Thursday, February 27, 2014

V is for Valentine's Day!

I took advantage of the fact the Mercedes' letter V week fell over Valentine's Day weekend. I incorporated our letter V lessons into the normal Valentine's Day activities I'd already planned.

We made Valentines for Gramma, Great-Grandma, Uncle David and Uncle Lopez.

Great-Grandma came to visit the day before Valentine's Day and brought lots of presents.

On Valentine's Day morning, I made Valentine's Day pancakes. I used a chocolate pancake recipe (substituting wheat flour with all purpose gluten free flour, and substituting the sugar with honey) and after I fried them like normal I cut them into heart shapes with a cookie cutter.

We made the big and little letter V with Valentine stickers.

For lunch, we had cheese cut into hearts with a cookie cutter, strawberries and a piece of heart shaped dove chocolate.

The girls decorated the dining room with Valentine window clings from Great Grandma.

They watched Valentine's Day themed songs on youtube.

I picked out a few lovey dovey stories to read to them.

Gramma bought them some scratch art Valentine cards to color. Mercedes adored them. Throughout the day she colored...or scratched...every single one of them.

For second lunch (we eat lunch at 10:30 and again at's what happens when your girls wake up and eat breakfast at 5 am) I made omelets and cut them into heart shapes with a cookie cutter. Yep. I actually did this.

During nap time I received a flower delivery from my husband. After a morning of constant activities and trying to make the day special for the girls, it was nice to get my own little surprise.

Then we enjoyed our tea party! We feasted on homemade hot chocolate, homemade Ghirardelli fudge (I left out the nuts), and WOW (gluten free) chocolate chip and lemon cookies. I try to be as healthy as possible whenever I feed my girls junk food. It was all incredibly delicious and as always, it was a very pleasant and successful tea party.

Then we set the table for our Valentine's Day dinner date with Daddy.

As a rule, our family doesn't go out to eat (for health and financial reasons) but every once in a great while, maybe once every 3 months or so, we'll splurge on a Chinese food meal. Ben stopped at our favorite place on the way home from work and picked some up so we could have a fun family date meal.

The moon was incredible on Valentine's Day evening. The girls and I enjoyed just watching it for a while so I had to snap a picture to include in our Valentine's Day activities blog.

Our day was packed with fun and festivities and love and it ended up being a pretty awesome day. I'm so happy to be able to give my girls fun childhood traditions and memories they can look back on and maybe incorporate into their own families' traditions someday. I love holidays, and any chance to make life a little extra special for my girls.

Valentine's Day Rainbow Rice

We love Kool-Aid Rainbow Rice! It's easy to make, it's colorful, it's fun to play with and it smells delicious. All you do is mix each Kool-Aid packet with 2 Tbsp of water, shake it up in a ziplock bag with 2 cups of uncooked white rice and spread it out on a piece of plastic wrap to dry. It dries in about 15 minutes. On Valentine's Day, we used grape, black cherry, strawberry and pink lemonade to make Valentine's Day Rainbow rice. I added pink, purple and red gems to the mix to give it some sparkle. 

This was just one of the many Valentine's Day themed activities we did this day.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Letter of the Week: U

We went through our letter U activities all in one day because I wanted our letter activities to fall on Valentine's Day later this week.

The letter U was the first letter that stumped me when it came to choosing two sensory materials to use to make the letters. Instead, we did a "U is for umbrella" craft to represent the big letter U.

And a "u is for underwater" craft to represent the little letter u.

Mercedes practiced unzipping her jacket.

And she learned that up starts with the letter U.

I asked the girls to arrange all of their stuffed animals on the couch right side up.

And then we flipped them upside down!

Mercedes learned how to sign the letter U using ASL.

Then she got "trapped" underneath her stuffed animal box.

I surprised the girls by setting up a picnic lunch underneath the table.

We read a book about a unicorn.

And Mercedes discovered that her unicorn pillow pet also begins with the letter U.

We didn't make it to the library this week like I'd planned, so instead I had Mercedes watch some videos on Youtube. She learned about umbrella birds, how to ride a unicycle, read a video story version of The Ugly Duckling, and watched a song video about a unicorn. 

We packed a lot into today. The letter U is not the easiest letter to come up with activities for so it's nice that we pulled it off and now we are getting ready and excited for our Valentines' Day/Letter V weekend!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Letter of the Week: T

Here's what we did for Mercedes' letter T themed preschool week.

She made a big letter T out of toothpicks.

And a little letter t out of tissue paper.

She colored a letter T coloring page.

And practiced tracing the big and little letter T on a worksheet I made for her.

When I make tracing worksheets, I write the letters in pencil and she traces in pen or marker or crayon, whatever she chooses. She's getting really good at it!

I filled a busy bag with items that begin with the letter T. Mercedes pulled each item out one by one and practiced making the "t" sound as she said what each item was. A tiara, train, Princess Tiana, tongue depressor, tape, toothbrush, turtle and a turkey.

We played with toys. Just dumped out a couple bins of toys and played. It's amazing how we really never do that, ever. The girls spend a very small amount of their time actually playing with their toys.

Mercedes "fixed" just about everything in our house with her toy tools.

We did a toilet paper sensory activity.

And we built tall towers and watched them tumble to the ground.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Letter of the Week: S

Here's what we did for Mercedes' letter S themed preschool week.

I wrote the big and little letter S on a piece of paper and Mercedes practiced making the "s" sound.

I filled a busy bag with items that begin with the letter S. Mercedes took each item out one by one and practiced making the "s" sound as she said what each item was. Caramel syrup, sparkly star, spatula, sea lion balancing a starfish on it's nose, sock, spoon, scissors, sausage, seashell, ice cream scoop. and a story book.

Mercedes practiced tracing the big and little letter S on the worksheet I made for her.

She colored a letter S coloring sheet.

And practiced signing the letter S using ASL. Excuse the goofy face. Right now she is in the phase of goofy photo faces. I took 3 photos of her signing the letter S and this was the least goofy of the three. Oh dear.

I gave her a lesson on how to properly and safely use scissors.

We played in the snow. Indoors since outside the temperature was WAYYYYY below our comfort level.

The girls snuggled and watched the movie Spirit.

I made star-shaped juice cubes out of our star-shaped ice cube molds.

Mercedes made the night sky out of sparkly stars. And one sparkly heart.

Mercedes made the big letter S out of sparkly foam.

And a little letter s out of sandpaper.

And Mercedes sorted seashells.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Letter of the Week: R

Here's what we did for Mercedes' letter R themed preschool week.

I wrote the big and little letter R on a piece of red paper and she practiced making the "r" sound.

I wrote my name on a piece of red paper and had Mercedes point out the R in it.

We added the big and little letter R to our flashcard collection.

Mercedes sorted through a busy bag full of items that begin with the letter R and practiced making the "r" sound as she said what each item was. A red letter R block, letter R play-doh mold, rhinoceros, dinner roll, rectangle, ram, rooster, rock, rabbit and red felt. 

We played with frogs and made them go, "ribbit, ribbit".

We took a trip to the library to read some books.

We looked through an illustrated encyclopedia about reptiles.

And read a book about rabbits.

We made a rainbow out of torn construction paper.

Mercedes made a big letter R with rainbow rice.

And a little letter r with rubber bands.

She traced the big and little letter R on a red worksheet I made for her.

She learned how to sign the letter R using ASL.

And colored a letter R coloring sheet.

The girls washed some rocks from our driveway.

And painted them.

And we did a rock sensory activity.