Chasing Cheerios

Monday, February 28, 2011

Learning to Finger Knit

O and I (and sometimes E since she has to do everything her big sister does!) have been learning to finger knit for the past 2 weeks.  I was surprised by how easy this has been.   We followed the directions here.

Before we started learning to finger knit, we watched the History of Yarn.  O loved this!  We watched it twice in a row, and she wanted to watch it a 3rd time.  Thanks to Amy at Early Bird Homeschool for sharing these fun links!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Living History

We've had a wonderful and educational weekend!  Our history loving girl (O) had a great time at a Living History festival (Revolutionary War) held near our house.  I read about the festival in the newspaper on Wednesday, and luckily, we had the American Revolution: A Nonfiction Companion to Revolutionary War on Wednesday (Magic Tree House Research Guide #11) from the library.  We read the research guide on Wednesday night before bed, and I checked out a couple of Felicity books Meet Felicity: An American Girl : 1774 (The American Girls Collection, Book 1) from the library on Thursday (which we read on Thursday night and Friday night). (can you tell that we love to read?)  O loves listening to the American Girl books on the ipad, so she listened to the Felicity books during her quiet time on Friday.  That seemed like enough background knowledge, so off we went on Friday night for a lantern walk through the woods during the American Revolution.

On Saturday morning we went back to learn even more about the Revolutionary War.  O had a great time learning to wet felt wool roving. 

She also loved learning to sew a yo-yo.  She's been wanting to sew a quilt for a while, and I think a yo-yo quilt may be in our future :)

 We had fun walking on stilts, playing games from the 1700s, watching a blacksmith make a meat hook, and many other things.  The only thing the girls didn't like was the cannon fire.  E is still talking about the "boom, boom, oud" (loud). 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Do-A-Dot Art Painters

E loves to paint with her dot painters that her grandparents gave her for Christmas.  They are perfect for way for toddlers to paint with almost no mess.  E had a taste of her blue dot painter, so she had a blue tongue, blue lips, and a blue nose.  Luckily, she looks pretty cute in blue! Here is the set that we have  Do-A-Dot Rainbow Art Set (Set of 6) (this is an affiliate link!).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Valentine's Cards...a little late!

O made many, many Valentine's cards over the past month.  Most of them were for Elliott, E, and I.  She also made a couple for her grandparents that turned out very cute.  We're good about getting cards made, but not so good about sending them.  She finally gave this card to her Guhguh today. 

We had a lot of fun making these cards together.  She made one for me, too, but we are going to put pics of the girls in the cupcake liners (so it's still not finished). 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Studying Africa

O has been studying Africa at school, so we've been focusing on Africa with several of our activities at home.  I checked out several cds from the library...AFRICAN PLAYGROUNDWOMEN OF AFRICA (this one was my favorite),  North African Groove, and  South Africa.  We LOVE the Putumayo Presents all time favorite is ISLANDS , and we also really like Dreamland: World Lullabies & Soothing Songs.  (in the interest of full disclosure...these links to amazon are all affiliate links!)  Luckily, we have been able to find most of these cds at the library!

In addition to listening to African music, we've looked at lots of pics of Africa on the ipad.  O was really impressed by a picture of a women who was carrying many loaves of bread in a large basket that she had balanced on her head, so we practiced balancing baskets and bread on our heads. 

We've also finger walked from our house to Africa using the google earth app on the is truly amazing!

We've read the Magic Tree House books that take place in Africa, Magic Tree House #26: Good Morning, Gorillas and  Mummies & Pyramids (Magic Tree House Research Guide).   We both really enjoy the research guides...more than the books.   I think I've learned as much as O by reading them!  E is into repeating lately, so she's been repeating words like "mummy, tomb, and Pharoah!"

We've also read a few picture books about Africa, and we've listened to stories and music on the ipad via the Tales 2 Go app (our all time FAVORITE app!).   In addition to playing with our African musical instruments (a thumb drum and shaker from Epcot's Africa), we have played a thumb drum on the ipad. 

I also printed pics of African children from Activity Village for O to color.  She's started to enjoy coloring more lately, but she was only interested in coloring the girl in the picture. 

While I don't like for the girls to have too much screen time and technology in their lives, I am continually amazed by the things we can do on the ipad.  I especially love the Montessori apps, and I'll review a few when I can find a minute :)

I can't wait until O is in 1st grade and is homeschooled full time!  We are going to have so much fun!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

SO Proud!

O is SO proud of the money she raised for the children at St. Jude's Hospital through her charity read-a-thon a couple of months ago.  She read 20 books, and we paid her for each book that she read.  All of the money will go to St. Jude's Hospital

We paid her with one dollar bills in order to help her understand the concept of how much money she raised...fives, tens, and twenties are just too abstract.  She was so excited as we counted the money, and she asked that we count it again and again.  After we counted it a few times, she ran to her room and got her piggy bank.  She struggled to open it and dumped all of her money on the bed.  She said "We can give all of my money to the children, too!"  With the 20 dollars from her piggy bank, she raised 100 dollars.  Good job, O!  We are so proud of you!

Although we gave O the money as one dollar bills, I actually made the donation through paypal.  I donated the money to St. Jude's Hospital via Catie's Wish Foundation...please take a moment and read more about this foundation.  Thank you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Snowflake Matching Work

Snowflake Bentley is one of our favorite winter books, so when I saw this snowflake matching work on My Montessori Journey I was very excited.  I love activities that are directly related to the books we read.  Thanks to Laura for emailing me the file!

The pictures for this work are actual photos of snowflakes, and they may be the photos that Snowflake Bentley took many years ago (we like to think they are anyway!).

O likes to sort the snowflakes into 2 groups before she starts matching them ("pointy" and "not pointy").  She looks at the tiny pictures of snowflakes through a magnifying glass in order to match them to their larger matches.  This is more difficult than I anticipated!

I put star stickers on the backs of the cards to facilitate self-checking. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Our February Poetry Basket

February has been a busy month, and we've only read our poem from our poetry basket a few times.  I couldn't find a poem that I liked on the internet, so I decided to just get one from one of our children's poetry books.  I love Wild Beasts by Evaleen Stein, and it's perfect for acting out (although the props don't fit in our basket!). 

Baby E likes to point to the words while reciting her version of the poem. 

O has had fun acting like a lion "beneath a nursery chair."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where to buy Montessori Materials?

Where is your favorite online store for buying Montessori materials?  This is a frequent question that is emailed to me, and I don't have an answer because I rarely buy Montessori materials. However, I'd like to buy a set of knobless cylinders, and I'm looking for recommendations...Also, what are your favorite Montessori materials for children age 6 and older?  O is only 4, but she will be homeschooled starting in first grade, and I'm wondering what kinds of materials I need to get to prepare for this.  Thanks in advance for any input!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Van Gogh Art Study Continued

O and I (and occasionally baby E) have continued our study of Vincent van Gogh.  We haven't had as much time to focus on this as I would like, so we are going to continue to do van Gogh related activities for another couple of weeks. 

We came across a mini van Gogh book in a set from Starfall.  O cut the pages, and we stapled them together.  I read the book to her, and then she read it to me.  After we finished reading the book, we found the book on Starfall and read it there.  O really enjoyed this activity. 

After we looked at the Starry Night on the ipad, O painted her own version of the Starry Night.  She loves the art set that her grandparents gave her for Christmas.

Both girls love the Touch the Art books.  Touch the Art: Make Van Gogh's Bed

Starry Night has always been O's favorite painting in this book.  The swirls are raised and glittery, and the girls love to touch them.

This book is also one that we've enjoyed for years.  Vincent's Colors

O recently did this beautiful embroidery at school.  She said she was thinking of The Starry Night when she made it.