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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Take Ten for safety

I pulled out the ironing board today and realized my kids have NEVER seen me iron anything! Easton said "Mommy, what's that?" I said "It's an ironing board." He answered back, "Oh, can I ride it?" Hahah. Time for a lesson in ironing safety.

Here's what you do:

1.) Show them the iron.

2.) Tell them it is used to take wrinkles out of clothes and that it uses heat to do it.

3.) Make sure to restate many times to stay away from the iron and ironing board because it will hurt to touch it.

This may seem like common sense, but today was the first time I'd ever ironed while my kids were up to watch me.  They had never heard this lesson before, so I thought it was a worth while Take Ten post.

Take Ten!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bath school

My kids love soaking in the bath and this is where a lot of their letter learning has taken place. Do you have the foam letters that stick to the side of the tub? Use them for more than just looking at! They are an awesome teaching tool.

Here's what you do:

1.) Learn the Leap Frog letter song (the every letter makes a sound song)

2.) Pick up letters, show them to your kids, sing the song!

Yes, it's that easy! In no time they will know the letters and the letter sounds, especially if you do it every bath time!

For the kids who already know the letters and sounds, we have some foam squares with pictures and the word spelled on the square. The kids take the square and spell out the word while looking at it and then say the word. This helps teach how letter sounds work together to make words!

Take Ten!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

word point...

Are there any words your kids can read or recognize? I've been working on some simple words with my kids such as mom, dad, dog, cat, apple and others. Start working with your kids on word recognition and then test their knowledge with this Take Ten activity.

Word Point

Here's what you do:

1.) Ask your kids to choose a book to read.

2.) Read the book to them.

3.) When you come across a word you know they should recognize ask them to find it and point it out in the sentence.

4.) Watch the look of satisfaction on their faces when they find the word!

My 2 and 3 year old were both able to do this. Never underestimate what your kids can do. Start working with them early so it's easy for them later!

P.S. If your kids know all the letters and letter sounds they can read a lot of words by sounding them out!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Live TV

Do your kids ever say they want to go inside the TV? My kids ask all the time so I made it happen!

Here's what you do:

1.) Save a box.
2.) Cut a rectangle in the bottom of the box.
3.) Draw a power button on the front.
4.) Set it on a small table and let them make movies, commercials, sing, whatever they want!
5.) Take a video...they'll want to watch it!

Sorry about this shaky video..I was holding a baby while recording :)
Take Ten!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Number hunt and a giveaway...

Hey all! I was contacted by Just Between Friends to do a promotional giveaway. I have a $25 dollar JBF gift certificate to give away! If you do not know what Just Between Friends is, read on and learn!

Just Between Friends is a huge consignment sale where families find everything they
need for the next season of their kids' lives. You'll find spring and summer clothing
(infant thru pre-teen and maternity), shoes, swim gear, toys, furniture, play equipment, infant & maternity items, books and more! JBF-Tacoma is the largest consignment sale in Washington with over 100,000 items to choose from. JBF Moms have been known to get everything their child needs for the next 6 months for about $100!
Thursday, March 29
8am-Noon Early Entrance for Pre-Registered First Time Parents and Military Families ($2 Admission)
Noon-8pm Open to the Public ($2 Admission)
Friday, March 30
11am-7pm Open to the Public ($1 Admission)
Saturday, March 31
9am-5pm Most Items 25% Off (Free Admission)
Sunday, April 1
8am-2pm Most Items 50% Off (Free Admission)

To enter for a chance to win $25 to spend at this HUGE consignment sale located at the Puyallup Fair Grounds, simply comment on this post or on my Facebook page and share this giveaway on your Facebook page! Good luck! To be fair, I will be using to find the winner! Winner announced tomorrow- 3/28/12!

Now on to Take Ten stuff. This morning we hunted for numbers! Here's how you do it.

1.) Tell your kids to look for numbers on things around the house.

2.) When they find something, read the numbers on the toy, book, clothing or whatever they find to show you with numbers!
Size "4" diaper!!

249 on top of the Play House!

Lots of numbers on the wipes!

36 on Easton's sweats!

Backs of books have plenty of numbers to practice!

My kids really liked this game. I like it because it helps promote number recognition!

More numbers!

Take Ten and number hunt!!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

attitude of gratitude

Today we made thank you cards. These thank you cards were special because they were post cards with the words thank you printed in dotted traceable letters. The kids were able to practice writing their letters and practice writing a thank you.

I took pictures but our internet is down right now so I'm using my husband's phone to post this. :) I'll add photos ASAP.

If you want to do this activity but do not have the pre-printed traceable thank you cards, never fear, just get creative and make your own! Making dotted letters is not hard and kids love tracing. (At least mine do.)

Take ten and teach thankfulness. Write a thank you note!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar..

Many thanks to our friend Suzy for the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It's a really cute story about a caterpillar and it teaches about the transformation of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. My kids love it, and of course they love caterpillars in general now too!

How exciting that they found one on our driveway while riding bikes the other day! Take Ten--and learn about a real live caterpillar!

Here's little Pilly:
Isn't he cute? hahah.

Step one: Talk about what caterpillars eat (leaves)
Step two: Talk about being gentle with caterpillars (no stomping or jumping on it!)
Step three: Talk about cocoons and the wonderful transformation into a butterfly!

Trying to make "Pilly" walk through their legs.
Seeing if the caterpillar will walk over the chalk.
Step four: Dress the baby in blankets to make her resemble a caterpillar.

Step five: Transform her into a beauuuutiful butterfly.

Take Ten!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

To the left, to the left...

I don't know about your kids, but my kids still need practice with left and right. I was reminded today in the car on our way to my parents' lake house. Melanie kept saying "arriba" and "abajo" (up and down in Spanish). I thought, well here is the perfect opportunity to take a little ten! We practiced in both English and Spanish.

Here's what we did:
1.) I'd see some cows and I'd say "Hey, look to your right, there are some cows!  I'd point out the right window while saying it.
2.) Hey look out your left window (while pointing to the left) there are some horses!
3.) Mira, a la derecha, hay vacas MOO!
4.) Mira, a la izquierda, hay caballos, NEIGH!

Great activity, especially when you have a baby in the back who needs to learn animal noises! This activity can be adapted for city folk too. You don't have cows or horses to look at? How about a stop sign or a blue car, etc.?

I remember having a lot of trouble remembering my left and right when I was growing up. More practice, better memory. :)


Friday, March 23, 2012

Cooking together makes dinner taste better..

Cook with your kids! Teach them how to stir. Show them how to pour. Let them get hands on experience with cooking dinner.
This creates a sense of responsibility. It helps kids learn about measuring ingredients and mixing flavors to make something tasty.
Take Ten..Tonight!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Breakfast by numbers...

I made mini strawberry pancakes for breakfast this morning with an activity in mind. Here's how it played out..

1.) I gave each child a plate of 6 mini pancakes.

2.) I told them to count their pancakes.

3.) Every time they ate one pancake we would count how many were left. Then I would say, so we had 6 and 1 is gone, leaving 5!

4.) Keep going counting down the pancakes until they are all gone.

Simple introduction to math and subtraction! You can never start too early! :)

Take Ten!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Impromptu walk...

Impromptu: promoted by the occasion rather than being planned in advance.

We have been sick with gross colds for almost 2 weeks. Given we have not been outside I made the swift decision that we needed to take a walk at 9:30 this morning. It's wet, it's cold, but doggone it we're going to get us some fresh air!

Today's take ten activity is to take a walk! Here's what you do:

1.) If it's cold, bundle up, wear hats! If it's warm, lucky you!

2.) Break out the stroller and go!

3.) Show the kids the snow on the far away hills and mountains..take pictures accordingly:)

4.) Let the big kids walk up the hill home. 85 lbs of kids is too much to push for me!

5.) If your kids are freezing when you get home, make hot chocolate! If they're sweating, make a smoothie!

Take Ten!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Don't run with scissors...

Today's take ten activity was practicing with scissors. Here's what you do:

1.) Take out the child safe scissors and construction paper.

2.) Help your kids position their hands in the scissors properly.

3.) Let them cut, cut, cut!

My kids spent 45 minutes cutting their paper. It's great practice for preschool. It's a necessary life skill. Help your kiddos learn and have fun! Later on, when they get better at using the scissors we'll practice cutting out shapes.

Take Ten!

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's not hokey...

I've been looking for some way to practice left and right with the kids. Today it hit me. The hokey pokey! I'm sorry I don't have any pictures to accompany this post, we're all sick with colds so the camera didn't come out.

You put your left hand in, you put your left hand out, right hand in, right hand out, left foot, right foot, left side, right many lefts and rights! Great teaching and practicing tool!

Kids love it, heck, I love it too. I forgot how fun it is to Pokey!

Take Ten!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mighty minds...

My kids get to watch cartoons in the morning while I drink coffee. After that I usually try to get some kind of activity rolling.

This morning it was this...

Keeps kids entertained for hours! (Ya right!) Besides video games, which my kids do not play, I don't know of any activity that can hold a kid's attention for hours. None the less, this game is a brain builder and helps kids use thinking skills to match shapes together to complete a picture. A.K.A: Fun learning.
As you can see, it didn't hold Easton's attention for more than ten minutes :) That's okay though.

Another bonus, with a little preparation you can easily make this game for your kids at home. Supplies needed: scissors, construction paper, pens, and a little imagination.

Here's the version for the baby in the family...
Skyelynn played with shapes too and big sister is helping her learn to sit up too!

Try it! Your kids will like it!

Take Ten!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Let it happen...

In the beginning of motherhood I thought letting your kids get messy was a bad thing. I still sometimes over react about staying clean but I'm learning to let it go and use the experience to "Take Ten" and teach something from it. What can a mess teach kids? Let's take a look.

Making a mess is a part of growing up and learning...
This is Melanie, she found the coffee while I was doing dishes one evening. We laughed about it, let her play, took pictures, and then showed her how to sweep!
Look she's even getting a foot in it...nice!
Here she is again eating spaghetti without help. This was a hard one for me. Before this day I don't think I let her eat anything messy without my help. But they need to learn someday and they can always take a bath!
She had fun and as you can see, cleaning supplies were readily on hand in the background! By the way, my kids hate sticky fingers. They've been taught to clean themselves after a messy meal. They run for the wipes when they're done. Making a mess while eating helps little ones learn to clean up afterward.
Sometimes I get in these moods where I tell my kids they can only play with one thing at a time to help cut down on the mess. I started asking myself, why? They can clean everything when they are done, and if they're having fun, why ruin it?
She's 3 now and she has had plenty of chances to learn to clean up toys. My kids know when things are messy and like to help clean up. They've been given lots of experiences of getting ALL their toys out and then cleaning up after themselves.

The funniest thing about keeping a clean house is that when it does get messy, my kids let me know it. The last couple of days when the house was cluttery Easton has looked at me and said "Our house is messy, mom." Kids notice everything. Take advantage and let them observe good habits!

Get messy, and then clean up!

Take Ten!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Today's ten

 I bought tulips last night, brought them inside from the garage in the morning and they opened up within 5 minutes! This was our first take ten of the day! We learned about flowers and sun working together.

Early morning baking lesson. They helped me bake 2 batches of chocolate chip cookie dough. Melanie learned about pulling hair into a pony while cooking to keep hair out of food.
 The big cooking mess...
The cookie dough is all ready to be stored in the freezer! Yum!

It's the little things that keep our kids learning. Common sense things, like a pony tail while cooking, do not come natural, they are taught, learned, and passed down. Even teach the little stuff!

Take Ten!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

7 votes away...

Thanks all you voters out there! I made it to number 26 and 7 away from 25. Not bad 'atall!--> (at all with Irish accent)  Maybe I'll be nominated again next year?

Today was a crazy day of running around. I had to clean up our condo that we are trying to rent out and I did not get home until 5:30 after leaving the house at 8am this morning. Then, I still had grocery shopping to do.

Our Take Tens had to happen in the early morning, in the car and at Grandma's house. So, without further ado here they are:

1.) Before we left Melanie and Easton each got an Easter bag to fill with toys to take to Grandma's house for show and tell.

2.) In the car on the way Melanie pointed out a stop sign and we practiced spelling stop.

3.) At Grandma's house there was coloring, play dough, matching games, writing and much more.

That was our it's off to bed!

Take Ten!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A day in the life of take tenners..

Oh yes, taking ten happens more than once around here...check out our day.

After breakfast we played a rousing game of Candy land.

While the older kids napped, Skyelynn got to practice the alphabet with me.

During snack time we spelled what we were eating. We're trying to do that more often to promote spelling and reading skills. :)

To end our day we made an Easter basket for some friends we will be seeing on the 18th. Shh, don't tell our friends what they're getting!!! :)
We made a photo album, wrote out cards and placed stuffed bunnies in the basket. Making gifts for others is a great lesson in kindness, thoughtfulness, and selflessness.
More learning went on during this project as Melanie practiced her letters on her card while I helped Easton write some on his card.
Here is the final product. Cute!

Take Ten!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Random 10

Guess what we had for breakfast this morning...oh yes, we also sounded out the word "yum"

Ok, on to other take ten subjects. It snowed here today..almost all day. My kids kept talking about it and then during lunch Melanie said "hey, it's raining now." This led to a conversation about temperature change and snow turning to rain when the weather gets warmer.

Take Ten activities can sometimes be random, but they always teach something!

Take Ten!

Monday, March 12, 2012

More than a shadow

Melanie could not sleep the other night. I laid in her bed with her and she started making shadows on the wall with her hand. That was enough to get me out of bed to put the lamp on to show her some shadow shapes.

We took ten to do this before sleeping...
Fun times. I remember making shadow shapes with my dad. Maybe someday she'll do this with her kids. We'll call it the legacy of shadows. Too corny? I think not.

Take Ten!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The chicks are hatching!

Remember the Easter project I was so excited about? We put it together last night. I have more ideas for Easter projects, but this is the one I could not wait to do.

First things first, remember the Valentine project I posted where we made this:
Well, for this Easter project I needed pictures..head shots of my kids, so I re-used the pictures from this project. You don't have to, but I really like these pics and didn't want to spend money printing new ones.

Next get out your Easter stuff, decorations and's ours:
They are all staring at the Easter bag with GREAT anticipation!

Ok, now you need those egg shells I told you to save a couple posts back. Here are mine, all cleaned out and ready to go..
Hint: Clean these shells well, and dry them out or they will stink! Now, here comes the fun part...

Gather your chicks, I mean kids, and ask them to help you if they weren't already watching you get the project ready :)

Help them place their pictures inside the clean egg shells...

Your kids will be so cute "hatching" out of their eggs. Here are my eggs...

To finalize this project, I created a "nest" out of a basket and Easter grass, sparkly eggs and some Easter suckers from last year.

Like it? Make one! It's easy!
Take Ten!