Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ghost Toast

Here's a quick little Halloween treat that the kids can help make.

Materials - slice of white cheese (we used mozzarella), slice of bread, raisins, ghost cookie cutter, toaster oven

Mallory placed the cheese on her bread

I helped her place the cookie cutter over the cheese and bread and cut out the ghost shape.
She placed the raisins for the eyes.


Mallory also decided she wanted a nose, the one on the left is Jillian's (She helped a little but I did most of it for her since she's only 19 months).

We placed it in the toaster oven and watched the cheese melt. Mallory noticed it looked different after we brought it out of the oven. So I asked open ended questions like "Why do you think it looks different?", "What do you think happened to it while it was in the oven?"etc.

The best part was eating it! YUM!
Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pudding Fingerpainting

This is one is super easy and super fun and delicious for the kids!

Materials-  any brand of pudding, wax paper, trays

After I made the pudding I placed it on trays (these trays were purchased at Michaels but you can use any tray or cookie sheet)  topped with wax paper.

This is a great way to have fun with making letters and shapes.


I demonstrated how to make letters with the M and A- Mallory made the O.

Jillian who is only 18 months was mimicking Mallory trying to make an O! IMG_3473

The best part was licking your fingers!

Monday, October 17, 2011

a Halloween Story Extension

When I used to teach preschool I LOVED reading stories and doing extension activities related to the book; acting it out, making an art project, making a recipe, etc.

This is one of my favorite Halloween books for early childhood.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything by Linda Williams.

You can find it here on Amazon: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything

The book is full of repetition which the kids love and it makes for a great story extension of "acting out" as you read aloud.

In the story the little old lady comes across two shoes that go clomp clomp, one pair of pants that go wiggle wiggle, one hat that goes nod nod, one pair of gloves that go clap clap and one scary pumpkin head that go Boo Boo.

The objects and sounds/actions they make are repeated throughout the story.  I made a sign for each of them, drew a picture and wrote the corresponding phrase under each one.  

Each participant was assigned a card- in our case we had grandma and grandpa help out to fill all the spots.

My husband read the story out loud.


Mallory was the shirt so when my husband read "and the shirt went... Mallory then held her sign up and said "shake shake!"....and so on with each participant and their part.


Grandma was the hat that went nod nod.


Papa was the shoes that went clomp, clomp.


Daddy was also the pants that went wiggle wiggle and we are all together the big scary pumpkin head that went boo boo.

I can't even begin to describe how much Mallory enjoyed this simple story extension. I had already had the signs made from my years teaching but it's so easy to put together some for yourself.

What a great way to celebrate books by providing an all family fun activity!

Halloween Cookie Cutter Painting

Clearly this not ground breaking- it's been done before, many times!   But it's simple, and fun and great for a wide variety of ages, as you will see in the photos my 18 month old and my 3 year old enjoyed it!  It's messy but the girls loved it!!


A variety of Halloween cookie cutters ( we used two different kinds)
orange and black paint
Paper ( we used glossy finger painting paper)

Dip the cookie cutters in the paint and make prints all over the paper.  With children 3 and under this will inevitable turn into finger paint!

This obviously could be adapted to all sorts of holidays, Easter cookie cutters with pastel colors, Christmas cookie cutters with green and red etc..






Note to self: put down newspaper next time- it wasn't too bad though- the paint easily came off!
Saturday, October 1, 2011

Letters to my daughters

I love being a part of the blog world and feel so lucky that I live in an era where technology allows us to feel so connected to people who would otherwise be complete strangers.  The majority of the blogs I subscribe to are mom and photography blogs.  It's so wonderful to have so much inspiration and so many great ideas all within reach by the click of the mouse.

On my blog "to do" list is to share some of these amazing blogs I've some across these last couple of years.  Look for that coming soon.

In the meantime I wanted to share an idea I've come across on several blogs in my reader.  It's about writing letters to your children.  After being so inspired I've started to do this on my family blog and did one for the girls baby books.  So I decided to put together a book as a keepsake for all the letters I write to them.  I thought about doing a Shutterfly type book but I wanted to be able to add letters as I go along so I thought to keep it simple I would just get a binder. 

I bought a $3 binder and made the cover in a word document.  I made one for Mallory and Jillian.


Every time I write a letter I simply place it in a page protector.  By the time they leave for college each girl will have a book full of letters written to them by their mom. 



I plan to write them on their birthdays and at the beginning of each school year but you can do it anytime or anyway that suits you!  Knock your socks off!  It's never too late to start either! 

Here's the letter I wrote Mallory on her first day of preschool. 

Dear Mallory,

Last night before bed I talked to you about what a big day today was going to be for you, your very first day of preschool.  Mommy gets a
little sad when I think about how my little sweet baby is growing up and is going to have her first experiences without me or daddy. Although I'm sad I am also so very happy for you because I know you are ready for this!  I know you will thrive in this environment- learning and making new friends all on your own!!  You are growing up so fast that a part of me just wants to hold on so tight to all your 3 year old goodness, the bright eyes, curiosity and wonder that make up who you are today.  I adore your sweet little voice that often articulates well beyond your years, the daily questions you ask "What are we doing today mommy?", "Is it morning still? "What are we having for dinner?", "Why did you make that sound mommy, are you frustrated?", "Does daddy have to work today?".  I love how I can hear you singing in your room all your favorite songs at nap time and bedtime. You adore music and couldn't be happier singing and dancing to songs from Barney, Annie and Mary Poppins. I love the way you always ask to help me: "Can I help you with the dishes?", Can I help you with the laundry?".  So eager to help and so proud of your accomplishments!  You have the most delicious laugh I have ever heard, it's a belly giggle that warms my heart every time I hear it!  You are becoming so independent wanting to do everything yourself, helping Jillian do things too and I've said it before but you and Jillian were meant to be sisters- she reserves a special laugh that's only for you- the two of you love to roll around on your bed together just laughing, laughing, laughing...  I have no doubt that you will be the best of friends!! 
I remember when I was a little girl and I would dream about being a mommy, that little girl I always wanted is you Mallory, my first born.  I feels so blessed that I could be a part of your days of dress-up, story books, singing, hugs and kisses, creating, and laughing.  I have big dreams for you but also know you will have dreams of your own, I am in awe at the little girl that you are and can't wait to see the person you become. Sending you off to preschool is the first tiny step in letting go...I am so grateful to be part of this journey with you!