Friday, June 30, 2017

Happy Birthday, S!

We are busy at play and celebration here as the birthday train leaves the station. S is three today by the Jewish calendar (his birth date is Monday by the secular calendar). We had a lot of fun playing along with The Little Engine That Could this past week and will post on it next week, along with a great jam session with some berry good books...

Until then, you can read about S's birthday here. We wish you many things to celebrate and, as always, happy playing!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Beyond the Book: "Boy + Bot"

We have read so many great robot themed books this week--some of them multiple times--and BOY + BOT by Ame Dyckman, with illustrations by Dan Yaccarino was by and far a favorite of ours. In fact, one branch of our local library even had a craft workshop to build robots using recycled materials along with a reading of this book today! I could not have planned better if I had actually tried! (I hope the librarians weren't searching for all of the other copies of their robot themed books as they prepared for today's event...)
BOY +  BOT tells the story of a boy and a robot who are both fascinated by how the other half lives! Both parties learn a lot and develop a wonderful friendship in this adorable tale. Children's literature about robots truly captures the wonder and creativity that fills a child's mind! As an adult, I'm still fascinated (and dumbfounded) by new technology; for young children, all technology is new! The world is filled with things that are mysterious and incredible. S has recently become interested in how traffic lights work while we drive from place to place. He has learned that many run on timers and many others on sensors. And he still finds wonder in pretending we can "turn the light green" by making up silly "magic words!" Learning about robots through children's fiction is a great way to gain understanding and vocabulary around how robots work while still maintaining that sense of whimsy and wonder. Creating and crafting about it truly takes that to the next level!
I came across the idea for this great invitation to create a robot using playdough and loose parts on the blog, Fantastic Fun and Learning and immediately fell in love! We do a lot of playdough activities here and I wanted to take this to the next level to create something that S could have permanently, so in lieu of playdough I substituted Crayola Model Magic clay mixed with silver glitter. I was so amazed at how much S enjoyed the experience of working with clay. He got really into it! He loved the texture and enjoyed using tools as much as he enjoyed using his hands with it. He moved through several different versions of his robot along with a fabulous story line as he worked. I'm hoping to add a magnet back to our finished robots once they dry so we can display them on the refrigerator.

Our library's craft event was incredible and a perfect compliment to the activities we've been doing at home. We were like kids in a candy store, only more like a recycled materials store! S and I worked together while Y slept in the carrier and created this amazing recycled robot:

When we do art together, I try to give options but not directions. I want for S to use as many of his own ideas as possible.

Our robot story stretchers have taken us deep into our imaginations through art, building, storytelling and, of course, play. To incorporate some math and science into our week, I set up these fun play stations:

There are so many fascinating parts inside robots! Exploring magnetism is a great way to expand on this theme. We recycled our dry pasta sensory bin from last week's story stretcher for this "Magnet Scavenger Hunt" sensory bin. There are a lot of great play and learning activities to introduce magnets to young children. This one is a great introduction.

We printed and used this great free robot shape puzzle along with our set of shape magnets for a magnetic table time activity that also encourages mathematical skills in geometry! The free printable has a second page with shapes that can be cut and used in lieu of magnets and you can use it with a glue stick to create a collage or laminate it and use it with velcro or magnets for a reusable learning material.

That's a wrap for this week's adventure in robotics! We've had a lot of fun playing, creating, and reading together. Next week we will be back as the birthday train leaves the station. That's right, S is about to turn 3 and we're chugging and choo-chooing along to one of his very favorite books, The Little Engine That Could. We will be engaging in some fun story dramas, reviewing shapes and the aleph-beis (Hebrew alphabet letters), preparing for his BIG DAY and, of course, happily playing!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"Can I Be a Robot?"

One day a few months ago, S approached me and said, "Mommy, can I be a robot?" I'm not entirely sure what sparked his question, although it might be the robotic mop we have (that we affectionately refer to as Data). S is both fascinated by and a little nervous about robots! We play about them a lot here. He asks me all the time to draw robots and loves to use building toys and manipulatives to create his own. In conjunction with our Story Stretchers Play at Home Camp, I picked out some great children's books with a robot theme and placed some related additions to our play area for this week.

Robots are fascinating to children (and adults) of all ages. Our kids are growing up in such an amazing age of technology. They are surrounded every day at home and away by magnificent machines and computers doing things that science fiction writers once only dreamed about. While we spend a lot of time trying to lure children away from the screens that surround our lives, it's also great to build skills around computer literacy at an age appropriate level and to work with interests in technology so our children can cultivate their natural fascination with these devices. STEM activities have since entered classrooms, homeschools and playrooms. While some of our story stretcher themes this summer involve more structured play activities with a specific target book, this week's theme will be more play based and child led. Here's a great reading list of our favorite robot themed books to accompany a week of process art, building, science, math & geometry activities, recycled art and, of course, play!

Recommended Reading on ROBOTS

Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino tells the story of a little boy and a robot with a little misunderstanding...

Spare Parts by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley is a sweet tale of friendship between two robots

Robots Everywhere by Denny Nebson, Illustrations by Todd Hoffman has fabulous pictures and a simple, rhyming story line that follows robots all around town doing all kinds of interesting things...

Robo-sauce by Adam Rubin with pictures by Daniel Salmieri is an imaginative story of a boy who discovers a secret potion to turn humans into robots

Hello, Robots by Bob Staake follows the busy world of four robots, Blink, Zinc, Blip and Zip--a hard working crew who can be stopped by nothing, except maybe rain!

Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep! by Todd Tarpley is a cute bedtime story of a little boy trying to get his three wakeful robots to Go To Sleep!

Doug Unplugs on the Farm by Dan Yaccarino is another great robotic tale by this author about a city bot and his experience on a farm!

If I Had a Robot by Dan Yaccarino captures the wishful world of a boy who imagines how a robot could solve all of his most challenging problems--like eating vegetables or handling playground politics

When it comes to playing about robots, you don't need a lot of special materials. You may wish to include some of the following:

  • Building toys and manipulatives that you already have are great for building/creating robots. You may wish to use blocks, Legos/Duplos/megablocks, Magnetiles, gears, poppoids or other such toys for robot building.
Coloring on shiny foil got us in the robot spirit
as we began our week! We will be using this
artwork in a future art activity...

  • Recycled materials like cardboard tubes, foam, plastic containers, cups and bowls, tin foil and boxes in a variety of sizes can make for some great recycled art and building about robots. Collect and set out your own along with tape/glue and art materials of your choice in an invitation to create a robot! You can create artwork with a variety of mediums and in a variety of sizes as well. Larger boxes and items can create bigger sculptures or even a robot costume...
  • shiny loose parts like metalic pipecleaners, silver/gold beads, paperclips, nuts, buttons, google eyes and anything else shiny and fun you can think of make for great add-ons to playdough and clay creations
I included a blob of Crayola Model Magic clay combined with silver glitter for this art lab to create a robot. You can do the same with playdough, however Model Magic will dry and harden for a permanent robot sculpture. I was inspired for this activity by this post at Fantastic Fun and Learning!

  • For some great process art, you might want to include tin foil, metallic paper (I love origami paper for this purpose), colorful buttons, sequins, plastic gems, google eyes, glue and construction paper to set up your invitation to create a robot collage...
Our robot art lab has been a repeat attraction--even  Mommy & Tatty have had some fun with it!

  • Magnets in a variety of shapes and sizes can make for some great science observations and sensory play with a robotic flare. We will be experimenting with and exploring magnets later this week...stay tuned!
  • We also like to set up areas for vertical work with art materials. I often set up a piece of easel paper low on a door/wall for S to use with markers/crayons, stickers, etc., sometimes with a prompt and sometimes without. This week, he will have a lot of fun doodling and sticking stickers about robots!

Speaking of prompts, a simple journal prompt like this can turn dramatic play into a great story to look back on later. S loves to pretend about being a robot--it will be exciting to see where his story and illustrations take the experience!

We'll be back with more robot-themed fun and until then...

Happy Playing!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mad Science Monday: Make Your Own Rain Cloud! Plus a Bonus Story Stretcher...

 I have a confession: we totally did our Mad Science Monday on a Thursday last week! Phew. I already feel so much better. It was the perfect day for it, too; too hot to go out for long, the fourth day of our week long play-theme on Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi and Ron Barrett, and there was a free science show at one of our local malls I wanted to take the kids to, so we were also short on time. Those types of mornings are perfect for a short stretch story stretcher and I had one more weather themed book I wanted to include this week: Eric Carle's The Little Cloud. This book is a great read to supplement a weather theme and goes perfectly alongside the supplemental book we read earlier in the week, It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Green Shaw. Like the latter, this book also follows a cloud along its journey of changing shape until it makes a glorious rain. After reading the book together, we set out to experiment with making our own rain clouds using household ingredients you likely have on hand as well.

We have read this book often and are huge fans of Eric Carle here. We are also big fans of science experiments (in case you haven't noticed)! I found the idea for this experiment written up on this blog post quite a while ago and saved it for a rainy day--or a hot, sunny day! It is super easy to set up and orchestrate and requires only a few, very inexpensive materials. To make your own rain cloud, you will need:
  • a clear jar, bowl, cup or glass
  • shaving cream
  • food coloring
  • pipettes (optional)
Begin by filling your vessel with water, nearly to the top. Young scientists will love to help with this part, whether it's filling from the tap or from a pitcher. You can fill one jar or several. Next, squirt a decent sized blob of shaving cream on top; it will float! This is a great time to discuss floating and sinking with your young scientist. It is fun to observe from various angles how the "cloud" remains on top of the water. Ask your junior scientist what he or she thinks might happen if you add food coloring to the top of the cloud. You can choose one color or two or more. It's a great opportunity as well to explore color mixing. If you choose to use pipettes, you can dilute your colors and your children can use the pipettes in jars of colored water to suck up color and squirt it atop the cloud. We just squirt directly from the food coloring bottles. Please note that diluting the color will change the rate of the experiment as the coloring is less concentrated. I should also mention that food coloring undiluted can stain skin temporarily. Experiment with how many drops of color to add. If you are doing several demonstrations, you may wish to compare how the shape of the vessel or the number of drops of coloring affects the rate of the experiment. Remember to change only one factor at a time (like shape of the vessel or number of drops of coloring) to truly carry out and observe the experiment in scientific method. The next part is to wait! Once it starts "working," the color will drip through the cloud down the water in beautiful streaks that look like rain!

If your water gets too full of color, you can pour it out and try again should you wish! 

Want to do more rain cloud science? Try out this rain cloud in a bag experiment I posted earlier in the year!

Want to stretch out your story stretcher a bit?

  • Here's a great art extension: Eric Carle made beautiful end pages in this book using white finger paint on blue paper. Let your young illustrator in training finger paint with white paint on blue construction paper to create his or her own cloud designs. Alternatively, experiment with symmetry using white paint on folded blue construction paper as we did in this post.
  • For some more sensory fun, squirt a blob of shaving cream on a tray for your little one to play with. It's great and cloud like all on its own, mixed with some paint or food coloring to explore how colors mix or along with some tools like forks, combs, cookie cutters or anything else you'd like to to add. It's also a good medium to practice letters with for early writers and even sight words for beginning readers!
shaving cream sensory play

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Think Outside the Box Thursday: Getting Ready for an Upshernish!

When S was two days old, I cried for 40 minutes because he would someday get married and move away from home. Postpartum hormones are great! With Y, I cried for 40 minutes when he was 2 days old because I wanted to go home from the hospital and go to sleep; at least a little more in this decade... But I was right to an extent about how fast time flies. Not always (trust me, plenty of times, especially after 4PM, time goes by verrrrry slowly here). And yet, I can't believe that S will soon be 3! No, he's not getting married and moving away from home...yet. But for Jewish children, the third birthday is a very special one. It marks the "official" beginning of chinuch, Jewish education. For girls, many families celebrate by helping their daughters to light a Shabbos candle each week beginning at age three. For boys, many families have the custom to cut their hair for the first time and they begin to wear a yarmulke and tzitzit.

If you have been around this blog for a while, you know that chinuch has already begun here--but S will nonetheless celebrate his upshernish (also called upsherin, referring to a boys' third birthday and first haircut) at the end of this month, corresponding to the 6th day of the Jewish month of Tammuz. We have talked for some time about this upcoming milestone and celebration. He has seen some of his friends already celebrate their upshernish. I may be more nervous than he is about the whole first haircut part, but as with any big change (or little one), we are preparing for it through play. When he is three, S will begin to wear a yarmulke and tzitzit all of the time. We bought some in advance and he is already very eager and excited to wear them--particularly since they are decorated with some of his favorite things, like trains and Elmo. We talk about him wearing a yarmulke and tzitzit and having a short hair cut just like Tatty (his dad) and just like some of his friends. Many families have a huge party to honor this occasion and invite guests to help with the honor of cutting a boy's hair for the first time. For a variety of reasons, including S's disposition, we have opted to do this in phases and to keep the hair-cutting part a bit closer to home (and maybe a local kids' salon if that doesn't go as well as planned). He will get his hair cut in our home with just the immediate family, while playing a fun Aleph-bet (Hebrew alphabet) Scavenger Hunt game I constructed by printing off and laminating a color image of the aleph bet--and so he should always know the sweetness of learning Torah, his game pieces will be one of his favorite sweets, jellybeans! Many families use honey or chocolate syrup or another candy their son likes. We will be making a trip the following month to visit family in NY, including his great grandmother who has been waiting and waiting with anticipation for this special day. We could not bring her to his upshernish, so we are bringing the upshernish to her! We were not sure he would take so well to having his hair cut the first time by relatives he doesn't get to see so often and since we certainly do not want it to be an unpleasant experience for any of the parties involved, we will give GG the honor of the second hair cut and a family celebration. We plan to invite S's friends for a post-birthday play party later in the summer when we return to celebrate his having turned three and reached this special milestone.

In the meantime, S is very excited about cupcakes. He wants either a bicycle or a lawnmower for his birthday. He is eager to fulfill the mitzvos that come with turning 3; some may be easier than others in reality, and we will continue to encourage and support him through those adjustments. We are playing and reading about haircuts and having an upshernish, and if you're looking for some of our favorite books and activities on the subject, here's a few:

  • S loves playdough! We printed and laminated some people playdough mats from this website to use with playdough and playdough scissors. S loves to give them wacky hairdos and subsequently, haircuts. You can also use these with laminated cut outs of a yarmulke and tzitzit as well as clothes/accessories and with velcro practice dressing up as a big boy!
  • S also loves scissors. I'm shocked (and grateful) we haven't already had an accidental or unplanned first haircut! He loves this tray of "upshernish mentchies," little people he can give haircuts to that I made by drawing faces on recycled toilet paper tubes and cutting slits for hair. 

    He loves cutting their hair and keeping a tray or basket underneath aids with collecting the scraps for easier clean-up afterward. I showed him how to set the scissors and upshernish mentchies to the side and carry the tray to the garbage can to empty before putting everything back in and away on his art shelf.

  • We love the books below! There are a variety of books on the topic of having and preparing for an upshernish and secular books on the topic of first haircuts. Here are three of our favorites:

  • We do a lot of dramatic play as well. S has seen his Tatty cut his hair and likes to play about it and pretend.
It's sometimes hard to believe I will only fight my way to put all this hair in a ponytail for a short while longer. For soooo long, even when dressed in the most masculine of outfits, S has been mistaken for a little girl when we are in public! (Ironically, for quite some time S only used the pronoun "she" when talking about others!)  On the occasions I happen to correct someone, people are so apologetic. I always jokingly say that soon enough, he will grow into some of those more 'boyish' behaviors and I will miss my little girl. The truth is that I love all of S's personality traits. I love his eagerness to learn and try new things. I love his enthusiasm for life. I love his sensitivity and cautiousness. I love that he likes to pick flowers and find rocks and that he likes to dance and play music everywhere, on everything. I love that he is naturally kind and generous. And I even love that he is stubborn and determined like I am--because I know that those traits, reigned in, will carry him far in life. I mostly love that loves to play. Many a bedtime battle here happens because he wants to play! I cannot help but feel that a little bit of my little baby is disappearing with that ponytail, and I kind of want the snuggly part of that little baby boy to last just a little bit longer...maybe forever... And I am so proud and excited for the milestone that turning three marks in a Jewish child's life. S has always had a love for learning. May this sense of wonder carry him through life wrapped in the love of Torah just as he will be wrapped in a talis and carried through his cheder (Jewish school). Until and beyond then, we will be here, happily playing!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Short Stretch: It Looked Like Spilt Milk

It's our third day playing about our target book, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi and Ron Barrett and I had a couple of additional theme-related books I wanted to incorporate this week. I decided today would be a great day to do a short story stretcher on the book, It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Green Shaw. This book follows the curious mystery of a differently shaped white splotch on each dark blue page. The reader can observe it take on a variety of familiar shapes that it looks like, including spilt milk, an ice cream cone, a sheep...until the very end when it is revealed that it is, in fact, a cloud! This particular book was a great candidate to incorporate the themes of food and weather presented in our target book. We read the book together first and then proceeded to make our own version of the story with a simple and fun art activity.

To make your own version of It Looked Like Spilt Milk, you will need:

  • blue construction paper
  • white paint
  • plastic spoons
  • a cup or bowl for your paint
  • a marker for writing (we used a white marker to resemble the book, but a darker color is fine as well)
Begin by drizzling white paint onto your paper. S really liked this part! Huge puddles of paint are not ideal but little puddles are just fine...

Next, fold your paper in half and press your hands over top to smooth the paint across the page.
The grand reveal is always exciting! This is a great opportunity to teach the concept of symmetry. Next your young author and illustrator can decide what the resulting picture resembles. We had a lot of butterflies, snow storms, and flowers here--but we also discovered a turtle and a dinosaur fossil! 

S loved creating this book together and dictating the story. He equally loves rereading it and showing it to Y!
This short book and simple activity are a great fit for when you're short on time. If you'd like to do more with it, here's a peek at some of our other activities today related to Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and our supplement story, It Looked Like Spilt Milk:

  • We are making homemade banana milkshakes this afternoon for snack. S is not such a fan of milk but does love smoothies!
  • What do milk, meatballs and macaroni all have in common? They all begin with the letter Mm, which makes a sound just like the one we make when something tastes delicious: mmmmm. To review the letter Mm, we made this simple Munch Monster Game:
Fold a white paper plate in half and decorate it to look like a monster. We used markers and stickers for eyes. Inside his "mouth" I always write the letter Mm--older children can trace it or write it on their own. Munch Monsters are always hungry but only like things that begin with the letter Mm. I like to use sticky notes for children to write/dictate or draw their Mm words on. You could even use magazine cut outs if you prefer or printed images/words.

Mmmmmm, the letter Mm is delicious!

  • It's always fun to sneak some science into the routine. We set up and created our own sun resist art today. This simple weather related science experiment produces a picture also somewhat in the style of the illustrations in It Looked Like Spilt Milk!
We used a cookie sheet and blue construction paper. Any darker color of construction paper will work well. You can purchase sun resist paper online or in craft shops that will actually turn white beneath the objects, but this produces significant results on its own! Choose objects from around your home to place on the paper. I recommend flatter objects for the best results. You can even use items found in nature if you prefer, like leaves, flowers, rocks, etc. Set your materials on the paper as you like and leave in a sunny spot. We left ours outside for a couple of hours this morning during the peak sun in our backyard and came back to amazing results!

The finished product can also be used like a puzzle. S loves fitting the objects back on their "shadows."

  • For some more fun playing with your food, these free printable fun food playdough mats paired with your favorite playdough, tools and accessories make for a lot of creative fun in constructing and pretending about favorite foods.

S made a lot of cupcakes, birthday cakes and spaghetti with meatballs!

  • For some more cloud themed fun, shaving cream is a great medium for sensory play.

You can squirt some shaving cream on a tray, use it in the tub or even outside. If you like, you can add some food coloring or paint. You can even observe mixing colors if you wish. It's a great medium for practicing strokes, lines, shapes and letters for early writers, for just getting your hands messy for those who like to, and for those who don't, feel free to add in tools like a spoon or fork , comb or craft sticks...
Hope you find one or a few of these short stretches a good addition to your own summer fun! We'll see you next time and until then...

Happy Playing!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Day 2: Sensory Play & Process Art

It's Day 2 of our Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs story stretcher and we are still having so much fun with this book theme! S loved using the pasta sensory bin yesterday with some little people, toy food and construction vehicles to play about the town of Chewandswallow. We used dry pasta in our sensory bin, though cooked spaghetti can also make for a great sensory experience. You can also dye your pasta if you wish, like we did in this post. There are varied opinions around using food for play and art with children and it can be a downright hot topic among parents and educators. One end of the spectrum feels that using food for purposes other than eating is wasteful while the other end of the spectrum feels it is not and also poses benefits. I fall somewhere in the middle of the road on the topic. On one hand, I do not like to waste any material we use for sensory play and art. For that reason, I tend to gravitate toward materials that can be used more than once. I do feel that the opportunity to play with and manipulate food can help familiarize more particular eaters. For children who are not particular about what they put in their mouths, edible materials for art and play can be of great benefit! I recently read a particularly interesting article on the topic of food being used in play, titled "Is It Wasteful to Play With Food?" and encourage you to read it for a fresh perspective as well. If you do wish to use food items for play, I tend to post ones in here that can be used repeatedly.
Some prefer to use for play only what can then be used for consumption and will go from playing in dry oats to baking oatmeal cookies. I often joke that using a box of pasta for play, art, stringing and sorting leaves far less to the trash can than a typical dinner served to my toddler! If you prefer not to use food for play, however, feel free to substitute in yarn for your "spaghetti" or shredded paper instead.

We started our morning with a Table Time activity to decorate an apron. S has been particularly inclined to help in the kitchen. When I saw this coloring apron on sale at a craft store a few weeks ago, I stashed it away for this book theme. He was so enamored with it that he wore it all morning! He also asked to take out the sensory bin again this morning. I offered the suggestion to add in the Magnatiles and build about the town of Chewandswallow. He loved the idea and took to building houses outside of the bin and filling them with pasta! He is also quite self-sufficient with being manager of Chewandswallow's sanitation department, so I didn't worry too much about spills and pasta outside of the bin. You can put down a drop cloth if you prefer, although picking up dry pasta is a great fine motor exercise!

We have also greatly enjoyed our target book's sequel, Pickles to Pittsburgh also by Judi and Ron Barrett. In this equally tall tale told by Henry, the grandson in the first book, the people of Chewandswallow return to their hometown turn their own misfortune into a mitzvah. They are able to use the giant food that flooded their town to feed hungry people across the world! As I think about the topic of how abundantly we are fortunate to live that we can use food here both for play and for consumption, I am reminded that for many others, hunger is a very real issue. Particularly during the summer months when schools are not in session (and reduced cost/no cost school breakfasts and lunches not an option for families in need) there is a great and real struggle to get through the day with adequate nutritional intake. Every morning we begin our day with prayers and with giving tzedakah (charity). S and Y (with my help) put a coin in our tzedakah box and when it gets full, we empty it, count it and make a donation before beginning again to fill it, day by day, one coin at a time. One of our favorite agencies to donate to is Masbia Soup Kitchen Network, a group of soup kitchens and food pantries that cater to hundreds of families in New York. This seems like a wonderfully theme related way to incorporate service projects and Jewish values with our story stretcher theme. Food banks more locally to wherever you live are a great place to bring donations to particularly in the summer months.
Meanwhile, I definitely didn't want Y to miss out on all the themed fun and play. I set out this invitation to create a Chewandswallow Sensory Bottle yesterday in the evening, and S got a great kick out of making a set of toys both he and his brother can use. He worked with great determination and concentration at pinching and dropping the pasta into each bottle.

We used clear plastic craft bottles (but you can recycle an empty plastic bottle if you have one at home), dry pasta small enough to fit through the top and miniature food we found at the craft store. You can alternatively use red pompoms for "meatballs" or buttons shaped like food or even make your own tiny foods using clay that can be baked or left to harden. 
S particularly likes the sound the pasta makes when you shake the bottle. Y is not as much a fan of the sound...

Y IS a fan of putting it in his mouth! Speaking of which, if your little ones are at risk to actually chew and swallow what's inside the Chewandswallow sensory bottle, you'll want to tape or hot glue the bottle shut. 
In addition to shaking and, um, sucking on, it's a lot of fun to play Chewandswallow I-Spy with these and search for all the tiny foods inside. S particularly likes to find the itsy bitsy donuts!
Prompted by S's interest in putting his lunch on our Pasta Taste Test chart yesterday and my sister's art project with her sons during their Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs story stretcher, today we made our own "Macaroni and Meatballs" collage. This was a fun little process art activity that really captured S's attention as he drizzled glue, placed on pieces of pasta and experimented with pouring pom poms over the paper and shaking off the excess to see which ones stayed put to puddles of glue he had left behind!

We will be back tomorrow with some fun alphabet review and another great children's book to explore the sub-themes of weather and food! Until then, happy playing...