Friday, March 25, 2011


I don't know why I have had the hardest time coming up with fun/interesting ways to work with the "D" sound, but it has been a challenge. I didn't rely on the Dinosaur or Drums that I maybe should have gone with (saving a dinosaur lesson for a future trip to the Museum).

Last night I decided to keep with the Dr. Who style of lessons, and work with what the Punk is interested in. The Punk likes money. He asks us several times a week if we can "Gimme some cash?". And if he finds change on the ground you'd think he won the lotto! So from that excitement comes our Sorting Change lesson.

Starting with D is for Dime, we also learned about Nickels and Quarters. I gave the Punk a quick lesson on looking at both sides of the coin to match with the pictures I had printed, and he was off!

He'd scrutinize them carefully before placing the coin in the sorting bowls provided. He had the hardest time determining if some were Quarters or Nickles, but I quickly found out why - the Nickles he was confused about were Buffalo Nickles, and (like the "new" quarters) didn't have exact fronts/backs as the photos I had downloaded. I'll be sure to check the coins I use next time!

Once he was done sorting, he'd pour the bowls back into the original container and start again.

The Punk had a blast "sorting monies" and I was happy to have a lesson come together with all the materials on hand!
This post linked to: Montessori Mondays

Spelling D Words

Spelling words that start with the letter D - using these magnets and this tray. Easy, fun, and a great way for the Punk to keep up his letter recognition while experimenting with magnets.

What is with that face? I think I caught him in the middle of a "cheese"!

He loves to see pictures of himself when he was a baby, it makes him feel like such a big boy!

I had to start moving into 4 letter words. I couldn't think of as many 3 letter "D" words as I was able to do for the letter "C".

Thursday, March 24, 2011

D is for Doctor

Doctor Who?

The Punk is a Dr. Who fan. He wanted to be Dr. Who for Halloween last year (and made an adorable 11th Doctor!). He watches (screened and parental approved) every episode he can get his hands on. He knows who the Cybermen and Daleks are, but doesn't know Dora the Explorer. And I love that! He's our little Geek (he's super mega ultra into Star Wars too - but only the old ones), and we are very proud of him.

So when trying to find another way to help him learn the D sound, I thought to myself "Duh!" and started printing out all the Google images I could of Dr. Who and the creatures that he battles. The Punk had a blast with this, and I was happy to indulge his nerd-side while having some fun with our school work.
Painting the TARDIS
Writing his name (Photos of himself dressed as the Doctor)
Helping the Doctor Sonic the Daleks
D is for Doctor
D is for Daleks
Sequencing Largest to Smallest
Front of the Lapbook made to look like the TARDIS
The back of his Lapbook
It's bigger on the inside!

As the proud parent of a little Geek in Training, I must now link you to the Punk's entry into a Dr. Who TARDIS contest. All you have to do is "like" the entry (if you have a Facebook account). Easy as 3.14159265 ;) We know there are tons of awesome TARDIS replicas out there, but we think the Punk will find it neat one day to know so many people saw his costume and thought he made an awesome Doctor.


This post linked to Tot School

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Grow Baby Grow!

I bought some kitchen herb seeds/post from the Dollar Spot at Target a couple of weeks ago. The Punk and I decided that it was time to plant them.
He was so careful and cautious with this project. I was impressed at how much patience he had for something that was so time consuming.

First we added a pellet to a bowl and poured water over it.

"Mom! It's growing!"

I found that it was easier for me to invert the container over the dirt once it was wet, rather than spooning it into the containers.

The seeds were so tiny, but the Punk had no trouble picking them up at all. He planted each one with care.

Bad flash picture, but you can see the itty bitty seeds in the pot. The Punk covered each one with soild "like a blanket when you go to sleep" and poured a few drops of water on each on "in case they are firsty".

If all goes well we should have some kitchen herbs sprouting soon!
This post was linked to: The Magic Onions

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Break

We have a very loose school schedule around here, but we do have one hard and fast rule - if Daddy is home we don't have school. It not only gives us both more time to spend with Daddy, it also helps the Punk distinguish Weekends and Holidays. And since Daddy works for a local school district - he gets quite a few Holidays! Last week we were all on Spring Break. And that meant no school.

While I was slightly happy that I didn't have to plan anything, it was hard keeping the Punk busy. He has really come to love our mornings on the floor together learning about this and that. But that being said, after a week "off" it takes us a few days to get back into a groove.

Here's a few pictures of our Spring Break to help us wrap things up and get back to work!

The Punk got a trampolene. It was something I had my eye on for a while, and when it went to 50% off (plus I had a store credit) I had to jump on it. Ha! Jump on it!

The Punk also went to Chuck E. Cheese with Mommy & Daddy. Word of advice, don't take your kids to see the Pizza Mouse during Spring Break. It was chaos. But he had earned 200 beads in his rewards system, so we followed through with our promise!

The ice cream man drove by one of the last nights of Spring Break. The weather has been in the 80's already, so it's that time I suppose. And since last Fall when the Punk discovered that is what the van playing "Turkey in the Straw" was selling he has fine tuned his ears to pick up that song when it is still 5 blocks away!

We had a wonderful stay at home week, and we hope everyone else had a great Spring Break too!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Eggs in a Nest

This week we made bird seed feeders, and molded them into egg shapes using last year's plastic Easter Eggs. You can find a ton of mold-able bird seed recipes online, but we used this one and it came out great.
I had intended for the walnuts to be stashed inside some of the seed eggs as a base to attach yarn, and also a little surprise for the squirrels after the seed was gone, but that didn't go exactly as planned.
It's a sticky mixture! Unflavored gelatin and bird seed WILL get on your work surface, hair, under your nails, on your clothes. It's rather easy to clean up, but it does stick to everything.

Inserting some seed mix into the plastic eggs. Once this was done we put the eggs in the refrigerator to "set" the gelatin for a while. How long? Long enough for me to clean up and the Punk to take a nap!

Then we set about making our bird nest. We used the yarn and a balloon technique with a bit of Elmer's glue. Sloppy, gloopy, messy, and FUN! Just cut the yarn into 8 to 12 inch strings, dip in the glue and drape over the balloon (placed in a bowl so it wouldn't roll around).

Hey look! Our eggs are done! We "cracked" them out of the plastic molds, and put them on a cookie rack to dry for a few days. The ones where I used walnuts inside broke in half and the walnuts fell out. So, I don't recommend that after all. But, we still managed to use them by gluing them back together with peanut butter. Waste not!

After the nest seemed mostly dry we took it off the balloon and gave it another good coat of glue. It was a little on the flimsy side, so the extra coat made it stiffen up and seem sturdier.

And here is the Punk holding his lovely nest and one of his lovely bird eggs. He was so proud of this craft. It took several days with all the drying time, but he was very patient and worked hard on each step of the process.
We packed the nest and eggs up and took them to my Mother's house. He stayed the night, and they took a little walk around her yard and finished the nest with all sorts of Nature Findings.

Leaves, acorns, flowers, berries and a bed of grass to lie on... could a little seed egg ask for more?
This post was linked to: No Time for Flash Cards and Peanuts are Evil

Monday, March 7, 2011

Art Wall

This is our Art Wall in the living room. Some nails (left behind by the former owners_ and some string (from the garage) made a handy place to hang the Punk's art while it dries, and is being displayed.

Right now we are featuring:
A is for Alligator, B is for Buttons, C is for Confetti
a Bumble Bee, a Clown, a Circle of melted beads
and a painting signed by the Punk using his Fingerprints

I wonder if Picasso's Mom hung up his art when he was little?

If you Give a Mouse a Cookie

Today we finished the work we had left on our If you give a Mouse a Cookie lapbook. Some of the items were taken from this resource, but others were things I made to supplement the lesson. For instance - I made the tracing line work showing the mouse how to get to the cookie. The more we work on these the better he will be at tracing letters and shapes one day.

Match the Cookie Game
Lapbook Cover

Inside: Nursery Rhymes that include mice, cookie matching game, drawing of a mouse, I Spy Circles (in the book), tracing lines, tracking his name, If you give a Boy a Cookie story, and mouse facts (they have tails, ears, etc.).
My favorite part of the lapbook was the If you Give a Boy a Cookie portion. I let the Punk tell me a story while I took dictation - starting with the line
"If you Give a Boy a cookie"...
If you give a Boy a cookie he will want some milk. After that he will want another cookie. Then he will want a napkin to wipe up the milk he spilled, and the crumbs. Then, he will want to go for a walk. They will go to Art Class. If the cars come in the neighborhood they will get smashed so they walk on the sidewalk. They make chalk in Art Class. Then they go home and have a snack and draw on the porch with the chalk.
The End.


The Punk transferred beads into suction cups today using chopsticks. It is simple and complex at the same time. He loved this, and I really like quiet work while I have my coffee - we will do it again and again.