Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Did you know Halloween ranks as one of the top five pizza delivery days? 

Have a safe and fun filled night with your children.  I am particularly fond of bite size Snickers if you are wondering :-)  Happy Halloween, everybody!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Night

Here is what our Halloween bulletin board looked like at the beginning of October!  And here is what it looks like now...

Look at all the bats, cats, ghosts and pumpkins!
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Statue of Liberty

Happy 126th Birthday, Miss Liberty!  Celebrate the Statue of Liberty's birthday today with your child.  Bake a cake, sing 'Happy Birthday' and have some fun!

Need more info on the Statue of Liberty?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Firemen, Scuba Divers and Astronauts

Necessity is the mother of invention.  

When my boys were little, I was working in a small daycare. There was a toy from the movie Ghostbusters---a proton pack backpack and there was one.  I came up with a cheap and easy solution---a multi-purpose proton pack.   We use these as air tanks for firefighters, scuba tanks for our beach play and rocket boosters for our universe unit.  It's also my Family Fun magazine claim to fame---

We have started using juice bottles instead of 2 liter soda bottles because they seem more durable. 

This is a cheap and easy craft! Have a play date coming up?  Will there be lots of kids at Thanksgiving or Christmas at your house? Make some and watch the fun!!!   More info and directions---

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Big Green Monster

Our monster unit is coming to an end :-(  Our TTh class has created some super cute monster crafts and we ended with this 'hand'-some monster!  This idea was adapted from an idea I found in the 2012 October/November  Mailbox magazine.  It was sent in by Tracy Macarages at Richie's Early Academy in Lee, Florida.

I think there are so many cute ways you could use this little monster!  Scan for a Halloween card, an apron for Grandma (I'm Grandma's little monster,  Grandma's Little Monsters, or Mommy's Little Monster, etc.).  Put on a T-shirt transfer or paint directly with fabric paint.  Scan and make a coffee mug using an online photo site.  A great way to keep your child's Halloween art!  Here's how---

First---paint your child's hand green and print on white paper.  Paint the opposite hand and print by first hand print (layering the thumbs) and let dry.

Second---cut around hand print.
Add---eyes, nose and mouth.  We used office stickers which was so easy and used a black sharpie to draw in the pupil.  We cut white mailing labels for the teeth. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Magic Potions 2012

We have a lot of a science activities in our classroom for our MWF classes. The past few weeks, we have had 'Magic Potions' at the science table.  This is always a popular activity especially when a student finds the 'magic powder' that goes with the 'magic liquid' to make magic!

I have used this activity for many years in a variety of ways.  I have simplified the process, the cost and the mess!  I used to use a variety of kitchen type liquids (oil, corn syrup, etc).  This year I just colored water and the vinegar (the magic liquids).  Magic powders are sugar, flour and baking soda. We have newspaper covering the table because it is a pretty wet experiment and cups are placed inside a small tray because when the magic happens it can overflow!
Magic Potions
On Friday, one of the boys in the afternoon class found the right combination and the look on his face made my day!  Big eyes, wide was awesome!  Here is some more information---

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Last week, our room was filled with a lot of hot air!  We did a lot of experiments with our MWF classes.  We learned that air moves things and a lot more.  We even 'walked' on air and so did I!!!  This is a great at home activity. Check out last years post for 'how to's'---  (Don't try blow dryer painting...I did try that this year w/tempera and it was an epic fail!)

We also made a ping pong ball move from one cup to another.  We learned air can move things or push them down.  How to make a ping pong ball jump was an idea from my favorite magazine...Family Fun, of course! Here's how you do it---

One more at home idea...a barometer.  From Family Fun---

Have fun exploring the science of air with your child!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Okay, we are not having a Tim Burton film unit :-)   Our monster theme continues in our TTh class!  We read GO AWAY, BIG GREEN MONSTER by Ed Emberley on Tuesday and made our own big green monster.  The children snipped the purple hair to make it 'scraggly' and overall did a great job following directions.
Today we wrote our own version of the story.   As we went through the story, I drew the facial features using the children's choice of colors for our monster.  Two black eyes, a short red nose, a big orange mouth with sharp green teeth, two little pink ears, short straight purple hair and a big scary yellow face!  I will have this typed up and ready to go for you to read with your child. It will be sent home on Tuesday. You could easily repeat this activity at home.  As you can see it does not require great art skills!

More monster books...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


The Peoria Zoo is hosting a Howl-zoo-ween event this weekend on Friday evening and Saturday.  For activities, times and cost go to the Peoria Zoo website under events.

The No So Scary Witches Walk is being held at Fondulac Farm Park  in East Peoria this weekend (October 19-20) and next weekend (October 26-27).  For more information, cost and times---

It is time for some Halloween fun with your child!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

If I Had a Hammer...

 Look what our TTh class has been up to! Hammering golf tees into a pumpkin is so fun!!!
Pumpkin Pounding 2011

Here's another idea using Mr. Potato Head parts!

Ms. Pumpkin 2010

Monday, October 15, 2012

Big Pumpkin

Great book for Halloween!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Halloween Activities

We have lots and lots of Halloween themed activities for our MWF classes.  We have started our Halloween bulletin board.  It should be interesting to see what it looks like at the end of month!

Halloween Matching Game

The Halloween Matching game is easy and four or more children can play together.  Cookie cutters are placed in a bag and the children pick a cookie cutter (ideally without peeking) and match to their folder.
Halloween Activities
These three activities are always a hit.  The letters in the black cauldron are a game called 'BOO!'  For rules and more info---

The candy pumpkins are a counting game.  Children roll a die and place the number of candy pumpkins in their cup.

The pumpkins and stickers are for counting---
and we get to press the easy button which is always fun!!!


We are having a lot of Halloween fun in our room but Halloween is till two weeks away.  Here is a recipe you can try with your child at home.  Being in the kitchen with your child is an opportunity for fun and learning plus a yummy treat at the end!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sensory Bottles 2012

We have had the sensory bottles in our classroom for about five years.  They are still in good shape but I wanted to create something new for the children.  These bottles have bells, marbles, toothpicks and rice, popcorn and beans.  A lot of fun noises and different noises...

I also made a bottle with distilled water and pom poms that I just love.  Other bottles have sequins and glitter.  One bottle has distilled water and sequins and the other two have glycerin (available in the pharmacy section) with sequins and glitter. They are so pretty after you shake the bottle. Oh, how I love glitter!
Glycerin plus sequins and glitter-before

Glycerin plus sequins and glitter-after 

You can also fill bottles with birdseed, plastic pony beads, shredded paper, small seashells, buttons and so much more. You can find thousands and thousands of ideas on Pinterest and the Internet---search 'sensory bottles' or 'discovery bottles'. 

How to--

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Great Pumpkin

 Our TTh class have been playing with pumpkins this week.  We had pumpkin available for squashing and squishing!
Lots and lots of seeds!
A cut up pumpkin is fun to look at and touch!
Our books...

And today we made pumpkin muffins!  YUM-O!!! Here's the's so easy and a great opportunity to cook in the kitchen with your child--

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Playdough

 Pumpkin pie playdough is fun!  We have playdough in our art center for the children. 
 There are rolling pins, pans, candles and googly eyes.  Super fun.

 Want the recipe?

Monday, October 8, 2012

We've Been Busy!

Our MWF classes have been really busy!  Did your child mix colors?  This was a great science activity and easy to do at home, too.  We are discussing primary and secondary colors so use that vocabulary with your child. 

The castle is in our dramatic play area.  For more info---

Some children painted with corks at the art table.

Our Beanie Baby activity is a lot of fun, too!

D is for dissolve.  This is a great science activity for you and your child in the kitchen.

We also talked about Canada, our neighbor to the north as we continue our Absolutely Awesome Adventure.  More adventure awaits us this week!