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Showing posts from October, 2014

Literature Based Kindergarten: Stellaluna

Primary Literature Stellalunaby Janell Cannon,a sweet tale of a little bat who gets knocked out of her mother's arms and lands into a birds' nest. The bird family adopts her and Stellaluna tries her hardest to fit in. Eventually the birds and Stellaluna realize that they are quite different but friends none the less. The illustrations do an amazing so of find balance between realism and whimsicalness.

Vocabulary words to review.clutched - hold on tightlyswooped - lower quickly shrieking- loud high crytrembling- quick shaking movement, usually done when cold or scaredclambered- to climb with difficultlyanxious- worried/afaird
Complementary Literature Nightsongby Ari Berk, a young bat wanders out of his cave alone for the first time. He soon discovers that his good sense/echolocation will serve as his guide. The prose and illustration of this book are exquisite  Bats by Gail Gibbons, this nonfiction book gives simple details about bats, as well as, special traits of some bat species…

An Uncommonly Good Speed Racer

I used to be a little sheepish to admit it but my main love language is definitely gifts. I love receiving a well thought out present but, even more, I love giving good gifts and am always on the lookout for exceptional ideas. Therefore, when UncommonGoods contacted me about reviewing one of their products, I was thrilled.  Jeremy and I had a blast looking through their website...they have so many unique products. We finally decided on the Magnetic Wooden Car Set, since Mini Man is currently obsessed with cars and is determined that someday he will be a race car driver. He also has a creative streak and loves to build, so this toy seemed perfect for him. 

Easy Mosaics.

I mentioned last week that we are currently finishing up, The Story of The World: Ancient Times. The history of Roman has definitely intrigued us; there so much to cover and they way it's impacted western civilization is fascinating! On a side note, if like me, you have the desire to learn more than what your children's history books are offering you I highly recommended the podcast,  "The History of Rome by Mike Duncan. The episodes are short, so it's easy to listen to while doing household chores, etc. 
Alright, back to the reason for this post, one of the Roman themed activities we've done is create these simple mosaics. 

A Day at Santa's Village Azoosment Park

One of our neighbors works at a nearby theme park called Santa's Village Azoosment Park, and was kind enough to share one of her family passes with us. This was our second visit, we went last year with my sister's family, and once again we had a blast! It's now closed for the winter but if you are local I definitely recommend checking it out next spring/summer.
The park is geared towards families with younger children, only two of the rides have minimum height requirements.  It is a small park with just under twenty rides, but the $19.75 price feels like a bargain. Most of their rides are the traditional kind: a galleon ship, bumper cars, a carousel, a tilt-a-whirl, etc. 

DIY, Dress Up Laurel Wreaths

We are just now finishing up, The Story of The World: Ancient Times, we are little bit behind because we took a couple detours to dig deeper in to some subjects. Big Buddy was particular interested in learning more about the the Greek Gods, Olympians, gladiators, and the Roman Army. One thing that kept appearing in all of these areas was the laurel wreath. Thus, it became an area of fascination. The boys have been spending a lot of time pretending to by Roman legionaries, so I thought it be fun to make some for their dress box. 

Literature Based Kindergarten Curriculum, Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

Primary Literature
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julie Rawlison, this is one of my favorite Autumn books! A young fox is perplexed when his favorite tree's leaves start to turn brown. He becomes even more dismayed when they start to fall. He tries to reattach them to the tree, but alas it is hopeless. When the last leaf falls he takes it home with him for the night. Still worried about his tree he rushes out the the next morning to discover a beautiful surprise. Not only is the plot delightful, but the prose is colorful and the illustrations are enchanting. 
Vocabulary words to reviewtumbled - bouncy fallswishing - soft sweeping movementrustle - quick quiet soundssnuffled - nosy breathingcrinkly - lots of wrinkles

Complementary Literature Yellow Leafby Carin Berger, a yellow leaf is afraid to let go of his branch.  Fall continues to happen around him but he remains to scared to let go until a leaf above him offers to make the journey with him. Fall is Not Easyby Mary Kelley, a tr…

2 Spectacular Weekends!

The last two weekends have been all about family and friends. It's been such a blessing to spend time with people that I love so dearly and who I know have unconditional love for me. My love bank is currently overflowing.
Last year my 4 best friends from elementary/middle school and I decided to have a little weekend reunion. We had such an amazing time together that we've made it an annual tradition. We were pretty inseparable until I moved away before eighth grade and then Amanda moved the following year. For a few of us our friendship was sort of a safe haven; a place to be silly and ridiculous. During those silly times we develop quite bond that not even distance and time seems to have shook. I tend to over analyze everything but these ladies can still set my heart at ease.
We spent Saturday morning/afternoon exploring Millennium Park and the area around the Magnificent Mile. Then headed to Beadniks where our friend Andrea works. We spent the evening there catching up, dri…

An Easy and Mess Free Autumn Window Craft.

I have bit of a love affair with contact paper.  Not only does it act as laminator in a pinch but it's also  great for mess free (no glue and paint) crafts. A couple weeks ago, when I still under weather, the kids used it to decorate one of our windows. 

Supplies - contact paper, masking tape, paper dollies or tissue paper.
Step 1 - tape contact paper (sticky side out) to window. I learned that peeling around the corners/edges and taping those first is easier than trying to tape the contact paper once it's all been peeled. 

Step 2 - add your dollies

And that is it - now you have a fun colorful window! Ours has been up for almost two weeks now and has held up really well. 

If you are looking for a few more contact paper craft ideas, here's a some other ways we've put it to use: Snow Bear Resist Painting,  Look-a-Like Stained Glass, and Paint chip hearts
What is your favorite way to use contact paper?

Literature Based Kindergarten Curriculum, Johnny Appleseed.

Primary Literature
Johnny Appleseedby Steven Kellogg. This biography briefly covers Johnny Chapman's life from his birth to his death. The prose appeals to young listeners and is easy for them to follow along. The whimsical and colorful illustrations are also captivating.
Vocabulary words to review.tall tale -  an exaggeration of a story, has unbelievable elementstranquil - quiet and calmboisterous - noisy and rowdycellar - a room below the groundorchard - land where fruit trees growfrontier - the edge of settled land/undiscovered
Complementary Literature  The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Treeby Gail Gibbons, tells tale of a young boy and the adventures he has with his apple tree. It offers a kid friendly explanation of what happens to an apple tree during the different seasons. Applesalso by Gail Gibbons, explains in kid friendly terms the parts and life cycle of an apple. It also offers a brief history, shows different varieties, and uses of an appleThe Apple Pie that Papa Baked -

Literature Based Kindergarten Curriculum, "The Greedy Triangle"

I'm really behind on posting our kindergarten books. As I mentioned before, I've been battling a virus. I think I've finally got it beat but for the last couple of weeks I've had nothing left to give after the kids go to bed. Hopefully, this week I can get caught up.
Primary Literature: 
Greedy Triangleby Marilyn Burns. I like that this book includes a story and not just a bunch of facts about shapes. I wouldn't necessarily call the triangle greedy, just discontent as he gets bored easily and starts to think that other shapes are more important.  Unsatisfied with the jobs of a triangle he asks a shaper shifter to make him a quadrilateral. He quickly becomes bored with those roles too, and continues to ask for more and more sides. At the end, however, he discovers he's much happier as a triangle and asks to be turned back. 
Vocabulary words to reviewdissatisfied - unhappinessangle - when the ends of lines meetquadrilateral - shape with four sides and four anglespe…

Small Graces

I meant to publish this post on Sunday but I've been struggling with a cold the last couple of days. I kept feeling like I'd finally beaten it then all of a sudden it would come back to wipe me out again. I'm not very good at's hard to rest with three kids. I have, however, been trying to go bed early which means no time for blogging. Last week was a busy week, which probably had a lot to do with this lingering illness, but it was also such a good week! We went to a local amusement park and an apple orchard as a family.  Then Jeremy and I got a little date when we attended the wedding of some friends.
One of our neighbors works at Santa's Village Azoosment Park and gave us her September family pass. It's an interesting place because it's part zoo, part kiddie amusement park, but I'll post more about the trip at a later time. Everyone had a blast. One of of highlights was Mini Man riding this race car ride. For almost a year now he's in…