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Showing posts from September, 2013

Eating Well on A Budget: Why Supporting Local Farmers + Eating Seasonally Works

I've noticed many initiatives this year during Hunger Action Month that raise awareness about families struggling with hunger through participation in the SNAP challenge, which means eating on $1.50 per meal, an amount comparable to what SNAP participants receive.
One of the ways our family eats well on a budget is by getting produce from local farmers through Abundant Harvest Organics. Another benefit is that I connect with other individuals committed to healthy living. One of these individuals is Jessica David of Conveying Awareness, who shared her best tips for feeding her family well on a budget: 
Support Your  Local Farmers!  
Before visiting your local grocery store chain or farmers’ market, go here first: "What's in Season?" Knowing what's in season is best for your health and your pocket. Purchasing fruits & veggies out of season will be slightly higher in cost.  
Getting fruits and vegetables from your local farmers' market is a good way to ensure fr…

{Project 101: Weekly Library Challenge} Discovering New Alphabet Books + Learning about Butterflies and Bad Movies!

This week, I'll finally be caught up with the Weekly Library Challenge, where I share 1 book the boys love from the library and 1 that I am reading. At the end of the year, we will have shared 101 books in honor of our library's 101st birthday! To get all caught up, I'm sharing two books the boys love and two books I love. 

Since we've been focusing on letters a lot lately with our Letter of the Week learning activities and daily letter baskets, I have been on the prowl for new alphabet books and this week I'm sharing two new ones that we love. The first, ABC Kids by Simon Basher, is by far their favorite book from the library right now. The book uses alliteration to focus on each letter and has very clever scenarios, such as "Jasper juggles juicy jellyfish." I always appreciate ABC books that equally emphasize upper and lowercase letters and this one does that. I also love that it works well for reinforcing letter names for my toddler and for reinforcing …

Now I Know My ABCs: Tot School Alphabet Activities from The Kid's Co-Op + What We Did with the Letter D at Tot School

I decided to highlight toddler and preschool letter learning ideas and alphabet activities from The Kid's Co-Op this week, since I was a bit behind in posting my Tot School Letter D post. (I wanted to post in on Tuesday, but we still had activities to do today). I'm merging my Tot School update with our Letter of the Week Activities for D with my selections from The Kid's Co-Op. Hope you enjoy! 

When I started my Tot School activities, we kicked off with the Letter A and an Apple Sensory Basket that Caterpillar really loved. Living Montessori now included it in her very thorough and wonderful round-up of 30+ Apple Sensory Tubs -- perfect for focusing on the letter a or for Fall learning. 

With my popular Things That Go Series, I focused on the Letter B and did Bus and Boat together. Craftulate shared 5 homemade boats, which would be a perfect addition for activities focused on the Letter B, and I shared our Tot School Letter C post last week through The Kid's Co-Op. The …

{Project 101: Weekly Library Challenge} Encouraging Creativity + Artistry in Our Children and Ourselves

What's holding your back? What's keeping your feet on the ground instead of your wings spread wide so that you can soar higher? What's the reason that you aren't making art or aren't making better art or aren't shipping your art? Why do you reign in your creativity and keep yourself inside the box? 

These are the types of questions The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin encouraged me to consider. This is 1 of 2 books I'm sharing this week as part of my Weekly Library Challenge. (Yes, I'm 3 weeks behind, so I'm sharing 2 books this week that I've been reading and 2 books the boys have been reading and next week I'll have to share 2 as well). I already read Seth Godin's blog regularly, and you should too. It will encourage you to do something, which is what you should just go do right now! Stop reading this and go make some art right now! Or, read for a bit longer to find out why I love this book and then go make some art.

The Icarus Deception e…

{Kid's Co-Op} Children's Book-Related Activities + Some Hunger Action Month Inspiration

I love doing activities with my kids that connect with books that we're reading -- probably because I love books. So this week several posts from last week's Kid's Co-Op attracted my attention because they connected with books and, often, with some of our favorite books. I wanted to share those activities and, in some cases, connect the books with new activities related to Hunger Action Month, since that has been a big theme for me on my blog and because I've seen with my own kids and through others that books can be perfect ways to engage children in helping others. I'm kicking things off with three class children's books from Eric Carle and Bill Martin, Jr.: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. 

Last week on the Co-Op, I shared one of my most popular recent posts with four ways to learn and play through Brown, Brown Bear What Do You See? including our creative food pantry donation activity. Another …

An Apple A Day...Keeps the Kids at Play!! Learning through Play

I've really enjoyed seeing so many wonderful play ideas inspired by apples now that it's September and Fall is officially around the corner. I shared 20 Apple Play + Learning Ideas from The Kid's Co-Op recently, and then saw SO many more wonderful ideas this week and this great Apples, Apples and More Apples Blog Hop hosted by Blessed Beyond A Doubt already (on Day 1) has enough apple activities for you to do one apple activity a day for more than a month! I've been pinning many of the ideas I see to my Tot School Board (which has lots of preschool ideas too) since we kicked off Tot School a few weeks ago with the Letter A and our own engaging (and simple) A is for Apple basket. I'll be pinning many more in the next few days.
Wild Thing recently did one of my favorite apple activities at preschool -- an apple tasting. They tasted red, yellow and green apples and picked their favorite. By far, he prefers green apples (Granny Smith), which are his father's favorit…

{Ten for Tuesday} Tot School: Letter C Activities - Exploration Through All Five Senses (Pre-K Add Ons Too!)

I decided to do Tot School with Caterpillar (2) and Wild Thing (almost 4 and in preschool now) often joins in the fun, so I adapt the activities to work for both of them. We've been going with the "Letter of the Week" approach, but through the lens of exploring that letter through all five sense. We spent two weeks on C as grandma was visiting and quality time with her became a major priority, as it should. I'm excited to share 10 activities we did as we focused on learning about the letter C through the five senses and to be back next Tuesday with all we're doing with the Letter D this week. 

1. Sound - We started off with things we could hear that began with the letter C and focused on two animals that the boys love to imitate -- cats and cows. I try to start each day with a new basket. For this basket, I included a farm book we have that features cows, some Cat in the Hat crayons (from the $1 spot at Target), various Letter C items, including a magnet letter an…