Thursday, June 30, 2011

Integrating Holidays: Fourth of July

Explaining what the 4th of July is to a 2 1/2 year old is quite interesting.

Upon seeing the bags of decoratins, plates, etc. the conversation goes something like this:
Toddler (T): We are going to have my birthday party.
Mom (M): No, honey , we are going to have a party for America.
T: Yeah! It's 'merica's birthday. Where does 'merica live?
M: We live in America, the United States of America. We celebrate where we live because we have freedom.
T: (Looking up in deep, deep thought). Where is she? I want to see America.
M: Well......forget it honey, let me find a book about the 4th of July and America's birthday.

What a concept that we take for granted. We know what it means to be free, what liberties we have, and how far our country has come. This year, let's not forget the little ones who are still trying to grasp this concept.

A new website I love that sends weekly updates each Sunday with activities is This week, it was chuck full of actvities for the Fourth. Check out the objective this week: Operation Red, white, and blue

A few books that you can order or find at your library to read each night to your children are:

I also have one in Spanish to read called: Celebra el cuarto de julio by Alma Flor Ada and F.Isabel Campoy. Reading in a different language to children helps their comprehension and you can ask questions like:
What do you think the book is about?
What do you think they are talking about on this page? How do you know?
By using pictoral cues, children are still reading and using a higher level of thinking.
For the babies, a book I found is:

Of course, you can always google some activities to play in your backyard, but some activites that I am personally using for our party on Sunday game from Disney's family fun website. We will be playing the flag tag relay.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Integrating Seasons: Sun catchers

The mailbox had a great craft idea that I just had to share, making Sun Catchers:
Tape a piece of plastic wrap to a file folder or piece of cardboard. Brush glue on the plastic wrap; then place one-inch squares of tissue paper on the flue. Apply another thin coat of glue atop the tissue paper. When dry, cut out an animal shape, glue on wiggle eyes, and punch a hold through the top. Feed a piece of yarn through the hold and tie the ends together in a knot. Hang the completed crafts near a window.

Of course for any children under 4, there will be quite a bit you will have to help them do, but don't underestimate the young ones. They can do it!

While you are waiting for them to dry or a view of the sun, here are some books you can read together- for all ages.

Here are a few board books for the babies:

I hope you are enjoying the sunshine!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Integrating Holidays: Father's Day

Why do dads get a day in June?
*Dads get the warm weather, so they can golf.
*Dads get there to be no school, so mom can watch the kids all day-so he can golf.
*Dads get a day on Sunday, so he can watch sports.
These answers are from a student when asked why Father's Day was in June.

Students often get to make all kinds of crafts for moms on their day, but school is usually out when it comes to dads. Here are a few ideas so fathers can get the homemade crafts with love.

I always love to go to enchanted learning to see what ideas they have. Such easy, practical crafts.

Michael's had great site this month for crafts: Crafts for dads

Barnes and Noble has a great section for gift ideas.

A few good reads:

My ultimate favorite gift I had the kids make for their dad was a book. I ordered them from Bare Books. We started the books on the first of June, 2006. I placed a picture of each child and they could decorate the cover. On the back we created an "about the author page."
We then did the steps for writing, prewriting, outlining, drafting, editing, writing, and publishing.
They wrote on the bottom of the page and drew their illustations on the top.
When they first started this project, they were 5 years old. This year, there are 8 more pages left in the book that they will complete. For 5 years, the kids have been adding to the bare book, and now it is a chapter book.
Dad loves it. I love it. It is great to see how the kids have grown.

Whatever you decided to do for dad, I am sure he will have a wonderful day just being remembered.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Integrating Seasons: June is bustin' out all over

Where oh where did the time go!?
School is already out for some people and the weather seems to be getting warmer in many places.

There are a few websites that can give you summer activities for the kids throughout the year:

Michaels -Summer Creativity

iMom- activities sent to your email each week for 8 weeks, with print outs and inspiration to keep going

All pro dad- a website for dads to find ways to motivate, encourage, and live

Barnes and Noble- for book ideas throughout the summer, guest speakers, and fun activities

and of course YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY! There are so many activities and events that are FREE for you and the family. Take advantage. Our local library has craft Saturdays, Baby book reading on Wednesdays, and much, much more!

Welcome Summer!!