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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gravity...

This morning I watched my 6 month old daughter throw her little soccer ball off the couch repeatedly and lean over to watch it fall every time. I jokingly said to her, "Skyelynn, it's called gravity. It makes everything fall to the ground." Then, I thought to myself, what a teachable moment for my older kids!

Yes, today's Take Ten activity is to teach about gravity. Experiment with it. Talk about it. Spell it too! And if you need some good background music for this activity click here: gravity music

Here's what you do:
1. Define gravity in terms they understand--don't underestimate your kids. They can learn and understand more than you think.
Definition: Gravity is the force that pulls two things together. It keeps us on the ground. When we jump it pulls us back to the ground.


2. Ask the kids to jump. Point out that they fall back to the ground every time. That's gravity!

3. Throw balls in the air and watch them fall back to the ground.

4. Practice saying the word gravity and then spell it together.

Take Ten!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Watch and learn...

There is something my husband does with the kids that I admire tremendously. He makes sure to teach them what he is doing when he is doing a project around the house.

For example, when the bathroom pipes needed to be replaced, Easton got to watch daddy work and daddy talked to him about what he was doing while he did the work. Easton was only about 18 months old and already learning how to fix something in the house.

The things I know how to do, such as baking and cooking get passed on to them also. They get to pull up chairs to the counter and help with the stuff they can handle and watch me do the things they can't help with yet. It doesn't take much to teach kids something.

Watching and doing makes kids smarter and once again makes them feel important! Take ten!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Teach them, they will learn

It was sunny today, and warm weather is on my mind. I found some pictures from May of last year (Mel was 2, East was 1). On this particular day, I taught them how to wash a car.

It didn't take long and they got wet and had fun! All you need is water, soap, and a car. (Oh, and the willingness to let your kids get messy and wet.)





Really, it is more about memories than a clean car. I have learned to let go and let them get messy too, because it's all a part of growing and learning.

Take Ten..as soon as you have warm weather at least for this activity!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Snail mail..

With so much technology now a days, I'm sure there are many kids who think of email when they hear talk of writing a letter. Take ten to teach your kids about mail that physically comes to their house, delivered by a mail man.

Last year, the kids wrote letters to their grandmas, with a little help from me of course. They drew pictures, I wrote a note, and I showed them how to stuff and address an envelope. It was really fun and the grandmas were pretty happy to receive letters from their grand kids too.





Settling down for a snack after writing/drawing a letter, stuffing and addressing their envelopes.
Don't forget to talk about stamps too! This activity is tested by my kids, approved by their grandmothers.

Take Ten!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Park mini photo shoot

Nicer weather is right around the corner! In fact there have been some pretty good days already that have taken the kids and me outside to ride bikes or take a quick walk. Fresh air is good for kids!

Last year around this time I took the kids to the park and we did a little photo shoot. It was cold, so the trip was quick, but they had fun and we got some cute pics.

What do you need? 
-A park
-A Camera
-Some kids :)

What do you do?
-Let the kids run and shoot pics
-Ask the kids to pose and shoot pics

Examples below 






Fun time at the park, fresh air, new, updated pics of the kids, what's not to like? And this could easily be a ten minute trip, but most likely you'll have so much fun you'll stay longer!
Take ten!

Friday, February 24, 2012

"Mom, I wanna show you something.."

My kids have started saying "I wanna show you something, mom!" to me lately, and I have learned to watch, listen and record! The things they want to "show me" are usually pretty funny and the smiles on their faces when I watch are pretty amusing too.

Kids are show offs. Let them show off! Praise them for a job well done! Make a game of it. Sit down and ask them to show you what they can do. You'll have a chuckle and they will feel important.

Usually my kids want to show me a "BIG" jump on the trampoline, or going "fast" on their bikes, or just running "REALLY FAST" around the house.  Whatever it is, it's darn cute.  I'll leave you tonight with a cute video of them showing off! Sorry this post is so late..it's been a long day!











Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lots to learn...

Take a look around. Is there anything in your house you can take ten to teach your kids about? When I did this my eyes landed on the pink azalea flower plant my husband bought me a couple weeks ago. What can I tell my kids about this plant? A lot!

We talked about the leaves (color, texture, size).  We talked about the dirt the plant was living in.

We touched the plant and learned to NOT pull the flowers off. (2 year old boys are not very careful) We also learned how to water the plant.

And guess what? They thought it was SO cool. Teach them something while they still think it's cool!
Take ten!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Clean home, happy home...

Today while I was mopping the floors, Melanie was wandering around the kitchen acting bored. I decided to ask her if she wanted to help me by cleaning the bathroom floor. She enthusiastically answered "YES!" In my head I was saying "YESSS!" too. :)

I gave her a wipe and set her to work, knowing it would not be a perfect job, but that it would help clean the floor a little and she would learn something about housework and keeping a clean home.

Pretty soon Easton came sauntering into the kitchen from the toy room asking for Melanie. When he saw her cleaning he decided he wanted to help too.  "Okay, here is a wipe for you too!" I said. He immediately got set to work wiping down his play kitchen and the toys in it.


While they were cleaning I asked them, "Do you like a clean house?" to which they both answered "yes!"  "Me too." I said back.

Greatest take ten activity thus far. Learning to clean, having fun while doing it, and helping mom. Best part of all, this was not a planned activity, it just came about naturally.

P.S. Be sure to give lots of praise and compliments while they clean. It puts a smile on their faces and makes them feel good!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Relaxing letters...

Want to help your wound up kids relax before bedtime?  Play "guess the letters" with them.  Here is what you do:

1.) Tell your kids to lay on the floor on their tummies.
2.) Trace a letter on their back and ask them to guess what letter it is.

This is such an easy "take ten" activity.  Kids love being tickled (at least mine do!) and this game both makes them laugh from the tickles and allows them to practice letters! Plus, it is a perfect before bed time activity. It is not a rowdy game and it actually relaxes and settles them down.

P.S. You can use this game for guessing shapes too!

Good night!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Kids teaching kids...

Today's take ten activity was focused on the baby of the family. Babies need to learn too! Who better to teach them than the other kids?  My kids thought it was great to be given the job to teach their little sister.

Here's what you do:
1.) Pull up pictures of animals on your computer.
2.) Have the older kids show the younger one the picture.
3.) The big kids act as teacher and tell the baby the name of the animal and the sound it makes!

Check out pictures below-
We tried having both kids holding the picture, but after a fight started we found it was easier to take turns. ;)

Melanie chose a jaguar "roar!"

Easton wanted a duck.

quack!

"Skyelynn, look at the picture!"

Trying to get Skye's attention haha

Here's a bear!

Everyone loved this activity, even Skyelynn! Babies sometimes get left out, and they need to learn too, so we found a way to include the little one this time. :)

Take ten!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Green monster-not scary

I had been hearing about something called green monster smoothies for a while now. They are smoothies containing spinach or kale or both. I know, sounds gross, and I was skeptical, but decided to try it for our take ten project today.

Kids can help. Have them place the ingredients in the blender. We made this blueberry banana green monster and be still my heart (I've been wanting to say or write that for a while now! lol) they drank 3 servings of the stuff!

Here's the recipe:
2-3 cups organic spinach
1 cup milk
1 tbs flax (optional) - we did not have this so we did not have it in our smoothie
1 banana
1/2 cup blueberries
ice (5 cubes worked for us)

So, the directions from another recipe said to put the spinach in first, then the banana, next, the blueberries, and lastly the milk.  This is so the spinach will be weighed down by the other ingredients and not fly around the top of the blender.  Now blend! (Yes, without ice for now) Once these ingredients are mixed and smooth, place the ice in and blend until smoothie like.  I added a squirt of honey to make it a little sweeter.

Result = yumminess!  I didn't know spinach could taste so good!
Take ten with a green monster!

More info here: greenmonstermovement.com

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Peek a boo!

I took out the crayons and a paper plate and as my 3 year old walked by she says "Are we doing an art project?" Yes, yes we are!

This is all it takes to be semi creative, a paper plate and crayons.  Here is what you do:

1.) Have your child hold the plate to their face while you take a pencil and mark where their eyes are in relation to the plate.

2.) Cut out eye holes in the plate.


3.) Now just let them be creative and draw a face on their paper plate mask!



Skyelynn watched while Melanie colored...Easton was napping. :)

And the final product...

Easy, cheap, fun, and gives kids a chance to use their imagination while making art!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Smelling and spelling our breakfast...

Take a little extra time during breakfast to not just smell and taste but sound out and spell what you are eating!
Wonder what we had for breakfast?

Have your kids try to sound out their breakfast word as much as possible.  My kids know the letter sounds but they do not know specific phonic rules, like why there is an "e" at the end of the word pancake.  So, we work around it.

Begin by saying things like "what does pancake start with? P-P-P-ancake"..emphasize the P sound until they get it. Then place the P on the board, or write it on the paper you are working with.  Next, work with the A sound and so on. Keep going like this until the whole word is spelled. I added the E at the end because right now they do not understand why it is there and we can talk about those random spelling rules as they get older.

Can you imagine how much our kids could be reading and spelling if we did this every morning?

Have fun!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

An elephant never forgets...

Learn, pretend, play, have fun!
This elephant trunk project was not so great but my son did learn something and he had fun, so it was worth it. Maybe you can figure out a better way to make an elephant trunk and tell me!
Here is what we did...

I took the string from an extra birthday hat and I rolled up some grayish blue construction paper for a trunk. I attempted to connect the stretchy string to the trunk but I ran out of tape and the trunk did not look so trunk like.
Hahaha ok so this is the first fitting...(don't mind the laundry on the kitchen table! We had more important matters to tend to, like learning about elephants.)
Second fitting..better, but not what I was picturing.

So we learned what letter the word elephant starts with...

And after talking about elephant starting with E, he went and did this...unprompted!

We also looked at pictures of elephants and he learned that their noses are called trunks!


Although I did not like the way our art project turned out, my son did learn something and that is what matters!
P.S. His big sister was at AWANA while we did this project, that is why she is not in any of the pictures or videos.
P.S.S. Easton knows how to spell "go" now because of yesterday's activity!! We're still working on "stop".

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Game day...


This is what we will be doing today.  It's supposed to be sunny and warmer than usual this afternoon so we will be outside playing! 
I'm almost positive all of you know how to play this game, but we are doing it a little differently. Instead of just holding up the appropriate sign when I want the kids to stop or go, I will also be spelling the word out loud. For example, G-O go!, and S-T-O-P stop!  This is to help the kids learn how to spell the words while they play! Yes, learning while you play is the best way!
P.S. you can play this indoors also. :)
Teach your kids something new today!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Decor for the home...

This little project is a fun Valentine project for the kids and makes a cute decoration for you in the end.  So easy, does not take much effort, and not much mess either.

Prep this project before your kids start helping. Here is what you do:

Cut out as many hearts as you need for the kids participating...I needed 3.
Puncture a tiny hole in the top of each heart.
String yarn, or whatever kind of string you have through the hearts. (no string? use dental floss! :) )
Cut out a picture of each child.
Get out a glue stick and call your kids over to help.
P.S. The thing in the middle is an extra decoration I made with the scraps.




The kids use a glue stick to glue their own picture to a heart. The big kids shared in helping glue Skyelynn's picture.
This is really fast and easy and this is your final result...




We hung ours up on our mirror...I love it!
Happy Valentines Day!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ordinary to extraordinary...

Ordinary activities can be made special by simply doing them a tad differently. Any time you change things up, it makes what you are doing more exciting and fun.

Here is what I did to make painting (which is always fun for my kids) a more exciting project. I received dishes for Christmas, and inside the box were these cardboard shapes.
Don't mind the wipes and diaper bag in the background. ;)

These pieces of cardboard are shaped a little like flowers and I thought it would be fun for my kids to paint them, and it was!

They thought it was so cool...ordinary painting becomes extraordinary activity by using cardboard pieces from a box of dishes. Free and fun! Think outside the box (or in this case, look inside a box) to find ways to change regular activities into unusual, interesting and engaging activities.