Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bargain Finds!

I admit, I'm a bargain hunter! I clip coupons, I'm addicted to Craigslist and Ebay, and I'm a hungry predator at yard sales! I get so excited when I get to tell my husband how much money we saved...then, with a smile, he always responds, "Sweetie, we're not saving money, if you're spending money." He's a smart man, but doesn't quiet understand my ability (obsession).

Saturday, I came across a yard sale with a lot of used curriculum! I'm the most excited about the books...

Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons
I've heard about this book with mix reviews, but thought at $5, it was worth a try. I'm curious to know if anyone has used this book and with what type of success. Izzie knows her letters and the sounds that each makes and has started to become interested in retelling stories. She has memorized several books that we read, so following her lead, I may start this book over the summer with her.

What Your Kindergartner Needs To Know
At first glance, I thought this book would give me a detailed list of things that Izzie needed to know before/during kindergarten. Instead, it's a book that contains fundamentals that she needs to be prepared for kindergarten. I haven't read the entire book, but it looks very interesting and it's filled with age-appropriate questions that I hope will stimulate Izzie's thinking skills.

Helping Your Preschool Child

Contains a lot of activities for children from infancy to age 5.

Service Projects Preschoolers Can Do

Contains 44 service projects that are age approprate for preschoolers. I'm really excited that the projects are related to a specific Bible story/theme, with a step-by-step lesson. These will be a great addition for Bible Study.

Backyard Scientist
I was excited to find a science activity book for preschoolers, but after looking through the book, I'm not that impressed. However, there are several good experiments in the book.

So, are you curious to know how much money I saved?

A lot! I paid $8.50 for all the books!

If you found a great bargain last week, feel free to share!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Activities

To celebrate Earth Day...

Izzie and Mac decorated these cute little grass heads that I found at Michael's. They are suppose to take 1-2 weeks to germinate.

Izzie began planting the seedlings from her mini greenhouse kit.

Our little greenhouse in the kitchen.

Ways our family celebrates Earth Day, everyday:

1. We recycle...everything! It's a bit of a hassle, especially since our town does not pick up recyclables. My husband takes our recyclables off once a week to two different locations. It's quite cute to listen to Izzie before she throws anything away in the trash, she first asks, "Recycle?".

2. We take our own reusable bags to the stores.

3. We've changed our old light bulbs to CFC light bulbs.

4. We no longer use plastic water bottles, instead, we use reusable water mugs. These are really cute and functional personalized bottles.

5. We are trying really hard to use less plastic Ziploc baggies. I tend to use them for my husband's lunch. However, we do use reusable containers for the girls' snacks, when we go out and about.

6. We recently began cleaning with only vinegar and baking soda. It's amazing how many different ways you can clean with these two items!

7. We are going to plant our first mini garden this year! Currently, I have strawberries and broccoli growing in my kitchen...we're still having frost warnings overnight; therefore, I haven't begun planting any fruits/vegetables outside.

It's been quite easy to live a more eco-friendly life and it's nice to know that we are making a difference to improve our planet. We will continue adding more ways in our daily lives to help!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I can do it...by myself! Izzie's newest favorite phrase.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Potato Heads

Izzie uses potato heads a lot during speech therapy...so, last fall, we bought her the Mrs. Potato Head Suitcase. It's full of accessories, but only came with one potato head, which was becoming a problem in the house. The girls love playing with Mrs. Potato Head...but, having only one head meant a lot of bickering between the two of them. Well, it's yard sale season...one of my favorite times of the year! My goal was to find an extra potato head by the end of summer. To my surprise, I found Mr. Potato Head with accessories at the very first yard sale I went to this season! And, for only $1.

Introducing...Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.

Izzie trying on a few accessories...

And, of course...Mac too!

Mac is starting to learn her body parts. As you can see, she's trying to put the ear in her ear!

I'm starting up a Mr. Linky each week for Yard Sale finds! If interested, stop by next Tuesday and show-off the deals that you found over the weekend!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Coloring Activities

Izzie has always enjoyed to color. We keep her coloring books and crayons out in a basket, so they are always accessible to her. I recently noticed that EVERY page of ALL the coloring books were colored...I mean there wasn't a square inch of space left to color. I've never really encouraged Izzie to focus while she's coloring or to stay in the lines...I've always just let coloring be free with her; therefore, most of her coloring books look very colorful and messy (in a good way). But, it was time for some new books!

While we were shopping at our favorite place, Dollar Tree, I stumbled upon these workbooks!

Izzie was thrilled to have a blank slate...

When we opened the book, I simply explained that when she's coloring to try and stay inside the lines...to my surprise she was very focused and stayed in the lines quite well! I felt a little guilty that I had never explained to her how to color, even though she colors daily! So, who knows how long she's been able to do this!

She's totally into making patterns these days...thanks, Team Umizoomi!

Another favorite is coloring by numbers.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Easter Activities

I was able to find a ton of ideas for Easter shelf activities! The first morning that all the new Easter theme activities were on the shelf, the girls were so excited!

The sensory bin caught their attention, first. Inside the sensory bin: grass, eggs, rubber ducks, stretchy bunnies, shovel and scoop. They spent hours playing with these items (and, yes...I'm still finding grass).

I also included two baskets with several eggs in each. We hid and found numerous eggs throughout the week! Mac mastered opening the plastic eggs.

For fine motor skills, Izzie enjoyed matching the large Styrofoam eggs (Dollar Tree) to their correct color. I simply used markers to color on the circular Styrofoam (Dollor Tree).

In addition, I brought back out an activity that she completed last year...transferring eggs from a basket to a plate, using tongs. She didn't use the tongs in last year's picture. I found a cute pair of small bunny tongs at Michael's that she used and was successful in transferring the eggs. She enjoyed this activity the most, unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures!

Both girls enjoyed placing the hanging eggs (Dollar Tree) on the tree (Dollar Tree). Izzie is really excited about patterns, lately, and has been organizing everything into patterns...she really had fun creating patterns with the eggs on the tree.

I adapted an activity that Izzie did last year. Instead of matching up numbers, I made it a little more complicated. I kept the top portion of the egg as a number, then add the correct amount of stickers to the bottom portion of the egg. To keep from getting too frustrated, the eggs were only numbered 1-10. This was probably Izzie's least favorite shelf activity for the week...I think it was too time consuming and since the eggs are circular, some of the stickers went all the way around the egg, which made Izzie loose count and have to start over, again and again.

The musical eggs were also included on the shelf. Mac really enjoys just shaking the eggs and making music with them!

Another activity that Izzie completed last year was this matching shapes game. I really love having activities/games already created that I can bring back out! Even being a year older, she still really enjoyed matching the eggs to the correct shapes!

We traveled for a long Easter weekend to visit my in-laws. The girls had a blast playing and entertaining Grandma and Grandad. We took the girls to an Easter egg hunt, where 10,000 eggs were hidden...and it was super crowded, too crowded. Thankfully, it was sectioned off into age groups, but it was still way too crowed. The girls also had a great time coloring eggs with Grandma.

The girls received this adorable bunny Popsicle holder from their Great Aunt. I was super excited to put it to use! And, as you can tell...the girls were super excited too!

Okay...so, this post layout looks really weird! I tried a new layout...trying to use less space with more pictures and when I previewed the post, it looked like everything was where is was suppose to be. But, now that it's uploaded, everything is out of whack! I'm way too lazy to go back and rewrite this post...back to the old layout, next time!

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