ivey league preschool: robots and clouds!

Here's some fun we've been having lately...totally inspired by a couple of library books!

Recently Caleb fell in love with a book called Robot Zombie Frankenstein by Annette Simon.  Very simple "plot" (a couple of robots try to outdo each other with "costumes"), but that's what makes it so funny.  He asked to read it again and again, and basically had it memorized pretty quickly.

The inside covers of the book have a bunch of shapes used to make the robots and their parts, so that inspired us to cut shapes out of construction paper to make our own robots:

Caleb actually did pretty well with his scissors...he used some of his shapes as well as some of the ones I cut out for him.  We added googly eyes to the robots when we were done.  Because googly eyes make almost anything better.

Caleb's robots...can you tell what his favorite color is??

My robots.  Caleb tends to work longer at a project if someone sits beside him and does their own.  Plus it's fun.  :o)

 We also made a really fun shoebox robot!  I covered a shoebox (complete with lid) with foil, and once it dried I let Caleb go crazy with pom-poms, stickers, googly-eyes, and pipe cleaners.  We realized that the pipe cleaners (a.k.a, robot arms, legs, and antenna) wouldn't stay on with regular white glue, so I used scotch tape instead.  Not the neatest solution ever, but it worked.

Another library book that Caleb really enjoyed was Little Cloud by Eric Carle.  He loved seeing the little cloud changing into all those different shapes.  I found several connect-the-dot activities inspired by the book on Pinterest, and Caleb enjoyed them so much.  They not only help with his pre-writing skills; they also help him remember alphabetical order and how to count past 10.  :o)

link to free printables!

I also cut out a cloud shape and let him glue cotton balls all over it to make a cloud.

And finally, one of the coolest things ever....puffy cloud paintings!  You mix 3 parts shaving cream and 1 part white glue and paint with it.  It takes awhile to dry, but when it does, it's actually soft and fluffy like a cloud!

Link to the source!

I made the bottom two paintings...I had to prompt Caleb to let the "paint" glob up to look like clouds or snowballs, and he had so much fun!  He kept touching our paintings when they were dry, saying they smelled like Daddy.  :o)


ivey league homeschool: what we did for LOVE!

So last week this happened.

Still a novelty for me, having grown up mostly in Florida, but I have to say, after being stuck inside for days on end (ice is slippery, as it turns out!), the novelty wears off.  Since my husband was also home for a few days, I took advantage of the extra help and got a lot of Etsy orders done.

Of course Caleb needed some hands-on stuff to do (poor kid can only watch Olympic coverage on TV for so long), so I took advantage of the upcoming holiday to do a few fun (yet boyish) Valentine's activities.

First, we tried that thing on Pinterest where you fashion a toilet paper tube into a heart and use it as a stamp.  I had to use a paper towel roll that I cut in half, and I had to put tape around the heart once it was formed, but it worked pretty well.

Caleb was discouraged at first since his hearts weren't exactly heart-shaped.  He does this thing now where he says, "I'm just gonna give up" with a dramatic pout on his face.  Ironically all those books and songs that talk about never giving up sometimes have the opposite effect on him (almost as if it never occurred to him that giving up was an option until he was encouraged NOT to).  Silly boy!  I told him to keep trying, and he ended up loving it.  Especially when the colors mixed.

Next I just cut out a bunch of hearts for him so he could glue them into a collage.  I would have made him cut the hearts out himself (and thus shown him that hearts are symmetrical), but he's not there yet with his scissor skills.  However his glue stick skills are stellar.

Then we made a "lovebug."  I really want Caleb to learn how to spell his name soon, or at least recognize it if it's on something.  I put a letter on each heart and asked him which one went where.  He got C and A right, but needed help on the others.  Progress!

Finally, something extra special.  Caleb loves helping me make stuff in the kitchen, so I promised him we'd make special cookies for Valentine's Day.  I have a few heart-shaped cookie cutters, and found a cake mix cookie recipe where you can roll out the dough and use cutters on it. We used strawberry cake mix, resulting in some very yummy heart cookies.

Recipe source

The kid even helped me clean up afterwards.  Score!

So that's what we did for Valentine's.  Nothing too frilly or pink (unless you count the cookies).  :o)


a return to blogging...with a slight format change!

Hi to anyone who still checks up on this blog!  Over the last several months, I've come to miss this part of my life and I want to get back into regular blogging again.  However, I can't deny that my life is always changing.  When I started this crafting blog, I was the mother of a toddler who took one long nap every afternoon (thus leaving me with a lot of time on my hands).  I had my sewing machine and lots of ideas.  Now, I'm the mother of two boys.  My now four-year-old still has an established "quiet time" every afternoon, but my four-month-old's schedule remains unpredictable.  I still have my sewing machine and lots of ideas, but I also have an Etsy shop.  And we're putting a theoretical toe into the vast ocean that is homeschooling.  No official curriculum yet, but it's coming.  And in the meantime, I've tried to keep my preschooler busy with endless activities (usually inspired by Pinterest).

So I thought, why not include all of it?  I know there are many other moms out there in the same boat as me.  We all have a creative itch that needs to be scratched, but we also have many more outlets where we can express it now.  My crafting time used to just be for me; now oftentimes I have to include my kids in it as well.  And that's okay.  I want to encourage my boys to be creative as well!

So now I'm going to blog not just about random crafting endeavours of my own (which lately have been few and far between!), but also homeschool activities, recipe successes and fails, and any other remotely creative thing that we do around here.  And keeping with this more eclectic, all-inclusive theme, I've changed the title of the blog to "The Pretty Life."  I kept "pretty" in the title to remain true to my roots.  And of course, my Etsy shop (and this blog's URL) will remain "Pretty Lady Designs" out of necessity.  Enjoy!!
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