Thursday, September 27, 2012

Birthday Invitations!

Hear ye!  Hear ye!  It's birthday time!

My daughter decided this year she would like to have a royal masquerade party, but because we are in transition mode (not in our new home yet) - we decided to have a royal masquerade picnic at a park.  It was so much fun to meet the challenge of an unusual birthday theme request and turn it into a special day for Miss A and her little friends.

I think these invitations set the tone quite nicely...

Andrea from Where the Green Grass Grows is wonderful to work with!  She came up with our Nutcracker Sweet invitations last year and our First "Bear"thday ones as well.  So when this year rolled around, I knew it was time to check in with her again.

She created the cutest custom design for us (the poor woman had to endure who knows how many of my little e-mails requesting date changes, wording changes, etc. and met each request with such amazing cheerfulness)!  I loved the little gasp of delight from my daughter when she saw them.  :)

We added some sparkle of our own to help fit in with the gold and pink theme - plus extra sparkle seems to come with the territory when a little princess is party of your family.

Then we made glittering masks for each young princess invited to attend and tucked them under the ribbon with the invitation.  The girls were sooo excited to receive these!  It was cute to listen to their comments.

Andrea also came up with the adorable invitations below for my son's party.  I decided to turn the invitations into a banner being flown by little wooden planes, so I attached some blue and white twine to both the plane and the invitation for a little different way of delivering our message.  :)

Now on to the parties....

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy First Day of Autumn!

I love the fall season!

I look forward to the first day of it...

A delicious breakfast...

Slipping into some cozy socks...

(My mom made these - isn't she AMAZING?  She likes to make me a different pair each Christmas, and I literally love them to pieces -wear holes in the heels. )

Throwing dinner in a slow cooker and smelling it simmer all afternoon...

And indulging in a little treat of the season!

Welcome AUTUMN!  I'm so glad you're here!  :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lesson Theme: Fire Station and Firefighters!

We've been taking some time over the past couple of weeks to begin discussing different community helpers.  Of course, firefighters were on that list!  :)  

There were just SOOO many fun ideas for firefighters, fire stations, and fire safety that I decided to spend more than one week on the subject and just wait until we were done to share.  Thus, the ideas would be grouped in one large post so you wouldn't have to go hopping around my blog searching for all the little posts.  You can thank me later...or now...;)

I titled this game:  Ready...Set...Dress.   It could be played together as a timed contest or individually.  

The goal is to keep rolling a couple of dice until the two numbers add up to the number on the dressing list.  The item beside the number is the piece of clothing the firefighter can put on next.  The game is done when the firefighter is dressed and ready to go!

The pieces of clothing were items I drew on colored paper and cut out.  The reflective stripes were made from aluminum foil.  

Uh oh!  Time to fight some fires of our own!

I believe this flame was discovered in a workbox of all places!  Of course we needed to put it out...

Miss A would roll two dice, write a number sentence about the numbers she had rolled, and answer the number problem.  The answer was how many dots of water we were allowed to "spray" on the fire to put it out.  It took quite a few dots but eventually our fire was extinguished!  

Hooray for my little firefighter!  :)

Ah yes, duty calls again!  In this case, the fire was in the form of spelling words and flames written in red washable marker on a white vinyl tablecloth (check the party section of Walmart or Dollar Tree for these dollar tablecloths).   This was a much bigger fire so a hose and real water were called for of course.  ;)

What a hit!  You can do so many things with this concept - have your kids practice writing their spelling words on the tablecloth, math facts, etc. using red and orange markers to create the "fires".  Then at the end of the lesson, they get to "put out" the fires with real water (just make sure you use a WASHABLE red marker or your fires might resist the water).

For this activity, I printed some fire engines and hydrants which Miss A and I colored.  I cut them out and also snipped out some small words, number sentences, etc.  On the hydrant, I would place the "answer" to some of the math sentences, words, etc. and each fire engine would have a "problem/question".  

If the answer on the hydrant matched the problem/question on the fire engine, the engine could hook up to the fire hydrant via a hose (blue bendy straw).  If the engine could not match up with the hydrant's answer, they could not hook up to get water.   For example:  if the hydrant had the word "rage" on it and you were practicing rhyming words, an engine would have to have a word on it that rhymed with "rage" in order to hook up its hose to the hydrant.

A pretend play bin fit for little firefighters (I found the hats at the 99 cent store or Dollar Tree - I cannot remember which).

I saw this idea on Pinterest (here is a link) and thought it was soooo cute!  I loved the idea of making my kids' footprints into fire engines!  They helped of course.

And when one has a fire engine, one should certainly have a fire station in which to put said engine.  Thus, we built a fire station by rolling some dice, adding the numbers together and then using the answer to figure out what we would get in order to build our station (example:  roll two numbers which added together equal seven = building).  

Sometimes we would just have to hold onto an item until we had another one on which to put it (example:  holding onto windows until you have rolled a building).   We then glued the items on a paper bag (one end is open so you can slip your fire engine in and out as you please - see picture above).

This is a fire collage that the kids worked on together - torn paper, red and shiny gift basket shreds, etc.

The point of this game was to practice the concept of Stop, Drop, and Roll.  I cut out pieces of red and yellow flannel and we took turns being "it".  The "it" person would chase someone else and put the flannel pieces on their clothes.  That person would then need to stop, drop, and roll until the felt flames came off.  Then THEY would be "it" and chase someone else, attempting to get those flames onto another person.  :)

These activities were all good, but I don't think any could hold a candle to the actual day we visited a fire station (it was a surprise for the kids).  It was definitely a highlight of our week to be shown around by a real firefighter.  Lots of fun!  If you have a fire station near you, you might want to check to see whether they could give you a tour.  :)

Do you have any fire safety, firefighter, fire station ideas or crafts you would like to share with others?  Feel free to post about it in the comment section below!  :)

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For the Kids Friday

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Le Chef Petite: Smores Crumble!

Looking for a sweet way to kiss the summer good-bye?  Have your kids help you make Smores Crumble!  This is so easy to make and you only need THREE ingredients!

Graham crackers
Marshmallow Creme or mini marshmallows
chocolate chips

1.  Break up or crush graham crackers and spread in the bottom of a pan.
2.  Scoop out some marshmallow Creme and spread on top of the graham crackers OR sprinkle mini marshmallows on top of the graham crackers.  (This part can be a bit messy.)
3.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the marshmallow creme.
4.  Place in the oven (low heat - maybe 300 - 325 degrees) and check every three to five minutes until the marshmallow creme or marshmallows have become gooey and the chocolate is soft.

Bye summer days....

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