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!


Success!

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. : )