Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My New Year's Resolution

I resolve to play more in 2015. To continue to grow in my play will result in a happier and more talented me!  Happy New Year!
It is a happy talent to know how to play.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Places to Go & Things to Do

What to do now that Christmas has come and gone and there is still a week left until school starts? The good news is there is no snow to cause traveling chaos. The bad news is there no snow to make snowmen and have some wintery fun. 
No need to stare at a screen to keep the peace and quiet.  Call some friends and...
Visit a local zoo...Area zoos are the perfect size for small children.
Miller Park Zoo-Bloomington, Illinois
Peoria Zoo-Peoria, Illinois
Or visit the botanical gardens.  Luthy Botanical Gardens is hosting a Kwanza display through December 31st.
 The Children's DIscovery Museum in Normal is a short drive away.
Want something more active?  How about gathering some families for an afternoon of bowling?
Plaza Lanes in Washington
Mt. Hawley and Landmark in Peoria

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Peace on Earth

My Christmas wish...

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Clifford the Big Red Dog

Thanks for creating everyone's favorite big red dog.
Norman Bridwell

Monday, December 15, 2014

Santa, Call Me!

Our MWF classes did a great job tonight on their Christmas program! 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Happy 50th, Rudolph!

Fifty years ago Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer appeared on network television (I probably watched it in black & white for most of my childhood). Make sure you and your child find some time to watch this classic Christmas tale.

A quick online search and you can find some fun coloring pages for Rudolph and all of his friends.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

You're a Mean One.....Mr. Grinch!

Our PreK classes are enjoying the Dr. Seuss classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas this week.  To add to the fun at home, you can make a super easy, super fun Grinch game!  This is an alphabet game which I have adapted from the Crocodile SNAP! game found on the website Making Learning Fun (my favorite!).

Use a washed Cascade dishwasher detergent tub.  Create a Grinch face.  I just used construction paper pieces glued with a glue gun for durability and a Sharpie.  You can add green pipe cleaner hair strands or a Santa hat on top to finish him off.

Print off and cut out the alphabet cards found here.  I printed them on green card stock to add to the Grinchy mood!  I also laminated for durability.

Since there were four blank extra cards, I wrote STEAL! on them and added them to the mix.

To play, put all cards inside Mr. Grinch.  Take turns picking a card.  On each turn, chant, "Mr. Grinch, Mr. Grinch,  heart of coal, what is the letter you have stole?"  (Please do not judge my poor grammar.  I'm just trying to rhyme!)  You must say the letter name aloud in order to keep it.  If it is correct, keep the card.  The next player takes a turn.  Continue in this way until all cards have been picked.  If you pick a STEAL!, you must place all your cards back into the container.  I would remove that steal card from play once it is used to keep the game moving along. Otherwise, it may be Christmas by the time you finish and you may well feel like a Grinch.

You can adapt this game to any skill and age level as well.  If your child needs to practice numbers, put in number cards.    If you have an older child who needs to practice sight words, throw in sight words for their game.  Need addition practice?  Throw in addition fact cards.  It's just a fun way to keep learning right on through the holidays!  Merry Grinchmas!  --MJ

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The DePauw Brothers Holiday Art Show

Local artists, Greg & Doug DePauw's Holiday Art Sale is being held each weekend through Christmas at Greg's Studio (206 S. Davenport  across from the fire station---you can't miss it :-)  The studio will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12-5 p.m.  

I have had the great pleasure in working with Greg and Doug DePauw at the Sun Foundation's Art & Science in the Woods camp.  Hope to see you at the studio!