Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bird Cards

Here they are!  If you're interested in using the bird cards we used during our Birds/Nests week, here's a link to the download.  I printed, laminated then cut them out.  If you don't have a laminator, print on cardstock or just plain paper. They won't be as sturdy, but hey, it will be good practice in teaching Practical Life skills that sometimes we have to be gentle with our activities.

I like to leave it in a MS Word document so you can modify it for the birds in your area, but that means the formating can be off sometimes.  Please drop me an email or leave a comment if the file doesn't work perfectly for you.  (of course I'd love a comment either way!)

Download Bird cards 

While you're here, be sure to visit my giveaway! 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Another cool giveaway

Shannon over at Welcome to our Wonderland has reviewed and is hosting a giveaway for a very beautiful book and game for our kids!

Go check it out

Hurry, it ends on Thursday!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Birds & Nests Week

Turbo is 34 months
Sweet Pea is 8 months

Be sure to check out my very first GIVE-A-WAY! I know so many families will love this as we do.

This week was birds and Turbo loved learning about them!! 

Learning Aid: Bird Cards
Since the zoo cards were such a hit with Turbo, I decided to do a similar thing for bird week.   I selected 7 common birds to our area: Scrub Jay, Crow, Sparrow, Robin, Morning Dove, Mockingbird and Hummingbird; printed up picture cards and laminated them.  They really facilitated our activities and he was able to refer and play with them as he thought about it.
 We started each day with one of the birds. We talked about the bird, it's colors, the different body parts and how we thought the bird would talk/sing. Then we looked at some YouTube videos to see and hear the bird. I'll put some links to some videos we liked at the end of the post.

Sensory Tub: Bird Seed (of course!)
He loved swirlling the bird seed around the bowl. A cup, a funnel and he was lovin' it!

Build a Bird Nest
We gathered materials in our yard and mud from last weeks' sensory table and made our own birds nest. Turbo was again not very excited about touching the mud, so I helped him through the first stage. He enjoyed adding the twigs, leaves and bark to make it look real. Then we got out our rubber ducks and pretended it was their nest.

Math - Count the 'eggs'
Cupcake papers, muffin tin and playdough. Fun and super fast. I'd help him create a bunch of 'eggs' and then he'd put the correct number in each tin. Turbo asked for this several times during the week.

Patterns - I don't think he really grasps patterns yet, especially creating them. It's something high on my list to work with him. Do-A-Dot markers and some lacing beads.  He seemed to know exactly what I wanted him to do. He then turned the paper upside down and did the pattern the other way. Then he was done.   If you have any tips ~ please leave them as a comment!!

Songs and Music
We do circle time almost every day. We start with songs, then read a story, then do some songs again. Then it naturally transitions into an "activity" as I call our TotSchool.   We added "Two Little Blackbirds" to our songs this week and I cut some blackbirds and a hill out of felt so we could pretend to be Jack and Jill.  This was highly anticipated each morning.

Bird Feeder
I found one from the dollar store, but couldn't find a great place to hang it outside where we could see it well. So we used an old piece of baguette to make our own.  Turbo smoothed on peanut butter and sprinkled the bird seed.  We placed it on our patio table and got to see a lot of different birds come to partake.
Of course we sprinkled birdseed on our walks too.

Make a Bird
Got the idea from here to use a TP roll tube, paint, google eyes and construction paper to a make a cute little bird.  So fun!

Bird Seed Cookie
Cute idea from here to make a cookie to hang off a tree in the yard. It was not successful for us as it completely fell apart. Could be that I didn't have corn syrup so I used Molasses. Oh well, we had fun making it!

Letter of the Week ~ N n - Nest
Turbo was very perplexed that we were doing N instead of B this week. It was cute how he was always reminding me that 'birds' starts with a b.  As you may know, I use Confessions of a Homeschooler's Letter of the Week resources. It saves me a ton of time and are super cute.  We did the usual letter tracing, number sequencing, puzzle, letter sorting, cutting, do-a-dot pages etc. He enjoys these and it's nice to have similar activities from week to week.  Instead of cutting the color cards to make them matching puzzles, I placed them around the hearth and we called out a color and an action (purple & hop) - then do the action and race to get the card.

Additional Bird activities ~ We didn't get around to these, but they were on my idea list.
Bird Graphing
I was planning to do a bird graph to track the birds and quantities that we saw throughout the week. We just didn't get to it.  But we'll definitely do it the next time around.

Edible Bird Nest 
I found this cute little recipe for a rice crispy edible birds nest.  We still might do these this week as I have some leftover Peeps and jellybeans from Easter.

Egg Carton Bird Feeder
Can't find the idea link, but it's basically attaching some twine to the corners of the bottom half of an egg carton, filling the carton with bird seed and hanging it in your yard.

Funny picture of the week
I've mentioned before that Turbo is obsessed with types of cars. He knows them all! He's always checking out cars to see what kind they are. He asks everyone that comes around "What car do you have". He has no concept that one kind might be 'nicer' than another. Here he's 'shining' his bike and tells me "Mommy, I'm cleaning my Jaguar".  I just about died laughing - so unexpected! 

Some good YOUTUBE Videos I remembered to bookmark while we were watching.
Scrub Jay's Taking a Bath (Turbo's favorite!)
Western Scrub Jay
Scrub jay Sings
Cackle of Scrub Jay

Crow Cawing
Northern Mockingbird Calling

Ok, I have to go to bed.  I'll post my Bird Card learning aid as a file to download this week. If you'd like me to email you when I post it, just leave me a comment below.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I'm so excited to be hosting my first give-a-way!  While this is not an educational item, it certainly facilitates the PLAY factor in my house, so I thought you all would love it too.

A few weeks ago, I found and purchased a terrific solution to screen off my back door called "Bug Off Instant Screen" and blogged about it. The manufacturer read it and offered to give a screen away to one of my lucky readers!  Since we really love ours, I'm sure this will be a great fit for many other families!

The screen is a high-quality mesh, there are two panels that close together with magnets to enable hands-free use. It opens easily and snaps closed behind you. There are weights in the bottom to prevent it from blowing all around, even in my windy area. It hangs from a tension rod in your door frame and leaves no marks or damage if you remove it. The price - terrific! When I purchased mine, I received it quickly and put it up in 3 minutes!
We love ours. I have my back door open almost all day. The fresh air and breeze is so wonderful. Turbo is able to play outside and easily come in/out without letting in all the flies!! My sanity is preserved by not having to even once say "close the screen door" and there's no cringing waiting for the slam either. We really like the Bug Off Instant Screen!!!!

There are many great benefits of the BUG OFF INSTANT SCREEN and they're all detailed on the website, however, I'll list my favorite here ~
**NO flies or other bugs in my house
**NO yelling - close the screen door
**NO damages - by either kids running into a screen or to your door frame
**NO slamming/banging - when it closes
**NO pinched fingers
**NO high costs
** For you dog owners, this is a terrific option for a pet door!

~~ WIN IT ~~ One lucky reader will win a standard single door screen in 30", 32" or 36" width in either of their standard height options.  (This give-away is not for the larger widths, french or sliding door screens.  If you have questions about the product or the item for the giveaway, just ask!)

Required Entry:  Leave a comment telling me your favorite feature of the Bug Off Instant Screen.
Extra Entries: (be sure to leave a separate comment for each additional entry!)
** If you watch the demo video, give yourself an extra entry.
** If you blog about this give-a-way, give yourself two extra entries.
** If you subscribe to my blog in a reader or via email, give yourself an extra entry.
** If you follow this blog, give yourself an extra entry.

This Give-A-Way is open to USA only. (although after this one, I'll have a long over-due giveaway open to everyone, so my friends abroad, stay tuned!)

I will select a winner using, so be sure you leave a separate comment for each entry.

Contest ENDS 11:59PM PDT May 16, 2010. Winner will be announced here, and emailed. Winner must reply to my email within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.  

The winner is comment 33 ~ Congratulations welcometoourwonderland!  I'll be in contact with you via email as well. Please respond within 48 hours to confirm your prize!!

If you didn't win ~ the prices for this screen can't be beat starting under $40! Go to Bug Off Screen to get yours today!