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Stay at home mom with dreams of perfecting all things mama.

Friday, December 21, 2012

more spelling less talking...

We are still chugging along on our journey through the alphabet. We have been learning to spell new words with each letter of the day.

Today's letter is G. Gum and girl were the words learned through playdough fun and whiteboard teaching.

1.) Get out the playdough. Have the kids make the letter with dough.

2.) Make playdough figures of the words you want to teach. Write the word next to it.

3.) Practice spelling the words out loud with the kids.

4.) Ask the kids to write the words themselves.

5.) Make a fun activity to practice word recognition. The object of this game is draw a line from the word to its matching picture. I had Easton do this activity because it's like pulling teeth to get him to write anything. He would rather just draw pictures of race tracks and slides! BOYS!

Take ten!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Do something Christmasy...

Take ten to do something fun, Christmasy, and preferably that tastes good.

We made Christmas M & M cookies...Hint- Google this: Best M and M cookie recipe...

One cup of butter = yummy cookie mix.

And the M&M's...well they just make the cookie better tasting! Plus the Christmas colors are the best.

Let your kids help, they'll love you for it!

Take ten!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Long time...

When my husband notices that my blog has not been updated in a while, it means it has been quite a while since I've written. However, it does not mean we have stopped taking ten. In fact we've started a whole new series of take tens.

We have been going through each letter of the alphabet, writing it, and learning to spell words that start with that letter.

Here is our "B" day.  Coincidentally, and quite by accident, everything we were eating for breakfast started with b. Blueberries, bananas, and bread...

On this day we learned how to spell bug and Bible. We also sang the song "the B-i-b-l-e" (yes that's the book for me!)

So far, Melanie has memorized how to spell ant, apple, Bible, car, and carrot. (These are in addition to other words we had already worked on before this series)

As for Easton, he is a 3 year old boy, and I am happy to report that I have at least gotten him to pay attention long enough just to write the letter of the day on his magnadoodle. He'd rather scribble and make jokes. But I know he is learning something even if it is just bits and

With the holidays, family stuff, my own laziness, and schedules it has been difficult to keep up with this blog. But I plan on writing more often! So don't give up on reading it! :0)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Teaching the joy of chores...

Take a little ten to let your kids help with the chores you usually take care of in the house. My kids are at the age where they love to help with the things that they do not usually get to do. Yesterday I let them help vacuum.

The search for crumbs was the best part for them. It was a like a little treasure hunt...just a little. 

Easton pointed out some crumbs for Melanie to catch....

She was happy to help...

My philosophy is (and I'm not positive about this) if we take time to teach kids that chores are fun while they are little, they will not be so unhappy about doing them when they are bigger.

Train them up in the way they should go...right?

Take ten!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Paint your cookies...

Do you know how to paint cookies? I just's pretty cool and REALLY easy. Try it with your kids.

Egg wash: One beaten egg, add one tsp. water and beat some more, mix in your choice of food coloring..we chose green.
Paint the cookie dough before baking and then bake as normal. I made East's name and a piston cup cut out to freeze and save to put on top of his birthday cake.

The kids cut out cookies..Mel chose a Christmas tree and Easton of course chose to make more piston cups.

Then they got to paint and sprinkle their cookies.

I decorated these. Some have the green egg wash and crushed candy cane sprinkles and others have melted chocolate chips topped with the candy canes. YUM!

Yesterday I asked the kids what they wanted to do tomorrow (which is today), and they said they wanted to make Thanksgiving cookies. We didn't have any turkey cutters so we started Christmas early!

Happy Holidays! Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Take Ten!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Extra candy corn..DIY experiment

I had candy corn and a bag of Costco size pretzels....the kids were getting tired of plain pretzels. What do you do when this kind of scenario happens? Well you melt the candy corn down of course and cover the pretzels with it...DUH! :)

Throw some candy corn and butter into a pot..I did not bother measuring...

Melt it down...

Add some marshmallows...again no measuring there either.

Melt it...looks good huh?

Toss in some pretzels and cover them up with the chewy gooey goodness...

Then toss the pretzels onto some parchment paper...but don't be like me and forget to spray the parchment paper or it will stick to the bottom pretzels.

These were delicious! Everyone liked them..and we used two things that were going to go to waste in our house!

After they cooled down they were not sticky to pick up and eat. Great post Halloween treat! Take ten to try it. It literally took ten minutes!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Family night!

Smile, sit down, and have a little family time. Make a happy little person like the one below.

Or, you can make a couple of snails like daddy and Easton made....

Our family play dough night kind of happened by accident. Melanie took out the play dough, Darrell sat down an joined her, and eventually all of us were sitting around the table making dough art. I stole away to take a quick pic of our happy family time.

These are the memories that will shape our children's personalities, their futures, and the way they view their childhood. 

It was so fun, just ten minutes of playing, but big keepsakes for all of our hearts.

Take ten for family memories.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A cup of cake...

On her birthday a friend gave Melanie a little busy bag that contained play cupcakes to decorate. They are so fun and cute, and oh so many possibilities for learning this little bag contained!

Inside the bag there were cupcake tops and bottoms of different colors and all different shaped sprinkles. It gave lots of room for creativity. But as a mom, I wanted to make it educational too.

So after a little bit of playing around and decorating we began our math lesson.

We sprinkled ten sprinkles, we subtracted sprinkles, we added sprinkles, we counted just the blue and pink sprinkles..we did a lot of math with those darn sprinkles! It was fun.

The best part about this project is that it is something you can make quite quickly and easily with construction paper and scissors. Try it and make math fun! The earlier you start math learning, the easier it will be later.

Take Ten!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stumble upon...

There are many things offered to moms and kids for play time, learning time and activity time and in the last two weeks I've stumbled upon a couple of them.

Last week a friend and I wanted to meet up for a play date on a rainy day. She suggested we meet at the library with the kids. We got there and guess what? They were having a preschool story time and class..FOR FREE! It was really cool. Check it out.

I circled Easton's face...look at how HAPPY he is! The teacher brought out a parachute for the kids to shake around with a ball on it. It was so fun!
Now if you look at the bottom of the picture you will see a little pony tail sticking up...that is Skyelynn. She got in on the parachute action too!

The little girl next to Melanie wouldn't let go of Mel's hand. Too cute!

This preschool time is offered twice a week, every week. There is playtime in the beginning, story time, a question and answer time with a felt board and puppets, dancing, and obviously this parachute thing too! So, during this time the kids were introduced to simple math and counting, shapes, reading, listening skills, and peer interaction skills. Very cool stuff! I can't believe it is all free. I'm so glad to have found this!

Over the weekend we found something else fun to do. We went to Barnes and Noble to meet up with my sister and her kids to play in the kid area. Here, they were having a story and activity time! Once again, it was FREE!

Story you can see some of the kids wore their Halloween costumes.

Here is the activity table...paper bag puppets!

Take ten to find out what your community offers your kids! You may just be surprised how much free learning is available outside of the home! 

Take ten!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lunch in a tin...

Take a little ten to make lunch a little more interesting than usual. Think outside the regular old lunch plate! Try this idea that my friend Skyelynn so creatively invented.

Use a muffin tin to create a lunch platter of healthy foods. Above we have almond butter and jelly sandwiches cut into skinny "finger food" slices, ranch dip for the carrots, apple slices, cheese slices and turkey meat rolled up. 

I wish I would have recorded my kids' reaction when they saw this lunch. You would have thought they were getting a huge piece of chocolate cake with whipped cream and a cherry on top! They ran to the table yelling "oohh yummy! Look carrots! ooohh apples! Look cheese!" AND, they ate it ALL! 

Try it, take ten to think outside the normal lunch (or breakfast and dinner) routine! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Teach me...

Kids do a lot of learning on their own, but they learn much more if someone takes time to teach them. Taking ten with each child in the family is important to us. Easton and Melanie are usually involved in helping teach little Skyelynn. This time was no exception.

We used our ABC blocks to play a letter game that was used to teach letters and letter sounds.

As you can see, Easton was the chef. He "cooked" up letters. (A.K.A. tossing letters around in a play pan) Whichever letters the blocks landed on, we taught to Skyelynn.

Look at our perfect little pupil. So studious. After saying the letter and singing a song about it's sound, we also talked about words that begin with the letter we were teaching. Easy as pie. Ten minutes (maybe a little less) of play learning, which is the perfect about of time for a one year old's attention span. 

Take Ten! It's so easy to make your kids smart!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Just a fall thing...

It's still fall and the rain has come. This puts us indoors, but it ain't no thang, it's just a fall thing! We did another fall project today.

I cut letters out of a magazine for the kids to glue to their paper. Any day they get to use a glue stick is a good day! We learned how to spell fall.

So without further adieu...(is that how you spell that?)

Step 1. Cut out different letters from a magazine that spell fall.

Step 2. Get out the markers. Who remembers these babies? They smell delicious, but are very potent...put a large black plastic bag on top of the table you'll be working on otherwise you'll be sorry later. (They run through paper, even thick butcher paper)

Step 3. Have the kids put the letters on the paper to spell the word fall. Make them help you sound the word out!

Step 4. Tell the kids to draw pictures of fall. (Ideas: rain, pumpkins, leaves, trees, etc)

Step 5. Praise them for hard work and a job well done. Take a picture of the final product!

As Easton would say "It's pretty fally!" This coming from the kid who will not draw pictures or write letters! I had to guide him in his picture drawing. 

Take Ten!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall is full of projects...

Take ten for easy fall project  fun! Last year the kids and I did a similar project to the one I am about to show you with Christmas trees. I found some glittery, foam Christmas trees in the dollar spot at Target. They came with stickers to decorate the tree.

This year the kids got to decorate a squirrel and a turkey, courtesy of my cousin Haley. She brought these over the other day!

Here they are! A squirrel that says "Give Thanks" and a turkey. Pretty cute huh?


Even little Skyelynn was able to help out. 

There was a little block in the road during our fall project. The turkey was missing his head! No worries though, I cut one out of construction paper and we taped it on. Pretty funny, the headless turkey.

The final outcome. We have some cute, new fall wall decor! Easy, fun, TAKE TEN!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Take ten to discover

Someone found their shadow the other we took ten to teach about shadows!

Kids discover new things everyday. It is our job, as parents, to make those discoveries more meaningful by describing and teaching what they are seeing. Life is more interesting when someone is there to share it with you. Engage your children! They need it to grow!

Look at those questioning little eyes. It's like she is saying "what's this mama?" Of course once I started telling her, big brother decided to come help too!

She is looking up at Easton while he talks to her about shadows. You can barely make out his shoes in the dark part of the picture.

Easton shows her his shadow.

Take ten to make your child's discoveries more meaningful!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall into some of this...

We did a pretty cool autumn project last year. You may remember it from my other blog. It will make your house look more festive and your kids will have fun!

Check it out here: Autumn project

You will need:
- a stick from outside
-construction paper cut into leaf shapes
-glitter sticks or markers
-yarn or string

Take Ten for this ...seriously!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Question Mommy

Yesterday we went grocery shopping. Our car rides are always at least a half hour long if we're going anywhere outside our little town so, the time in the car can get a little boring. This ride was no different. Easton and Melanie found something to argue about and I wanted a way to entertain them and keep them from fighting.

On the fly, I created this game called "Question Mommy". It's not the most creative game, it's not the most complicated, but hey, it made the kids laugh and kept them busy! (No pictures this time because we were in the car doing this activity!)

Here's what you do:

1.)Give the kids an old cell phone. (My kids happened to have one in the backseat)

2.)Make a sound like the phone is ringing. (brriiing brriing!)

3.)Tell them to answer the phone.

4.) When they answer, say "Hi! This is Question Mommy, how are you?"

5.) Next, ask them random questions. Here are some examples of what I asked...

What colors are on the American Flag?
What color is the sky?
How old are you?
What does _____ mean? (I used Spanish words that they know)
How old is ______? (fill in the blank with a friend or relative)

Super easy and pretty entertaining for both kids and parents!

Also, in between calls, if they took a while answering the phone while it was "ringing" I'd say funny things like, "oh well, I guess no one is home." Then they would laugh and say, "No! I'm coming!" and answer quickly so they didn't miss Question Mommy's call!

Take Ten!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Take ten for finger paints...

There have been a lot of take tens going on around here and not enough time to blog about it! The one I'm going to show you today has to do with fall, pumpkins, making colors, and going out of a comfort zone!

Finger paints. We've had these finger paints for almost a year. I have been too chicken to use them because of cleaning up reasons. Turns out clean up isn't too hard if you're willing to take time to prep.

Hint: use a large piece of paper, put a bib over a shirt that you don't want ruined, and dry your painting outdoors!

For our paints we had the primary colors (red, yellow, blue) plus green. I taught the kids how to combine yellow and red to make orange for pumpkins!

The finger painting process was not as scary or messy as I thought it would be. The kids stayed pretty clean, and they learning how combining colors makes different colors!

Mel mixed everything to make

The final project! Finger painting success!

Take Ten!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Take Ten to enjoy...

I've had this pumpkin project in my head to do with the kids for a while now. But I've also had this problem with lack of sleep due to a one year old waking up 3 times throughout the night...every night! Therefore we've been taking relaxing tens.

Yesterday was bubbles on the back deck. You'd think the kids won a big prize when they're told they can go on the back deck to play! Definite take ten winner.

We had quite the good time.

Skyelynn was more interested in her freedom to wander than the bubbles her siblings were enjoying.

Before blowing bubbles, while the others were sleeping, this fairy princess showed up! So, we took ten to pretend.

Energetic kids, tired mom, relaxing take tens. That's what it's all about! Until I have the energy to create an actual project, this is how we'll be learning for a while.

Take Ten!