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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Official Dates

Hi All! A lot of you have been asking about our start dates for next year. I finally looked at a calendar and nailed some days down. If you are interested, they are posted under the schedule tab at the top of the page. Thank you so much for all of your referrals. Our classes are starting to fill up. You all are amazing! Have a great summer and we will see you next fall!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


They're not big bubbles, they're MEGA BIG BUBBLES! It was so much fun doing these MEGA BIG BUBBLES! The "to do" part is pretty easy and the fun part is MEGA BIG! Alright, I'll stop being nerdy. It will be hard, but I'll try. ; )

Anyway, these work best when it is not windy. The great thing about these was that it was as much fun for me to play with as it was for the kids. The day we talked about bubbles, we looked at different sized and shaped bubble blowers and made predictions as to what size and shape the bubbles would be when we blew them. Then we went outside and tested our predictions.

Here's What You Need:
  • A big container of bubbles or homemade bubbles
  • Wire coat hanger
  • Yarn
  • Wide cookie sheet (It needs to be big enough to fit the bent hanger inside.)
Here's What You Do:
  1. Bend the wire hanger into a circle. Make it as symmetrical as possible.
  2. Tightly wrap yarn around the hanger circle.
  3. Fill the cookie sheet with bubbles.
  4. Put the hanger in and slowly lift one end out of the bubble solution until it creates a film across the whole hanger.
  5. Move the hanger through the air and watch the beauty and magic!

A couple of quick pointers: Make sure to have a bucket of water near by to wash hands in. When these MEGA BIG BUBBLES pop, they pack quite a bubbly punch. Also, be careful when doing it on cement because if the bubbles spill, the sidewalk can get really slippery.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Art Hanger

All year long, we have been sending the kids home with fun art and now there is a place to put it! We made these art hangers for our mothers for Mother's Day.

Here's What you need:
  • 6 popsicle sticks (skinny or fat or a combination of the two)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Markers
  • Black Yarn
  • Giraffe head cut out
  • 2 Mini clothes pins (You can find them at Walmart or at craft stores.)

Here's What You Do:
  1. Color the popsicle sticks orange and add big brown spots. Color "hoofs" on the bottom of 4 of the sticks.
  2. Color and cut out a picture of a giraffe head.
  3. Use the hot glue gun to glue the 4 legs and a neck to the back of one of the sticks.
  4. Glue the head at the top of the neck.
  5. Glue a clothes pin on each of the outer legs. (The inner two don't need one.)
  6. Cut a length of string and tie a knot in each end. Glue it between the legs to act as a hanger.
  7. Braid three short lengths of yarn and knot each end. Glue to the end of the body as a tail.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fishing for . . .

Here's another idea for a game or center that has so many possibilities. All you need are magnets, string, a long skinny something, and paperclips. Put the magnet on your string on your stick and put the paper clips on your "fish." You could fish for numbers - find the biggest, the smallest, find your age, the number of kids in class, from biggest to smallest, smallest to biggest, etc. You could fish for letters - tell what letter you fished, we each had a card with a capital letter and we had to fish for the lower case letter, fish for the letters of your name, etc. You could fish for colors, shapes, etc.

W is for . . .

. . . Willy Worm
We made this worm during center time. The kids each got a bag of colored 1 inch squares with the numbers 1 - 9 written on them and a piece of construction paper with the worm head glued on and the word Willy Worm written at the top. They underlined the W's on the page and then glued the body on in numerical order.

. . . Watercolors

Let's Go Fly a Kite!

Since we were talking about spring this month, I thought it would be really fun to make kites. This project ended up being one of those exciting moments when you're goofing around and you create something great! I kind of frankensteined a bunch of kite ideas I saw online so when I made it and tested it out, I was thrilled that it flew and that it flew pretty well for a homemade kite. It's kind of a hybrid kite meets paper airplane.

Here's What You Need:
  • Construction Paper
  • Crayons
  • String or yarn
  • Tape
  • Small Hole Punch
  • Bamboo Skewer
  • Scissors
  • Crepe Paper
Here's What you Do:
(This is just a picture to help show what it will look like, it isn't meant to be printed as a pattern. The dotted lines are the places you will fold.)
  1. Fold the construction paper in half.
  2. At the top mark a line 1 inch from the folded corner.
  3. At the bottom mark a line 2 1/2 inches from the folded corner.
  4. Connect the lines.
  5. Draw butterfly wings using the line you just drew as the body of the butterfly. Try to conserve as much of the paper as possible. Cut out the wings and body while your paper is still folded so they are symmetrical.
  6. Decorate the butterfly using crayons.
  7. Fold on the lines you drew for the body and tape the wings together with a long strip of tape to make a flat top.
  8. Cut bamboo skewer to 9 inches. I found that the best way to cut it without splintering it is to notch it with the scissors at the length that you want. Then put your two thumb nails into the notch back to back and snap it.
  9. Using small strips of tape, tape the bamboo skewer across the top of the wings.
  10. Punch a hole about 3 inches down on the body and reinforce it with a piece of tape.
  11. Tie about 3 yards of string to the hole. (Anyone like my homemade kite stand? Yup, that's playdough we used during center time. : )
  12. Tape two 12 inch pieces of crepe paper to the body, one on each side of the end. It is important that the strips are the same length or your kite will fly in circles.
  13. Take it outside and enjoy your kite!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Summer Time Fun - Tip of the Month

As school draws to a close and summer draws near, you might be thinking, what am I going to do with my kids this summer?! There are tons of places you can go and things you can do. Here are a few websites and places to visit this summer to keep your kids happy and learning.

  • Family Fun Magazine - Lots of great games, crafts, and cooking ideas at www.familyfun.com
  • Starfall Learning to Read through Phonics - Practice reading and learning letters online at www.starfall.com
  • DLTK's Printable Crafts - Printable educational activities at www.dltk-kids.com
  • PBS Kids - Online games and educational activities at www.pbskids.com. (There is also a link for parent information about child development.)
  • Home Depot or Lowes - They do a monthly building craft workshop on the first Saturday of every month. They provide the tools, materials, and an apron for the kids to use. Call the store manager to find out details.
  • Mesquite Groves or Hamilton or Desert Oasis Aquatic Centers - A lot of great swimming fun. Lots of extra features besides just the pool. www.chandler.gov
  • Toy Town Play Center - An indoor play center with dress up, toys, dramatic play and more. http://aztoytown.com
  • Arizona Science Center - A great place to explore and learn about science. All hands on science exhibits. They occasionally have free nights. www.azscience.org
  • Makutu's Island - An indoor play place full of slides, tunnels, a zip line and more. It has a couple of different rooms for different age levels and also offers other programs in the summer like Polynesian dancing. www.makutusisland.com
  • http://www.arizonaguide.com/events-calendar/heritage-cultural - An online month to month calendar of events going on in the valley.
  • Desert Breeze Park - A shady, huge park with a splash pad, train, carousel ride and shaded picnic areas.