Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts

Since Ella has been in preschool 3 days a week this fall, we haven't had nearly as much time to do fun seasonal stuff like we did this past summer! But I've been really trying to get out some of my fall/Thanksgiving themed stuff for her to work on after her naps! 

Since Thanksgiving is only a week away (HOW?!), I thought I'd share a few fun things we've been working on!

Turkey Initial Sound Match Up

You can actually buy this game on Teachers Pay Teachers here...but I was too poor when I was teaching for that, so I made my own version! I used turkey cut-outs that I already had (these), and then used pictures from my Words Their Way books (here...scroll all the way to the end of the document!) and glued them on paper I had cut out in a feather shape. 

I used to have this at an independent center, so to keep things simple, I chose 4 letters (sounds that had already been introduced at this point in our kindergarten year) instead of the whole alphabet: S, P, M and D.

Pipe Cleaner Turkey

I can't believe I couldn't find anything like this on the whole internet! Its super easy.

You will need:
-Construction paper: brown, red, orange and yellow
-Pipe cleaner(s) (I only needed one)
-Tracers (optional)
-pencil, glue and scissors

First we traced and cut out all of the shapes we needed: 
-large circle for the body
-large circle again (cut in half for the wings)
-small circle for the head
-2 feet
-4 feathers

Glue the beak and wattle on the small circle. Draw it's eyes with a black marker.

Glue feathers and wings onto the back of the large circle.

Using a pencil, roll each pipe cleaner piece into a spiral.

And attach on head, body and feet!

We chose to spray a little water to make the colors run!

What's The Missing Letter? Game

This is another one I couldn't find anywhere on the internet! 
Just make copies of a corn template....put a letter on each husk, and then a correlating letter on the corn. For example: put A and C on the husk, and then put B on the corn. The kids' job is to figure out which piece of corn goes in the middle of the letters on the husks. 

Construction Paper Turkey

The most similar thing to this that I could find is this paper plate turkey. Pretty much the same thing here, except we cut out a large paper circle instead of using a paper plate!

And last but certainly not least, Pilgrim Hats!

For the bonnet, trace a large uni-boob (don't you think that's what it looks like?!) shape out of a large piece of construction paper (I taped 2 pieces of regular sized pieces of construction paper together).

Fold the bottom up about 2 inches. 

Staple in the back.

Punch holes on the corners and tie around your child's head!

For the boy's hat...

Trace a hat shape on a large piece of black construction paper (again, I taped 2 pieces of regular size construction paper together).

Trace a trapezoid shape onto a piece of white paper. Glue onto the hat shape.

Cut a black square, and glue on top of the white trapezoid.

Glue a square piece of aluminum foil onto the black square.

Using a long strip of black paper for the back, bribe your child to hold still by offering them lots of snacks while you measure their head. Probably wait to take it off of their head before you staple it together ;) 

And voila! A pilgrim hat that your toddler will not keep on their head! :)

Happy Thanksgiving crafting, friends!! 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Kathryn's Baby Sprinkle!

Yesterday, I threw a sprinkle-themed baby sprinkle for one of my besties, Kathryn!

For food we had:

*donuts (I made them into a topiary using a styrofoam cone and toothpicks)
*chicken and waffles (mini waffles and popcorn chicken! Super easy! I put some syrup out for those who wanted that on top, too.)
*cups of fruit
*cake made by me :)

In the kitchen we had drinks! Mimosas of course (and I also got sparkling grape juice for the mom-to-be)!

I also tried to make use of my ugly kitchen light (gosh, I hate that thing!) by hanging confetti garland from it. The garland is still currently up in my kitchen because both of my kids think it's the most amazing thing ever! ;)

Since this is Kathryn's second child (and she's not finding out the gender), one thing she really wanted was matching jammies for the new baby and big sister Penelope! 

I had the party favors in a nice glass bowl, but Lucas managed to knock this stand over (and taking the bowl with it, obviously) and the bowl broke into 2957238 pieces. So a basket I found in our family room would have to do! 

I made some popcorn drizzled in white chocolate and sprinkles for everyone to take with them!

We opted not to play games, but everyone did made their predictions on when Kathryn will have this baby and if it will be a boy or a girl!

It was a great morning celebrating one of my favorite people and her second baby!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Our New Playroom

A few weeks ago, I decided to convert our "living" room into a playroom on a whim (I'm sure the steroids I was taking from my allergic reaction helped a little bit)! 

I use the term living room very loosely because, well, we weren't exactly living in it. It was basically the room where we put our Christmas tree every December. And that's about it.

See?! Super boring. 
My kids already had a playroom in our upstairs bonus room...but that's shared with all my craft stuff, our treadmill and wall-to-wall shelves. So they didn't really have a room that was all theirs. Plus I didn't like them playing upstairs by themselves if I was down in the kitchen or something. 
Now, they can play to their hearts' content downstairs and I am right there if they need something! 

My favorite part about this room is the natural light coming in from the windows! Nothing makes me happier than a nice, bright space for the kids to play! 

I just happened to walk down the "random" aisle at Aldi (you know, the one with all of the junk in it?!) and found these bins...2 for $5! Lucky me!

Yes, I organize my kids' books by ROYGBIV. I am that OCD.

{Please ignore the large Amazon box...that is Ella's "boat." She spent forever decorating it and I'm too scared of her reaction if I throw it away!}

My other favorite part of the room? Our little "school" corner, where I have proudly hung my calendar pocket chart and displayed all of my seasonal classroom books! 

Ella loves to play "calendar" and sing her months of the year/days of the week songs from preschool! She is also wanting this suuuuper badly for Christmas so she can do more "kindergarten stuff!"

Next to the books, Ella uses these pointers when she wants to be a "teacher" and point to things around the room. Lucas has started copying her and using them, too! All you do to make them is get paint sticks from a hardware store (they will give a few to you for free, but apparently you can buy a bunch on Amazon too!), and hot glue on one of those painted wood decals they sell at craft stores. I used these pointers for everything when I was teaching and am so glad I kept them! And yes, I have different ones for every season/holiday! 

{In a UNC cup, because duh. Like we have other large plastic cups besides the ones we've taken from football games?!}

Ok one more favorite part of this room (sorry, I have lots of favorites!)...the kids' artwork!!! I found this idea on Pinterest and decided it would be a great way to display Ella's 39496 pieces of preschool art! I found most of the frames at Goodwill and spray painted them white. 

My kids also made the above pieces (Ella made the E, Lucas made the L)! I put painter's tape on a large canvas in the shape of each letter and then had each kid go to town with teal, green, gray and yellow paint. I removed the painter's tape when they were dry, and I loved how they turned out. Let me know if you'd like to commission my little artists for your next artwork ;) Gotta start building up their college funds somehow, right?! 

Oh and if you think it always looks this clean.... does not. 😜

Rug: Hayneedle
Shelves: Ikea
Bins: Aldi
Chairs: Target (old...these are similar)
Play kitchen: Amazon 
Canvases: Joann
Lamps: Ikea
Anywhere chairs: Pottery Barn Kids
Canvas book shelf: I actually got this at a consignment sale, but found a similar one here