Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back to School

Not only do we do some fun preschool things at home, but my daughter attends a speech therapy preschool at our local school. Today was the first day. She was so excited! Her teachers said that she has grown and learned so much during the summer. They were also excited to see her.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Under the Sea Game

I created these documents below to use as a memory game. I am sure there are many other ways to use these. 

Ocean in a Bottle

We made ocean in a bottle today, it was very fun. Sadly ours didn't turn out like some I found online. I think my sand was to fine and dusty because it made our water cloudy. They were sure fun to make though. Ella had fun putting in the sand, the shells and the water. After they were all done they were fun to shake.

This project can get very messy so I would suggest having a shallow plastic bin to make them in or go outside. I filled three bowls with course sand, fine sand (which I don't recommend) and small sea shells. I let Ella spoon them each in. It took a little longer with the spoons but she could do it without help. Of course that is why it was messy, because half the sand she poured did not make it into the bottle. We then filled the bottles with water, which I also let Ella do by herself while I held the bottle. I filled a large mixing bowl with water and gave her one of my measuring cups to pour the water in with. I then added a little blue food coloring, and capped the bottles. I used shiny silver duct tape to wrap around the tops so when I am not looking, later, they are not opened and spilled on to my carpet.



Sunday, August 29, 2010

Exploring the Ocean: Unit 1


The Rainbow Fish

Rainbow fish is a wonderful picture book. The story is simple and to the point. The pictures are beautiful and shiny. Rainbow fish is a beautiful fish that lives in the ocean. He is so beautiful that everyone comments and gives him lots of attention. One day a admiring fish asks rainbow fish if he can have one of his beautiful silvery scales. Well, rainbow fish says no and it makes the other fish realize that he might be a beautiful fish but he is very selfish. They start ignoring him and he realizes that no one wants to be his friend. He is very sad and seeks help from a wise octopus. The octopus tells him that to be a good friend is to be selfless. In order to have friends again he will have to give up his silvery scales. Rainbow fish doesn't feel that he can do that, but much rather be happy than be sad and alone. So he gives each of his friends a silvery scale, at first it is very hard, but then he realizes it makes him feel good to give to others. In the end he decides to give up all his beautiful silvery scales.

The Pout-Pout Fish

The Pout Pout Fish is a funny little fish that spreads gloom all over the sea. He is so depressed and all his friends try to give him ideas on how to be happier. Instead he tells them he can't and blubbs all over spreading his gloom. Suddenly a beautiful fish comes right up to him and with out talking kisses him on the cheek. That single act of kindness changes the pout pout fish. Then pout pout fish realizes something, he doesn't want to be a pout pout fish anymore. He wants to be a kiss kiss fish, he then gives smooches to all his friends. This picture book is very easy to read, and is very silly. It will make you little one laugh.


This week we are making these five projects. A purple jellyfish, a recycled octopus, a scaly rainbow fish, a turtle and some fishy friends on a stick. See below for tutorials and links on how to do these fun projects.


I found this project on a wonderful site that has a lot of crafts for all ages. 

Fish Puppets 

I have found that little kids love things glued to Popsicle sticks. This sounds funny but it is true. I know that these are fish on a stick, but to a little kid they are fun puppets

Recycled Octopus

This little octopus is so easy to make. You will need an empty plastic bottle, tissue paper, googly eyes, scissors. To start you will need to cut the bottom of the bottle off. Cut up toward the bottle, making eight legs. Flatten out the legs and spreading them out. Stuff some tissue paper in the head of the bottle. Add googly eyes and enjoy.

Rainbow Fish

Here is the fish pattern I found online. I cut out rainbow scales and found some shiny circle sequence.

Turtle shell

I precut out this fun turtle shape and then I cut a bunch of square pieces of tissue paper. I Just randomly pasted them on. Super easy and fun. Here is the turtle pattern.


Playing in moon sand with some ocean creatures. Here is how you make moon sand from one of my earlier posts. Click Here If you look in my recipe section you will find some other fun goops and gaks too. 

Water bins are probably the easiest sensory activity that you can do. I just used a big shallow plastic bin. I add water and some toys. Instant fun for all, this can be an supervised inside activity or a unsupervised outside activity. I add just enough water to splash and have fun but not enough if a young baby were to slip and fall they could drown in.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Homeschool Schedule

This is our ice cream cone preschool schedule, every week day we check our schedule after breakfast. Then for two hours Ella and I have a lot of fun. We have Circle time, snack, learning centers, art, and music. We read and count. We sing and dance. She loves it and I love planning it. The schedule was really easy to make and it keeps us on task. Plus Ella always knows what is coming next because when we are done with a scoop I take it off and there is the next activity.

Tub Bag

I don't know about you but I never know what to do with bath toys. They either sit in the tub, or they end up thrown all over the floor. Most of them stay wet and don't dry. Then they start to smell funny and they feel slimy to the touch. This easy to make bag cost me about $2 dollars to make. I bought the mesh washing bag at the 99 cent store. The mermaid fabric I grabbed out of the Joann's remnant bin and the velcro was leftover from a previous project. I love simple ways to get more organized around my house.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fun Mixes and Messes

I experimented with two different goops this week. The Flubber is a little thicker and not as stretchy. The Gak is really stretchy a little bit thinner than the Flubber. Both are fun to play with but the Gak is Ella and my favorite.

2 cups Glue
1 1/2 water
4 tsp. Borax
1 1/3 water
food coloring

In one bowl mix 1 1/2 cups of water, 2 cups of glue, and food coloring. In another bowl mix 4 tsp. of borax and 1 1/3 water. Pour the glue mixture into the borax mixture. Do not mix or stir, let sit for 2 min. Slowly fold over the mixture. At first it will be gooey but then it will thicken. Store in an air tight container.

1 cup Glue
1/2 cup liquid starch
food coloring

Mix glue and food coloring together until you reach your desired color. Add liquid starch. Mixture will be very gooey. Take out small amounts and work with hands until it thickens. Store in an air tight container.

Coloring leftover pasta is fun for beading projects or other art projects. The pasta I used was leftover from a casserole I made weeks ago. Since next week in preschool we are exploring the ocean, I thought it would be fun to use the pasta in an art project. Here is how I colored the pasta.

Colored Pasta 
Any Pasta
food coloring
ziplock bags
paper towels
rubbing alcohol
cookie sheet

Separate pasta in to several ziplock bags, depending on how many colors you want and how much you want to make. To each bag add a few drops of food coloring and 1 Tbsp of rubbing alcohol. Close bags and shake around till the pasta is fully coated with color. At this point you can add more food color to get a darker color. Cover a cookie sheet with paper towels. You will need to let the pasta dry over night on the cookie sheet. Open the baggies and spread out your pasta on to the cookie sheet making sure they don't touch the other colors. In the morning you will have fun dyed pasta. Enjoy!

Coloring sand is so easy. I bought a few to many packs of fine sand when I was making homemade moon sand. I thought it would be fun to color the sand and have fun with it in preschool next week. I put desired sand into three air tight containers and added food coloring. Put the lids on and shook them till the color was fully absorbed. 

I will post next week our project we did with our colored sand and pasta.

Thanks for looking happy mess making!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Octopus Pal Pattern

These little octopus are easy to make and are fun to play with. After I made them yesterday Ella made them swim around the whole house. I added a few fun octopus poems at the bottom of the pattern. These fun little octopus are going to be a part of our preschool theme next week.

Bear Puppet Tutorial

What do I need:
Two pieces of brown felt
One small piece of pink felt (nose)
Bear Puppet Pattern (click here)
Matching Thread
Glue Gun

Pin and cut out one main Bear piece and the other pattern parts on one sheet of brown felt. Cut out the nose on the small scrap of pink felt.

Fold ears...

Pin ears on to back of the main piece...

Sew on eyes...

Sew on muzzle...

Sew on nose...

This is what the face should look like.

Pin bear on to second piece of felt.

Cut all the way around the bear, also cutting around the ears.

Sew all the way around the out side of the bear.

Sew around ears.

Hot glue on the eyes.


Hair Blog Challenge

I recently came across a few hair blogs. Ella's hair is so long and out of control. I really needed to get some good ideas of what to do with it. I was very tempted to cut it all off, then I wouldn't have to be annoyed with it anymore.
While reading an awesome blog, I clicked on a side link and found a hair blog. They are amazing! Most of them have step by step tutorials and videos. I also love the little tricks and tips that they all share. Now that I have tried a few "Dos" I am hooked. I love doing Ella's hair and I can plan it the day before and get everything ready. Plus I have had so many compliments on her hair.

So here are the hair blogs I love and here are the hair dos I did this last week.




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