One of my favorite things about having family childcare in my own home is that we are completely free to follow the interests of the kids. Today, one of our friends asked if we could bake something for our snack...so of course, we did! We decided on these Double Chocolate (black bean!) muffins. It was a fun culinary experiment, we had a great time making them together, and they gobbled them up at snack time! The recipe we used can be found here: http://veggieandthebeastfeast.com/2014/11/13/double-chocolate-black-bean-muffins/
Now a full week into 2015, I have so enjoyed looking back on what an amazing year 2014 was! I was blessed enough to spend MANY special moments with some super special kids, and thankful that some of those moments were even preserved on camera. I have chosen my very favorite photos from the past year, and I hope you all will enjoy getting a glimpse of the joy, learning, friendships, and excitement that we have experienced together. As with all photos, what makes them great is the story behind them, so I've added descriptions to some that explain why they are my favorites. Just click the post link to see all the photos!
Well, the weather outside today was pretty frightful, but it was a perfect day for some "snow playdough!" We added some buttons, orange pipe-cleaner "carrots", fleece scraps, and twigs and had fun building some great little snowmen!
We had a great time with the process of making our own applesauce today! There is something so powerful in being trusted enough to use REAL tools to do a job! The kids and I peeled the apples, then used the slicer to cut them up, and added the ingredients to start cooking. They were so excited to learn how one of their favorite foods is made, and were just as excited to get to eat some for snack! :) Of course, they also enjoyed snacking on the apples themselves throughout the whole process. I think between the four oldest kids, they ate the better part of eight or nine apples, before we even got around to the applesauce! I can't think of a better sensory experience than something completely edible, that smells delicious, can snap and crack in your hands, or even feel mushy, is smooth and shiny in one spot, and rough and wet in another...so much great, authentic sensory input today, even for the littlest ones!
I am pretty sad that summer is coming to an end, but we are not going to let that stop us from enjoying every last bit of nice weather in our new mud pie kitchen! (Though I think it will make a fun snow pie kitchen, too!) I still hope to add a real kitchen sink on the left side, but it's definitely usable! The kids were so excited to see it ready for play this morning, and they have already spent hours scooping, digging, squeezing (great pre-writing work!), counting, measuring (math concepts), role-playing, planning, communicating, problem solving (VERY important social skills), just rolling in the new dirt patch, and having SO MUCH FUN!
We were also in the mood for some painting today, so some jumped right into that as well!
Our fun themed lunch and snack today: Shamrock chicken avocado nachos with green beans and green grapes, and rainbow fruit kabobs with green yogurt for dipping.
We also worked on coloring our big rainbow and had fun noticing some of those sneaky leprechaun's tricks, like the fact that they turned all of our milk green! :)
It is day 3 of celebrating Read Across America and Dr. Seuss's birthday. This morning we read Bartholomew and the Oobleck, and then of course we had to follow that up by making some Oobleck! If you've never made Oobleck (cornstarch & water) before, there is a great explanation and demonstration of it by Scientific American here. Oobleck is so much fun because it has properties of both a solid and a liquid at the same time. When you apply pressure, it gets firm and when you relax, it runs through your fingers. I can't keep my own fingers out of it, and the kids love it, too! :)
Today was also our "Green Eggs & Ham Day!" This year the kids ALL ate their Green Eggs & Ham (at least most of it!) and they enjoyed hearing the story as they ate! After trying their meal, they were quick to offer advice to the book's character...."He should just try it!" "They are good, he will like them!" They are so wise. ;)
This week marks the annual celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday and Read Across America Week! It is a time I always look forward to, since it is filled with so many fun activities and so much fun reading! So far, we have enjoyed a Cat In The Hat beanbag toss game, lots of red and white patterning, some Red Fish Blue Fish decorating, and a fun lunch of "Lorax pasta" complete with a blue Humming Fish "river" alfredo sauce, broccoli and asparagus "trees," and mini Lorax (pineapple) "mustaches." A fun start to a great week!
We had so much fun last week celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday! For the past couple of years, I think it has been the favorite "holiday" around here! This year I brought out some old favorites (like painting with our feet, and then reading the Foot Book) as well as some new activities, art projects, and fun foods. The kids had fun using tissue paper scraps to fill in their Red fish & Blue fish, and loved dipping cotton balls into colored water to make colorful Truffula tree-tops!
In addition to the fun art projects, we enjoyed some great Dr. Seuss themed games and activities, too. The kids did some impressive building and patterning with our new Cat In the Hat foam stacking blocks, sharpened their fine-motor skills with some Tuffula tree beading, and even got to Hop on Pop!
Of course we can't celebrate Dr. Seuss without having some Green Eggs & Ham, but we also had fun with lots of other Dr. Seuss themed meals and snacks. One of their favorites was the fish cracker graphing along with some Pink Ink Drink (also from One fish, Two fish, Red fish, Blue fish). We had colorful Lorax pasta with broccoli and asparagus "trees" and a blue alfredo river, played with Brown Bar-ba-loot bears and built our own Truffula trees (from the Lorax) using pretzel sticks and mini colored marshmallows, and at the suggestion of one of the kids, we even had a birthday cake for Dr. Seuss!
We enjoyed celebrating Dr. Seuss once again and are now looking forward to lots of rainbow fun in the next couple of weeks, building up to St. Patrick's Day!
"The Kissing Hand" by Audrey Penn has become a classic back-to-school story because of the sweet way it reminds kids (and parents, too!) that their parents' love stays with them no matter where they go. In anticipation of school starting for many of the kids next week, today we read the story and made these sweet Kissing Hand cookies for a snack to go along with it!
We had fun taking turns to measure and add the ingredients, and then rolling out the dough and cutting out our handprint shapes.
And hopefully, the sweet snack afterward will help us remember the story of "The Kissing Hand" as some of our group heads off to school!
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