Friday, April 30, 2010

Music Time – Songs about Birds

There are so many great bird songs out there, I really could make this an extremely loooong post.  Don’t worry. :)  I’m just going to tell you some of our favorite new songs that we’ve been learning this past week.  And I want to share some wonderful websites to use when looking for songs.

I always go to Little Fingers That Play first.  Deborah has so many good, original, and fun songs that I’m always sure to find something M will love.  We’ve been singing “Three Little Birds” a lot.  I even drew some little birds and a nest for a quick flannel board set to go with it:blog pictures 001 It is such a catchy tune, I have to admit I sing it a lot even when M isn’t around. ;)

Next, Kididdles is another great place to go for songs.  They have a huge list, and if you sign up (totally free) you can print out song sheets as well as activity sheets to go along with some of the songs.  Many songs also have audio files of the tunes.  I added “Kookaburra”, “Robin in the Rain”, and “The Robin” to our little homemade song and poem book, and we’ve been singing these while we play a variety of instruments.

If you don’t have your own homemade songbook, and are interested in books of songs, Vanessa at Silly Eagle Books has this great list of 100 children’s song books.  We’ve been checking these out at our library – one or two a week – and love them.  Thank you, Vanessa, for putting this list together! :)

One more place where I’ve had good luck in looking for songs is childfun.  The site is a bit awkward to maneuver around in (in my opinion), but they have songs listed for every theme you can imagine.  They also have craft ideas, food ideas, and other activity suggestions too!  We found this cute little action poem/song there:
The Chickadee Song
(Fly your fingers away one by one as you sing this song)

Chickadee, chickadee, happy and gay
Chickadee, chickadee, fly away.
Five little chickadees, no room for more,
One flew away, and then there were four.
         Four little chickadees, sitting in a tree,
         One flew away, and then there were three.

         Three little chickadees, don't know what to do,
         One flew away, and then there were two.

         Two little chickadees, sitting in the sun,
         One flew away, then there was one.

         One little chickadee, can't have any fun.
          He flew away, and then there were none.

Of course there are a ton of other great songs and poems that go with a bird theme… 5 little Ducks, Little White Duck, 2 Little Blackbirds, Robin Redbreast…. etc.
If you have a favorite song about birds, I’d love to hear it!

Have a beautiful day! :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gamewright Giveaway!

Go here to check out Adriana’s awesome game giveaway at My Bilingual Boys! :) 

Bird Craft #2 – Paper Bag Bird’s Nest

This is what M woke up to see on the table Tuesday morning:blog pictures 006Supplies: brown paper lunch bag, glue, crayons or markers, yarn, feathers, anything interesting to line your nest with (you could add in some dried grass and twigs too!).
To make the nest, I rolled the paper bag inward all the way down.  M was dying to do this part, but it can be tricky to get it started; eventually it ends up looking like this: blog pictures 009
Then it was time to decorate the nest.  M started off using crayons, but they were hard to manage on something so crumpled.  He switched to markers, which worked much better.
Next he began gluing in the all the fun stuff to make the nest nice and soft:blog pictures 010
Look!  A cozy little nest!blog pictures 012
Perfect for a little mama-made birdie. :)  M was surprised and thrilled to see this little bird and her eggs waiting to go in the nest a little later. :)  blog pictures 016
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This was a fun craft project for M, I only added in the little bird because I wanted to give him something special to keep.  He is all about birds right now… even to the point of standing at the window at bedtime saying, “I can’t go to bed, I’m listening to the chickadees and cardinals!” :)  Evidently he is not above using the sweet little birds as stall tactics (and he knows Mama gets excited when he uses the correct names).   It would be fun to do this and use large pom-poms to make birds for the nest.

Have a beautiful day! :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Science Experiment – Battery Power

blog pictures 007M is obsessed with batteries and electricity lately.  I don’t know how many times he has come to me, screwdriver in hand, to see which kind of battery and how many of them a particular toy takes.  He is always trying to figure out how things “go”.

So you can imagine his excitement when I told him our experiment for the day would be trying to light a flashlight bulb with a battery and aluminum foil.

We had a little discussion about how metal is a conductor (his newest word now) of the energy stored inside a battery.  Wires can take this energy to working parts, as can almost any metal, even aluminum foil.

Interestingly, he asked me, “how do wires send the electricity?  There are no holes in wires!”.  It’s so neat to see his little brain working… the idea of electricity traveling inside a wire – well, it would have to have a hole to get into it, right?  So I explained that the whole wire – even the outside – is a conductor, and the energy runs along it.  He asks some tough questions sometimes and I’m not sure my answer entirely satisfied him.  Ah well, he has time to learn!

To do this experiment, take the small bulb out of a flashlight.  You want something like a 2 watt bulb, maybe 3 watts at the most.  You also need scotch tape, a D battery, and two lengths of aluminum foil rolled up tightly.  Ours were about 12” long I’m guessing.

Use the tape to attach one end of each foil “wire” to the battery.  One will be attached to the negative side:blog pictures 014 and one to the positive side:blog pictures 015

Next, take the opposite end of one of the foil “wires” and wrap it around the base of the pictures 016Get it as tight as you can, and use tape to secure it if you need to.  This was the toughest part for us… those tiny bulbs are a bit hard to manage.

Next touch the very bottom of the bulb with the loose end of the other “wire”.  Your bulb should light up!  M loved doing this part!blog pictures 002Energy from the battery circles through the foil and lights up the bulb.

No pictures of this, but we also used one length of foil and a AA battery.  We placed one end of the foil at one end of the battery and the other end of the foil at the other end of the battery.  Then we placed our fingers over the foil at the ends of the battery and could feel it get warm, then hot!  The energy in side the battery was going through the foil and making it and the battery very warm.   (Note… you don’t want to do this with much bigger batteries, at least with small children, because at some point it could burn.  These batteries are not going to electrocute anyone, but it’s always best to be safe!)  I wonder if this would be a good way to test batteries and see if they are still good?!

For more science, see Ticia’s Science Sunday posts here!

Have a beautiful and energy-full day! :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Art Time – Pretty Painted Suncatcher

blog pictures 007Since M seems willing to do more planned art and craft activities of late, I’ve had fun thinking up new things to do.  I recently re-organized my craft stash - all 2 carts, 6 drawers worth - and found an embroidery hoop that hasn’t seen the light of day for the past 5 years at least.

I remember seeing something about dot painters and fabric somewhere about a year ago, and that’s what I thought of when I started brainstorming ways to use this hoop.

I found some muslin that I was going to use for goodness-knows-what and put a large square of it in the hoop.  I gave M the choice between markers, watercolors, or his roller paints to decorate this.  He chose the roller paintsblog pictures 002 He enjoyed this and I love how it turned out.  I trimmed the extra fabric off and for now it’s still in the hoop, sitting in front of the window over my kitchen sink.  blog pictures 043
It did not take him long to make, but I love looking at it.  It just makes me happy. :)
Have a beautiful day! :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Art Box – April 26, 2010


blog pictures 020In the Art Box last week: stickers, stamps, stencils… plus all the usual paper, glue, paint, etc.


I knew the stencils and stamps would appeal to M since they are some of his favorite art supplies.  We did some planned art projects during the week too, so there wasn’t a ton of child-directed art done this week.  But here’s what he did…

Stenciling with his roller paints and some regular tempera too:blog pictures 021blog pictures 029


A collage with stamps, buttons, a pom pom and some hole punched circles.  And some random drawing thrown in too. :)blog pictures 033   

A sticker collage with some stamps, stickers, and a craft stick glued on for good measure:blog pictures 030

Have some children’s art you’d like to show off?  Link it up below (remember to link back here in your blog post)!

Have a beautiful day! :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Preschool Corner – April 25, 2010

M is 3.5 years old.

This was a pretty laid back week.  We’ve had a bird theme going on, but I’ll wait until we’ve finished all our activities before (hopefully) including them all in one Preschool Corner post.
Here are some of the other things we’ve done…

Fine Motor Skills:
Tweezing pom poms into a vase:
blog pictures 017

Building with a pipe connector toy.  This is actually a game, called Pipeline, that I found at a thrift store for next to nothing.  I thought it would make a great fine motor activity, and M loves it!blog pictures 016

I set out a mini ABC foam puzzle for M.  He likes to link these together in one long line.  I try to get him to do it in alphabetical order, but that’s really hit or miss at this point. :)blog pictures 013

He did great with matching up these rhyming cards (from Prekinders):
blog pictures 017
blog pictures 021

He put together these little sticker scenes by matching the letters on the stickers to the letters on the paper.  I made these for him a long time ago to do on a car trip.  We just never got around to them.  He really enjoyed them this week.  To see more about this, go pictures 019

And one morning I found him “reading” a few books to his trucks. :)  So sweet!blog pictures 022 
Sensory, Practical Life, and Art:
We are fortunate to have a breezeway in our home (kind of like a 3 season porch, but it runs from the front of the house to the back); when it was too cold to go out one day I set him up in the breezeway on a towel with this messy little project:blog pictures 023
This was scooping and pouring practice for him.  He placed the funnel into a bud vase, then used the ice cream scoop to scoop and pour the colored sand into the funnel.  blog pictures 024
He quickly realized how neat the layers looked and it turned into an art experience too:blog pictures 040  
Then, of course, he wanted to do more with the sand so I gave him some glue and colored paper and he made these:
blog pictures 025 blog pictures 026 blog pictures 027
For more Preschool Corner posts and ideas go here!

Have a beautiful day! :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Books of the Week – Don Freeman

imageM has named Corduroy, by Don Freeman as his favorite book since we first read it almost 2 years ago.   I’m sure everyone reading this knows about Corduroy, the bear with the missing button, who wants to find a home and a friend.  He is very loveable. :)
imageRecently we picked up Dandelion at the library.  We both enjoyed this book about being authentic and not worrying too much about appearances.  “Be who you are” books are always a big hit around here. :)  I didn’t realize until later that it was also written by Don Freeman!

imageThen Vanessa, over at  Silly Eagle Books mentioned Beady Bear, also by Don Freeman in this blog post.   Of course we had to find it!  It’s an adorable story of another toy bear and his silly experiment in living like a real bear.

We were having such luck with Freeman’s books that I looked online and put another one of his books on hold for us – Earl the Squirrel.  We read it this past week.  Without a doubt, this one is my favorite Don Freeman book (of what we’ve read so far).  Earl is spoiled by a little girl named Jill and has no idea how to get his own acorns, which irks his mama to no end.  Eventually he ends up getting some acorns on his own in a very unusual way.  It’s just a cute, funny story.  And well, who wouldn’t love a squirrel named Earl, right? :)

For more book reviews, check out Natalie’s blog carnival at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns!
Have a beautiful day! :)


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