Your kids are never too young to hear about family stories. My 3.5 yr old went through a faze of wanting to play camping trip every day. We would get out our sleeping bags and make a tent out of sheets and chairs. I should include that “faze” maybe the wrong word since I still have to pretend to camp every day. These pretend camping adventures brought me back to when I was a little girl and went camping with my family. I started to tell my son all the different camping stories I remembered. His favorite one I tell is about when my dad, mom, brother, and I were camping in a tent at a campground. A storm came and it started to sprinkle, then rain, then lightning, then thunder, then downpour. The tent buckled under the weight of the pond-sized puddle on top and it came down on us. My 5’11’ mom used her pole-sized leg to hold the tent up (my dad was 5’8”). This story always makes my son laugh.
Activity 1: Sit down with your kids and look through old family albums. Tell them stories you remember as your look through the pictures. Look through their baby book with them and tell them stories about when they were babies. Make a journal of memories so you can give them to your children someday.
Activity 2: Have your child ask grandparent’s and even great-grandparent’s questions and record the answers in a notebook or album. Here are some examples of questions they could ask:
1) What kind of games did you play when you were little?
2) Did you play any instruments?
3) What were your parents like? What memories do you have of them?
4) What kind of holiday traditions did your family celebrate?
5) What was your favorite place to visit?
6) Favorite story involving a sibling.
7) Favorite recipes: include copies in the album
8) What kind of jobs did you have?
9) Happiest day of your life?
10) Worse day of your life?
This website lets you type in your last name to see where it came from. http://genealogy.familyeducation.com/family-names-surnames/meaning-origin
Pictured above: My grandpa as a baby. Wasn’t he cute? 🙂
Final book for Math March is Shapes by Janie Louise Hunt. Since I’ve written about math books for older kids I wanted to include this one because my 16 month old wants me to read him this book every day. It is a cute rhyming story and the shapes have different textures for little fingers to touch. This book is a Busy Fingers Touch and Learn book and there are other books like: Follow the Line, 123, and ABC. Touch and feel books like this help children begin to love books. He also said “a-pole” for the first time after seeing a picture of an apple in this book. So there is a chance I might be biased toward this book because of that. 🙂
Actually saying “favorite” is probably not entirely true since their favorite snacks would be cookies, candy, or cake. I’ll say these are the snacks my kids will actually eat since they are picky. 🙂
1) Apple slices with PB
2) Apple slices with cheese
3) Ants on a log (celery, PB, raisins)
4) Light Cool whip with sugar-free pudding sprinkled on top (you can mix it in also)
5) Applesauce jello (I use raspberry jello)
6) Cut-up Peppers (orange, yellow) with Hummus dip
7) Cut-up prunes (not joking!)
8) Cuties (sweeter than oranges and easier to peel)
9) Yogurt and Cottage cheese mixed
10) Frozen fruit (in a bag in freezer section) mixed with white grape juice
I should just call this Math March since all the books I’ve recommended are children’s math books. Dang it! Now I have to figure out one more math book for next week. It shouldn’t be hard since David Adler has written many math books for kids. Fraction Fun is another great one for learning fractions. His books are very colorful and have some great hands-on activites to learn fractions. The only activity I didn’t like in this book was one that included using a small scale and coins. You need to weigh the coins on the scale to figure out the ounces. If you don’t have a scale you can’t do that one. He does use a pizza to teach fractions, but I think he should have made that a hands-on activity. Mommy ate 7/8’s of the pizza, how many slices do you have to eat?
Upper Left: Paper towel stacking. Count how many you can stack.
Upper Right: Lid toss. Get a bucket and toss tupperware lids in it. Count how many you make. Could make it into a competition (for the competitive-type people like myself).
Pictured above: Up and away. Put a small fan facing toward the ceiling and throw plastic grocery bags into the fan wind and watch them fly.
Pictured above: Spray bottle target practice. Make a target out of paper and fill up a spray bottle. Set the sprayer to spray a streaming line.
SHAPE UP! by David Adler is a great book to learn shapes and polygons. The one thing I absolutely love about David Adler book’s is he includes activities to do to help really let the information sink in. He has you use pretzel sticks to make an equilateral triangle and then take a bite out of one to make an isosceles triangle. This book is geared for ages 6 and up, but I still read it to my 3.5 yr old because he won’t know what a dodecagon is unless I show him (it’s a 12-sided polygon, by the way. I didn’t know what a 12-sided polygon was until I read this book. Now I sound smart!)
Wall Art/Photo Frame Ideas
We are now hanging pictures in our new house so I thought I’d share. Sorry I don’t have a very good camera or photography skills. The first picture is of our new art wall. I spent hours on pinterest trying to find a way to hang the kiddos art and still be able to change it easily. There are lots of great ideas, but most were time-consuming and too pretty. I say pretty because there were some really cool painted frames with a clip to hold pictures, but I have boys, so the pretty frames weren’t going to look good if they draw a picture of mommy getting stitches in her leg. There is also a picture frame you can buy at places like Target that the door opens and you can change out the picture (for just one it was going to be $15). Another person had painted cookie sheets and used a magnetic to hang drawings. All were great ideas, but I wanted the drawings to be the focus on the wall.
Picture 2 & 3: Close-up of the sign holders.
Picture 4 & 5: The first finger paintings my sons did and the photo of them doing it. Used a cheap 11×14 document frame from Wal-Mart and turned the backing around so the black color would show through. I also wrote a little tag with the date and their age underneath the photo.
Picture 6: Pictures of them taking a bath together. Hanging in the bathroom. My mom’s cousin gave me this idea.
Picture 7 & 8: Pics of me and my hubby (much younger photos) and hung like pics you would take in a photo booth. We made silly faces and printed them in black and white.
Picture 9 & 10: Old pages of a children’s workbook from 1960’s that was in my grandparent’s attic. I love #10 picture.
Picture 11: Plates we got at a garage sale and hung over the kitchen sink with plate disc hangers.
Anno’s Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno has been around for many years. Like before I was born amount of years. I had this book when I was little and now I bought it for my boys. It’s a great book for learning to count. On the side of each page is cubes counting up to whatever number it is. The pictures are great and they add up to the number as well. For example: The pages for number 8 have 8 houses, 8 children playing, 8 clouds in the sky, 8 trees, etc. I have learned that my 3.5 yr old cheats and looks at the number on the side of the page instead of counting objects so I just cover the number with my hand. He’s a clever little devil. 🙂
First there is an empty field. The it is January, the first month of the year.
All alone in the snow stands 1 yellow house. In front, 1 child builds a snowman.
Behind the house is 1 tree and 1 black cow. Now, five months later, it is June.
There are 6 buildings in the field, 6 children playing, and 6 adults working.
One adult tends 6 ducks. Another drives a trains with 6 cars. From 1 to 12,
through the months of the year, the town grows. More houses and trees and
animals and people can be seen until December arrives with all it’s magic.