Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Math- Shapes

One of the Four Preschool Math Goals is to identify at least four shapes. D knows more than four so I used this activity more for cutting practice (something that D loves to do.) I drew the shapes on different colors of construction paper and D insisted on doing EVERYTHING himself after that, from the cutting to the gluing. D will be four at the end of the month and I am amazed at how much he has grown and matured in last year.

Christmas Math- Number Recognition

I found this great website that describes Four Preschool Goals for Math.

Colors and shapes

  • knows about colors and shapes
  • identifies 6 colors
  • identifies 4 shapes

Create a two-piece pattern

  • creates and understands two-piece patterns

Compare objects

  • uses words to make comparisons (bigger, biggest, smaller, smallest, heavier, heaviest, etc.)


  • Can count to 20
  • Can count a group up to 8 objects
  • recognizes numerals 1 - 10

I have used these goals to help me plan out some Preschool Math activities this month. I figured that using Christmas as a theme can make anything fun-- even math.

Here is our first game:
Number Recognition 1-20
Do you recognize this? It is an empty Christmas ornament container.

I cut out the numbers from 1-20 using green and red paper and taped them to the bottom of the container. To play the game, D stood a few feet away from the box and tossed an object (we used dice) into the box and he had to name the number with the dice.
Younger children:
Color Recognition
Leave off the numbers and just put different colors in each square.

Older children:
Write down the numbers and add them up.
More or Less
Throw two dice into the box and figure out which number is larger or smaller.

Playing with Our Food- Sugar Cookies

Last week we planned to do some corn activities but my poor sick boys really weren't in the mood. If you still want to do some great ideas for "Corn" and other activities, please visit
She has TONS of great ideas. Here is one that she sent me. (Thank you!)

I was able to talk D in to making some cookies, however. I am pretty sure that cookies make everyone feel better. I am sure that you are thinking that we made traditional Christmas sugar cookies. Nope. My husband, the bargain-hunter, found this AWESOME robot cookie cutter from Sonoma-Williams for 1/2 price. D is a HUGE robot fan so this was perfect for my little guy. It is divided into three pieces so that you can change (rotate) the head, torso, and legs to make different robots.

We had a TON of fun making these. We are going to make some more for party favors for D's fourth birthday later this month.

If you make some cookies (sugar or otherwise) and post about them, feel free to link them up.

The Art Box- Rocket

Like I said like last week, I do not have a specific art "box" that I let D create out of. I have recently remodeled my craft closet to make it more kid-friendly so that D can select his material without totally destroying everything. In the craft closet, I also keep my "I-am-saving-that-because-I-am-sure-that-I-will-use-it-for-something-box", hence the empty Dora yogurt cup. This day D created a rocket out of construction paper, LOTS of tape, aluminum foil, and yogurt cup.

Friday, November 27, 2009


This week has not gone at ALL as I had planned. As you know, both boys have been very sick so pretty much all plans out of the house had to be canceled and most of our in-house projects too. :( Thank you to everyone who sent well-wishes to the boys. I am hoping that we are almost at the end of it. I am very grateful for the fact that I was off work this week so we could just cuddle up on the couch and take it easy.

In my few minutes of alone time this week I came across some GREAT posts. I would like to share them and to say "gracias" for the great ideas, crafts, projects, and information in these posts. If you came across an especially creative project, interesting discussion, or just a great post during the week that you would like to share, please leave a comment below.

1. BabelKid is hosting the monthly Bilingual Carnival this month. If you want to find a TON of fascinating articles by families that are raising their children with two (or more) languages, you need to read this post. Every month a different mutilingual blogger hosts the carnival. I am hoping to sign up to host this carnival in the future.

2. The Activity Mom wrote a very generous post about an ACTIVITY Advent Calendar this week. She even included the printables to make your own. I am WAY behind on my Christmas activity planning after getting NOTHING done this week so I very much appreciate the ideas.

3. The Adventures of Bear shared her Rhyming Box. Since D saw an episode of Ni Hao, Ki Lan in which they were practicing rhyming words, he wants to know a rhyming word for EVERYTHING. I love this idea to give you child concrete objects to relate to the rhyming words. We are in the process of setting up our own box.

4. Mouse Learns, Mouse Grows talked about their family's Holiday traditions. I am fascinated with other cultures so I especially liked to learn about the Weihnachtsmarkt and the Feuerzangenbowle. You'll have to check it out to find out what they are.

5. Silly Little Eagle books gives an AWESOME list of Thanksgiving ideas and activities to file away for next year. In my neverending quest to get more organized, I have started file folders for next year and beyond so I will definitely use these ideas.

6. Mama Smiles wrote a great post about how she keeps her household running smoothly with three small children. Lots of great tips for those of us with little guys.

Drum roll please.............................

The winner of the $25 Amazon Gift card is....................

Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.

Thank you to everyone who entered in the giveaway and participated in the my Toys my children ACTUALLY play with linky.

Nativity scene magnets

I bought these Nativity scene magnets from a catalog that my neighbor's daughter was selling out of to raise money for the marching band. I did not have high expectations, but D loves them. They actually have tiny numbers (up to 25) on them so that you can put one on the fridge each day until Christmas. We are just using them to talk about the story of Jesus's birth. I am currently looking for a simplified (3 year old level) Christmas eve story in Spanish so that we can "act" it out with our magnets. If you are interested in finding them, I saw a set at Hobby Lobby yesterday for $13.00.

Let the countdown begin!... Almost

I just realized YESTERDAY that if I am going to get our count down to Christmas activities going on December 1st I only have a couple of days left. Where did the time go?

Last year D and I did a paper chain in Christmas colors to help him understand when Christmas day would arrive. This year since he is a little older and much wiser, I wanted to do something a little different. I can not take credit for the idea. I found a printable here. I thought that it would be way to small, however, so I redrew it on a larger piece of paper. I also mixed up the numbers so that they are not in order. D can identify 1-10 easily but gets confused with the numbers beyond. The idea is very simple. You simply place a piece of cottonball on the beard of Santa to cover the appropriate number until you reach #25.

After I finished the Santa calendar, I remembered that I have two children and nothing for M to do. Just kidding, I know that I have two children. I just keep forgetting that M is not a little baby anymore and he is capable and willing to participate. Since naptime was about over I had to whip up something quick. This Christmas tree was what I came up with. M obviously does not know his numbers yet so I will have D help him find them and we will put a different colored circle (an ornament) to cover each number. I will make a star to put on the #25.

To see what some very creative mommies are doing to get ready for Christmas check out The Adventures of Bear, The Land of Pleasant Living, Our Worldwide Classroom, and The Fifth Street Place.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Toys my children ACTUALLY play with.

Today's post is a simple list of the things that I am planning to buy (or found around the house) for my boys' stockings. I do not like to spend a ton on Christmas stockings (or Christmas presents for that matter.) One of the most wonderful things about preschoolers and toddlers is that they are thrilled with a few simple (even useful) items. Even though stocking aren't necessary, I remember them being one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning. All of my stocking choices are cheap or free.

1. Cool bandaids. (Probably Transformers)
2. Play-doh (Either homemade or store-bought)
3. Bubble bath (I rarely buy this so the boys will be very excited.)
4. Cool underwear (Again, Transformers. I am going to discuss how I feel about my son's obsession with Transformers in an upcoming post.)
5. New set of watercolor paint
6. Rubber ducky (We have had this tradition the last couple of years. So far the boys have a Fireman Duck, a Pirate Duck, and a Baby Duck. These are some of their favorite toys in the bath.)
7. Stickers
8. Small board books (Dollar Section at Target)
9. Chocolate/ Candy Cane
10. Craft scissors (The kind that makes the zig-zags)
11. Small flashlight (Found it in the garage)
12. Two Beenie Baby animales that I had saved from when I was younger. (The boys have never seen them.)
13. Bubbles (Left over from the summer. I like to use them in the bathroom during bathtime in the winter.)
14. Misc. things found around the house (Like plastic dinosaurs and dinosaur tatoos left over from last year's birthday parties.)

Do you do Christmas stockings? What are you putting in your child's stocking?
Please leave a comment below. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families!!

*****Reminder: The Amazon $25 Gift Card Giveaway will end on the 28th. I will choose the winner on the 29th. There is still time to entry or to get extra entries. I am going to post the information below. Please go HERE to enter.

Mandatory entry:
1. Leave a comment below about a toy that you would recommend to other Mommies for Christmas. Please include for what age the toy is appropriate.

Additional entries:
2. Follow my blog and leave a comment so that I know that you do. If you are already a follower (Thank you!) please leave a comment telling me so.

3. You will receive TWO more entries if you write a post on your blog about a toy that your child actually plays with and link it up to one of my Thursday post by November 27th. (If you have already linked to me in the past 6 weeks, I will automatically give you 2 entries for each post that you have entered.)

4. You will receive TWO more entries if you blog about this contest and link back to this post. Leave a comment so that I know that you did.

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Sick Boys :(

Well, both of the boys are sick. :( I finally got them to bed but I am planning on a long night and an even longer day tomorrow. So...... no post tomorrow. I will be posting the Toys post on Wednesday since I have already finished it. Be sure to link up to get your extra entries since the $25 Amazon Gift Card giveaway is almost over.

I would like to add a couple of Great MckLinkys (or is it MckLinkies? I guess it doesn't matter since it isn't a real word anyways:) that I neglected to mention.

1. Nicole at Tired, Need Sleep just started a blog carnival called The Art Box. The idea is that you give your child a box full of materials and let them create whatever their little heart desires. I love any activity that encourages creativity. Check out my post yesterday to find out what happened to our poor paper plate turkey when D was given free reign of the craft closet.

2. CraftsNThings for Children is hosting a MckLinky open this week only to share your best Thanksgiving activities, crafts, etc.

To see a list of more Great MckLinkys, click here. Did I forget any? Please leave a comment!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Art Box

Nicole at Tired, Need Sleep has started a weekly blog carnival called The Art Box. (Sorry I forgot to mention it in my Great MckLinkys post yesterday!) Anyway, this is a very easy post for me to join in on because this is pretty much what D wants to do EVERYDAY. The idea is that you give your child a bunch of material and let them make whatever their little heart desires. D has been very resistant to doing the crafts that I have planned for him lately. He only wants to make robots or Transformers out of anything and everything. This project started off as a paper plate turkey but D had different plans. I do not give D a certain box from which to create but this day he was so into it that I pretty much gave him free reign of the art closet. My favorite parts of the ROBOT are the 3-D glasses, markers for arms, and the old Cable bill invoice. I am very proud that he is such a creative little boy.

List of Great MckLinkys

I have put together a list of some of the MckLinkey's going on right now. I think that they are a great way to get a lot of information about a specific topic in one spot and to share some of your ideas with readers that may not visit your own blog. I have divided them up into Christmas/Holiday blog carnivals and Year-long blog carnivals.

Christmas/Holiday blog carnivals.

1. Kylie at Our Worldwide Classroom invites you to share your plans and activities for Christmas. Kylie is WAY ahead of me and has already pulled out her Christmas supplies and books.

2. The Adventures of Bear wants to know what are your holiday or Christmas traditions. She starts off by sharing her plans for Advent.

3. Danita at From The Land of Pleasant Living is hosting a Linky called the Twelve Days of Christmas. She is posting a different homemade gift for each day. I wish I was that talented! I think that D's preschool teachers are getting gift certificates. :)

4. The Fifth Street Palace is hosting Tis The Season Thursdays. Come by to link up your family/holiday traditions and to enter to win one of her great giveaways.

5. Ok, so I saved mine for last. I have been hosting a Linky called Toys My Children ACTUALLY Play with for almost two months now. I consider it a Holiday blog carnival because it was meant to only run through Christmas.

Here is the plan for the next couple of weeks:
11/25 Stocking stuffer sized toys that I plan to give to my kiddos.
12/3 Regular Toy Post
12/10 Regular Toy Post
12/17 Regular Toy Post
12/ 24 No post.
12/31 Last post. I will post what I actually bought for my boys and if they ACTUALLY played with them :). Feel free to share what you bought for your children (or that they received from someone else) for Christmas.

Year-long Blog Carnivals

1. Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns hosts a MckLinkey every week called What My Child Is Reading. Even though the books that I read to the boys are all in Spanish, I love to link up to see what everyone else is reading. It will also be fun to look back in a few years and see what I was reading to my children.

2. Debbie at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn invites you to share your Random Photo Moments. It is a great place to share those funny photos of your kiddos.

3. Adventures in Mommydom shares science projects and learning in her Linky Sunday Science. D is constantly asking to do "experimentos" so I am trying to do more science-related activities with him.

4. I get a good giggle out of reading Jennifer's blog at Mudpies for Mommy every Thursday. She posts the funny things that her kids say and lets you link up too for Things Kids Say Thursdays.

Did I miss Yours or another Great MckLinky? Please let me know in the comments!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Coming up.....

I know that we are all going to be VERY busy this week, so for my own organization purposes I would like to share a few of my plans for the coming week.

1. D is obviously turkey-crafted-out! We tried to make a paper plate turkey yesterday and well, you will have to come back on Monday to find out what happened to the poor little guy.

2. I am going to do a post on some GREAT blog carnivals with MckLinkys. If you haven't emailed me yet, let me know this weekend if you would like to be added to the list.

3. I am going to post my Toys my children ACTUALLY play with post on Wednesday morning since Thursday is going to be CRAZY busy. I will be posting about stocking stuffer sized toys that my children play with. You can stick to that theme or post about any toy as usual.

4. I plan to take a couple of days off from posting during the week. Instead, I plan to do some updating on blog. I need to update my blog roll, add some of the great buttons from my favorite blogs, add a little more organization, etc. I am very open to suggestions!

5. Don't forget to enter to win the $25 Amazon gift card. Check out the ways to get additional entries below.

Additional entries:
2. Follow my blog and leave a comment so that I know that you do. If you are already a follower (Thank you!) please leave a comment telling me so.

3. You will receive TWO more entries if you write a post on your blog about a toy that your child actually plays with and link it up to one of my Thursday post by November 27th. (If you have already linked to me in the past 6 weeks, I will automatically give you 2 entries for each post that you have entered.)

4. You will receive TWO more entries if you blog about this contest and link back to this post. Leave a comment so that I know that you did.

What my child is reading...

Many of my cyberbuddies have been studying dinosaurs lately so I decided to include some of our favorite dino-books this week for What my child is reading over at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns. D has been dino-obsessed for well over a year now. (I will soon post pictures of his very cool dinosaur-themed birthday party from last year.) Every week is dino-week around here so here are some (there are too many to list all of them) dinosaur books that we love.

Los Dinosaurios (Mi Pequena Enciclopedia)

If you are a Spanish-speaking family, I highly recommend this series of books, "Mi pequeña enciclopedia" (My little encyclopedia). We own several about pirates, insects, and jungle animals. At $3.99 a piece, I think that they are a great deal. They are great for teaching vocabulary about a certain topic.
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Cómo juegan los dinosaurios con sus amigos?

This is an entire series of books that your child might like if they are afraid of the scary dinosaur books. In each book the dinosaurs are shown as if they have the same problems that children have, like not wanting to share, not wanting to go to bed, and not wanting to clean their room. D absolutely loves the book below that translates to "How do dinosaurs play with their friends?" All of these book are available in English.


Vivió algún dinosaurio cerca de tu casa? (Did any dinosaurs live close to your house?)

This was the very first dinosaur book that we ever owned. I include it because before D I had no idea how to talk about dinosaurs in Spanish. This book helped me a lot with some much needed vocabulary.

Product Details

Life-sized Dinosaurs

Warning: If your child scares easily, this is NOT the book for you. My mother bought D this book for his birthday last year. Like I have said D is fascinated by dinosaurs and not at all scared. This really is a cool book. It is very large so that they can show pictures of a life-sized T-Rex mouth (it folds out), another dinosaur's claws (the name escapes me but I am sure that D would know), and a dinosaur egg. It even came with a poster of the T-Rex mouth as shown on the cover of the book and D has it above his bed. :)


Danny and the Dinosaur

My mother passed this book on to us recently. There are newer versions but we have the old version written in 1958. I can still remember my mother reading this book to me when I was little. Since the book is in English, my mother saved it and read it to D when she was visiting recently and he LOVED it. It is about a little boy, Danny, who wishes that he could play with a dinosaur while visiting a museum. A dinosaur hears him and comes to life. They leave the museum to play and explore the city. It is a simple book with a lot of repitition so D was able to understand most of it, even though his Spanish skills are still better. I did, however, notice while I was cruising through Amazon that they now have a Spanish version of this book. He may just get it for Christmas.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

P de Pavo

I had this activity ready for D to do after he returned from preschool one day this week. In our family, "P" is for Pavo (turkey). I was also pleased to realize that "P" is also for pico (beak), plumas (feathers) and patas (feet.) Great activity for Thanksgiving and to review the letter "P."
Spanish vocabulary:
pavo- turkey
pico- beak
plumas- feathers
patas- feet
rojo- red
amarillo- yellow
Día de Acción de Gracias- Thanksgiving

Toys my children ACTUALLY play with.

Just kidding.... kinda of. This was definitely M's favorite toy of the week. :)

My ACTUAL toy spotlighted this week is also not a toy. I want to preface this post with the fact that I am not affiliated with the company in anyway nor am I being compensated for my post or opinion. This just happens to be a product that my son loves and I wanted to share it in case it would be popular in your house too. Also, I would like to say that when it comes to kids' apparel we are usually very frugal. About 70% of the boys' clothes are hand-me-downs. I usually just buy new for special occasions or if it is really THAT cute. :) We are very lucky to have older cousins that are very generous.

On to the post... D is a HUGE, I mean HUGE, dinosaur fanatic. My husband found these shoes online and wanted to buy them for D as a gift for starting preschool. Since we have purchased these shoes, you will rarely see D's feet without them. They are made by a company called Dinosoles.

Welcome to Dinosoles - Home of dinosaur kids shoes & DinoGear dinosaur clothing!

I wanted to put a picture of the exact pair of shoes that D has (and this is) but the only one available was small and hard to see. D picked out the T-Rex with flashing red eyes. The picture of the T-Rex is 3-D and the soles have an imprint of a dinosaur foot. To see a better picture and the other options of shoes and sandals, go to the link above.

3D T-Rex Low Top Black with LightsTrexLT.jpg

1. They make D very happy.
2. They are apparently comfortable. D is not one to grin and bear it. He would tell me if they bothered him.
3. The decorations are very durable and so far (3 months later) the shoes still look brand new.

I can't talk D into wearing other shoes. They look kind of funny with his church clothes. :)

*** Don't forget to link up to get 2 more entries into the giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card. For more information about this giveaway, click here.

***If you have a MckLinkey that you are hosting and you would like me to share it in a post this week with my readers, please look at my previous post (MckLinkey Fun.)

MckLinky Fun

While cruising around the blogs lately, I have come across several fun and interesting blogs carnivals. So many, in fact, that I can't keep track of them all. I personally love blog carnivals because you can get a lot of information or ideas on a specific topic in one spot. If you are hosting a MckLinky from now until Christmas or beyond, please leave a comment. I am going to write a post about some great blog carnivals that I have found this weekend and I would be happy to add yours to the list.

;0) Quick reminder. Tomorrow is my Toys My Children Actually Play with post. If you link up a post, you can get two more entries to win the $25 Amazon Gift Card. Those of you that have linked up in the past, thank you, and you will receive two entries for each of those other posts.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

El Primer Día de Acción de Gracias or The First Thanksgiving

In Spanish "Thanksgiving" is translated as "el Día de Acción de Gracias." I know, it is a mouthful. I bought this book, El Primer Día de Acción de Gracias from a Scholastic book fair at my son's school because my library did not have many books about Thanksgiving in Spanish. Not terribly surprising since it is an American holiday. This book written for older kids so it was a little over my son's head. However, with some editing and further explanation, I think that it gave D a good overview of the history of Thankgiving.

El Primer Dia de Accion de Gracias (Hello Reader!/Hola, Lector! Level 3/Nivel 3)

After reading the book, we BOTH made coffee filter turkeys. What? I can't have fun too? ;0)

They are very easy to do. First, color with a marker on the coffee filter.

Next, wet the coffee filter. Our spray bottle is out of commission so D used a medicine dropper. This was BY FAR his favorite part. Now he wants to get all of his crafts wet!

Make a body, face, and in D's case, legs.
To find out more fun StART projects to do with books, visit A Mommy's Adventures.

Playing with Our Food- Pumpkins and Gourds

Don't forget to go here to register to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Did you do anything fun with pumpkins or gourds that you would like to share? Doesn't have to be a new post, an old post will do. Feel free to linkup below. :)

On one of the beautiful days that we had last week, I decided to let the boys paint outside. I had let the boys pick out a small pumpkin and a gourd weeks ago when we bought our Halloween pumpkins. They were getting soft so I put them to work. First, I cut them in half so the boys could see the seeds.

Then the boys dipped them in the paint and well, you can see the rest below. M hardly ever gets to paint since D and I do it while he is taking a nap so this was a HUGE treat for him.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Great Giveaways

I wanted to share some great giveaways that I have come across lately. I have been very fortunate to win some wonderful items in the last two weeks. I will be posting about them shortly.

1. $25 Amazon Gift certificate here at My Bilingual Boys (Ok, lame self-promotion ;)
Ends Nov. 28th at midnight.

2. Mini Snack Sak Saver Baggie from It's a Ten esty shop hosted by Izzie, Mac and Me. These adorable little bags will save the use of the mountain of Ziploc baggies. Check out all of her products.
Ends Nov. 17th so HURRY!

3. Teaching Heart Mom is giving away a basket full of 2 New books(one paper back and one hardback), 2 listen and play games, a hungry caterpillar puzzle, Telling Time game, pocket chart, three CDROMS from Teaching Heart (CD #3, Packet CD #2, and Any Skills game board CD), stickers, star notepad, holiday coffee, candle, hand sanitizer, hand cream... and more.
Ends Dec. 5th

4. Wubbzy DVD giveaway from A Mommy Talks. My boys (and my niece) love to watch the Wubby cartoon. You can win one of three Wubbzy's Christmas Adventure.
Ends Nov. 25th.

5. Bob Books-Set one by Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.
Ends Nov. 26th

6. Wanna Jugar With migo is having another great giveaway. You can win one of 3 El Baile del Sombrero CD's. Check out this very cute and catchy music in Spanish.
Ends November 22nd

Candy Activity #5- Graphing Smarties

**** Click here if you want to enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

This is our last leftover candy post (I promise. :) Any candy left over after this is going in the piñata for D's birthday coming up.

I am trying to incorporate more fun science and math into our activities. This day we made a bar graph out of Smarties. I made the chart below since my printer is not working and I have a ton of graph paper for some reason. First, I wrote the names of the colors of each group of Smarties on the graph paper.

Next, we counting each color of Smartie and fill in the appropriate number of squares.

Finally, we placed the Smarties on the squares and talked about "more than," "less than," and "equal." D very much enjoyed this activity. I saved the Smarties and I plan on doing this activity again this week, but allow D to write the words and draw the boxes himself this time.

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