If you have tried anything on this site please leave a comment and let me know.

The more I hear from you the better! I love hearing how these activities are working in your home/daycare or nursery!
I get lots of emails about what you are doing, just leave a comment so everyone can read it too!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Schedule for Toddlers - 5

7-8              Breakfast, practicing letters and morning review of the day.
8-9              Morning Task Sheet, get ready basically tidy up and morning chores.
9-10            Free Play w/Mom - No chore time slot...you will be amazed how much your kids will love this!
10-11          Quiet Activities

11-11:30   Clean Up!

This is when we wrangle up anything that's not where its supposed to be.  Not a crazy deep clean just a 5 toys each kid kind of thing.  After that we start making lunch.

11:30-12:00   Lunch

I try and not give my kids sandwiches every day because I don't want sandwiches every day.  Some things I try to include in my rotation are:

Ramen with frozen veggies
Sandwiches in Tortillas (like a wrap)
Homemade Lunchables 
De constructed Sandwiches
Waffles and Yogurt
Hot Dogs wrapped in Crescent Rolls (Pigs in a blanket)
Themed Lunches (see food on the labels side of this blog)
Pizza-dillas (quesadillas made with pizza stuff)
Shape Lunches (cut everything into shapes) 
Matchstick lunch - everything cut into strips
Hummus and Crackers with Fruit
Tortellini cold with Italian Dressing
Grilled Cheese
Bagels with Cream Cheese or Peanut Butter

I am sure there are more but you get the idea. :)

Good Luck and Have fun!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Teaching Shapes to Toddlers - 3

Number Bingo!

I found this AWESOME WEBSITE and plan on using it more and more!  I love Math, I love when stuff is ready to go like this and I LOVE that they offer customizing!

So what I did was clicked on Bingo Sheets 3x3 and printed them. What is great is if you hit the back button on your browser and click MAKE WORKSHEET it will automatically make a new one. So I did this 10 times so I had 10 different Bingo Boards.

Then I printed 2 more and cut them out as markers.  I opted to do black and white so I could color them myself. I love to color. :)

Then I laminated them and the markers and it was time to play...
I picked the marker, placed it on the table and they marked their spots with a cheerio.
We kept going to get 3 in a row!
The kids loved it. The almost 2 year old sorta understood the concept but cheerio's were just too enticing. 
We played a few rounds so everyone got a turn and then read a few more books on the Shapes of the Week.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Teaching Shapes to Toddlers - 2

Fun Snack for Toddlers for the Shape Theme!

Peanut Butter Blossoms!
  This is for Circle and Triangle. :)

I did it the cheater way - which is a great time saver and was cheaper than making them on my own.

Tube of Pillsbury Peanut Butter Cookie Dough (1.75 at Walmart)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 bag of Hershey Kisses - I like Dark chocolate so that is what I bought.

Start by unwrapping ALL of the kisses.
This is perfect if you are working on small motor skills.

Then open the dough and make 24 small balls like an inch. Then roll them in sugar and place on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 350.  AS SOON AS THEY ARE DONE gently put the kisses (unwrapped) on the cookies.  Let cool for 25 minutes so the chocolate can "re-harden"
Then enjoy. While the kids were eating, I read them a few books about shapes.

Super easy and delicious!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Teaching Shapes to Toddlers - 1

Tot School Shape Activity #1

Most of these kids know their shapes so why not reinforce it with 2 weeks of focus just to make sure! :)

I had Square, Rectangle, Oval, Circle and Diamond and Triangle.

Here is the first thing we did.

Rectangle Robots!

I cut out several different sizes and types of Rectangles.  Then I glued the body on a paper and let them decide how their robot would look.

It was interesting to watch each kid decide on each individual piece.
 They all really liked this project.

 My favorite thing about art projects is no matter what it is - using the same supplies - everyone comes up with something totally different.
Each kid got to pick an eye or two from the eye box and then I added a smile and a tag of what it was and the date.  They look adorable!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Schedule for Toddlers - 4

I hosted Tot School this week so there are lots of activities headed your way!!!!

So far we have: 
7-8              Breakfast, practicing letters and morning review of the day.
8-9              Morning Task Sheet, get ready basically tidy up and morning chores.
9-10            Free Play with Mom - No chore time slot...you will be amazed how much your kids will love this time!
10-11          Quiet Activities

From 10 - 11 is when I start laundry, or dishes or things that HAVE to get done.  I give myself an hour to get as much done as I can.  What are the kids doing?  I usually give them a quiet activity like a game, or puzzles or coloring.  I never leave these things out because I want them to be special when I pull them out.  I almost always have classical or non-lyrical music playing in the background because it tends to mellow out the kids and give me an atmosphere that I am looking for.  If I play MC Hammer's "To Legit To Quit" you can imagine how peaceful the house will be. 

I have some quiet activities listed on the side bar but here are some good ones - 

There are over 40 Quiet Activities on this blog so get busy! :)

I find if I limit myself to an hour of power cleaning I get so much more done and the kids know when the kitchen timer goes off we are done with quiet time.  Sometimes I will even set up stations so when the dishes are done for me the puzzles are done for them.  When I move to folding clothes, they move to coloring.  It helps the time go by and they are doing more on their own.

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fun Lunch for Toddlers

Tired of PB & J?  How about Ramen Noodles?

Well try this one!

Basically pick some items that are bite sized or that you can cut into bite sized items.
I chose:
Flat Bread
Cheese Sticks
Grape Tomatoes

Then you pick up some wooden skewers and make lunch kabobs!
 We brought this lunch over to the cousins house.
 Everyone seemed to like it.
 Fun to make and fun to eat!
It extended lunch time and was fun watching the different combinations.

I would take this a step further and have them make pattens to eat like Cheese, Tomato, Cheese, Tomato, etc.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Schedule for Toddlers - 3

Sorry this is later than the others - my kids needed some much needed time with their cousins today! :)

So far we have: 
7-8 Breakfast, practicing letters and morning review of the day.
8-9 Morning Task Sheet, get ready basically tidy up and morning chores.

9 is our play time.  It is the only time I give them 100% of me.  We play or dance or read. They get a full hour of time with me and on the weekends we try to still schedule in free time with just Mommy and Daddy.

The best part of my day is this hour where they TELL ME what we are going to play or how we are going to play.  Here is one of my favorite times last Christmas - 

Last year being 2009 - wow time flies!

I hardly ever take pictures during our hour because I want them to remember how much fun we had and all of the giggles we shared. Seriously our lives can get so busy and our houses can get so messy but sometimes we need to just sit back and "play" with our children.  I hope I can keep this up as long as possible because it is secretly my most favorite time of day.   I hardly answer the phone when we are playing because I don't want it to come to an end.  Try it.  Even if you can't do it every day your kids will really benefit from you dropping everything just to play with them. :) Okay off the soapbox.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Not a Box!

I love books. We live walking distance to a library and we try and go every monday.  During Christmas break we found this gem of a book...

It is now one of my favorite books for 12-24 months.  Here is why...
So as you can imagine my kids thought they needed a Not Box!
So we found one and got markers out... 
 and went to town decorating every side. This lasted about 1.5 hours of coloring and playing.
 I did end up buying the book because they played happily and uninterrupted long enough for me and my husband to put ALL of the Christmas stuff away.

I will keep it and save it again (the book) for a rainy day along with a bigger box!
We played until the box was destroyed!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Schedule for Toddlers - 2

On Mondays I am going to have tips on what has worked for me with my many kids.  I have received emails about my daily schedule and so I am going to go in order every Monday.  Please comment with anything that you do or don't do or if this has helped you so we all can benefit from everyone's experiences.

V -  We clean up and head to the bedrooms to get dressed. 8-9 usually lounge time.

I usually have my kids pick out their clothes the night before. This saves so much time and stress in the morning.

They have a checklist if you want ours I will email it to you.
Its laminated and on the bathroom cabinet so its ready for checking everyday.
This is when they are responsible for 1/2 of their chores and getting themselves ready for the day.
I feel like it is important for them to take pride in themselves and accomplishing daily goals such as chores and hygienic tasks such as brushing their teeth.
We have done this for a while now and it works because everyone is in charge of their own list.
For instance, my stubborn 3 year old decided she wasn't going to brush her hair or have it done one day and she was complaining all day that her hair was in her face.  I referred back to our morning checklist and how it was her choice not to do it and she has never skipped a task since.
We do allowance with the older ones and I will hit that on another monday.

Let me know what you think?  Is this something you would use in your house?
Is there something you would add?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Edible Snowmen

Mini Powdered Donuts, Pretzel Sticks, Candy Corn, Mini Chocolate Chips, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and Pull and Peel Twizzlers. Whew!

We had a bunch of friends over for dinner and dessert and embraced the different age groups by doing a project/edible craft.
Peel the Pull and Peel Twizzlers
Then pass out 2 pretzel sticks, 1 candy corn, several mini choco chips, and 1 PB cup.
Peel the PB cups, but save the dark wrapper.
This is my 21 month old using her fine motor skills! 
Pass out the donuts (3 a person) and add eyes, nose and buttons
Wrap the licorice around the neck and add the hat.
then eat everything but the wrapper!

This took a good 30 minutes, but I had 6 kids so it might take less if you have a smaller group.
Ages 6, 4, 4, 3, 2, 1

Monday, January 3, 2011

Schedule for Toddlers - 1

On Mondays I am going to have tips on what has worked for me with my many kids.  I have received emails about my daily schedule and so I am going to go in order every Monday.  Please comment with anything that you do or don't do or if this has helped you so we all can benefit from everyone's experiences.

I used to nanny so this particular item works on school agers as well.

V - My kids usually get up around 7 and eat right when they wake up.

The Question: What do they do while you make breakfast?

I have a schedule for breakfast.
Shocking I know right?  I try and alternate between hot and cold and grab and go.
So, if I am making eggs (which takes some time) everyone is ...
Practicing their writing.  Its a quiet activity, they are in my line of sight and they are not running around trashing the house.  It is also nice because they aren't watching television and during breakfast we can review what they have done.  This is what my kids get to use in the morning.
They are dry erase, write and wipe workbooks. I bought 8 different ones so each day they get a different one and there is no fighting.  I love this system and even though my almost 2 year old isn't exactly "writing" she is following the routine so when she is actually ready to learn that she knows when we practice.
What has worked for you?  Does this sound like something you might try?
We have been doing it for the past year and now when Daddy makes breakfast on Sunday and forgets he gets an earful from the kids! Haha. 

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