Monday, August 7, 2017

Getting Ready for School

Here is a list of things that we work on preschool to prepare your child for kindergarten.

Although the academics are an important part of our program, we also want your child to be independent.  We work very hard with children on putting on coats, putting their projects and papers into their cubby, working puzzles and activities on other own and so many little things that happen in our classroom help your child become an independent student. 

How to help your child be independent---

Sunday, August 6, 2017

B is for Boredom

There has been a seismic shift in the summer.  Your child feels it.  Store entryways welcome customers with markers, crayons, pencils and glue.  Television commercials have smiling children in new clothes and your child is just around the corner.  It has happened. The end of summer...the start of school draws near.  Boredom.  There are thousands of ideas and articles about how to keep your child busy at the end of the summer.  Here are few that worked for me and my boys.  So, put on your pajamas for a day.  Hop in the car with some friends and picnic.  Explore new parks and new community pools.  End your child's summer with a few more adventures.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Can I Have S'More?

There is still a lot of summer left for you and your child.  I used to make these when my boys were little.  Your child can help with prep but grilling is an adult job.  When you remove from the grill, open the packet for your child.  The bananas will be hot so use caution.  It will be messy and sticky and fun so have napkins or paper towels on hand 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Taco Tuesday

Image result for rachael ray  ice cream tacos
Have you been celebrating National Ice Cream Month?  Try these tacos from Rachael Ray!  

The combinations are only limited by your creativity in the kitchen.  Have some fun with your child by uniting Taco Tuesday and National Ice Cream Month.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

We Can Play Forever

We love baseball and baseball movies!  Celebrate the All-Star Game with your child with books, movies, hot dogs, some peanuts and Cracker Jack!



Saturday, July 8, 2017

50 Ice Cream Sandwiches

Are you enjoying some ice cream during National Ice Cream Month?  Have some fun with your child and make some ice cream sandwiches!  Here are fifty ideas from Food Network Magazine.

  • Have your child pick out one or two recipes to try.
  • Read the recipe together and make a grocery list.  Make the grocery list for your child.  Use picture clues if necessary.
  • Give your child the list and head to the store together. 
  • Make some ice cream sandwiches and enjoy!
Why is cooking with your child important?  Cooking with your child provides you with an opportunity to be together.  Cooking incorporates language, math and science.  Working with ice cream you can discuss liquids, solids and temperature changes.  While you are cooking you can introduce new vocabulary words:  stir, melt, dissolve, etc.  Measuring ingredients works on math skills.

More info on why cooking is important to your child's development---

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

All of Us

"America is nothing if it consists merely of each of us; it is something only if it consists of all of us."
Woodrow Wilson

Saturday, July 1, 2017

National Ice Cream Month

July is National Ice Cream month.  Want to have some family fun?  Buy some ice cream and invite friends and family to bring a favorite topping.  You should probably have this event on a Sunday, too!

For more ideas than there are sprinkles on your sundae, search 'ice cream sundae toppings' which will have more than enough 'pins' to get your creative juices flowing. 

More ideas for you and your child:

Search for the best local ice cream---
Some of these places are out of business but I'm confident if you search you will find ice cream.

Frozen Bananas---

Easy breezy ice cream recipe---

Ice cream books---

Get some ice cream and chill out with your child during National Ice Cream Month!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

My Father's Gift

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
Jim Valvano

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Summer Reading List

Books for everyone! 
Everyone for books!

Find a book and find a spot to read
with your child this summer!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Life Is Wild

No time for the zoo or aquarium?  Not fitting into your budget?  Find an animal cam for your child to watch their favorite animal.  You can search almost any animal and find footage for your child to explore.  Here are a few to get you started---

The San Diego Zoo---

The National Zoo---

Animal Planet---

The National Aquarium---

Monterey Bay Aquarium---

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Things to Do---June 2017

Here's how you and your child can keep busy during the month of June...

Get in the kitchen to celebrate Flag Day with your child on June 14th.  A search of 'flag day snacks'  will provide thousands of ideas (to keep your sanity just look at the images)!
On June 16,1893, Cracker Jack was introduced at the Chicago World's Fair.  Buy some Cracker Jack and watch your favorite baseball team or baseball movie!  Want some Cracker Jack recipes?  Want to know more about Cracker Jack?

There are many stories of how and where the doughnut was first created.  On June 22, 1847 Hanson Gregory may have been the first (or not).  Celebrate with store bought or homemade doughnuts!
Don't panic but on June 25th Christmas will be six months away.  Celebrate!  Vanilla ice cream with crushed peppermints, watch Christmas movies and listen to Christmas music.  Ambitious?  Start shopping and crafting or make ornaments with your child (if your really ambitious invite the neighbor kids).

Take some time and plan to have some fun with your child in June!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mmmmm....Math is Yummy!

At  MCP, we love to play with our food.  We love to sort and make patterns.  We also practice counting to ten.

Pretzels and goldfish crackers are fun, too!



Friday, May 26, 2017

Math Counts!

Math is plays an important role in our daily curriculum at MCP but how can you help your child at home?  Easy!  Math is everywhere!  Numbers are everywhere!  Shapes are everywhere!  Patterns are everywhere!  You just have to look and find opportunities to talk about math with your child. 

Some ideas to get your started---
  • Count out snack or dinner items (five carrots, one sandwich)
  • Set the table-how many people? how many plates?
  • At the store "Let's pick out five apples."
  • Calendar count downs to holidays or special events
  • Board games where your child has to count the spaces moved
  • Point out shapes-circles, spheres, cylinders, squares 
  • Cooking is fantastic for measuring
  • Children love rulers and measuring tapes.  A great way to introduce the concept of inch and foot.  Have your child look for things that are bigger than one foot or smaller?  Find things that are five inches long.
  • Use words like more, less, greater, bigger, smaller, shortest, tallest.
Seasonal shapes from the dollar store and office stickers are a fun way to count!

We love geoboards and pattern blocks at MCP!

You can roll the dice and count anything! 

Our Discovery Center has math activities---

For more ideas and additional information---

Monday, May 22, 2017

Summer Bucket List-2017

"Summertime is always the best of what might be."
Charles Bowden

A week from today the bell rings, the gates open and summer takes off!  Summer is like no other season.  I never ask anyone "What are you going to do this winter?"  Summer has a magical and never ending feel.  It's a season to get out and be together with family and friends. 

You might do all the things you plan to do but probably not.  My husband and I continue to make a summer bucket list even though our boys are grown and gone.  A visual list in the kitchen reminds us that summertime is the best time to do so many things.  We get to most but never all. 

Check out the Children's Museum in Galesburg!  Discovery Depot---

Past posts---

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Mr. Hoppers

What a fun day!
We learned about frogs and toads.
We sketched with paint.
 We painted a frog!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Summer 2017-Read & Dance

"Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world."

I have to add Footloose to my list of favorite books.  It combines two of my favorite things to do with the children in the classroom-read and dance.  So, here are my favorites and some additional book ideas to get you started with your summer reading with your child. 

My top 108 books---

Summer books---

Zoo books---

Monday, May 15, 2017

Believe in Yourself

"Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen."

Congratulations to the MCP Class of 2017!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mom's Breakfast

Mother's Day arrives on Sunday. Across the nation mothers will pretend to sleep while they listen with a combination of curiosity and fear to the sounds coming from the kitchen.  I served my mom breakfast in bed and my father was of the 'Mad Men' generation and ill prepared to have five kids in the kitchen helping with breakfast.  My husband and two boys faired better and I think today's fathers are more at ease in the kitchen than my Dad ever was.  No matter what the skill level and no matter how much chaos is created, enjoy your breakfast because the plate is filled with love. 

Don't You Dare Bleed on Mom's Breakfast
Erma Bombeck

A lot of things have been done in bed in the name of  love...but nothing comes close to the traditional Mother's Day breakfast in bed. 

On this day, all over the country, mothers are pushed back into their pillows, their bird of paradise (which blooms every other year for fifteen minutes) is snipped and put in a shot glass, and a strange assortment of food comes out to a kitchen destined to take the sight out to a good eye. 

A mixer whirs out of control,  then stops abruptly as a voice cries, "I'm telling. " 

A dog barks and another voice says, "Get his paws out of there.  Mom has to eat that!"

Minutes pass and finally, "Dad! Where's the chili sauce?"

Then, "Don't you dare bleed on Mom's breakfast."

The rest is a blue of banging doors, running water, rapid footsteps and finally, "You started the fire; you put it out!"

The breakfast is fairly standard:  A water tumbler of juice, five pieces of black bacon that snap in half when you breathe on them, a mound of eggs that would feed a Marine division, and four pieces of cold toast.  They line up on the bed to watch you eat and from time to time ask why you're not drinking your Kool-Aid or touching the cantaloupe with black olives on top spelling out M-O-M.

Later that night, after you have decided it's easier to move to a new house than clean the kitchen, you return to your bed, where you encounter beneath the blanket either  (a) a black jelly bean, (b) a planter's wart, or (c) a black olive that put the O in M-O-M.

And if you're wise, you'll reflect on this day.  For the first time, your children gave instead of received.  They offered up to you the sincerest form of flattery---trying to emulate what you would do for them.  They gave you one of the greatest gifts people can give:  themselves.

There will be other Mother's Days and a parade of gifts that will astound and amaze you, but not one of them will every measure up to the sound of your children in the kitchen on Mother's Day whispering, "Don't you dare bleed on Mom's breakfast." 

Past Mother's Day posts---

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Get Off of My Cloud

On Wednesday and Friday, we continued our study of Georgia O'Keefe with two large group projects in the art center. The morning class created a large  Blue Flower on Pink and both classes made Sky Above Clouds preK.

How I love large cardboard boxes!  I cover the cardboard with white rolled paper that was generously donated to our program.

We know we sketch before we paint.  Georgia O'Keefe's flowers were BIG!  Our flower is big and fills the space.  The small group had to come to a decision on colors and then painted their masterpiece.

On Friday, we created Sky Above Clouds preK.  With a small group in the art center, we talked about mixed media in art.  Artists often combine paint, paper and  collage pieces to create art.  We started with tissue paper.  I spread glue all over the cardboard and students added tissue paper. 

Students glued cotton balls to create clouds.  I started off letting the kids pull the cotton ball but it was very difficult for our preschoolers.  I pulled them apart and then they glued onto the sky.  The result is lovely.  I hope we have made Ms. O'Keefe proud.

After we completed the group project, one of our budding artists was inspired to create her own Sky Above Clouds with paper and glue. First she used markers and crayons to create her sky---
 Then white paper from the scrap bin made clouds.
Enjoy searching for shapes and  the watching the clouds float by with your child today!