Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easy Peasy Chicka Chicka Felt Board

I just love this project. I made this for my preschool class when we introduced the alphabet in the beginning of the year.  Hands on learning is not only fun but effective so this easy, peasy craft will have your preschooler wanting to read along with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom , practice letter recoognition and other fun phonemic awareness games that you can think of with this fun, felt board! 

Here's all you and need and what to do!
1.  Buy or recyle a canvas or thick cardboard piece at least the size of a sheet of paper or larger.

2.  Cover the canvas with coordinating or similiar fabric as the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom cover.

3. Using free hand I drew the tree trunk on brown felt and drew each palm branch and extra grass on the green felt.  I then cut the pieces out and hot glued them on to the canvas.

4.  Lastly, I found letter stickers I already had in my crafting kit and covered them in contact paper and cut them out.  Stick a piece of velcro on to the back of each one so they can stick to the coconut tree.

5.  Let your child stick on the letters as you read!  You could also lay the letters out flat and work on phonemic awareness skills with your preschooler.  Phonemic awareness skills are the most important skill we can give to our preschooler before they enter school and need to be in place for before reading can occur.   As the letters are infront of your preschooler, make a letter sound and have your preschooler add the correct letter to the tree.     Another variation as your preschooler becomes more proficient is to say, "add the letter that makes the sound that begins the word cat" or " what letter makes the sound that ends the word man".   There are so many hands on learning activities to do with this easy, peasy Chicka Chicka Felt Board!  Enjoy!

linking up with
A Crafty Soiree

Monday, April 25, 2011

humble pie

  Your life is someones dream.  Thats right, the life you have now, the boring, mundane life that you struggle to keep up with is someone elses dream.  Perspective is so important and I find that I often need a refresher about the amazing life I have here on earth.  Instead of constantly giving thanks for everything, I can if I let it, grow tiresome and feel burdesome with all the demands of my blessed life.  I feel quite guilty and ashamed of my poor perspctive when it grows this way, but often it leads to repetance, humility, grace and thankfulness and a fresh perspective.

To live fully and beautifully in my current life and situations I have to know and trust that I am right where I need to be and that I am blessed to be going through and doing whatever it is I am doing at this season of my life.   It is when I feel to important, to big for the role that I am currently in that the storms of ungratefullness surface.   Humility  grows continual thanfulness and sometimes a slice of humble pie is exactly what I need.  Lord, may I grow and learn and be thankful always and when I loose perspective in this world, may I know where to find grace and grow in humility and thankfulness.

As part of my continual gratitude, I continue to count my blessings:
-amazing family to share Easter with
-beautiful mom who shines with joy and hope
-a run with my 6 year old
-watching my dad be a role model to the men in our family
-creative thoughts that keep me excited to create
-spring break with my girls
-tennis with my husband
-finding joy in the everyday
-seeing grace in shattered lives
-keeping track of blessings to remind me of the beauty of the everyday and every life

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kid Dates

Giving your kids the gift of your undivided attention is something they will never get spoiled on.  If you have mulitiple children , date nights with each child alone is essential.   Below are some ideas to get you on a date with your child! 
1.       Barnes and Noble- share a cookie and tea and then go into the kids section and grab all the books you can and read to them and have them read to you
2.       Go to the park and play WITH them, don’t just watch
3.       Pack a picnic and grab a blanket and find a special spot to have a picnic
4.       Lock yourselves in their room and play a game with them
5.       Go for a walk or bike ride
6.       Create and Keep a date book of ideas you create and want to do together and try to cross them off through the year
7.       Volunteer together.  Pick up trash, visit an elderly community, or call and set up some time to volunteer by calling a local organization
8.       Play miniature golf
9.       Go to a movie in your car and pop some pop corn
10.   Turn on some music and create a dance together
11.   Write  a book together and publish it on the computer, take your time creating the characters and using your imaginations
12.   Get a joke book from the library and tell jokes and LAUGH

Make sure your unplugged from your cell phone, your iphone, your computer and every other distraction.  This is their time with you, a chance for you to show them they are special and deserve your attention, unshared with anything else!  Anyone have any ideas to add and share, I would love to keep a growing list…..

Monday, April 11, 2011

Counting my blessings on Mondays

I am watching her feel crushed in spirit and defeated.   I am watching her feel judged, unloved, unworthy, and unsure.  I am watching her as she trembles with regret and uncertainy.  I am watching her fall apart and unravel   I don't know how to answer her, how to help her, but I do know how to hold on to her and hug her and love her.   All I have to offer is love.

Love is the answer.  Love is the way.  Love is God showing through us.  All I can do is love her and pray she sees Him through my love.

As I continue to count my blessings on Mondays....

little kids laughing and giggling
watching preschool class learning to sound out words
the right words, when I need them
running and time alone to listen
warm touch of my husband
a warm home with lots of life (and noise )
a journal waitning to be written in
watching my oldest daughter read to her youngest sisters
more good than bad

Monday, April 4, 2011

Guiding my girls

Last night I watched the Secret Millionaire on television with my 9 year old daughter.  It was really quite a good show to watch together.   It takes millionaires and puts them into areas of peverty in the country and without anyone knowing who they are, they volunteer and live in the destitute area. After meeting the people, seeing the faces, seeing those trying to make changes in the area, the millionaires reveal who they are and write checks to people and agencies that they learned about.

  It gave my daughter a great understanding of poverty in America and also it showed different non profit agencies in that city that are trying to help these areas.   The programs they showed were non profits that had no federal funding and were started and maintained by people who were truly doing what they loved, helping those who need it.   This reality tv show was truly reality tv.

As I watched this with my daughter I got an idea.  Why not do a monthly, family,  research project about a local community agency.  Find out what their mission is, who they help, who created it, how it is funded and any other important or interesting information.  After we research it together as a family, we go to the agency and present them with a check from our family.  Each month we will pick a different agency and give.  My goal is to teach my daughters how to meet the needs of others, how to do the research , how to give, how to love, how to solve problems, and share the information with others around us.

I am hoping this turns into something we can continually do together as a family.   What about you, how do you teach your kids about helping others and showing them how to serve?