Friday, October 28, 2011

Ten Timid Ghosts

Here's a few last minute Halloween activities Mr. Two and I enjoyed today.

I saw this post from Chasing Cheerios and loved the lima bean ghosts.  I knew my boys would love them also.

We started out replicating the spooning activity.  Then my mind began racing, thinking of all the other fun things we could do with our ghosts.

I got out some counting cups (numbers 1 to 10) I had made previously and had Mr. Two count out ghosts into each one.

He really enjoyed doing this and I was excited to see that he recognized and counted out the correct number of ghosts for each one. 

Then I remembered one of our favorite Halloween books, Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O'Connell.  We had our ghosts, and I had our Halloween math book that was shaped like a haunted house, so we used them to act out the story.  It was fun to have each ghost fly away and re-count to see how many were left.

It's so fun to see another person's great idea and then be able to use it as a springboard to new activities and learning opportunities.

As an update, my house is starting to look more presentable and I am about 85% finished with costumes.  Hooray!  Halloween, here we come.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Checking In

In case anyone wondered how the costume progress is going, here is my kitchen table this morning.

Yup, still not done, but making progress.  Mr. Two's costume is finished and Mr. Three's is about 1/3 of the way there.  Mr. One's costume is in the works, but far from complete.  At least his requires minimal sewing... I have to finish Mr. Three's costume tonight for the Halloween parade/story time at the library tomorrow morning that Mr. Two and Three want to attend.

I woke up late this morning.  Here is a view of what awaited me in the boys' room as I went in to get Mr. Three out of his crib.  (This, plus a very wet little pajama-clad toddler who was begging to be changed.)

My boys have been busy too.

Then there is a mountain of laundry that needs to be attended to...

I'll check in tomorrow when I have things under control around here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Witches' Warts

Here is a simple activity I made for my preschooler.

I found my witch graphic here, printed it, reduced it to 60% and made four copies.  I colored the witches with faces and hat bands to match the Halloween mini pom poms I found at the craft store, cut them out and mounted them on cardstock.  (I still need to laminate these babies so they will last.)

I put the pom poms in a little plastic pumpkin and gave Mr. Two some tweezers so he could give the witches some warts.  A great little Halloween activity for color recognition and fine motor strengthening.

I am only 1/3 of the way done with Halloween costumes so far.  Wish me luck!  I will be in sewing mode for the rest of the weekend...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Note to Self: Water Bottles and Bathrooms

Dear Self,

Remember several years ago when Mr. One had a banner day and ate out of the garbage can, then followed that up with lapping water out of the toilet like a puppy?  Remember how you recognized that many a child has taken a drink out of the toilet?  You figured that this would be the worst of it.

Oh how you were wrong.

You didn't know Mr. Three then.

Don't assume that Mr. Three swishing an empty plastic water bottle in the toilet will be the worst of your toddler potty woes.  Especially when you foolishly leave said dirty water bottle in the bathroom garbage can.

Remember that Mr. Three is an expert when it comes to sneaking into the bathroom to wreak watery havoc.  Do not allow him to creep into the bathroom, when an older brother is using the commode.  The sound of an opening toilet lid should be your alarm to run and collect Mr. Three or you will very soon have to deal with this unpleasant scene.

Start with Mr. Two yelling something about a toilet and a water bottle and drinking.  You will rush in to see Mr. Three with a full water bottle (assume there has not been a prior reassuring flush), drinking away.  You will then yell for him to stop drinking, scaring your toddler sufficiently so that he will spray water all over your bathroom floor and himself (but at least he will stop drinking).   You will then have to delay getting everyone into the car to pick up Mr. Three from school so that you can clean up your toilet water-soaked child.

Then brace yourself to explain to the principal and fellow teachers (with lots of laughing from both parties) why you are slightly late picking up your first grader, as you had to sanitize your toddler before securing him in the car.  (Forget about sanitizing the bathroom for now.)  Thank goodness they will have a sense of humor and understand (being parents themselves).

Oh, and thank goodness at least you had cleaned the commode earlier that morning...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Five Little Monkeys

When I saw this post on Homemade by Jill, (thanks Jill!) I knew I wanted to make a set of monkey/crocodile puppets.  My boys have always loved this little fingerplay.  The only thing I wanted to change was the crocodile.  It would be so much more fun to actually have one with a mouth that could really snap those monkeys.  Here's what I did.

I followed the pattern for the monkeys.  So cute!

For the crocodile, I took the template she provided for the monkey bodies and put them end to end to make an elongated oval (are you with me?).  I traced another monkey body with the tail piece, widening the tail to create one long piece.  I also cut one monkey body out of green felt and then used the top of the original alligator piece to cut two seperate eye pieces.  I cut two ovals out of white felt, layered it inside of the mouth pieces and cut out triangles to make the teeth and cut a long red tongue out of red felt.

I stitched eyes onto the front eye piece, then sewed the eye pieces together.  I pinned the eyes onto the top of the alligator body and sewed the bottom edge to the body so the eyes would stand up. 

I pinned one set of teeth between the top body piece with the tail and half of the elongated oval and stitched around the curve. 

I sewed the tongue into the middle of the elongated oval. 

I sandwiched the second set of teeth between the elongated oval and the small body piece and stitched around the outside edge.  There you have a snapping alligator!

My boys have had lots of fun playing with this little set.  Hopefully they won't be too rough on them, so that they will last for a few more years to come...

Go on and make your own set for your little monkeys!