On this blog, I will share my ideas for an at-home preschool that I do with my children, ideas for surviving motherhood, library story time ideas, ideas for my various LDS callings, Family Home Evening ideas, and whatever other random ideas that I have. I borrow ideas from the world of great minds and will try to give credit as much as possible. Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Some great ideas that I want to remember!

Phew! I'm not sure how Christmas has already come and gone, but it sure was fun! I have been madly attempting to clean, organize, and put toys together today. As I look around at the chaos surrounding me, I just have to keep repeating to myself, "There's always tomorrow. There's always tomorrow." During one of my many 'breaks' from cleaning, I happened across a couple of ideas that I really liked and want to remember.

First, some neighborhood friends have a great idea for family together time during the holiday break. Since the kids are out of school, they try to get as much family time as they can. Each day during the holiday break, they assign one day to each member of the family. Each parent and child gets a special day to be in charge (sorry to any families that have more kids than holiday break time!)--you get to choose the meals and the activities for the day. This is what the mom posted about today:
So each kid gets a day to pick food and fun this week. Today is Aspen's day. We saw Moana and Assassins Creed (ok Dad wanted this one and its $5 day) and we had scones for breakfast and will do Leatherby's for dinner. So much fun to give them a day to decide what we do as long as it is all together!
For their other daughter, yesterday, they  ate French toast for breakfast, played games and had homemade fried chicken and cheese potatoes for dinner.
What an AWESOME idea! I'm out of time to do this this year, but maybe come Spring Break! I already know that my kids will love having a whole day all about them! Thanks, Emilee, for the great idea!

The second idea comes from amomwithalessonplan.com/family-game-day . She calls it Make Your Own Family Game Day. Here's how she describes it:

Family Game Day Prep

It was important to give everyone a chance to shine. That meant picking the right games. The easiest way to pick the right games? Have each family member “bring their own game of choice.” 
Pick the games  I gave everyone the chance to choose a game. It could be a game we owned or a game they made up. Tip: if someone is using a made up game make sure to get the rules clearly understood before the game starts.
Make medals – Ours were very simple. Cardboard from an old cereal box cut into a circle, two holes punched on top and yarn tied to make them wearable. Have everyone decorate one medal for their game.
Game Training – Spend some time training each other. The person who selected the game will be the coach. This is a great way to let your kids teach you something new. Think about what tricks, strategies or techniques you use when playing this game and pass it on to the rest of the family.
The games chosen for our family game day were:
  • Hold a bridge. Who can hold a bridge position the longest?
  • Trampoline laps. Run 10 laps around the trampoline without falling (while being showered with sprinklers).
  • Obstacle course. Fastest time wins. Time deducted for knocking down the course.
  • Putting. Closest to the hole wins.
  • Draw a face. Who can draw the most smiley faces in one minute?

Game Time

Now that everyone is prepped and excited to play… it’s game time!
Play –  Make this time extra fun. Play hard and go for the win. Competing with your kids is a great way to teach them sportsmanship and how to have fun even if you don’t win. Plus, if you play for real they know when they have really earned the win. Like today… I’m the only one who walked away with no medal. I might call for rematch.
Celebrate – Cheer each other on and hand out medals after each competition.
**Just a disclosure: I am receiving an entry for a sweepstakes in exchange for posting this idea from A Mom With a Lesson Plan. However, I really plan on doing this great idea on Saturday!
I love it! My kids LOVE games, so this is definitely happening this week! I will also need to post (on another day though; it's getting past my bedtime!) about some of our favorite board games and about how I've converted some of my favorite board games, such as Cranium and Clue, to be more toddler friendly. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Tiny Tot Story Time

I do Tiny Tot Story Time twice a month at the local library. If you have the time, go to your local library and volunteer to do story time. It's awesome! It's a lot of work but so rewarding! I focus my story time for the little kids--baby to preschool. We sing songs, read a couple of books, and do a craft. And we have so much fun!! Here is links to all of my story time material. Please feel free to use this material for your own personal use as you would like. You can use these ideas for a story time or at home with your kids.
Down on the Farm
Autumn Time
Winter Fun
Cool Animals
Valentine's Day
Teddy Bears
Splish Splash Fun
Easter Bunny Hop
Cats and Dogs
Mother's Day

Passport to Adventure

A few years ago, I designed a Passport to Adventure for my kids with lots of ideas of things we could do locally. I bought a date stamp, and we would faithfully stamp our passport each time we did one of the activities. That was when I had just two little ones...
Fast forward to present day and four little ones--I just found the passport at the bottom of one of my old diaper bags that I was cleaning out to get rid of it, and I remembered the fun we had. So now, here I am, reincarnating my Passport to Adventure and sharing it with you. I've made a lot of changes to it that I hope you will like. Hopefully, (depending on how tech savvy I am) you can edit it to meet your needs. I have designed it and have some activities that are specifically for my state and local area, but you could easily change these things to activities more specific to your area. You can print out the pages and glue them into a little notebook or just print it out and staple it together with a card stock cover.
To download this document, please click here.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Library Tiny Tot Tales-On the Farm

Tiny tot tales
September-Farm tales

Welcome Song (tune: London Bridges)
Come along and clap with me,
Clap with me, clap with me.
Come along and clap with me,
It’s time for story time.

Good-bye Song (tune: Here We Are Together)
Now we wave good-bye,
Good-bye, good-bye.
Now we wave good-bye,
We’ll see you next time.

Great Books to Read Together:
If You Give a Pig a Pancake—Laura Numeroff
Little Blue Truck—Alice Schertle
The Little Red Hen—Diane Muldrow or Paul Galdone
Click, Clack, Moo Cows that Type—Doreen Cronin
Cock-A-Doodle-Doo! Barnyard Hullabaloo—Giles Andreae
Peek-a-Moo!—Marie Torres Cimarusti
Big Red Barn—Margaret Wise Brown
Barnyard Dance—Sandra Boynton
Meow Said the Cow—Emma Dodd
Gobble Gobble Moooo Tractor Book—Jez Alborough

Great Educational Websites:
Farm preschool free downloadable learning packets: http://www.freehomeschooldeals.com/free-instant-download-farm-printable-pack/

Activity ideas & Recipes:

2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups butterscotch chips (or peanut butter if no allergies)
½ tsp. vanilla
3 cups chow mien noodles
Optional: May add 1 cup chopped nuts, raisins, or whatever sounds good.
Melt chips; mix in noodles until coated well.
Drop by teaspoon onto wax paper. Put in refrigerator to set.

1 cup milk
1 sliced banana
¼ cup unsweetened grape juice
Mix all ingredients together in a blender.
Makes 4-6 small servings
Tiny Tot Tip of the Month
Read aloud to your child EVERY DAY. It’s never too early or too late to start reading to your child. It doesn’t need to be for a long period of time, just a few minutes everyday. Experiment to find what time of day works best for your child: morning, right before or after meal times, bedtime, etc. Don’t worry if you don’t get all the way through books at first. Keep trying and keep it fun.

Book of Mormon FHE

This year our bishop, the leader of our congregation, encouraged us to not only read The Book of Mormon but to really study it this year. To do this, he encouraged us to use The Book of Mormon Class Member Study Guide (which can be found online here)to help guide us in our studies. I've been struggling to constantly come up with ideas for Family Home Evening each Monday--it's like dinner, there's lots of ideas, but I hate choosing! So I decided that the bishop, who is inspired and gives direction from the Holy Ghost, had a great idea. For this year, I've decided to focus on The Book of Mormon for FHE and to use the Member Guide to help me.

Now, before I share what I've got so far, here's a little disclaimer: I have four rambunctious little ones under the age of six. FHE, for us, usually lasts 10 minutes at the most. We have a song, very short lesson, activity, and treat. Nothing fancy here--just survival and trying to get in a little spirituality and family togetherness in every Monday! =)

One other side note: In the morning, while eating our poptarts and Cheerios, I try to read a little from the Book of Mormon to the littles. The church's magazine, The Friend, has some great reading charts that I've been using. The magazine also has some fun Hero Cards with Book of Mormon heroes, illustrated scripture stories, etc. You can find these resources here.

Anyway, here's what we've done so far. Where it indicates a lesson, I am referring to the Member Guide.
Book of Mormon FHE
1.     How the Book of Mormon came to be/Book of Mormon Kick-off
--Lesson 1: The Keystone of our Religion
--The First Vision
--For this lesson, I used the pictures at the front of our copy of the Book of Mormon to talk about what the Book of Mormon is and how it came to be restored in our day.

2. Lehi and his family leave Jerusalem/Liahona
--Do Human Liahona activity from: http://fhein5.webs.com/bookofmormonstories.htm
--What are our Liahonas?

3. Nephi and the Brass Plates
--Lesson 2: All Things According to His Will
--Importance of Scriptures
--Application: Go and Do

4. The Vision of the Tree of Life
--Lesson 3: The Tree of Life
--Matching game after we go through the vision from: http://www.sugardoodle.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8422

--Tree of Life activity (blindfold each family member and have them try to get to a treat, then have them hang onto some yarn leading to the treat). From: http://ayearoffhe.blogspot.com/2011/01/week-02-lehis-vision.html

5. Prophets and Prophecy
--Lesson 4: The Things which I Saw While I was Carried Away in the Spirit
--Have a picture but have it covered up with another paper cut into puzzle pieces so the kids can only see part of it. See if anyone can guess what the picture is. Remove pieces little by little until you can see the whole picture. Talk about how the prophet sees the whole picture and can help us to understand God’s plan for us.
Put puzzles together as a family.

6. Nephi Builds a Ship
--Faith, prayer, working together, doing hard things
--Stair hop: Ask kids to jump from the bottom step to the top step. Then put labels on steps (faith, prayer, ask for help, work together, keep trying, pray some more, help others, help your family, listen to the Holy Ghost, etc.) and have kids hop up the stairs one by one.
--Maybe build things with blocks together as a family.

7. Family Unity
--Lesson 5: Hearken to the Truth, and Give Heed Unto It
--Laman/Lemuel v. Nephi/Sam

--From the lesson guide: Suggestion for Family Discussion

Obtain two pieces of rope—one in good condition and one that is frayed. Display the rope that is in good condition, and explain that it is made of many threads. Explain that just as it is important for the threads of the rope to remain tightly woven together, it is important for families to be united. Then display the rope that is frayed. Explain that just as rope is weakened when the threads separate, families are weakened when they are not united.
Review the account in 1 Nephi 16–18. Consider how the actions of individual members of Lehi’s family affected the family’s unity. Talk about what you can do as a family to be more united.

8. Choice/Agency
--Lesson 6: Free to Choose Liberty and Eternal Life

--Do the Wise Man and the Foolish Man activity from: http://ayearoffhe.blogspot.com/search/label/Choices

**I will try to post more as I have them!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Fun on the Farm

For our September field trip and as a birthday party for Mark (Yay! Two birds with one stone!), we went to Wheeler Farm. We had so much fun! Our favorite part was the tractors, but we also liked the animals and the wagon ride.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

October Week 5

Month: October
Week 5
Gentlemen Training:
Taking your turn to talk
Read My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook.
Talk about appropriate ways to interrupt when someone is talking and how it is polite to wait your turn to talk when someone else is talking. Go over the steps to appropriately interrupt a conversation found at: http://www.toddlerapproved.com/2012/05/my-mouth-is-volcano-and-other-tips-and.html
Do some practice scenarios, including when two adults are talking and when you are talking on the phone. Also, go over what counts as an emergency.

Day One
Sing the Alphabet Song.
The letter this week is I. Practice tracing the letter with our finger, saying the letter, and saying the sound. Trace a capital letter I using a Halloween bag of goo from:

Read a skeleton book:
Skeleton Hiccups—Margery Cuyler
Dem Bones—Bob Barner

There’s something…riddles from:



Science/Social Studies:
Body Parts: Talk about how we all have bones that hold us together. All of our bones connected together make what’s called our skeleton. Go over basic body parts with some songs.
Watch the Skeleton Dance and do the worksheets along with it.
The witch has an Itch (tune: Farmer in the Dell)
The witch has an itch, The witch has an itch.
Oh where, oh where, oh where does the witch have an itch?
On her tiny little ____, her tiny little ____,
The witch has an itch on her tiny little _____.
(Children fill in body parts like toe, nose, etc.)
I'm all made of hinges, 'cause ev'rything bends
From the top of my neck way down to my ends.
I'm hinges in front, and I'm hinges in back;
But I have to be hinges, or else I would crack!
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes,
Knees and toes, knees, and toes.
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes,
Eyes, ears, mouth, and nose.

Make Q-tip skeleton or X-ray from:


For this game, you will need a plastic bone. A picture of a bone is fine, too. Have everyone sit in a circle. One player is the skeleton and stands in the middle of the circle, covering his eyes. Play "The Skeleton Dance" song. The seated players pass the bone around the circle until the music stops. All of the seated players put their hands behind their backs. When the teacher says, "Okay!" the skeleton opens his eyes and tries to guess who is holding the bone. He can ask, "Do you have the bone?" Seated students reply either, "No, I don't. Try again!" or, "Yes, I do. Here you are!" The player with the bone becomes the next skeleton.

My neighbor also has a bone toss game that I might try to borrow.

Fingerplays and songs:
For This Is Halloween
(tune:10 Little Indians)
One little skeleton hopping up and down,
One little skeleton hopping up and down,
One little skeleton hopping up and down,
For this is Halloween.
Two little children playing trick or treat…
Three little pumpkins standing in a row…
Four little goblins running all around…
Five little witches flying through the air…
Skeleton Parade
The skeletons are out tonight
They march about the street
With bony bodies, bony heads
And bony hands and feet.
Bony bony bony bones
With nothing in between
Up and down and all around
They march on Halloween.

Day Two
Sing the Alphabet Song.
Today’s letter is i. Make an “ice monster” out of a tissue box. Have kids feed the ice monster things that start with I. Print out pictures and dig out some toys of things that start with I.

Read a Halloween story:
The Spooky Wheels on the Bus—J. Elizabeth Mills
Mouse’s First Halloween—Lauren Thompson
Over in the Hollow—Rebecca Dickinson

Write a spooky story together by drawing out cards from a pumpkin to fill in the blanks or just asking the kids to fill in the blanks.
Once upon spooky night there was a _____________________. His name was ________________. He was very scared of _________________________.  Now this was a very special night because it was Halloween. [Character] decided to go trick-or-treating even though he was so scared of [fear]. He just hoped he wouldn’t run into one. Slowly and carefully, he stepped out of his house. Slowly and carefully, he opened his gate. Slowly and carefully, he stepped onto the sidewalk. Aaaaaaugghhhh! He ran into a _____________________. But it was not a [fear], so he wasn’t afraid. He said, “Happy Halloween!” and continued on his way. Slowly and carefully, he walked to the first house on the street. Slowly and carefully, he knocked on the door. Creeeeeeaaakkk. The door opened and there stood a __________________________. But it was not a [fear], so [character] wasn’t afraid. He said, “Trick-or-Treat” and then thanked the [ ] for his candy. Slowly and carefully, he walked toward the next house. He was almost there when a ____________________ jumped out at him from behind a tree. Aaaaauggghhhhh! [Character] jumped and began to run away. He wasn’t looking where he was running and tripped over a rock and fell down. His candy spilled all over the sidewalk and his knee hurt from falling down. [Character] began to cry. Suddenly a hand appeared to help him up. [Character] took the hand and stood up. He turned to thank the person who helped him only to discover it was [fear]. The [fear] smiled at him and said, “Are you okay?” [Character] gulped. The [fear] didn’t seem so scary anymore…actually, he seemed kind of nice. [Character] smiled and said, “Thank you for your help. Would you like to go trick-or-treating with me?” The new friends then went trick-or-treating together and had a very happy Halloween.

We could draw pictures to go along with the story after we tell the story together.
Candy Corn Math
Candy corn math puzzles (matching dots and numbers) from:

Candy corn math printables:

Science/Social studies:
Before doing the activity, ask questions and have kids make predictions, such as what do you think will happen when we add this?

Spooktacular Smorgasboard of Simple Science & Sensory Ideas for Halloween (lots of great ideas!): http://kindergartenbasics.blogspot.com/2012/10/spooktacular-smorgasboard-of-simple.html

Do the Monster Eyes Activity from:

Possibly do the Halloween Footprint Bunting or Halloween spook banner from:

Talk about what a beat is in music. Practice clapping a beat and then drumming a simple beat.
Songs and Rhymes:
In The Graveyard
(Tune: Clementine)
In the graveyard,
In the graveyard,
When the moon
Begins to shine
There’s a doctor
Crazy doctor
And his monster,
Oh, my monster,
Oh, my monster,
Oh, my monster,
You are very,
Very scary
Don’t come near me

Creepy Crawly Monster (Itsy Bitsy Spider)
A creepy, crawly monster
Is coming straight at me.
Closer and closer,
He climbs upon my knee.
Up to my shoulder the monster’s much too near,
“Happy Halloween,” he whispers in my ear.

Halloween, Halloween (Jingle Bells)
Halloween, Halloween,
Halloween is here.
Ghosts and goblins,
Spooks and bats,
Are flying through the air. Boo!

The Monsters are So Loud (When Johnny Comes Marching Home)
The monsters stomp around the house,
Boom! Boom!
Boom! Boom!
The monsters stomp around the house,
Boom! Boom!
Boom! Boom!
The monsters stomp around the house,
Their mothers and fathers send them out
And they stomp some more outside…around the house.

Second verse: The monsters yell around the house,
Eeeeeeeeh! Eeeeeeeh!

Five Little Monsters (play like This Little Piggie)
This little monster has a big red nose.
This little monster has purple toes.
This little monster plays all night.
This little monster is such a fright.
And this little monster goes:
“Tee-hee-hee, I’m not scary, I’m just silly me!”

I’m a Monster (Allouette)
I’m a monster,
I’m a big, big monster.
I’m a monster, this is what I say…
I’m a monster,
I’m a big, big monster.
I’m a monster, this is what I do…

Here’s a link for some fun Halloween games: