Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dinosaur Doings

This week we will be exploring the exciting world of dinosaurs.  Eva is a big fan of T-Rexes and Triceratops so we will be having a blast learning more about them and their prehistoric friends.


We have lots of favorite dinosaur books at home and a bunch we will be checking out at the library.

A few of Eva's favorites include:



Large Motor Activities

Bipeds and Quadrupeds- we will try walking like our pals the T-Rex on two feet and Triceratops on four feet to figure out which one moved faster. 

Small Motor Activities

Digging for Dinos-  the sensory tub will be filled with dinosaur bones just waiting to be unearthed

Making Fossils- we will be using toy dinos to stamp fossils into our play dough


Handprint and Clothespin Dinosaurs-  if you haven't checked out this blog yet- it is a must see!

Dinosaur Eggs-  we will be painting a cardboard egg with a surprise inside

Dino Skeletons- we will be using various types of pasta to glue together a dino skeleton

Other Activities

There is a dinosaur exhibit at the local science museum that we may go see.  I've gotten mixed reviews as to how age appropriate it is for a two year old (the robotic dinosaurs may be a little scary while the rest of the exhibit is geared toward older children) so it will probably be a coin toss.

Dinosaur Felt Board Song-  we will be acting out this song with our felt board
Five enormous dinosaurs
Letting out a roar--
One went away, and
Then there were four.
Four enormous dinosaurs
Crashing down a tree--
One went away, and 
Then there were three.
Three enormous dinosaurs
Eating tiger stew--
One went away, and 
Then there were two.
Two enormous dinosaurs
Trying to run--
One ran away, and then there was one.
One enormous dinosaur, 
Afraid to be a hero--
He went away, and
Then there was zero.

Be sure to check back throughout the week to see how much fun we are having and to check out our finished products!

Whoooo's That?

We finally finished the owl puppet this morning.  We started out by sponge painting white feathers onto a brown paper lunch bag:

After letting it dry (for two days- yep, we forgot about him!), we added a beak, googly eyes and wings made by tracing Eva's hands.

The owl has been having fun hanging out with Eva and his pal the groundhog:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Snow Day

Well we ended up getting all the snow that was forecast.  Thus the zoo was closed so no zoo school today.  I hope they reschedule because Eva was really looking forward to it.

With the entire morning freed up we decided to bundle up and head out into the wintry wonderland.  Our fabulous neighbor used his snow blower on our driveway this morning making it much easier for Eva to walk.  I stuck her up on the front lawn when we first got out but she freaked- the snow came up to her waist and she couldn't move.  So she hung out on the sidewalk instead while mommy dug out a hole on the front lawn to build this guy:

We also did a little sledding, made some snow angels and Eva tried making snowballs to throw at me.  Thankfully her typically strong throwing arm was hindered by all the layers of clothes she had on!

One last picture of my sweetie in the snow and then I'll be back a little later with pictures of the owl puppet we made this afternoon.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Polar Bears and Baby Seals

Today was cold and snowy so we spent the afternoon in.  We started off by making a baby seal out of an old sock.  I stuffed it will poly-fill and tied off the end and then Eva used markers to draw on the face.

He's a cuddly little guy and Hoppy is enjoying having a buddy.

We also made a torn paper polar bear.  I had some cute black and white polka dot tissue paper that reminded me of snow so I glued it on a piece of cardstock (one of those rectangles that are folded into kids' jammies- I save everything!).  I then drew a circle with marker and let Eva fill it with glue (we used a glue stick for this project).   She then went to town covering the glue with torn pieces of white construction paper.  I had her try tearing it but it was a little too tricky for her so I ripped it up instead.

  As you know, no project is complete in our house without googly eyes so Eva put on two of those along with a tissue paper nose and a marker-drawn mouth.  Ta-daa!   A polar bear:

After cleaning up our craft supplies we tried building snow towers using marshmallows.  Eva had a blast trying to stack them up.

But I think her favorite part was when the tower would fall.

I thought it would be a nice treat to have a few for a snack but apparently Eva feels the same way about marshmallows that I do:

What's funny is she loves the mini ones.  Oh well, we'll just have to make rice krispy treats with the rest of the big ones!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Winter Wonders

In the two weeks prior to me starting this blog we spent our time talking about all things winter- snow, snowmen, ice skating, sledding, mittens, etc.  Here are a few of the crafts we made:

Marshmallow Snowman:

We glued mini marshmallows to the paper in circle shapes and then drew on eyes, a mouth and a button.  I twisted an orange pipe cleaner to make the carrot nose and just pushed it through the paper.

Ice Skates:

Eva used water colors to paint the ice skates and I added tin foil blades and some embroidery thread for laces.

Paper Plate Snowman:

Eva drew a face on one paper plate and buttons on the other two.  I taped them together and added a tissue paper hat and scarf while Eva bent tan pipe cleaners for the arms.  This guy now hangs on our front door.  If I had known that's where I would end up putting him I would have had Eva draw the face with markers rather than crayons.

Snowflake Painting:

We found a use for the old bottle brush- it makes great snowflakes!  Eva dipped the brush in white paint and stamped away to make a lovely snow storm.

More Penguin Fun

Rockhopper penguins get their name from their ability to hop on and off of rocks (some one was really creative when they came up with that one).  In honor of Hoppy and Rockhoppers everywhere, we practiced hopping from rock to rock.  I taped paper plates to the floor and we went hopping.
Hoppy joined in on the fun.  (sorry about the blurry pics- I had the camera on the wrong setting)

We also made fingerprint penguins in eggs to practice our counting.

I added beaks and feet once the ink had dried.  Eva did a great job putting the right number of penguins in each egg.

On Friday we are going to the zoo for a class on owls.  (Please don't let the snow storm that's coming our way be as bad as they are predicting- Eva's heart is set on going to the zoo!)  To help us get a better look at the animals, we made binoculars.  We started with a paper towel tube (toilet paper tubes would work too) and Eva used her paint pens to decorate it.

Then I cut it in half and used packing tape to hold the two pieces together.  After adding a strap, the binoculars were ready to be tested out.

When we were at the library yesterday for story time, we found a few more polar pals books:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Meet Hoppy

Hoppy is Eva's Rockhopper penguin.  He goes everywhere with her.  Everywhere.  The other day Eva informed me that Hoppy was hungry and that he eats fish.  Not dog food.  (Good to know.)  I whipped up a couple stuffed fish for him and then he joined Eva for snack time.  She had some yummy S'mores Goldfish crackers that Grammy sent her.

Now on to our craft.  We made footprint penguins.  This was so much fun.  Eva wasn't quite sure what to make of me painting her feet but she loved the final product.

No project is complete in our house without googly eyes.  After the paint had dried we stuck them on with glue dots and then Eva added some water for the penguins to swim in.  I think this turned out really cute- the penguins look like they are dancing just like the ones in "the penguin movie"  (aka Happy Feet).

Monday, February 22, 2010

Polar Pals

This week we are going to be meeting some animals who live in the snow.  Eva has been obsessed with penguins lately, especially Rockhoppers, so I thought it would be fun to learn some more about them as well as polar bears, seals and snowy owls.  We are taking a class all about owls at the zoo on Friday so we will be visiting the penguins and polar bears while we are there.


There are lots of great books about arctic friends.  Here are a few I found at our local library or in our personal collection:

Miela Ford's books are a huge hit in our house.  Not only are they fun, simple books with awesome photographs, the stars of the books are also residents at our local zoo!   These are two of our favorites featuring Aurora:
Some other polar bear favorites in our house include:

And last but not least, Eva's must-read book before bed (and the reason she is able to identify a dozen different penguins!):

Large Motor Activities

Penguin Waddle- we will be attempting to walk like penguins!  Keeping our legs together and our arms at our sides we will try to imitate the way our little feathered friends walk.

Penguin Hokey Pokey- just like human hokey pokey only we will be putting our wings, beaks and tails in.

Rockhopping- Rockhoppers get their name from, you guessed it, hopping from rock to rock.  Eva will get to hop just like her pal Hoppy around a "rock" obstacle course.

Polar Bear Walk- we will be trying this tricky feat- walking on our hands and feet!

Small Motor Activities

Stacking "Ice Cubes"- we won't be stacking actual ice cubes, we'll be stacking a tastier imitation- marshmallows.  I wonder how tall of an ice tower we can make?

Transferring ice cubes- this time we will be using real ice cubes.  We will try transferring them from one bowl to another using various spoons and scoops to see which makes the job easiest.

Snowball counting- more marshmallows!  For this activity we will be using tongs to move mini marshmallows.  Not only will we be working on our fine motor skills, we will also be practicing counting.


Footprint Penguin- this is a fun, messy and tickly craft!

Penguin Eggs-  another messy one but oh, so much fun!  Eva will be using her finger and black ink to stamp penguins onto eggs.  Another fun way to practice counting as well.

Torn Paper Polar Bear- Eva will get to unleash her destructive side for this craft.  She will be tearing up white paper and then gluing it onto a polar bear shape on blue paper.

Snowy Owl Puppet- We will use a sponge paint brush to add white "feathers" to a paper lunch bag.  After adding eyes, a beak, wings and talons, our owl will be ready to fly!

Sock Seal- we will be stuffing an old white sock and then using fabric paints to add a cute face to our new little polar pal.

Other Activities:

Arctic Adventure Board Game- I am making a simple board game where Eva will again be able to practice her counting and taking turns to get polar friends from an ice berg to the South Pole.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Welcome to the lounge!

Each week I have been gathering up activities, crafts, books and other fun things to do with my two year old based on a theme.  Yes, I realize that makes me a little (okay, a lot) neurotic but I'm a teacher and I can't help but plan!  There are so many cute things to make and do with kids today and the internet has such a wealth of great ideas, I felt planning around a theme for each week would help me weed through everything.  I set up this lounge as a place to share each week's ideas while I'm planning and then the finished results of any thing we make or do (that I remember to actually photograph- I'm really bad about getting caught up in the moment and forgetting to snap pictures).  Feel free to add any ideas of your own!