Monday, September 30, 2013

Halloween Themed Breakfast

One of my very first posts was about a Halloween treat I used to make with my students when I taught Preschool called Ghost Toast. Once my own kids turned old enough I started to make it with them around Halloween.

Today we are reviving the Ghost Toast and combining it with Witch's Brew to complete a fun Halloween Themed Breakfast for the kiddos!

Ghost Toast- To make the Ghost Toast you will need bread, white cheese (we used mozzarella), raisins, a toaster oven and a ghost cookie cutter.

My 3 year old placed the cheese on the bread, put the cookie cutter on top and pressed down.

 I helped her peel off the sides so all that was remaining was the ghost shape. 

We then placed it in the toaster oven to toast and when it was done she used the raisins to make the eyes. 

Finally it was time to enjoy it! 

We also made Witch's Brew to complete the meal. 

Witch's Brew- You will need 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of orange juice, Halloween sprinkles and whipped cream. *optional- cute Halloween cup and fancy orange straws! 

Simple combine the orange juice and milk add the whip cream to taste and add the sprinkles on top. 

Okay, I know what you're thinking: the thought of orange juice and milk together sounds utterly distasteful! Yep, I thought the same thing years ago but when I tried it for the first time back in my teaching days I was nicely surprised. It actually tastes similar to a dreamsicle. The kids never seemed to mind and just enjoyed the idea that they were drinking Witch's Brew. 

Our fairly easy but super festive Halloween breakfast was a big hit in our house! Hope your kiddos enjoy it as well!!

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall Picture Display Using Fall Paintings

The leaves are falling and starting to change colors and we've had some beautiful days in our neck of the woods. Fall is my absolute favorite season and because of that I love decorating our home for the Fall. If you have been hanging out on my blog for awhile now you will also know that I love photography. I have all these cute fall photos of my kids from previous years that simply sit on my computer. So I decided I needed to figure out a way to display them with my Fall decor.

 I wanted to somehow incorporate the girls fall art work with the Fall photos. With a little brainstorming and a walk through Michael's Craft Store I came up with our Fall Painting Picture Display. We have been reading books and talking a lot about Fall and all the changes that come with it. Ahead of time I set up an invitation to paint using Fall colors and canvases.

My 5 year old immediately started to experiment with different strokes. She did circles and then ended up with lines.

My 3 year old seemed to focus more on the specific colors, announcing every time she switched colors.

I did encourage them to cover up all the white spots since I knew this would be used as the photo back drop.

Once they were done and the paint dried I attached some Fall colored ribbon around the top of the paintings and tapped it to the back. I also used mini clothing pins and attached those to the top of the ribbon.

Ahead of time I had printed my favorite Fall photos of the girls from last year.  I wanted to be able to change out the photos year after year so the clothing pins were added to be able to display the photo without having to secure/tape it down.

Now its easy peasy to change it and every year I can display the previous year's favorites!

The girls loved paining on the canvas and once they were done it was super easy to complete!

The final products looked great when placed together with some of our Fall decor!!

There you have it! Our Fall canvas painting picture display!

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

5 Foam Apple Math Activities

I bought these foam apples in the dollar aisle (I think it was at Target) and decided to put to them use for some fun math activities! 

1. Patterning- The girls have been talking a lot about patterning lately. They have been making patterns in their drawings and in their everyday play. So I asked them each to make a pattern and my 3 year old made a red/green pattern. 

My 5 year old decided to make a  red/green/green pattern. After they put their patterns together I asked them to tell me the pattern they made. Saying the pattern out loud helps to reinforce the concept and it's fun for them to say it as well! 

2. Number Sequencing- Ahead of time I wrote out the numbers 1-10 on stickers and stuck them to each apple. I then mixed them up and asked my girls to place the numbers in order. I gave my 3 year old the 1-5 numbers and my Kindergartener I gave 1-10. ( My 5 year old easily did this so if I were to do it again I would add more numbers to make it more challenging) As you can see this obviously can be adapted for different developmental skill levels. 

3. Number Matching- We used the numbers again for this activity. This time I pulled out our gems and had the girls match the correct number of gems to the corresponding number. Again, you can add higher numbers to challenge kids who have mastered the 1-10.

4. Puzzles- I think the girls had the most fun with these "make our own puzzles". I cut out different shapes in one apple and used a different apple as the puzzle base.

I ended up adding numbers to the pieces when my 3 year old put it together because it was a little difficult for her without them. It was easier for her when she could follow along with the numbers.

5. More/Less/Same- We explored the concepts of More/Less with this next activity. I had my 3 year old sort the red apples into a pile and the green apples into the other pile. I asked her to count them and tell me which one had more and which one had less. She then matched the More/Less cards to the corresponding pile of apples.

We ended up not using same but there's several ways to add that the next time around. Another idea I had was to make a graph with the apples and graph by color and then count them.

There really are endless ways to use these foam apples for math concept play!

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Baby Boy Nursery Etsy Finds

When it comes to decorating and party planning I'm slightly obsessed with this little website called Etsy!  Perhaps you've heard of it? ;)

Really there's just way too much cuteness and inspiration on that site! So it wasn't surprising when I searched through the site and found several goodies to help me decorate my baby boy's room.

Now, I love Land of Nod and Pottery Barn Kids with the best of them. While I like to use certain pieces from there while decorating (curtains, rugs, side table etc.) I also enjoy adding some personal finds that aren't so commercial and that have a much more appealing price tag!

Today I'd like to share my completed baby boy's room and links to the Etsy shops where I found some adorable decor.

With the help of Pinterest I decided awhile back that I wanted the colors to be shades of brown and blue and his bedding set the tone for the monkeys and guitar theme. Also, my husband and I both play guitar so it seemed rather fitting. We also think our little guy is a rock star- so there you have it! :)

This is the name plaque that's above the changing table. My girls had the individual wooden name letters that you can get at Pottery Barn Kids for their nurseries but I always had a hard time getting them straight and when I did overtime they always seemed to move and looked slightly crooked. So when I found these I knew it was exactly what I was looking for! 
I found this at The Etsy Shop Nelson Gifts

Next up are these adorable prints that I framed and placed on the wall next to the window. The top one has my sons birth statistics and the bottom one has the chevron print with the phrase You Are Loved. The chevron print is all over the place these days and I love the saying and how the prints looked together. These were found at Etsy Shop Indigo Rain. I seriously could buy everything from this shop! They have some super cute prints!! 

The subway art above the crib was found and purchased at Etsy Shop Grabers Graphics. They sell beautiful wall decals and wooden "subway art" signs like "Sometime being a brother is even better than being a SUPERHERO".  
Come on? Doesn't get much cuter than that! 

The frames next to the wood sign are not Etsy finds but thought I would include where I purchased them anyway, especially since I love them so much!They are from Poppy Tree Frames. I'm a huge fan! They are worth every penny and I'm hoping to make a family room photo wall in the near future using some of their frames. 

Last but not least is the Born to Rock print found at  Etsy Shop Yassis Place. Another shop with some really wonderful prints. I have my eye on their You are My Sunshine set for my girls bedrooms.  The print is placed on a fairly thin shelf so I needed to have a small frame for it. I found the frame at Michaels and it was very inexpensive but fit perfectly! 

It was a labor of love but finally my little boy has a room to call his own with some nice unique touches! (If I do say so myself) 

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Monday, September 2, 2013

The Mom of a Kindergartener

My sweet Mallory, my first born child, had her first day of Kindergarten last week. There were tears shed, by me, not her.

She happily walked down the street with her best friend, also in Kindergarten but in a different class.

She waited in line smiling and talking with her daddy and sister.

She walked away waving goodbye. And that was that. She was gone and I truly felt that this was the real first step in letting go.

Now here we are a week into sending her off and she absolutely loves it and I can say with most certainty that I love being the mom of a Kindergartener!

 I love meeting the other parents and knowing that we are all in this together. We will likely watch all our children grow up together as they continue their school years.

I love the newness and the excitement and knowing that this is the start of something wonderful for her.

I love knowing that this is just the beginning and we still have so many years ahead of us living together as a family.  I may not be young *Ahem* but our family is young.

 I really am so excited for her. She's a lot like me in that she loves school. I remember being in kindergarten and I remember how excited I was to go to school.

There's something about knowing that your child will likely remember these moments that takes this parenting thing to a whole other level.

She will remember.

I will remember.

Together we will both remember these days and it really just doesn't get better than that!

So here's to all the mamas sending their children off to Kindergarten for the first time! We really are all in this together! 

Are you the mom of a kindergartener? I'd love to see your pictures or perhaps you've shared your thoughts on you blog. Please link in comments below. 

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