Monday, December 28, 2009

Week 7: Calendars

We are back on track for the new year after missing 2 weeks for a death in the family and Christmas.... just in time for 2010! The Stars topic from the previous post went really well. Unfortunately we didn't get to the planetarium because you have to pay to get into the science museum as well which blew it out of the budget...oh well, maybe next year!

Since this week marks January 1st, I thought I would teach Lily a little bit about Calendars. We will be going through the days of the week and the months. I will also incorporate some New Year's Crafts and activities as well.


Alligators and others all year long! : a book of months by Dragonwagon, Crescent.

Calendar by Livingston, Myra Cohn.

Calendarbears : a book of months Hague, Kathleen.

Coco all year round
by Tanen, Sloane.

Here comes the year
by Spinelli,

Jump into January : a journey around the yearBlackstone, Stella.

Month by month a
year goes round by Shields, Carol Diggory.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar- by Eric Carle (Days of the


Family Crafts
has many pdfs for Printable Calendars I will have Lily Make

I am going to read the Very Hungry Caterpillar and we will do these activities to go along with it!
Inspire Me Crafts has a great Egg Carton Caterpillar craft that I think I will do too...(picture is from her website)

Songs: (Source)- These are Great!

Happy Days
Tune: Happy Days
Sunday, Monday, Happy Days
Tuesday, Wendsday Happy Days
Thursday Friday Happy Days
Saturday 7 Days
Grooovin all week with you!

Addams Family
There’s Sunday and there’s Monday
Then Tuesday then there’s Wendsday
Then Thursday then Friday
And then comes Saturday
Days of the week (snap snap), days of the week (snap snap) days of the week, days of the week days of the week(snap, snap)

Tune: For He's A Jolly Good Fellow
There are seven days in a week
Seven days in a week
Seven days in a week
And I can say them all.
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
Saturday is the last day
And I can say them all.
Then after we sing this song we name the days of the week by counting them out on our fingers. As we hold up the fingers we say, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Then we count the fingers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Then sing the song again.

Tune (Twinkle Twinkle)
Come Along and Sing with me
There are seven days you see
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, too.
Wednesday, Thursday, Just for you
Friday, Saturday, that's the end
Then the week starts over again.


I think I'm going to do a Caterpillar themed snack...we have Kiwi, so I'll cut it up and put a grape in between each segment and attach it to a long bamboo stick, or maybe thread with string..not sure..we'll see!

I LOVE this Muffin Tin Snack idea from The Masked Mommy too (picture from her blog)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Week 6: Stars

Lily is obsessed with having a star on top of the Christmas Tree...
so I thought, while she's really into stars, why not learn about them.

Advent has been going well.
Lily loves to take the paper down from the Advent Wreath
and see what the day's activity and bible verse is.
We'll keep it up until Christmas!


Background: Rather than explaining the molecular gas structure of a star, I figured it would be better to talk more general about stars. Hit topics like:

Stars are out in space, where the moon and the sun are.
When can we see stars? At night
Can we count the stars?
The Star in the East was what the Wise Men followed to find Jesus, the Son of God.


A star so bright : a Christmas tale by Butler, M. Christina

How to catch a star by Jeffers, Oliver

Little Owl and the Star : a Christmas Story by Murphy, Mary

Little Star by Louchard, Antonin

Stars by Tomecek, Steve

Shine by Langley, Karen

Mouse, mole, and the falling star by Benjamin, A. H.

Stars! Stars! Stars! by Barner, Bob

A ladder to the stars by Puttock, Simon


  • We only have an angel for the top of our tree, so we are going to make a star tree topper: I'm just going to make it out of cardboard, tin foil and paper.... we'll see

  • We'll use star cookie cutters, blue construction paper with white and yellow paint to make outlines of stars... and Lily can paint the moon too!
  • I'd also like to get a star punch, and tape black construction paper to the window to make our own constellations.

We have a planetarium in our town, so I think I'll take her to the one of the shows called Meet Sol the Sun. Link to WPB Science Museum

Go star gazing out on the back porch...blankets, hot


Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Under The Stars
Under the stars, one holy night,
A little Babe was born;
Over his head a star shone bright,
And glistened til the morn.
And wise men came from far away,
And shepherds wandered where He lay,
Upon His lowly bed of hay,
Under the stars one night.

Under the stars, one blessed night,
The Christ-Child came to earth,
And through the darkness broke the light
Of morning at his birth.
And sweet hosannas filled the air,
And guardian angels watched him where
The Virgin Mother knelt in prayer,
Under the stars one night.

Under the stars, this happy night,
We wait for Him once more,
And seem to see the wondrous sight
The shepherds saw of yore.
O, Baby born in Bethlehem,
Come to us as you came to them,
And crown us with love's diadem,
Under the stars tonight.


We'll make pancakes, sandiwches and cut them out like stars with cookie cutters...pretty much we'll make anything into a star that we can :)

I'll also try to find some star fruit. The girls love that fruit anyway. (Click the Picture for more info on Star Fruit)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Week 5: Advent

This week marks the beginning of Advent.

I have never really been very acknowledging of Advent,
but this year I am truly learning the importance of
preparing your heart for Jesus...
especially in children.

So my goal this week is to prepare the heart of my children for
Jesus through learning about Advent.

Last weeks topic of Thanksgiving went well.
We did our Thankful Leaf craft and made the Thankful Tree.
For added pictures from last week click here.


What is Advent? In Preschool Terms of course!

Advent is getting ready for Jesus' Birthday!
Advent starts 4 Sundays before Christmas... so this year in 2009, Advent started Yesterday!
Jesus' birthday is a big deal because he came to this Earth for us!
We will prepare our hearts for Jesus this week and all of the weeks till his birthday by praying, being together as a family and helping others.


The Bible - We will be doing the readings as posted here.

Merry birthday, Nora Noël by Dixon, Ann.

Advent Storybook by Antonie Schneider

The Jesse Tree by Raymond Anderson

Crafts and Activities:

I got involved this week and made my own Advent Calendar of sorts. You can get the tutorial here (once I finish posting it!) Here is a picture of it:

Every day the girls will take turns taking the photo down from the wreath for that particular day. On the back I have the short bible reference and a family activity to do for that day. Sometime this week, I will post my list on here with the bible verses so you could easily do this too!

We will definitely be making a paper advent wreath and possibly I will get a real wreath with candles. Here is the link to the template from First-School for a paper Advent Wreath

First School also has bible verses and readings for each Sunday candle lighting if you are interested here.

We will be making Christmas cards to bring over to the Senior Home in our town too. Lily and I will be doing that during Claire's nap one of these days and then we will bring them over one afternoon. I have posted this idea over on craft gossip along with many links for easy homemade cards for children to make. The card below is my favorite..and so easy!
Through our church, we will be getting an Angel Tree gift for a child of the girls choosing.


Christmas Carols- Click Here for all the Lyrics to your favorites!


We will also be making batches of cookies for our
postwoman and neighbors as an act of giving.

My favorite Christmas Cookie Recipe:

Candy Cane Cookies: source


  • 1/2 tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough, softened (or your homemade recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring


  • In a large bowl, beat the cookie dough, flour and extract until smooth. Divide dough in half; mix food coloring into one portion.
  • Shape 1 teaspoon of white dough into a 6-in. rope. Shape 1 teaspoon of red dough into a 6-in. rope. Place ropes side by side; press together lightly and twist.
  • Place on an ungreased baking sheet; curve top of cookie to form handle of cane. Repeat with remaining dough, placing cookies 2 in. apart on baking sheets.
  • Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool for 2 minutes before carefully removing to wire racks. Yield: 3 dozen.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Week 4: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving week is finally here and like all holiday times,
we have been really busy...
hence the late post.
But that's not to say we haven't been preparing for Thanksgiving!

Last weeks topic of manners was truly a reflection of how well
I am doing as a parent in teaching manners...
Needless to say I had to REALLY focus and explain
what manners were and how we use them..
not to mention Lily would tell people she was learning about manners
and therefore their expectations were higher...
but overall, the lesson was fun and she LOVED the tea-party.
You can see pics from last week here.



The Thanksgiving bowl by Kroll, Virginia L.

Give thanks to the Lord by Wilson, Karma.

Turkey surprise by Archer, Peggy.

Setting the turkeys free by Nikola-Lisa, W.

Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation by Stanley, Diane.

Thanks for Thanksgiving by Markes, Julie.

The Thanksgiving Prayer by Bowman, Crystal

Crafts and Activities:

We did this activity this past week, but it definitely pertains to Thanksgiving and the idea of being Thankful.

Thanksgiving Tree

Here is what we came up with...
Here's how I did it....frugally

2 Paper Bags Cut Open
Freehand a Tree....shocking, I know.

Then you cut it out!
Tape to the wall...
Ask your kids what they are thankful for...
I felt special because I came right after Lily being thankful for pillows and the wall.
I used this leaf template.
I had them laminated for a church project, which I recommend because...
if you use a dry erase marker,
you can use them over again!

Write Thankful Things on Leaf of your choice, and have children tape to wall!
During this project I let Lily practice her cutting skills on a scrap piece of paper bag, and I showed Claire how to Tear to increase her hand-eye coordination....

I also recently started as the Lesson Plans Editor over at where I posted a ton of craft ideas for Thanksgiving. You might enjoy trying one of those as well.

I love this idea which I hope to do sometime this week, frame it and keep for decoration every Thanksgiving. You can find the tutorial HERE or just click on the picture.

Songs- Source

Fun Finger Play about this holiday's most popular bird:

Mr. Turkey's tail is big and wide

(spread fingers)

He swings it when he walks

(swing hands)

His neck is long

(stretch neck)

His chin is red

(stroke chin)

And he gobbles when he talks

(open and close hands, and gobbles)


"10 Days of Thanksgiving"

On the first day of Thanksgiving the Natives gave to me... a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the second day of Thanksgiving the Natives gave to me... Two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the third day of Thanksgiving the Natives gave to me... three Native headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the fourth day of Thanksgiving, the Natives gave to me... four cornucopias, three Native headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the fifth day of Thanksgiving, the Natives gave to me... five bows and arrows, four cornucopias, three Native headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the sixth day of Thanksgiving, the Natives gave to me... six pairs of moccasins, five bows and arrows, four cornucopias, three Native headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the seventh day of Thanksgiving, the Natives gave to me... seven Native teepees, six pairs of moccasins, five bows and arrows, four cornucopias, three Native headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the eighth day of Thanksgiving, the Natives gave to me... eight woven blankets, seven Native teepees, six pairs of moccasins, five bows and arrows, four cornucopias, three Native headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the ninth day of Thanksgiving, the Natives gave to me... Nine ears of corn, eight woven blankets, seven Native teepees, six pairs of moccasins, five bows and arrows, four cornucopias, three Native headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the tenth day of Thanksgiving, the Natives gave to me... ten native tom-toms, nine ears of corn, eight woven blankets, seven Native teepees, six pairs of moccasins, five bows and arrows, four cornucopias, three Native headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch!


Click the Picture for the Turkey Sandwich Tutorial

Monday, November 16, 2009

Week 3: Manners

Since Thanksgiving is next week's topic, I thought it might be nice to emphasize saying "Thank You" and other such niceties the week before.

So this week, we will be studying manners and all aspects relating to it.

I really enjoyed last weeks topic of weather. There are sooo many great websites out there on the topic. We are still reading some books that were delayed from the library, so I will let you know which ones we liked best at the end of this week.



Being a pig is nice : a child's-eye view of manners by Lloyd-Jones, Sally

Do unto otters : a book about manners by Keller, Laurie

Are you quite polite? : silly dilly manners songs by Katz, Alan.

Emily's Everyday Manners by Post, Peggy

Please Say Please! A Penguin's Guide to Manners by Cuyler, Margery

The Berenstain Bears forget their manners by Berenstain, Stan

This little piggy's book of manners by Allen, Kathryn Madeline

Big Black Bear by Yee, Wong Herbert

Froggy Eats Out by London, Jonathan

Pass the Peas Please (A Book of Manners) by Dina Anastasio


The Berenstain Bears. Bears mind their manners [videorecording (DVD)]

Crafts & Activities:

I am going to have a tea party. We'll use her play tea set and make tea finger sandwiches. We'll practice using our etiquette as we enjoy ourselves on the floor with a blanket, some tea and some sandwiches. I am also going to make these below...not so much for the child to do though, just thought they would be fun to use.

I will also be teaching Lily how to do an invitation. She can work on her numbers, writing her name and her friend's name too.
Tea Party Invitation PDF

Lily enjoyed tracing her name where I wrote

Manner Napkins- Using Fabric Markers, write polite actions while at the table- ie"use your napkin", "chew with your mouth closed" etc.
Lily practiced setting the table
Lily was so proud of her table!

Tea Party Poem to make your own invitation.

Her guest finally arrived! Yay!
The girls had a great time and did not want
the mommies anywhere around!
Go figure:)

Oh, Before I Eat My Meals
Sung to: "
If You're Happy and You Know it"

Oh, before I eat my meals, I wash my hands,
(scrub, scrub)
Oh, before I eat my meals, I wash my hands,
(scrub, scrub)
Oh, it's very smart I think,
Sends those germs right down the sink.

Oh, before I eat my meals, I wash my hands.
(scrub, scrub)

Oh, before I eat my meals, I set my place,
(set, set)
Oh, before I eat my meals, I set my place,

(set, set)
I set everything I need,

I feel very proud, indeed.
Oh, before I eat my meals, I set my place.
(set, set)

Oh, before I eat my meals, I pass the food,
(pass the plate)

Oh, before I eat my meals, I pass the food,
(pass the plate)
'Cause we know it's only fair
For us all to have our share
Oh, before I eat my meals, I pass the food.


Sung to: "Twinkle twinkle tune"

We say, "Thank you. We say, "Please."
We don't interrupt, We don't tease.
We don't argue. We don't fuss.
We listen when folks talk to us.
We share our toys, we take our turn
Good manners are easy for us to learn.

This one I'll definitely use all the time!
Reminder Rhyme

Only one can talk at a time,
So this is what I'll do:
I'll listen like a little mouse
'Til other folks are through.

Snacks- All for the Tea Party
Cucumber Tea Sandwiches- Cut in the shape of stars...Lily's Request

Mini french bread (sliced 1/4")
1 Pkg. Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Sliced cucumbers

Mix the dressing mix, cream cheese, mayonaise, and lemon juice. Spread on bread. Top with a slice of cucumber.

Makes several sandwiches depending on the size bread you use and how generous you spread the cheese mixture

We used angels to cut out the sandwiches.

To accomodate her friend, we added plain cucumbers...

Vanilla Milk Tea

1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 tsp. decaf black or 4 tea bags
1 quart boiling water

The last thing we will do is create our own frame- able manner words to go in the dining room.

Amazon Taming Your Family ZOO- Book for Moms

Monday, November 9, 2009

Week 2: Weather

Last week went well. A lot of the books that I put on hold at the library were already taken out, so I will have to start thinking a lot more ahead for these topics.

This week we are having crazy weather here, so I thought it would be a great time to start the topic of ..... WEATHER!

Books: All of these books will be read throughout the week IF I can get them!

W is for Wind by Paulauski, Patrick
Weather ABC : an alphabet book by Hoena, B. A.
How does the sun make weather? by Williams, Judith (Judith A.)
If frogs made weather by Bauer, Marion Dane.
Oh say can you say what's the weather today? by Rabe, Tish.
Rain play by Cotten, Cynthia.
Who likes the rain? by Kaner, Etta.
Danny's first snow by Gore, Leonid.
In the snow by Denslow, Sharon Phillips.
Hello, snow! by Vestergaard, Hope.
The contest between the Sun and the Wind : an Aesop's fable by Forest, Heather.
Whoosh went the wind! by Derby, Sally.
What does the wind say? by Silvano, Wendi J.
How the ladies stopped the wind by McMillan, Bruce.

Craft: Umbrellas and Rain
Cut out construction paper umbrella. Have child glue to paper.

Dye rice blue and glue on top of umbrella like rain.
I used about 1/2 a cup of rice with
3 drops of blue food coloring and 1/4 cup of alcohol.
I let it sit for about 10 minutes then strained the rice.
I told Lily to do lines of glue going down to look like it was "pouring" on the umbrella.

We might also try to make these: Click on the picture to see how...
Songs: Source

Thunder and Lightning

(to the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel")

When a storm begins in the clouds,
It sometimes may look frightening.
You see a quick electrical spark--
Flash! goes the lightning!

Long and thin and streaky and fast,
Its glow is oh so brightening.
Watch for the electric spark--
Flash! goes the lightning!

When a storm begins in the clouds,
It truly is a wonder.
You hear a rumble loud in the sky--
Clap! goes the thunder!

Lightning bolts are heating the air,
Over clouds and under.
When the air expands enough--
Clap! goes the thunder.

Mr. Sun

Oh Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. golden Sun,
Please shine down on me.
Oh Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. golden Sun,
Hiding behind a tree.
These little children are asking you
To please come out so
We can play with you.
Oh Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. golden Sun,
Please shine down on,
Please shine down on,
Please shine down on me!

Weather Helper Song - to sing every morning and use our weather cards

(To the tune of "Oh My Darlin")

Weather Helper, Weather Helper
What's the weather outside?
Go and look out the window,
Tell us what you see outside.
What's the weather?
What's the weather?
What's the weather tell everyone.
Is it windy? Is it cloudy? Is there rain? or is there sun?


Strawberry Meringues- Source
I'll call them Raspberry Clouds! mmmmmm....


  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced- I used raspberries b/c I had it on hand...I thought it would be neat to do blueberries like big rain drops... next time.


  1. Place egg white in a mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Add cream of tartar and salt; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved.
  2. Drop into four mounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape into 4-in. cups with the back of a spoon. Bake at 225 degrees F for 1-1/2 hours or until set and dry. Turn oven off; leave meringues in oven for 1-1/2 hours. Store in an airtight container.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Just before serving, spoon into meringue shells. Top with strawberries and garnish with mint if desired. ( I put raspberries in the middle of them.)
Our preschool neighbor came over to try some and they really enjoyed "cracking" open the cloud so the "rain raspberries" would come out.

Normally I freak out with Lily in the kitchen, but I would DEFINITELY recommend this baking project with a preschooler! Few ingredients, and very easy.

We bought a preschool weather hang up at the dollar store, so we will be hanging that up and trying to learn what the words say. She will have to find the word that corresponds with the day's weather.

This week, I included the website sources in each section.