Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Slime Pie ~ Invitation to Play

Slime, who doesn't like slime?? Little Bit LOVES slime! The slime I made will last for several months so we will use it in lots of ways but for now we are using it to bake. Using the slime for pretend baking was Little Bits idea. She started making pies so I ran with it and quickly pulled together a few play cooking items. She has not tired of slime pies yet.

 I made a batch using the recipe found on Growing a Jeweled Rose. The recipe is very simple but I do want to add a disclaimer: when I made the slime it DID NOT look right, it looked like a hot mess. I made it for a play date that we were having at my house. I let the kids play with the not so great slime because kids do not care it looks right or not they just like to play with yucky stuff ;) After about 5 minutes of play it was perfect! Do not give up on the slime if it does not mix together at first, just play with it to get it to the right consistently.

 Little Bit loved making the slime into eggs. Slime does not hold its form the way play-dough does but that doesn't matter to Little Bit. The slime is easy to move, cut and pull apart which is why I think she loves it so much. After making eggs she used the eggs to make pies and cookies.

We used several different baking accessories: 
  • egg carton
  • fork, knife, spatula
  • play pie pans
  • play cookie sheet
  • real microwave (Little Bit pretends this is her oven)
  • cookie cutters

Slime baking has been a hit at our house. When I am cooking she loves to play with her slime and bake. I love that the slime is easy to clean up and doesn't easily dry out. Do you play with slime? What are your favorite slime activities?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Shell Pets

We had a lot of fun playing with shells this week. The book Marcel the Shell with Shoes on Things About Me was a great way to introduce our shell pet activity. Marcel has a very unique look and the book is funny to read as he explains what he does around the house. After reading the book Little Bit painted her shells. Originally I planned to paint 2 but she wanted to paint more. That night while we were out on a date she talked the babysitter into painting even more! So we have a several painted shells.

The shells turned out great! Little Bit only wanted two of the shells to have eyes. Little Bits babysitter showed her how to add sand to the shells after painting them, which added a fun texture. I love our babysitter! We also have a box that Little Bit decorated as a house for our shell pets.

 Painting our shells was Little Bits favorite thing we did all week. What fun things have your done with shells?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Train Books

We just finished up T is for Trains Unit. Little Bit loved playing and reading about trains. Below is a list of books that we read as we learned all about trains. There are fiction and non-fiction books included on the list. Little Bit enjoyed the non-fiction as much as the fictional books. The books range from ACB books, rhyming, informational, and classic story books.

The Little Engine that Could is a classic story. Little Bit loved the story and that the train was a big helper. Totally Tots has a few ideas that you can use when reading the book.

Trains Steaming! Pulling! Huffing! This is a book that shows what a train does and its parts.

Steam Train, Dream Train perfect for bedtime story time.

The Goodnight Train is another fun book to read as your little one is getting ready to go to sleep.

Seymour Simon's Book of Trains is full of facts that older kids will love. Little Bit enjoyed looking at the pictures and matching the train pictures to trains she found in other books.

Train Trip is about a little boy that takes the train to visit his grandfather.

I'm Fast! A train races a car to Chicago. Check out the book to see who is the fastest.

The Train Goes Clickety-Clack is a fun book to read and listen to the sounds a train makes. The book also explains what the train does.

All Aboard ABC This non-fiction book was Little Bits favorite. She loved the pictures and explained to me what she had seen on Thomas that was in the book. Bonus - it is an ABC book!

Hey Mr. Choo-Choo Where Are You Going? This book have a great rhyme to it and fun pictures.

Freight Train is a simple read with bright color cars. I enjoy the pictures in this book, they are so bright and gives the feel they are moving. You can also find lots of ideas to use with this book at Virtual Book Club for Kids

 All Aboard! is a easy read with great pictures of real trains. Little Bit liked the pictures and the sounds the of the train you make as you are reading.

Trains, Cranes and Troublesome Trucks is one of many Thomas the Train books you can read. Thomas the train is a favorite of Little Bit. This is a story about the troublesome trucks that cause the trains to wreck.

Prairie Train is a sweet story about a little girl taking a train across the prairie to visit her grandmother in the city. The story has a rhyme and good description of all the things that happen on the train ride. As we read this book Little Bit talked about how she rides in a car to see Grandma not a train. For older kids you can discuss how train rides were different in the past compared to train rides now.

There are many more train books that are available that were not included in the list. I would love to know what books are your favorite. What train book does your little one love?

Friday, August 30, 2013

T is for Train

Little Bit is in a train phase. After lunch and before quiet time she watches one show and everyday she picks Thomas. So, instead of T is for Turtles like I planned we did T is for Trains. My little girl has been a tomboy since she was born, no princesses or dresses for her, it is Cars, dirt and blocks. I can't blame her though I would rather wear a t-shirt and flip-flops than high heels and lipstick. Like mother, like daughter. :) 
As we learned about trains we read lots of train books. Check out our list of train books, 14 Book About Trains.

I created a box train from a few boxes we had from our move. The idea for a big train came from {kidlist} activities for little kids. The train that she made is incredible! I did not make a train as large or colorful as hers but it was perfect for Little Bit.

My husband cut windows and a door out of the front box, I added a small box to the front, and a chimmey with white smoke. For the cars in the back I used two small boxes that we connected with a small strip of cardboard between get section. Black wheels and a yellow light was added to finish the train off. The train moves easily when pushed. Little Bit pushes it all over the house saying, "chugga-chugga, choo-choo!"

Now, how can you have a train with no track??? Well, a roll of masking tape created a perfect track. The track runs through our living room, dining room and playroom to create a complete circle. Little Bit LOVES the track! She rides her small scooter, pushes her train and with Daddy races the track on foot.

You can also added railroad signs to your track area. Check out these signs found online you can use.   Free Printable Railroad Crossing Signs -  Sign 1  Sign 2

Little Bit wanted to decorate her train right away. She added a face and then used markers and paint to color on it. This was her favorite activity this week, she loved making her train pretty. Please excuse the PJ's, they are Little Bits favorite and she decided to wear her PJ's on this day.

I found a fun idea for a train book at 1+1+1=1. The book she created was set up a bit differently. I decided to make ours like a real book and added a few extra pages that I found at TeacherPayTeachers as park of a train packet. Little Bit put the book together and was excited to play with each page.

Page 1 - Thomas and Friends book 
Page 2 - Thomas Shape Match Up. I drew the shapes on the page so that Little Bit could 
               match the shapes. 
Page 3 - Color Train coloring book. 
Page 4 - Thomas Number Book. 
Page 5 - Thomas Number Puzzle. 
Page 6 - Practice page for tracing. 

The following blogs have great train ideas. 

Simple Living Mama - Train Themed Preschool Unit
Tippytoe Crafts - Name Train

We enjoyed talking about and playing with trains. What are your favorite train activities?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Quiet Time Boxes

We have started to slowly get into our daily and weekly routine for this year. There have been lots of things that have interfered with our schedule the past few weeks but I think we are finally getting into a rhythm. Our daily routine includes is quiet time, nap time is for babies so we call it quiet time :) If you ask Little Bit she will say she does not nap, but there are days when she is so tired that she gives up and sleeps. For all the other days she plays quietly on the rug in her room or in her bed.

I have seen quiet boxes online for sometime now and love the idea of a box that provides Little Bit with new fresh toys to play with. After looking around on Pinterest I found a few blog post that helped get me started. This is a list of blogs help me.
I decided to use 6 boxes instead of 5 like most of the blogs that I read. With 6 boxes I can just rotate through all of them so that she gets something different every Monday. It will also give me more time before you is ready for items in the box to be switched out. I decided to add 4-5 activities in each box. Every book has a writing/coloring and or letter activity and two books from a set of Little Miss Spider books I had. Finding the toys for the boxes motivated me and I ended up organizing all of Little Bit's toys in her room. As I went through all her toys I looked for activities that are 1. quiet, 2. small, 3. not usually played with because they were buried under bigger, louder toys. It was actually easier than I thought and I think the boxes are a good mix of activities.

Box #1 - 2 Little Miss Spider books
             - 3 My Little Ponies, comb, hairdrier and mirror
             - Princess coloring pages with markers
             - Letter/Number Blocks, my mom made the letter blocks for Little Bit last Christmas. 
               They are great for counting, practicing the alphabet or just building. 

Box #2 - 2 Little Miss Spider books
             - Winnie the Pooh picture matching cards
             - Cars puzzle
             - Lace'n'Trace animals
             - Dora activity pages and crayons

Box #3 - 2 Little Miss Spider books
             - Mrs. Potato Head and Baby Potato Head (plus accessories)
             - 3 notepads, pen, stickers
             - mini flashlight (not pictured)

Box #4 - 2 Little Miss Spider books
            - Leapfrog letter trace pad
            - Minnie Mouse puzzle
            - Bendy, twisty rabbit (Little Bit loves the rabbits from our Easter bin)
            - Finger puppets

Box #5 - 2 Little Miss Spider books
            - Alphabet beads with string
            - Dora puzzle
            - Coloring book from our cruise ship and crayons

Box #6 - 2 Little Miss Spider books 
            - Magna Doodle 
            - Kaleidoscope
            - Things That Go Together puzzle  

Overtime I am sure I will switch things up in the boxes. Maybe add more seasonal items for fall, Christmas, winter, etc. What do you do with your little one during quiet/nap time? Have you used quiet boxes before? If so, what worked well for you? I would love to hear your thoughts. 

This post is featured on Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop

Thursday, August 22, 2013

F is for Frog

Letter F Tub

We put together a tub with various items that start with F. Little Bit and Friend explored the bucket and talked about each word listening for the F sound.

Items in the F tub:

  • frog
  • feather
  • flashlight
  • firetruck
  • flower
  • flip-flop
  • various size letter Fs
  • fish
  • fox
  • four and five

Frog Pond Play

We played with pretend frogs in 4 different ways. Check out my post about our frog ponds

Frog Books and Activities

Hop Jump by Ellen Stoll Walsh

This is a fun book about a frog that wants to dance not jump and hop. After read we practiced our frog hop and checked to see who could jump the farthest. 

I found this fun game at the Dollar Store (sweet!) that is all about jumping frogs. Little Bit and Friend loved making the frogs jump. 

999 Frogs Wake Up

This is a cute book about a sleepy frog. The books does not include counting but you could create your own counting game with this book.

Frog and Fly by Jeff Mack

Frog and Fly is like a comic book split into six parts. After reading the story Little Bit tried her hand at eating like a frog. We used small toy insects and sticky slap toys. The sticky slap toys I found were in the shape of a lizard, I think the sticky hands would of words better but the lizard did the trick this time.

Little Bit loved pretending to be a frog with a sticky tongue.

Five Green and Speckled Frogs

*the words in this video are not the exact words from the book*

We read the book and then played the song from YouTube that is listed above. As the song played Little Bit used the frogs and log I made to act out the song. 

I created 5 frogs and placed them on popcycle sticks, then used a paper towel roll as a log. The frog fit into the small holes I cut until they were ready to jump into the pool. This was an easy and simple way to act out the game and very cute. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about the fun we had as we learned and played with frogs. There are so many great ideas for playing with frogs, below are a few sites that have great ideas for playing with frogs. 

Coffee Cups and Crayons has a great post about jumping like a frog. 

Walking By the Way has a great resource for counting with frogs. 

Activity Village has a printable available for Five Green and Speckled Frogs. 

There is are many different Frog Boards for Preschoolers on Pinterest. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Frog Sensory Ponds


During our F is for Frog week we had Friend and Little Friend with us everyday to play. We played everyday with our frog pond. I decided to switch things up and present the pond in a different way each day. 

Day 1 - We played with the frog pond in a tub with water, rocks, foam lily pads and frogs. Friend said he was having fun several times. Since the bin was on the floor Little friend was able to play too.

Day 2 - The next day frog pond was in our water table. The rocks, lily pads and frogs were each in separate containers so that Little Bit and Friend could arrange them like they wanted. I only put water in to one section of the table. Little Bit and Friend used the dry area as land for the frogs to sit on.

Day 3 - On day three we talked about how frogs sometimes live in the mud. I set out a tub with dirt and water table with water. Friend and Little Bit quickly started adding the water to the dirt and making mud. Little Bit was the first one to touch the mud and not long after they were hiding the frogs in the mud then digging around trying to find them. The one word they used to describe the mud over, and over again was GROSS!! If they could of jumped in like the frogs they would have. :) The dirt came from our yard so it had leaves and sticks in it which added extra fun to the digging around.

I do believe this was their favorite frog pond :)

Day 4 - On the last day we played with our frogs in green goo (Obleck). Little Bit had never played with green goo so she enjoyed dipping, scooping and burying the frogs. We did not use the rocks for this bin, just the frogs and lily pads.

We had fun playing with the frogs in different ways. Very little changed with each of the bins but Little Bit and Friend enjoyed playing and exploring the different ponds.