Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Letter of the week A-D

I have started doing a letter of the week with Tracker and the kids I babysit. I am really good at planning and preparing things but have failed at taking pictures. Now I don't mean I have the best ideas and I always have the best things for them to do. Its usually very simple, doesn't take much time to prepare and many things I got off good ol' Pinterest. 
The oldest of the group is 3 so its kind of hard to figure out things to keep their attention, get them excited and to help them actually learn. I decided to do it because I need some kind of structure so this is more for me than them.
So far its going so good. They love it. and they are really learning which I LOVE.
I have the letters hanging on the wall-- or I did before Tracker ripped them all up so I need to make some more. We started at the beginning of the year and have done 1 letter each week. however we spent 2 weeks on the letter C and have not moved past D right now. Mainly because everyone is sick. So we have not seen our friends as regularly the last few weeks. Because I plan the activities for all of them I want to save it for them all. We find other things to do and have spent a lot of time on C and D and went back to B for a few days. I am hoping now that all our fun valentine activities are over we can all feel better and get back on track. I wanted to remember what I came up with because I don't think my binder will last forever. 

A is for Apple, Airplane, Alligator, Ant, Adventure.
We made paper airplanes and raced them.
Colored Alligator pictures and glued their teeth on.
Went on an adventure to find ants.
Watched the movie A Bugs life (for the ants).
We did a whole lot of Apple snacks including applesauce, apple pie, caramel apples and just sliced apples. We had ants on a log one day but no one ate the celery. Just the peanut butter and raisins. 

B is for Ball, Balloon, Bike, Bus, Boy, Bear, Banana, Blueberry, Box, Blocks, Books, Bubbles, Bird.
We played with balloons just about everyday because they loved that the most. The colored several B themed pictures. We went to the bus stop and watched the buses come and go.
We built with blocks and made houses and towers and forts.
Played with the balls. Filled the tub with balls and took turns playing in there. 
I collected some boxes for them to get their own to color and play in.
Read a billion books.
Watched the birds out the window.
Blew and played in bubbles.
Watched the movie Brother Bear.
We ate bananas, blueberries, bear cookies, bread and butter.
We baked brownies.

C is for Cow, Cloud, Candy, Coin/Change, Coconut, Celery, Carrot, Cucumber, Car, Cake, Crayons, Chicken, Cat.
We counted coins and put them in a piggy bank.
We went on a walk to visit the cows down the street and named them.
We watched the clouds and then glued cotton balls on a paper making clouds.
I made streets in the kitchen with duct tape and they drove their cars around.
They helped me get all the broken crayons and break them a little more so we could make new crayons.
We colored with crayons a lot.
We learned about chickens and we drew cats.
We watched the movie Aristocrats.
For treats they had celery, carrots and cucumber with ranch (except Tracker had his with ketchup). Coconut milk, shredded coconut and we made cake pops.
We had chips, crackers, cheerios, cheese and cranberries.

(Take off crayon wrapper with razor blade. Break apart if not already broken and place in silicone baking mold. Bake at 230 degrees for 10-15 minutes)

D is for Dog, Dirt, play Dough, Dinosaur, Dance, Dessert, Duck.
We made play dough.
We had a Dog day where they acted like dogs, ate their snack like dogs and played like dogs. They got to play with Harley and we went and met some of the other dogs in the neighborhood. They colored dog pictures and played with dog figure toys. They got to watch 101 Dalmatians.
We pretended to be dinosaurs.
We played with dinosaurs.
We had a dance party.
We collected dirt and played in it a little.
We made dessert (cookies). 
They had donuts just about every morning for breakfast. (I couldn't think of many D foods)

Best Play dough Recipe
2.5 cups of water
1 1/4 cup salt
1 1/2 tbsp. cream of tarter
5 tbsp. vegetable oil
2.5 cups of flour
Food coloring.

Mix everything including the food coloring together in a large pot until somewhat smooth. It will be lumpy. Not to worry, the dough will get smoother as it cooks. Cook the dough over a low heat. Mix frequently. The water will slowly cook out of the mixture and you’ll notice it starts to take on a sticky dough appearance. Keep mixing until the edges of the dough along the side and bottom of the pan appear dry. Pinch a piece of dough. If it’s not gooey, the dough is ready.
Place the dough on a counter top or large cutting board that can withstand a little food coloring. Knead the warm dough until it’s smooth. If your kids are impatient like mine you can get some tin foil and spread it out rather thin to help it cool faster. Once completely cool and after play time store the dough in a large Ziplock bag or sealed container. This lasted nearly 3 months before I started seeing mold.

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