Talking and Talking

Cricket had a lot to say this week, here is what I remembered:

Cricket likes to instruct me on on how to point my toes (for gymnastics) and after I do it she says “I like it, PERKEPT (perfect)”

We were leaving gymnastics and the little boy ahead of us was wearing a plastic fireman’s hat. He held the door open for Cricket and as we walked away, Cricket looked up at me with big bright eyes and said “Mommy the fireman held the door open for me!”

Cricket’s hair bow came out at gymnastics and her coach nicely put it back in her hair. As Cricket was walking over to me she reached up and inspected the bow with her hand. Then she looked at me with a pout, and I asked her what was wrong. She said, “She didn’t tie a pretty bow.”

Cricket was telling her daddy about painting pumpkins with me. After telling him how I did 1, she did 3, and we did one together she said “That’s what mommy always does.” I asked her what she meant since we have never painted pumpkins before, and she said “I don’t know but that’s what you do.”

While at Mimi’s house Cricket petted the next door neighbor’s cat. The cat fell over in the street, purring, and rolling around. Cricket looked up at my mom, and said “Mimi that cat is SILLY”.

“I” can be a Rockstar

Raising Rock Stars

Cricket used both the free printables and the member’s only power point presentation this week from 1+1+1=1. If somehow you haven’t already heard of this site you can check it out here.

Memory Verse:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 
Philippians 4:13

Cricket, again, had trouble with memorizing this verse. The closest she got was “I can do something with love.” She was looking at the coloring sheet, and I think the hearts made her think love.

Cricket’s liked clicking through the power point presentation again. Cricket learned and identified all the I words except iron. She couldn’t grasp what that was supposed to be, I wonder why that is…

She did pretty well with the mini book this week, but she struggled when the words didn’t match what she thought the picture was going to be.

Cricket really liked and did well with the strong man craft. She opted not to color it, but she did want to give him hair (three strands) at the end.

Be sure to see what other families are doing with their Rock Stars at 1+1+1=1

Mimi Time and Mimi Treats

Cricket had a super fun, super busy Monday with Mimi today. After eating some breakfast, they made Halloween sugar cookies together. Mimi reported that Cricket helped by placing the cookies on the cookie tray, counting the cookies (up to 12), sprinkling them with sugar, watching them cookie, and transferring the baked cookies to a cooling rack.

Then they went walking in Mom’s backyard. Cricket wandered and explored with her magnifying glass. After much exploring, she also rode her bike for awhile.

Once back inside, they played with her doll house and kitchen for awhile. After stopping for lunch they had a tea party with cookies from this morning.

Mimi is Creative Too!

 I wanted to include this in this post, even though it didn’t occur on Monday, because it was all Mimi’s doing. Mimi created a special treat for Cricket (and Mommy) and I thought it was too cute not to highlight. She said it covered our I for ice cream and J for jack-o-lantern studies, but it is also Halloween perfection for everyone!

Seriously how cute are these?

She started by cutting a jack-o-lantern face into an orange. Then she cut just a little off the bottom to make it sit flat and a larger section off the top. On the top cut, cut off enough to make a lid (that can be put back on) and that you can get a spoon down into.  Next you scoop out the center of the orange. After that, you fill it up with a scoop of orange sherbet and re-top for jack-o-lantern appearance. You can serve immediately or freeze for later. These were a big hit with my little “ghoul”.

I’m linking this to My Delicious Ambiguity and ABC and 123

Letter *Ii* Week


We spent two weeks on the letter I, but the first week was more play and fun than anything. Cricket did really well this week overall. She was very interested and engaged I think our “light” week last week rekindle some of her love of learning.

Letter of the Week
We used the resources from 1+1+1=1 and Hooked on Phonics for our studies this week. Our primary I words were ice cream, igloo, island, ice, and iguana. As always we also practiced writing the letter, she liked putting REALLY big dots on her lower case i’s for some reason.
I also added in some work from Confessions of a Homeschooler. She thought that the upper case I looked like a 1so instead of filling it in somehow we revised it to make it look like an I to her.

She had a great time making an inchworm out of the lower case i. Cricket really loved the new dot pages (both of those are also from Confessions of a Homeschooler).

Cricket did an awesome job playing an upper case lower case letter match game with me. She was even correctly identifying the letters with that terminology.  
I showed Cricket a blank ice cream cone sheet, and asked her if she would rather color it or tell a story about an ice cream cone. She chose to dictate a story to me, and I LOVED it. 
The letter i is also in Cricket’s name and she identified it correctly. Then she independently spelled her first name with her bottle cap letters. See the idea for this here
I added a Sesame Street sign language book to what we’ve been doing for sign language. Cricket responded really well to this book and it helped reinforce what we’ve been learning.

Cricket worked on the number 8 this week. She recognized and identified it correctly, but she kept trying to write it sideways (like an infinity sign). She took the correction I gave her very well though!

For our big number 8 I gave Cricket stickers, and she counted out stickers onto it until she got to the number 8.


Cricket choose to work on her season board again. She is really enjoying this toy. 
Cricket and I made ice cream floats together. I saw a great post about doing a full-blown science experiment on them that I will do with Cricket when she is older. For now I just had her watch the reaction and discussed the change in consistency. By the way, my little scientist didn’t care for the taste of the results and ended up with plain ice cream as a snack. 

Our final science project this week was melting ice. I froze colored ice cubes and Halloween erasers in a big bowl. I removed it from the bowl and let Cricket have at it. She used water, salt, and a spoon to get them out. This was probably her favorite activity out of the week, and we will surely be doing it again with a different theme. I saw the idea for this here

Cricket did an easy Jack-O-Lantern craft. She drew the face of her choice on an orange plate. Then we taped on a stem and a leaf. 

Our major art project this week was painting pumpkins. First, Cricket painted a picture of a pumpkin.

Then we made hand print pumpkins together. Momma Pumpkin is on the left and Baby Pumpkin is on the right. I used our palm’s for the two pumpkins, and then Cricket’s thumb for both of the stems. I used a brush for the little leaves. I loved how sweet this turned out, and we will have to do more handcraft projects. 

Finally we actually painted the pumpkins together. Cricket enjoyed the silliness of this and thought it was fun.

Life Skills

Cricket helped me make dinner one night, she typically help here and there, but with this casserole she was able to help with everything until it went into the oven. She did really well with pouring and stirring for me, and she began working on measuring skills. 
Part of our daily routine is how and why to make an emergency call. This week, for the first time, Cricket recited 9-1-1 on her own and gave me an example of when to call. She said “If mommy couldn’t move or talk I’d call for a fireman to come help.” Now, we just need to continue review and stress the importance of emergency only.

Tot School

I finally decorated Cricket’s school room for Halloween, and we played two games with the decorations. I introduced “I” Spy, which she seemed to enjoy pretty well. Then we played toss by trying to get a stuffed bear into a cauldron.
I also got Cricket a Halloween eraser set, and we did several activities with them. First, she sorted them. Cricket had some difficulty with this facilitated by poor planning by me. I thought there were 3 different erasers so I gave her a 3 section dish to sort them into. Since she can count better than me and realized there were 4 different erasers she put a set (one of each) in each of the sections. My solution was to give her 4 post-its to sort them onto, but by this point she was confused. So, then I drew a rough image of what each eraser was and she got it! After finally achieving sorting, she stacked them, counted them, and then the fun part- she threw them!

I keep letter magnets on the fridge all the time, and Cricket was very interested in them this week. She kept pointing out letters and she even sang the alphabet song (slowly) while finding and pointing to each letter. 
I brought out an old favorite that I thought Cricket had out grown, and she had a blast with it. She loved singing and playing with her Fisher Price Sing-A-Long Stage. 
Cricket was really into board games this week and we played bingo and Candyland several times. 
I took Cricket, at her request, to the pet store in hopes of seeing iguanas. Unfortunately our pet store had other lizards but no iguanas. Cricket had fun looking none the less.
Check out what others are doing at these amazing sites:

preschool corner
Tot School

Repeat of Letter I and Halloween books

Cricket’s books for the week:

Our letter Ii books (2nd week):

If You Give A Pig A Pancake by: Laura Numeroff
Same issue as last week, this was stretching it for the letter I. We really like these books though!
(We kept If You Give A Cat A Cupcake to read too)

Halloween and Fall books:

The Bumpy Little Pumpkin by: Margery Cuyler
Cricket liked this book sooooo much we rechecked it from the library!

10 Trick-or-Treaters by Janet Schulman
There were scary things in this book that scared trick-or-treaters away in a countdown from 10 to 0. Cricket didn’t think the book was scary though and she liked the different kid costumes. This was almost an easy reader, and Cricket did a pretty good job or re-reading it to me (or telling the story based on the pictures).

Franklin’s Halloween by: Paulette Bourgeois
This was our 1st Franklin book, and Cricket liked it pretty well. She responded really well to the images, and she loved that it was based on a turtle. I thought that the story might be a little long for her, but she actually stayed absorbed for the whole time.

Since I was still having trouble finding letter I books and the Halloween selections were pretty slim at this point we also read:

Fancy Nancy by: Jane O’Connor
This was my favorite Fancy Nancy book so far, and Cricket loved it too. Once again, I really love the “fancy” words and I think it is a great vocabulary builder. The story was really cute and sweet too. Plus it had a great closing line! We will probably be adding this one to our personal collection.

Tigger and Pooh The Case of The Sticky Sticks
We read this book during school every day for repetition and exposure. Cricket was reading along with me by the end, but I think it was more memorization than anything else. 

Bedtime books:

Every night Daddy reads to Cricket before bed, and she gets free choice of what book to read. These were her picks this week: Happy Halloween Mittens, Fisher Price Lift a Flap Zoo, Berenstain Bears Get in a Fight, 10 Trick-or-Treaters (again), and Diego Saves the Wolf Pups.

Be sure to check out what other kiddos are reading at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.

Cricket’s Words of Wisdom

Here are some of my favorite things Cricket said this week:

Cricket’s new favorite phrase is “scoot back just a little”, it’s her way of saying I want to do this by myself and I need you to move so I know you won’t interfere.

Cricket loved the book A Bumpy Little Pumpkin and she was determined to find one for herself when we went to the Pumpkin Patch. Unfortunately all of their pumpkins were “pretty”, but Cricket picked one anyway. Then Sunday we went to a Fall Festival where pumpkins were also being sold. They did have bumpy pumpkins and I showed them to Cricket assuming I was about to have an awesome mom moment. She looked at it and looked at me and said “Mommy those aren’t bumpy they are DOTTY” and off she went looking in another direction. I don’t know what she thinks a bumpy pumpkin will look like, but I seriously doubt I will be finding it.

See what other Tots are saying at Not Before 7

Monday at Mimi’s

After missing a week due to Columbus Day, Cricket wanted to go to Mimi’s house for their together time today (because you know grandma’s houses are just cooler). They had a blast together as always. I think today’s highlight was racing a stroller filled with babies around the yard. Mimi mentioned that the babies were named after Cricket and her cousin, and they were having a creative conversation as they flew around the yard. Cricket’s imagination is really starting to flourish.
I had a shorter work day today and when I called to see about picking Cricket up she requested to stay for lunch. She did and Mimi successfully introduced a new food, something we have really been struggling with.

Pumpkin Patch

We made our 2nd annual Pumpkin Patch “field trip” this year with my cousin and her little boy, who is the same age as Cricket. They, like us, are really good friends.

The Pumpkin Patch had a bunch of fantastic activities like bouncers, a cow train ride (beyond description), water pump duck race, and corn bins. The corn bins, shown below, were a huge hit!

There was also a collection of tricycle style tractors, stick horses, and hula hoops. Cricket had fun working on her skills.

They also had a great little petting zoo with a variety of animals. The only one that Cricket would go near was this baby goat that another little girl was bottle feeding.

The kids both loved running wild through a hay bale maze, and we attempted a corn maze that didn’t go very well. However it did result in this adorable picture, my favorite for the day!

Then there was the main event, PUMPKINS! Cricket really wanted to find a bumpy little pumpkin, but we only managed to find nicely shaped beautiful little pumpkins. She did end up finding one she liked, with the promise that we would look elsewhere for the much desired bumpy little pumpkin.

Not our typical week

We strayed from our typical homeschool schedule this week. Our Monday plan was scrapped due to daddy being off and mommy having a migraine then Tuesday we spent the entire day at a Pumpkin Patch. I thought that I might be able to pull the highlights and fit the letter I into the three remaining days, but then Cricket showed more issues with this letter than any letter yet. So, we did do a few letter I things this week but we will be continuing this letter next week in our first homeschooling “do over”.

I made Cricket her first ever Sensory Bin, and she seemed to really enjoy it. So, she might get another one some day. This one was an ice cream bin, and she loved serving up a variety of cones! See where I got the idea here.

Cricket loved the new to us Letter Factory Game that I picked up at a consignment sale. We played it over and over again. I loved that it not only taught the obvious letters and letter sounds, but also colors, placement (before and after), and counting.

We also did a color review using this ice cream cone activity. Cricket was pointing with her toes!

Cricket really loved the worksheet from Lawteedah. It was a What’s Missing worksheet from her Halloween pack. She identified all the missing things correctly, but she was also INSISTENT that both pictures were missing a nose. So, we circled the nose spot on both sides.

We also did I-Spy together. Cricket wasn’t really into it though. I saw this on several blogs, but can’t find any of the posts to give them credit.

As far as actually studying the letter Ii, Cricket did one of her hooked on phonics books. She also did the word cards from 1+1+1=1 and the signing sheet. I love that she actually made it colorful, and not just one solid color.

See what others are doing, hopefully more effectively at these awesome sites:
preschool corner
Tot School

Cricket Reads: I and Halloween

Cricket’s books for the week:

Our letter Ii books:

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie AND If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff
The I word was only at the beginning of the books, but since we were otherwise lacking in the “I” department they worked.
Cricket loves this author anyway, and these books were no different. I also like the if then reasoning!

Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
I thought this was a cute story about a resourceful and smart inch worm. Plus, it had the added benefit of covering simple math concepts (counting and measuring). I was disappointed that the drawings weren’t as stunning the last book I read, Swimmy.

Halloween and Fall books:

The Bumpy Little Pumpkin by: Margery Cuyler
This was another cute non-scary Halloween book. I wasn’t crazy about the way the older sisters treated the main character in the book, it was a little reminiscent of Cinderella with the animals helping her and all. The mom did make up for it a little bit though. Cricket did love this book, so much that she wanted her own bumpy pumpkin. She was even a little sad that all the pumpkins we found were “pretty”.

 Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic by: Steven Schnur
This book was ok, and Cricket seemed to enjoy it. It did cover a-z with an acrostic for each, by doing this story and flow were lost though. Also it might just be where I live and the weather I am used to, but it seemed like more of a winter description (snow, ice, freezing, etc) than Autumn. 

Happy Halloween Mittens by: Lola Schafer
Perfect, totally not scary, Halloween book. It was a cute little book about a boy and his cat Mittens (there is a series of Mittens easy reader books). Mittens kept trying to find a way to help get ready for Halloween, and he finally found a way to help.
Cricket really liked this, and wanted to read it over and over again.

Popcorn by: Frank Asch
I remembered reading this as a child, I think the house FULL of popcorn stuck with me. I did not remember the bad behavior in the book, that went undiscovered and thus unpunished. I did talk to Cricket about it though. Overall she seemed underwhelmed by the book.
Alpha Oops! H is for Halloween by: Alethea Kontis
Nothing scary happened in this book, but it was filled with monsters and creatures. I don’t recommend this if your tots are easily scared or you don’t like these evil beings. It was a good Alphabet review, but the letters were not in order. I did enjoy that there was an underlying story/conversation, and not just a straight forward a is for…
The illustrations were also really good, and Cricket enjoyed them. 
On Halloween Night by: Harriet Ziefert
I loved the repetitive nature of this book and the highlighted words. Great features for learning to read. This was another good for us Halloween book. Negatives for some of you might be that she was dressed as a witch and she went “trick or treating”.
Cricket really liked this one too.
Bedtime books:

Every night Daddy reads to Cricket before bed, and she gets free choice of what book to read. These were her picks this week: Alice in Wonderland; Mulan; Berenstain Bears Out West; and My Little Pony Rainbow Rescue.