Friday, September 27, 2013

Cheap Entertainment: Household Items Turned Toys

I don't know why we buy any toys! Actually, it's others that buy us the toys...but either son only wants to play with household items like remotes, bottles etc. I thought I'd post a mini series called "Cheap Entertainment" to show some of the creative ways we entertain our one and a half year old. Right after school got out last year, we redid our guest room/craft room {Junk Room} and turned it into an amazing toy room! Graysen does love it, but the toys in there do not get played with as much as some other random things we find around the house. Here are some examples of the things we've done lately to entertain Graysen. 

Fine motor is extremely important for little ones' development. I kept telling Tim that we need to get some lacing cards for Graysen and then it hit me...make my own! Duh! I cut Cookie Monster out of a cereal box so that it was sturdyish cardboard and then just punched holes around his head. I took an old shoelace out of a shoe that Tim never wears and Voila! Lacing Card!

 While getting supper ready one night, all Graysen wanted to do what pull everything out of the cupboard. I saw the empty spaghetti holder sitting on the counter, so I grabbed a handful of skinny straws that we had in the cupboard. (We always have a MILLION straws at our house.) There are two different sized holes in the top of the spaghetti holder to measure one serving or two, so he had a blast sticking the straws in and then shaking them out. 

 Another game that turned into being absolutely pure genius, was a game that involved paper cups (we happened to have a sleeve of Sesame Street ones in the cupboard), a muffin tin and the umpteen hundred tennis balls we have around the house. First, the game started by me stacking cups for Graysen to knock over. He then stacked them, unstacked them, etc. The dog brought one of his mini balls over to play and Graysen stuck it under a cup. Shadow hit all the cups over until he found the ball. A new game was born that stimulated both of their minds! I then brought out a muffin tin and we put the cups and balls in the holes. We tried to throw the mini balls into the cups, hid treats under the balls for Shadow and had a blast mixing and matching the items in the cups. These simple things entertained him for SO LONG! I should have been productive during that time, but it was too much fun to watch him learn and explore!

Game On!

Learning Through Movement: Sight Word Hop Scotch

I saw a post on Pinterest, where someone had taped sight words to the floor in a hop scotch pattern. I instantly remembered how I used dry erase crayons to number the tile floor where they should line up last year. Instead of taping pieces of paper to the floor, I used dry erase crayons to drew a hop scotch pattern and then filled it with sight words and decodable words for my First Grade Tile 1 students. The Second and Third graders were jealous and wanted to do it too. I think I'll be making a second one with their sight words and possibly math facts! The kids love seeing if they can do it faster than they did yesterday. (fluency builder) The crayon comes right off with a little bit of rubbing and a tennis ball on the end of a broom handle takes it off really fast! 

Happy Hopping!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Painting Class

Yesterday my friend and I took an incredibly fun furniture painting class. We learned three different techniques. Distressed, Color Wash and Two Tone. I love distressing so I did it to all three sample boards. This picture is before the distressing. I chose a minty teal as my color to work with and Cassie chose coral.

We each brought a picture frame to paint as a mini project. My frame was black to start with and had goldenrod stars on it. (super country) I did nothing to it before painting it because it didn't really have a finish. I like how the black came out when I distressed it. I used my mint as a base then some emerald and coral accents. I love how it turned out! I can't wait to paint everything in our house! What an amazing DIY day that started with a painting class and ended with an auction. Check out the awesome accent moldings I scored. Those will be made over soon!