Sunday, October 24, 2010

Gingerbread Man

This morning a wonderful thing happened: a morning-long lesson plan about the Gingerbread Man evolved, incorporating computer games, stories, music and a craft! So, yes I was a school teacher (albeit high school), and yes perhaps I get too excited about creating lesson plans, but hey, at least they help to fill in the long days with quality activities for two little preschoolers!

It went something like this:

1. We began by watching the YouTube video:

This is a felt board story with a woman who has a great storytelling voice!

2. Next, we played a computer game about a Gingerbread Man where they have to pick shapes and colours of the Gingerbread Man's body. Be sure to hit the replay button at the end. My girls squeal in delight when the little Gingerbread Man dances and sings!

PS. To incorporate musical skills, I continued to spend the entire day singing the song from this computer game but substituting another noun in place of the "Gingerbread Man". Toddlers giggle every time when you pretend that you don't know the real word!

3. Then we made Gingerbread Man crafts! You can choose from lots of different colouring pages and cut outs from this website. There are so many activities and directions to go to from this website if you want to continue with the theme!

4. Finally, we ended with reading the actual book!

I hope that this helps parents see how you can spend an entire morning on a theme, and incorporate crafts, music, reading, computer literacy and creativity.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

tutus: trend or obsession?

I have always been a person who wonders where fashion trends start and why. Tutus seem to have cropped up into toddler fashion this fall, or perhaps I only think it is a trend because my daughters are in a ballet class and I began searching for the perfect ballet "outfit". Either way, I have completely fallen for this "trend". I even redecorated my bedroom in a ballet theme including a Degas print I just happened to have lying around and my own little ballet shoes (I briefly took ballet as a child). I am currently working on a tutu lamp shade...stay tuned for the unveiling!

This obsession has even spilled over into mummynuggle? designs: tutu-aprons, tutu inspired skirts, tutu greeting cards, tulle hair accessories and even ballet tutus.

Well, back to my daughters' ballet outfits. I started by creating a tulle netting flower for their hair. Maya seemed to really like my first, rather large creation, and wore it all day.

We settled with a slightly smaller style for their ballet outfits. Then came the tutu...I researched how to design the tutu, bought the supplies, and left it up to my wonderfully creative mother-in-law to create the finished product. After purchasing the shoes and top, my little girls looked like budding ballerinas!

Since then we have shortened the tutus and added cute little leg warmers. Now we just have to focus on learning the "dancing" part!

Who knows if this is really a trend, or I just see tutus because I am slightly obsessed. I do know that when I enter my "ballet inspired" bedroom I feel a graceful peace wash over my body. And when I turn on the delightful music, close my eyes, and gently glide across the floor while "practising" with my daughters, I feel myself floating away from my chaotic life, into my own little slice of heaven!