Tuesday, May 21, 2013

::April Boards of the Past::

Well here's my boards from April. I forgot to post them. April is often a little tricky, sometimes there's Easter and sometimes, like this year, there isn't. Most times I just go with a spring theme. It's pretty safe.

Here's my board from 2011. We made Easter eggs and I turned them into an "Easter egg tree." 
 Here's my board from 2012: One of my very favorites. We made sheep by blowing bubbles with paint and cute little chicks. Those sheep are one of my very favorite projects I've ever done. 
 I know I already shared this board, but I figured I'll put all the April boards in one spot. :)

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::May Board UPDATE::

So I messed up. I forgot to post my April boards from the past! This is actually my board for May. And June. Oops. We made little scuba men and I for one think they're adorable! I don't think there's much to explain because the board speaks for itself. 

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

::Zoomer - Book Review::

I recently discovered the "Zoomer" books by Ned Young. I am in love. They're wonderfully crafted stories with imagination and creativity. Currently Young has only two "Zoomer" books published but they are MUST reads. The illustrations are packed with little secrets and every page is magical. You're sure to find something new every time you read it. The illustrations are the sort of surrealism of the 50's I love. They completely transform the stories words into a stimulating visual exploration.
It was a joy for me to read the stories and point out the little details to my kindergarten class (trust me, there are many to choose from!). I love the  fact that even though Zoomer's two older brothers don't share his enormous imagination, it never stops Zoomer from building fantastic creations. I hope my class caught on to that and are willing to dream up stories as big as Zoomer's. His imagination is perhaps my favorite part of the book.
The books humorous story line will keep children captivated and willing to read these stories over and over again. Ned Young is a self-taught illustrator and painter. He began his career in illustrating calendars and things of that nature. I'm so glad he took the leap into children's literature, I'm looking forward to more installments for the collection. Pin It

Monday, May 6, 2013

::May Boards of The Past::

Wow! I've been MIA for awhile I loads of projects and ideas to share with you as well as some book reviews that have been piling up. Sorry I haven't been around, time has once again flown past me!

Part of the reason that I've been gone is that my husband and I just celebrated our one year anniversary and I threw myself into planning our trip to Portland, Oregon (I'll share some pictures of our trip too - Portland is a GREAT city for kids). We obviously didn't do all the things geared for kids but there is so much for them to do there. It would make a wonderful family vacation spot. More on that later...

Today I'm going to share my May boards of the past. Sometimes May boards are a conundrum for me. I always end up asking myself if I should stick to spring or make it a summerish board that I can leave up through June. You'll see what I mean:

I did this board in 2011 as a homage to my mom. She loves birds and birdhouses and I thought it was the perfect spring board. The houses turned out so cute and it just looked so happy!
 This was in 2012. One of those boards that I kept up through June. By far one of my favorite boards! We made envelope sharks, coffee filter fish, and bowl jelly fish. 
 And now this year's board. We did our interpretation of Eric Carle's, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." 
 Here's our caterpillars on their leaves.
 And here's the ice cream and pie he ate through.
Happy May Friends! Pin It

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

::March Boards of the Past::

Well apparently I don't have a picture from last years board. But I do have the board I made 2 years ago. The kindergartners I had at the time were really obsessed with Super Mario Bro's. I decided to channel that and make it into a board. We made Mario, Princess Peach, and toadstools. I painted the background to look a scene from the game.  

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::March Board::

Here's my board for March and let me tell you, I'm super excited about it! I decided to avoid anything that was directly related to March holidays like St. Patty's Day because Easter is also happening in March this year. Dr. Seuss' birthday is in March so I decided to go that rout. I was inspired by this board that I found on Pintrest.
I had the kids make "Thing One & Two's," pom pom Truffula tree, and Lorax. They turned out wonderful! We added fleece to his mustache for more texture and to take it to the next level.
I used my mom's tracer to blow up a picture of Pipsqueak to add some fun to the board.
Here's a close up of our Lorax and Truffula tree. 

I hope you like my board as much as I do. It's my favorite of this year. I'm so happy with how it turned out! 
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Monday, March 4, 2013

::International Thinking Day::

February 22nd is International Thinking Day. We made Albert Einstein's in recognition of the day. I forgot to add the eyebrows on mine and that means the kids forgot to add eyebrows. Oops! 
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Friday, March 1, 2013

::Watercolor Birds::

I found this idea on Pintrest also. It's from this website that is chalk full of art lessons for kids! AWESOME resource. It's based of Lois Ehlert's book "Snowballs." I altered the project a little because I wanted to put it up now and leave it up through March. My example has snow falling on it but I didn't have the kids do that. 
Here's all the kids birds:
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Thursday, February 28, 2013

::Book Review - Peter Brown::

I want to start a new series. I love reading and always have. I still enjoy reading children's book and am always on the lookout for books with great illustrations. My mom is a librarian, so for me it's like a kid in a candy store, every time I go to visit, I find more books that I love. That also means the last time Scholastic had a warehouse sale we went and I found a pile of books I couldn't live without!

While we were at Scholastic I found a book called "Chowder." It's written and illustrated by Peter Brown. I love his illustrations, they're wonderful! Lot's of hidden details that really make the story come alive. I read "Chowder" to my kindergartners at work and they were laughing the entire time. His stories are a little sophisticated but if you take the time to point out the illustrations while reading it makes them much funnier and easier to understand for the younger kids.
Chowder isn't your average dog. Chowder spends his days on the computer, dancing with his headphones, and using his telescope. When a petting zoo opens, he makes new friends who accept him for his goofy self
 This is a wonderful story for "earth day" or for a garden unit. It really reminded me of "The Lorax" because it's about a boy who discovers a secret garden in a city that doesn't have any plants. He nurtures the garden and helps it grow.  
We've been having a lot of issues with my kindergarten girls with bossiness and friendship. So when I read this book, I knew we needed to read it to them. (PS...they have this bear (Lucy) in a stuffed animal, so cute)! Lucy the bear is on a mission to make a new friend. Through a series of accidents she ruins every potential friendship she encounters throughout the day, until an unlikely companion finds her. 

If you get a chance to read one of Peter's books, you've got to do it! Make sure you really look at every page! You don't want to miss anything! 
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::Ab Lincolns::

Halfway through February I changed my board over from Valentine's to President's day. I really wanted to make an Abraham Lincoln because I'm so obsessed with him right now. Ever since I saw "Lincoln" I've been reading and watching documentaries on him. I found this idea on Pintrest and loved it because it was simple shapes and really gets the point across. Without further ado...here's Ab!
Here's my example:
Ab Hall of Fame:
This poor guy got confused on where the beard was supposed to go...lol!
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::Random Acts of Kindness Week::

In February we participated in "Random Acts of Kindness Week." We made a popcorn treat for each of the kid's teachers. Since we had a lot of repeats, I encouraged the kids to give them to the school secretary, the janitor, or the principle. 

In doing this, I realized how much of our program and the kids life is geared toward them. We've created a very nurturing and homelike environment but it that it's very self driven. Everything we do is for the kids and there is not a lot of gratitude or giving that we expect from the kids. Of course we expect "thank you's" and sharing but that really doesn't promote a giving heart. 

I say all this because NOT ONE kid was excited to give these to their teacher. Every single kid wanted to keep the treat for themselves. It made me sad and realize that we need to change that. We need to focus less on self.  
 Here's the treats we made. I popped popcorn and the kids used melting chocolate to cover the popcorn and then they mixed in m&m's. It was a simple, tasty project. I hope at least some of them made it to the teachers.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

::Dino-mite Valentine's Day::

For February I wanted to do something a little different for Valentines day. I didn't want to do anything cheesy or expected. So I came up with the idea to make dinosaurs. They turned out so cute and a lot of parents really loved them. 
Here's my sample dino:
Here's the dino hall of fame. Some of them are pretty hilarious. 
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

::WOW & February Boards of The Past - Updated::

That's all I can say...I'm so far behind in blogging! February has literally flown by and I cannot seem to keep up. I mean honestly, where did it go!?

Well I know these are late but here's my February boards of the past:
Here's my board from 2011:
 Here's my board from 2012:
Here's this year's board: 
I forgot to add my other board for February. Halfway through February I took down the Valentine's stuff and put up some Abraham Lincoln's that we made for Presidents Day. It turned out so well!

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

::Wacky Owls::

Here's a close up of the owls we made for the January board. They're a little funky and kinda weird but I like them. I got the inspiration from this idea on the website smaller
Here's my owl:
Owl Hall of Fame:
The eyes are made out of egg cartons and the body/wings are construction paper that the kids designed.
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