Letter P week


Cricket seemed to like the variety that we had this week. We began this week with President’s Day, and then did a different theme each day: penguins; pandas; pirates; and praise. I was able to find great books this week too, and you can see my reviews here.

Cricket especially loved this footprint penguin, and even better she got to paint after wards.

She was not a fan of the waddle hop activity, but maybe that was because I was trying to get her to stop painting.

Cricket also did her “normal” Hooked on Phonics work this day.

Cricket loved the Panda science reader, and I also used it with the globe for a mini geography unit.

She enjoyed playing with this simple panda. This is actual a sweet piece of my college memorabilia, but I loved sharing it with her.

Cricket loves crafty projects and this coffee filter panda was a hit. I modified the puppet idea seen here. I had a very similar shape maker activity, and she wasn’t to keen on it.

Cricket was technically on pirate theme in her head all week from the time she heard the letter P. There was a lot of pretend pirate play every day.

She was excited to see the pirate book and puppet out on Thursday though.

After reading the book, Cricket used all her puppets to create a story. (This picture was at the end of the “show”).

Cricket loved everything we did from this unit at Homeschool Creations. She did a really good job with sequencing.

She used the letter P from Confessions of a Homeschooler and added a tiny pirate patch. She then added some polka dots for good measure

After our work was complete we played with the stick puppets also from Homeschool Creations. Cricket had a hard time trying to hold ALL the sticks for her independent story, but she had a great time.

Other P: 
Cricket willingly colored her sign language sheet and did a pretty good job with it. 

Memory Verse

“Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God.” Psalm 147:1

Cricket began church choir recently, and has really been enjoying it so this verse struck home with her. She joyfully sang with me through out the week, her favorite is “This Little Light of Mine”.

She also enjoyed the music craft from 1+1+1=1 that accompanied this.

We were lucky enough to find our city’s Arbor Day celebration, it just happened to be across from the library on story time day. So, Cricket and I picked out a sapling that is suppose to grow into a red bud tree. That is if we manage not to kill it. We then planted it and cared for it through out the week. 

In addition, no pun intended, to our President’s Day Math Cricket did her Hooked on Phonics work.

Physical Activity
Cricket did testing in gymnastics this week, and I think she passed everything. She is also doing excellent in her Super Cricket class for flexibility (the other moms are lovingly calling her gumby). However, she is struggling on her strength. Daddy is working on putting up a pull-up bar for her, and hopefully that will help. By the way, this is something Cricket loves and asks to do.

Tot School

Cricket enjoyed playing with her Tomy gear toy this week. 

She also picked to play with this musical mat.

Check out what others are doing at these amazing sites:
 Raising Rock Stars


February Reading 4


We are starting to get back on track with our reading, made it to the library, and got theme related books! I will review those, and just list out our “pleasure” reading.

We had a couple of hold out books from our O is for Ocean week . We read

1) Mr. Seahorse By Eric Carle – Eric Carle is one of our favorite authors, and this book didn’t disappoint. Cricket loved the see through pages that camouflaged some of the animals. It was also interesting how all the different daddy fish carried their eggs.
2) Sea Animals By Elisabeth Lambilly-bresson – This book, like Octopuses from last week, was educational and factual in a way that was perfect for my little one. Each page spread presented a new animal and a factual tid-bit about the animal.

Here are our choices for the letter P week:

  1. Penguins By The Cousteau SocietyThis book was factual, easy to read, and included true pictures. However, it was a little dry.
  2. Tacky and the Emperor Penguin by Helen Lester- First the positives: the actual story was decent; the illustrations enhanced the story; and Cricket enjoyed it. Negatively, it began with a long list of names with the assumption that you would know who was who. There are other books about Tacky the penguin, and I assume that is why.
  3. Penguin Pete by Marcus Pfister – Cricket immediately thought that the penguins looked like chicks, and it was hard to convince her otherwise. She did like the story though, and I liked that it was about someone little that persevered until he could do what everyone else was doing. 
  4. A Penguin Pup for Pinkerton by Steven Kellogg –  I don’t think either of us were impressed here. The story didn’t flow well, and the pictures were busy and convoluted. It just wasn’t out cup of tea. 
  5. A Tale of Two Pandas by: Adrienne Kennaway –  Cricket really enjoyed the story of this book, and I like that it featured a red panda and a giant panda. After all our panda activities Cricket said she liked the red panda better than the giant panda, because of it’s long tail. 
  6. Giant Panda by Edana Eckart – This book was ok. I’m finding it harder and harder to find a factual and interesting book that is on Cricket’s reading level. She did love the pictures though, especially the one of the baby panda cub (she actually said awww when I turned to that page). 
  7. A Baby Panda is Born (All Aboard Science Reader) by Kristin Ostby -We found an AWESOME factual book here. This book was about a specific panda born in captivity, and it flowed with an actual story. They even managed to pull in information about pandas in the wild in a way that worked. It was educational and enjoyable. Cricket really liked it. The drawings were also high quality, but I was a little surprised that actual pictures weren’t used.
  8. How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long –  This book is written from the perspective of a little boy who becomes a pirate for a day. I like that he addresses the pros and cons of being a pirate, and chooses not to be a pirate. Cricket loves playing pirate, and adored this book. By the way, I think the illustrations are fabulous!
  9. Purplicious by Elizabeth Kann –  I didn’t really care for the negativity and bullying in this book, that for the most part when unaddressed. Cricket liked the beginning and the end, where they were painting. I’m going to have to find her a better “painting” story though, any suggestions?

This was our pleasure reading list:

  1. Wonder Pets Save the Dolphin/Save the Elephant adapted by Ruth Koeppel
  2. Beauty and the Beast
  3. Pirate Girl by Cornelia Funke
  4. Thomas and the School Trip by Rev. W. Awdry

 That makes 50 books total so far for 2011 (1/8 of my goal complete).

Little Leaps of Love – 4

  Little Leaps of Love

I saw the Little Leaps of Love challenge from No Ordinary Moments, and I thought it was a fantastic idea. We have had so much fun with all the little challenges. I have missed a couple along the way,  but I really have enjoyed it.

Monday February 14 – Secret Signs: Cricket and I have a sign, but if I told you what it was it wouldn’t be a secret now would it (40)
Tuesday February 15 – A Walk Down Memory Lane: Cricket and I had a great time looking at old pictures together (30)
Wednesday February 16 – Build a fort: We didn’t do this one, because Cricket was finally WELL and we made it out of the house! Hooray!!!
Thursday February 17 – Just linger: So many blessing to count and so much love to give (30)

I’ve gotten side tracked and haven’t completed any leaps for the last few days, maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

That brings our total so far to 340 Points (and countless smiles)! Thanks Jolanthe

Join in or follow along with our Valentine fun, and be sure to check out Jolanthe’s blogs.
No Ordinary Moments Blog

Tiny Talk

I keep forgetting to keep track of Cricket’s cuteness, but this is what I remember her saying this week:

Cricket was looking at her hair one day, and said “My hair is getting too long I need a haircut.” I asked her how short she wanted it, a little afraid of the answer since she has beautiful LONG hair. Cricket said “I want it cut to normal length” a visual description of this was a decent trim of about 2-3 inches.

We were grocery shopping and Cricket was sitting in the front of the buggy. She wrapped her arms around me and wouldn’t let go. I asked her why she was holding onto me like that, and she sweetly said “so you won’t fall down.” (I am a klutz, but I promise this was unnecessary).

Be sure to see what others are saying at Not Before 7

President’s Day

No “Monday With Mimi” for us today. I still had to work, but daddy was off, so Cricket spent the morning with him. This afternoon I was going to do a short lesson, but Cricket was not in a classroom sort of mood. Instead we headed outside with Daddy to help rake, and then we went for a walk around the block. On our walk we saw an American Flag. That led to reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, talking about what a president is in general terms, and that today was a holiday.

When we got back home I got a set of President Flashcards and the President placemat.

I intended for her to match the pictures, but the images were actually hard to match up. This actually turned into a great math activity. The cards and the placemat both showed the number of each president. So, Cricket told me the number each card (with some prompting), and found the corresponding number on the placemat. Then I would tell her the president’s name and sometimes I included interesting facts. Finally, Cricket would mark off that we had found the president.

The set of cards also had a few landmark cards in it, and we matched them to the corresponding president. After doing the monuments Cricket wanted there to be a president with the card for the White House, so we decided to match it with the first president who lived in it.

Of course, we also discussed that president starts with the letter P as a kick off for our letter P week.

O is for Ocean


Cricket did a good job on everything I had for her, other than coloring. I don’t know why but she has just lost interested all of a sudden. Anyway, the Ocean theme wasn’t the hit I expected, but I think she liked it.

One of her favorite activities this week was this simple animal shadow match.

Letter of the Week

Cricket can already identify, write, and sound out the letter O so we focused more on theme this week.

She did color the letter O from Confessions of a Homeschooler and then we used it to make an Octopus. Cricket really seemed to enjoy this.

We also did this worksheet, Cricket quickly pointed out it’s error, an octopus should have eight legs. 
Memory Verse
Since Monday was Valentine’s Day we kept with the love them, and discussed the love of God. Cricket’s verse this week was “By this we know love, because Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 1 John 3:16

Cricket didn’t come any where near memorizing it, but she got the basic concept. As always she enjoyed putting the word puzzle together.

I used the clips from last week with these octopus cards. Cricket quickly matched them all up and then put them in order.

We also did this cute measuring activity. Cricket has been interested in measurements lately and trying to understand “standard units” of measurement. So, she really enjoyed this. 

Cricket got a mess free wonder paint kit for Valentine’s Day and she has painted with it every day this week.

Physical Activity
Cricket actually got to go to both her gymnastics classes this week, and loved every minute of it. I don’t think her smile could have been any bigger. 

She has also fallen in love with her tricycle all of a sudden, and is riding it every chance she gets. 

Tot School

I had two boxes ready for Cricket to explore this week. The first one was an open and close box with all different kinds of closures for her to practice on. This one only lasted a few seconds, ok I’m exaggerating, but she quickly opened everything and looked at me like “what now”.  She had no interest in working with this again.

The second box, was much more interesting to her. It was simply a box full of sea shells, and Cricket loved inspecting them and comparing them. She studied them independently and also with me.

Check out what others are doing at these amazing sites:
 Raising Rock Stars


Ocean in a Bottle

Cricket really enjoyed our mini science experiment this week. We made an Ocean in a Bottle as I saw here.

We started with a bottle half full of water and Cricket got to add the food coloring. She enjoyed getting to do this herself. She also loved just watching the color move through the water.

Then we poured in the vegetable oil. You could see an immediate reaction, bubbling, as the oil came back up to the top. We discussed how oil and water react during this stage.

I then used hot glue to seal the top to the bottle while Cricket worked on something else. After a few minutes I was able to give it back to her, and then the real fun started. First we shook it, which Cricket didn’t want to stop doing, but when she did she really liked the way it looked and moved.

By the way, I didn’t use glitter as suggested, that is just how it looks with water, oil, and food coloring.

Finally, I got Cricket to roll it with me to create the “ocean” waves in the bottle (for our theme week).

 See what others are doing at Adventures in Mommydom:

February Reading Week 3


We are starting to get back on track with our reading, made it to the library, and got theme related books! I will review those, and just list out our “pleasure” reading. Honestly we actually read quite a bit more, but Cricket is on recycle mode. We read several of these multiple times, and we re-read several from our previous lists.

This week we were studying the letter Oo and our primary focus was the Ocean. We read

1) Orange Pear Apple Bear By Emily Gravett – This book is going on my wish list! This is a fabulously illustrated easy reader at it’s best. There are only 5 words in the entire book, but the way the words are introduced, rearranged, and played with keep the book enjoyable and not tedious. I think this is definitely for the learning to read stage though.
2) Octopuses By Carol Lindeen – This book was educational and factual in a way that was perfect for my little one. It is so hard to find a book like this without overwhelming amounts of text or other shortfalls. We both liked that all the images were actual pictures and Cricket was able to follow all of the text. My one complaint is that the text didn’t really flow, and headers seemed randomly inserted.
3) Underwater Counting: Even Numbers by Jerry Pallotta – This book seemed great at first, but it ended up just not being for us. Cricket liked the pictures and was all for the counting. We BOTH had a really hard time finding all the fish we were suppose to count though, and it got worse the higher the numbers got. This became frustrating to her, because she absolutely wanted to count 16 Parrotfish or 20 Trumpetfish if that was what the page said to do. This was frustrating to me, because my girl was actually wanting to count and count correctly at that. I will say that the content of the book was good, and the images were pretty (though hard to count).

This was our pleasure reading list:

  1. 101 Dalmations Snow Puppies by Barbara Bazaldua
  2. Meet Diego by Leslie Valdes
  3. Diego Saves the Wolf Pup
  4. Put me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire
  5. Amelia Bedelia’s First Valentine by Herman Parish – See review here
  6. A Sweetheart for Valentine by Lorna Balian
  7. Mulan A Little Golden Book by Gina Ingoglia
  8. Dumbo A Little Golden Book by Teddy Slater
  9. Rapunzel
  10. Sleeping Beauty A Little Golden Book by Michael Teitelbaum
  11. Duck (Purse book) by Mary Gruetzke

 That makes 35 books total so far for 2011.

Return to Tiny Talk

I keep forgetting to keep track of Cricket’s cuteness, so I haven’t done this in awhile. This is what I remember Cricket saying this week though:

Cricket brought me the book Put Me in the Zoo and said “Mommy I can read that word, Daddy taught me how zzzz oooooooo, zoo”.  LOVE IT!!!

Cricket was on the phone with her Mimi, and Mimi invited her to a special tea party. Cricket told her “that would be wonderful Mimi”. 

We were discussing Rapunzel, again, and Cricket said “I like Rapunzel’s long hair. What do you Like Mommy?” Me “I like her friend Pascal, he’s funny.” Cricket “I have long hair, not as long as Rapunzel though. Rapunzel’s hair gets tangled. My hair gets tangled sometimes, and I DON’T like that.”  (Neither do I kiddo)

Be sure to see what others are saying at Not Before 7

Monday without Mimi

Cricket is still sick, or sick again, nonetheless that meant no Mimi time today. I had a sad Cricket and a sad Mimi. Even though Mimi couldn’t come in she dropped of a bag of Valentine’s Day Goodies for Cricket and me.

The bag contained chocolates for me (not pictured), new “princess” hankies from Memaw for Cricket, a water globe for Cricket, heart measuring spoons for us to use together, and an Amelia Bedelia book for Cricket.

These goodies lifted Cricket’s spirits right up. Mimi had everything individually wrapped for her, which made it even more fun to explore. When I read the card on the hankies that said it was for a princess, Cricket shot her little hand up and said “I’m a princess” so sweetly.

She has enjoyed shaking and watching the water globe through out the day, and picked out a special place for it on her vanity.

I love the heart measuring cups, and I can’t wait for us to use them. Adorably they read “a pinch of patience, a dash of kindness, a spoonful of laughter, and a heap of love.” I might just have to modify a recipe using these Measurements. Amazingly Cricket held and examined these for nearly an hour, this girl seriously loves hearts.

We both really enjoyed the book. I remember reading Amelia Bedelia from my childhood, and I wasn’t disappointed. The book was incredibly cute and the illustrations were perfect. I loved that it made fun of word plays, and addressed them from Cricket’s perspective. We really do say a lot of things that literally make no sense. I also really enjoyed the focus on the family relationship, and the celebration that the family shared. I highly recommend this one, and so does Cricket!

The true treasure was all the love packed up in that bag. We miss you Mimi!