fall decor on the cheap

Fall is officially here!  So I decided to dress up our fireplace mantle a bit.

I found a small bag of funny gourds at Walmart for around three bucks.  I made sure they didn't have any yucky brown spots on them, and that at least a couple of them would stand up on their own.  Then I grabbed some googly eyes and the hot glue gun (turns out Elmer's is useless is this case) and went to town!  I also used a Sharpie to add more facial features.

Then I really got crazy and pulled out some simple chipboard triangles I had picked up at least two years ago.  My vision had been a candy-corn garland all along, but for some reason I never got around to doing it.  I still have some acrylic paint in fall colors that's in good shape, so I painted the triangles one color at a time, making sure to let each coat dry inbetween (it didn't take long).  I didn't bother with painters tape because real candy corn looks a little muddled, so why shouldn't my garland look that way too?  I used some twine we had on hand to hang it up once it dried:

Very pleased with how it turned out!  :o)  Welcome fall!!


ivey league preschool: go, G's, go!

This week was brought to you by the letter G!

First we did the do-a-dot, play-doh, and pattern block activities.

Caleb also did a G maze all by himself!

We did a G magazine scavenger hunt and found some good stuff (guacamole, Georgia, a gecko, Guy Fieri...haha!).

We read Giraffes Can't Dance and made a giraffe with clothespin legs.

We read a few books that featured the color green as well.  One of them was Where is the Green Sheep? so we decided to paint a green sheep.  Caleb is still learning about color mixing so this was a good opportunity for us to make our own special shade of green.

I explained to Caleb that we could have just used his green paint, but by mixing different amounts of blue and yellow, we could get our own special shade of green.

Our Bible story for this week was Gideon.  We read the story of his small army defeating the Midianites in his storybook Bible.  We learned how they confused their enemy by blowing trumpets and carrying torches, so we decided to make a torch.  I got a cardboard tube (the really sturdy kind that plastic wrap comes on) and covered it with aluminum foil.  Then we cut out strips of red and orange paper to make the "fire."  Caleb practiced his scissor skills by making little cuts in the strips.  I glued the "fire" around the top of the tube, but since it looked like it wasn't sticking very well, we also used small rubber bands to secure it.

Caleb kept raising the torch in the air and shouting "For the LORD!!!"

We also made a fun G snack...guacamole!  Caleb's never had it but he seemed to like our version.  I let him help mash the avocado in a bowl, then I just added some lemon juice, salt and pepper, and a little onion powder and garlic powder (I figured having chunks of garlic and onion in there might ruin the experience for Caleb!).  I normally add tomatoes to my guacamole, but I wanted Caleb to eat it so I left those out too.

I think he liked it!  He seemed to be more excited about the tortilla chips, but he kept dipping them in the guacamole so overall it was a success.  Maybe next time we can be more adventurous and add (small) chunks of tomato and onion to it.  Baby steps.  :)

Our classical music for this week was Mozart's Greatest Hits.  Yep, I have a CD that's called that!

Our G books:
Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae
Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
Spring Green by Valrie M. Selkowe
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Do-A-Dot Alphabet Pages (Home School Creations)
Play-Doh Letter Mats (Home School Creations)
Pattern Block Printable Templates (Jessica's Corner of Cyberspace)
G Maze (3 Dinosaurs)
Clothespin Giraffe Printable (Spring Time Treats) 
Gideon Torch Inspiration (Adventures in Mommydom)


simple chevron table runner

This afternoon I decided to do something to dress up our table.  Bear in mind that this table is used not only for eating, but also for preschool, art activities, sewing, etc.  It's just become a general dumping ground for anything and everything.  No kidding, I lost my phone charger for a week, and I eventually found it on the kitchen table, hidden in plain sight.  I'm hoping that by putting something pretty on the table, I'll be more motivated to keep the mess a little more manageable.

So I took a cute yellow chevron remnant from Hobby Lobby, cut it to the size I wanted for a table runner, and then laid it on top of a big canvas dropcloth. (Yes, you read right.  Dropcloths.  As in over by the painting supplies.  Cheap yet shabby chic for a number of home decor projects.  You're welcome.)  I basically used the canvas as both the backing and the binding of the runner, so it ended up being an inch longer than the chevron remnant on all four sides.  Then I just ironed and pinned to make the "binding," and then sewed it all down.

Yes, it's wrinkled a bit.  We'll just call that part of its rustic charm.  Plus it's a good nesting place for this cute couple:

Saw these at Target and couldn't resist.  Hopefully I won't start collecting salt and pepper shaker sets now.


ivey league preschool: fishing for F's!

This week has been brought to you by the letter F!

A busted air conditioner made preschool, shall we say, "interesting" this week.  We still got a lot done, but the warm temperature in the house made things uncomfortable and the ceiling fans often blew around our papers and art supplies.  Caleb pushed through and did a great job!

As always, we did do-a-dot, play-doh, and pattern block activities for the letter F.

Check out his fish face!

Then we did some activities that go along with Dr. Seuss' The Foot Book.  Caleb still mixes up his left from his right, so I used little band-aids to mark his feet and then he would hold up the respective foot whenever I read "left foot" or "right foot" in the book.

We traced his foot and used it to measure a number of things in the house.  I would ask Caleb to estimate how many "Caleb feet" across something was, then we'd measure it to see if he was right.  He's still grasping the concept of estimating but we still had a lot of fun!  For the car measurement, we decided to use his remote control monster truck since we didn't want to go down to the garage to measure the actual car!

As you can see, we also talked about a Bible verse having to do with feet!

There was also a matching activity where you matched the animal to its corresponding footprints.  I'm pretty sure we mixed up the dog tracks with the cat tracks, but I think we still did a good job!

We also did a fish-themed preschool pack.  There was one activity where you had to write in the missing letters in the fishbowls.  Caleb independently wrote a few letters on his own and I helped him with the others.

We also colored by number:

Can you tell that coloring isn't Caleb's favorite right now?
He found the F's and stamped them with a fish stamp:

He finished patterns:

And he sorted uppercase and lowercase F's:

As always, we did a magazine scavenger hunt and found some good "F" stuff.  Including a flamingo, a fire truck, Florida, frosting, and "Flo" from those Progressive Insurance commercials.  :o)

For our Bible story, we learned about when Jesus helped Simon Peter and some other men fill their nets with fish.  I paraphrased the story while reading out loud from my Bible, then we did a "net full of fish" activity!  I cut out a bunch of fish, then we put them on a paper plate and covered it with plastic wrap (pulling it tight and taping it in the back).  Then I drew lines with a permanent marker to make it look like a net.  Caleb also wanted a stick for it, so we taped a jumbo craft stick to the back.

Finally, we made homemade whole wheat fish crackers!  And some frog crackers.  Caleb wanted to use more than one cookie cutter and we decided frogs would work too since they also start with F.

Our classical music for this week was Beethoven's Piano Sonatas (Moonlight Sonata, Waldstein Sonata, Pathetique).

Our F Books:
The Foot Book by Dr Seuss
Sam and The Firefly by P.D. Eastman
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
Fish Eyes by Lois Ehlert
Flip and Flop by Dawn Apperley

Do-A-Dot Alphabet Pages (Home School Creations)
Play-Doh Letter Mats (Home School Creations)
Pattern Block Printable Templates (Jessica's Corner of Cyberspace)
The Foot Book Ideas and Printables (Homeschool Share)
Fish Preschool Pack (123 Homeschool 4 Me)
Net Full of Fish Activity (I Can Teach My Child)
Fish Cracker Recipe (Smitten Kitchen)


ivey league preschool: exploring some E's!

This week has been brought to you by the letter E!

Since Monday was Labor Day, we ended up not doing any school at all.  But by that evening Caleb was already asking when we were going to start doing "E stuff" so we kicked it into high gear the next morning!

We did our typical play-doh mat, do-a-dot sheet, and pattern block sheets like we do for all the letters.

I also found a couple of preschool packs online.  I printed out the activities that I wanted and we worked on them over the course of a couple of days.  We worked on tracing, cutting skills, finishing patterns, finding the E's, finding words that start with E, putting puzzles together, size sequencing, and coloring.

I also found a connect-the-dot Horton online.  I had to help Caleb with this one since it had a lot of two-digit numbers in it (plus I think any connect-the-dot that goes toward the left or counter-clockwise direction gives him trouble because he's left-handed; he can't always see where the next dot is because his hand is covering it up!).

We made an elephant out of a capital E.  The cut-outs are supposed to be for a paper plate, but we decided to just use an E.

And we made another elephant.  Because we could.

We made our E collage as well.  Finding letter E's was no problem, but finding objects that start with E was a little trickier.

And finally, we made elephant and egg sugar cookies.  Caleb loves using cookie cutters so he had a blast.  I already had the egg-shaped cookie cutter, and I found the elephant one on Ebay.

We didn't get to our Bible story this week (oops!) but I'm thinking we may do it this weekend if we have down time, or else just do it next week along with the F Bible story.

Our classical music for this week was Mozart's Piano Concertos No. 20 and 23.

Our E books:

Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
Ella by Bill Peet
Elly the Elephant by Norma Simon
Elephants Never Forget! by Anushka Ravishankar
Oliver by Syd Hoff [Oliver is an elephant!]
Uncle Elephant by Arnold Lobel
Eli by Bill Peet
Egg Drop by Mini Grey
The Ear Book  by Al Perkins
Ernest and the Big Itch by Laura T. Barnes

Do-A-Dot Alphabet Pages (Home School Creations)
Play-Doh Letter Mats (Home School Creations)
Pattern Block Printable Templates (Jessica's Corner of Cyberspace)
Preschool Elephant Printables (Mudpies and Make-up)
Elephant and Egg Printable Pack (Haffly Homeschool)
Horton the Elephant Connect-the Dots (Pichea Place)
Paper Plate Elephant Project (Free Kid Crafts)
Cut and Paste Elephant Craft (Education.com)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...