Baby’s Box O’ Stuff

Now more than ever our family is on the go.  This soccer field, that piano lesson, this dance class, that baseball field, this school assembly, that birthday party, this meeting, that class, and the list goes on.  Elizabeth (aka Baby #5) is toted about town a lot more than her siblings were at 10 months old.

By the time I check, check and double all the loot that is required for the activities the other four are doing, I sometimes arrive at a location and realize I have nothing for the baby.  So, she moves on to my keys, phone, ink pen, etc.  Now I keep this in my van – Lizzy’s Box O’ Stuff.  Box O' StuffIt is nothing more than an old Pampers wipes box containing a few things that if were left behind, no one would really miss and no cash would be lost.  Currently, Lizzy’s box holds the lid from a icing container, 2 plastic spoons, 2 scoops, a children’s fork that doesn’t really pick anything up, a (clean) toothbrush and a dull plastic cookie cutter.Box O' Stuff contentsNow, these items may seem blah to you, but I assure you Elizabeth (and believe it or not, the other kids as well) is fully entertained by the box’s contents.  Our family strives to leave a location better than we found it.  And, while I certainly do not leave a place without collecting my things and strongly frown upon littering, if I were to lose an item from this box, no tears would be shed.

Leave a comment telling us what’s in your Box O’ Stuff!

Boo-booed Book Basket

Few things in our house are as “loved-up” as books.  So, it is no surprise that with 5 kids under roof a page gets torn here and there.  Thus was born:

The Boo-booed Book Basket.Boo-boo book basket 2

Now when a book gets a boo-boo, the kids put it in the basket and I can carefully tape it up and restore it for reading when I get a chance.  So, before you pitch a beloved book because you don’t have time to fix it, put it in The Boo-booed Book Basket and patch it up in your “free time”.

Plastic Eggs Reading Tutor

I love this idea – and so did my kids!  Use a few plastic eggs (I chose the larger Easter eggs) and a permanent marker to teach and/or reinforce reading concepts. Here it goes – it couldn’t be easier!Egg Words 1

On the larger end of the egg write the ending sounds such as:

  • -ing
  • -at
  • -an
  • -est
  • -en
  • -og

Egg Words 2

On the smaller end of the egg, write a series of letters that when the egg is turned and the letter meets up with the ending sound, a word is formed.  GREAT!

This is a $2 project with benefits that are priceless.  Tell us if you and your child LOVE it!

Games on the Go

If you are like us, you may be at a different field, studio, or gym every night of the week for assorted practices with your children.  While you may want to watch your child hone his skills, his siblings may not be as interested.  While a ball of some sort and an open field are always a good option, we also always have a few games that fit in our purses to keep them busy.  Some of these games require a little space to spread out, and some can be played in your lap!  Ditch the screen time, and play something that doesn’t require an outlet, charger, or Wi-fi.Games on the Go

Some of our favorites:

  • Math Dice and Math Dice Jr.
  • Blink
  • Pairs in Pears
  • Bananagrams
  • Skip-bo Junior
  • Monopoly Deal and Monopoly Millionaire Deal
  • Spot-it

 

 

Read Across America

Read Across America Day is a nationally recognized “holiday” to inspire reading.  The holiday coincides with Dr. Seuss’s birthday each year, which is March 2nd.  Because it falls on a Saturday this year, your children may be doing some Seuss-related activities at school on March 1st.  Regardless of when it is, we think we should celebrate reading every day!Dr Seuss

Here are our top five favorites from Dr. Seuss.

  1. Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  2. Horton Hears a Who
  3. Green Eggs and Ham
  4. The Lorax
  5. Happy Birthday to You!

We would love to know about your favorite Dr. Seuss classics.

You can visit www.nea.org for events and more information about Read Across America Day or www.seussville.com for Seuss-centered games and activities that you can do with your kiddos.

Teach VOLUME to kids

With 100th day approaching (and getting there was no easy feat with all the snow days we have had) I decided to have a little lesson in measuring volume.  It was super easy and super quick.  BONUS:  Any lesson that ends with a snack gets rave reviews!Teaching Volume with popcornMy boys (kindergarten and 1st grade) counted out 2 groups of 100 popcorn kernels.  We popped one group of 100 kernels and  compared the volume to the second group of 100 kernels.  The difference in volume was easy to see and the snack was yummy!

Practice the ABC’s with Scrabble Tiles

Here is a fun way to reinforce the alphabet using pieces from a common board game.  Pull out the letter tiles and wooden tile rests from your Scrabble game.  Have your pre-schooler line up the tile rests and spread all of the letters face up on the table.  Have your little one put the letters in order according to the alphabet.  There will be tiles left over.  Once this activity is complete, encourage your little one to use the tiles to spell words.  Lining up the letters of their name is a big hit!

Learn Phonics with Old Catalogs

If your house is like mine, you are inundated with catalogs.  Before tossing them into the recycle bin, use them to reinforce letter sounds.Learning phonics

What you need:

  • 1, 3-prong folder with pockets (or a binder)
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • alphabet pages (paste letters from environmental print sources, write the letter with a marker and/or use your computer to print pages that have each letter of the alphabet – one letter per page and put the pages into the folder)
  • unwanted catalogs or magazines

Keep all these supplies in one location and when your pre-schooler or kindergartener is in the mood to cut, have him cut out any pictures he likes and glue them to the page sporting the letter that is the first letter of the object in his picture.  If your little one can write, encourage him to label the pics.  Go crazy – add letter stickers, use highlighter to write the letter and have your kiddo trace it.  The possibilities are endless.

 

Mother’s Day card with a magazine

May is here and hosts a very special holiday, Mother’s Day.  This card is a wonderful way to reuse old magazines, inspire young writers to get creative and honor the mothers and grandmothers in our lives.Mother's Day  Mag 2

Decorate the front of a file folder and write a special message to that special lady.  Using scissors and glue, cut and paste words from old magazines to fit into the message.  The final product is a clever card any mother will love.Mother's Day Mag front

Mother's Day Mag insideHappy Mother’s Day

 

 

Our Favorite Holiday Children’s Books

By now you all know the love of reading consumes both of our homes.  During the holidays, we decorate our mantles, bake cookies, and trim our trees, but the bin of Christmas books we pull out each year provides us with a ton of holiday happiness.Whether you are looking for the perfect gift or simply want a new tale, here are a few of our favorite holiday children’s books to enjoy throughout Christmas.  Some are heart-warming, some are quirky, some new, and some old, but they will all get you in the Christmas spirit!

  • The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell
  • The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
  • Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Seibold
  • The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
  • Little Porcupine’s Christmas by Joseph Slate
  • Once There Was a Christmas Tree by Jerry Smath
  • Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini
  • Night Before The Night Before Christmas by Natasha Wing

If you celebrate the holidays with unique stories of your own, please share them with us!