Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Homeschool: X Marks the Spot

Our letter this week was X.  There aren't many preschool words that start with X so we did a treasure hunt theme.  The girls read books about treasure hunts and treasure maps.  They went on a photo treasure hunt.  And this week we started our sensory box.  We'll change it out for each theme, but this week it had X's in it.  They also did letter X worksheets from education.com and twistynoodle.com.

 X Marks the Spot and The Treasure Map turned out to be awesome books.  The girls flipped through and found all the X's.  There were a lot!

 Photo Treasure Hunt : I took photos of random places in our house, printed them out, and placed them around the house where one photo would lead to the next with the last photo being our homework table with a prize on it.  Our girls are 3 so they had to be simple, recognizable places but you could make this harder for older kids by zooming in on an object so they'd have to figure it out more.  They LOVED this game and we played it several times.  It was good exercise for us too - running around the house and up and down the stairs.

 The prize!  CANDY!

 This is our sensory box.  It's a small "shoebox" reusable container filled with dry rice.  I threw in anything with an X on it this week plus some other random little things they'd have to sort through like a golf ball, hair clip, other letters, etc.  You could make this harder for older kids by putting in objects that start with X. 

I've mentioned my kids are freaks right?  I drew a "map" on our white board with dotted lines that led to an "X".  They had to trace the lines to get to the "X".  We talked about directional words like around, left, right, next to, etc. as well as colors...."go around the purple bike."

 Yarn X's.  The girls glued bits of yarn to paper to make X's.

That's it!  Next up...Y is for Yellow Yarn.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Book Review : Dear America Series

I highly recommend the Dear America series.  These books are probably written for kids in the 11-14 age group but I enjoy reading them too.  All books in this series are historical fiction and written about topics such as segregation, racism, life on the prairie, Native American hardships, and The Dust Bowl.  My kids (7 & 3) like to look at the authentic photos in the back of the book.  We get to talk about them together...about how lucky they are today and how life wasn't so easy 100...or even 50...years ago for a lot of kids.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Oklahoma Aquarium

We ventured out to the Oklahoma Aquarium today.  This is one of those every three years outings because it costs SO MUCH to get in.  They keep adding to it so every three years is probably good anyway.  Our favorite part is the Touch Tanks and Feeding Tanks.  More information at OKaquarium.org.

This is one of the fairly new exhibits.  It's home to Beavers, River Otters, and Racoons.

Feeding Turtles.  SO COOL!

The Shark exhibit.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

V is for Valentine

Here's a collection of our V is for Valentine activities!  We also did letter V worksheets from Education.com and Twistynoodle.com.

Crayon Shaving Art

Pattern Heart Garland

Heart Doily Art

Tissue Paper Heart Collage

Letter V Collage - You could also use heart stickers.  We use tissue paper a lot because we have tons left over from birthdays...and it's cheap.  And the girls get to practice their glue skills.  "Just a dot!  Not a lot!"

Toilet Paper Roll Heart Stamps

Heart Math - I borrowed this idea from a Dr. Seuss blog.  She created a Fish Bowl sheet where kids could count Goldfish crackers to go along with the story, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.

And of course, Heart Pancakes

Next up!  X Marks the Spot!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Dinner

Anyone else crave pasta with red sauce on Valentine's Day?  This is what we're having for dinner tonight with a salad and Chocolate Pudding Pie for dessert!

Stuffed Shells with Sneaky Spinach
1 small tub ricotta cheese (I use part-skim)
1 small tub cottage cheese (I use low-fat)
1 pkg. Italian or Mozzarella cheese
1/2 box jumbo shell pasta
1 15 oz can tomato sauce (I use Hunt's)
Fresh spinach

While shells are boiling, mix together the ricotta and cottage cheeses, 2/3 pkg of shredded cheese, and chopped spinach.  Some recipes say to cook the spinach for 4-5 minutes and drain.  It's really not necessary.  They also say to add an egg.  I don't do that either.  At this point I add in some salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning too.

Pour 1/4 can sauce in pan.  Stuff shells with cheese mixture and place in pan with the opening down.

Top with rest of sauce and shredded cheese.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes.