Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sick Day Activity: Go to the Beach!

M was on the couch all day today with a stomach bug. She slept a lot, but after a while she got to the point where she could use a diversion. We decided to pretend to go to the beach! So, with a couple of magazines, construction paper, and a pair of scissors, we were off!

I asked for M's advice in deciding on the colors, content and positioning of the different elements. We had fun talking about the beach while I was making the scene, and then afterward, it gave her something to look at and think about when I couldn't be with her.

Any other suggestions for fun scenes to make the next time M is sick?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What Doesn't Belong: Artists Version

Would you like to play my latest version of "What doesn't belong?"

First, can you tell me what all of these pictures have in common?

They are all paintings by Claude Monet.
And which one is different from the others and why?
All of them have a lady with a parasol but one.
Here's another one. What do all of these have in common?
All are done by John Singer Sargent.
Which one doesn't belong?
The landscape- no people in it.
These?They are all works by Edgar Degas.
And of course, one of the paintings doesn't have any ballerinas.

The game can also be played mixing up the artists (so for example, all of the paintings would be done by Monet excepting one).

If you guessed that this game is a little beyond M, you would be correct. I'll save it for later. It was interesting to discover that M had an immediate affinity for the works of Pablo Picasso- even hugged and kissed each picture (?!) Very odd!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Easy Homemade Pop-up Cards

I'm so excited to have found this website for making home-made pop up cards. The thing I really like about it is the opportunity to incorporate M's artwork in creative and pretty ways.

The website has about 20 different printable templates for pop-up greeting cards. For Mother's Day this year, I printed off the pieces for a pop-up flower and had M color the flowers for her grandmas and great grandma. It really wasn't tricky putting them together either (If it had been at all like origami I would have given up on it :-)

The website has a really cute bird peeking out of a birdhouse card that I think I will try soon. Let me know if you try some of the designs with your little ones (and whether you have any success or ideas for improving them!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sylvia the Potty Training Snake

Many thank to Notes from the Den who gave me this idea in the comments section of one of the posts here! Sylvia the Snake is my latest attempt at motivating M in the potty training department. Every time M does the right thing she gets to add a segment to Sylvia's body (made using metal fasteners). When Sylvia's body is as long as it can be (20 segments) M will get to go out for an icecream cone. ( Also good practice for number recognition!)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Who has the Treat?

When M had some friends over the other day to make snacktime a little more fun we decided to turn it into a game.

Our backyard contains a little shed that I hope to turn into a tiny playhouse for the girls soon (more on that later). Just before snacktime I secretly placed one of M's stuffed animals out in the shed, along with a little treat on a plate. When I came back I told the kids that they could go get a surprise treat in the little house if they could guess what kind of animal was out there.

The kids took turns guessing, (with occasional hints for when they were stumped). Every time they guessed correctly and retrieved their treat, I went out again and stealthily added a new treat and new animal (I used a big back to transport the stuffed animals from the back of the shed where I had a pile of them to the inside of the shed). Once the kids had the hang of it, I allowed the winner for each round to change out the animal and treat for the next round.
The kids enjoyed the fun anticipation and the treats! (especially for the five-year-old; it took a little longer for the preschoolers to catch on).