Dec 28, 2010

Feed Horses - Counting Activity

I decided today that starting next week I am going to use Confessions of a Homeschooler's Letter of the Week curriculum for John John. I figured that it would give me a good basis for activities each week and then I can add in activities when I am feeling creative and have the time. I have really been slacking with him and feel pretty bad about it, so now that the holidays are over (and hopefully our house is back together after putting down wood floors!) I can get back in gear.

So, for A is for Apple, I made up a game to practice counting. John goes to Nana's every Monday and they go feed donkeys and horses apples. John LOVES it and when we say anything about going to Nana's, he immediately says 'Feed donkeys, feed horses. Cut apples.' So I thought I would make him a game where he feeds a horse apples.

My thoughts of how this will work:
1. Tape the picture of the horse (images are below!) to the front of an empty cereal box. Cut a slit for the mouth.

2. Print and cut out the apples.

3. John will draw a number from a pile (can write the numbers 1-10 on small sheets of paper, can print them out, or can even just call out a number if you are in a pinch!) He will have to 'feed' the horse that many apples.

If you try this before I do next week, let me know how it goes and if you have suggestions for changes!

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Dec 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you after the hectic holidays are over! :)

Dec 7, 2010

Dinosaur Tot School #1

This week is John's dinosaur themed birthday party so we did a couple activities this week for tot school that were dino themed. I was going to do one big post, but that is too time consuming so I am going to share some of our favorite activities on individual posts. Here is our first one!!

Dinosaur Shape Sorting...with a Christmas twist!
I found this printable for dinosaur shapes so I printed just the first page with the dinosaurs. Then I cut them out, laminated them, and put each one on a 'present'. Then I put a bunch of plastic shapes in a stocking. John pulled out a shape from the stocking and then sorted it into the correct present.

Where did all these plastic shapes come from, you may ask? We have five shape sorter toys at our house. FIVE!! I cleaned out John's toys this past weekend to make room for Santa's new toys, but I couldn't bear to part with such great manipulatives and each sorter had a different set of shapes. I am kind of a hoarder...

John worked on this activity for about 20 or 30 minutes, which is a long time for him! He is on the verge of being obsessed with dinosaurs so he loved saying the names of each dinosaur as he put in the shapes. We also counted each type of shape as he put them in and out of the stocking.

And tonight when he went to bed, he gathered up each box and kissed each dinosaur goodnight...and took one to bed with him. How cute is he!?

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Dec 3, 2010

Cozy Flannel Blanket - Tutorial!

This blanket is my most FAVORITE item I have made so far! I made it for John's for his second birthday and I hope he loves using it!

My best friend and college roommate had this fabulous flannel comfy blanket that her mom made her. She had told me how it is made and I kept it in the back of my mind as a possible project...and that was almost 10 years ago! She told me that her mom makes one for one family member each Christmas and everyone holds their breath hoping they were the 'chosen one' that year. I can totally understand why because these blankets are awesome! If you can sew a straight line, then you can handle this project. If you love doing something tedious, then you will really love this project! :)

Want to make one as a special gift? Here's how...

1. Cut 4 pieces of flannel to the size blanket you want. Mine was relatively small because it is for a toddler. I used two airplane print pieces and two blue pieces. This is only because that is what I had laying around. But you do want at least one piece to be a print that you find pretty because you will see that full piece when the blanket is complete.

2. Lay the piece you want as the top face down on the floor. Then layer the next pieces on top. Lastly, put the 4th piece face up. Then pin all four layers together in several places around the blanket to keep the layers together as you sew. I have never quilted before, but I think you could use safety pins for this part. I just used plain old straight pins!

3. Starting in one corner, sew a diagonal line from corner to corner, going through the center of your blanket. You are sewing all four layers together! (sorry- didn't get a full picture of the blanket, but you can imagine the line below going from corner to corner!)

4. Continue sewing diagonal lines one inch apart. This is where the tedious part comes in. You will feel like you are sewing straight lines for a million years. But really it is more like 45 - 60 minutes...because if you are like me you will run out of bobbin thread three times, run out of the thread on the spool three times, and break a needle sewing over a pin! FUN! ...and by the way...I totally estimated every inch, but if you are particular about measuring, you could mark every inch. I was also lucky that my material had lots of diagonal lines so I just picked a line to sewing along.

If you look really carefully, you can see where I sewed my lines in this picture...

5. After you sewed straight lines for an eternity, it is time to cut! Lay the blanket on the floor with the top piece face down. CAREFULLY cut the upper three layers in between all the lines of stitching. DO NOT CUT the 4th layer on the bottom which is your top piece! See picture below to see what I am talking about. You will do lots of cutting at this step so hopefully you have some nice sharp scissors!

6. At this point your blanket will look like it has some wavy ruffly stuff on one side. Kinda cute, but don't worry, it will look awesome when we wash it! So, now you just have to sew on your trim. I used plain bias tape which isn't super soft, but I didn't want to make my own out of flannel. If you are super awesome, you can use extra flannel to make your bias tape or you can buy satin blanket trim. Your choice!

7. The sewing is finally done! Now you need to throw it in a wash so all those cut strips can fold up and ravel slightly. When it comes out of the dryer, admire your handy work and be proud of yourself!



I forgot to do this, but I had thought of appliqueing John's name on the blanket before I started sewing the layers together. It would have been cute, but too late now! :)

Like I said, I LOVE how this turned out! I used some cheapo flannel and it is still really soft and comfortable. Just imagine how awesome it would be with some fancier flannel! I am going to be so jealous of John when he uses this...I might just have to make one for myself one day.

I think he liked it!...

If you make one, I would love to see pictures!

SIDENOTE: I was reading a fabulous blog, MADE, on Wednesday and wouldn't you know, she made the SAME EXACT BLANKET! What are the odds that I make a blanket after wanting to make it for TEN YEARS and Dana puts mine to shame two days before my post goes up?! (which, sidenote #2, don't you just love scheduling posts!!) I mean, her photos are to die for as well as everything she makes. Maybe I can just feel good that at least I could do the same project she did even if they turned out slightly different? So, if you want to see how hers turned out, feel free, but don't judge mine against hers! John loved the blanket and that is all that matters!
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Dec 2, 2010

Happy Birthday John John!!

Happy 2nd Birthday to my precious John John! I love him so much and he has been such a joy in my life for the past two years. I am excited for all the big celebrations coming up- we have a full weekend of fun planned with our little family and then next weekend we have two birthday parties for him! FUN!!! Be sure to check back next week to see all the dinosaur party stuff I have been working on...

Dec 1, 2010

Dinosaur Party!!!

My precious baby John is turning TWO tomorrow! So I am in the midst of planning his dinosaur party. He is on the verge of being totally obsessed with dinoaurs (and if I have to watch Dino Dan one more time, I might scream!) so he will have his very own Prehistoric Adventure party! Here is a little sneak peek at what I have been working on. I am so excited for his party but am also thankful it isn't until next weekend!!!

Do you need custom designed party invites? Let me know and I can work with you to create something FABULOUS!

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