Friday, September 3, 2010

Logging Off

Well, friends, I'll be taking a break from blogging for a while. Don't worry, I'm not saying goodbye for good - I'll be back in a month or so.

I'll miss blogging and reading about the wonderful things you're doing, but it's important I take this time to focus on all of the things going on here. We're getting ready to move into a new home and any of you who've done this know what a time-consuming process it can be! Also, I need to spend some time setting up our new classroom (SO excited about this!) and preparing for our school year.

Since I'm an all or nothing kind of gal going totally offline is really the only way I'll be able to focus. That said, I'm sorry I won't be answering emails or updating my Facebook page much during my hiatus. If I still owe you an email I'll be sure to respond before I log off.

When I come back I'll have a few giveaways, some new sensory tubs to share, photos of our new classroom, as well as a few posts in which I'll answer your questions about sensory tubs, how I organize my materials and why we've decided to homeschool James. Lots to share!

Wishing you all a lovely start to your school year!

~Thank you for your comments!~

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September Sensory Tub & Playdough - Fall

It's hard to believe it's September already! It certainly doesn't feel like fall, at least not here in Bermuda. It's still very warm and humid and will be this way for another month at least. Nonetheless, I'm ready for it to be fall so I created this sensory tub and playdough to get us in the mood. :)
Here's what's inside:
:: Silk leaves - found at Michael's and Hobby Lobby. If you can't find individual leaves, look for a garland you can cut up.
:: Button leaves
:: Cinnamon sticks
:: Wooden acorns - purchased from here
:: REAL acorns - these are a wonderful gift from the lovely Mama Bee. We have no oak trees in Bermuda, a sad thing for this acorn-loving girl!
:: Pinecones
:: Small wooden bowl - purchased from here
:: Wooden apples & bucket - purchased from the same place as the wooden acorns
:: Knitted apples - see here for my post about those
:: Plastic apples
:: Two teeny tiny button apples
UPDATE: I've since added a little rake to the tub, too. After all, when the leaves fall you have to rake them together! This fun idea comes from Kara at Little Learners Lounge - thanks, Kara!

As you can see, there are a lot of apples in there! I focused on apples for this month's theme not just because it's the typical "back to school", but because September has always meant apples to me. Every September while I was growing up we'd visit the Pine Tree Apple Orchard (in Minnesota) to watch the apples roll around on the sorting belts and to eat some fresh apple pie, cinnamon ice cream and hot apple cider. I remember being SO excited about this and it made the return of the school year something I looked forward to.

I had the apple pie in mind when I created this month's playdough...
Using my favorite recipe, I kept the playdough a plain color and added in cinnamon which yielded not only a delicious aroma, but also some lovely brown swirls. I gathered some small pie tins, an apple cookie cutter, little plastic apples (in the apple container), a rolling pin and a knife for James to make his own apple pies!
He had such a blast doing this! He tore up bits and filled the pan to make a "crumb" topping and I sliced strips for him to lay criss-cross.
Yum! Wish it were real!

James is really into reading right now and is constantly trying to sound out the words he sees wherever we are. While we were playing with the dough he said to me, "A is for apple!" and asked me to make a letter 'A'. :) I love that his interest in reading comes 100% from him - I wasn't planning on him entering the world of reading for another year or so!

We read a couple of great books that fit in perfectly with our sensory fun:
The Apple Pie Tree, by Zoe Hall. A very cute story about a pair of sisters who watch their apple tree grow and change in the seasons and use the apples it produces to make a delicious apple pie. There's even a recipe in the back of the book.

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, by Lois Ehlert. This story details the journey of a tree from a sapling at a nursery to a new tree in a child's backyard. There's an informative section in the back about the various parts of trees and even a section on how to plant a tree.

I'm linking this post up to Montessori Monday, The Preschool Corner and Tot Tuesday.

~Thank you for your comments!~


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