Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bug Drawings!

As an extension of our Sensory Bin...and an extension of our Bug Find Game within the Sensory Bin, we decided to Draw the bugs we saw....and make up our own bugs!


I was shocked by how wonderful and creative Buga was at creating these bugs. I wasn't sure if she would like this activity or not because, right now, she has been more focused making things look like what they are supposed to look like - leaving her creatively frustrated and asking someone else to do it...or she abandoning the project altogether. I was so pleasantly surprised that she did not seem at all intimidated by this activity.

The amount of detail, care, and focus she had for these drawings truly amazed me. I absolutely love her little Scientific Drawings and willtreasure them always.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bug Hunt - Sensory Bin Style

We're Going on a Bug Hunt
We're Looking For Some Bugs!
Sensory Bin Style...

As part of our Spring Sensory Bin, I hid insects throughout the bin for Buga to find.

She can further investigate these bugs with her magnifying glass...

...and then classify or categorize them using Bug Cards I bought last year at the Target Dollar Spot and laminated.

She really enjoyed finding these creatures in our Earth Based Sensory Tub and especially liked being able to match them up to their classification cards.

I also included tongs so she could work on her fine motor skills to pick the bugs up and put them on their corresponding cards.

There are Bug facts on the backs of each card, so we were able to explore them more if she was interested in something specific.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Sensory Bin 2011

We have updated our Sensory Bin a couple weeks ago to a Spring Theme. I love how earthy it turned out and Buga is enjoying the novelty of getting her hands dirty and playing around with the new things she discovers.

I used black beans for the "dirt" and moss for the "grass" in the bin. I put in 6 different flowers - one of each color of the rainbow, tongs, a shovel, plants pots, pretend bugs, a hopping chick and bunny, an backyard book, and insect discovery cards. We have come up with numerous ways to play with these simple objects.

Her favorite thing to do is fill up the pots and put the flowers in them...and then display them around the house for all to see. She also likes to play "flower shop" and go on "bug hunts". She likes to be a scientist, categorizing what she finds and making drawings for her files. Oh yes, a little imagination goes a LONG way...What ways has your little one found to explore the coming Spring?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

*New Product* Lady Bug Learning Play Set

Look What Landed Just In Time For Spring at !

Simply a Color Sorting Mat? Not quite. There is so much room for color and number exploration with these whimsical Springtime Learning Lady Bugs. Teach: Colors, Complimentary Colors, Numbers, One-to-One Ratio Comparisons, Counting, Numeral to Number Recognition, Ordering, Sorting…there are countless ways to play and learn with these delightful little bugs and bright flower “color wheel”. Have your little one practice fine motor skills by pinching and placing these colorful creatures while engaging cognitive development and building mathematical recognition skills. For an added challenge have your little one use a spoon or tongs to transfer these little critters to their proper sorting spots. This play set is sure to foster a great deal of learning through play. Let your imagination take flight.

Because this set is fairly time consuming it is a Made-To-Order Item. Kindly allow 7-10 business days for it to be completed and ready to ship. Thank you!


Each set includes:
One muslin play mat with appliqu├ęd and embroidered felt flower petals
Six additional Flower petals for Number to Numeral matching
36 1 inch, hand-painted, wooden little ladybugs with dotss
6 bugs in each color
Each color set containing numbers 0-5
- These bugs have colored using a nontoxic watercolor wash and sealed with a mixture of organic beeswax and jojoba oil
Muslin drawstring pouch for easy clean-up and transportation

The Little Ladybug Learning Play Set nurtures the following skills:
Number to Numeral Identification
One-To-One Counting
Numeral to Number Manipulative Counting
Color Sorting
Complimentary Color Sorting
Number Ordering

*This play set is not intended for little ones who still explore with their mouths. As with ALL toys, children should always be supervised while at play.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Glimpse of Spring

A glimpse of Spring.

A reminder that Mother Nature waits for no one...not even the weather.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Let's Go Fly a Kite

Ever since we watched Mary Poppins, Buga wants to "Go Fly A Kite" so we recently tried it on an only semi-windy day. Though it didn't get the results we were hoping for, she took great joy in the little flight her penguin kite took. Then she was done. Hopefully we will be able to try again soon on a windier day...


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blast from the Past - Lite Bright

I love how toys I enjoyed when I was young are still around....
This is an actual Lite Bright from when my cousin was young.

And this is Buga enjoying it now - 20 years later.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Story Retelling

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Retelling

These Story Sticks were props for Buga's Birthday party not long ago. Instead of tossing them I, of course, thought they could serve SOME purpose (I have the hardest time throwing anything away!) Needless to say, this was a good garbage-saving decision as Buga has had a lot of educational fun using these props to retell the story of the Hungry Caterpillar. We talk about days of the week; count the fruit in each picture; talk about the colors; talk about nutrition (when does the little caterpillar get a tummy ache? Why?); and rediscover the story together.

It is great fun to hear her retell the story - I love to hear her level of comprehension...and her level of imagination expansion as she simulates the details in her mind. Here she is going through the story with the caterpillar (the blurry one) ... telling him what he eats and when....dictating the story.

What a great activity in comprehension and story-telling. We will be doing this type of thing with other stories we have in the near future.

Here she is choosing what foods she thinks the hungry little bug wants to eat -
today's menu: Cheese!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Family Portrait

Buga drew this picture of Daddy on the white board yesterday....
He even has glasses!

It started as a Daddy-Drawing and...

‎...ended up as a Family Portrait. I love how she is "on top" - I think on Daddy's shoulders. When she drew me she said, "I'm going to draw Mama behind Daddy." :) lol. I don't know what that says about gender roles... haha. I told her to remember "behind every great man, there is a great woman." She told me she was drawing the baby...and she did, right inside my tummy.

I love little pieces like this - little bits of insight into her world.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Nesting a Rainbow - Spring Theme School Time

We have been working on our new Theme... Spring time. In keeping with the theme, I pulled out the Nesting A Rainbow Set I made for Buga (and can be found at She loves playing, pretending, and counting with these adorable rainbow bird family.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

Buga just had a birthday party. We celebrated Eric Carle-style with a Hungry Caterpillar themed party. It was so bright, colorful, and cheerful - just what we all needed this time of year. I did some online searching for party theme ideas and in collaboration with my own ideas, here's what we came up with.

I made the banner above with some Eric Carle Fabric I had round the studio. I thought it made for the perfect Welcome to our Hungry Caterpillar Party.

Here is our Banister Mascot - Mr. Caterpillar. My cousins fashioned a face for him out of construction paper - I think he looks friendly!

Here is our Food Table as we were preparing for the party. I found a Hungry Caterpillar themed game on the clearance shelf at Target after Christmas. It was a card game with the different days and things the caterpillar eats throughout the week. I just used two of the same picture on each popsicle stick and used them to adorn the table and share the story, too.

The "Leaf" he eats is salad. There is a whole Fruit Salad for Monday-Friday when he eats through all the fruit. A Pepperoni and Cheese tray for "Swiss Cheese". Lollipops. Bread. Cake. Yum.

I don't know if you can tell, but the "Strawberries" card is in a bouquet of Grape Kabobs. They are green grapes (for caterpillar bodies) with red strawberries (heads). Buga helped assemble these, too.

Buga requested only a few things for this party.

Party Hats - I couldn't find Hungry Caterpillar ones, but I did find a nice Rainbow Stripe Party Hat I thought would match nicely. I used these and print out jumbo "Happy Birthday" notes and picture Stickers to hide the logo that was already on the party hats. Each hat has one of three different pictures : Caterpillar, Fat Caterpillar, or Butterfly.

Lollipops - Buga wanted lollipops for her party, so when I found these mini rainbow stick pops at Party City I thought they would make the perfect caterpillars. We just cut out caterpillar faces and taped them onto the lollipop sticks.

Party Favors for her friends - We chose to give out Eric Carle Books for party Favors. Right now, Kohls Cares has 4 different stories to choose from. They are hard cover books and they are only $5.00 each - money that goes to charity! Perfect. Hopefully I will be able to get a picture of these for you. It wasn't anything too fancy, just the book with a ribbon attached and a circle printable that said "Happy Birthday Buga!" Each child could choose which book they wanted. I know the Hungry Caterpillar itself is very popular, and most children have this in their library already - so I made sure to have the other 3 available as well.

Favors for the younger ones - you can barely see them in the picture above, but they are there...I found clear plastic tubes at the craft store. We filled them up with Fruit Loops and added a "Happy Birthday Buga" Sticker to the tube. Yum!

Here's Buga Blowing out the Candles on the last thing she wanted at her party : A Cake. It was just a white cake with homemade buttercream icing - I added a hint of almond extract to the cream and it really accented the taste - the adults loved it.

The CAKE!!

We covered the tiers in fondant - though I don't care for the taste, I LOVE how clean it looks. Buga helped me put all those gumballs around the tiers. I just piped icing along the crease and we placed all different colors all the way around. I like how collaged it looks - perfect effect.

These are the circles for cake topper. When I cut out the "holes" in the food, I used the "hole" for this project. I inserted a 23 gauge wire through the circle and we painted each of them. Here they are collected in a jar.

I cut out all the food free-hand with a knife while looking at the pages of the book to account for all the pieces. I had lots of helpers who were willing to paint them while I put Buga to sleep. They just used food coloring and paint brushes to color the food pieces.

Here is the finished cake with all the fruit (Monday - Friday) on the bottom tier....
and all the junk food (Saturday) on the middle tier.

I like how the 3-d caterpillar on top turned out with all the shooting circles around him.
It was such a bright, happy cake!