Friday, January 31, 2014

Discussing Groundhog Day--Making a Venn Diagram to compare groundhogs with beavers

Today we discussed the meaning of groundhog day and made this cute craft. Mr. K actually helped the little ones make it rather then making his own...he is so great with them.

 The picture below is what happens when my 2.5 year old daughter makes a craft.

She has a bit of a "cutting" obsession right now! LOL
During our discussion Mr. K asked what the difference was between a ground hog & a beaver.  We both discussed the obvious differences (beavers live in water, ground hogs live in burrows etc.)  He wanted to draw a picture of a groundhog for his unit study book but wasn't sure what one looks like so he asked me to google it.
I googled an image and while he was drawing googled and found this page:
While he drew I read the page to him and at the bottom there is a chart for comparing the two.
Something really cool happened next!  I took out a piece of lined paper & made a little chart the same as the one on the internet. Mr. K grabbed a piece of paper & said "mom lets do one of these!" excitedly.
I was very surprised & said "do you know what that's called?"  he said no and I said "it's a Venn diagram".  I know it's really not THAT exciting but I was very excited he thought to make one & that he was so excited to get filling it in.

I am so proud of Mr. K today! He has come so far lately in his spelling & in his reading....before homeschooling he struggled so much with it. What I am most proud about him though is that he is really starting to develop a love for learning new things :) 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mini Unit Study on Coral Reefs

Yesterday Mamma returned from her week long trip to Aruba. The kids were so happy to see her! 
She was awesome enough to bring the kids back some really cool sea shells, some lava rock, crab claws and a piece of coral.
Mr. K was so excited when I told him this morning that we would be doing a small unit study on coral reefs!
First we watched some of this documentary on Youtube: 
 I myself was unable to see all of it (having a 2.5 yr. old & three 2 yr. old daycare kiddos will do that!)  but he watched about 30 mins.  of it & he also paused the movie a couple times to talk with me about what he had learned. I love when he does this because I know he is paying attention!
After the video we read the info. on this page:
We also googled images for sea urchins. We noticed that sea urchins come in all shapes and sizes and noted that their spikes are all different lengths. We also discussed the fact that if  you step on a sea urchin they sting (there were some images of people having stepped on them)
We also google images for star fish because Mr. K wanted to draw one.
While I was reading K was drawing and colouring the picture below for his unit study book 

*Note the starfish and sea urchins on the coral.
The writing portion was done after while we were reflecting on things we could do as humans to help the coral reef (there is a written section about this in the article above)
Mr. K said that we need to stop pouring chemicals down the drain and he asked me about what I use to wash the floors (Lysol).  I also have biodegradable cleaner and vinegar that I use most of the time.
Mr. K  checked all the labels and informed me that the cleaner that is harmful to the environment should not be used anymore & I should only buy the vinegar & biodegradable cleaner. I told him we would now do that & we also discussed different ways we can conserve water. We already do that but it was nice to review it anyway.

If you can see Mr. K's last sentence it says "my piece of coral stinks".  He cannot get over the "fishy" smell of his coral ...LOL
It was a great unit study and a great day full of learning!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Setting up a "snack bin"!

When my 7 year old son was younger I saw a Pin about a snack bin on Pinterest & I made one for him but he kind of grew out of it when he was around 5 or so. He just kind of started getting snacks on his own & no longer needed/wanted me to prep. things for him.
Now that Little M is 2.5 years old she is growing like a weed and constantly asking me for snacks throughout the day!
 I thought I would try setting up a "snack bin" for her last week and she LOVES it! When she asks me for a snack now I just tell her yes or no and then she is able to run and grab it herself because it is kept within reach for her (it is in a bottom drawer in our kitchen)  
 Its so simple! Just prep. the bin a couple times per week with healthy snacks and that's it!
There are plenty of different snacks I put it in the bin:
fruit cups
apple sauce

I would love to include cut up veggies but unfortunately Little M won't eat any right now unless they are cooked :( 
There are so many things you can add and I love the fact that Little M feels so proud that she is able to go and grab a snack for makes her feel like such a big girl!


Do you use a snack bin in your home?

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Cutting Bin

The cutting bin is such a hit with my kids!
This bin is super easy to set up and keeps the kids busy for at least 20-30 minutes!
It is so flexible because you can add just about anything. Here is a list of materials I add (I alternate what I include to keep it different and exciting each time I bring it out)
Safety scissors
hole puncher
paint swatches
scrapbooking paper
paper bags
foam sheets
strips of construction paper
tissue paper
Here are some action shots.


 I hope this inspires you to make your own cutting bin!





Monday, January 6, 2014

Bringing Snow Inside!

I set this up for the kids this morning and they were SO excited to play with it!

 Here is Little M the first time she realized she could change the colour of the snow :)

This activity was so simple to set up and they played with it for over an hour.  So worth it!

If you would like to set it up for your little ones all you need is:

A Rubbermaid full of snow
some syringes/paint brushes (we used both)
some small bowl with water mixed with food colouring
plastic spoons
small containers they can fill with snow

Friday, January 3, 2014

B is for Baking Blueberry Banana Bread!

Say that 3 times fast!
Little M was so excited to bake with mommy today. I found this recipe on Pinterest yesterday and knew we had to give it a try. Doesn't it look so good?!  It was super easy to make too!
Click on the picture for the full recipe:
The only thing I would do differently is use mini loaf pans (like the recipe suggests) I just didn't have any so it made baking time longer but it turned out SO good!

Here is Little M baking with mommy:
She kept saying after each step "I need to write this down mom" & would scribble in her little book.
Here it is out of the oven. It smells wonderful!
Here she is taste testing it. She loves it!

Thursday, January 2, 2014


I have noticed a lot of bloggers writing Best of 2013 posts so I thought I'd get in on the fun too!

I hope you enjoy having a look at them!
My #1 post this year was a FREEBIE circle time song I made up for my daycare kids. They still love singing this song/activity almost daily:
Post #2 is a FREE printable pack. It does have a couple Halloween sheets that you could pin for October but it also has some great free sight word dabbing sheets as well as some find-a-letter sheets that the little ones LOVE!
#3 is our Bear Unit post with lots of bear themed learning activities, printables & fun!
Post #4 is our Spelling Words printable pack. This pack is something I made up for K to help him practise his spelling words on a weekly basis. There are lots of fun ideas here for practising spelling/sight words!
The last TOP post of 2013 is my FREE Halloween printable pack that contains:
2 pages of writing/drawing prompts
2 "read & copy" pages including identifying nouns
4 "telling time" pages
These printables are geared towards 2nd- 3rd grade.

The following are honourable mentions that I felt the need to add to the list because they are great too!
This is a recent post called THE BUSY BOX. This is a great activity that I made for my 2.5 year old daughter. She LOVES it and plays with it daily (my daycare kiddos love it as well!) It literally keeps her busy for a half an hour each time she uses it....who couldn't use half an hour of busy toddler time to get things done?!

This printable Babysitting Kit is a great booklet for teens to take with them on their babysitting jobs!
It includes a 20 page printable booklet with an emergency form, plenty of easy arts & crafts ideas, an easy playdoh recipe, fun printable songs, activities, ideas for games to play outside, ideas for making busy bags, cute business cards, flyers etc.
This last post is a fun learning activity to help kids practise their letters!

Thanks so much for stopping by to check out my Top Posts of 2013!