Monday, October 17, 2011

ABCs and 123s

Earlier this fall I decided I would start a "Letter of the Week" with H.  My philosophy behind this is simple.  It would give us a jumping point for activities for the week.  H. is almost 3 and like any 3 year old, I imagine, she likes to be busy.  Yes, we are definitely learning (H. is a genius :)).  Yes, we are producing beautiful works of art (H. is super talented :)).  Yes, we are having fun!  And there have been all sorts of added benefits I've discovered - like fun interactive fb posts, menu planning has become easier, it gives daddy something specific to ask H. about at the dinner table and H. loves to show what she's done or learned.

I'm following the letter order that my local schools use in Kindergarten.At the beginning of the week (okay, Sunday night) I start looking at a few homeschool and preschool websites for letter ideas.  I also have been posting on fb for ideas - my family and friends provide LOTS!  So far, we have gone through letters A, B, M, T, R, S, and N.  Here are a few of our favorite photos from our activities.  
M Box and "Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" magnet game.

Spider cookies

R is for Rainbow

R box with Peter Rabbit
2 Bs side by side to make a Butterfly.  H. decorated with Buttons.
T is for Tea Party!

R is for Rainbow Fish
S lunch: shoe, stars, strawberries, spinach
Each week I simply make a list of words for the week, look through H.'s toy bins, books, flash cards, etc. to put a box together.  I decide on at least one craft, but also print off coloring pages and dot-a-dot pages.  I'm not actively trying to get her to write letters (though she does some) - more just recognizing the letters and learning to associate letters with words, and later, reading.  I want this to be fun for her.  If she's not in the mood, I don't force her.  I leave the box out for her to play with all week.  Sometimes we really get into it, sometimes not so much.  I will try to post a weekly letter activity round up in the future, as well as a list of other helpful blogs and websites.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Little Yellow Bicycle's "Happy Fall" Projects

I was lucky enough to pick up some of the new Little Yellow Bicycle fall line, "Hello Fall!" at my LSS, Scrapdoodles, and I "fell" in love.  I love these papers - the colors are rich and vibrant and the details are so wonderful.  Then I looked at the embellishments all hanging happily together, and "Wow!"  I wanted everything!  The best part is that I could see using the embellishments beyond my scrapbook page and onto some fun accessories and home decor.  I first started with my scrapbook page, combining a few of the double sided papers and a strip from the border sheet.  I mimicked that "happy Fall" cluster again in the upper left for my title.  I added some punched circles and some of the fabric and chipboard embellishments.  It came together quickly (so nice when the paper itself inspires the layout design!) and is perfect for any type of fall photos, like these of Miss H. playing in the leaves last year.

 At left are the items I started with - 5 sheets of double sided papers and 3 embellishement packs - fabric, chipboard, and felt flowers.  I knew I wanted to use the felt flowers for hair barrettes and they worked out perfectly.  I also used the 2 fabric buttons on barrettes - too cute!  After I made the barrettes, I decided to make a little hanger for them out of ribbon and a chipboard tree.  I love it and haven't decided if I will keep it or give it as a gift to some sweet little girl :)

 Next on my list of projects with this cute stuff was a little banner for my door.  I dug out 4 pieces of Maya Road chipboard I had and covered them with paper and embellishments.  It was so easy and I love how it turned out!  I did sand the edges of most of the pieces to help them stand out against each other, but other than that, I didn't alter much of anything.  I punched holes using my Crop-a-dile and used medium width ribbon and then a piece of twine to string it together.

If you want to see these projects in person and add some of this line to your stash, I recommend you hurry out to Scrapdoodles (if you're local to Fredericksburg) and pick it up.  I think I may have to get some more, too, before it's gone.