Sunday, February 27, 2011

Trekking across The States - California

This week we headed off to California (I wish it was in real life!!). There is so much to learn about this vast state! We fit in what we could but there are so many other things we could have done. Don't forget to get some other great ideas from Montessori Tidbits and Get Down and Get Your Hands Dirty.

We completed our cut, color and paste page with a few facts about California. Just noticed a typo on this's fixed in the download!

After looking at some pictures of giant Redwoods, I made some for Channing to measure with unifix cubes. He then filled out the "How does it measure up" page.

Aren't Golden Poppies beautiful?! We made one using coffee filters, a pipe cleaner and some yellow foam. You can find a link here which will show you how to make red poppies. We pretty much made ours the same way but added the yellow foam inside instead of the black pom pom.

Here is a great poem by Paul Perro about the California Goldrush. I read it a number of times to Channing during the week. I love that it tells the story in such a kid friendly way! If Channing was a little older, I would have done some more study on what it was like trying to find gold.....maybe in a few years.
We painted a coloring page of someone panning for gold.

We also learned a little about the Golden Gate bridge. We made this picture and stuck our little fact book about the bridge at the top. I had high hopes of using toothpicks but it didn't really work out (maybe with older kids?). We found some great info from this site.

Who can learn about California without learning a few things about the beach! We did a land and sea animal sort. I didn't want to do too many beachy things as I want to do a beach unit later in the year and will do LOTS more activities then.

We also read "A house for Hermit Crab" by Eric Carle and then made these adorable fact books about hermit crabs. You'll find the shell and the facts on the download but there is no pattern for the body of the hermit crab, I just free handed it on scrapbook paper. Trust me, I can't draw at all so if I can make one up, you can too :-)

Apparently Caesar Salad was first made by an Italian Restaurant named Caesar Cardini in Tijuana, Mexico in 1924. Hollywood stars travelling there fell in love with it and brought it back to LA with them. It became very popular there and eventually it' popularity spread across the States. It's one of my favorites too.

We made some on Friday night with pizza for the boys and then did this simple sequencing activity.

Some other things we did but I didn't get photos of:

California quarter rubbing

PowerPoint from the members section on 1+1+1=1

Looked at shells and played with them in a little tub with water and sand.

Used the same sand bucket, got some rocks from the yard (gold) put them in the sand and used a sieve to try to find it.

Read LOTS of books.

The cute graphics you see in the "Trekking" button are from Scrappin Doodles. Thank you Denyse for allowing us to use them!

I am going to link this to:

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Just wanted to share my excitement with you! I was recently contacted by
to let me know that my blog was featured in their 50 best blogs for Preschool Parents and Teachers!! WOW!!!! I am totally honored :-)
You can check out the link here (you'll find me under "Kid friendly activities")
Thanks so much,!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Sorry for being MIA - Channing has a double ear infection, Sully has bronchitis and both Mike and I have a bad cold! What a week!!! Hopefully we'll be feeling better soon :-)

Monday, February 7, 2011

And the winner is.....

Congratulations Miller moments: "I signed up for the newsletter". You have won the Valentines give away!!!

I used to find the winner. A huge THANK YOU to everyone that participated :-) There may be another give away coming up in March!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Trekking across The States - Arizona

Welcome to our adventure in Arizona. If you need your own passport to join us on our adventure, please click here. It was a bit of a higilty pigilty week this week as we had to travel to attend "Tractor Pap's" funeral....we didn't get everything done that I had planned - there was so much to cover and so many interesting things to learn about Arizona.

First of all we did a cut and paste activity that had a map of Arizona, the ridge-nosed rattlesnake and a cactus. I let Channing watercolor them this time since he does not enjoy coloring at all!

We then did a counting activity with rattlesnakes.

Here is a matching activity that we did.

I decided to focus on 2 native American Tribes from Arizona (although there are a lot more).....we studies the Apache tribe and the Navajo tribe. I don't have pictures of all the worksheets and activities that we did but we looked at their daily life, the clothes they wore, the houses they lived in and the foods they ate/hunted.

We learned that Apache woman gathered nuts, berries, corn and other fruits and vegetables.

We also learned that the Navajo tribe were farmers, hunters and gatherers. They hunted on horseback and grew beans, pumpkins, squash and other fruits and vegetable's. Sheep were very important to them because they used the wool for clothes and meat. Corn was also very important to them and they believed that supernatural beings called "corn people" protected they corn. They held special ceremonies to honor the "corn people".

An Apache legend says that a boy needs to race to the top of a mountain and down again before the sun rises to be fit enough to enter manhood. Based on this, I made a little game for Channing to play. The Apache boy starts at the red circle and the sun starts at the bottom of the squares. You need a dice (preferably a dice with only 1-3 on it). If Channing rolled a 2, the sun moved up 1 space, if he rolled a 1 or a 3, the Apache boy got to move that many spaces up the mountain....the aim is to get the boy up and down the mountain before the sun gets to the top of the squares! Channing had a blast with this game and it was great because he could play it by himself while I worked on dinner!

We also played some Apache games......... Toe Toss Stick and Foot Toss Ball (you can find the instructions of the download).

The Navajo tribe were known for their beautiful weaving. We tried our hand at weaving - Channing found this VERY hard........I think we'll do some more practice - I noticed that counting coconuts has a great weaving activity this month that we'll have to try.

We completed a mapping exercise where we had to look at a map of Arizona and find where all the places were and stick them in the correct place on the was a little squashy, but we got hem all on.

We also did a bit of a study on the Sonoran Desert and the Saguaro Cactus. You'll find a page of facts about the Saguaro Cactus in the download but 2 interesting things we found out is that this particular cactus grows VERY slowly when it is takes about 10 years for them to grow to be almost an inch tall......another interesting fact is that this cactus can hold a lot of water - 4/5th's of it's weight! I found a great website with lots of great facts!

We also studies some animals that live in the dessert like Bobcats, Collard Lizards, tarantulas, Gila Monsters, Western Diamond Back rattlesnakes and Kangaroo Rats...........we found out how each animal has something special about them them helps them survive in the dessert. We actually made a book out of our facts but I didn't take any pictures. You can find the information we used about each animal on the download. I found a lot of informations (along with pictures of each aniamls here.

The cute graphics for the "trekking" button are from Scrappin Doodles. Thank you Denyse for allowing me to use them!

Don't forget to check out Montessori Tidbits and Get down and get your hands dirty for some other awesome ideas on Arizona.

We're gearing up for our trek to Arkansas next week :-)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Number 1-20 See, Trace and Make cards

I created a set of number See, Trace and Make cards over the weekend. These will be very helpful over the next few years I'm sure!
This activity will soon be available in my TPT store.