Monday, September 19, 2011

Alphabet Cookies

I have seen variations on alphabet cookie games, but I decided to make my own. I wanted larger cookies that would be easily held by little hands. And I wanted bright, colorful alphabet letters.

First I made the cookie jar. I covered an empty oatmeal container with construction paper, even cutting a circle to cover the lid. I cut a slit across the lid after covering. Then, I printed a cute label from Martha Stewart here. I enlarged it to 150%. And I found a vintage cookie label here and also enlarged it.

Then, I found an online photograph of an M&M cookie, blew it up to the size I wanted and printed 26. I didn't save the link, but there are tons of cookie images on the web.

I found the alphabet letters I wanted. I chose to do uppercase on the front and lowercase on the back. I glued the letters on with a glue stick and laminated the cookies. The girls love sliding them into the canister through the slit on the lid!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rainbow Rice and Pasta

This is a great activity to make for texture bins and so easy (although messy) to make.

Dry Rice or Pasta
Several Drops of Food Coloring
2 Tbs. Rubbing Alcohol

Place rice or pasta in plastic baggie. Squirt in several drops of desired food coloring. Add 2 Tbs. rubbing alcohol. Seal bag and shake to distribute color. Pour onto paper plate to dry. Voila!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Coal Mining

Of course, I had to follow up yesterday's post with some pictures of the actual coal mining.

Here is my little coal miner, ready to enter the mine.

I was so dedicated to her learning experience, that I took my perfectly organized coat closet and made it into a jumbled mess so it would be more authentic. ; )

Not sure why my camera did that funky thing with the flashlight. I need a photography class stat!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Painting Coal

So I've been standing in the kitchen for the past 30 minutes painting pieces of dough black to look like coal. I first tried a large sponge brush, but it wasn't getting the black paint into the nooks and crannies, so I had to go find a small paint brush to finish the work. And as I was standing there with black paint on my fingers, making these coal pieces for a lesson (involving a mining activity) on coal tomorrow, I wondered, "Why?" Why was I spending so much of my precious time mixing and baking and painting dough coal? If I had to put a price tag on my time right now, it would be around $100 a minute. Is a lesson on coal THAT important? Do I even remember learning ANYTHING about coal in school? The short answer? No. Sure, there's a 1% chance one of my girls will become a geologist and I can point to this coal lesson as the spark for their geology passion. But, chances are, they will not become geologists. So, I had to search my heart to find the answer to why I was standing in the kitchen apparently wasting my time. And then it came to me. It's not about the coal. It's about sparking a love for learning. It's about showing my girls how to dive into any subject and enjoy learning about that subject. Something I hope will last them a lifetime. At least that's what I'm telling myself. : )