Sunday, October 31, 2010

Get Real with God ~ Dinosaurs, A Lesson in Variety


When it comes to dinosaurs I know very little. However, what I do know is very reassuring to me.

You probably already know that there was a great variety of dinosaurs that once roamed the earth. Some were as small as chickens, while other species grew to be as tall as 40 feet! Some were herbivores, some carnivores, and some would eat anything that fell in their path. Through their existence they reflected the creative nature of God. The size, shape, and behavior of each dinosaur reflected God’s love of variety.

We’ve all heard William Cowper’s famous quote:
“Variety’s the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor”.

Variety is something I value very much. It is always reassuring to know that God had a specific design for you. You weren’t created to be a carbon copy of the mother down the street. That mom, even if she makes delicious cookies that all the kids adore, has a trampoline, a pool and a degree in child psychology—wasn’t meant to raise your child. With all her amazing skills she lacks the composition that God required to influence and impact your children toward the direction He laid out for them. Whether our kids entered our family through birth or adoption God had us in mind to parent them. It wasn’t a surprise to Him. Our kids were meant for us. Our variety is what shapes them for God’s special purpose.

Another exciting factor to me is that dinosaurs are commonly referred to as dinosaurs. When my son plays with his toy dinosaurs he doesn’t say “Please pass me the Apatosaurus”. He just plays dinosaurs. Labels are left to the professionals.

Too often we place labels on ourselves and those around us. Each label we affix takes away from God’s special gift of variety. I imagine that when God looks at me he doesn’t think “ there is my blue eyed, Caucasian, curly haired five foot freckled female human” He just wants to spend time with his daughter. All my quirks, qualities, and descriptions were just part of the fun of making me. What really makes me special is that I belong to Him. Once my life has been laid in His hands he’ll take the variety that is Heather and use it for His glory.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Treats 4 Your Tot


Here are some more cool giveaways for tots/moms of tots, check them out below and let us know if you win something we told you about!!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Book Basket ~ November/December

At the end of each month we want to give you a 'heads up' of the books that will be used in the two upcoming months for several of our features: Little Books for Little Cooks, Now I Know My ABC's, and Once Upon a Book. These lists are to help you out so you can be looking for the books at your library, digging through your stacks in search of them, or order those 'must haves'!

Here are the books that we are planning to use during the months of November and December:

Little Books for Little Cooks

Now I Know My ABC's

Once Upon a Book



Thursday, October 28, 2010

Once Upon a Book ~ Shape by Shape


by Suse MacDonald

Summary: With each turn of the page, use lots of different shapes to create a fun, friendly dinosaur!

Bible Verse

God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25

We enjoyed our dinosaur books for this months Totally Tot theme! We combined some of these Shape by Shape dinosaur activities with our All Aboard the Dino Train activities! Here are some of the things we did!

Pattern Block Dinosaur Creations

To follow along with the shape theme of the book, the boys used pattern blocks to create their own dinosaurs. Here are some of the dinosaurs they came up with!


Dinosaur ABCs

The big boys used our ABC file folder game to match the Dinosaur Train ABC cards. (You could also print the Dinosaur A to Z chart from the PBS Kids Dinosaur Train parent’s site.)


Dinosaur Song

We used the "Dinosaurs A to "Z lesson plans to learn and sing {the little boys tried to sing} along to the Dinosaur Train “Dinosaurs A to Z” song many, many times. 

Dinosaur Games

The big boys LOVED playing games from the PBS Kids Dinosaur Train Website and the little boys enjoyed watching and helping!


Dinosaur Snack

Dinosaur Chicken Nuggets!!! For a fun twist, the kids had to identify each of their dinosaurs!

Dinosaur Puzzle

The Dinosaur Puzzles from 1+1+1=1 were perfect for the theme of Shape by Shape! The boys cut out all their shapes and glued them together to make their dinosaurs!


More Dinosaur Ideas:

~ Dinosaur Train Tot Book from 1+1+1=1
~ Lots of Dinosaur Activities from Confessions of a Homeschooler
~Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild About Dinosaurs It is filled with lots of fun dinosaur crafts!
~ Visit the PBS Kids Dinosaur Train Website for more fun games, activities, and printables.
~ Head over to PBS Teachers for Dinosaur Train lesson plans based on various Dinosaur Train episodes. 

Want to see what's coming next (and books we've done in the past)? Click here to see our Once Upon a Book webpage!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Now I Know My ABC’s ~ t is for toothbrush

It's time for some fun alphabet crafts!! We hope you enjoy these! If you are new, you can visit our ABC webpage to find links to any other letters we have done, letters (with books listed) coming up, as well as all the fun crafty letters we have been working on. Be sure to check it out!

image Brush, Brush, Brush! by Alicia Padron

Summary: A fun board book that can be sung to the tune of “Do Your Ears Hang Low” … and make brushing time a little more fun!

t is for toothbrush craft

What You’ll Need:

  • red, white and blue foam sheets
  • scissors
  • glue/tape
  • pencil

t is for toothbrush craft

How to Make the ‘t’ toothbrush:

  1. Trace and cut out the lowercase t from the blue foam sheet. We used a piece that was 2” x 4” in size.
  2. From the white foam, draw and cut out a tube to use for toothpaste and the bristles for the brush {measure the bristle area with a small piece of white foam.
  3. ‘Fringe’ the bristles by cutting them at the edge.
  4. You can add some decoration to the toothpaste tube using red and blue foam.
  5. Glue/tape the bristles to the letter t and add the decoration to the toothpaste tube.
  6. Tape the toothpaste tube to the backside of the letter t at an angle.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Play With Me ~ Rainbow Blocks

This month our Play With Me toy is a set of wooden blocks with a colorful twist ~ Rainbow Blocks from Guidecraft.


If you already have wooden blocks that your children enjoy playing with, the Rainbow Blocks would be a great addition to your play and learning time. Other than building, here are a few fun and creative ways to use Rainbow blocks with your little ones!

Making Shapes ~ See what shapes you can make with the shapes that you already have. Two half circles make a circle; two small squares make a rectangle, etc…



Mixing Colors ~ The Rainbow Blocks are so much fun for mixing up colors and seeing your world through different eyes {Carisa was obviously having too much fun…}.



Sorting ~ Have fun lining up your blocks and sorting by shape/size or by color.

image image


Trap a Word ~ Mama Jenn had her kids use the rectangular blocks along with some alphabet letters and “trap” words underneath the block.


Cage the Animals ~ Create your own zoo and cage your animals between two of the blocks. Stack them on top of each other and have fun playing!

image image

Drop the Puff Color Match Game ~ Mama Jenn had her kids play a little game where the kids had to stand and drop puff balls into the matching squares! It was a simple game, but the kids had a blast playing it!

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The 30 piece set of Rainbow Blocks can be purchased directly from Guidecraft or also from Amazon. Have fun coming up with more creative ideas for this fun learning toy!

Much thanks to Guidecraft who provided this toy for us to use and review as a part of the Guidecraft Mom Bloggers team.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Terrific Tot Sites ~ Miffy

Miffy is a book character that was brought to ‘life’ through a tv show and you and your little one can have fun playing along at  Navigation around the site is easy ~ just click on one of the buttons along the bottom to use the different features.
imageIn the music area you can play the xylophone and record your own song {and play it back} or just have fun playing. You can also listen to several of the characters favorite songs.
imageIf coloring is something that your little one likes to do, there are some cute coloring sheets that you can color in online. You can also print off coloring sheets to do at home.
imageThere are several video clips for your little one to watch: Read Along With Miffy, Have You Heard of Boris Bear, and Miffy’s Dancing Lessons.
imageThere are several simple games to play ~ object matching {similar to memory}, little jigsaw puzzles, and a counting apples while Miffy picks them.
Read along with Miffy for an interactive story book. Your little one can turn the pages when ready to listen to more of the story and have it read aloud to them.
In addition to the fun play alongs on the site, you can also download screensavers and send out e-cards to friends on the Miffy site. Hope you enjoy this Terrific Tot Site! To see more featured sites, click here
The Terrific Tot Sites feature is designed to help you find fun and safe websites to visit with your toddler. Some of the sites are educational in nature and some are just plain fun! If this is your first time visiting, be sure to check out some of the toddler websites that we've featured in the past. Hope you enjoy this Terrific Tot Site!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Treats 4 Your Tot


Here are some more cool giveaways for tots/moms of tots, check them out below and let us know if you win something we told you about!!!!