day one: worms, dirt & rocks
day two: seeds
day three: flowers
day four: trees
day five: leaves
I hope you enjoyed learning about our week! Check back soon for more recaps of each week of Mommy Camp!
Mommy Camp is off to a great start with our first week all about the great outdoors! You can download all of my lessons and materials by clicking the image below.
The dramatic play area was a pretend flower shop and garden. I created the "garden" using a cardboard box, brown fabric, pool tubes, hot glue and fake flowers. I gave them a few signs I printed out, a toy cash register and pulled out my market stand diy from a few years ago to complete the set-up. They always have fun pretending to sell things so this was a definite hit.
day one: worms, dirt & rocks
I had some lofty goals for this day and not all of them came to fruition. Originally we were going to create a vermicompost bin but, I couldn't find any worms locally! By the time I realized the worms wouldn't get here in time if ordered online so, we skipped a bunch of worm themed things. We did watch a few videos, complete a few worksheets and do a bit of art though. We also headed outside to find a rock to use for creating our very own pet rock. We rounded out the day with some dirt jell-o pudding cups!
day two: seeds
We learned about seeds purpose by watching videos and reading a book. Then we explored them by dissecting some bell peppers and creating seed art. We also began sprouting some beans and created our own chia head pots! We wrapped up the day by creating some bird feeders using toilet paper tubes, peanut butter, string and bird seed and making poppy seed ham sliders and sesame seed candy. Neither of the kids were interested in eating either one so that was phenomenal.
The chia head activity was super easy. I took a picture of each of them and printed it out. I taped the photos to the front of the pots and we sprinkled chia seeds onto soil, watered and put in the sun. They had grown this much in only one day!
day three: flowers
We learned about how flowers grow by watching a video and reading a book. Then we experimented with flowers and how they drink water, created Georgia O'Keefe inspired paintings and learned how to make tissue paper flowers for our dramatic play flower shop!
day four: trees
We learned about how trees grow by watching a video and reading a book. Then we headed out side to collect a tree limb for some process art, made fruity rainbow yogurt bark and painted some q-tip trees.
Process art is where there are basically no rules and creativity reigns. I presented them with a bunch of options and they decorated the tree branch however they wanted. It turned out great and is now a focal point in my craft room and sits on top of the piano.
day five: leaves
We learned about how leaves get water by watching a video. Then we headed outside to collect a few. We attempted to make prints and rubbings but didn't have a lot of luck. I'm not sure what went wrong. But, we were tired at the end of the week and not much got done with the leaves day. Ooops.
I hope you enjoyed learning about our week! Check back soon for more recaps of each week of Mommy Camp!
When my husband and I first got married we had several college friends who didn't have anyone to celebrate Thanksgiving with. So, we started hosting a Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday evening to give those friends a Thanksgiving experience. When we started hosting this ten years ago we cooked everything but it was only for about six people and we didn't have any children. Now, most of our friends have somewhere to go for Thanksgiving so we've moved the event to the Saturday before Thanksgiving and we invite many more people so it's more of a potluck scenario where we cook the turkey and a few sides. By the way, if you want a fool proof turkey recipe you should try Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey. It's the recipe we've used every year and it always yields a delicious, juicy and flavorful turkey. Out of the several Thanksgivings we attend it is definitely our favorite. There is such great energy with all of our friends and their kids. It truly feels like an extended family.
This year we got to host it at our new house which made the event even more awesome than ever before because we had more space for everyone including the 10 rowdy kids! With the layout of our new home, the dining room and breakfast nook were both large enough to add an additional table which allowed us to visit in larger groups while eating that in previous years. The house also has a room that is towards the back end of the house and I set that room up as the kids room giving the adults a little distance from the ruckus that they created.
For table decorations I used brown butcher paper to cover our folding tables and then drew place settings with a sharpie. Then I added some white votives and faux fall leaves to the center. I printed out some free napkin rings but they were too big for the paper napkins and plastic silverware I was using so we just laid them across the drawn place setting and put the napkin and silverware on the side. I had a tablecloth and centerpiece on the main dining table and placed golden chargers at each setting with he same napkin ring/decorative paper strip, napkin and silverware and used a ceramic cornucopia filled with fruit for the breakfast nook table.
For the kids tables I copied the adult tables by using craft paper and faux place settings but for the center I placed paper bag teepees made by my daughter and paper finger puppet pilgrims and indians. I also put a snack bag of Kix cereal that was dressed up to look like corn on the cob at each setting. To entertain the kids I provided indian headdresses for them to color and wear and crayons at the center of the tables. I also made a "Stuff the Turkey" game by following this tutorial which entertained the kids for at least a few minutes.
Stuff the turkey was also a quick craft and I only needed a large paper bag, two small paper bags, white tissue paper (I ended up using white paper towels), several sheets of colored paper (for stuffing), a hot glue gun and a stapler. I followed directions found here.
We had a ton of food and a really great time! We even had a small break at around 8:30 for parents to take kids home and put them to bed. Then we reconvened for more adult time while sitters stayed with the sleeping children. It was pretty fun!
Hopefully this event will continue to grow and be as much fun year after year. Enjoy the ideas and have a great Thanksgiving!
I don't know about you but I have a VERY hard time finding something that my kids will eat at home other than plain spaghetti noodles. I don't really know how this happened to me. As babies I made my own baby food and always made sure they had balanced meal options but now, they won't even eat macaroni and cheese! Every time I make them a meal I feel like a horrible mom because I either branch out with something new that they won't eat or I serve them the same meal of plain noodles some fruit and a yogurt over and over again! So, I decided to brainstorm and utilize pinterest to get some inspiration. I've come up with a quick reference guide that I plan on taping inside my pantry door. This way, when I go to prepare them something I can mix it up a bit while keeping within their VERY limited range of acceptable options. Hopefully it will help all of us get through the daily horror that is dinner time!
We started our MC journey this summer by flying south to Brazil! You can see how I made all of the airplane dramatic play items in this post. Before our "trip" we learned about airplanes and read the book "The Noisy Airplane Ride". They showed me their plane tickets (I discuss how I made them here.) , went through airport security with their luggage (described here) and piloted the plane with this handy control panel. We even had an airplane themed treat! The flight there was fun but it was just beginning!
In preparation I created all of the dramatic play airplane stuff and you can read about it here. We also decorated our "suitcases". I had lots of different ideas for how we would create the suitcases but ended up buying two unpainted wooden boxes with hardware already attached from Hobby Lobby for about $6 each. I let Lillian choose her colors and we purchased fun, travel themed stickers for decorating. Then we painted them, let them dry and applied the stickers. I didn't realize how much of a hit these little boxes would be but, each kid carries them around all day. Arthur even wanted to sleep with his!
Once we landed, I stamped their passports (You can find the document for your own passport and stamps here.) and we discussed the journey by looking at a map. Then, we explored our new surroundings. I hung green streamers from the light fixture, added a plant, tropical themed stuffed animals and some green pillows on the floor, and hung a raffia door curtain with green streamers in the doorway. Then I placed safari hats, the books for the week about Brazil and binoculars on the table along with some fake Brazilian Reales, and the items from the Raiforest Toob. I also placed lizards around the room and placed Lilly's bug jar and plastic bugs on the table.
It was a pretty fun day and a great way to kick off our 2nd Annual Summer Mommy Camp. As always there were several things we didn't get to but, I'm sure I can work them in on a different day in the future. You can see my lesson plan including all of the things I didn't get to here. Have fun and thanks for visiting!
I'm sorry it's been awhile since my last post! I've been busily finishing up the school year with my Spanish classes and feverishly working on my Mommy Camp plans for this summer. I think I'm finally finished with all of my MC planning, printing, purchasing and laminating and am ready to share my super detailed plan with the world!
The plan is to "visit" ten different countries, dedicating one week to each. We will be learning about Brazil, Spain, Italy, France, The U.K., Russia, China, India, South Africa and Australia. Each week will include crafts, music, art and food from each country and we will "fly" or travel by "train" to each one using our imaginations, a few printables and some cleverly created crafts.
travel dramatic play
To begin, both of my kids will be given their own "passports" and tickets for the trip. I created the passports and you can download your own version by clicking the links beneath the photo above. I used this free site to generate the plane tickets. I created one ticket for each child that goes to each country we will visit and we will have fun with dramatic play and "boarding" the plane each week.
I plan on creating a baggage check area with an "x-ray" machine similar to this one, an airplane prop using foam board and my drawing skills and diy cardboard suitcases which I haven't quite figured out yet. I'll link to that once I've actually made those items.
So, the first day of each week will be dedicated to "flying" to the country, learning a bit of basic info, discussing geography and even focusing on airplanes and trains. There is at least one week where we will be "traveling" by train. For example, Paris to London on the chunnel. These weeks they will be given a train ticket and we will pretend to ride a train instead of the plane. They will also get a "passport stamp" each week (you can find my passport stamps in the passport file above).
While we are "in" The U.K. we will also "ride" a double-decker bus and they will be given a bus ticket. You can get your own by clicking on the above images!
I also created this nifty travel journal for my daughter to fill out (with my help) after we "visit" each country. It will give her a little more focus on reading and writing to keep her fresh and ready for Kindergarten this fall. Plus, it will create a really fantastic keep-sake of our adventures this summer. You can download your own Mommy Camp travel journal by clicking on the first image above!
Now that we've covered all of the fun introductory stuff for MC, let's get to the meat and potatoes of this whole crazy thing! The lesson plans! I've created a lesson page for each week that looks similar to the one above. Each page has links to the project, video or content that I plan on using. When I created my MC folder, I simply went through and clicked on each link (unless it was a video link) to make sure I had printed out any templates or directions that I might need to complete each project. All of the links are also pinned to my MC pinterest board for easy reference this summer. You can download my lesson plans by clicking the photo above!
You may notice the "food" column and all of the links to recipes for each country. I'm determined to get my picky kids to broaden their horizons this summer. Plain spaghetti noodles and pb&j are not going to be the only things that they eat! So, I've decided that we will learn about the food of each country and give it a try. I selected the least offensive items I could find to make it as kid-friendly as possible and, to make it easier for myself I went ahead and compiled all of the recipe links into a cookbook file! So, instead of having to go to the web every time I'm ready to get cookin', I can simply pull out my handy dandy cookbook arranged with each country in order! So much better! You can get your own copy of my cookbook and the cover art by clicking the photos above! Pretty awesome right?! You know...that's how I do.
Finally, after all of that planning and the massive amount of things I am planning on achieving, I decided to make a materials list for each week, a grocery shopping list for each week to cover all of the recipes and a photo reference sheet to remind me what the craft projects should look like. (This way I don't have to run to pinterest each time I read the craft project for the day but can't remember what it's supposed to be.) You can also download those files by clicking the pictures above!
You'll notice in the weekly materials list that I plan on creating a dramatic play area/scene for each country. They vary and some will include restaurant style dramatic play. I couldn't find any freebies that I liked for some of the restaurants so I created my own! You can download your own Indian restaurant and Chinese restaurant menus by clicking the photos above! The other dramatic play printables I used are linked in the lesson plan document and the things I plan on creating i.e. felt food, are also linked in the document.
So, there you have it! My summer Mommy Camp plans in full! I will be posting weekly about our amazing adventures and how I manage to do everything so stay tuned all summer and enjoy!
Spring break is only a few weeks away! That means it's time for another Mommy Camp! Since the break this year falls right before Easter I've made it Easter themed! You can read about a few of the specific activities we'll be doing and download some printables I created, including the lesson plan below.
Theme One: Jelly Beans
The first focus is on jelly beans. We'll be conducting experiments, participating in a taste test, learning how they are made, making necklaces and more! (A list and links to all of the activities can be found in the lesson plan download.)
Theme Two: Eggs
This is a very fun-filled theme that includes egg science, growing "egg heads", paint-filled egg bomb painting, a glowing egg hunt and "egg-ing" the neighbors. Plus a ton of other fantastic activities focusing on math, reading and sensory experiences. (A list and links to all of the activities can be found in the lesson plan download.)
Theme Three: Bunnies
In the bunnies focus we will learn about rabbits, do the bunny pokey, learn how to draw a bunny, dig for sight word carrots and make bunny handprint art along with some fun math, reading and cooking. (A list and links to all of the activities can be found in the lesson plan download.)
Theme Four: Peeps
Everyone loves peeps! Delicious, sugary marshmallows! In this section we will conduct some peep experiments, learn how they are made, create puffy paint peeps and make peep play dough along with doing some reading and math. (A list and links to all of the activities can be found in the lesson plan download.)
Click the link below each image to download the printables that I've created as well as the lesson plan. Enjoy!
Lilly requested that we do more Mommy Camp so I made a special Halloween edition! I was a little late on getting it ready so we didn't finish all of the activities before Halloween was over but, I'll share what we did get done. I think we'll probably just squeeze the other activities into random days for fun later on and I'll post when we do.
Skeletons and Bones
We started off with a theme focusing on bones and skeletons. To begin we did a little bone math using this worksheet from education.com. We also pulled out her helping hands from our summer mommy camp to help her count.
Then we worked on a halloween rebus activity sheet where she filled in the story with the correct images by reading key words. That worksheet is also from education.com and can be found here.
After the math and reading we discussed the importance and function of bones. We then conducted an experiment with rubber gloves and straws. Take one glove and fill each finger with a bendy straw. Leave the other glove alone and compare them. This demonstrates how bones work to give us the ability to move.
Then it was time for lunch and I made Lilly a sandwich skeleton!
Then we made Q-tip skeletons! She drew a skeleton head and cut it out. Then glued it to black paper and glued Q-tips for the bones.
We finished up our focus on skeletons and bones by making skeleton marshmallows and contact paper + tissue paper sun catchers. For the sun catcher, I drew a skull/calavera on the non-sticky side of the contact paper. Then, I pulled off the back and taped it to the table for them to stick pieces of torn tissue paper onto. I also made a decorate your own calavera felt board activity by cutting out a white skull shape and various shapes for decorating from felt. It took very little time and they enjoyed it!
Coincidentally, Derek and I went to a fancy costume party and dressed as calaveras! Here's our fun photo!
The other theme we managed to get done was spiders! We started off with some spider counting math. I purchased a bag of plastic spiders and printed off a handy worksheet from this site. We also discussed the life cycle of a spider and put together a puzzle using this worksheet and read a spider mini book using this free printable.
Then we made some fun spider hats with construction paper, glue and staples.
After the math and crafting it was time for some action! I created a spider web from painters tape for a fun game of tossing paper wads at the spider web. While I was creating the web I had Lilly creating the paper wads from tissue paper.
Then we did some spider web watercolors by creating a spider web using painters tape for the children to paint over. They enjoyed it and they turned out really nicely.
We finished up our spider theme by participating in a spider web obstacle course! Even though it only lasted about 10 minutes they really enjoyed it!
We didn't even get to all of the fun stuff I planned about spiders so you may see another post with the stuff we missed! We also have a monsters theme and a pumpkins theme that we didn't even touch! So, keep an eye out for all of the fun they contain.
I'm currently finishing up work on my Thanksgiving Mommy Camp and we will begin doing those fun activities soon. The themes will be Thanksgiving History, Giving Thanks, Thanksgiving Food and Fall! I can't wait!
Lilly decided that a safari themed party would be fun this year so I quickly pulled up Pinterest and made a plan. After pinning like crazy I narrowed down all of my ideas and created a party plan page to keep me organized (even though not everything got done). I also created an adorable birthday invitation in powerpoint and had it printed at Walgreens!
I then made a shopping list and got to work! I made or modified a lot of things and purchased a few. Below are the items I made or modified and links to their inspirations or the directions I followed to create them.
- neon tassel banner
- burlap birthday banner (seen above party table)
No directions here, I forgot to make a tutorial! But, I bought burlap pennant pieces from Hobby Lobby and printed out the name and number on neon paper. I then cut them out and hotglued them to the pennant pieces which I then hot glued to some twine to hang. It took maybe 10 minutes!
- party animals
I got the inspiration from the link above. I just bought some acrylic paint and began to paint the animals so they looked as if they were wearing brightly colored clothing. Then I made tiny party hats from neon paper and tissue paper.
- 3D Giant Cardboard Animals
I got the idea from the link above which has templates for mini animals but, I made mine significantly larger using packing boxes from Home Depot that I purchased for about $1 a piece. They were kind of a pain but did look pretty cool. After I sketched the parts on the boxes I cut them out using an exacto knife. Then I put them together and spray painted them with neon paint.
- Safari Ranger Certification Activity and Badges
I set up activities for the kids to complete and created a checklist sheet for them to take to each activity. Upon completion they received a stamp (found on amazon and also put in goodie bags) next to the activity on their sheet. When they finished all of them they were given their safari ranger badge which we taped onto their shirts. (I was going to make paper bag vests but couldn't find enough paper bags in time!) The activities were: Giraffe Jumping (trampoline), Zebra Zone (pin the tail on the zebra. I free handed a zebra on some poster board along with some neon paper tails and duct tape), Elephant Art (silhouette watercolor painting I have the silhouettes I used in the downloadable file), Tiger Toss (bean bag toss game which I made using this tutorial), Monkey Maze (a bunch of pop up tents put together with pop up tunnels connecting them). I made signs for each zone and printed them out on neon paper. All of my printables are available in the file at the end of this section.
- Photo "Booth"
I found a great site with free mask printables and used their animal ones for our photo booth props. I printed them out and then glued them onto neon paper to make them sturdy and to add a little pop around the edges. I then hot glued them to some wooden dowels. For the background I bought a grass doorway hanger from Hobby Lobby. (I think it was meant for luau parties but it worked for me.) I taped it to the wall and also hung a few strands of bamboo leaf garlands that I borrowed from a friend. The masks and sign are in the file you can download. :) I also made a sign for the front door to put guests in the mood upon arrival.
- Watermelon Hippo & Other Food
I found a great tutorial on the National Watermelon Board site for making a hippo out of a watermelon. It was actually really easy and only took about 15 minutes! I was REALLY proud of my hippo. I made a sign saying "Hungry Hippo" for it. It looked amazing! I also made crescent roll wrapped hotdogs that I called "serpent rolls", cut apples and peaches with a caramel dip lion face (kind of) labeled "lion's mane dip", blue kool aid labelled "watering hole", zebra cakes, and pasta salad labeled "python pasta". I decorated the table with the party animal figurines and purchased the cake from a local bakery. Lilly designed it and I placed the giraffe party animal on top with a sparkly orange #5 candle and it turned out perfectly for the party. I also bought a few wooden crates from hobby lobby for the table and placed the zebra cakes on them. I used blue plastic table cloths for on and behind the table and taped a grass table skirt to the edge of the table to finish it off.
- Backyard Safari and Map
I found a cute idea on pinterest to make a safari with a map and put my own twist on it. I created a map in powerpoint using shapes and text boxes of our backyard. I then put red "x's" to mark where the animals were hidden. I gave each child (and parent) a map after hiding the animals and had them go find them. We did this after the cake and presents and it was a perfect way to introduce the idea of going back to the backyard to play. It was also fun since they had all had the opportunity to receive their Safari Ranger Certification. My map is in the downloadable file (Not that it will necessarily be helpful to you unless you have an identical backyard which would be weird but, at least you can see what I created to give you guidance for your own.)
I ordered neon goody bags, safari animal suckers, animal stampers, animal print slap bracelets, binoculars and safari hats from amazon for the goody bags and placed them on a table with a cute sign that I made. I also used neon price stickers by placing them on the front of each hat and writing each child's name on the sticker to keep them from getting mixed up. It added some more neon and was practical. They were a hit!
I think everyone had a really good time and several parents said their kid said it was the best birthday party they'd ever been to! I hope you get some inspiration and end up with a great party too! Here is the file with all of my printables for download! You'll find an "Expedition Supplies" printable that I ended up not using because I ran out of time and didn't get the paper bag piñata made. But, here is the inspiration so you can do it if you want to!
It has been pretty busy at our house recently. I'm a high school Spanish teacher and school started so I've been busy getting ready for going back to school and teaching. We finished dinosaur week a few weeks ago but I have been so busy I kept forgetting to post! Now that I've wrapped up the first week I feel like I can finally catch my breath. So, here is all of the fun stuff we did for dino week!
I set up the dramatic play area to look like a volcano with a lava pit. To create the volcano I taped butcher paper to the wall in the shape of a volcano and then cut out strips of tissue paper to look like lava and fire. Then I put the little slide and climber thing we have to where it ended in our pool. (I had to clean it up a bit first of course.) I filled the pool with ball pit balls and finally set out some adorable dino costumes for them to wear. You can find a tutorial on how to make the tails here. And I made a variation to this tutorial for the head pieces by using craft foam instead of paper to make them more durable.
They really loved the pool ball pit idea and I will probably recreate it once it is too cold for using the pool outside.
I also made felt board manipulatives with some free dino images I found on teacherspayteachers. I simply laminated them and hot glued velcro to the back. Then I cut out the shape of a volcano from brown felt and then red and orange splatter lava pieces.
Day One: Types of Dinos
We started off with some dino themed math and graphing using worksheets from education.com and livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com. We also had some fun with growing dinosaur sponges from the dollar store.
Then we had some fun painting and drawing dinosaurs. I helped Arthur make the dino handprints and Lilly drew and painted her own dinosaur. Then I let Arthur just play with the paint. Needless to say, we had to have a bath afterwards.
Then we had lunch and played with a dino sensory bin. I made edible mud using chocolate frosting and flour and then forgot about making green coconut grass and didn't have enough coconut so I just mixed some baking soda with green food coloring as a substitute.
We ended the day by talking about different dinosaurs and discussing how big they were when compared to us by comparing a T-Rex's footsteps to our own using this worksheet.
Day Two: What is a Paleontologist?
For the second day we discussed paleontology and some general information about dinosaurs. We started with some generic dinosaur math.
Then we did a cookie excavation (I can't remember where I got the paper we used but I found this one for free.) and discussed what a paleontologist does. We also watched the "They Might Be Giants" music video "I Am A Paleontologist". We also excavated a dino rock from the dollar bins at target. But, it was ridiculously hard to break open and I finally had to take it outside and throw it very forcefully on the ground to break it open. It was very entertaining to watch Lilly hammer away at it though.
Finally, we did a wax resist painting project where I drew a T-Rex skeleton with white crayon and then let Lilly paint on the paper revealing a skeleton. She thought it was pretty cool.
Then we learned about the Triceratops and did a short activity and afterwards we had lunch.
We ended the day by making some "fossil" cookies by pushing our dinosaurs into sugar cookie dough and baking. They actually didn't hold the imprint when they baked but, it was still fun and yummy. We also had fun excavating dinosaurs out of jello. I definitely recommend doing this one outside!
Day Three: Carnivore, Omnivore, Herbivore
We had already discussed the different types of dinosaurs so, this topic had come up a few times but, by focusing on it the idea was really reinforced. We started, as always, with some dino themed math. Then we did another dinosaur focus worksheet.
After our math we discussed the differences between omnivores, herbivores and carnivores and did a short worksheet where we selected the types from different animals. We also sang a cute song.
Afterwards, we focused on the different types of dinosaurs again by doing a cutting activity and reading a little reader.
Then Lilly followed a step by step to draw a dinosaur and did a pretty good job!
We finished up by doing a cutting craft where we made the teeth of each type of animal. They turned out really cute and Lilly enjoyed getting to cut them out.
Day Four: Volcanoes
We wrapped up the week with a focus on volcanoes. We had a lot of fun making a volcano in our dino sensory bin and taking a dino and volcano bath with shaving cream paint. We also watched a few videos on youtube about volcanoes.
We ended our volcano theme by pretending to be a volcano which was pretty fun!
This was the last Mommy Camp for the summer but I know that we all had a ton of fun and even learned a thing or two. Lilly loved it so much that she wants to keep doing Mommy Camps so I will probably post about my new Mini Mommy Camps for the school year soon. You'll also start to see more crafting projects so stay tuned!
We started off the day with some yummy American Flag themed toast and then did some worksheets focusing on the penny because we didn't finish everything from the day before. (We are SUUUUPER behind this week and will definitely be continuing our lessons into the weekend.) One worksheet was a "shopping" activity with pennies and was very good for helping her understand the basics of using money. The other was a penny flipping activity that helped with understanding counting by tens and the concepts of greatest and least. She really enjoyed flipping the penny.
Then it was time for some fun with paint! We started by trying our hand at some American flag handprints. They turned out less than awesome but both kids loved the feeling of having their hand painted. (I also didn't have any white paint which should have been used for the white stripes and might have made a little difference.)
We went outside for the next painting activity involving handprints and footprints. I grabbed the blue and red paint as well as a piece of poster board. For good measure I also brought a roll of brown butcher paper and some yellow. I figured the kids would definitely want to continue painting after the project. Then we made an American flag using hands and feet. It turned out pretty ok. Lilly did hers by herself and I held Arthur to make his prints. Then I set them loose on the butcher paper and let them have fun with it. It might seem crazy to others but being outside, using washable paint and having a water hose makes the clean-up pretty easy and afterwards they got to have a fun bubble bath.
Today we focused on the moon. The morning started off with some fun dramatic play because last night, after Lilly went to bed, I taped a giant moon to the wall and made "moon rocks" to hide all over the house. When she woke up I told her that her space ship had landed on the moon and she needed to collect moon rock samples. So, she eagerly donned her space helmet and jet pack, grabbed her collection bag and went exploring. Moon rocks were easy to make and the giant moon was a free printable!
DIY Moon Rocks
- aluminum foil
- easter eggs
- candy/toys for inside the "rocks"
1. Put the treat in the egg.
2. Cover the egg with aluminum foil.
3. Hide them!
After the dramatic play fun we did a little math, reading and writing using some great free worksheets and a free beginning reader.
Then we watched two great videos. One from story bots about the moon and its phases and another from Bill Nye about the moon. did a moon activity using oreos and a free worksheet. We watched the video and then talked about what it meant. Then we discussed the different phases of the moon and why it changed. Then she got to eat the cookies! To make the moon phases all you need are oreos and a knife. Take the top off of the oreo and scrape off icing to create the moon that you need for each phase. Each time she chose one to eat I made sure she knew what it was called.
While she ate her cookies we watched another video about how the moon got its craters and then did a quick demonstration activity using kinetic sand and a ball. You could perform the same activity using flour and any round, hard object. I chose the kinetic sand because it was already in a container so the mess would be non-existent.
Then we talked about what the moon does in regards to the earth including how the tides work and watched a video about the tides. Then we wrote down all that we learned about the moon on our giant moon printout.
We ended the day with an astronaut on the moon sandwich. It looks a little less than great because I couldn't find my gingerbread man cookie cutter and had to free hand it with a knife but it works.
See you tomorrow when we end space week with a focus on the sun!
Today was the first day of mommy camp and the theme this week is camping! Lilly was excited to see the dramatic play area I created and spent about an hour straight playing pretend. She went on a bug hunt, "made" a fire, played pretend with the felt board camping scene and went "night exploring" with her flashlight. Arthur followed her around destroying things like a Godzilla baby but, they were easy to clean up and nothing was permanently damaged.
After dramatic play we decided it was time to learn something so we dove into the mommy camp lessons! Arthur was given pom pom balls, a child sized pair of tongs and two containers with which to practice his motor skills while we did a quick math and reading/spelling activity.
I got a great printable book from 2teachingmommies.com. It includes lot of cool pages that I will use this week. Today we used the roll and graph activity and we also did some writing practice with their tracing sheets as well as spelling practice with a sheet where you circle the correct first letter for the picture. I printed all of these sheets out and placed them in page protectors so we can use them again. Lilly really enjoyed the roll and graph which is great since we will be doing it in other units as well. I also laminated the dice so it will be more sturdy for future uses.
After the worksheets we talked about the word wall and discussed what the term "sight word" meant. We then sounded out and read each of the 6 sight words and then played an identification game where I laid them on the table in front of her and asked her to point at the one I said. It's amazing to me how kids love anything if you can make it a game and she had a great time. While we were learning Arthur had some free play time as the tong transfer only lasted about 10 seconds before there were 3 dozen pom poms on the floor. He really enjoys playing/demolishing our play kitchen and did that for the majority of the time when he wasn't eating.
Once we were ready for a lesson break I made a quick but impressive campfire snack. Where I took American cheese and cut the top portion into zigzags. I then placed the cheese in a bed of pretzel sticks and then surrounded that with grapes cut in half to represent stones. Lilly thought is was pretty great and actually ate the entire snack. That might not seem like much to other parents but she is a notoriously picky eater who will suddenly decide she no longer likes things that she used to devour like chicken nuggets. Yeah, that's her new "I don't like that." We're now down to lunchables, carrots, noodles, fruit and the occasional pb&j. Hopefully, my other adorable snacks will help that situation.
After our snack we went outside to play with edible mud! It was crazy easy to make. Simply mix one can of chocolate frosting with about 1.5 cups of flour. I may have added more because it still seemed too sticky so add it until you like the consistency. We played with it on our outdoor table and used some more pretzel sticks to make it extra fun.
After all the fun outside it was time for lunch, Arthur's nap, some quiet time for me and Lilly and a little fun with shaving cream paint in the bathtub for Lilly. After everyone was ready to have more fun we made microwave s'mores which is really easy. Simply take the graham cracker with chocolate and marshmallow and microwave it for 15-20 seconds. I recommend keeping an eye on your marshmallow while it cooks. Once you see it start to grow you should probably stop it so you don't end up with a marshmallow flavored microwave. It's actually pretty fun to watch so pick your kid up and let them take a look. I'm sure there's a science lesson there somewhere but we didn't discuss it today. Once you've microwaved it just put the other graham cracker on top and voila! Perfect s'more!
After our snack we had fun making marshmallow prints. Lilly used real paint while Arthur used yogurt paint. Yogurt paint is very easy. Just take plain or vanilla yogurt and add either a drop of food coloring or a little kool aid powder and mix. I used food coloring today. Arthur had a blast with the paint even though his marshmallow only lasted about 5 seconds. Lilly made some really beautiful prints and thoroughly enjoyed herself. After painting we had to take a bath because Arthur decided yogurt hair was a good idea. Maybe next time we'll do yogurt paint in the bathtub to prevent the disaster that was my dining room.
It was a really fun day and as I am typing this up I can't believe how much stuff we did! Hopefully you'll find a fun activity that you can do with your kids. Check back soon for the rest of the camping week activities. We'll be focusing on a few different things related to camping like fire safety, plants and nocturnal/diurnal animals.
Rachel is a mother of three, elementary Spanish teacher and part-time blogger who loves crafting, creating fun and engaging activities for her children and students and hanging with her friends and family. She blogs about what she's doing and her interests at any given time which vary. She's a little OCD and always looking for her next project. Her husband calls it, "focusing her crazy", but she just calls it fun.