Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Sensory Bin and Plans/Activities...

We are getting ready to ring in 2012 together as a family! 

I saw this great idea for a New Year's number sensory bin at Mom's Heart and decided to recreate it for my boys. They loved it.
I used foam numbers from a puzzle, numbers from our play doh set, pom poms, curly string ribbons, and party blow horns from the Dollar Tree. The boys loved the new bin!


Here are two books we will read this weekend. P.Bear's New Year's Party is a sweet, counting book about a polar bear who has a new year's party with all of his friends.


We are planning our own New Year's Eve party at home this year. I decided to write  the activities on the back of party hat cut outs(that I also found at the Dollar Tree). During our family night together I will let each child choose a hat/activity for us to do. It should be a ton of fun!



Happy New Year! May God bless you all in 2012!

Linked up at:
Preschool Corner
Living Life Intentionally-TGIF 
Playing with Words--Thrifty Thursday
Show and Share Sat. -I Can Teach My Child

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Morning Fun!

We had a wonderful Christmas together! We have taken a break from our "preschool activities" to enjoy the reason for the season!

On Christmas morning we enjoyed opening presents, eating our monkey bread and breakfast casserole, going to church and just being together as a family. I love that this year Christmas fell on a Sunday as we really enjoyed going to church on Christmas day!

We have a few traditions that are dear to me that I will share with you here. We get our children three presents as a reminder that Jesus received three presents, and we like to keep things simple. And our sweet boys are so well loved by our amazing extended family!

JP got a new guitar!
CA got a new tricycle!
CA got a new Sesame Street puzzle that was a huge hit!
Notice the tongue again?! LOVE it!
They also received a new puzzle and a few new Melissa and Doug educational toys! Yea! I think I am more excited about those than they are!

This gift from Nana and Papa was a huge hit!
From our precious family members they also received new markers, crayons, giant coloring books, Chutes and Ladders, Memory, and HighHo Cherry-Oh games! All of which will come in very handy for our "preschool stuff", as we often call it! Such fun!

Each year we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus with the cousins on Christmas Day. My sweet sis made this amazing and yummy cookie cake, I take no credit! She is amazing and so very creative! Such a precious tradition and memory!
Such a great celebration of our Savior and Lord!
I hope each of your celebrations were awesome!

I am in planning mode for January and brainstorming a "winter" sensory bin! My brain is racing with ideas, which I absolutely LOVE! Feel free to leave me comments on your Christmas fun or any "winter" sensory bin ideas! You know I love comments!
Trina

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Liebster Blogger Award!

Wow! I am amazed and humbled that I was awarded a blog award called the Liebster Blogger Award by Lisa at Criss Cross Applesauce! Check out her amazing blog with great ideas and printables.





The rules of this award are as follows:
1. Show your thanks to the blogger who nominated you by linking back to their blog. Thank you, Lisa!
2. Nominate five other happy little blogs (200 followers or less) by posting a comment on their blogs.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Check out what the other up-and-coming blogs have to offer.
Now I would like to award these blogs:
1. Life Long Learning Adventures- This talented blogging mama is devoted to teaching her boys about Jesus and her advent ideas are awesome!

2. Mama Mia's Heart2Heart - This awesome blogging mama shares two of my passions, teaching and her family. Check out her blog with great crafts and ideas.

3.Sonshine Tot School- This dedicated blogging mama has amazing ideas that she is using with her son. Check out her lesson plans and ideas. 

4. Organizing Homelife- This dedicated blogging mama is passionate about organization, cooking and design. I have learned a ton from her already. 

5. Hearts for Him- This amazing blogging mama is a personal friend of mine who writes amazing devotionals on this blog. She is inspirational, honest and well, just amazing!

Happy reading and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We are having a blast this week while the Daddy of our fam is home with us. We are enjoying celebrating Christmas with extended family and looking forward to an awesome weekend together celebrating Jesus!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours
May you and your families have a very blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gingerbread

We've had a great week learning about gingerbread this week. We visited the library, read books, worked puzzles, baked gingerbread men, read books, worked on the letter G and F, read more books and overall had a lot of fun!

Here are the 3 books we read. I loved talking with the boys about the similarities and differences in each of the books. The boys loved reading each of the books multiple times!

The Daddy even read a few gingerbread books this week too! I love it when he reads to the boys! Melts my heart and I love his voice fluctuation, as it is different than mine!


We have also enjoyed our Countdown to Christmas calendars that I found at Criss Cross Applesauce . She has some fun printables and games on her very cute blog! The boys have really enjoyed covering one circle with stickers per day.
We also hosted a playdate with friends to make an ornament craft and decorate a birthday cake for Jesus and just play. I love how our friend is waiting patiently for her turn to decorate the cake.
The kiddos ate cupcakes and we sent the cake home with our friends to share with their family.  I love sharing the sweets, and it gets it out of our house. :)
CA always smiling for the camera!
We enjoyed using the Gingerbread Baby pack from Homeschool Creations. JP is enjoying putting the gingerbread puzzle together. 
CA also worked a gingerbread puzzle. Sorry for the lighting here.
JP worked on tracing the letters G and F this week. I have to say he has progressed a lot in this area. Even a few weeks ago he wouldn't work on letter formation with me and I was getting a little concerned. After putting my "teacher hat" on and thinking about it a lot and picking the brains of two of my best friends who teach kindergarten, I decided to back off and see what happens.  I took a more relaxed approach with JP in regards to fine motor skills and writing the letters.  One important thing I have learned is that JP  will work on the skills more at his pace than mine. It is better for me to provide the opportunities and let him come to it. Needless to say, I am learning a ton about my children's learning styles. And I LOVE that! After tracing these letters he was so proud of himself and threw his arms up in the air and said, "Yes!" So precious!

Then the fun really began when we made our very own gingerbread men! I used a recipe from Living Life Intentionally. Thanks for the recipe, Beth! It was awesome fun! The gingerbread men cookies were yummy, fun to make, and cute if I say so myself.
Linked up at:
TGIF at Living Life Intentionally
Fun Stuff Fridays  at Toys in the Dryer
Sharing Saturday at Craft Moms Share
Preschool Corner at Homeschool Creations
Thrifty Thursday  at Playing with Words

Thanks for reading! I am humbled that you would read about my journey with my boys. Feel free to leave me a comment, I love comments! Feel free to "follow" us too! Stay tuned for next week as we are going to more Christmas games and make more fun crafts!
Merry Christmas, friends!
Trina

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nativity Theme and J is for Jesus

So this week we have had a lot of fun learning about Jesus and the Nativity Theme together.

I feel like the week has been a little off as I have been one sick mama with a terrible cold/virus and I don't feel like I've been on my "a game" but when I look at some of the pictures I've captured from the week you can see my boys have had a lot of fun, even if mama is sick. :)

We began our week by making candy canes with red and white beads and red pipe cleaners. I tried to encourage the boys to make an alternating pattern. JP understand the concept, not CA so much. But look how proud he is of his candy cane. I also explained to them if we turn it around it is a J for Jesus. We read the poem about the meanings of the candy cane together too.



We also did dot painting on the Happy Birthday Jesus printable. We also listened to the "J says /juh/" song on our leap frog letter tool.


My little bakers helped me line the muffin liners for banana muffins that I orginally made for Bible study, but then got too sick to go, so we will be sharing the love of lots of banana muffins with others this week.  Today we packaged up 6 for our faithful mailman.


Then who knew ribbon could be such a fun tool? This guy likes to wrap the chairs! Love his enthusiasm and his love to smile for the camera!

Each day we sing the "There are seven days in a week" song. Today I caught my boys singing on their own and pretending to be me at calendar time! Hilarious! Love them! I think we still have some learning to do!

video 




We have also had a lot of fun with our Navitity Preschool pack that I found at 1+1+1=1.
This preschool pack has patterns, animal and people sorting, size sequencing, initial letter sounds, number matching, and more in it! I printed what I thought would work for us this week. I tried to work one on one with each of the boys on this pack. I individualized it by allowing JP to do more of the letter and number activities, while CA did more of the sequencing and sorting. I also printed them on cardstock and placed them in sheet protectors.





We also read these books about Jesus.I love teaching my children about the real meaning of CHRISTmas!
We also colored nativity counting and color mini books that I found at  2 Teaching Mommies that we loved!!!!

Linked up at:
Thrifty Thursday-Playing with Words
Toys in the Dryer-Fun Stuff Fridays
Preschool Corner
Living Life Intentionally-TGIF

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Sensory Bin

This was my first attempt at a sensory bin. I have seen so many awesome ones online. I thoroughly enjoyed making this for my children. I started collecting things for it last week and finished up this morning.


In the bin:
36 Big bows
10 mini bows
mini muffin liners
Christmas erasers
red bows
bells
pom poms
a few ornaments
new tongs
a new scoop
I need to add my Christmas cookie cutters. 
I got most of the materials at Walmart, The Dollar Tree, and JoAnn Fabrics $1 section.
First I just introduced the bin to the boys and allowed them to explore and play.  They worked with the sensory bin for at least an hour and a half! I think it was a success! JP loves the erasers.
CA quickly took to the new tongs.
 He then began to put the pom poms in the correct colored mini muffin liners.
 He really loves to smile for the camera!
With a little encouragement he then made a pattern. Such a cutie!
I can see the endless learning opportunities with this bin this week:
-counting
-creating and extending patterns
-sorting
-transferring with tongs and scoop
-and most of all, lots of fun!

Check out other awesome ideas at these websites where I linked up this week.
Feel free to leave me a comment on any other ideas you may see that I don't. I love comments!
Trina

Sunday, December 4, 2011

F is for Flexibility for this Mama...

I know I keep saying this, but it really is true. I am enjoying teaching my boys so much! I am also having too much fun planning activities, printing printables, thinking of ideas, and planning some more. It must just be the way my "teacher" brain is wired. All that to say I am loving this adventure of teaching my blessings!

In August I planned out our year thematically by week. Now that December is upon me and I am excitedly overwhelmed with so many great ideas I keep finding on the www I have needed to change my plan a bit.  I originally had planned to do a pirate theme this week, gingerbread man next week and then nativity theme the next week. All that to say, all of that has changed at least twice!  I am thankful for flexibility and an eraser! We will now be working on our nativity theme this week and gingerbread man theme next week and the pirate theme at some point later.

Stay tuned for our fun this week!

By the way, welcome to my new followers! I am thrilled and humbled that you would read about my adventures.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Letter Q and Christmas Activities

We had an awesome week together learning.

The goals for the week were:
-Work on the letter Q
-Continue to work on fine motor skills
-Begin Christmas activities

I am still having an absolute blast working with the boys! From playing in pudding together, having calendar time, singing songs, and dancing, to just being together. We are having so much fun!

We focused on the letter Q this week and here are the books we read.
 Here are a a few of our activities! I love our new bulletin board! I know, I am a dork, it is the teacher in me!
 Here the boys are dancing and singing at the library! I love the public library and story time!!  JP even told me to sit in the black chairs along the wall and not with them this time. On one hand, I am so proud of my independent 4 year old and want him to do all of story time alone , on the other hand, ouch, you are killing my "mommy heart", sweet thang!
 CA lacing a leaf. He loves to smile for the camera!

A little more cutting practice for JP. He is getting much better at this skill. :)


We also worked with playdoh and Q "playdoh mats".



Many of this week's activities came from:
Preschool Palace
Preschool Corner

We began reading Christmas books together too this week. The boys each pick out a book at nap time and bed time.
 Then we made ornaments that I picked up at the Dollar Tree. CA's blends into his pjs a little too much. Oops!
I am learning that if I stay on a schedule and plan our activities well our mornings run so smoothly! Novel concept, I know! On the days that I shower before my hubs leaves for work and I am ready for the day things are much better. I am so grateful to be home with my boys and grateful for all of the awesome ideas I keep finding online to teach them! I have some fun things planned for December. Stay tuned.

Feel free to leave me a comment. We all love a little "bloggy love."
Hope you all had great weeks with your precious blessings too!
Trina

Linking up to:
Preschool Corner
Toys in the Dryer-Fun Stuff Fridays
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