Saturday, January 28, 2012

How To Make Dinosaur Crayons

Here are the simple step by step instructions to making these dinosaur caryons. You can make crayons in any shape or size you can find molds for! I found most of my silicon molds very inexpensively on amazing, CLICK HERE to see my Amazon Search.


1. Gather up the old broken crayons in your home. I don't bother going to buy new crayons for this project since it's a great way to recycle old ones. Use the new ones for other coloring projects :)

2. Peel any paper wrapper remaining on the crayons off. The paper will just melt into the molds and make a mess.

3. After peeling all the paper off any crayons break any of the larger pieces into small chunks that will fit into the molds.

4. Once all the molds are filled, place the silicon mold on a cookie sheet and put it in the oven on 230 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. (Check on the crayons to make sure they are completely melted before taking them out).

5. The mold can be taken out anytime after the crayons have completely melted. Place the cookie sheet with the silicon molds on it, on a cooling rack or a counter top to cool. The cooling took about 20 minutes.

6. Carefully pop each new crayon out of the silicon mold and use a paper to smooth down and edges left by the mold. That's it you have beautiful new crayons from the old broken ones!

This project was part of the D is for Dinosaur week, but you can find molds to match almost any theme! These also make awesome party favors for children's birthday parties or even fillers for Easter eggs!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

C is For Coin - Week in Review

This week started out a little bumpy as Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which means Josh (my husband) was off work. So instead of getting to wake up make breakfast and jump into school, we went thrift store hopping, painted the girl's room, hung up curtains, and repaired some holes in the walls (we just moved into our first home, and there's still a lot of work to be done).

We practiced lacing our flash card words as another
way to view sight words. 

Which meant we our entire Monday! And, set us back for Tuesday as well. I felt scattered trying to gather everything, it just threw off my groove. In any case we finished Tuesday and actually made good progress! We just finished 2 hours later than normal. Wednesday was right back on track and both girls were thrilled with their homework projects!

Inara Playing Toddler Time in ABC Mouse

Sorting coins, learning about coins, and doing everything letter C was a huge hit! They earned tons of coins this week helping around the house! Evie bought a stuffed Lighting McQueen pillow and Inara has yet to find something she has just fallen in love with, although she loves to carry around her piggy banks as if she's ready to pounce on something as soon as she finds the "right thing"!

Sorting coins by types! 
They both had a slow start to sorting by types of coins, but once they caught on they definitely got it! I even took some video of their adorable sorting Pirate Treasure worksheets! It was a very fun project, I can definitely see us doing lots more sorting projects in the near future!

Evie sorting coins by type. 
After Thursday the girls were just on a high with homework! We played extra games on Thursday and on Friday finished early enough that we actually caught up on all of Monday's homework minus the coin sticks! So the only thing we ended up missing was the coin sticks out of the entire week!

Both Evie and Inara are getting so much better at sign language I'm so proud of them! They learned all their signs this week and remembered most of the ones we've done in weeks prior there were only a few they missed.

Evie was actually reading words I had no clue she knew out of her pre-reader books, such as cat, hat, etc. We've gone over them but this was the first week she's just read them to me in a book form! VERY VERY PROUD of that girl! She's learning so quickly!

Inara amazed us all by counting objects on Friday. She was pointing to items and counting them. She missed one but got 2, 3, 4, and then 6. It was wonderful! The progress this week gave me so much motivation to do more and more and more with them! And, starting on Monday we're switching from using Disney Digital Books to Loony Toons Reading program.The online books are fun, but not as effective as actual books, and the Loony Toons are something my girls are just starting to enjoy watching on TV (thank their dad for that one, lol).

We've also entered to do the April A to Z Blog Challenge. So April we'll be doing our regular homework plus a project that starts with A through Z once a day for 26 days! Watch for those posts through out April the extra challenge will be fun.

B is For Beads - Week In Review

This week went much smoother than last! But then again it wasn't the first week of the school year right? The girls accomplished nearly all their homework each day! We painted instead of colored on Monday, and they loved gluing glitter onto their paper bead after they were finished.

The paper beads the girls made.
We put them on  yarn for necklaces. 

We substituted playing ball games with baking because they both wanted to play with the Easy Bake Oven after dinner one night. They girls made smores and enjoyed every minute of it. They also enjoyed that fact that since it was their baking project they got to snitch! After we baked our smores we read books and ate them on the reading rug.

Easy-Bake Oven Cook-off. 

Evie still had a hard time with the amount of flash cards. We broken them into 3 groups and she did very well with the smaller amount. Inara even started "guessing" as she wasn't reading them but she would say words in the stack when you showed her a flash card. We've decided to cut down the amount of site words we're doing in flash card by half. I'm going to do half the site words in flash cards, and half as posters on the wall.

Doing some of our work sheets in paint
just to mix it up. 

Inara amazed me this week when she started saying the number of objects on BrillKid Math along with the woman who states the number of objects before the screen flashes. I've never seen her do that before.

Adding glitter to our paper beads. 

Evie blew us all away when she started tracing the letter 'b's by herself and doing a perfect job! We've worked on tracing for a long time but this is the first week she's been able to do it all by herself, and she kept her form perfectly! 

With both girls making progress I am so excited to continue on our learning path. We are adding a new program during D week. It is the Loony Toons Reading Program. I'll keep you updated as to how it's going. My girls prefer real books over the Disney Digital Books, so we are cutting that out, and adding the Loony Toons Reading program. We'll see how it goes. I feel like this year instead of running around like a chicken with it's head detached I am actually refining our learning path and getting a steady amount of progress done! We finished all projects this week (with the exception of the one substitution). I am trilled with the progress defiantly an A + week! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

A is For America - Week In Review

The first week of the school year started out a little bumpy. Both girls had bad colds that led to more down time and less homework time. With extra naps, and smaller attention spawns then normal we founds ourselves watching Pocoyo and Word World more than working on the importance of the American Flag. However, as the week went on Wednesday started to pick up a little and Thursday we got almost everything done!

Evie is still struggling with the flash cards (due to little to no practice Monday and Tuesday) which tells me we really need to review them more often next week. There is also a lot more flash cards this year than we did at a time last year (she's also older) so we'll have to adjust as the year goes on, as to how many times a day we do her stack of flash cards. Right now we're shooting for 3-5 times a day (which isn't bad since I usually use them as a "if you want a fruit packet you have to read your flash cards first" or "if you want to watch TV you have to do your flashcards first".

Both girls enjoyed the art projects, and the coloring this week. And both broke into laughter at learning the "where is thumpkin" song! It's a new favorite around the reading rug!

I enjoyed the scrambled states game and book we got for this week, and plan to use it many more times in the future. Our Flag week we will defiantly be doing a review of the scrambled states and we're going to be holding on to this book and game for an entire states section later on! This game and book are great for both my young children (with help) all the way up to Jr. High or so (some adults could use the review themselves I'm sure) for now my husband and I are each taking one child and we're playing in teams!

Thursday the girls found the bucket of letter beads that I had purchased for the B week (next week), and they begged to pull them out early! What a great exercise! We'll be using our beads many many many  more times!

Playing with the stringing beads she wanted to make one for "daddy".

Talking about the flag was on the brink of completely over their heads until we pulled out a flag! Having some little flags they can play with really helped. I wouldn't' try to do this unit with out an american flag and state flag for any states you're talking about this week. It's just too distant of a concept to talk about countries to young kids who barely understand "our house" vs. "grandma's house" which is actually the way our conversation went. I said "other people live in different homes far away, in places like Brazil, Mexico, and China" Evie understood the idea that Ki Lan lives in china and Dora lives in Mexico. It was a great introduction!

Evie making her 'A' Collage 

Our Friday Quiz was fairly unsuccessful this week but again we're all getting use to a new routine and you can't have 100% on the first week I suppose, we're pushing forward to B is for Beads Next week and looking ahead to better weeks.

Overall considering the sickness, and it's the first week of a new year with the past 3 weeks off of homework I'm giving this week a C-. We've got a lot of room for improvement! How did everyone else's week go?