Wednesday, October 5, 2011

'Nutty for Acorns!'

I'm really loving this little 'Squirrels' curriculum we've been studying.  For one, Maggie has always appreciated them for their little fast, quirky ways, and two, I've found so many cute crafts to do in honor of them.  Today, we were able to share our 'Nutty for Acorns' snack with our friends, Leah and Lucy, at our play date, and we made a super cute squirrel with pom-poms.  (Thank you, Family Fun magazine, for another great idea!)  Here are some photos:

For today's journal entry (in honor of Great Books Week), I asked her, 'What is your favorite book?'  She answered, 'The dogs one,' which translates to Doggone Dogs! by Karen Beaumont.
 Here is her rendition of the book's cover art.
 In honor of National Newspaper Week, we found words in the newspaper that started with each letter of the alphabet.  Here, Mags is cutting out some words, which we then placed on index cards, each labeled with one of the 26 letters.
 Once our index cards were complete, we bound them to make a little letter book.
 Next, we did some painting using a Fall mum as our brush.
 And in honor of Squirrel Awareness Month, we enjoyed this 'Nutty for Acorns!' snack, made with a mini Nilla wafer, a Hershey's kiss, and the end of a pretzel stick for the stem.  (The recipe called for chocolate icing as the 'glue,' but I used peanut butter instead.)
 We made a bunch and brought them to a play date to share with our friends!  
 We also made 'Pecan Mini Kiss Cups' for a Fall treat.  First, we beat 1/2 cup softened butter and 3 ounces of cream cheese in a medium bowl until well blended.  Next, we added 1 cup flour and beat well again.  We then covered our mixture and refrigerated it one hour to get firm.  After one hour, we heat our oven to 325 degrees and stirred into a small bowl, one egg, 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and a dash of salt until well blended.
 We then shaped our chilled dough into 1-inch balls (making about 24), and placed them in ungreased small muffin cups, pressing them into the bottoms and up the sides of the cups.  (You see regular-sized muffin cups in the picture below because I placed our small ones inside them to make less mess.)  Place 2 mini Hershey's kisses into the dough and then spoon about 1/2 teaspoon chopped pecans on top of that.  Then, fill the rest of your dough cup with your egg mixture.  
 Bake for about 25 minutes, then lightly press 1 mini Hershey's kiss into the center of each cookie once they are out of the oven.  Cool in pan on wire rack.  They should look like this when they are done!
Later, we made a little squirrel with pom-poms and tacky glue.  Here, Mags is adding his eyes.
 Our little squirrel, on the 'operating table.'
Still drying, but all done and super cute!  :)
We then played a game where she pretended to be a sleeping squirrel while I hid an acorn.  When she woke, she shook her bushy tail and set out to hunt the nut!  
Mags, with her fierce eagle mask!  'Watch out,' she yelled, 'I want fish!'  Funny girl.  :)

Today, we:
Daily (Calendar/Weather):
1.  We completed our calendar activities, putting today's date up on the calendar, and discussing the month, what day of the week it is, what season, and what kind of weather we're having.
Bible Study:
1.  We completed the daily devotion out of our God and Me book, for today's date -- 'Listening to Others.'  Then, we read Acts 8:5-8 together.
Universal Children's Week:
1.  We read To Be a Kid by Maya Ajmera and John D. Ivanko.
Great Books Week:
1.  We read Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.
2.  We read Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans.
3.  We read Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
4.  We read Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey.
5.  We read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.
6.  For today's journal entry, I asked her, 'What is your favorite book?'  She answered, 'The dogs one,' which translates to Doggone Dogs! by Karen Beaumont.
National Newspaper Week:
1.  We read Out and About at the Newspaper by Kitty Shea.
2.  We wrote the uppercase and lowercase form of each letter on index cards, then, together, went through the newspaper and found words that start with those letters.  We cut them out and pasted them onto our cards, then punched a hole in each and bound them with a clip.
Squirrel Awareness Month:
1.  We read Squirrels: Furry Scurriers by Becky Olien.
2.  We read Baby Ground Squirrel by Aubrey Lang.
3.  We read Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt.
4.  We read From Little Acorns … by Sam Godwin.
5.  We read The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes by Beatrix Potter.
6.  We made the 'Nutty for Acorns!' snack as seen in Family Fun magazine, September 2011, page 124.
7.  We completed the 'Nut Adventure' activity out of our Toddler's Busy Play Book, page 29.
8.  We made the pom-pom squirrel out of our Martha Stewart: Pom-pom Forest Animal Kit.
9.  We made the acorn flip book as seen on the back cover of our Ladybug magazine, October 2011.
Raptor Month (Eagles):
1.  We read Eagles by Patrick Merrick.
2.  We read The Bald Eagle by Lloyd G. Douglas.
3.  We read Soaring with the Wind: The Bald Eagle by Gail Gibbons.
4.  We read Fly, Eagle, Fly! An African Tale, retold by Christopher Gregorowski.
5.  We read The Eagle's Gift by Rafe Martin.
6.  We read Eagle Boy: A Traditional Navajo Legend, retold by Gerald Hausman (Cols, 10/17).
7.  We read about bald eagles in our Born Free: Wild Animals workbook, pages 4-5, then made the eagle mask out of the same book.
1.  We made the 'Mum's the Word' prints as seen in an old tear-out from Wondertime magazine.
2.  We made the 'Pecan Mini Kisses Cups' as seen in our Kiss Connections cookbook, pages 34-35.
3.  We completed page 8 of our Mazes workbook.
4.  We read 'Molly and Emmett' cartoon on the back cover of our Ladybug magazine, October 2011.
5.  We read the 'Max and Kate' story out of our Ladybug magazine, October 2011, pages 3-7, about picking pumpkins.
Letter Ee Review:
1.  We read Short "e" and Long "e" Play a Game by Jane Belk Moncure.
2.  We read What a Week: The Sound of Long E by Cynthia Klingel and Robert B. Noyed.
3.  We completed pages 108-109 of our Getting Your Preschooler Ready to Read workbook, which required her to identify the two different sounds that e makes.
4.  We practiced writing lowercase e on page 3 of our Learn with Dick and Jane: lowercase letters workbook.
Math Concepts (Number Recognition):
1.  I quizzed her again on our 'Numbers 1-100' poster by calling out specific numbers and having her identify the same.

Tomorrow, we'll be making some clothes out of newspapers, using an old egg carton to make little squirrels, and cooking up some pumpkin lollipops in honor of Fall!  Check back with us!

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