Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Seuss inspired Meals

I've been trying to be a little more "fun" in the kitchen.  I try to strike a healthy balance between kid-approved meals and mom-forced meals.  My boys are pretty good eaters though, so I don't mind doing these fun meals once a week or so to make the kitchen more fun and to make up for all the "...because it's healthy for you." meals.  So we've had a few Dr. Seuss inspired meals this week to go along with our Dr. Seuss Theme.

The first lunch was a combination of Dr. Seuss's ABC Book (one of Emory's current favorite books) and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.

The first row has the letters ABC from toast scraps.  A = Applesauce, B = Banana, C = Corn (and peas).  The second row is blueberry yogurt with colorful fish sprinkles.  I think the purple color of the yogurt definitely makes it look Seussical.  Then there's a fish from toast and a few goldfish.
The inspiration for doing a Seuss's ABC muffin tin meal came from Biting the Hand That Feeds You.

This breakfast was inspired by Green Eggs and HamThe Cat in the Hat
and The Foot Book.

Obviously the green eggs are very unoriginal, and we didn't have ham so I used bacon.  Elliott knows they're both pork anyway, so he didn't care.  The toast was cut out with a foot shaped cookie cutter (probably from a baby shower), but you can't really see the 'foot' in the picture.  I first saw the Banana and Strawberry Cat in the Hat hats on Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons and knew the boys would love them!  As you can tell though, I had hungry kids and was in a hurry so I didn't worry about my stripes being too uniform!  ;)

This lunch was inspired by The Sneetches and Other StoriesThe Cat in the Hat (again), One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (again) and Horton Hatches the Egg.

We had Star shaped sandwiches for the Stars on the Sneetches bellies.  As you can see, we had another fruit hat because it was such a big hit and my husband overbuys bananas so I'm always trying to use them up.  The egg is for Horton's egg, and I was going to put it on a nest of pretzels, but husband must have eaten all the pretzels.  The goldfish and yogurt are similar to the previous lunch, except this yogurt was vanilla tinted blue with food coloring.

Then, not pictured was a Yink's Pink Ink Drink, which was a very special and very rare treat of Pink Lemonade!

Not a great picture again, but I had a two year old begging for his lunch.

The best part of these meals was reading the fun stories right at the kitchen table as we ate!

Linked Up:  Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss Linky Party, It's Playtime, Thrifty Thursday, Thematic Thursday, Enchanted Thursdays, Homeschooling on the Cheap, For the Kids Friday, Fun Frugal Friday, Weekly Kid's Co-op

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A is for the Alphabet!


Originally from Ben and Me, I first saw this on Winecup Christian Academy.  I thought it would be a fun challenge for me, and I can't wait to see what other bloggers share!

Since my blog is primarily about my children and getting started with our homeschool journey, it is only natural to start with the ALPHABET!  With a two year old and a five year old in the house, there are a lot of alphabet and pre-reading activities going on!

Elliott never showed any interest in learning to write until a little boy in his Sunday School class wrote his name for him.  That was the last time he ever asked someone to write his name for him.  He still resisted at home, until I put activities into page protectors his own special notebook.
tracing the alphabet

This is an easy activity for Elliott to help Emory with, so I love to get puzzles out occasionally and have them work together.
alphabet puzzles

Scavenger hunts are fun, so we occasionally do variations of those!
Vowel Hunt

We are in the word building stage of learning to read, and I am constantly trying to come up with ways to make it fun.  This snowflake was a huge hit!
Word Family Snowflakes

I limit the computer, but when Elliott does get on it, he enjoys educational websites like Starfall, or this free trial to Reading Eggs that we used to have.
computer games

I strive to make activities hands-on and tangible.  Games like this are perfect for learning to read...
Boggle, Jr.

...or just letting the two year old explore the alphabet!

Again, hands-on "lessons" make learning more accessible, and I try to make everything fun.  You can't have an early-learners learning environment without magnetic letters!
magnetic letters

Learning the correction formation of letters is important for handwriting, but sometimes we do this fun activity to practice letters with all straight sides  (Though Elliott will spell his name, by making a "boxed" shape 'O')
letters with craft sticks

We don't do a lot of worksheets, but this notebook is a great rainy day activity.
letter hunts

Alphabet Books
Just a few of our favorites off the top of my head...


I was a little late joining in on the fun, so my "B" post will be up fairly soon after this one.  After that though, this will be a weekly post.  

Dr. Seuss Theme

We were in the midst of a our Dinosaur Theme, but Dr. Seuss is everywhere right now.  Since the boys love Seuss, I figured we can stretch the dinosaur theme out a little longer, as long as they are interested.  I'm just keeping it simple with these, because these aren't actually our "school" work, they are extras for fun.

We started with Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories, focusing on Yertle the Turtle.  We hadn't read this book before, and Elliott really enjoyed the story.  After we read the story, we played a game.  Topsy Turtle has been in our closet for awhile, but we just haven't gotten around to it.  I didn't have the camera while we played, but the kids got a kick out of it!  After a few family rounds, the boys spent another half hour playing.  I'm surprised, since the game is quite simplistic, but perhaps that's why they liked it.  It was very easy for them to play without parental guidance, and very easy for them to play as a cooperative game.

These activities are geared towards The Cat in the Hat books.  I loved this Cat in the Hat matching game from Joyfully Weary, because it takes a little more focus than a typical picture matching game.

This Cat Hundreds Chart is one of many hundreds charts at Lil' Country Kindergarten.  I have my doubts of whether or not Elliott will actually color it, but I thought I'd try it, since he's extremely interested in numbers at the moment.

This little fish puzzle has seen better days, and we haven't had it out in a long time.  It reminded me of the fish in The Cat in the Hat (except mine is smiling!) or it could go with One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish too.

The boys love scavenger hunts, so I thought we might do some ABC puzzles and an Alphabet Scavenger Hunt to go along with Dr. Seuss's ABC which is one of their favorite books right now.

These rhyming cards are from the $1 spot at Target, and rhyming easily goes along with Dr. Seuss.  There are a few different suggestions on the parent cards.  Elliott and I will probably also do some word building with word families.

You may remember that we recently acquired a large stack of Dr. Seuss books, so between these and the Seuss books we already owned, we have plenty of reading material this week!  I have a few other ideas for activities and food, but I don't want to plan a lot.  We are supposed to have fair weather again this week, and I would much rather take the kids outside for the afternoon!

You can now check out some of our Seuss Inspired Meals!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tot School: Dinosaurs

Emory is 30 months old

I didn't get many pictures this week, but here are the few times I remembered the camera. 

Emory painted his car for AWANA.

He decided it needed to be a Toy Story car!  As you can tell by the soldier's head, this picture is after the car raced and endured some child-play.  The race itself was a little overwhelming for Emory, as the kids gradually get louder during each round, so we left after our boys were finished.

Then he experimented with color mixing and different paintbrushes...very fun!

Math Exploration
While brother was doing his math, I gave Emory the linking cubes for his own explorations.

He made several groups of twos!

We I tried some 1:1 correspondence with counting blocks, but he wasn't interested that day so I left it alone.  I never push anything on my boys.

Sensory and Imagination
Emory has really enjoyed playing with this Dinosaur Land "sensory tub" and it has been fun listening to him feed the dinosaurs!  The boys have played really well together with the dinosaurs this week, and watching and listening to their creative little minds is always a joy!

Play Time
Here he's playing with part of his Dinosaur Train toy while still dressed up!  He also enjoyed a few episodes of Dinosaur Train on PBS (or in our case Netflix), which is one of his favorite shows.

Food Fun...or not so much
This Dinosaur lunch was at his brother's request.  Emory doesn't eat hard-boiled eggs or tomatoes, but I always offer him everything, because he won't learn to eat new foods if he isn't exposed to them.  His brother has no problem polishing off what he won't eat.  Emory did eat his sandwich (and scraps), grapes, salad, and had some more fruit.

Field Trips
Our field trips earlier this week included a trip to the Creation Museum...Emory loved the dinosaurs, and walking under the dinosaur in front of the building was apparently very fun!

Everything at the Newport Aquarium was a big hit!  Emory was fascinated!

We had several read-alouds this week as usual, but Emory's picks came from the Autumn section of our bookshelf.

You can also check out Elliott's Year 0 (Pre-K) Weekly Wrap-Up to see what he's been learning!

Tot School