Thursday, February 25, 2010

Acorn People Bird Feeder

Alright... we seem to really be obsessed with birds and bird feeders around here, maybe it is all my dreaming of being outside :)
Today's Pajama Project was a bit of a "design as you go" project... It started when we were playing in the yard yesterday and found an insane amount of acorns in our yard (okay, so we have neglected the yard work a bit lately).  Some of the acorns were "together" while some of the "tops" were separate from the "bottoms".  I thought about how the tops looked like little hats and the acorns themselves were shaped like heads- and that is how it began.  I realized that having Dodson put the "hats" back onto the "people" would really work his fine motor skills and might be a bit of a challenge for him.
Boy, did the idea evolve into something else once the creative juices were flowing the next morning...

When we were at the table the next morning, I first drew faces onto the acorns. We talked about how the little "person" must "feel", due to their expression- happy, sad, scared or silly.  I told him it was cold outside and the little people needed hats on their heads and that I needed his help!  I decided to let Dodson use peanut butter as "glue" to put the hats on their heads- you know, eat a little, glue a little.  He used his little fingers to pinch the hats and hold the acorns. It was a challenge for him to line them up and insert the "head" into the "hat".  He LOVED it!  He giggled and loved seeing the finished product.  The peanut butter was great, b/c it really looked like hair coming out of the hats (and was yummy).  Perfect!!!

After creating the people, I decided they needed to "sit" on something, so I got a limb from the yard.  Then I thought about how the squirrels and the birds would love the peanut butter as much as us.   The idea then came to me to get out the hot glue gun and make this thing a bird feeder!  Here are the materials I used from this point out...

  I gathered some pine straw and glued it onto the limb (at this point Dodson was playing with and in the peanut butter- that kept him busy for a bit!) and took a small plastic container and glued it down to the limb as well (this would be the bowl for birdseed).  Dodson filled the container (again working his fine motor skills) with the seed and used a little craft bird to adorn the limb. 
Lastly I added the little acorn people.  Here is the final product... silly, and not very "polished" looking but it was a way to display the precious little acorn people.   

We set it outside and are anxious to catch some birds eating from the dish!!!  Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a fun morning in your pj's too!

Then, I thought about how birds and squirrels would like the peanut butter and so the idea grew...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Alphabet Sticks

When I was at the craft shop yesterday, I picked up some popsicle sticks, not knowing exactly how I was going to use them, but hoped something would come to me.  I finally decided to simply write the ABC's on each stick and then the ABCs on paper and see what happened.  I set it up where he could grab a stick from a bowl and try to match it to the correct letter on the paper.  I wasn't sure if this was going to be "too much" for a 27mo. but he did great!
It kept his attention for about 8 letters, and then he dumped them out with one quick swoop and decided the cup would be better used as "wobble goggles" (from the imagination movers- you got it!)
That's a boy for you- I think a little girl might work with this a bit longer.  I decided to take him up on the "wobble goggles" game and asked him if he could see the letters through the goggles...  
and so the game progressed... and we got a couple more minutes of fun letter practice in- on his terms!  I really did think his idea was much more creative, and right up a little two year old boy's alley!  I love it!

Next we played a quick game of "fill in the blank" which also helped him with pattern recognition, as well as letter identification.  I simply lined up a few of the sticks, in ABC order, turning one over with the letter hidden so he could guess the missing letter.  

Hope you like the ideas and have a fun morning in your pajamas too!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Go, Stop, Go!

D is in a car phase... a big one.  I am kind of surprised about his interest in cars after his car accident, but maybe he is using the matchbox cars to work through his fears.  Anyway, there is no stopping him from his new car love... so, I'm GOING with it!  I like to pick what he's "into" and teach using that subject.  He's been recognizing stop signs in the car, and I sing a little "S-T-O-P spells STOP" tune each time we come to the stop signs.  He sings along.  This is what we are working on today... "stop and go"- how to recognize the printed words , the letters that make up the words, what the words mean, and symbols and colors we associate with these words.  We discussed Red and Green, the octagon shape of the stop sign and how it has 8 sides... Then we used our BODIES to move when I say "Go" and freeze when I say "STOP".  I also held up a green piece of paper with reads "GO" and a red one for "STOP" that corresponded with the current action.  Then we moved onto the matchbox cars and his fisher price garage and talked about how cars "stop" and "go" in the garage...
It was a fun morning, that ended up in matchbox cars ALL OVER THE FLOOR- at which time I had to say "STOP"to load up for school...

Friday, February 19, 2010

sorting through our mardi gras mess!

today we did a quick and simple pajama project before MMO, I used a cheap egg tray from Target and our mardi gras beads... we practiced cutting the beads (these are GREAT to use for cutting and for working those fine motor skills) and we sorted away... we had big purple balls, small purple balls, "prism" shapes, and "football" shapes so we discussed color, shape, and size.  I lined up a simple ABAB pattern, just to get him familiar with patterns, but this could be more complex for older ones- let them try to create a pattern too!
This was a quick and easy little lesson and a fun morning time mess!
Enjoy  :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Birth of the Pajama Project Blog

I have been blogging about my son, Dodson, for some time now as a way to keep family and friends updated on his life- his blog is also a "baby book" of sorts, as it has become my main source of recording happenings throughout his life.  I hope it will be a special keepsake for him someday.  I really want to keep that blog more personal.  However, I have had friends ask me to share some of the "little pajama projects" I do with Dodson as a source for them when in need of activities for their class or child.  So... here goes.  This is the "Pajama Project" blog, where I will post some of our morning projects from time to time.
I usually try to do something that is educational/crafty and fun!  We do this before he gets dressed in the morning for a couple of reasons- 1) I am trying to break him from his early morning (and I mean EARLY) Dora addiction and 2) whatever glue, glitter, marker and mess we get on the pjs go directly into the morning wash with everything else!  Easy clean up!

Hope you enjoy!  Pass the word along to friends that might be interested- if I get enough readers, I might just make a little cash and pay for all these crafts!!! :)  If you like what you see, then please sign up to follow the blog if you use google reader, or if you want it emailed to you, you can get it that way too!

On with Project #1:

Since I KNOW Dora, Boots and The Map interest Dodson, I thought this little project might keep his attention-
we had some errands to run, and I wanted him to feel involved and have an end prize to look forward to, so with the tune "Im the map, I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map- I'm the MAP" bouncing in my brain, I thought we would make a map to take along on our journey.  We talked about where we would be headed (Target and the fabric shop) and decided on where he wanted to end our morning outing (the park), while we made symbols for each stop.  Dodson glued down the symbols. We made a car and then I cut them out and used warmed the laminator.  I cut a slit in the paper and laminated it as well as the car. Dodson was able to insert the car into the slit and move the car along the "road".  He took it with us in the car and held it and LOVED talking about "where I go next"!  We were able to use ordinal numbers and discuss a sequence of events.  Throughout our adventure I would ask questions "first we left the house, and drove to Target, then we went to our second destination, the fabric store... so, Where do we go next? "The Park, right!"