Sunday, December 23, 2012

Class Gift: Rudolf the Red-Nosed ROOT BEER

This is by far the most expensive class gift idea I'm sharing.  But even then, it isn't crazy, depending on the number of the kids in the group.

But  he is just so darn cute!

May I introduce, Rudolf, the Red-Nosed Root Beer!

Very much like the Candy Cane version, this is just a little hot glue, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners, (Oh, and I added a jingle-bell collar too) but instead of on a candy cane, you attach the pieces onto a bottle of root beer that you have already taken the label off of.

Still pretty quick.  We used Dad's Rootbeer, but Weinhard's would also be good - its' just a bit more pricey!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

ClassGift: Lolli-Pop

This one was even cheaper per gift than the Rudolf Candy Canes!

For my daughter's grade-two class, we got a bunch of double-lolly brand lolli-pops, and made a simple gift tag that read, "Have a LOLLY-jolly Christmas!"

She thought the play on words was hilarious, and they were a hit with her class.

Oh - and they took about 20 minutes to do from start to finish for her whole class.  Bonus.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Class Gift: Candy Cane Reindeer

I know it has been forever. The fun hasn't stopped around here, and I have been taking pictures to share it all with you, but I just haven't made the next step of actually uploading, posting, and sharing.  

BUT - I had a couple of quick things I could show you, so I'm going with that.

This year's class Christmas gift for my five year old's kindergarten:

Rudolf Candy Canes!

Super cheap and fast!  I made 20 for about $2.50.  So don't let the fear of a big expense keep you from having your kids pass out a little treat to their classmates.

Easy to do: Start with a candy cane. Now, here you could  make it expensive if you went with the flavoured speciality candy canes, but I went with the classic mint that are super cheap.  Then all you do is hot glue a small red pompom and some little googly eyes.  The antlers are just brown pipe cleaners that I twisted around and bent into shapes.  You could probably reinforce them with a little glue, but mine were fine as is.

Finishing touch:  A little gift tag attached with some curly ribbon.


Last year was my first time giving my kids something to pass out to all their classmates, and they loved it.  They felt so Christmasy and happy that they could give. And who doesn't want to teach their children to be happy by making other's happy?  It was awesome.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Resolutions

It has been a while! We've moved and with the computer packed away, I got out of the habit of blogging, and now that the computer is set up again, life seems to have gotten particularly busy as we make our new house into our new home.

BUT - I don't want to let myself get so busy with all those tasks (finishing the basement, refinishing furniture, decorating the new baby room.....) that I miss out on summertime with my kiddos. So here are my summertime resolutions:

1. Go to at least two different parks each week: a family favorite, and a new, never-played-here-before. (This is in addition to the quicky trips to the playground across the street. These are special trips to the park.)

2.  Get wet as often as possible - at least 4 days/week, weather permitting.  This includes backyard sprinkler time, outdoor water parks, swimming pools, beaches, and lakes. Just outside and wet.

3. Try a new homemade Popsicle recipe every week. (thank-you, Pinterest)

4. Be sure I spend some time playing with the kids everyday. Not just seeing to their needs, but playing.

I can do it.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I'll get this done, and have lots of my projects undone at summer's end.  Oh well, projects keep, kids don't.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Simple Fun With Pom-poms

We've been playing with our pom-poms a lot lately. A couple of years ago an educational supply store in my city was closing and I took the opportunity to get lots of great stuff for really low prices. One thing I got was a bag that had pounds of pom-poms. That is a lot of pom-poms! We've used them, and used them, and I still have lots left.

The other morning, I grabbed a couple of handfuls of them and an empty egg carton and gave them to my two year old for a little play time.

First he dumped them out and put them back in, with one pom-pom being assigned to each spot - no doubling up.

Then he began sorting them by colour. He did really well at this. After he had them all into piles, I started asking him questions. "How many purple ones?" "Can you find me a small blue and a big blue?" etc. He is really into colours right now, so he loved this part.

And he put them into the egg carton in pairs by their colours.

Then he began playing with their sizes. In this picture he is putting a small one on top of a large one and calling it a 'snowman.' So cute.

Then he lined them up by colour AND size. No, I didn't prompt this. I was so impressed. He had finished off the oranges and was just starting the purples in this picture.

Anyway, it was a super easy little activity that took no prep, and he played with them for fifteen or twenty minutes for sure.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Koolaid or Jello?

My eight-year-old was very excited for April Fools Day this year. He's a big reader, and in a book he recently read, (I think it was Otis Spofford by Beverly Cleary) one of the characters is always playing tricks on the other kids and it filled him with anticipation.

Since he was looking forward to it, I wanted to do something funny for him too. So I made Koolaid. Or was it Jello?

After I'd tucked the kids in on March 31st, I made a package of green jello (just happened to be what I had on hand), and instead of pouring it into dishes, I poured it into a cup and stuck it into the fridge.

Then in the morning, I pulled it out and asked if anyone wanted to have a drink of my 'Koolaid.' That is a rare treat around here, so they jumped at it. But when they tipped the cup, of course nothing came out.

He thought it was HILARIOUS!!! Then I let him use the cup to fool his dad and his younger siblings.

So funny!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Joy School - Amphibians

More fun brought to you by the Ghost of Joy Schools Past...

Amphibians Day!


We learned lots of interesting things about amphibians. Here's a sampling:
-all amphibians start their lives in water and move to land as they grow up.
-have porous skin that let moisture in and out
-have sticky tongues to catch food
-the smallest amphibian is the size of a pinky fingernail and the largest is about 1.5m
-90% of amphibians are frogs or toads
-they can have all sorts of different pupil shapes in their eyes (triangles, squares, hearts, diamonds)
-worlds most poisonous frog is the Golden Dart Frog and a single one has enough poison to kill 1000 people
-some species of salamanders grow lungs or gills according to how much moisture is around them.

Craft Time: Making lily pads

We started by giving everyone a white paper plate, which they turned upside down and painted green.
While the paint was drying, they each got a paper frog that they coloured and added googly eyes to.
Then the frog (and a flower too if they wanted) got glued on for a finishing touch.

So proud of his finished lily pad!

Science Time: Porous Skin

Did you know that many amphibians don't drink water, but rather they absorb what they need through their skin? Strange, but true. To illustrate this, I took a couple of kitchen sponges and cut them up. I put one into a little Rubbermaid container, and left the others out.

I told the kids that the sponges were going to be like our thristy amphibians. I dropped them all into the bowl of water and we waited a minute while the water absorbed.

Then we saw how our amphibians with porous skin were able to get all the water they needed, but the one that was surrounded by skin that was waterproof was still dry and hard - it wouldn't be able to survive.

Snack Time: popcorn!

What does popcorn have to do with amphibians? Nothing. Why did we have it then? Because we were going to eat our snack like amphibians - with our sticky tongues! I remember being little and thinking it was so funny that popcorn would stick to my tongue, so that is what we did. Each child was given a little bowl of it, and then they had to eat it by getting one kernel at a time with their sticky amphibian tongue. It was so funny to watch!

Video Clip:

We watched a segment from an Eyewitness DVD that taught us the difference between a frog and a toad.

Game Time:

We played a computer game from a great kids website. In the game there is a frog who is jumping from lily-pad to lily-pad across a pond, and you have to guess how big of a jump he needs to make. The kids all got one turn and then we moved on, but they would have been happy to play it a few times.

Wiggle Time: leaping lily-pads!

After they had all had a turn on the computer, I set up 'lily-pads' (pillows) across our own 'pond' (living room) and the 'frogs' (kids) had to jump across from one side to the next. They loved this. I set the pillows up at different intervals so they would have to do a small, medium, or large jump, just like the computer game.

Music Time:

I made little froggy stick puppets that I handed out to each of the kids (sorry for the very blurry picture here!) and we sang Five Green Speckled Frogs, There's a Hole in the Middle of the Sea, and Mmm-mmmm Went the Little Green Frog One Day.

Story Time:

I was surprised how many of the books we had on hand related to frogs. We read The Frog Prince, A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog, and Curious George Tadpole Trouble.

Art Time:

I had printed off a frog life-cycle chart from the internet for the kids to colour. They did, but then a couple of them decided they wanted to make theirs into a puzzle, so I passed out scissors, and they cut their charts into pieces.

By then it was time for our little tadpoles to swim on home.

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