1John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Library & Sunshine

We took a trip to the library yesterday. 
We arrived as soon as it opened and had the whole children's section to ourselves.  Perfect!
I love the size of these tables.
The kids all enjoy books and will often choose them in our playroom during their free time.  It's always exciting to see so many books that we aren't used to seeing!  We filled our book bag so that we have some fresh stories for group time.  The kids often bring me books that they think we should check out.
Back at Henle House, it was a beautiful sunny day!  
The girls have been enjoying the horses. 
It feels so good to feel the sunshine!  It's very freeing not to have to wear a jacket.  It also feels really good to be able to sit outside and read.  My mom and I stopped at a used book store in Duvall over the weekend and I have a stack of books to get through.  The hardest part is choosing which one to read first!
I am enjoying all of the new tulips.  I forgot that we planted so many last Fall.  OH, I miss Fall already.  I am surprised by that.  I guess some things never change! 
♥♥♥Happy Tuesday!♥♥♥

Monday, March 30, 2015

Bumblebee Puppet

It's that time of year, the kids LOVE to sing the bumblebee song.  I thought we should create a bumblebee puppet to go along with the song.
They love this, and love to act it out while singing. 
In reality, some of the kids get panicky if they see a bee outside.  There are lots of blossoms on the fruit trees, and the bees are waking up from winter hibernation.  I'm trying to teach the kids that if they see a bee near them, to hold very still and slowly back away.  They are getting better at not swatting and screaming.  
One painted hand turns into a bumblebee.
They added a head, some wax paper wings, a stinger, and then drew a face.
♥♥♥Happy Monday!♥♥♥

Friday, March 27, 2015

Chicks & Zuko Finds A Friend

It is Spring, the perfect time to create chick art. 
They just worked on art.  No bells or whistles, just art.  
They learned that the best way to glue tissue paper to the construction paper is to apply the glue to the construction paper FIRST.
The best part?
Everyone wrote their own names, without any help from me. (Insert giant smile HERE!)
"Baby Zuko" isn't actually a baby.  He's 2 1/2 I think, and he has made friends with the orange cat that lives behind us.  They had been frolicking in the warm sunshine for hours and I finally got my camera out.  Smudge will only spend minimal time with any of our cats, and I have never seen him associate with orange kitty.  One time the orange kitty came to our back door, and Smudge was so upset that he hid behind me and followed me around for an hour.  I think he was upset that a cat could come to his door. 
"Hey, where ya goin'?"
"I must dominate you because the cats at my house will not let me dominate them."   I can tell Zuko loves being boss.  I think one of his parents was Siamese.  He has many Siamese traits.
After a playful tumble, orange kitty bowed down.  Look at Zu's face.  He's proud.
Look at Smudge, being perfect. (But rude.)  I feel bad that he doesn't want to be friendly to the other cats.  I still love him most, and he knows it.
♥♥♥Happy Friday!♥♥♥

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Free Day

I didn't like the worksheet I had planned for yesterday.  I was also feeling sluggish and, well, slightly off.  It is days like that when I realize that it would be helpful to have an assistant.  The rain was pouring down, we were all inside for most of the day.  The noise level was rising.. consistently...  
I got out some activities.  The kids had a free day!  They LOVE free day, and I usually feel guilty about free days.  I guess I have to remember that I am not a machine, and those "off" days will happen.  I grabbed my favorite distractions for the kids.  Above is the Pop Up Pirate game.  It's perfect for 3-5 year olds.
In the living room, a giant floor puzzle waited for the kids.  They spent most of the morning working on it.  
My "off" day continued into late afternoon, and I got out the Rush Hour game for the school age boys.   Everyone kept busy!  Things are back "on" this morning.  It is already a beautiful Spring day and the ducks have been here for breakfast.
♥♥♥Happy Thursday!♥♥♥

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fifteen Fingers

We are counting to fifteen.  I knew I wanted to use handprints for art so the kids could count fifteen fingers.  I also knew that I wanted to find a way for them to create a bright and colorful background with minimal preparation and minimal mess.  (I was feeling lazy.)
Paint Dot to the rescue!  The kids used them to just dot colors onto the paper until it was one big colorful page of dots!
They love using these. 
Using black paint for the handprints would surely make them POP.
As usual, the kids were patient as they waited for their turn.  
When we have hands being painted, if it is just ONE hand, we will use baby wipes to clean up with.  They are effective and convenient.
The kids glued the number 15 onto their art, and together we counted all of the fingers.
I love the results! 
Meanwhile, three ducks and a crow were hanging out by the driveway and watching us in the playroom.  They had already had their morning bread, but hung out just incase we parted with some more.
The rain is still raining, and the Spring flowers are still blooming.
♥♥♥Happy Wednesday!♥♥♥

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Pumpkin Didn't Break Down

The pumpkin is rock hard, and almost completely dry.  I guess we will not have any rogue pumpkin vines growing!  What to do with the hardened shell, paint it?  I honestly did not expect this result, especially in a garden full of worms and bugs, in a state as wet as Washington.  
The kids are working on the letter Pp this week.  As we get closer to the end of the preschool year, we move more quickly through the alphabet.  The kids got busy with the scissors and cut up their own worksheets.
We glued them onto purple paper.  
Easy peazy!
I heard a commotion coming from the lake.  
It was a  gaggle of geese frolicknig in the water, honking as if they want us all to know how much fun they were having.  
♥♥♥Happy Tuesday!♥♥♥

Monday, March 23, 2015

Owl Puppets

It's an angry owl.  Or me, before coffee.  (Or maybe after a little bit TOO MUCH coffee?)  We finished working with the letter O Friday, and created some simple paper bag owl puppets.
The pieces were cut out before, and I gave them to the kids and let them decipher where they should place them.  Too much direction can kill creativity.  This was pretty fool proof, though. 
I didn't take many photos.  
I love the owl puppets!  The pupils that were drawn in really convey mood, don't you think?  I think they are just as expressive as hands.  Click HERE to see the mouse puppet project from 2011.  I've got them all filed in my head.
Meanwhile, I was about to squash a giant spider when I realized that it was his lunch that was giant.  What an overachiever! I let it live.  Gross.
♫Now playing at Henle House- 'Daniel' by Elton John.  Good stuff!♫
♥♥♥Happy Monday!♥♥♥

Friday, March 20, 2015

Crayon Resist Letter O

To practice writing the letter Oo, we drew some on our papers to watercolor.  
I drew some sample letter o's for them to look at as they attempted to draw their own.
We used lots of different colored oil pastels.  I realized it had been a while since we used the watercolors and we needed some instruction.
In the past, it was age appropriate for me to just use a spray bottle and spray water onto the paints for the kids as the water ran out.  The group I have now is capable of using a small cup of water without causing disaster.  (I know, water clearly does NOT cause disaster, but I'm a little bit of an organization freak.) 
They learned how to mix the water into the paint to make it work.
Most of them just painted the inside of their o's.  The goal of a crayon resist is for them to see how the crayon POPS when they paint over it.  
Only one child asked me how it does that.  "Because the crayon is made of wax, and wax is waterproof."  (Long silent stare... I guess she was letting that sink in.)
I like that this project requires steps.  They must apply water, mix and then apply that to the paper.  It takes some thought, therefore, took some time. 
I love the results!
Of course, I think they are all geniuses.
Today is the first day of Spring!  We have been counting down for a couple of weeks now.  Right on cue-- Washington Spring presents us with cloudy rain.
The kids repeated my own words back to me this morning when they heard me whining,"Rain rain go away."  "But you said the garden NEEDS the rain so it can be happy."  "Ducks like the rain." 
 Kids listen to EVERYTHING. 
♥♥♥Happy Friday!  Happy Spring!♥♥♥