Thursday, March 29, 2012

Everyday is Earth Day

Earth Day

This is a series I will be doing to feature ways you can celebrate our Earth with young children.

We started simple with a nature walk in our own backyard. I am lucky we have a fairly "naturey" (I know that's not a real word but humor me please!) yard but you can easily do this activity at a local park, gardens, forest preserve etc. Before the walk we talked about all the parts of our earth that we can find in our backyard.

We walked around the yard exploring and my 3 year old collected the nature items she discovered.



I explained we were going to make her very own nature book using the items she collected.


These little books are great for so many projects. I purchased them in a bundle at Discount School Supply

Using popsicle sticks she glued on each item to a page and then we labeled it. (A great way to include text with meaning.)



And Voila! We have our nature book!



PTM Storyboard 2 Up

If you like what you see here please join us on Facebook here: Facebook Imprints From Tricia
Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sink or Float Experiment

Here's a fun little story extension from the book Who Sank the Boat by Pamela Allen.


The book has a simple little plot about animals that go for a ride in the row boat. As each animal hops in the boat the question is asked "Do you know who sank the boat?".

Great story to introduce the concept of what makes things sink and what makes things float.

After we read the story I made a simple graph- with the words sink on one side and float on the other.


Ahead of time I gathered several objects to test if they could sink or float. I told my daughter we were going to conduct an experiment and be scientists. We talked about those new words :experiment and scientists. My 3 year old pulled from the bag and I had her predict if she thought it was going to sink or float. (we also talked about the word predict).

She tested it out in the bucket of water and then placed the object in the corresponding column.



When she was done testing them all we compared and contrasted the columns. I asked "Which one has more?", "Which one has less?".


She loved it and after we were done wanted to find more objects to test!

PTM Storyboard
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Pinterest Board

I am super excited to be part of this new Pinterest Board called Make. 

make is an inspiration board—with ideas shared by talented collaborators pinning everything inspiring and good.

Heather over at Word Play House contacted me and asked me to be a collaborator on this board.  I absolutely loved the idea and I'm proud to be a part of it!  Here's the description- projects, recipes, and ideas to make and do + inspiring posts to make wholesome families • inspiration from contributors

It's a very new board so we'd love to have more followers. Head on over to Pinterest and check it out here:  Make Board

Also if you want to find out about the other collaborators you can find them here: you-make-do

Heather's website Word Play House is a wealth of inspiration in of itself.  Be sure to stop on by!
Monday, March 26, 2012

Get the most out of reading aloud!

I firmly believe that the single most important thing you can do to help your child became a reader is to read to them daily.

While teaching Pre-K for many years I learned a thing or two about getting the most out of reading aloud to children and I thought I would share those ideas and concepts that will no doubt set the foundation for important literacy skills.

Before Reading The Story:
  • Introduce the book- read the title
  • Read the author and illustrator- Explain that the author is the person who wrote the words and the illustrator is the person who drew the pictures.  This teaches them that books have different parts. Someone created those pictures and wrote those words therefore words and pictures have meaning. 
  • Make predictions! Preschool age children LOVE this! What do you think the story is about? By doing this you are encouraging them to think about the content of the story and to predict by looking at the illustrations, tying back to pictures have meaning.

During The Story:
  • Point out unfamiliar words. i.e frustrated- What do you think that means? You can even make a vocabulary journals of new words and add those words to the journal. 
  • Allow time to look and talk about the pictures. An early pre-reading skill is telling the story through pictures, so encourage this!!  Pictures are just as important as text. 
  • Talk about the characters and events in the story. Ask open-ended questions (questions that will provoke thought not just yes or no questions). i.e. How do you think that made him feel? 
  • When possible connect story events to their lives. Remember when we went on a train? 

After The Story: 
  • Recall- Go back to those predictions in the beginning and ask about the events.  i.e. What happened to the alligator? Why was there paint all over? 
  • Occasionally have your child retell the story to you in their own words. This is an excellent way to improve comprehension!!  
Most of all Have fun together!!  Snuggle!  Get cozy!  Enjoy these intimate moments of sharing a good book!!    

Sunday, March 25, 2012

This blog is Pinterest Friendly!!

Pinterest is the latest craze and although I am relatively new to it I have become quite addicted!

It's a wonderful way to promote your blog, find other like minded blogs, as well as discover a million other ideas and activities. You name it you can find it on Pinterest. However recently it's been under fire for copyright issues and violations. Many were critical of Pinterest's own terms and conditions wondering if the average Pinterest user could be in legal jeopardy by "pinning" other's work.

Although they updated some of these terms in the last couple of days to make them more consumer friendly I think it's still important to note that this blog is indeed Pinterest friendly. Feel free to repin anything you find worthy enough on this blog (and I sincerely hope you do)!

Zina over at is hosting a link up for all blogs that are Pinterest friendly.  The link up is showcasing all blogs that grant you permission to pin from their site.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weekly Kids Co-op

I've been a little MIA these last couple of weeks.  We are expecting our third baby and this pregnancy is forcing me to slow down.  I do have some great activities that I hope to get up this week.

In the meantime I am proud to still be promoting the weekly kids co-op!!

Please check it out for some really great activities for kids of all ages!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Snow Scenes

Last week we were hit with a few inches of snow in March! The girls loved it as we have had a fairly mild winter here in the Chicago area.

To go along with the wintery scene outside we read this delightful little book called Snow by Uri Shulevitz. It's a Caldecott Honor book. If you are unfamiliar with The Caldecott Honor books it means the book won this distinguished award for their illustrations. The book is perfect for preschool age children and probably even a little bit older. The illustrations (as indicated by the Caldecott Badge) are beautiful and the text is simple and poetic. Throughout the story one, two, snowflakes slowly turn into an inviting wintery scene.  Really cute book!

Both my girls enjoyed the book and after we read the story we made our own wintery scenes.

PTM Storyboard 2 Up Vertical

We started with blue construction paper, cotton balls, and white paint mixed with salt.


The girls dipped the cotton balls into the paint and painted "A snow scene".



At the end they sprinkled silver glitter onto their scene and waited for it to dry. The salt mixed with paint once dried made a cool looking texture that added to the "blizzard-y" feel to the picture! (Yes, I know blizzard-y is not a real world) ;)


My 3 year old's completed "Snow Scene".


For anyone wondering my 23 month old lasted about three minutes and was done as is age appropriate.  There are times where she surprises me and lasts much longer which is why I always allow her to join us in the projects even though they can get quite messy! She still enjoyed spreading the cotton balls full of paint all over her paper but her attention span was very limited.

The Educators' Spin On It
Friday, March 2, 2012

St. Patricks Day Prints

In honor of March finally arriving I thought I'd share a little St. Patrick's Day art project.  Awhile back I posted about using cookie cutters for fun holiday themed prints.  We did a Halloween print collage you can check out here: halloween-cookie-cutter-painting  This time we took that same idea and did it with shamrock cookie cutters, green paint, and some shamrock sparkly confetti to make a shamrock collage!




Fun open ended art!!