Tot School 44mo -Apples & Zoo

We began the last week with reading the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. We talked a lot about sin and that both Satan and Adam & Eve told lies about eating the apple. We did some easy apple themed projects. We cut open an apple and used our magnifying glass to look at the core and the seeds. We did an apple tasting using one unpeeled apple slice, one pealed apple slice and applesauce. I showed the boys how to graph our findings and we counted on the graph different outcomes if other people gave their opinions too. We read The Apple Tree by Zoe Hall and 10 Apples Up On Top by Dr. Sues. Last year I made a small laminated set of apples and a small picture of each boy to go on our felt board. We spent some time adding the apples on the picture’s heads just like in the book. For additional counting fun we played Hi Ho Cherrio but called the fruit apples. Next we made a cherry pie. I don’t really like apple pie so we talked briefly about apples and cherries both being a red fruit. This time we took the short route. We used store-bought pie crust and canned filling but the boys had fun while working on fine motor skills during unrolling the dough and crimping the edges. Because the main point of Adam & Eve was that they lied to God, we read Eli”s Lie-O-Meter by Sandra Levine. Lastly we followed up with a visual about how God always knows when you lie. Nothing is invisible to God. We named several ways that we sin. I took a Q-tip, dipped in lemon juice, to write out a few of our sins on regular white paper. When it completely dried you couldn’t see the writing. When I held the paper over a candle, the acid in the lemon juice turns the writing a light yellow/brown color that reveals what was already there but invisible to us. I have to say, that experiment was challenging because at first Lance didn’t care about what we were doing, all he wanted was to keep blowing out the candle. So remember patience and safety with that project.
100_3869
We spent the second half of the week working on Noah and the ark. The boys are very curious as to why Noah was the only person that was doing good at that time so we’ve really had bunches of discussions about sin this week. We did a zoo and rainbow theme for this story. We made sounds and movements to match every animal we could think of, we took the kid’s doctor’s kit and became veterinarians to all the teddy bears in the house then did some exploring on our brother too. I cut out a small letter Z and taped it to the bottom of a box. I put a few drops of black paint in the bottom with a marble. The boys shook their box to make the stripes for a zebra. Make sure the bottom of the box is completely flat or the marble will not roll very well, do this even if you want to be lazy that day. Then I wrote their names out in a yellow highlighter. I gave them some crayons and asked them to trace their names in different colors so that it looked like a rainbow. We finished out the week by sorting colored goldfish before we ate them. For more ideas on either of these stories go to http://www.motherhoodonadime.com for her God’s Little Explorers program.
100_3871 100_3870

Tot School 35.5mo Twins – A is for Apple

It’s the tried and true apple theme today.  I’m sure my great, great, great-grandmother learned the letter A by saying the word apple.  Well, maybe not because I don’t think women were educated back then.  Never-the-less, the apple is the classic picture for the letter A.  Yesterday and today we tried out a few apple things. 

Yesterday we had a friend over to make a new recipe of apple pie play do.  I got all three kids up to the kitchen table with wooden spoons ready.  I let the kids measure out the ingredients and dump into the bowl.  It was a weird recipe because it called for real apple pie filling.  In went all the ingredients and the crazy stirring by three kiddos was fun to watch.  The day before I had envisioned a brownish colored soft play do with the most delicious smelling aroma of apples.  The kids squashing it, rolling,it, tasting it and having a good time.  This would be the ushering in of fall.  How lovely.  That was not what happened.  The mixture turned soupy and no amount of stirring was going to change that.  The color was a grey shade and it did smell great when you had your nose stuck in the bowl of mush.  So I set that aside and later it just went into the trash.  Apple project #1 was a bust.  I pulled out the regular play do and while I was a bit disappointed, the kids didn’t care that we played with regular play do.

DSC_1175

It’s all over pinterest.  It’s apple stamping.  I’ve seen some really cute art done with apples and we gave it a try.  It is fun.  I took three apples.  I left one whole, one sliced in half and one I cut into 1/8ths.  I placed the apples on a big plate and set a saucer of red paint with it.  I just told the boys to have fun without any instructions.  I wanted to see where their own creativity would take them.  They smiled and stamped away.  Stamped the paper, stamped the table, stamped their shirts and stamped each other.  It was so cute, at bible study their teachers stamp their hand and say God loves you, so while they got carried away stamping each other they laughed while saying God loves you.  They were each making some good art.  But as all painting techniques go, they ended with their favorite smearing technique.  Thus making their papers look like one giant smear of red.  Apple project #2 wasn’t a bust but not a good ending piece of art.  By the way, my boys had so much fun doing this that they were covered with red paint so make sure you use a good washable paint like Crayola’s.

DSC_1186

 

Our last apple project was great.  We made adorable apple cores.  We ate our last apple this morning and I showed the boys what the core looked like then we made our own.  I quickly cut the sides off a paper plate.  I cut a stem and leaf out of the discarded plate part.  I helped the boys each hold a sharpie pen in the correct pencil hold as I helped them draw two black seeds in the center.  I poured out some crayola red paint and gave the boys each a small square of sponge for dabbing on the paint to the wavy edges.  It was going well, things were controlled.  I thought we were going to have perfect apple cores.  You know, the ones that look just like the pictures on pinterest?  Ha, Ha.  Those are never made by children but rather the parents that post the one that they themselves made as the example for their kids to follow.  Well, the sponges briefly went from dabbing to you guessed it, smearing , as always.  I quickly stopped it and thus we have cute, definitely made by kids, apple cores.  When the paint dried, I taped the leaf and stem onto the top.  When we walk by the apple cores we count the seeds.  It was our best apple project.

DSC_1187

 DSC_1192

 

 

 

 

 

 

We did read 10 Apples Up On Top today.  It is a book that made Lance just laugh out loud, but I don’t find it that funny.  After I finish this post, I’m cutting out a cute apple counting game to go on the felt board.  If it turns out good I’ll post a picture of it tomorrow.

Tot School 35.5mo Twins – A is for Alligator and Ant

We’ve started our week featuring the letter A!  Yea!!!  I love our alphabet learning. 

We started Monday morning watching the “A” program on Starfall.com.  The boys both like this and it’s free for the alphabet pages.  So we sounded out the letter A and the boys just loved the alligator on the program.  They like to make the chomping sound with hand motions for alligators.  That gave me the idea of making alligator skin.  I printed off an alligator on regular paper.  I poured out some Crayola washable green paint.  I showed the boys how to bunch up some bubble wrap and dip it into the paint then dab it up and down.  It makes a cute bumpy print.  Not exactly real alligator skin, but it works.  I had to remind them to just dab because their favorite technique with paint is a big wide smear.  We talked about smooth verses bumpy and what alligator skin must feel like.  The boys were all excited and described the skin with very vivid words.

DSC_1161DSC_1162

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our next animal project of ants comes from ABCJesuslovesme.com.  I printed out the capital and lower case letter A.  I had the boys identify whether they were capital or lowercase.  Lance happens to get this concept easier than James.  I taped down the paper, poured out some red finger paint and I held their fingers one at a time for this project.  We used the first three fingers and held them together, dipped them in paint and put their fingerprints all over the “A”s.  After each child, I took him straight to the bathroom to wash up and it comes off easily.  After the paint had some time to dry, I drew little antennae and legs on the fingerprints to make ants.  This was super easy and cute.  Cute enough that it may be a keeper.

DSC_1181

Ofcourse there are lots of other animals that start with the letter A, but we worked on just these two animal crafts while we practiced saying the A sound.  Later this week we’ll tackle the apple and maybe the acorn too.

Tot School 25mo twins – weekly review

My, time has sure gotten away from me.  I haven’t posted about our tot school this week.  My lack of blogging was due mainly because I am undergoing some testing for hormone imbalances so I can’t take my regular meds.  Without my meds this week, I yelled at the top of my lungs at my kids, I wanted to slap them (I didn’t though), I went outside and threw a few things and I took the kids over to my parents house for dinner one night to help me out.  It was a rough week, but I’m hoping the results of the tests will get me back on track to a healthier and happier momma.

When I wasn’t losing it, here’s a quick recap of this last week.  We are reading a great bible story about a leaper being healed by Jesus and the leaper being thankful.  We’ve worked on saying thank you when mom or dad or brother gives them something.  We took a craft project from last week at the library and used the red dot stickers on our faces to make it look like we had leprosy.  The boys totally missed the point because they thought it was hilarious and Lance was fixated on the stickers.  We’ve started working with one letter of the alphabet each week too.  Obviously we started with the letter A.  We have four different books about the alphabet and we camped out on identifying all the things on the A pages.  Then I printed out a page with A things on it so they could color it.  James had a ball and colored away while Lance just wasn’t into coloring this week.  In fact, I had to remove him from the table as fast as I could because when they are done, they quickly rip it off the table and generally it comes off in two separate pieces.  They also had the chance to finger paint a letter A with an apple on it the color red.  That lasted a whole two minutes then Lance decided he would lick his paint off his fingers and James laughed about it which encouraged that behavior even more.  So the finger paints went away for this week too.  The play do went the way of the colors and the finger paints too because yes, eating it was way more fun than rolling it out and using a star cutter.  Those were just a few of the failed attempts this week.

The things that really worked out and made a hit were fabulous.  This month we are focusing on the star shape.  I took masking tape and made a gigantic star on the floor.  It was a little out of proportion but the kid’s didn’t notice.  I showed them how to walk around it heel to toe style, then we did normal walking, running, skipping, hopping, tip toed, marched and German style marching.  I had a great picture of them doing this but I erased it in my camera.  We worked on counting and it’s coming along well.  I took a sheet and wrote the numbers 1-10 on it.  Then to Lance’s delight, we got out the stickers and placed the appropriate number of stickers under, or what they view as under, the numbers.  It made me laugh.  They didn’t get it, they kept trying to put stickers back on the other piles even when they were counting correctly through the numbers.  But they had fun which is the goal!

The best part of the week was the leaves falling in our backyard.  We have a good-sized red maple tree.  We looked at all the different sized leaves, the different colors, the shapes and if they were crunchy or soft.  I pulled out our rake and piled up all the leaves.  They had fun running through the pile.  Then James tripped and fell into the leaves and he really discovered playing in the leaves.  He giggled as he tried to bury himself then he would shoot up scattering leaves everywhere.  He threw them up and watched them float back down.  He twirled inside the pile and took giant steps over the pile.  You name it, he did it.  Lance likes the leaves too but not as much as his brother.  The finale to all this great leaf play was when we piled up the leaves at the end of a slide.  Crash!  Crunch!  They had a blast hitting the pile of leaves each and every time.  Mom got a little tired of pushing the leaves back in place each time, but it was so worth seeing them have so much fun.  Fall is here for such a sort little while and I’m glad to have falling leaves as God’s tender mercy for my week.