided to take a page from my school teacher days, and use some things that work there. So, every morning as we start school time we have calendar time and I have a helper for the day.


My helper gets to point to the days as we count them, now with our new egg pointer (since I took a hint from Carissa at http://1plus1plus1equals1.blogspot.com/ ). Next my helper for the day passes out our lap boards from Lakeshore, they're essentially a small flannel board.



My helper draws a number and each of them puts that number of flannel objects on their board. When I worked at a teacher supply store I got the beginning counting flannel board set. Each kid gets to count it out on their board.



When they think they have the right number we count together, and when it is right we hold it up for everyone to see.


Next we do a pattern for the day. I figured out the cushions we've been leaning against are splendid little flannel boards, so I added it into our learning time. Again my helper gets to figure out the pattern for the day.



Finally we also have an alphabet sticker book that we add a new sticker to each day. At first I was only having the helper put a sticker in, but I figured out that was limiting the other kiddos chance to learn more. So they get a sticker and have to figure out what letter the picture starts with. We're also putting in any craft activities we do related to each letter. So yesterday we made apples from Homeschool Creations http://homeschoolcreations.blogspot.com/2008/09/preschool-corner-letter.html .
Our apples had quite a lot of seeds, they thought this was the most exciting part of all.

When we're done with calendar time, we head off to complete our activities for the day. Today it was working on our current nursery rhyme, which I'll finish posting about tomorrow. I was going to post on that today, but I forgot to get a picture of the completed project.

Tot School
For more Tot School ideas visit: http://lapbooksbycarisa.homestead.com/TotSchool.html






Friday, February 20, 2009

Why not to keep stamp pads available

The other day after the kids had "gone to bed," Jeff and I were playing WoW with some friends and were busy running through a dungeon, when I heard kids playing. I excused myself for a second and come upstairs to this sight
Photobucket
So..... The boys had discovered the door between their room and the schoolroom was unlocked. They had gone in there, found the blue "washable" stamp pad, and the letter stamps. They looked around and didn't have anything to stamp on, so they decided to stamp themselves. By the time we figured out what they were up to, they were completely blue. I'd show you the head to toe photos, but by the time I'd found my camera they'd already stripped down to nothing..... so I've opted not to post that.
I yelled for Jeff to come upstairs and help me.

Well, we try to wash their hands, and it does not come off. It also did not come off of the marble sink, or the tile, and the bath tub when we put them in. It faded slightly after much washing. I sat there and scrubbed each of them for five minutes or so, and it faded slightly. That's the picture you see above. I think that's Batman's legs as he sits in the bathtub. The water turned blue, but nothing really made it any less noticable.

About two weeks later it has faded to mostly not noticable, and they've had a lot of baths in between then, but man I've learned a couple of things from this: 1. Don't keep stamp pads where kids can reach them. 2. Washable is not. 3. Always have your camera handy, because by the time you find it, the shot is gone. Oh well, now I have a very amusing picture to show their future wife after they've married.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Embellishing a Valentine shirt


I found a red shirt with ruffled edges and these cute little pants, that I thought would make such a perfect Valentine's outfit for my little Princess, with only a little extra help from me. I figured for a $5 investment, that wasn't that bad a deal.


So, I embroidered little heart balloons on the shirt and the pants. The only problem is the pants are about 4 inches too long, so you can't see the cute little balloons I embroidered on them. Oh well.
And, yes she desperately needs a hair cut, but it's hard to cut her hair when she doesn't stay still long. I get nervous about cutting it. I have now discovered that it works really well to cut it when she's buckled in her car seat. Less wiggling then.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

First ever Chuck E Cheese party

Our kids went to Chuck E Cheese for the first time ever for a Valentine's Day party


The key to this game when your kids can't reach the pedals: You stand in front, and you pedal it with your hands. The more you pedal the higher you go, and the longer you stay up. All three of my kids had to try it.
They discovered the wonders of getting lots of tokens and being able to stuff them into slots and play games. I learned never to let a toddler have more than one token at a time. Princess seemed to think the most fun part was stuffing the tokens in, so she kept stuffing them in and then stuffing in more tokens, needless to say, I tried to discourage that..... I was not always successful.



I also learned that sitting next to the stage is a very loud area and will give you a headache, or it will if you are sensitive to noise. The pizza is surprisingly good for the price and the environment.
As always with my kids, things you can ride are very popular, but they've also discovered the joy of skee ball. Which they think is played by lobbing the ball as hard as they can.

Notice Superman in the background all set to lob the ball as hard as he can. Eventually after watching me play a little they figured out how to throw it underhanded.
They had a blast and really enjoyed exchanging Valentine's with their friends. Now, some of their friends may have gotten about 10 copies of the Valentine's they were handing out, but they had so much fun putting it in their friend's bag, and seeing what their friends gave them.




So, all in all I'd say this was a win, and gave us a new place we can go to for special occasions/times we want to get out of the house. That, and I had fun making Princess sit with me for the illustrator booth.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hickory Dickory Dock

To continue our nursery rhyme craft for this week, we completed Hickory Dickory Dock

First we cut the rhyme apart and glued it on the paper



Next the kids got to color and glue on the clock while I ran to the sewing room and made a very quick mouse.

Finally to make the page more sturdy and to let them have more fun with glueing, I let them glue lots of random pieces all over.

And now we get to play it, as they say.
I just have to figure out what other Nursery Rhymes we're going to do now.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The funniness of little kids

So today I'm sitting at Taco Bell with the kids listening to them talk. Batman announces, "I have Superman on this hand, and Princess on the other." He was using this to describe who was sitting next to whom. Now they continue on and Superman is talking about how this is Superman's hand, but Batman keeps telling him, "No I Batman." This continues on for a while with Princess piping in every now and then with "I Princess, I got Princess."

Fast forward to driving home, Batman graciously let Princess sit in his seat. He had a hidden motive, he really wanted to sit in the middle seat, and not in his car seat. So as a special treat I let him sit there, with lots of warnings because I knew we were driving a very short distance, and he's almost big enough to not need a car seat. I eagerly look forward to those days of only one car seat. Continuing on, so all three of them are sitting on the same row, and they are having a blast and talking to each other all the time. They are sitting there being silly and screaming occasionally, then telling each other to stop screaming, until the next one starts the whole rounds again. It's really quite funny to listen to.

My kids seem to believe that when you are sneaking or hiding, to make sure people know what you are doing you need to say this. So, this morning as I'm taking my shower, I hear Superman, tip-toeing across the bathroom saying, "sneak, sneak, sneak," and then he gets into the closet, and quite proudly announces, "I hiding!" To get a proper picture of this you should really imagine it like a cartoon mouse sneaking and hiding from the cat, it really was that exagerated. At this point, if Jeff were here, he would be pointing out, that they learned this from me. Now, I maintain that I am completely innocent. Really and for truly. I have no clue where they picked this up.
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