Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"The Mitten" Day

Friday was The Mitten Day.

We started out by reading the book. Then we assigned one animal from the book to each kid.  We read the book the second time, and each time we got to an animal, that child went into our mitten, which was really just a big blanket!

It got very full in there. We didn't have enough kids here today to cover all the animals in the book, so the little polar on Peyton's lap filled in for mouse.

Peyton was the bear, which is why he is holding the "mouse". He also had to let out a loud sneeze.

After the bear sneezed, I yanked the blanket off them, and all the animals went tumbling!

I think this little activity has pretty much convinced Brooklyn that we are all nuts!

After that, we went to the activity table and colored our own mitten

Which I then filled at snack time with frosted animal crackers. 

Apparently, this snack thing was a big deal with the kids. It was a good reminder that sometimes the simplest things have the biggest impact. Sometimes as adults I think we tend to overthink things and feel like every event has to be huge...so not the case!

Monday, January 21, 2013

What's Missing?

Notice something missing? Like a lot of posts maybe? If you have looked back through the older posts...as I apparently should have...you would have noticed that there are alot of photos missing. Pretty much everything before October. Which leads me to believe that this was somehow caused by the name change and domain change. I honestly do not know why or how or if this is even the reason. But I don't know how to fix it, so I deleted it. Or actually I deleted every post before October has every one of the photos in those posts was just a big gray triangle.

All the photos from those posts are still available on our current website and on the old website

So now it feels like a new blog! Maybe I will be more motivated to post since I won't feel like you could go back a year or two and find a very similar post.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Polar Express Party

Yes, this is a rather untimely post. But I lost my camera after the party, and Tracy just recently found it. And this has been my first chance to type up a post. I wasn't going to bother, but then I remembered that some other providers did want ideas for their parties, so I thought this might be useful down the road...and for the next time I do a Polar Express party.

This was a great party. It was such a calm affair, but a nice change from the usual party games and craziness. We had a busy, full morning, but it was a great way to end a week and a season and move into our Christmas break.

On Thursday, we listened to the CD of Liam Neeson reading the book We then hung the ornament that came with the book on our Christmas tree...our only non-kid made ornament. 
Friday morning, when the kids arrived wearing their pajamas, there were coloring sheets (which I use so absolute rarely that I felt they were ok for a special occassion such as this) set up at their chairs. I printed these off the Polar Express website. They worked on these while we waited for everyone to arrive. One of the coloring sheets was actually the same as the ornament shown above, and I told the kids they could make it into an ornament at home if they wanted.

At 8:00, everyone brought me their coloring sheets to pay for their tickets (the sheets were sent home in the art bags). This is a photo of the front and back. I found them on the internet, but they were a full sheet ticket, and I wanted much smaller ones. So I did some fancy computer stuff (basically, I got lucky that I figured this out), and resized them and printed them out. They actually printed so both sides are together, you just fold it over to get a front and back. Then I laminated them.

When it was time to move into the living room, they brought their ticket to me as I yelled "All Aboard!!" I used a hole punch and punched them near the end (this is important later), and they found a spot to watch the movie.

After the hot chocolate scene, we sat down to a breakfast of waffles with strawberry topping, and hot chocolate with whip cream, sprinkles, and gingerbread marshmallows.

After the caribou scene, we made reindeer food for the kids to take home to sprinkle on the lawn on Christmas Eve. It consists of oatmeal, sugar, and sugar sprinkles. 

After the scene on the frozen lake, we did some wax paper skating.

We stopped to sing some Christmas songs right after the kids sing on the back of the train. I had wanted to stop right after the scene where they show the record player, and play some of  my old Christmas 45s on my little record player. I found the player...but not the 45s. I was very sad. And yes...I'm probably older than you think I am.  :)

When the star almost fell off the Christmas tree, we went downstairs and took all the ornaments off of our playroom tree, and bagged them up to go home.

When the boy heard the bell, we paused again. We then made a keepsake ornament from our party. Very simple...a shiny pipecleaner, a bell, and our ticket. Remember that hole I punched in the end of them?

When Santa gave out the first present of Christmas, I gave the kids their presents.

On Thursday night, Tracy scheduled our pizza delivery. It arrived right before the movie ended. Perfect!

In case you are wondering, we started right at 8:00, and sat down for lunch at about 11:40.

This was a great morning. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Baby Play!

Our playroom is set up to serve the needs of the children we currently have enrolled. Because we serve kids ages newborn through preschool, we can have a wide variety of ages to fit into one small space. Plus, the needs of each individual child within each age group can be quite varying. This is why our room arrangement often undergoes changes...we have a change in needs. Right now we have a lot of kids that will be heading off to kindergarten by fall. As I forecast our enrollment over the coming months, it looks like we are going to have a much younger group!

It's been awhile since we have had an itty bit in our midst. And right now we have Avery. She has been on a very limited part-time basis (her mom is very, very fortunate to have a job that allows Avery to go work with her for the first few months), but in a couple of weeks she will be with us on a full-time basis. While I usually make the family room baby central for our itty bits, Avery is not impressed with that and wants to be with the big kids! So, just this morning, I did some quick shuffling of furnishings, threw a few toys in the corner, and created a baby corner. She's quite mobile for her age, so the purple dino is actually blocking her in...for now.

She really likes the purple dino....

This corner will continually be modified over the next few months to serve Avery's needs. But in the spring, another itty bit is joining, just a few weeks younger than Avery. And we will probably have another one joining us in the fall. So, as I look ahead...the wheels are spinning and I'm coming up with some plans that will not only serve the needs of all these little ones, but all the other kids as well. 

Stay tuned...I'm not quite ready to reveal any secrets yet!