Sunday, January 30, 2011

P is for Penguins (Ella's Activities)

This week the girls are learning about the letter Pp.  We chose penguins as our main theme for the learning.  Ella also worked on the colors black and white, like the colors of a penguin.  My littlest penguin dressed in her black and white clothes and excitedly started school.

Arin was my big helper with the prep work of Ella's learning activities today.  One of Arin's favorite activities is to use the 1" circle punch.  She punched out several black circles and several white circles. 

Ella placed these circles on clear contact paper (always a hit with the girls) and then I cut out the letter P for her.  We also reviewed the sound that the letter P makes.

Ella worked with her penguin matching cards.  She still likes to pretend that she doesn't know where the cards go, but as soon as I agree that she has it right, she quickly says, "noooo!!" (in a sweet, but teasing voice) and changes it to the right place.

I printed some cute, little penguins which we used in several activities.  First, I placed five penguins in front of Ella.  Then, I asked her to find a specific one, such as "Find the penguin that is to the left of the pink one" or "Find the penguin that is under the pink penguin".

Next, I told Ella to place one of the penguins in front of her.  She picked the pink, which is no surprise since that is her favorite color.  I gave her simple commands, such as, "Place the green penguin next to the pink one" and "Place the yellow penguin on top of the green one".

We lined all ten of the penguins up and Ella practiced her counting skills.
Ella loves to play with magnets on the refrigerator, so I covered the penguins in clear contact paper and attached a magnet to the back of each.  Ella practiced matching the penguin colors together.
Finally, we used the penguins in the way they were intended.  I sang a penguin song, while Ella placed the penguins on the refrigerator.  Arin loved the song and caught on to it quickly.  Later, her and Ella were in the kitchen playing with the magnets and Arin was singing the song for Ella.

Ten Little Penguins
(tune: Ten Little Indians)

One little...two little...three little penguins...
four little...five little...six little penguins...
seven little...eight little...nine little penguins...
ten little penguins dancing on the ice.

Count them...count them...count them with me...
count them...count them...count them with me...
count them...count them...count them with me...
ten little penguins dancing on the ice.

Ten little...nine little...eight little penguins...
seven little...six little...five little penguins...
four little...three little...two little penguins...
one little penguin dancing on the ice.

I quickly learned from our Snow Day, that pom poms are fun manipulatives.  For our penguin activities, we used black and white pom poms.  In front of Ella, I laid out several of the circles that Arin had punched for us, creating a simple pattern.  Then, she took the pom poms and recreated the pattern underneath the circles.

Arin did not want to miss out on the pom pom fun, so she participated with the next activity. I placed piles of the pom poms, along with two bowls in front of each of the girls.  They each had a pair of tweezers which they used to transfer the pom poms from the pile on the floor, into the bowls (all black in one bowl and all white in another).

Some of the books that I read to Ella included:
Penguins ABC by Kevin Schafer
Penguin Dreams by J. Otto Seibold and V. L. Walsh
Penguins by Liz Pichon
Bold and Bright Black-and-White Animals by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
About Penguins: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill
Penguins and Their Chicks by Margaret Hall

*Check back later this week to see Arin's Penguin Activities*

Linked to: Tot School

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Four and a Half

We made mini cupcakes because it is only a half birthday and not a real birthday :)
Arin is officially four and a half! 
Year three went by slowly, but year four is flying by!

About Arin

I feel happy when...daddy comes home.
I feel sad when...I bump into stuff.
I like to play with...daddy.
I love to

My daddy is...happy.
My mommy is...happy.
Ella is...happy.
I am...happy.

My favorite song is...Mary Had a Little Lamb and the Curious George song (Upside Down by Jack Johnson)
My favorite fruit is...strawberries, peaches, apples, pears, oranges, and watermelon.
My favorite movies are...A Bug's Life, How to Train Your Dragon, and Tangled.
My favorite color is...all of the colors except gray, black, and white.
My favorite food is...grilled cheese sandwiches and strawberries.
My favorite toy is...all of my toys.
My best friend is...Abby.

I'm excited about...parties.
The best thing I do with daddy.
I don't like to...climb trees because they are so dangerous! (she climbs trees every chance she gets)
I like to go to...Chuck E. Cheese's, Busch Gardens, and Sea World (she's never been to Busch Gardens or Sea World, but very much wants to).

My favorite sport
My favorite school activity is...learning about lions.
My favorite art activity is...painting.
My favorite book is...Tangled.
My favorite bible story is...Noah's Ark.
My favorite thing to cook is...pancakes with daddy.

Do you like to take naps...No!
What is your favorite thing to do with daddy? Everything and play the Wii with him.
What is your favorite thing to do with mommy? Paint
What is your favorite thing to do with your sister? Play with her.
What do you want to be with you grow up? A fireman, a police officer, a doctor, a ballet dancer, a princess, and an artist.

What is the best thing about being four? Being a sister!

See Also:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Celebrating Daddy

Andrew turned the big 2-8 this week.  Yes, he's so young!  For some reason, I really feel OLD.  Perhaps it's because, he still has two years before he even reaches 30 and I have already been in my 30's for almost two years???  Nah, that couldn't be the reason...

As soon as Arin heard that it was her daddy's birthday, she immediately started planning the party that she wanted to throw for him.  It was such a sweet gesture that she wanted to make her daddy feel special.  My little party planner insisted on decorations, cupcakes, party dresses for her and Ella, presents, and daddy's favorite food (steak).

We hung a Happy Birthday sign on the outside of the door, so daddy could see it when he came home from work.

We made a birthday sign in the hallway that Andy could see when he walked into the house.  On each of the stars, the girls said something about their daddy.

 (*ahem* I just noticed I missed the s on things.  Ignore that!)
Then we hung several other paper stars throughout the house. The girls decorated these stars with stickers, regular markers and Do-A-Dot markers.  During dinner Arin asked her daddy if he knew why she hung stars all over the house.  He said he didn't know.  She told him, "Because, you are the star of the family!"  How sweet is that???

Both of the girls raided the pantry to find presents for their daddy.  Arin picked an unopened box of PopTarts (in a flavor we had never tried) and Ella picked an unopened bag of Jolly Ranchers.  (This brought back memories to me.  One year on Father's Day, I didn't have anything new to give my dad, so I went around the house finding things that we already had.  I remember wrapping his comb and giving it to him.)  Both of the girls decorated gift bags with stickers.  Inside the bags, they put the presents along with homemade cards.

For dinner, we made Andy's favorite - marinated, grilled steaks.  We found this marinade recipe about a year and a half or so ago and we LOVE it!

1/3 c. olive oil
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. dijon mustard
6 minced cloves of garlic
Mix all of the ingredients together and pour over the steak.  Refrigerate for several hours (we usually do about six).  Remove from refrigerator and allow to come almost to room temperature before grilling.

We made red velvet cupcakes for dessert.  Arin requested blue frosting, since she said that is her daddy's favorite color.

Andy said this was one of his best birthdays.  It really meant so much to him that his girls took so much time to plan everything for him.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Police Station Field Trip

Last week, we took a field trip to the police station.  We all really enjoyed it, though the girls took a LONG time warming up to the officer showing us around.  By the way, that officer just so happens to be their uncle (Andrew's oldest brother).

Waiting for the tour to begin.

Junior Deputies

Grumpy Girl (this is how they both were the first half of the time we were there).

Showing off their new backpacks.

Ella LOVES stuffed animals.  As soon as she saw this one sitting on the table, she ran to it and gave it a big hug!

Checking the Evidence

The girls and Andy were locked in a holding cell.

Will Uncle Mike let them out?

This is the room that you enter into before going to the holding cell.  They take your picture and use their metal detectors to make sure you don't have any weapons on you.

The girls checked out a police truck.  This is the one they take around to community events.

Uniform Storage Room.

Uncle Mike gave the girls both bike helmets. (Thank you!)

Both girls were offered a ride on the police segway, but both were scared of it, so Andy took a ride instead.

Checking out the workout room.

All of the people were so friendly to us.  Everytime we stopped by someone's desk, they were handing out candy and stickers to the girls.

Once we saw Aunt Nikki, the girls really warmed up and started enjoying themselves.  We should have brought them by her desk when we first arrived.

The girls in the training room.

Mike showing us some of the police equipment.

Checking out a police car.

Trying on protective gear.

Let me out of here!

Getting finger printed.

Thank you Uncle Mike for a great field trip!