Preschool Letter of the Week “A” and “B”

Letter of the Week A and B


So I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that my tiny, tiny little baby is growing up and is a full-blown toddler!

Because I wanted to really savor and enjoy my last few months of it being just Lucas and Mommy before little brother (still to be named) arrives, we decided not to enroll Lucas in preschool this fall.  But, I still wanted to make sure we had some “structured” learning (yeah right with a 2.5 year old!) and socialization.  I’ve signed us up for a few classes we are really enjoying and I decided to add a bit more structure to the Letter of the Week activities I started earlier this year (that took a brief hiatus during that nasty first trimester).

I try and do a few things with each letter:

  • A Letter Craft – you know, making that letter into something
  • A Sensory or Fine Motor Skill
  • A “Math” activity – more like counting, sorting, measuring, etc.
  • A Cooking Activity – L loves helping in the kitchen and we keep it really simple
  • A Coloring Page or Another Craft if I can come up with something.

I want to share what we’ve been doing with all of my mommy (or mommy-to-be) readers because we really are having a blast.  I also wanted to say that we don’t put a lot of pressure on ourselves with this (sometime I don’t follow the above list because I can’t come up with things that fit – I try to make it fun for both of us and not something I worry about too much).  I get that my kid isn’t even 3 yet!  This really helps me plan things for us to do during the day (so I don’t go crazy or rely on the TV too much).  Instead of creating a new post for each letter, I’m going to do 2 at a time (I think we’re far enough along at this point).  We started with the letters in L’s name but I’m going to just go alphabetically (so your kids aren’t learning how to spell Lucas right off the bat!).

LETTER OF THE WEEK – “A”

We had a lot of fun with the letter “A!”

We made an “A” Alligator.  I just cut up bits of construction paper and Lucas glued them on (this was one of our first letters, so I was stilling trying to be “perfect” at this point instead of letting him just have at it).

A is for Alligator

A is for Alligator

We also did Apple Paining (but I forgot to take pictures – oops!).  This was really easy – I just cut a few apples in half and let him dip them in paint and then onto paper.  This kept him entertained for quite a while.  I worked counting in my counting the apple seeds!

We did some coloring pages as well – I like Education.com for free printables!

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We also made Applesauce with Daddy!  This one was a ton of fun!  I did most of the work but Lucas LOVED mashing everything up!  And it was really easy – I just added about 3/4c of water to 4 peeled and diced apples, 1/4 cup of sugar and a dash of cinnamon  and cooked on the stove until soft.

Once that was cooked Lucas went to town with the potato masher! It was a tad chunky but we loved it – and Lucas loved that he helped make it.

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LETTER OF THE WEEK – “B”

**I’m going to preface this by saying Lucas is REALLY into butterflies but there are LOTS of other “B” things out there!

We made a Bumble Bee out of the letter B.  I used yellow construction paper for the B and cut out wings from black.  I used a pipe cleaner for us make the antenna.  I gave L a black marker to add the stripes but you can see that wasn’t exactly what he wanted to do.  By this point I had stopped trying to be the “perfect Pinterest mom” and just went with it!

B is for Bumble Bee

B is for Bumble Bee

We also did some Pom Painting on a Butterfly.  I found the butterfly at Walmart in the craft section for like $0.49.  A few clothespins, poms, an egg carton and paint and we were in business.

B is for Butterfly

B is for Butterfly

Our counting activity was counting butterflies (see the pattern).  My mom found some plastic butterflies on Amazon a while ago and we would line them up and count them.  It was super simple but I can tell he’s really stating to “get” the point of counting (and can actually count things pretty high – not just say his numbers).

For our food we made Banana (or Blueberry for Daddy) milkshakes!  Lucas loves helping with the blender and he LOVED his milkshake!  We drank them while we watched a Bubble Guppies episode as a family!

B is for Banana Milkshake

B is for Banana Milkshake

B is for Banana Milkshake

Like I said, I’m keeping it pretty simple and trying to incorporate it into our daily routine.  I am starting to see it paying off for sure.  Just the other day Lucas told me “D” is for Dinosaur and “E” is for Elephant and I was really impressed.

Are you doing any preschool activities at home with your little ones?  I’d love to hear what you’re doing – I’m always looking for fun new activities for us so make sure to share!

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DIY Dish Towel Apron

Have I really taken another summer “off” from the blog?  How do I keep doing this?  Well, to be fair, we had some pretty exciting things happen this summer!

There was this:

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And then just a few days ago, this:

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But now that I feel more human and I actually have a bit of energy left over at the end of the day after chasing Lucas around all day I feel like I’m ready to get back to it.

This first post back isn’t super exciting, but something I worked on back in FEBRUARY!

In case you didn’t know, we love Disney in our house.  Okay, I love Disney and Lucas loves Disney but Daddy isn’t a huge fan!  He puts up with it though because it makes his wife and son happy and that’s what matters.  We took Lucas back to Disney World for his 2nd birthday and had a dinner at Chef Mickey’s planned.  I wanted a cute outfit for him to wear but wasn’t sure what to do (and I didn’t want to spend a million dollars).  That’s when I found this dish rag (yes, you read that right) on clearance at Target and this was how our Chef Micky’s outfit was born.  It will actually be heading back to Walt Disney World with us in September when my mom and I take Lucas for his third visit.

Honestly, this was the easiest project and cost under $5.  We haven’t used it as his apron when we cook together at home (because I’m trying to keep it in good condition for our next trip but once we come back it will probably be what we use for cooking.  And it’s made so it can kind of grow with him, which I like.

**Disclaimer:  This was the first time in like a year or maybe two that my sewing machine had been out – I was feeling pretty rusty and the stitches are NOT the best.

  • Here is what you’ll need:
  • Dish Towel
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine

(Or skip the thread and sewing machine and use the no sew iron tape)

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First I ironed out the wrinkles from the towel (this is my least favorite part and I never do the best job).

Next I held the towel up to Lucas and measured down to where his armpits are and did a simple corner fold.  I gave us a little room to grow (it’s higher on him now than it needs to be). I did a simple stitch about 1 inch away from the diagonal fold on the outside edge

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Then I cut along the stitching to get rid of the extra fabric.

 

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I wanted to add a pocket so it was just a simple fold up at the front of the apron.  I sewed both sides together.  I wanted to get a little “fancy” so I added the fold over back down at the top.

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After that you just thread the ribbon through the folded down corners – I didn’t even tie it off at the ends, but you can if you’d like.

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After that all I needed was the Chef Mickey’s logo, which I found online and did a reverse image of to print onto iron on transfer paper.

Two minute later and this was our final product:

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Lucas was just he cutest little Chef at our Chef Mickey’s dinner this past February and I can’t wait for him to wear this again in September!

DIY Chef Mickeys Apron

Pantry Organization – My Latest (and GREATEST) Organization Project!

This post has been a long time coming!  Before Christmas I started getting really frustrated with how messy our pantry was.  And L’s art supplies.  And the playroom.  And our guest bedroom.  But alas, I digress!  The pantry was in need of some help.  I tried to organize it a little before the holidays but made a promise to myself that after the new year I would do something about it.

I began to pin inspiration and then I started some Amazon Wishlists.  After I priced out my Amazon Wishlist I realized my husband would probably file for divorce if I spent $450+ on reorganizing our small pantry.  With that in mind I changed up my game plan but still ended up with a pantry I love.  No, really, ask Darrin, I talk about how much I love that pantry All. The. Time!

So first things first…what did our pantry look like before?  This wasn’t as bad as it was before Christmas but it still makes me a little shaky just looking at the picture!

{BEFORE}

Disorganized Pantry

So not awful, but take a look at this beauty!

{AFTER}

After - Organized Pantry

And a view from the side:

Organized Pantry

Y’all I am totally in love!  The whole project cost under $200 to complete.  So yes, I get that may seem like a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a pantry but we had some Christmas money and Darrin said I could do what I wanted with it (he really is a gem!).

Now let’s break down what I did so you can recreate my masterpiece in your own house.

I was really, really coveting the OXO Good Grips Pop Containers but since they’re close to $20 each I decided I needed to rethink that aspect.  I ended up going with Better Homes and Gardens Flip Tite storage containers that you can buy at Walmart.  I purchased a few of the sets (4.5 cup, 7.5 cup and 10 cup containers) and then some individually (2 cup, 4.5 cup, 7.5 cup, 10 cup and 11.5 cup).  I really, really like these containers.  I wasn’t too sure of the quality at first but I asked some people who had used them and they had positive things to say.  I’m so glad I went with these and saved some money.  The 3 containers set was only $15!

Pantry Organization Project

Next I needed to get something to hold cereal and oatmeal.  Darrin loves his cereal so I went with two 1.5 gal containers for cereal and another for the oatmeal.  I really like the Rubbermaid Cereal Keepers I ended up choosing! **As a side note, I made sure I put the waffles/pancake mix recipe on the Flip Tite container and the oatmeal cooking instructions on the Rubbermaid container just so I knew I had them.

My baking supplies needed some organizing as well.  I found these great containers at TJ Maxx for my flours and sugar.  I ended up using more Flip Tite containers for the rest of my baking item.

Next up was finding some baskets to store items that I couldn’t put in storage containers.  I ended up finding some really nice nesting baskets at Old Time Pottery for a great price!  I also ended up needing more than I thought so I had to make multiple trips.

Nesting Baskets

I also needed something to hold our tupperware-type containers.  The baskets I bought just weren’t big enough so I made yet another trip to Old Time Pottery and found that awesome black and white bin you can see at the bottom left of the AFTER photo.  It was perfect!

The last step was getting some labels for the baskets.  I had a vision of what I wanted but I couldn’t find them anywhere.  I ended up going with plain Avery Shipping Labels and making them a little fancier with markers!

Here are some more photos of the finished product:

Pantry Organization Project

After3

After it was all said and done I realized I needed to do something about our plastic bags so I hung a 3M hook on the back of the folding door and they fit perfectly!  Plus they are out of sight, which I love.

I also chose not to label most of my storage containers.  This is because what’s in them changes often.  I even keep an empty one or two in the closet to fill as needed.  I didn’t want to have to peel labels off all the time when I went to wash the containers.

The basket containing my oils and vinegars also has honey and hot sauce and a few other things like that.  It can get pretty messy so I made sure to line the basket with some aluminum foil to keep the mess contained and easy to clean up.

I thought about painting the inside of the pantry but didn’t want to have to deal with drying time.  Then I thought about using contact paper to add a design to the walls but after a disastrous experience trying to cover our kitchen table with contact paper I decided to give up that pipe dream and just let it stay white!  Maybe someday, when I do Pantry Organization 2.0 I’ll add some color!

So now our pantry is super organized and finding what I need is so easy.  Plus I know when we’re running low on something and I need to get some more.  And on top of that it’s so pretty to look at and makes me super happy!  I did this several weeks ago and I STILL smile when I open the doors.

Pantry Organization

And there you have it, my organized and easy to use pantry!  Life is just so much simpler when things are organized.  And with a toddler, a husband and three dogs I need all the simple I can get!

Christmas Tree Pom Painting: A Fun Toddler Craft

Christmas_Tree_Pom_Painting

I’m always looking for fun crafts to do with Lucas – and the holidays give me that extra push to do something he’ll really enjoy – and it’s something that I can keep forever, bringing out every year until he is well past 30!

Painting is big in our house right now and Lucas loves to “dab.”  I thought Pom Painting would be the perfect activity for him.  Hopefully your little one will enjoy it too!

What you’ll need:

Pom Painting Christmas Tree

  • Construction Paper
  • Paint (I used red, blue and yellow)
  • Poms
  • Clothespins
  • Empty egg carton (or something else to hold the paint)
  • A pen
  • Scissors

Instructions:

First, fold your construction paper in half lengthwise and draw half of a Christmas tree along the folded edge (I am SO not an artist!).

Pom Painting Christmas Tree

And cut out your tree(s).

Pom Painting Christmas Tree

Clip a pom with your clothes pin.  I matched the pom color with the paint because Lucas is super into naming colors right now (and hearing him say “yell-yow” is just precious!).

Christmas Tree Pom Painting

Next, place some paint in the cups of the egg carton.

Christmas Tree Pom Painting

Use the pom, dipped in paint, to create “ornaments” on your tree.  Lucas LOVED this part!  Look at that concentration.

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Christmas Tree Pom Painting

Once your paint has dried, glue a yellow pom to the top of your tree as as star.

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Lucas was so proud of his finished product.  And this was an easy but fun craft for us to do together!

What are you creating with your little one’s this holiday season?  I’d love to see what you’ve been working on.  Share in the comments!

 

Red and Green Peppermint Playdough: Perfect for Christmas-time Fun

I LOVE Christmas!  Last year was really exciting since it was my first Christmas with a child.  This year, however, Lucas is starting to understand what’s going on and we are having so much fun!  We’ve been handing out candy … Continue reading