Contact Paper Art

Here is a super simple art activity that both my daughter and my preschool students with special needs enjoy greatly! 

Contact Paper Art
  1. Cut a piece of contact paper off the roll.
  2. Attach it to an easel or the fridge with clips.  (sticky side facing out)
  3. Gather collage materials to stick to the contact paper.
  4. Stick away!!!
(Great hair day, I know!)

Most of my students have sensory aversions and my daughter just doesn't care to get her fingers sticky with glue (covered in mud is fine...just no glue...go figure???).  Anyway, this activity just cuts out the step of using glue, but still allows the child to make an individualized masterpiece!  

Some contact paper art themes we have done in the past:
nature walk collection
pink things
cut paper
odds & ends found around the house


Encouragement from the Discouraged

Does browsing through other mom blogs ever get you somewhat discouraged?

Well, I just caught myself getting discouraged while reading a blog from a girl that I went to college with about 10 years ago.  She had pictures of her daughter's fabulously beautiful playroom and activity ideas that I could only dream of replicating for my daughter.

I started thinking how I could make Macy's room look like that room, and how happy Macy would be if she had that garden center near her window.

Next thing I know, I am knocked out of my daydream of a picture perfect playroom by sounds of laughter and wonderful dramatic play going on in her current bedroom.  Macy doesn't need that fabulously beautiful playroom to be happy, and she also doesn't need that garden center to learn about plants.  Her markers are housed in a leftover swiffer sweeper refill box instead of a designer box and her kitchen set treasure was someone else's junk.  All that said, she is happy and healthy, and she doesn't feel like she is missing out on anything, so I shouldn't either!!!

I pray that this blog never, ever, ever discourages you!  It is surely not meant to at all!  Please, know that we are a normal family that does normal things, and our house is by no means picture perfect.  Most of our activities throughout the day are not planned out to a tee...we fly by the seat of our pants most of the time, and have fun doing it!

Enjoy being the best mother you can be and relish every second you have with your precious children.  Remember that your kiddo thinks you hung the moon, God loves you, and that's all that matters!


Quick Daddy's Day Picture Book Keepsake

How to ~

  1. Find lots of pictures of your little one and his/her daddy doing different things together.
  2. Attach each picture to a half sheet of construction paper or card stock.
  3. Write the following sentence on the bottom of each page:  "I like to ___________ with Daddy!"
  4. Punch holes
  5. Tie Ribbons to hold the book together.
  6. Done!  Keepsake!  Early Reader!  Reminder of how important playing and learning with Daddy (grandpa, uncle, big brother, special friend) really is, which is definitely a Teachable Moment in my book!


Magnetic Reward System

I apologize for the lack of posts here lately, and after reading my post, you will probably be able to guess why I have been absent from the blogging world for awhile!

About a year ago, I came up with a magnetic reward system for Macy that she just absolutely loves.

     We stuck with it for a month or so.

               Her behavior improved immensely. 

                         We gave it up.

That leads us to the past month or so of not so wonderful behavior coming out of my otherwise sweet little 4 year old.  

She was very unwillingly cleaning her room when she stumbled upon her "Smiley Thing."  

AND, I was like...Oh My Goodness, why on Earth did I not think of this earlier???

She is pumped to come up with new rewards to earn and even more pumped to start earning the rewards that we used last year again.  
(Which is really funny to me, because we have been doing most of those "rewards" anyway, but the earning of them is the exciting part, I guess.)

Anyhow, here it is...the simplest, yet most exciting reward system to ever hit our household...

The Smiley Thing
1.  Cut the silly smiles off of the box of Smiles fruit snacks...ya know the Walmart brand?
2.  Glue them to magnets.  I used the advertisement magnets that we had from pizza places and eye doctors located in the town that we no longer live in.
3.  Put them on the inside of a metal cake pan.
4.  When you catch your child doing something good, tell them to put a smile on the front on the pan.
5.  When they get a predetermined amount of smiles on the front of the pan, they earn a prize.
6.  I printed out pictures of prizes that Macy can earn.  She picks one for each day and it goes on the refrigerator.  They are things such as an extra book at bedtime, a trip to the park, or an extra special trip to her Granny's house.

One of the reasons this happens to be the best reward system for us is that it is extremely portable.  We take it in the car wherever we go.  It just doesn't work so well, if you have to remember to give smiles when you get back home from a long outing, so the smiles just come with us!

I hope this helps some of you.  It sure works for us to reward the good rather than harp on the bad, and this is a reminder for parent and child alike...we want smiles at our house!!!

Fun Ways to Count to 100

  1. Help your kiddo roll pennies.
  2. Around the dinner table, each person says a number.  Keep going around and around until you get to 100.
  3. Write the numbers on those cute little card stock shapes that teachers use for calendar days.  Throw them in the air to mix them up.  Then, put them in order on the floor.
  4. Make a job out of it.  "Mommy needs 97 paper clips for work tomorrow.  Will you put them in a bag for me, please?"  OR  "Daddy needs 84 screws for a project tomorrow.  Will you help me count them out?"
  5. Cut egg cartons in half lengthwise.  Stick them together, decorate, and make a REALLY long caterpillar art project.
  6. On a road trip, see who can spot the next red car first.  Every time you see a red car, yell out the next number.  How long does it take for the whole family to find 100 red cars?
  7. Use a 100 chart.  Try this one.  Roll dice.  Count the dots on the dice.  Cover up that many numbers on your chart with cheerios.  Keep rolling until all of the numbers on the chart are covered up.
  8. Count to 100 over the course of a few days.  Count out 20 skittles today.  Tomorrow, count out 20 more skittles but start with the number 21 instead of 1.  Keep going each day until you reach 100.  
  9. Go to the park to play on the swings.  Each time you swing forward, shout out the next number until you get to 100.
  10. Cut out numbers from magazines and newspapers.  Glue them in order to make a huge number line.

        Happy Counting!

Princess History

I know that this is going to sound really silly, but one of my favorite things about being a mom is the fact that I have an excuse to watch all of my favorite Disney movies over and over again.  I have to introduce her to all of the classics, right!?!  

Of course, being a little girl, she is completely and utterly into all of the princesses.  We just recently visited Disney World, ate with the princesses and had her picture made with all of them.  It was so much fun!!!  

I am quite convinced that I enjoyed the entire trip way more than she did!

So, anyway, where does the Teachable Moment come into play here, you ask? 

William & Kate, of course!

I had the privilege of watching a real prince and princess get married with MY little princess sitting in my lap.  She was beyond excited when I explained to her that they were actually real and that this was not a Disney movie.  During the wedding, I gave her a preschool version of a history lesson about England and the Queen.  We had fun pointing out all of the ladies' extravagant hats, and our favorite part was watching the newlyweds in their horse-drawn carriage.   

Hopefully, my little princess will remember this piece of history-in-the-making for quite some time!

A Thankful Birthday Girl

We had the BEST 4th Birthday Party for our little one last week!!!  It definitely didn't look like it came off of a birthday party blog or anything, but she LOVED it and that's what counts!  After all of our guests had left and after jumping on the rented princess castle bouncer for another 3 hours, she gave me  the biggest hug ever and told me how she loved her party.  THAT, made all of the planning and running around completely worth it!    

At the party, she was so excited to open all of her presents, and, of course, we encouraged her to say, "Thank You!" to each person for her gifts.  But, like most preschoolers, she was overwhelmed and excited and had so many other things to think about that I'm not for sure that the "thank you's" were completely sincere.  

The next day, she looked through each of her new gifts and made for sure that she knew who each one was from.  She admired all of them for quite some time and said how much she loved them all.  

I wanted to send thank you cards to everyone and first thought of those cute picture cards.  Ya know, the ones like everyone sends for Christmas?  I started to make some online and then realized that Macy had nothing to do with the process, so I deleted them and off we went to the craft room.  

We just used plain construction paper, and then she drew a picture on each one and also added a few stickers.  The pictures were relevant to each person and completely decided on by Macy.  For some she drew the gift that she was given by that person, but for some she chose to draw something meaningful for the person it was meant for.  Then, she told me what she wanted to say to each person, and I wrote it down for her.  Simple as that!  Thank you cards from the heart of a preschooler!  Precious!

James 1:17 ~ Every good and perfect gift is from above , coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.