Works for me Wednesday: Assign a color

Each kid in my family has their own color assigned to them. They also have their own type of cup assigned to them. My boys have Batman and Superman, and my girl has Princess. If I am choosing other stuff for them Batman gets green, Superman gets blue, and Princess gets pink.

This works for me because I can automatically know who hasn’t put away their stuff or hasn’t done their dishes. Then I can tell that person to do it.

For other WFMW posts go here.

Preschool: the Farm

I wrote more about this yesterday, and I forsee lots more posts about farm, because I keep discovering more great things to do. I feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface of this topic.

I got a farm bundle from CurrClick about farms (I was going to link it but it looks like the bundle has expired, so here’s the two books: A Bundle of Hay and another book that is eluding my exhaustive search, but the linked book is the one I primarily used.

As I posted yesterday we put together our barn, and today we cut out the animals to fill it. This took a lot of skill and patience.

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And then I gave a lot more directions to Princess on how to cut these out, because she had tried to make confetti.
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We’re going to use these again this week to sort the animals and classify them. I think it will be lots of fun to do it.

We also put together a book about chores kids do on the farm. This was a big hit, now the pictures aren’t so understandable since it was just scribble like crazy on the pictures, but that’s okay.

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I love the tongue.

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Now, for Princess I did cut it out for her, she doesn’t have the control yet.

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And the final step glue the picture on, and then I get to rewrite the words because they’ve glued the picture over the words. Oh well, it’s still readable that way.

And, here’s a fun shot for everyone: Batman took a picture of the rest of us since he decided he was done.

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Tot School: the Farm

Truthfully speaking Tot School and Preschool were pretty much the same this week, so I’m going to post about half of the activities here and the other half on my preschool post tomorrow. I usually try to differentiate the activities slightly, have Princess’ materials mostly cut out, or have simpler activities, but it didn’t happen this time. We’re moving rooms around and so all my stuff is everywhere. So, here’s what we did.

We sorted seeds from the activity here. I bought sunfl0wer, corn, pea, and pumpkin seeds and several little pots and let them take turns putting the seeds into the different pots.
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We also played a fine motor skills game: Feed the pig. I posted here, how to make it.
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They also loved making their barn for the beginning steps of their pseudo-lapbook.

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First we colored.

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Then I drew a line for them to cut around the barn. Princess would make a small cut, and then tear. After she did this I taped the barn back together. After they’d cut it out, I cut the barn doors and opened them up.

Next we glued them down on the outside areas so the doors could open. Apparently there are no pictures of this.

More to come tomorrow.

For more GREAT Tot School posts go here

Tutorial: Feed the pig Game

Lakeshore Learning has these really fun games. Every time we go into the store my kids have to go play with the sample versions, which is an excellent selling point. I was really struggling with paying $20 for a game I didn’t think they’d play with much, so I came up with my own idea.

I was partially inspired by this Totally Tots post to make a pig version, but not for scooping things in the water, but to feed.

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What you’ll need: a milk jug, construction paper, fun foam, paint.

Added bonuses: pipe cleaners, pom poms, googly eyes

1. Clean out your milk carton, it’s no fun if your game starts to smell.

2. Paint your milk carton the color of your intended animal, since mine was a pig, the whole thing is pink.
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3. Next cut out a mouth. I figured out for this, it works better to cut it out so it can lay on its side. I used a combination of kitchen shears and steak knife to do this.

4. Make some eyes, I made them out of scrap paper, but you could also use googly eyes or fun foam. This was what I had on hand in our recycle bin. Glue them on.
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5. At this point realize you don’t have anything pink, and run upstairs for the closest color, light tan fun foam. Cut triangular shapes for ears and an oval shape for nose. Color the inside of the ears pink, and two big black circles on the nose. Cut holes in the top of the carton and stuff the ears in. My holes were slightly smaller than the ears, that’s partially because I made huge ears relative to the size of my pig. But, it made the ears look cuter, and I think they stay on better.
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6. Now gather pom poms, seeds, beans, or whatever other small object you want your child to master moving. Provide them with tongs, spoons, or other transferring objects and let them have at it.
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Now, while I was making this fabulous game, my boys were busy making their own amazing sculptures.
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Oh, and torturing their toys.

For more great crafts check out Ramblings of a Crazy Woman.

Boys are inquisitive

Yesterday Batman tried to cut the lamp that was plugged into the wall. I discovered this when I went to turn on the lights and they didn’t work. I then noticed the lamp on the floor with the plug half pulled out and scissors on the floor next to it. On closer inspection the lamp plug is slightly burned. The scissors have a notch in them and a burn mark. And the actual plug in the wall has a burn mark. Near as I can tell, he thought, I haven’t tried this. So he pulls the plug just enough out of the wall to get the scissors in there, starts to cut, sees a rather large spark and then runs like crazy.

Boys are very inquisitive

BLUEBONNETS!

Anyone who’s lived in Texas knows you have to get Bluebonnet pictures with your kids. Sadly, bluebonnets this year are rather sparse and hard to find. I kept hoping I’d find a magical patch of perfect bluebonnets, but they were hiding mainly on the side of really fast highways I wasn’t willing to get my kids out at.

So, finally I broke down and pulled over to the side of the road one day and got some not fabulous pictures, but some fun ones. Here’s my favorites.

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Batman would not look at me for his pictures.

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For once she’s not sticking out her tongue.

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Really, they’re hugging.

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Sigh, I love bluebonnets.

Preschool Corner: Very Hungry Caterpillar

I made the boys activities a little harder than for Princess, after all they’re almost 2 years older. A lot of my activities come from Carissa’s AWESOME tot school pack.

First we started off putting the caterpillars and butterflies in order by size. Unlike their sister, they actually had to cut out the pictures. This takes a lot of concentration.
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Batman completing his Dot-to-dot found here.
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Superman really enjoyed the dot to dot.
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Not that it’s obvious yet, but this is a caterpillar to feed. Right now it just looks like a milk carton, imagine it painted and with eyes. This was very popular, and a great fine motor skill activity. They got to practice both with spoons, tongs, and then pouring the pom poms back out.
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This was a great activity from Carissa’s tot pack. It could be used so many different ways. I think she planned to use it as a book, it could also be a memory game, we laminated it and used it as alphabet tracers, can you tell which one the four year old did and which one was done by a two year old?

And of course we made egg carton caterpillars, completed pictures to come soon.
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Superman actually used multiple colors, this is a big deal for him.
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We had a blast, and didn’t even get to all the activities I thought of.
See more great preschool posts here.