Saturday, October 29, 2011

{Tot School} A is for Apple

We started Tot School a couple of weeks ago in order to prepare my little man for preschool next year.  I also figured it was time to start some type of "school" activity with him because he keeps telling me he wants to go to school and go on the school bus.  I just don't have the heart to tell him he won't be riding the school bus next year because he will be going into school with me very early in the morning.

I love the focus on my little guy's face!

Before we started Tot School I really searched online for pre-preschool activities and came across a ton of great websites, many with FREE downloads.  I introduced you to Oopsey Daisy a while ago and found her sight to be the best at having everything in a nice neat packet but I also wanted to share with you some of the other sites I found some great activities at.
At 1+1+1=1 you can find a whole section dedicated to teaching tots including activities, games, books all free to download, print, and use with your little one. 
You can check it out by clicking the link below.
 Here's a peek at our very first day of Tot School!
I started the lesson by introducing the letter A card.  We pointed to the letter A, the apple picture, and the apple word a few time.  Then I said to my little man "point to the letter A", "point to the apple", "point to the word apple".  He was able to do these tasks with ease.

Then I gave him his new school tools.  He has new crayons, new big pencils, a glue stick, and his very own scissors (which I keep far away from his little hands right now:).

Then we worked on creating a lower case 'a' into an apple.  I found this printout at ABC Twiggles which is Free but only for the letter A.  I am currently thinking about investing in this program because they include letter activities, word walls, prewriting and tracing activities, crafts, folder games, letter books, snacks, and movement activities for each letter!
Here's my little man using his glue stick to glue each piece of the letter a.  He absolutely loves his glue stick!

Next, he colored (with both hands of course) the inside of the a with the color red to make it look like an apple.

We then worked on practicing making an A.  I repeated the words, up, down, and across to help him remember how to make the letter and guided his hand through the motions.  This is definitely an area we will have to work on because it was very difficult for him to form the letter correctly but then again he is still really young right now.  His favorite part was the across part!  He kept repeating across, across, across.

Lastly, we finished our school day with an "apple picking" movement activity.  I cut out a bunch of apple shapes using my Cricut in red, green, and yellow.  Using a little bit of tape, I "hid" them around our living room.  Then I called the little man out and gave him a bucket to go apple picking.  He had a ball picking the apples and putting them in his bucket.  Next, we counted all of the apples, and sorted them by color.  I was pretty impressed with how well he did with this and I plan on creating a pumpkin picking activity too for our next unit!

Day one of Tot School = A huge success!
I definitely suggest going to the two different sites I included in this post and printing out their packets.  As I include more about Tot School, I will have more sites for you to take a peek at.  You will be amazed at how much fun you will have with your little one while they learn about letters, numbers, colors, shapes, etc.
Are you working on Tot School with your little one? 
Where did you find your great ideas?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween Monster Treat Bags

For the last two years, I have made Halloween monster treat bags to give out to all the trick or treaters in my neighborhood.  I absolutely love how they turned out and think they make the night just a little bit more special for the little kids.  I am very excited about Halloween this year because my little man is finally excited about dressing up and getting treats.  We continue to remind him everyday that he only gets treats on Halloween night and not everyday.  In preparation of this Halloween's festivities, I wanted to share some photos of the treat bags I already made. 

Each monster treat bag was made with bright colors and premium cardstock so they stand up really well.  They are about 4 inches tall including the handles.  The green monster has two holes on the side to add a ribbon or string for a handle.

*If you are interested in ordering a set of these adorable little monster treat bags in time for Halloween or for a Little Monster birthday party please feel free to contact me HERE
I would love to create a custom set for you!
Each treat bag is $2.00. 
(Please note: Each treat bag does not include candy or pencils) 

Friday, October 21, 2011

{Friday Favorites} Halloween FUN!

It's been a while since I posted a {Friday Favorites} and I thought what better time than right before Halloween.  I was also in the Halloween spirit today because I finally brought down my Halloween/Fall Decorations from the attic and finished decorating my home.  Though sadly, I am sure my little man will redecorate tomorrow while I am at work. :)
With that being said, welcome to

{Friday Favorites}
Halloween FUN!

I found some fantastic ideas online for you, just click on the link below the picture to go directly to their blog post.

 Source: JBiggs Little Scrap Pieces

This picture of the Halloween Banner really inspired me to start my own banner.  It is simple, festive and adorable all wrapped into one.  Hopefully I will be able to complete mine prior to Halloween.

Source: The Creative Imperative

Check out this blog post because she includes a great tutorial on how to make the adorable spider webs.  If only I planned on having some sort of Halloween Party, I would so make these.  Too CUTE!

Source: A Diamond in the Stuff

Seriously, I definitely need a set of these letters.  I love the polka dots, stripes, and diamonds all mixed together with the little touches of feminine charm. 

Source: A Pumpkin and a Princess

This Halloween matching game is absolutely adorable and I know my son would love it.  Definitely on my to do list.  Oh wait, I still haven't finished my Summer To Do List...OOPS.  All she used was clip art and scrapbook paper.  Sadly, no printable but super easy to do all by yourself.  Maybe I might get inspired to create my very own and then provide a free printable for you guys. 

Source: Fireside Studio

Okay you'll never believe what this wreath is made out of.  Well I won't tell you here, just click the link and find out for yourself.  Kinda makes me wish I had a black door to hang it from.  I love the mix of orange, black, and creamish tan? together.  Super original and very stylish.

Source: Artsy Fartsy Mama

Yeah! A free printable and a super cute one too!  What a fun idea for a Halloween get together or just fun for your little one.  I love the images she used. ADORABLE!

Source: Mndy Made

Hurray! Two more free printables.  Love the idea of ghost poop and Booing someone (see below).  I might just have to include some ghost poop this year with my treat bags for Halloween (post coming soon).  Hopefully we will get some trick or treaters this year!
Source: Mndy Made

Source: All I Create

Super cute idea to make a candy corn tag for a candy corn treat!  Very cute and so easy even if you don't have the die cutter.

Source: Fools Rush In

Yum! Pumpkin soup in a real pumpkin.  I had to include this link because it looks so good and I really want to try this recipe.  I love when food is served in the vegetable it was made from.  Very elegant and professional looking.

Source: Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

Another activity for the little man to get messy with.  Check out the link to find out how to make your own puffy paint ghosts in time for Halloween.  I love this idea because it is festive and you can preserve your little ones hands forever.

Source: 52 Mantels

Last but not least for now,  monogrammed pumpkins!  I saw a post a while back with a monogrammed pumpkin in black paint and loved it (forgot where I saw it but still plan on creating my own).  However, now I'm torn.  I absolutely love this polka dot look because it is a little funky and fun just like Halloween should be.  So am I funky and fun or sophisticated and refined? 
Maybe neither :(

As I look around for more great Halloween ideas, I will link up more fun here.  Thank you to all the blogs I featured for your creativity and craftiness.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tot School - Planning

My little man will hopefully be attending Pre-K next year at the school I work at.  With that being said, I realized I should figure out a way to prepare him for what is expected of him next year in a classroom.  After doing some extensive research on the internet, I found a couple of great sites that offer FREE (yes, my favorite word) printable lessons/units to teach tots.  The first site I stumbled upon and I am so impressed with is
She calls each of her units mommy school rather than tot school but they are amazing.  She has a ton of fantastic printable units focusing on a letter, number, and shape or color.  I plan on teaching her "A is for Apple" unit starting next week and I am so excited to begin with my little man.  I know her units are meant to be taught within a 2 week time frame but I know with my work schedule and how many activities I plan on doing, it will definitely take us much longer.  I feel it is extremely important to help teach your child in any way possible and her units employ some great hands on learning, song and dance, as well as those traditional practice worksheets.  I can't wait to see the first activity go up on the fridge. 
Right now I am in the planning stage with hopes to start soon.  I am compiling information and buying supplies to excite my little one. For our first unit, we will start with exploring the letter A by completeing the projects below:
*making an "a" into an apple shape
*picking apples (construction paper apples) within our house or yard and sorting by color
*reading apple books
*coloring apples red, green, and yellow
*making apple sauce
*making apple scented playdough to cut out A's
*making thumb print apples
*making apple stained glass
*making finger paint trees with apples
*making apple prints
*apple parts labeling
*seeing if different types of apple float or sink
*apple tree math
*apple seed counting
*enjoying apple treats

I will be uploading pictures and activites as we complete them, as well as, any other ideas I stumble across or create.  I am sure I will figure out some way to use my Cricut to help supplement this apple unit.  I will also be sharing some other fantastic sites with you this week and next. 
 I can't wait to explore the letter A with my little man!
Happy Tot School!

      P.S. A HUGE thank you to Alison from Oopsey Daisy for all of her hard work, dedication and of course for providing free printables which are totally above and beyond anything I could have ever imaged.  Your packets are a life saver and a huge help!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Custom Notecards

I was asked to create a custom set of notecards for my friend's twin girls to be used as thank you cards or just quick little notes to friends and family members.  Knowing the girls and their mother made it really easy to create something both girly and adorable for them especially since the color scheme was pinks and greens.  The notecards measure 5x7 inches and were printed on premium cardstock.

You can check out my tutorial for the clothespin HERE!

I am so happy with the way they came out! I think I need to make a set of these for myself to have on hand!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tip of the Week #2

It's been awhile since I posted a tip of the week and I realized it can't really be called a series if there is only one tip! 
So here is Tip of the Week #2! (Now I can call it a series)
I was working on a sample order for a friend when I realized I was looking at another tip I could share with you.  Once again this is another Cricut tip (sorry non-Cricut owners but I'll get to you soon). 
Now I don't know about you, but many times I like to cut out the images on my cartridges in the colors they appear in the booklet.  Usually I don't have any trouble but sometimes they show the main image and background in white.  Then I really have to look at the image and the color picture to figure out which part is which color.  Here's my solution to the problem!
Write below the image what color to cut it out!  Sound simple right?  This way when you go back to cut out another image, you can see the right color and save yourself a little time and headache (especially if you craft late at night like I do).

I'm not sure you can read what I wrote but the top picture with the frog has light green and dark green written in and the bottom one with the firetruck says yellow on the bottom and red on the top.
I plan on taking all my cartridge booklets and writing in the correct colors but until then I will just write them in as I cut out the image.
Happy cutting!


*If you have a great tip and would like to be featured in my tip of the week please leave me a comment below!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bridal Shower Invitations

I am so happy that the sun finally made it's appearance today because my friend's sister is getting married today! 
In honor of her wedding, I figured I would share the bridal shower invitations I made for her. 
The bridal shower's theme was chemistry and the colors were green and white. So I tied that right into the invitations by using beakers as the image on the top.  I actually cut the beakers out twice.  Once in green cardstock and then again in clear plastic.  I then glued them together so it looked like there was liquid inside.
Please note: all personal information has been blurred to protect the privacy of my friend and her sister.

I just know she will make a gorgeous bride and her wedding will be absolutely beautiful!