Indoor Carnivals

Ever since we attended a couple of Fall Carnivals at churches this past year, Macy has been totally into designing carnivals at home.  It has been quite fun.  She makes her own tickets and prizes, and we have put together some great carnival games in our living room with just some stuff from around the house.  Believe it or not, carnivals are great places to share some Teachable Moments with your children!

Turn Taking
Chance & Probability
Following Directions

Here are just a few simple games to make at home ~ the possibilities are endless!

  • Pour beans or rice into socks, then tie a knot in the end to make bean bags.  Cut holes in a large box or even just find some buckets or bowls for target practice.  Each hole, bucket or bowl can be worth different amounts of points to practice addition.  
  • Find some shoe boxes and stick pencils in them to where they are sticking up out of the boxes and through the lids.  Use children's plastic bracelets to have a ring toss.  If you don't have bracelets, cut the inside of butter tub lids out and use the outside of the lids for rings.  Again, you can work on adding points. 
  • Use some rubber duckies or anything else that floats to learn about probability.  Put diamonds on the bottom of some ducks, hearts on others and a star on only one duck.  Float the ducks in a large pan of water and see how many times you pick a diamond versus a star.     
I'm sure your children will think of many more carnival game ideas...our carnivals have gotten quite extravagant, and are so much FUN!!!

Speaking of carnivals, check out the giveaway at Kara's Party Ideas!  She is giving away a carnival birthday party!


Weekend Extension ~ Jellybeans

We borrowed this book from the library 2 weeks ago and just HAD to recheck it.  Macy loves it!

It's a cute, little story about 4 friends who are all different but go well together...just like jellybeans.

Now for the extension activities and some bonus Teachable Moments...

  1. Graph a bag of jelly beans by sorting them by color.  Then, put each color in a line to see which color has the most, least, same, etc.
  2. Have your own "Big Book Bonanza."  If your child is too young to give an oral report like in the story, you might have them draw a picture of their favorite story or find pictures in a magazine to cut out that remind them of the story.  For even younger children, a book report could just involve you asking questions about the story and your child pointing to the correct picture in the book.  Ex.  Where is the yellow dress?  Point to the apple.
  3. Visit the library!
  4. Fill different sizes of containers with jellybeans.  Have your child guess which container contains more jellybeans.  Then, have them estimate how many jellybeans each container holds.  Finally, count the jellybeans in each container to see how close their estimations were to being correct.  
  5. Spell "jellybeans" with glue.  Let your child place real jellybeans on top of the glue to make jellybean letters. 
  6. In the story, the friends wear shirts that each have a different letter, B-E-A-N.  Cut out a shirt shape for each letter.  Then, let your child make a collage of things that begin with that letter.  They could go on a word hunt and actually write words that begin with each letter on the corresponding shirt, or they could draw, cut out pictures, use stickers, or glue small objects.  Don't forget to let them try to make a shirt with the first letter of their name on it!         

ABC Match-ups

One of our favorite rainy day activities is a simple ABC matching game.  

We use my old alphabet cards...ya know the ones that teachers put up above the chalkboard that go all the way across the wall A to Z...and some alphabet blocks.  Our blocks happen to be clear and have an object in the middle that starts with the corresponding letter, but any alphabet blocks will do.

First, you mix up the alphabet cards and then have your child help spread them out in the correct order all the way across the room or down the hall and around the corner...whatever works in your home.  After that's finished, you take out one alphabet block at a time and have your kiddo find the match.  She places it on the matching alphabet card and runs back to get another block until every card has a matching block.

This takes about 45 minutes at our house and for some reason has yet to lose its interest...probably because they are never in the same order twice or we make the line go into different rooms...I don't know, but it works!  It takes up a lot of energy for your kiddo to run back and forth to get another block,

which is why it is a great rainy day activity.  

Hope you enjoy this Teachable Moment!
We sure do!!!

Rejoice Today

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24 

Capture every Today and enjoy every Teachable Moment that God gives you, because they go by, oh, so quickly!


We enjoyed hopping over to some other great blogs!

Ten for Tuesday ~ Teachable Moments during Chores

Here are 10 simple, kid friendly chores that teach early math skills...
  1. Sorting clothes by color
  2. Feeding the family pet (measuring)
  3. Loading the dishwasher (shapes & how things fit)
  4. Setting the table (1 to 1 correspondence)
  5. Watering plants (the big plant needs 1/2 a watering can, while the small plant needs 1/4)
  6. Folding laundry (How many pairs of socks will 10 socks make? Folding washcloths in 1/2 or quarters)
  7. Putting away books or toys (How many books are we putting on the shelf?  Count how many game pieces go in the box.)
  8. Unloading clean silverware (sorting by shape)
  9. Brushing teeth (set timer to learn how long 1 minute lasts)
  10. Crossing off the days on a calendar ( number recognition & yesterday, today, tomorrow awareness)  

Success Times 3

What a GREAT weekend we had!!!

1.  The 2nd annual Valentine's Tea Party went off without a hitch.

She is helping prepare the fruit pizza.  (Thanks for the recipe, Aunt Dana!)

There is some great conversation going on here!!!

2.  Okie (our Maltese) & Macy finally play well together!

He is trying to get his ball out of her hand, and both just love this game.

They have been jealous of each other like you would not believe since the day we brought Macy home from the hospital.  They truly fight like brother and sister...hiding each other's toys...pushing each other out of the way from getting too much of our's quite hilarious!  Anyhow, just this weekend, they have started playing ball together, and it is amazing.  That 5 minutes to myself or time to have a conversation with my husband is priceless!  

3.  We have found a television show to enjoy as a family that is not a cartoon!  Hallelujah!!!

I don't know why this show hasn't come to my mind before.  I am probably the last parent on Earth to figure this one out, and to think, this show is quite the tradition in our family.  It brings back fond memories of being at my Granny and Pa's house sitting around their kitchen table (which is now in my breakfast nook) waiting for Granny to finish the goulash while Pa buttered my bread with his shaky WWII hands.  Oh, how I miss my Granny & Pa!  
Anyhow, call me a bad parent if you want, but there are just some times that we want to chill in front of the TV instead of constantly entertaining a 3 year old, but yet still enjoy having her close to us, and Wheel of Fortune is our answer to this dilemma.  Hey, it is all about letters, and that, I say...

is a Teachable Moment!  

Weekend Extension ~ What's in a Name?

Macy has been really into her name lately.  As most kids are, she is proud of each letter in her name.  She loves to point out each word that has letters like hers.  "Mommy, that word has a C just like my name!" she will say.  So, with all the excitement about the ABC's (I mean the M-A-C-Y's) I can't help but try to encourage and extend her love of letters!

Here are some ideas to encourage your little letter lovers to enjoy their precious names even more...

  • Write her name out really BIG, laminate it, and then give her Wikki Stixs or playdough to practice making the letters over the top of your writing.  This is also a great fine motor skill for kiddos with disabilities.
  • Look in magazines together to find and cut out each letter in his name.  Then glue them on paper.
  • Play I-Spy in the grocery store or riding in the car to find letters.  See how many times you can find each letter.
  • Let her write her name in shaving cream or pudding on the table.
  • Make a book.  Put each letter in his name at the top of a page.  Then, let him find words that start with each letter to put on the corresponding page.
  • Make "bean letters" by writing her name in glue and then have her place beans on the glue. (another great fine motor activity)
  • If you don't have an aversion to glitter, write his name in glue, and then let him shake glitter all over it. 
Letter exploration is one of my favorite Teachable Moments...enjoy the pride that each letter brings!   


Red and Purple Make Pink

In preparation for our 2nd annual Valentine's Tea Party with Granny, I found this marvelous yet simple craft over at Make and Takes.  I thought it would be perfect for Macy to make for placemats for the tea party, so off we went preparing our art area making sure not to let the paint touch on the paper plate.  Ya know how some people can't let their food touch???  Well, Macy can't let her paint touch...

until today...

She was making the best heart prints and they were going to be the cutest little placemats...

and then...

She started finger painting and screamed out, "Mommy, red and purple make pink!"   

  I assured her that it is really red and white that make pink, but she insisted and told me to watch.  Her pink paint-covered hands took some red paint and blobbed it on the paper and then some purple paint and blobbed it on the red and sure enough it did make pink!  In fact, every combination of paint she came up with made pink, and when we washed her hands in the sink the water even turned pink!  Fun Times!!!

Teachable Moment for mom ~ They are still the cutest little placemats!
Teachable Moment for Macy ~ I can mix colors to make new colors!

In order to convince her that every color combo doesn't make pink, we did some more mixing with chalk, crayons, and water color paints.  Then we played a Curious George mixing game on the internet, and read one of her old favorite books, White Rabbit's Color Book by Alan Baker, that now has brand new meaning!  

Environmental Print

First off, THANKS to all my new followers for being so welcoming on my first Wednesday in the blogging world!!!

Now on to our Teachable Moment of the day...

It's grocery store day at the Butler household, and that means tons of Teachable Moments!!!  Children can learn to "read" long before they can truly read through Environmental Print, and oh the excitement they feel with this accomplishment!!!

Environmental Print is any sign or label that we see in our everyday lives, such as the McDonalds sign or the Cheerios box.

Before you go to the grocery store next time, cut out some of the labels from your child's favorite foods.  Glue each label on an individual index card.  Punch a hole in each index card and put them all on a ring to take to the store.  

Let your child hold the ring of cards while in the grocery store.  His/her job is to find each item from an index card in the store and point it out or put it in the basket.  This is a fun activity for toddlers all the way up to children learning to read.  It is also a great skill for teenagers and adults with disabilities who want to be more independent but still need a little assistance with daily tasks.  

Environmental Print is everywhere, so have fun and make it a Teachable Moment!  

Ten for Tuesday ~ Teachable Moments Outside

  1. How many different types of leaves can you find?
  2. What shapes or pictures can you see in the clouds?
  3. What sounds do you hear?  Instead of calling them out, print out pictures of things that you might hear, such as a dog, a bird, trees blowing, and a car.  When your child hears each item have them circle or color in the picture.  
  4. On a windy day, collect some things from your home or outside that might fly away in the breeze, like a cotton ball, leaves, a feather, and a scarf.  Release one thing at a time and see which one goes the farthest.  Which things fall directly to the ground?
  5. After rain or when snow is melting, place a leaf in the run off water by the curb and see how far you can follow it before it gets stuck or falls in the drain.
  6. Go on a nature walk to collect grass, seeds, acorns, twigs, leaves, etc. in a basket.  Then sit under a tree and make a nature college on paper with your collection and some glue.
  7. Plant flowers and care for them as they grow.  How tall do they get?  How wide are they?  Giant sunflowers are a fun choice!
  8. Plant veggies and care for them as they grow.  Kids are more likely to eat them, if they helped grow them!
  9. Go on a bug hunt.  Let the kids take a picture of each bug and then compare and contrast where each one lives.
  10.  Play, play, play!!!  Freeze tag ~ Frisbee ~ Hide-n-go-seek ~ Catch ~ Etc.

Home-School...Maybe; Teaching at Home...Of Course!

Although Macy is only 3 (and 1/2, she would add) years old, Phillip and I have already begun questioning whether we want to send her to public school, private school, or...drum roll, please...


Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking...home-school???  How will she make friends?  Will she be socially awkward?  How will she learn calculus?

Trust me, I've thought about all of that and more!  BUT,

have you seen that "village" out there, and do you want it raising your children???

So, along the way to help us make our decision, I have decided to be more deliberate about finding the Teachable Moments in our lives.  I want to follow Macy's lead on the things she is exploring and questioning and help her find answers and think deeper.  Hopefully, through this effort, we will find out if homeschooling is right for us and maybe inspire some of you

to deliberately seek out the Teachable Moments in your lives, as well!

Hope you enjoy the journey...