Archive for September, 2011

Treasure maps

Alexander has been showing interest in maps recently. He brought home a map he had drawn at preschool the other day so I thought I would further this interest. Yesterday I printed off some maps off the internet, one of the world, Australia and then one of our local neighbourhood and we marked on it our house and two of his friends’ houses.

It was more just for a colouring exercise and just seeing the pictures, I didn’t name any of the countries on the world map though I did point out where Australia was (0k I named one) and then I marked where his grandfather lives in the US and showed how far away that was. On the map of Australia I pointed out how far away his cousins and uncle and aunt live.’

So today we were stuck home again with no car so I printed out another map of our neighbourhood and we were going to follow it and go for a walk, hopefully to the library, a treat drink at the cafe and back home again but as soon as we stepped out it started sprinkled. I walked a bit further umming and ahhing and then we turned back. Emily was in the pram and well protected but Alexander was on his bike and I did have a rain jacket for me but I wasn’t sure it was worth the risk so we headed back home.

So now I had to come up with some ideas. I had found an empty tissue box this morning so I decided to make a treasure box. The kids continued colouring in their maps while I covered the box and then I told them what I had made. I mentioned that the box was empty and so we pulled out the play doh to make money to go in the box.

I hurridly drew up two bad maps of our house (NOT going to show those) – not to scale or rooms in the very correct place but it was the basic idea. I then found 3 containers – 1 a plastic easter egg left over from easter where I folded one map very very very small and put a couple of lollies left over from a party we went to a couple of weeks ago. One tin got apples sliced into it and the map stuck around it and then the treasure box was filled with a book, a crown, a pipe cleaner necklace, a lolly necklace (from same party), some fake and real coins and some musical whistles. I then stashed them around the house and wrote a note about where the first treasure could be found. A house in Alexander’s bedroom.

The egg was hidden in the house and happily opened, lollies eaten.

I gave broad hints to help with the map reading – it was Alexander’s first time and we worked it out together. He discovered the next tin behind the couch. We then sat down to open it and eat the apples and read the next map.

We then followed the map to Emily’s room and found it again behind something.

We then opened the box, read the book, wore the treasures and ate the mini marshmellows in there, then played the instruments which led to me getting out the box of music instruments and us singing and dancing and making lots of noise.

So for lunch I continued the theme and made treasure food. I love recycling ideas and so I gave the kids the same food they had yesterday but with different presentation. I used vegemite to make a cross on the bread, I scooped up circles of avocado, I cut up some carrot to make a cross and boiled some eggs.

We enjoyed “opening” the treasure box ie cracking the eggs and finding the gold within! Lots of fun

I found these two websites with meal ideas but being without car I had to make do with what we had but they were interesting ideas though I am not sure about the banana and bean idea!
Treasure triangles

Treasure map quesadilla

At the end of it all I talked about Jesus being our ultimate treasure.


September 24, 2011 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment

We’re going to the zoo…

Well we’re not really but today I found myself unexpectedly at home when I was supposed to work and without a car and I had nothing planned for today and couldn’t get inspiration so I decided we needed more animals for our zoo.

I stuck on baby genius goes to the san diego zoo while I got ready (shower, computer browing time etc) and we decided what animals we wanted. Alexander got a hippo and a monkey, Emily wanted a giraffe and elephant. I went to DLTK to get more Toilet Paper Roll animal templates.

I also found this link to some Fingerprint Giraffes. I tweaked it a little. I decided the giraffe’s head looked like a foot so I found some yellow card, traced around Alexander’s foot and Emily’s foot and cut them out. I folded the remaining half of the A4 sheet in half and cut it down for the long neck.

We headed outside to enjoy the sunshine.

They then painted the templates which had mixed results – making it nearly impossible for me to find the lines to cut out which is why the hippo face and legs are in white as I reprinted it. I did debate getting them to use crayons and making them do life like colours and then I thought colour doesn’t hurt, they can make the animals any colour they want.

Alexander liked making dots on the giraffe’s body parts but Emily just wanted to paint, whether with brushes or with her fingers. But that’s ok.

Kids painting

Only got Alexander dotting his giraffe

While we waited for the paint to dry the kids rode their bikes. Well actually Alexander rode Emily’s bike with training wheels and Emily was on her three wheeler…

So while the paint dried they rode, then while they rode mum quickly cut stuff out and then the glue came out and the eyes came out and Emily tipped the eyes everywhere!

So no photos of putting things together but here are the finished products.

Here are three finished animals, the monkey was hiding somewhere. The lid of our shoebox is the open air enclosure at the zoo. The giraffe’s legs are on wonky but she is only 2 and I didn’t micromanage like I often do.

Lunch was sort of themed. I striped the bread into vegemite stripes, scooped out some avocado and called it grass and chopped up a boiled egg and called it lion heads. Gave my daughter a toothpick to pick up her avocado and she ate away! Alexander scraped the avocado skin clean.

There you go, holidays next week and we’re going away, hopefully that will inspire the children and me for the theme for the following week.

September 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm Leave a comment

A is for artist and apple




We were looking at different ways artists look and make things. Cezanne had his astonishing apples. This is what my class made. I will put in links later. The object of the lesson was to draw with one colour, paint with only two primary colours out of a choice of the three, to make a 3 D Apple out of homemade playdoh. Lastly we chopped up two apples, one down the middle and the other across the middle to show the star. Using a red and green ink pad they stamped an Apple outline. Soon the apples will be on our Apple tree.

Later edit
Sorry about the upside down photo – was on my mobile and didn’t realise til later that I took the photo upside down.
Here is the link for Cezanne’s Astonishing Apples

I can’t rememeber where I got the apple outline but there are many if you do a search on google images.

September 20, 2011 at 9:24 am Leave a comment

Z is for . . .

So the letter of today was Z for Zebra and Zoo….. we left it at those two.

So for lunch we had Zebra sandwiches – I made stripes with vegemite. We had a lovely day today so we ended up having a picnic at the beach and a play at the park for our lunch today so only one photo but it is on my mobile and not of the actual striped sandwich.

My ideas for today’s craft came from a variety of sites.

DLTK has the template and instructions to make the Toilet Paper Roll Zebra Very similar to the yellow yak we made last week. (On that note we were reading Dr Seuss’ A B C and he had a yellow yak).

No Time for Flash Cards gave me the idea of the stickers decorating the letter Z. That is found here

Kid’s Craft Weekly gave me the Zebra outline. I wanted to use the idea of striping with the side of a popsicle stick or a washer on a pencil or use a marble but I realised the only black paint we had was watercolour so Emily did a little striping with that but another site (I am sorry I cannot remember which one) had the idea of cutting strips of black paper and getting the children to glue it on. So I did that.

I had a shoebox and was planning on making a zoo in it and I found this site which suggested straws for the bars. Looking at the photo I think our zebras needs to be in a free range zoo. Poor things, they don’t look happy. Emily’s definetly wasn’t happy until Alexander finished his and they had each other for company.

Here are the finished results… I was doing a few other things (mopping floors, getting dinner ready etc) while they were crafting so I didn’t get pictures of them making their craft.

and last but not least

Today we also read

ABC by Dr Seuss
Naughty(Little Zeb) by Caroline Castle about a naughty little zebra
1 2 3 Zoo by Eric Carle

Our favourite Zoo book is Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

And now our day is done.

Oh here is one more site with ideas for zoo crafts for preschoolers

September 18, 2011 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

The Letter of the Day is “y”

Today the kids were sick so I really didn’t want Emily sneezing over people and so we decided to stay at home and mum had to scramble for activities to do so we weren’t stuck in front of the tv because of course my favourite activities were no gos. No cooking – because I am sure there would be coughing and sneezing, not much out door play because they love their water play and I didn’t really want them to get wet.

So since Alexander is doing y words at preschool this week we did y and Alexander told me what words he knew and I did a quick computer search.

Y is for yellow, yolk, yak and yoyo.
I found this website with a Yak Toilet Paper Roll Craft
I printed off the black and white template because then the kids got to paint or crayon it yellow. While we waited for the paint to dry we did this y collage. I grabbed everything yellow I could find, yellow stickers, a yellow paddlepop stick, yellow card and then some string to make a yoyo. The cottonwool bud is yellow from a semi failed activity of watercolouring. The idea came from here Where they use pegs to pick up pieces of cotton wool balls and put them in water and then in paint. I couldn’t get the amount of water right and then the wool started sticking to the paint.

Anyway that was to keep them occupied while I gathered the other stuff for our “y” activities.

Here are the collages we made – I printed out a dotted y on the computer. Alexander traced the y with the cottonwool ball yellow paint, trying to write it properly and Emily did a good go and tracing it as well. Then onto the sticking, ripped paper (I helped Emily rip the circle for her yo yo). She ran out of yellow stickers that she stuck on each dot and wated to move onto the blue stickers but instead we used the paddlepop stick to do part of the y, then we ripped some more paper.

The string they had fun gluing down and using glue to stick down the paper.
You can’t see the string too well in the scan unfortunately.
Emily’s Y

Alexander’s Y

And here are our yaks, I had to do the fine cutting, I couldn’t find any toddler safe scissors from where I had hidden them. Alexander and Emily had fun with the glue again here.

We did some other colouring in from pages I found on the net – yawn and yolk.
Then for lunch we continued the yellow theme.
I got out the yellow plates and egg cups. We had runny eggs, yellow cheese for lunch and yoghurt to follow.
Not Emily’s best look but she is very stuffed up and runny nosed and the flash always seems to take a long time and she has finished “cheesing” by the time the picture takes.

So that was our morning. We came inside to find pictures of yaks, but none of our books had it. My book about animals around the world talked about them but didn’t show us a picture. Alexander’s ABC animal picture book had a picture of a yellow robin not a yak.

So here are some websites with yaks
Project Himalaya

September 11, 2011 at 2:06 pm Leave a comment

Hopefully Last Post on Friday Fun Day

So recycling crayons. I had read this was a fun way of recycling those odds and ends. I didn’t want to risk the mould I had in the oven as it said it wasn’t dishwasher safe so I figured it wouldn’t be oven safe so I lined my muffin tray with muffin liners. Next time I would use two as there was leakage. It also smelt (almost set off the smoke detectors) as I probably left it in a little long. What I read online said 10 minutes but they were ready before 10 minutes. Another site did it in the microwave and then poured it into the moulds which might be the way to go. I didn’t stir them so the light colours rose and dark were at the bottom. The kids find them a little hard to handle to get them to colour right.

Anyway first we sorted them out into their colours

After being in the oven

Finished result

Alexander colouring in

If you want to make your own recycled crayons here are some other web sites

And that’s it. We did a couple of other fun things and I was exhausted by the end of the day but that is the end of the post about Friday Fun Day. If I do this again, I definitely want to do shaped crayons.

September 5, 2011 at 2:08 pm Leave a comment

More on Friday

Not sure how this is going to go. I didn’t put Emily down for her nap today as we got home late from church and our picnic at the light rail museum but just in her room for quiet time and she isn’t being very quiet and she isn’t very happy about it. She is at least quiet now but it is almost time for quiet time to be over and I haven’t posted anything. We need to make a Father’s Day card and wrap a father’s day present when they come out of their rooms.

This week at Alexander’s preschool the letter of the week is x so I thought I would do some crafts about that. The first one I found an x-ray of Daniel’s chest and showed it to the children and we counted ribs. Then we used paddle pop sticks for the spine and the ribs. Emily just used every colour and Alexander made a colour pattern.

Then we made x for xylophone. I printed out a large x on the computer, Emily coloured it in with crayons while Alexander decided just to write X over it. Then using the paddlepops I cut them down to size and following the xylophone we had which had the keys in rainbow colour order we ordered it that way. We then made an x with crossed chopsticks. I will have to say this wasn’t my idea, I found it on (guess where!) No time for flashcards, though I used the paddlepop sticks instead of foam cutouts.

Emily’s xylophone

Alexander’s xylophone

Lots of fun with glue. While doing this craft we found lots of broken crayons and we decided to recycle them but Alexander is here at my elbow and it is after 3 and Emily is playing nicely but time to make that Father’s Day card, so I will have to post about that tomorrow.

September 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm 1 comment

Older Posts

September 2011
« Aug   Oct »