Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone!  I thought I'd share some photos from our night!

This year, Mags chose to be WALL-E, another robot, like last year's Plex.
She took full advantage of the VIP seating that was available.  (I don't ever remember trick-or-treating with a stroller!  Lazy bones!)
We trick-or-treated with our buddies, Leah (Tinkerbell) and Lucy (dragon).  (Thanks, guys, for a wonderful night!)
The stash was impressive!
She was quite pleased!  :)

Hope everyone had a fun, safe night!  We'll see you again tomorrow afternoon with more homeschooling ideas!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Carving Pumpkins ...

So, today we celebrated the annual sensory fest that is carving pumpkins!  It takes a child to help you enjoy a pumpkin to its fullest, from sticking your face in the hole cut at the top to smell in the sweet scent, to squishing the washed seeds between your fingers before they go on the pan for roasting.  There's nothing like carving a pumpkin with a kid.  Here are a few photos.  (This year, Maggie requested a 'kitty cat pumpkin' from Daddy.)

Mags' job has always been scooping out the guts, Daddy's is carving, and mine?  Well, collecting the seeds and cleaning, of course!  :)
 'Look, Mommy!'  (Notice the classic playing in the background ... It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, from 1966!  It's a tradition in our house to play it while we carve.)
'Look at my pumpkin soup.'
 Mags, with her Halloween pumpkins.  :)
 Her 'kitty cat pumpkin.'
Happy Halloween, everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

'Peek-a-BOO Ghost'

Happy Halloween Week!  WE LOVE HALLOWEEN!  We have decided to devote all of our learning this week (with the exception of some letter work) to Halloween, so look for craft and snack ideas in every post leading up to the big day.  Here are a few things we did today:

Especially for Beverly, for the second installment of our 'Glue Ghoulery Necklace,' we used some black string, a black marker, scissors, and our glued ghosts from Sunday, now dried onto our wax paper.
Gently peel your dried ghosts off of the wax paper.
Next, draw spooky faces on your ghosts.
Finally, poke a small hole into the top of each ghost, using your scissors, and string for a cute Halloween-themed necklace!
Mags, your 'ghoulery' is simply divine!  :)
For a snack, we made the 'Cinnamon Tortilla Pumpkins' as seen in Yum for Kids magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, page 86.  To make them, you need flour tortillas, canola oil, and cinnamon sugar, along with a paring knife and a frying pan for cooking.
 Heat about an inch of oil in a deep frying pan to medium heat.  While the oil is heating, use your knife to cut jack o' lanterns out of your flour tortillas, like below.
 Once the oil is heated, carefully place one of your tortillas into the pan and flip over when the side underneath is golden, about a minute.
 Turn over and let the second side get golden.
 When both sides are done, take your tortilla out of the pan and place on paper towels to help absorb any excess oil.  Repeat with your other tortilla(s).
 Lastly, sprinkle both sides of your tortilla jack o' lanterns with your cinnamon sugar.  Serve.
 A happy customer.
Halloween tastes great!  (If you would prefer not to fry, you can instead use the technique I used when making my snowflake tortillas, when I cut my tortillas in the shape of snowflakes, then spread them with a light layer of butter before sprinkling on my cinnamon sugar.  Those were just as much a hit!  See the post at http://homeschoolingmom2mags.blogspot.com/2011/01/some-of-last-years-projects.html.)
Later, we made the 'Peek-a-BOO Ghost' as seen at http://www.allkidsnetwork.com/crafts/halloween/peek-a-boo-ghost.asp.  For it, you need a paper cup (we used a Halloween one), a small ghost made from construction paper, a Popsicle stick, scissors, and a glue stick.
 First, using your scissors, punch a small hole in the bottom of your cup, centered, then use your Popsicle stick to widen your hole to the same size as your stick, like below.
 Next, glue your paper ghost onto the end of your Popsicle stick.
Finally, feed your stick through your hole by placing your ghost into your cup.
 Offer someone a drink by handing them the cup, and then, 'BOO!' Scare them with your ghost inside!

Today, in addition to the above, we also:
Halloween:
1.  We read Halloween Howl adapted by Gail Herman.
2.  We read Garfield's Scary Surprise by Mark Acey.
3.  We read Halloween Treasure Hunt by Alison Inches.
4.  We read Don't Go Up Haunted Hill ... Or Else! by I. K. Swobud.
5.  We watched our Mickey's House of Mouse Villains DVD.

'This place is a zoo!'

So, yesterday, we took our annual October family trip to Montgomery Zoo.  We like it so much better than Atlanta Zoo and have made it our tradition to go on a Monday in October when it's cool, almost completely empty, and the park feels like it belongs only to us.  We love it.  Here are a couple of yesterday's photos.

Daddy and Mags, ready to go!
 Checking out the sloth bear ...
 She was fascinated with the anteater after our recent study of the rainforest ...
 ... and the jaguar.
 But, she just giggled over the flamingos.  
 Zoo train!
 Silly!
 Maggie and Mommy.
 Feeding the baby giraffe.
 We fed this family of peacocks a few pretzels.
 Picnic time at the playground!
We take this shot every year.  She grew a few inches from last year.  Here is now ... 
... and last year!  A few inches taller!  :)

So, as I stated in the last post, we will be taking it easy this week, our eighth week of Pre-K.  Since I will homeschool Maggie year-round, it will be on occasion that we take a week or two off to regroup, but this week you can still look forward to a few posts, as we will be doing all things Halloween and catching up on our letter work.  Stay tuned for a post this afternoon, and as always, thanks for checking in on us!