Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Frogs & Tadpole Week

A few weeks ago, Keira came home from a playdate at a friend's house with this little tadpole! We are so excited to have the opportunity to watch it grow. Her friend had a bunch of them but they move pretty quickly so the girls were only able to catch one. He has grown so much already!
It just so happened to be close to Frog and Tadpole week at Little Acorn Learning - wonderful timing again! We were so surprised to notice that the toads in our backyard were also coming out this special week. We were able to see many real ones and made some tadpoles and frogs of our own.
Here we are learning about our tadpole:
Making frogs:

Hopping like frogs after doing our froggy yoga activity :)

It's been such a fun month! We can't wait for JULY!!!!

Our themes for July are The Cat, Independence - Bubbles, Floating - Rocks, Gems & Minerals, Reverence - The Ocean, Inner Balance.

Why don't you join us?


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sun Prints

To wrap up our week celebrating the Summer Solstice and our beautiful sun - we spent the day at the pool and making sun prints. I ordered light sensitive paper and we gathered various nature items from the backyard to arrange to make beautiful prints.

The girls were amazed at how much of the details of the items showed up on their paper.

We are really enjoying the relaxed days of the beginning of summer. Our pool has been a wonderful way for us to spend time together each day while staying close to home.

We enhanced some of our prints by rinsing the paper in water and allowing it to dry a darker color.
Then the girls got creative... feet, toes... little hands :)
Happy Summer!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summertime Sundial

One of the ways we celebrated the Summer Solstice this week is by putting together a Sundial! This was an activity included in my June Childcare Program - here is our first photo when we set it up at 10 a.m.! Do you see the shadow of the dowel showing us the time?

One hour later... 11 a.m.

1 p.m. - the sun was not giving us as strong of a shadow but you can still see it is clearly at 1 p.m.
2 p.m.

Well, you get the idea!

This activity was SO much fun... my daughters were truly amazed at the fact that time can be measured by simple tools and the sun.

Sundials used to be a staple in every mother's garden... so that is exactly where we put ours.

I'd love to hear how you and your children have been spending your time today... ;)~

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Midsummer Suns

“Now, what shall I send to the earth today?”
Said the great, round, golden Sun.

“Oh! Let us go down there to work and play,”
Said the Sunbeams, every one.

So down to the Earth in a shining crowd,
Went the merry, busy crew;
They painted with splendor each floating cloud
And the sky while passing through.

“Shine on, little Star, if you like,” they cried;
“We will weave a golden screen
That soon all your twinkling and light shall hide,
Though the Moon may peep between.”

The Sunbeams then in through the windows crept,
To the children in their beds –
They poked at the eyelids of those who slept,
Gilded all the little heads.
“Wake up, little children!” they cried in glee,
“And from Dreamland come away!
We’ve brought you a present: wake up and see!
We have brought you a sunny day!”

Friday, June 11, 2010

((this moment)) : henna time with my teen

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Baby Joy

Today I had the pleasure of spending my first day with this sweet little baby. He never met me before this morning but was just as happy as can be to spend his day with me and the children - playing, eating, laughing, sleeping and singing.
I have to admit after spending time with such a sweet and easy baby, I *almost* got the itch again. I stress almost because I really am happy with our family just the way it is... my heart and my hands are full - but he was so so sweet - if they were all that way, we'd probably all have HUGE families :) I guess its a good thing they aren't! He was able to spend all day with his sister. This is one of the things that I find most wonderful about home childcare environments and mixed-age care. I think it is ideal for siblings to be able spend their time together if possible in childcare, especially when they are young. Kyla made her brother laugh and laugh all day :)

Now to find a way get that sweet baby smell out of my mind...


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Crocheting for a Cause

This past week, I taught Keira how to crochet. We've learned before but this time she really got it! I love to crochet. I've done some knitting and still do but, for me, crocheting just comes so much more easily.
When I was around Keira's age my Nanny taught me how to do the chain stitch and single crochet. She wasn't an avid crocheter but she knew the basics and when I became an adult I remembered her teaching me and picked it back up rather easily with just a simple how-to book.

This week we worked on washcloths - the pattern is really for dishcloths but they can be used just the same in the tub and the girls LOVE them! They work up so quickly and are so pretty.
The oil spill disaster has been heavy on my heart each moment. I can't stop thinking about all of those innocent animals and our beautiful earth. I feel so helpless knowing it is out of my hands - feeling as if there is nothing I can do but sit and wait and watch... and pray... and hope.

Then a woman posted a link on Facebook to this wonderful project to help clean the animals affected by this horrible disaster. The project is to make or buy and send in washcloths in groups of 10-20 along with gentle dish soap which will be used to help clean oil-ridden mammals, dolphins and sea birds. I explained the spill to my two oldest daughters and also this wonderful project. They were instantly on a mission to crochet and knit as many washcloths as they can.

It's not much, we know. Our 40 washcloths may help only that many living things - just a drop in the pail. But its something... we're doing something to help... and not just standing by watching it all fall apart.

I encourage you to join along. You do not have to be crafty. You can cut up old towels, sew, knit, crochet or even buy them to send along. They shouldn't be fancy. They will eventually be destroyed by oil and thrown away. We will be crocheting very simple and quick ones for this charity. The deadline says July 3rd - so get your hooks out today.

If you do participate, please leave a link in comments so we can share our positive energy to inspire each other.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Making Rose Perfume

It has never failed so far. Each year, as we begin the first week of June at Little Acorn Learning... the first rose in our garden blooms. In my June Guide, we celebrate Summer Roses the first week - it just amazes me how this always seems to work out.

The children and I worked together to make Rose Perfume/Cologne. First, I carefully cut the roses and the children enjoyed smelling them.

What? Boys don't like roses?????
Then we picked the petals off the flowers and put them in a jar. This was so much fun!
What a great way to practice our fine motor skills ;)
Look how many petals we collected! We let the petals sit in a mixture of water and alcohol - and added a small amount of vanilla and lavender. They sat and soaked for three days!
When it was ready, my daughters and I poured the perfume into pretty jars. The result was a very light but pretty fragrance. We've used it on our skin, in our laundry and in our bath. As with all things when working with young children, I truly feel that the magic lies in the PROCESS not the end product. I think this should transfer over to our adult life too....
How are you being mindful to enjoy the process of your every day tasks in life.. rather than rushing ahead with some future benefit in mind?

Take time to smell the roses today :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Nature's Sweet Gifts

Brianna found this tiny butterfly on the grass while playing outside. We were so surprised how easy it was to hold it. It moved so slowly - so trusting - and climbed onto our fingers and stayed there so we could enjoy it. I know it sounds silly but I swear it looked at us and 'knew' we would not hurt it.
Because it was so small, I assumed it was a moth.
But, from what we could see in our field guide - it seems to be a Gray Hairstreak Butterfly. It was so exciting for Brianna to help me look through the guide and find the correct butterfly with just the right markings. At only three years old, she is so eager to learn about the world around her and simple experiences like these create such a deep love for nature and learning within her. It's very cool.
It's such a gift and a blessing for me to be able to watch my girls embrace life each day - the simple, beautiful things in life... the things that you cannot buy or reproduce.. or turn on or off.
The butterfly stayed with us for so long that Bree was able to share it with her big sisters when they got off the bus. What a wonderful thing to come home to!
They spent time just watching, laughing and enjoying this sweet little visitor and each other.
Then found a pretty place to let him go and let him be. What a nice way to end our learning on butterflies and caterpillars from our May guide and move into June!