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Showing posts from June, 2012

Kids Co-Op: Are you Awesomely Awake?

Once again, it's time for the Weekly Kids Co-Op, which always has so many creative activities linked-up. Lately, I've been sharing great blog projects from Co-Op participants, such as Small Hands Creating Hope (so far over $1k raised for the American Cancer Society) and  From the Mouth of Mamas from B. Inspired Mama!, a weekly series in which she shares "kid-tested tips and parenting solutions for a specific parenting challenge 'from the mouths of moms.'"

This week, it's Awesomely Awake's 31 Days to a More Meaningful Summer, a FREE e-course - don't worry, there won't be a test. You'll just receive daily emails with tips, activities, recipes, etc. focused on helping you have a great summer with your family!

If we can all just stop being sick at our house, we can focus on having an awesome, meaningful summer with more beach days like this one! Make it Meaningful! Have Fun! Play!

Ten for Tuesday: Puppets for Storytime

Wild Thing LOVES books, and he wears them out -- even the board books. So, we recently created simple storytime puppets using a book that had seen better days. Storytelling is great for Early Literacy and Language Development for toddlers/preschoolers. Props make storytelling so much more fun. 

With these puppets made from a well-worn Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? book, he liked to make the animals talk demonstrating each of their unique sounds. 

In honor of puppets, storytelling and summer reading, here's 10 easy puppets you can make with (or for) your little readers.  Plus, the list features many puppets made using recycled materials, so these puppets go easy on your pocketbook.

1. Take a worn out book, and make puppets! (We got creative with the dog, children and teacher because those parts of the book were too worn to use).

2. You can also use craft foam and craft sticks to make puppets, like the 3 little pig puppets from Make, Do and Friend.

3. Paper bag puppets are a…

Happy Birthday, Eric Carle! We're Having a Linky Party Just For You!

We love Eric Carle books at our house - how could you not? Our favorite is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a favorite for many. Wild Thing (whose 2.5) has always loved it, and I'm pretty sure "cocoon" was among his first words. He loves now to help me read it to the baby, since he knows it so well. He especially loves listing the fruits!

We also love Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? which Carle illustrated and Bill Martin Jr. wrote, and we recently got really into The Very Quiet Cricket inspired by Toddler Approved's Virtual Book Club and Blog Hop.

I think the reason Wild Thing loves the books so much is not only the artwork, but the repetition in the books, which makes them easy for him to follow and to "read along." He's at an age where he likes to "read" the books himself. When we read The Very Quiet Cricket, he loved ending every page with "not a sound." 

There are many other great Eric Carle books, and we used them a lot when…

Kids Co-Op: Link-Up, Lots of Play Ideas

We recently discovered Elephant and Piggie through our participation in the Summer Virtual Book Club, which this month features author Mo Willems. We've had fun with the pigeon and with Elephant and Piggie making a simple sock puppet to go with Can I Play Too?

From this week's co-op, I absolutely fell in love with the Elephant and Piggie miniatures from Twiddle Twaddle! You have to pop over to her site and see all the great miniatures they made to go with these great books. 

Thanks for coming by the Kids Co-Op!

Wordless Wednesday: Snake Sock Puppet

Inspired by Can I Play Too?  by Mo Willems, featured author of the Summer Virtual Book Club.

Click here to go to the Summer Virtual Book Club Blog Hop! 
You might also like:

Summer Virtual Book Club: Mo Willems-The Duckling Gets a Cookie (Toddler Does Too!)

Excited to be participating in the Summer Virtual Book Club. Each month, a different author is featured. This month is Mo Willems, who has so many great books for #SummerReading.
Wild Thing doesn't always want to share with Caterpillar, his baby brother, so I loved that 2 of the 3 books we got from the library had great, fun stories about sharing and inclusion. Wild Thing loved The Pigeon Gets a Cookie. 
Our book activities typically follow the format of Eat, Draw, Learn! like we did with My Abuelita for Cinco De Mayo. So, that's what we did with this book too. I hope you enjoy and perhaps decide to make cookies!

1. Eat - Cooking Activity - Make cookies!! We made Carrot Cake Cookies for Father's Day using a recipe from the craving chronicles. Wild Thing especially liked helping to grate the carrots (by pressing the button on the food processor) and making the frosting (the cookies have a cream cheese frosting that you can spread on top of them or sandwich between 2 cook…

Guest Post: My Dad

My dad had a column in an Indiana paper when I was very young, and he has a column again now in a Texas paper. (And he has grandchildren that are very young). 
In honor of Father's Day, I decided to share one of his latest columns from the small town Texas paper. It made me smile, and I believe every Father can play an important role in bringing joy to their child(ren)'s live(s). I would also like to think that I write because he writes. (I just smiled again!)
My Lexington education continues with my most recent “learnin’. You can be snubbed by a cow. In fact, it is possible to be rejected by an entire field of bovines at one time.
Happened to me, courtesy of the herd of the kind landowner where I stay. I pulled up to the house and the entire group of double munchers immediately headed toward me. But, when they got close enough to see me, or is that smell me, they suddenly tossed their collective heads derisively and moved away. Way away.
 I was puzzled as I had showered j…

Photos for Friday: In Honor of DADDY!!!!

Sand & Water Play: Make a Road

As much as I hate to admit this, Bob the Builder inspired this activity.  In an episode of the show focused on making roads, they demonstrate how little ones can recreate the experience at home. We decided to try it and discovered it works, and is great backyard fun! You've got rocks, sand, water, shovels and trucks - what's not to love?
We used wood leftover from building a patio to set the frame for the road. Then came the real work - shoveling and laying rocks,

mixing sand and water to make "cement," (don't use too much water-pour off any excess water, so that you get a firm consistency, like wet sand at the beach)

laying the "cement" and flattening it down, (some of our rocks poked through!)

and, of course, the best part of all, (after you remove your frame)

taking the sandbox trucks for a nice drive on our freshly paved road. Give it a try!! (You know you live in Southern California when your toddler recreates a traffic jam!)
Tip - the next morni…