Chasing Cheerios

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Valentine's Day "Work"

I LOVE setting up Valentine's Day "work" for our girls' Montessori shelves.  They have been excited by all of the new additions!  Here's one simple work that E(2) has enjoyed...

She puts the toothpicks in the shaker.  She got a little frustrated that they leaned to the side, but she handled it well.

O(5) also enjoyed completing this work.  She calls this type of work a "relaxing work."

The Valentine's toothpicks are cupcake decorations that came with a pack of cupcake liners from Dollar General.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Matching Textures While Blindfolded

I recently brought out the tiny pillow matching activity that I made for O(5) a couple of years ago out for E(2).

E quickly matched the pillows, but wasn't interested in covering her eyes to do the activity.

However, O(5) was really excited to see this activity back on the shelf!  She immediately wrapped the playsilk around her head and matched the pillows.  It was too easy for her, but she still enjoyed it.

Her favorite thing was hiding the pillows when I had my eyes covered and was trying to match them!  Silly girl!

Dates with Mama & Daddy

I love the "Year of Dates" on Let's Explore!  Since we've been trying to have more one-on-one time with the girls, these "date" printables are perfect!

On New Year's Day we told the girls that they would be getting cards in the mail telling them about dates with mama, daddy, or both of us.  So far, they've had 3 movie dates with both of us (family movie night is SO much more exciting when they get a letter in the mail telling them about it), and one individual "date" each.

Here are the ideas for our dates:

watch a movie
go out for ice-cream (we did this after O(5)'s ballet practice...she's an inchworm in The Little Mermaid ballet!)
go shopping to pick out a small toy (this just happened by chance when we went to get groceries after getting ice-cream...neither O(5) nor I could resist the teeny, tiny half price teacup piglets)
go out to eat at a restaurant of your choice
go for a woods walk
go fishing
bake cookies (E(2) and daddy did this one today!)
drive daddy's remote control truck with him
go for a kayak ride
make a craft

Hopefully, we'll have at least one individual date per girl each month.  The girls have been thrilled to find the envelopes for their dates in their mailbox. There's always lots of squealing and excitement when they find mail in their mailbox :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Easy Dulce De Leche...Argentina!

The girls and I made dulce de leche a couple of weeks ago, and it is absolutely deeeelicious!!!  It was also super simple to make!  The only ingredient is a can of sweetened condensed milk!  We took the label off the can and put it in a deep pot of water (at least 4 inches of water covered the can at all times...evidently, it will explode if it is ever uncovered).  We boiled the can for 4 hours.  After it cooled, we opened the can on both ends and the dulce de leche slid out....sooo good!  We put it on vanilla ice-cream and then sandwiched it between 2 shortbread cookies to make alfajores.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ways To Play Fun Box

This year I decided to compile "10 Ways To Play" Fun Boxes for the girls since their "subscription" to their Monthly Fun Boxes were their favorite Christmas gift last year, and the box was the highlight of each month.  These great printouts from Let's Explore are making my compilation of fun boxes much easier this year and the focus is on doing more instead of getting random stuff that I gathered throughout each month.  

In their "10 Ways To Play in January" Fun Box the girls received the 10 Ways to Play handout, cotton balls and straws, and organic lollipops.  They were THRILLED!  We immediately played freeze dance and then listed words that rhymed with snow.  We've been collecting rain in a jar all month, and we'll do a couple more activities this weekend.  Thanks to Amy at Let's Explore for the idea and printouts!

Friday, January 27, 2012

"T" Week

E(2) had "T" Week a long time ago (November) , and I never posted about it.  Since I plan to make an ABC book for her using these alphabet posts, I'm trying to catch up and get everything on the blog!

 She recieved a tiger puppet craft kit, a T coloring page, and a growing turtle in her ABC fun pack.

She matched the tiger to her sandpaper "t."

Both girls love the letter stories in the Amazing Action Alphabet book.

We went exploring on a nearby island and noticed lots of tracks!

The girls especially loved the raccoon tracks since they look like "eeny weeny it's so teeny" baby handprints.

She played with the turkey felt board set. 
E dressed like a tiger.

We made a tiger puppet. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chicken, Broccolli, and Cheese Empanadas...Argentina!

The girls and I made empanadas during our monthlong of studying Argentina.  All of the recipes that I saw for empanadas contained red meat, but since we don't eat red meat, we substituted chicken.  I took the easy way out and used an already prepared pie crust instead of making our own crust.  The girls really enjoyed rolling out the crust and helping with all of the steps in making the empanadas, and we were all covered in flour by the time we finished making them.  The empanadas were a hit!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Our Treasure Table

Our girls are collectors, and they always bring home pocketfuls of rocks, leaves, seeds, shells, etc when we go on walks.  I remembered that I had these old printing boxes in the garage, so we got them out to use as a treasure table.  E(2) especially loves arranging and re-arranging things on the treasure table!

The printer's box is sitting on a low table, so it is at the perfect height for both of the girls.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kindergarten Activity Bag...Math!

I made this super fun math activity bag for O(5) before our vacation a few months ago, and she LOVES it!

To make this activity, I hot glued plastic number tiles to glittery pipe cleaners.  Then I put the appropriate number of beads into a collapsible container (it came in an Easter egg dyeing kit) and added in a glittery piece of felt to use as a work space.

To complete the activity, O puts the appropriate number of beads on each pipe cleaner.  This is not only great math practice, but it's also good for developing hand/eye coordination and fine motor control.

After she finishes putting the beads on the pipe cleaners, she puts the numbers in numerical order.

Then she can create simple addition and subtraction math problems.

This is the perfect car and plane activity for my math girl!

The idea for this activity came from here!

Baked Plantains...Argentina!

When I was googling recipes from Argentina, I came across one for baked plantains.   O(5) loves plantains, so she was very excited to help make them.  She helped peel and slice the plantains.  We spread them on a baking sheet and sprayed them with olive oil cooking spray.  Here's the recipe.

E(2) didn't like the plantains, but O loved them.  Later in the week, I sauteed the plantains in olive oil and they were terrible.  I think we'll stick with baked from now on!