Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Candy Cane Mini Pack

UPDATED 12/8/2012: This pack now contains 26 printable pages, for a total of 19 activities.

This week, we’re reading candy cane stories and doing some candy cane activities.  I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, so I went ahead and made a few printables yesterday. 

Click HERE to download this pack for FREE!Untitled-1
This is much smaller than my typical packs, and it was created just for my own kiddos…but hopefully some of you will be able to use it in these last days before Christmas, too!  (I’ll probably expand this for next year, but this year it’s just the basics that we’ll be using here today!)
This pack contains:
  • count & match cards
  • J is for Jesus magnet/bingo marker page
  • circle what's different page
  • counting mat activity
  • addition mat activity
  • handwriting practice (letter C, c)
  • color sorting (red & green)
  • shadow matching
  • scissors skills
Graphics by Maree Truelove ~ used with written permission from the artist
Scrappin' Doodles 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tot School – Christmas Trees

(Alex is 47 months, Max is 27 months)

We only did one day of Tot School this week, but we’ve had a lot going on!  Between shopping trips, Christmas baking, and other little things, our time has been filled.

On Wednesday, when Grace was here, we spent some time doing Christmas tree activities.  We read the book The Legend of the Christmas Tree.  This book is a little complicated for 2 – 4 year olds, but I know for sure that Alex understood these basic concepts:

The tree is a triangle.  It has three corners to remind us of the three-in-one God: Father, Son, & Holy Spirit.

The lights on the tree remind us that Jesus is the light of the world.

We went on to do some activities.  Most are from 2TeachingMommies Christmas Tree unit.  The tree sizing activity is from Homeschool Creations.

Alex and Grace did the tree number order puzzle.  For some reason, this was very tricky for both of them.  They were good until about 7, and then (perhaps their patience wore out…) had trouble getting 8 – 10 in order.  We pasted our Christmas trees to construction paper.

December2011 173

We did the shape tree activity.  Max, who normally loves matching shapes, just wanted to use all the piece to make a really tall Christmas tree.   Grace loved this activity and did it very well.  Alex wouldn’t do it. ;)

December2011 153December2011 165

I printed three copies of the magnet page.  The kids took turns using magnets to fill the circles, and then afterwards, they used bingo markers to decorate their trees.  Max is absolutely captivated by this activity!  I left it on the counter, and he did it several time throughout the day!

December2011 156December2011 162December2011 164

Prewriting – following the lines to put the star on the Christmas tree

 December2011 155  Cutting, sorting, and size-sequencing their Christmas trees.

December2011 157 December2011 159

December2011 161

I’d printed this page for Alex, but Max did it…and did it well!  I was SHOCKED! 
He was so proud of himself that he did it again and again!December2011 163

We finished by making edible Christmas trees.  Each child got a sugar cone, a small cup of green frosting, a kid-sized knife, and some sprinkles and mini M&Ms.  We had some good, sticky fun!

   December2011 166 December2011 167 December2011 168 December2011 170

 December2011 171 December2011 172

My kids are just LOVING all the crafts and sticky messes we’ve worked on this month!
Perhaps this month is a prime example of why I need to pull out the paints, frosting, sprinkles, and glue a little more often!  We hope that you and your little ones are truly enjoying your activities this month, as well :)

You can learn more about RRSP, Preschool Corner, or Tot School by clicking on the links below.  You’ll also see what other moms are doing with their tots and preschoolers!

Tot School

Christmas Cookie Fun!

It started out when we invited ONE neighbor to come over with her TWO kids.  We planned to spend the morning making and decorating cut-out cookies together.  Somehow, I kept inviting more people to come!  I’m so glad, though, as we spent a wonderful day together!

Four moms, ten kids, lots of noise, plenty of sprinkles, and a whole lot of sticky fingerprints…yes, it was quite the morning!  The kids went back and forth between playing and helping, the moms enjoyed chatting as we worked, and we all had lots of cookies to bring home and deliver to a few neighbors and friends.

December2011 190 December2011 174 December2011 175 December2011 176 December2011 177 December2011 179 December2011 180 December2011 181 December2011 182 December2011 183 December2011 184   December2011 188

Sprinkles, anyone?  There are three very well decorated cookies on this plate!
Wow, Alex! ;)

December2011 185 December2011 189


We did the cut-out cookies with all the children, and then two of the moms had to leave to deliver kids to afternoon kindergarten.  April and her boys stayed to play until naptime and to make candy cane cookies together.  Sweet April also helped me clean the kitchen, which was a nice treat at the end of such a busy day. 

This morning was SUCH fun that April & I are already planning to do it again next year!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tot School – Christmas Fun

Alex is almost 4, and Max is 27 months.

We’re doing a mix of typical tot school and Christmas activities right now.  We’re reading a little daily devotional book, using our Countdown Chains, and every day there’s something little (a book, a craft, stickers) in a gift bag under the tree.

The kids SO look forward to checking out the gift bag under the tree each morning.  They know that Mommy is the one putting things in there, but it doesn’t ruin the fun.  One day, there was a paint with water book that my mom found on clearance last year.  

December2011 087December2011 088  

Another day, it was magic capsules that grow in water.  After the capsules had grown, we used the sponges to stamp & paint on construction paper.  (Thanks, Jess H, for leaving a comment on my blog with that idea!)

December2011 089 December2011 091 

December2011 098December2011 097

Their favorite Christmas story so far is Room For A Little One.  It’s a sweet story with pretty watercolor illustrations that shares the birth of Jesus in a different way.  It’s not 100% realistic, as animals don’t talk, but it is a beautiful story.  Alex walks around the house now saying, “There’s always room for a little on here!”

One of the activities in our Christmas Countdown devotion book was to trace Christmas cookie cutters, color them, and hang them on the tree.  I knew my boys would NOT want to color, as it’s just not their thing.  Alex has been asking to paint lately, so I got out the finger paints.  We were out of paper plates, so I stuck the (non-toxic) finger paint on the boys’ lunch plates.
December2011 010

Below are the pictures of Max’s first time fingerpainting…I didn’t even think about that fact until he SCREAMED.  Apparently, while the bright colors LOOK pretty tasty, finger paint doesn’t taste very good.  Whoops!  Nothing a nice, big sippy cup of apple juice couldn’t fix! ;)

 December2011 003 December2011 004 December2011 005 December2011 006

After the little taste-testing incident, Max refused to touch his fingers to the paint.  I grabbed some q-tips to use as disposable paint brushes.  He painted just a bit, but decided it was more fun to match the cookie cutters to the shapes that Mommy had traced on his paper.

December2011 007 December2011 008

Alex had a good time, though!  He had so much fun smearing paint that you can’t even see the original colors anymore…it’s just a blend of Christmas-y colors.

December2011 009

We mainly used resources from Over The Big Moon this week.  Alex enjoyed the size-sequencing of baby Jesus in the manger.  This week, I cut a sheet of construction paper in half and taped the two strips together.  I asked Alex to sequence the pictures from smallest to largest, then glue it to his paper.  He did a GREAT job!

December2011 031 December2011 034

Max was determined to do the “Which One Is Different” page.  I helped him make the first few circles; after that, he scribbled on the correct pictures. 

December2011 032 December2011 033 

When he finished that page, he moved on to pre-writing.  Sort-of.  Really, he just wanted to scribble on the page.  He tried, though.  He SO badly wants to do what Alex does!

December2011 035 December2011 036

Alex, on the other hand, does a pretty good job with both of these activities!

December2011 037 December2011 038

We played this Christmas shape game from Living Life Intentionally.  Each player gets a tree and six shapes.  You take turns rolling the die, then placing that shape on your tree.  The first to fill their tree wins the game.

December2011 039 December2011 040

Max thought he was playing, but really, he was just randomly placing shapes on the tree as he desired. He’d roll the die on occasion just for fun.

December2011 041 December2011 042

Alex stamped the J and j, and Max just stamped on a piece of paper.

Max definitely has his own ideas for what he wants to do during Tot School these days.  I’d love to do things that are more to his level of learning, but he wants so badly to do what Alex is doing!  Oh well ~ he’s still learning, just in his own way! :)

December2011 043 December2011 044

(The J is for Jesus page is also from Living Life Intentionally.)

December2011 045 

We hope that you & your kiddos are having fun rogether as you anticipate the coming of Christmas!

You can learn more about RRSP, Preschool Corner, or Tot School by clicking on the links below.  You’ll also see what other moms are doing with their tots and preschoolers!

Tot School