Wednesday, 27 March 2013

sound phones for reading

M's classroom has these and I'm making one each for the kids at home. They're called phonics phones, sound phones or reading phones. I love the idea and the theory behind them. A class set of them would be fantastic- does anyone now a plumber?!

A phonics phone is a simple tube shaped like a ‘telephone’ receiver, often made from plastic PVC pipe. There are several different versions of these phones, however most are simple hollow tubes that allow the student to speak quietly in one end and hear their own voice through the other.  Students use the ‘phone’ to listen to their own voice as the practice reading. This device allows students to better ‘hear’ themselves when they speak quietly.

The phones are an ideal tool for phonemic awareness activities ( learning the 'sounds' of letters). The tube design funnels sound directly to the ear and tends to block out other background noise. Not only do the phones likely boost physical hearing they also directly focus the child on listening to and hearing sounds. When a child holds a phone, they intentionally listen to the sound coming out the earpiece. This direct focus on sound is vital to developing necessary phonemic awareness, the ability to hear, recognize and distinguish the sound structure of our language.

How to make one:

here's some more information about how to supprt you child as they learn to read:

Monday, 25 March 2013

a gorgeous free e book

I came across this blog today and know that I will be a regular reader

"While it is important that children master specific skills in reading and writing, it is equally imperative that we raise children who love to read and write. Developing this balance between skill acquisition, and a love of learning is critical." Mariah Bruehl

blog: http://playfullearning.net/blog/

On the blog there is also this gorgeous free e book which is a a great read, download here: http://playfullearning.net/a-gift-for-you-playful-learning-guide-to-raising-lifelong-learners/

I've put it on my kindle for some Easter holiday reading ; )

Friday, 22 March 2013

things I'm loving this week

Joining in with MNm's things I'm loving here: http://meghanandmark.blogspot.co.nz/2013/03/things-im-loving-22313.html

renovations starting on our house
a mid week visit from my mum

how much M is loving school and her teacher

days spent just me and my boy

seeing both kids grow more and more comfortable in the water

fairy furniture

On Wednesday T and I went to our local park. The oak trees are dropping acorns, T picked up the top of one up said that he thought it looked like a little bowl. I agreed and said perhaps it was for a fairy.

He then went around collecting all sorts of things for the fairies and biked home with his pockets bulging.

At home I asked him if he wanted to make the some fairy furniture with what we'd collected- he loved this idea and ran into our garden looking for more things to add.

Together we made a bed, a table setting and T made a shop. We had a lovely time.

the supplies
the feast table ( I used some bakers twine to tie the top together)
strawberry testing out the bed
lining up items for sale on the shop shelf
everything is tiny so you have to concentrate...
all ready for fairy customers
" fairies like red ripe tomatoes mum"
slept tight lemon

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

a bunny bag and easter treats

We're going away for a long overdue break at Easter and will be sharing a holiday house with 5 other adults and our 6 kids. We've organised an Easter egg hunt for Sunday so I made these bags for the children- I think they'll appreciate them. I also plan to put bunny foot prints on the lawn (with a stencil and talcum powder) and make bunny and chick shaped pancakes for breakfast. I'll have just as much fun with it as they will and hope my efforts will be rewarded with a creme egg- or maybe even two? :)

At Easter it's been a tradition for us to give a little treat to M and T's pre school friends. This year M will make a little treat for each of her classmates. Last year T's preschool room were very sweet and let him hide the eggs in the playground for his buddies to find. Here's his story in his profile book

This year we used up some mini envelopes I had. My mum gave the kids an Easter stamp set I've had aside and I bought some stickers and mini eggs. I also bought some $1.50 gift bags but think we'll use T's red bunny basket as it's so much cuter.

another use for washi tape : )

Monday, 18 March 2013

a pom pom garland

This clever idea uses table legs to make pom poms in bulk. Using this post as a guide I made a pom pom garland for M's room today.

Before we move back in after repairs I plan to make some brighter ones to put it on her wall using a branch and some of her artworks - inspiration here...

picture source: http://jenloveskev.com/2012/09/19/a-new-big-girl-room/

lots of fun to do

Thursday, 14 March 2013

gelli baff

Our kids got given this for Christmas. It's available here: http://www.crazysales.co.nz/i/gelli_baff_bath_pool_jelly_lava_blast_red.html

Parent Tips:
  • Gelli-Baff is totally safe. It's developed by the leading beauty and spa products manufacturer Gelicity Skin Technology and conforms to strict cosmetic testing regulations in the UK.
  • The goo reverts back to plain old coloured bath water so no need to worry about it blocking or clogging the drain.
  • Doesn't stain your towels, carpets or children. After adding the second sachet just rinse away and you're good to go
  • Goo Ingredients: Gelli Baff is a harmless powder which holds 400 times its own weight in water. A similar substance is used in disposable nappies. The dissolver sachet is pure table salt, the same as you put on your chips!
Do's and Don'ts:
For maximum fun follow the laws of Gelli Baff!
  • Not recommended for children under 5 years of age unless supervised by an adult.
  • Don’t put too much water in the bath! For maximum gooiness 5 or 6cm is plenty for an average sized bath. If you have a jumbo bath, use even less water.
  • Don’t add the powder while the tap is running. Pour the bath water first, turn off the tap and then add the Gelli Baff sachet marked ‘Step 1’.
  • Enjoy Gelli Baff sitting down. Goo is slippery!
  • Don’t eat Gelli Baff. It’s not nice. And just like regular soap, if you get Gelli Baff in your eyes it could sting, so make sure to rinse it out with plenty of clear water.
  • Don’t forget to wash the goo out of your hair.
 It's a fun ( and mess free) present. Here's a video of how it works.


And some pics of it in our bath, it's a difficult consistency to describe- like the jelly you can eat but thicker - fun!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

kids like to play in boxes

Most kids like cardboard boxes, here's some ways we've had fun with them over the years...




And some other fun projects...

I love this little doll's house with magazine pictures as interiors and even outdoor decorations

This web page has some great ideas http://www.tipjunkie.com/all-crafts/32-things-to-make-using-a-cardboard-box-diy/

I have added this book CHLOE by Peter McCarty, to my bookdepositry wish list- it's had great reviews, looks like it has beautiful illustrations and is about the simple joy of a cardboard box : )

Monday, 11 March 2013

pillowcase dresses

I'm not a great sewer but I can do the basics. I really like this easy pattern for a 'pillowcase dress'. I guess it's called that because for a little girl you could actually use a pillowcase to make one.

They're really good in Summer for keeping cool and cute in Winter with a long sleeved top and tights underneath.

Here's the two I made for M when she was much smaller. There's a link to some instructions for a similar dress below ( they used binding around the arms, I didn't bother). Once I got the tie length right for on her shoulders I sewed the ribbons onto the fabric- just because  I could see her pulling them out and me having to re-thread them. You could also use some of the same, different fabric or some binding to make the ties.

link here: http://www.craftleftovers.com/projects/refashion-guest-pattern-pillowcase-dress/

Friday, 8 March 2013

Five little men in flying saucers

M sings this song at school. She had the idea that we make up some props to act out the song with. T had the idea to use ice block sticks and the 'world' from his toy box. I drew and cut out the flying saucers from some silver card we had. The kids drew spacemen on white stickers and stuck them on the saucers.

We adapted the song to be 5 little men in their flying saucers.... here's a clip of the original song and some pictures of the fun we had. We also made a movie but after trying to upload it 4 times with no luck I've given up!