Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Daffodil Craft

When we were dating, my husband always gave me daffodils on St. Patrick’s Day.  I love them; they just yell spring! to me.  We are far from having real daffodils yet, but M and I decided to whip up some pretend ones to brighten up our kitchen. :)

This little craft was taken mostly from this post over at Silly Eagle Books.

Cut several leaf shapes from yellow tissue paper by folding the tissue into several layers:IMAG0381

Draw and cut circles from contact paper:IMAG0383

Poke a green pipe cleaner through the center of a circle, bending the end into a little nub on the paper side. IMAG0384

Peel away the paper and place six petals around the sticky contact paper: circle:IMAG0385

Wrap another pipe cleaner (we used yellow and a sparkly orange) around something to make the trumpet part of the daffodil.  We used a small peg doll to wrap ours:IMAG0387

Attach the trumpet to the flower by twisting the end of it around the end of the green pipe cleaner “stem”:IMAG0386  

Voila!  Sunshiney daffies:IMAG0391


Have a beautiful day!
Nicole :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Wall Collage


Apparently the Powers that Be heard all my complaining about snow and cold and took pity on me because March has been out-of-this-world beautiful!  We’ve slept with the windows open a few nights, have had several late night campfires, and have even brought out the sunscreen!  And technically it is still winter.  Winter!  Until tomorrow of course.  But still.  Winter here normally lasts well into April. 

This little project was all M’s idea, and actually took place a couple of weeks ago before all the nice weather, right when we were starting to get a bad case of cabin fever. 

It started off as a simple flower art project.  We were going to try blowing watered down paint onto flower shapes with a straw. IMAG0346



But that was really hard work!  We obviously didn’t have the paint watered down enough.  I thought we were both going to hyperventilate by the time one flower was done.  :)  So M decided to paint the rest with a brush.


We made the centers of the flowers pop out a little bit by adding them on top of two layers of mounting foam:IMAG0359


Pretty flowers:IMAG0369   IMAG0368


But that just was not enough spring inside the house.  That evening M made big plans to decorate the closet doors (this closet is in a little nook off of our living room) with a giant springtime collage.  At the time it was covered with coffee filter snowflakes – which were getting pretty old and boring – blah!

The plans were all his, and he did all the cutting and taping.  I simply drew a few shapes for him to cut, all according to what he wanted.

The rainbow was made by layering half-circles of color:IMAG0367  

Top of closet doors:IMAG0370 
Bottom half:IMAG0371

There are even a couple of butterflies. :) 

I love looking over at our closet doors. :)  Such a happy space made by a happy boy!

Have a beautiful spring!
Nicole :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Easter Printables

Have your plastic Easter eggs made an appearance in your home yet this year?  I love bringing them out about now; love how they brighten things up a bit with their pretty colors. :)  I crave color this time of year.  Crave it.

I’m in the process of going through all of my printables and moving them to a site where they can be a bit more organized and just… prettier than the current printables page.  I found some Easter-themed printables and thought it would be fun to post a little reminder about them.

One of M’s still-favorite games to play with our plastic eggs is our Easter Chicks in Eggs game.  imageimage I made this for him a couple of years ago and it is still a lot of fun – for him and the grown-ups around here. 


Another favorite when he was 2 or 3 years old was this Easter Basket file folder game (I have to say I’m really looking forward to re-using some of these handmade activities with our new little one!). image This is a fun way to work on one-to-one correspondence and practice counting to 10.

I also want to share this little Bunny Shapes Craft with you.  image I made this for M a couple of years ago, but for some reason never shared it on here.  He went through a phase where he loved putting little animals together with shapes.  This is a fairly closed-ended activity, but it’s good for shape recognition and learning to follow directions!

Have a beautiful day!
Nicole :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Learning by Heart – Outer Space


The mother’s heart is the child’s classroom.” – Henry Ward Beecher

{M is 5 years old}

Goodness.  It’s been a while since I wrote up one of these posts!  We’ve been “doing school”, but it’s been sort of a haphazard here and there these past few months, and my motivation for writing about it has been null.  I’ve been lazy on many levels since late November… M had the flu, then I had the flu, then there was the first trimester of my pregnancy in all its miserable glory, not to mention Christmas thrown in somewhere along the way… and well, we got a little off track to say the least.  And the house is messy, maybe even dirty – and while I have no desire to actually clean anything up, still I feel guilty blogging when there are so many other things that need doing. :)

Yet here I am.  So I guess I’ve succeeded in pushing down those guilty feelings. ;)

Anyway.  M is totally into outer space these days, which I think happened about this time last year too.  This time he’s all about the planets and the sun.  He reminds us of the little boy in Jerry McGuire, with all the interesting facts he spouts off at random times… “Did you know that if you could go to Jupiter, you’d get instantly squashed flat because it has so much gravity?”  “Did you know that without the sun we’d all be dead and frozen?”  “Did you know that if you could get close to the sun you would instantly burn up and melt?”  I think it’s safe to say he’s entered that phase where the morbid is  utterly fascinating. :)



We read the books in the carousel below.  His favorites were the Magic School Bus – Lost in the Solar System (audio version), and the Cat in the Hat There’s No Place Like Space.


I also picked up the video version of the Magic School Bus: which was a big hit!  This was the first time we’ve checked out Magic School Bus items and I have to say I was very impressed with both the video and the book.  I know I’ve heard nothing but good about them, but I’m happy to say they both exceeded my expectations (and I’m very picky when it comes to what M is allowed to watch!).

Most of our learning came from these books and the video.  The rest of what I’ll share was mostly for fun and to feed M’s interest…



We made homemade moon sand.  I did not get a good photo of the items used in the sand because M was always so busy playing with them.  They are all either buried in the sand or awaiting their trip to the moon in these photos:IMAG0059

I used a Space Toob: , which was a big hit (and which you can get for a reasonable price at Michael’s if you use one of their 40% off coupons).  I also added in a couple of scoops just for fun and M used a wooden ball for an asteroid.  He really enjoyed having it land on the sand and make craters (his idea!):IMAG0049 You could use large rocks for pretend asteroids too, which would be a bit more realistic. 


Tan Grams:

We worked together to figure out how to use our wooden tangrams to make a rocket on the fridge:IMAG0191


M received a telescope for Christmas and we used it to look at the moon one very beautiful full-moon evening.  We also caught sight of a couple of planets (which just looked like big stars with this low-power telescope).  All very exciting stuff!  It was neat to see the craters on the moon enlarged.IMAG0163Shots of the telescope at night didn’t really turn out very well, but here you can see him spying on the neighbors during the day.  Heh.  He said he was looking at a tree, but I’m pretty sure it was the neighbors. :)

M loves a pack of outer space flash cards I picked up at Target a year or two ago.  I pulled out the ones with pictures of the planets, and he decided to line them up in order on our window sill.  He memorized the order of the planets, and I didn’t even know it until I saw him doing this!IMAG0084

I made up some little planet name cards with pictures, laminated them, and he traced their names with a dry-erase marker, then matched them up to the appropriate flash card.  You could just use these to place in order, if you don’t have pretty flashcards.IMAG0107 You can download the cards here.

Next, he decided to copy the planet names down in his handy-dandy, never-far-away notebook. :)  (This little notebook is going to be a treasure when he is older!)IMAG0108



M made a rocket from a paper towel tube (similar to the one in this post, but not nearly as pretty):IMAG0315He lobbed it around the living room until Daddy came home and made him stop.  I am sooo much more lenient about this sort of thing because busy boy equals resting mama and there’s quite a bit I’ll allow in order to make this happen these days!

We also made little straw rockets to blow around:IMAG0319Wish I could’ve gotten a shot of this in action – I even enjoyed playing with these!  You fold a 2” length of paper in half lengthwise, tape it shut except for about 2” at the end, cut the open end into strips, fold the tip into a point and tape, then insert a straw and blow the rocket into the air.  Very fun! 


Linking this post up to Preschool Corner and Weekly Wrap-Up.  Check them out for some great homeschooling posts!

Have a beautiful day!
Nicole :)



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