Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Egg Memory Game

Hey everyone.  What a wonderful day.  The weather is great again (after a cold spell yesterday!)  Talk about global warming... -5 yesterday morning and 18 this afternoon.  Last week the kids were in shorts... yesterday - snowsuits... and today, just a sweater will do!  Gotta luv Spring - if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it'll change :).
Here is my freebie game for today.  I love memory games... keeps the brain from getting rusty.  The clipart is from DJInkers who is very generous in letting us share our creations.  I, for one, am very thankful that they allow that in their TOU as their stuff is so darn cute!




Monday, 26 March 2012

Hippity, Hoppity

Easter's on its way!  We started our Jan Brett author unit this morning with The Easter Egg.  What a sweet story - have to love how Hoppi saved the Robin's egg!  I created this stationary so the children could dictate a story for me to write down.  If you print the black and white version, they can decorate their own stationary when they are finished.  Older children can write their own stories or print several pages to create an Easter/spring journal.




Saturday, 24 March 2012

Banana Muffins

Ok people... seriously - these are THE BEST chocolate chip banana muffins you will ever make!  They also freeze really well which is great because I make a batch then freeze half and take out as needed for a quick grab and go breakfast.  I don't always put the topping on so that is optional.


Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
Ingredients
1 cup butter (softened)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp vanilla
5 mashed bananas
1 cup milk (can substitute sour cream)
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips

Topping (optional)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs and beat until smooth.  Add vanilla, mashed bananas, milk, and mix until smooth.  Mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda then add to wet mixture. Mix until smooth. Mix in chocolate chips. Pour batter into muffin cups.  Combine brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle topping over batter. Bake for 30 minutes @ 350 degrees.  Makes 24 muffins.

Tips
*The baking time is for large muffins - I usually make medium and they take about 20 minutes.  Mini muffins take 10-15 minutes.
*Feel free to mix up the chocolate chips (semi-sweet/milk/white) or even add nuts - I absolutely hate nuts in my baking so I omit them whenever they are in a recipe let alone add them when they aren't. ;)
*Medium muffin cups will give you 24 muffins and a tray of mini muffins (or a few extra medium muffins)

Friday, 23 March 2012

Easter Worksheet

Happy Friday everyone!  Next week we start our author unit on Jan Brett.  I am really looking forward to this as I usually focus on her books in the winter covering Gingerbread Baby, The Mitten, and The Hat.  We are kicking it off with activities planned around The Easter Egg.  The week of Easter, my group will be on the number 12 so I created this little worksheet for them to review the number and also ties in with our book.




Wednesday, 21 March 2012

March... Seriously!

I think we went from Fall to Spring to Summer in a few short months - only the second day of spring and it's a whopping 23 degrees out there and tomorrow is supposed to be 26!  For my friends south of the border, that's 73 today and 79 tomorrow)... see how nice we Canucks are - I even calculated it for ya!

Now on to the fun stuff... printables!  Today I have a cute little matching game for you - children match the puzzle pieces of the items that go together... ENJOY!





Monday, 19 March 2012

Charlie Needs A Cloak

Our current author unit has been featuring the works of Tomie dePaola.  I thought Charlie Needs A Cloak would be the perfect book for us to plan activities around before starting Easter next week.  The story is so cute and, in true Tomie style, the illustrations are adorable!

I found this great site for how to make a loom for weaving and pinned it on Pinterest.  The loom was super easy to make.  I did find it easier to just move the wool up by holding the bottom strings and sliding it up rather than using the stick.  We also did not use the popsicle stick for the bottom as the card bends with the pull of the wool creating a nice gap making it easy for the children to move the wool over and under. 


Another tip, I had to tape the wool to the popsicle stick being used to move the wool through the loom. I also purchased rainbow wool rather than changing colours.



Here is our little Molly doll covered with one of the blankets. 


I found these adorable fingerpuppets on the net... isn't the lamb too cute!

You can also watch an animated version of the story on you tube.

Here is a really cute lamb headband to make with the kids.

I'm looking forward to exploring sheep and this book with the children all week!




Sunday, 18 March 2012

Sunny Sunday

Another great day here in Southern Ontario!  It seems the stores just finish with one holiday and they are on to the next.  Well, this year, it seems we all have to do that as Easter is just a few weeks away.  Hard to believe that we will be saying good-bye to winter (what little winter we had this year) and hello spring!  Over the next few weeks, I will be posting Easter goodies for you - enjoy!




Thursday, 15 March 2012

St. Patrick's Day Party

The clock is ticking and it is almost time for all things green!  Here is how we'll be spending our day tomorrow...


We made these cute pot of gold pots from black plastic containers using stick on fun foam shamrocks from Dollarama and a black pipecleaner handle.  We stuffed it with tissue paper on the bottom and shredded green construction paper.  They are empty right now - the children will build their trap and the leprechaun will leave the gold chocolate coins that we'll share for everyone to take home in their pots of gold.


I purchased these adorable hats and princess crowns again at Dollarama for the children to wear at the party.



Now on to the party games and activities!

Leprechaun Trap
The children will work co-operatively to build a Leprechaun trap in the morning. I will set it off at naptime leaving a small swatch of green material in the trap and chocolate coins to share. (The trap is waiting for the children to add their creative touches :)



Shamrock Toss
Shamrock shapes  were cut from a large cardboard box and we painted the box green.  Children will toss yellow sponge balls into the shamrocks.  For older children, you could have shamrocks of differing sizes and point values for each one.


Balloon Games

I purchased St. Patrick's Day balloons at our local dollar store and we will use them to play a variety of games such as who can keep the balloon in the air the longest, how many times can you hit the balloon before it touches the ground, and balloon volleyball.


Musical Shamrocks
I will place shamrocks on the floor - when the music stops, children sit down on a shamrock.  I will remove a shamrock each time.  and the children will team up and share the shamrocks that are left... can get pretty fun when there is only a few left!





Gold Coin Race
I set up 2 green pails across from each other - I will divide the children into groups to stand at either end of the room behind the buckets.  One person starts with a gold bean bag (coin) between their legs and walks to the other side to drop it in the bucket - no hands allowed.  Once they drop the beanbag, they go to the end of the new line and sit down.  The first person at the 2nd bucket then goes and so on until everyone is sitting down.  To play competitively, set up teams using 2 buckets per team and play as a relay race.

Games we will also play...

Hot/Cold  Shamrock Game
I will have one child hide a shamrock shape while the other children hide their eyes.  One person will be the seeker to find the shamrock with the hider using hot/cold directions to guide them to the shamrock.  The seeker then becomes the finder - we will continue until everyone has a turn.
Green Things Memory Game
Leprechaun, Leprechaun,
Look with me.
How many green things can we see?
I will set up a tray with green items  then have the children count the items.  I will cover  and take away 1 or more items.  The children will recount and figure out how many items are missing and then tell me what they are.
Hot  Potato

The children will pass a potato around the circle.  When the music stops, the person holding the potato will stand up and dance an Irish jig in the centre of the circle and then return to continue playing the game.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY everyone :)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Shamrock Rainbows

I saw the cutest shamrock rainbows on Kaboose and just had set the craft up for the kids to create.  So simple to make and look so very cool hanging in the room!  Just cut a paper plate in half then paint a rainbow on the plate.  When dry, punch one hole at the top for adding garland to hang the rainbow and 5 holes spaced across the bottom to add the shamrock garland.  I purchased the garland on clearance after St. Patty's last year at Michaels for a bargain price!  Simply cut the garland and then loop the pieces through the hole and twist to secure.  I also bent the bottom tips up so they wouldn't be sharp.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Dare Ya!

Was a very exciting day for me and the kids this morning.  We headed off to our nearby forest area to see if we could find the hawk that swooped by us on Friday... and this time I remembered my camera!
We thought it strange that there were very few squirrels around to accept our handout of peanuts, but then after walking to the other side of the forest, realized there was not one but two hawks out and about and building a nest... perhaps baby hawks will be in our future sightings!

Hawk building a nest.



We walked further on and found some squirrels brave enough to enjoy our tasty breakfast offerings.





This is our one brown squirrel in a sea of black and grey ones... we call him Benjamin!



So we headed over to the other side of the forest to see if we could find more squirrels and it was eerily quiet and free of squirrels until we looked up!



There must have been 25 squirrels tucked into the trees... many with their tails over their backs and heads.  Wondering what was going on, we looked around and saw one of the hawks in a nearby tree.


Then this one grey squirrel scampering on the ground ran up the tree the hawk was in.  Scurried right up to the nest and batted the nest with his paw... like TAG... YOU'RE IT!  The hawk snapped at him and then left the nest to circle around and I managed to snap this amazing picture!



Somehow, all I could think of was the other squirrels - 5 minutes before - saying.... DARE YA!!!!!


Friday, 9 March 2012

TGIF!

Happy Friday everyone.  Cold and windy in Southern Ontario, but it's Friday and I finished work early!  Just one more week until St. Patrick's Day.  Here is a puzzle game to print and enjoy with your wee ones.




Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Wonderful Spud

This week we are all about those underground vegetables commonly known as potatoes!  Today we created Mr. Potato heads using a pattern I found on Mamamelia


Here are some potato colouring pages to print.  I just love the potato plant!

On Friday, we will be making Irish Potato Pancakes... YUM!

We have been enjoying The Potato Song... what a fun way to celebrate the WONDERFUL SPUD!

Here are the words...

The Potato Song
Sung To: "The Mexican Hat Dance"
They're red, they're white, they're brown
They get that way underground
There can't be much to do
So now they have blue ones too
We don't care what thay look like we'll eat them
Any way they can fit on our plate
Every way we can conjure to heat them
We're delighted and think they're just great
PO ta to po ta to po ta to po
ta to po ta to po ta to po ta
to po ta to po ta to po ta to
po ta to po ta to po ta to
Sometimes we ditch the skin
To eat what it's holding in
Sometimes we'd rather please
Have just the outside with cheese

They have eyes but they do not have faces
I don't know if their feelings get hurt
By just hanging around in dark places
Where they only can stare at the dirt
PO ta to po ta to po ta to po
ta to po ta to po ta to po ta
to po ta to po ta to po ta to
po ta to po ta to po ta to

~Cheryl Wheeler~

And another fun potato chant...

One Potato, Two Potatoes
One potato, two potatoes, three potatoes, four
I made a batch of hot potatoes
And dropped them on the floor!
Five potatoes, six potatoes, seven potatoes, eight
I stomped them into mashed potatoes
And plopped them on a plate
Nine potatoes, ten potatoes, I can't believe my eyes
The children ate them up and now it's time for fries!

And don't forget to play Hot Potato!

That's all for now... see ya 'round the chip stand ;)!


Sunday, 4 March 2012

Happy Sunday

What a wonderful weekend here in Southern Ontario - I am not even going to complain about the almost 100km winds that kept me awake most of Friday night cause I know of so many people that got hit with mega tons of snow and we have the grass turning green.... guess it's also getting ready for St. Patrick's Day!  What's Sunday without a crossword puzzle to ponder over... here's one for the kiddo's!



Friday, 2 March 2012

What's Missing - St. Patrick's Day Game

TGIF!!!!  What a wonderful day too - we are on the plus side of the thermometer, sun is shining, and we spent almost the entire morning outside!  Have a great weekend everyone... here's another game for St. Patty's Day... I plan to keep your printer busy in the next little while!