Friday, April 27, 2012

5 a day

I am so sick of my kids begging me for snacks during the day.  Actually what I normally hear is "mom, I'm hungry, what can I eat?"  I respond "a fruit or vegetable".  Then the fit ensues.

At the homeschool conference I just attended I learned a lot about making expectations clear to your children.  Duh!  Why not do the same with what I expect them to "eat".  We have talked a lot about the importance of eating 5 fruits and veggies a day... or at least that is the goal (don't tell them, but I would settle for 3).  So, here is the chart I came up with.  You will notice that there is a "ideas" section at the bottom.  I think the kids forget all the options we typically have in the house.  I put "dad and mom" on there as well, it's a good reminder for us too.  The plan is to laminate it and then use a dry erase marker to put x's as we go along.  Can't wait to see how it turns out!

 I know the picture is terrible, it's from my phone and I can't seem to find a way to attach a pdf.  If you would like a copy, let me know and I'll send it right off.

Do you have a way to get your kids to willingly eat more fruits and veggies (I'm not a huge advocate of "sneaking" it in)?  I'd love to try some other ideas!

 Here they are on the fridge.

 Yup, Bailey and I both had ONE fruit today... man, we've got some work to do!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Colored Rice

This fun project is thanks to Teach Preschool.  I am trying to do more art lessons and incorporate more time for the kids to create in our curriculum; I am finding it can be kind of stifling sometimes.   (We follow The Well Trained Mind mostly.)  Of course my plans rarely turn out exactly the way I hope... so is the case with this colored rice project :)

I *loved* the idea of using Kool-Aid instead of food coloring and vinegar (less gross odor).  So we followed the directions... we placed 2 cups of rice in a zip top bag, in a small measuring cup we put one package of Kool-Aid and 1/2 T warm water; mix well, add to rice and mush the rice around until it is a uniform color.  This part looked great!  Then we put the oven at 200, slapped the rice on some aluminum foil and baked for 10 minutes, stir and bake for 5 more.  It was amazing!  It actually worked.  I did this project with my 5 year old, Morgan, and she loved it.  The rice felt so awesome when she ran her fingers through it... okay, I did it too.  We did 5 different colors.  My hope was to use it to make some colorful designs like this one or to incorporate it into a rainbow project.  We had 5 foil packets of different colored rice on the counter and then Morgan said can we put some of them together?  I said "sure, just take a little bit though."  So, she did... she took a little bit of each one and put them on the red - ugh, not exactly what I meant, but oh well.  I got a big bowl and we combined them all.  It was an awesome sensory activity!  It smelled like fruit punch and felt really cool.  They sat in the bowl for a few days and each of the kids would walk by and just run their hands through it.  The rice is in neat jars now and we are looking for a cool craft (and some time) to use the colored rice. 

2 C rice
1 package Kool-Aid
1/2 T warm water.

Combine Kool-Aid and water.  Stir until dissolved.  Add to rice (we put it in a zip top bag) and mush around until the rice is colored evenly.  Either let air dry (boring) or place on foil and bake at 200 degrees for 10 minutes, stir and bake 5 more minutes.

Got some ideas on how we can "create" with it?  Let us know, we'll try it and post pictures. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Nature Study and Coloring Case out of DVD cases

Once again Pinterest led me to this awesome craft for the kids.  Here is the original post.  What a great use for all those dvd cases (apparently we have been throwing them out but we found enough for the project [and two mistakes]).  We made a few changes, although I loved her original idea!  First, it is next to impossible to find colored pencils around the house, so I made two pockets for two rows of crayons (which we have tons of!).  Then we simply decided to put the pocket on the other side.  Here's what we came up with:

Pink Girl                                                                        Purple Girl

The process was a lot of fun!  The girls decorated the covers while I cut and glued.  The original post suggested using spray glue - BRILLIANT!  It made this project go so fast.  The pink was made out of old curtains so you'll notice that the pockets were hemmed, simply because that is where I cut the fabric.  The other one I just folded over and glued down.  It was suggested that I iron it, again, great idea, but I was in the basement doing the project and the iron was in our bedroom... two flights of stairs too many for this lazy girl.

Here's how we did it:
First, cut out the part that holds the dvd, make sure to put the self healing mat between the clear plastic and the case
 Then "measure" a thin piece of cardboard to go in that space (this is where the crayons or pencils will be), for this one I used the top of a shoe box for the cardboard.  Cut a second for the side between the case and the plastic cover.
 Here is that neat little hem I was talking about
 We put down crayons to see how many would fit and how much fabric we would need.  Then marked it... with pen... on the front (did I learn NOTHING from my 7th grade sewing class?!).  Needless to say, it would of been smarter to make the markings on the BACK of the fabric!
 Top pocket, measure a hem at the bottom (nice and even, isn't it - geesh!).
 Now the fun part!  Spray glue!  I did this on the steps outside.
 That silly hem - I masked it off with a page from a magazine and sprayed the hem to make it even (from the front at least).
Bottom pocket!!!  Oh, I just realized that I didn't take any pictures of me covering the cardboard, anyway, same principle... "measure" and glue.
 Repeat with top pocket and ta-da! 
 This is the back. 
 Here it is in the dvd case.
 Here is her cover.
 She LOVES this! 

 2nd one... out of shoe box top, so beer box was a good alternative.
 This time I made fancy corners.
 I don't know why... it didn't change anything.
 I used a LOT of glue... apparently I got some on my finger... which then got stuck to the sprayer thingy (technical term), which then came off.  Thank goodness my voice wasn't being recorded, I had some choice words right about now. 
 Finished!  I *love* this one!  I think the small dark print looks awesome!

 Cutie putting her crayons in.

Thanks Stacy for the original post and inspiration!

The girls wanted to make a dozen more... perhaps some day.  I think this would be great for a "nature study" with the kids.  I think before we start school in the fall I'll make them all one and fill it with new pencils. I also think it would be a cool gift for people that come to visit us with kids... for the trip home.  Or perhaps for kids that draw/color in church... the ideas are endless!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Rainbow Collage

I have been spending a lot of time in Pinterest and found some awesome ideas!  I loved this collage idea and thought that the kids could use some of our old magazines and brighten up our classroom.  So... we spent a few days of "art time" gathering red, orange, yellow, blue, green and purple pictures and then ripping them into small pieces (fun!).  In my failed attempt to cut a circle I made a flower shape out of brown craft paper... oh well, flower shaped it is.  A layer of Modge Podge, the pieces of paper and a layer of Modge Podge later THIS is what we ended up with:

Can't wait to share our colored rice craft