Monday, April 28, 2014

Little Blue Truck

What's with trucks driving in mud? For my girly-girl, our Blue Truck theme was totally shocking and fascinating at the same time. We mixed colors and painted a lot, counted and constructed trucks with shapes, built small worlds and role-played "Friends". The new words for us were swerve, curve, mud, stuck, and tires.

Little Blue Truck

Our activities are based on the book "Little Blue Truck" by Alice Schertle and are a part of this month's Poppins Book Nook. Please, take some time to look through wonderful ideas for the April's "Plains, Trains, and Automobiles" - they all are so much fun!

Unlike my usual difficulty to single out the best book from many available, "Little Blue Truck" jumped out to us from a pile of other great transportation books. The story line is simple. The huge mean truck got stuck in mud, asked for help, but nobody wanted to help him because he had been rude to them. Little Blue was kind and brave. He rushed to help the one in need without hesitation.

Little Blue dress-up costume

We made these blue trucks for our Tot School. They are nothing fancy: we wanted several of them and quick. The picture of Camilla in a truck is not the best. It was close to impossible to snap a picture of kids dressed in trucks. As soon as they got their trucks on, they started laughing and running around and away... huge success!

To make a truck, I opened up the box at the top and bottom, removed some flaps, and stapled together the parts at the top at an angle. We painted the boxes with Camilla - she was happy to paint for this huge project. Of course, she turned blue from her head to toes at the end. My friends did an excellent job of decorating the trucks. Becca's husband invented the wipes on windshields, the best detail that drew everybody's attention (they are made with chenille stems and are movable). We also added the ribbons to help hold trucks on kids when they run.

Here is a picture of the wheels. The chenille stem is threaded through the cap from a baby food pouch, then through a single hole in the paper plate and the truck, and through the second cap on the other side. This was easy and fast to do.

Mud: color mixing and painting

We learned that all the colors mixed together make brown "mud". This is our first color mixing experience.

We "swerved and curved" while painting waves. I printed out waves in shades of grey and showed Camilla how to color in the waves. This is an excellent idea! The patterns for prewriting skills are filled with art and creativity. This activity was inspired by this great blog post: Zig Zag Painting.


Camilla spent a lot of time painting with the truck. I made a long strip from our "mud" pictures. We put paint directly onto the paper; and Camilla drove her blue truck through the paint. After the paint dried out, the painting became Camilla's favorite toy for a couple of days.

Little Blue Truck - Helping Hand Theater

The set up: painted "mud" on the floor, big toy truck "stuck" in mud, and kids dressed in blue trucks. There is no picture. Though the video would be better. Our 2 year olds problem solving skills in action - priceless!

Nolan came to push the truck out of the mud first. The truck didn't move (I was holding the truck in place). The idea was to wait for all the kids to figure out to work together to help the truck. Ainsley was next trying to decide whether to push the truck or Nolan. Then unexpected happened. Cassy ran around me and pulled the paper away from the truck to set it free. Everybody froze - there was a minute of silence followed by a burst of laughter.

Like I said - priceless!!!

Planes, trains, and automobiles

I am proud to join a group of these wonderful bloggers - hosts of Poppins Book  Nook!

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom's Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

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Clip art by: Melon Headz

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bunny Books

These treasures of early reading, bunny books are kind and deliver great values, extremely cute and very catchy. I had thought that "The Runaway Bunny" would be Camilla's favorite, but there are so many more! I want to share our favorites of this Easter season. Maybe you'd want to check them out, or tell us about your favorite Bunny book - we'd love to read them all.

Quiet Bunny

Quiet Bunny by Lisa McCue loves to listen to the sounds of the forest. With the beautiful pictures and the text, Camilla had her full attention to the story line and made her own little discoveries in the world of sounds. This is a great book to teach them how to listen!

There are many animals that gather together every night in the meadow to create and enjoy the night song. But can Bunny make any sound to join in? We had a lot of fun trying to rub our legs together like a cricket, and twitch the nose, and wiggle our ears and toes. Camilla loved to count bunnies in the meadow... and in our backyard.

I plan to find this author's other books: Little Chick and Mouse's first summer.

The Runaway Bunny

The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown is an all time favorite. We had a lot of fun activities related to this book. They can be found here The Runaway Bunny.

Little Bunny

Little Bunny by Lauren Thompson is illustrated in wonderful colors. It brightens your day just by looking through this book. The newborn Bunny is travelling through his neighborhood and meets new friends: a dragonfly, a chipmunk, a porcupine, a chickadee. He splashes across the brook, tumbles in the clover, and scampers back to Mama. The story is very easy to understand, and has many new words to learn at the same time.

Bella Loves Bunny

Bella Loves Bunny by David McPhail. I cheated: I substituted "Bella" by "Camilla" when reading this book. It made this book very personal. Camilla loves to "read" this book while hugging her toy bunny (who all of a sudden has become her favorite toy again).

Curious George

Curious George Flies a Kite by H.A.Rey. George does fly a kite at the end of the story. But for the first half of the story, he visits a bunnies' house in the big garden. He decides to play hide and seek with a baby bunny, can't find it, and asks Mother Bunny for help. We talked about bunny holes and food after reading this book. Very cute!

What Am I? Easter

It is a lift the flap book written by Anne Margaret Lewis. Each page is a riddle with the answer behind the flap. It's a little too advanced for Camilla, but she enjoyed the flaps of the book.

Laugh and Learn LINKS:
The Runaway Bunny
The Runaway Bunny free printables and a lap book
Bunny Playdough Mats

This post might be linked to these amazing places

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Humpty Dumpty Breakfast, or a Week of Morning Surprises in a Box

Humpty Dumpty Breakfast

Humpty Dumpty Egg is sitting on a wall of Legos. I shook the box, and Humpty fell, again and again, until the king's men couldn't help any longer and the egg got eaten. It turned out a very exciting breakfast for my picky eater. And got Camilla very interested in the box's surprises for the rest of the week.

A Week of Morning Easter Surprises in a Box

I offered my happy little girl an activity in a box: one new activity each morning. It would be nice to keep it up until Easter: a kind of an Easter count down.

On the second morning, she got to sort Easter eggs by size. The eggs printed out from 3 Dinosaurs and laminated.

The morning after that: we decorated our flowers. I had got lucky to score a box of mini salt shakers on clearance. We filled them with the colored sand which was an exciting activity on itself. Camilla covers the surface with the glue stick and spreads it with the sand. The loose sand is gathered back into the salt shaker and reused. She also glued in the pieces of ribbon and gems.

On the fourth morning, we connected the 2 halves of Easter eggs.

Here is the fifth morning. The lacing card and the numbers page are printed from 1+1+1=1. Camilla used the glass beads to count the ducks on the page.

On the morning after that, Camilla found a color wheel in her box. Cloths pins are the best fine motor practice. They are very challenging for her: she's just started managing them.

Pattern Blocks

Our last box of the week had a magnetic board with pattern blocks and markers for tracing the letter T.

Laugh and Learn LINKS:
Spring Showcase
Pattern Blocks
Tot School Printables
Easter Printables

This post might be linked to these amazing places

Friday, April 4, 2014

Recycled Box: Spring Showcase

The Hidden Garden

We've made a beautiful garden from an old box and used it for many different purposes already: built small worlds with several different themes; used as a display case for recent activities and crafts and as a display for the introduction to play; learned about types of flowers and insects; reviewed sorting by objects in land, air, and water.

To make a case, I removed 2 sides from the box leaving about 2 inches at the bottom of the box to keep it steadier. The 2 top flaps are bend forward slightly and stapled together. The size of the base is a little larger then 12 by 12. I made holes along the top edges - 8 holes per each side. The ribbons strung through the holes are used to display the items elevated from the base. The ribbons are not tight to anything so that we can change the height of the items attached to them.

We used 12 by 12 pre printed scrapbook sheets. Camilla enjoyed covering the box with glue so much! Then I gave her stickers for embellishments (the stickers are reusable).

For our first scene in the box, we set a pond filled with glass beads and fish, our newly crafted tulip and crocus, animals, and flying insects. I love how Camilla is fascinated by her garden in this picture. So funny!

Spring flower craft with a TP roll

I drew grass and leaves free hand on 2 pieces of construction paper, cut them out, and glued them together at the ends to make a "ring".

Camilla was happy to color all the flower stems as much as she wanted. She didn't cover all the rolls. So I smoothed all the surfaces with the brush after she got finished.

To make each flower, I cut out two pieces. I cut them halfway along midline: one starting at the bottom and one at the top. Then I connected the two to make a 3-D flower.

We'll use these flowers to learn about the parts of flowers and to decorate them with sparkle, gems and insects that live in the grass.

What are your favorite spring flowers?