Monday, January 30, 2012

"Tot-School" Week 1

First of all I want to give credit, where credit is due. I stumbled across the idea of "tot-school" over at 1+1+1=1 .  Her blog is full of wonderful ideas! She has been a huge inspiration to me in working with my younger children.

I also want to add, that we don't push our children. Our goal is not to create a child genius. Our goal is to spend some quality time with our children and nourish their natural curiosity about the world around them. If they are not feeling up to "school work" that day, we just snuggle on the couch and read some good stories.

This week we are working with the Letter A, and number 2. Here is a break down of our days;

Day 1, Monday: Introduction of letter A and number 1- I'm not a huge fan of flashcards, in the sense of just memorizing facts and regurgitating them. We use flashcards as a tool to familiarize our kids with the shape and look of the letter/number. I show Hurricane the flashcard and we trace the letter with our fingers and talk about words that begin with that letter. The number flashcards are used to familiarize him with what the number looks like and what a grouping of objects look like in that number.

                              We also read Dr. Seuss's Amazing Alphabet Book. He really loved this one. Dr. Seuss is always a hit around here.

Day 2, Tuesday: This day we used our "sand box" to write the letter an and number one. I poured some colored sand into a pencil box. It's just big enough to write a letter with the added bonus of being able to close the lid and contain all of that sand.

In addition to this activity, we read a stack of books about a mile high. Okay, maybe not quite that high, but you get the idea.

Day 3, Wednesday: Today we worked on some scissor practice. I choose a page from Kids Learning Station. He really enjoyed this.

We also made some art with bingo daubers. This activity was a huge hit.

Day 4 Thursday: Today we colored and put 1 sticker on our number one page.

 We also played with our letter and number magnets. I have a cookie sheet that I place the capital letter on, and he has to find the lower case letter to match. We play the same game with the numbers.         

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunshine on a cold, January day.

I was craving some chocolate this morning, and upon searching through my pantry, I discovered there was not a single chocolate chip to be found. No chocolate chips? This can’t be! What’s a girl to do? Improvise, that’s what.
I searched through my Grandpa’s recipe book and came across “Sunshine Balls.” I figured this would work since they involve carob or cocoa powder and peanut butter. Yum! Who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter?

I had to change it up a bit since I didn’t have some of the ingredients. I used cocoa powder and in place of the milk I used Goat milk, since we have some dairy issues. I also only had peanut butter on hand so I just used 2/3 cup of that. As you can see from the picture, I rolled them in sesame seeds. In my opinion they are much better when rolled in coconut, but I didn’t have any.
Here’s the recipie:
Sunshine Balls
“Take a look at this, my sweet;
Here’s a treat that’s hard to beat!
1/3 cup Peanut Butter
1/3 cup any nut butter
1/4 cup honey
2 TBS. molasses
1 TBS milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 TBS. carob or cocoa powder
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dates, cut up
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1. Mix together nut butters, honey, molasses, milk, and vanilla.
2. Add carob/cocoa and blend.
3. Stir dates, nuts, and seeds together and add all at once.
4. Blend mixture thoroughly, roll into marble size balls, then roll in coconut, or finely chopped nuts, or sesame seeds.
5. Store in the refrigerator.
Special Note: The yield is a secret. It all depends on how many you eat while making them. :)
As I mentioned, this recipe comes from my Grandpa’s recipe book called “Natural Foods Sampler.” Please respect his hard work and tell people where you found this recipe. I have copies of the book available for a small fee. If you are interested, let me know either by commenting below or e-mailing me.