Friday, December 19, 2014

Edible Winter Scene

 This edible winter scene was a hit for the first grade winter party.  Thank you In and Out Burger for giving us the cardboard trays to hold their treasures.
Stick a toothpick through a gumdrop for the arms and two toothpicks at the bottom for the legs.  Pre-cut licorice to put on the toothpicks for the arms and legs.  Stick the bottom toothpicks into Kit Kats for the skis.  Attach mini marshmallow to the gumdrop with icing and Hershey Kiss for the hat.  Each child got an ice cream cone to make a snow covered tree.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bubble Wrap Painting

 Perfect rainy day activity!  Paint bubble wrap and press on paper.  We found that the sponge brush worked best to cover the surface easier.  This would work for any shape.  Have fun!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pine Cone Christmas Tree

Not only are these fun to make, but they smell amazing!  I got the cinnamon scented pine cones at Michael's.  The kids loved smelling them and they left the room smelling good too!!
Supplies; pinecones, glue, paint and decorations to attach.  Anything would work.  I used pom-poms, sequeens, and glitter.  Have fun!


Thank you Pinterest for this simple, cute craft. Supplies: green and red paint, card stock, paint brush, marker and wet wipes.
I folded the 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper in half to make it a card.  Paint green footprints and red thumb prints.
As we were taking out our Christmas decorations, I found these treasures in our box.  I LOVE being crafty this time of year with the kids!!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Elf on the Shelf is BACK!

Our Elf on the Shelf (aka Ninja Stealth Elf) is looking a little green but is ready to share the next few weeks with us.  Not my favorite tradition, but one my son looks forward to each year.  I am thankful for Pinterest for posting ideas of where to place him.  Some people are so creative!!!
What are some of your holiday traditions???

Friday, November 28, 2014

December Prep

Thanksgiving is over and now it is time to get ready for some December fun.  I spent this Black Friday wrapping up our Christmas books, and even a few Hunakkah ones.  I've always wanted to do this and being a teacher, I have plenty of holiday books. So the plan is, each day in December,  my boys will unwrap a book or two to read together.  My son always looks forward to our December book collection and thought this would build to the excitement of the holidays.
If you are in search of some Christmas/winter books, head to your local library's bookstore.  You can purchase books for $.50 - 1.00!  TJ Max has a good selection of books too, for a discount.  Another fun way to add to your collection is to have a holiday book exchange with your friends.

What are some of your favorite holiday books???  Here are only a few of our family favorites!!  Cozy up this time of year with your kids and enjoy some great books together!

Mommy and Me Holiday Express strarts Monday, December 7!!! Register today:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Gobble, Gobble Appetizer

I had to bring a Fall appetizer to this year a friend's house and I wanted to make sure it would be something my kids would eat.  This simple turkey was a hit with the kids!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Half of pear for the body and rings of yummy snacks around: grapes, cheese, cranberries and pecans.  Adjust to what your kids like to eat.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Holiday Express - Mommy and ME!

Looking to get into the Holiday Spirit?  Join us for an extra special Mommy and Me session in December.

We will do 2-3 crafts each week that can be used as decorations to treasure or gifts to grandma. We will also be bringing out the jingle bells and Halos for our little angels while we sing, dance and play together.  It is a fun way to get into the Holiday Spirit and even inspire you to try some of the crafts at home with your other kids too.
Mondays December 8th & 15th, 9:30-10:20am


Tuesdays December 9th & 16th, 9:30-10:20am

Tuition: $41 (includes a $5 materials fee)

Lamorinda Theatre Academy, Lafayette, CA

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mommy and Me Turkey

It is turkey time!  I could just "gobble up" this simple project.  The best part was having my son paint my hand.  I am most thankful for spending time with my little ones.  This project captures this time together.
"We made these little turkeys so everyone will see,
That I am most thankful for my Mommy and Me!"

Today was the last class of my Fall session of mommy and me.  This project was the perfect end to our time together.  I'll be back in December or a very special 2 week session.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Trick or Treat Sight Word Game


Halloween may be over, but I had to post this game.  It was a hit at the Halloween party and we have played it again and again at home too!
Cut out approx. 40 white ghosts.  I used index cards so they were sturdy.  Write 30 sight words with silly eyes on the ghosts, 5 ghosts write the word "BOO!" and 5 ghosts write "Trick or Treat!".  Shuffle up the ghosts and place them in a bag or spooky cauldron.
Ready to play:  Place all the cards in your cauldron.  Have players take turns pulling out one card.  If they can read the word,  they keep it.  If they pull the word "BOO", they have to put all their cards back in the cauldron.  If they pull the word, "Trick or Treat", all the other players give them their cards.  Keep going until all the words are gone.  The player with the most words, wins.
Hint:  Keep "Boo" and "Trick or Treat" cards out of the cauldron once pulled by the players or the game will go on and on forever.  Have fun!  You can also do this with numbers or letters, depending on what skill you are working on with your little ones.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Puffy Ghost

Another simple project for your little ones.  Cut out a ghost shape and have your child "paint" on the glue with a paint brush.  After there is enough glue, place cotton balls on top.  (My son didn't like when the cotton stuck to his fingers from the glue). Have wet wipes available.  Final step is to add the face...Boo!!!!

Be sure to check out the chocolate chip ghost post.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Second Annual Halloween Fun

Tonight was the night for my son's second annual spooky play date and dinner.  He had three friends over for games, science experiment, dinner and a spooky treaaure hunt.

Thanks to our great neighbors for participating.  I had dropped off rhyming clues and small goodies at their houses earlier that day.
 Dinner consisted of mummy dogs, ghost quesidilla, grape snake and vampire blood punch with an ice cube that contained a gummy worm inside.
 The bug slime didn't turn out like I had seen in pictures online, but the kids still LOVED it.  Their giggles and squeals were priceless.  They also had glow sticks and played a ring toss game in a dimly lit room.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Spider Web Paintings

 Another classic art project...
Black construction paper
White paint
Marbles or gold ball
Plastic spoon and small bowl

Place construction paper in pan.  Pour small amount of paint in small bowl and drop in marbles.  Have  child spoon out the marbles
and drop on paper.  Child holds the pan and moves it back and forth to move the marble around to create a web.  Then tape a spider ring or spider cutout on the web.

This is a great project to practice fine motor skills by using the spoon to collect the marbles.

Halloween Drawings

Today I took out one of my favorite Halloween books.   Ed Emberley's Halloween Drawing Book is an easy, step by step drawing book using basic shapes.  This year my 6 year old had fun making all kinds of spooky pictures and details.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


The past few years I have been able to "make" my son's Halloween costumes and save a lot of money at the same time.  My favorite was the Musketeer, inspired by the Disney version of The Three Musteteers.  I used felt for the tunic and fabric glue, followed the directions for the cape from Joann's fabric, and hot glued a red feather to a foam hat I bought a Michaels.   He wore a white turtleneck and tan pants.  SUPER CUTE and easy.  Here are the direction for the cape:

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 Next came the Ninja.  You need black sweat pants and two long sleeve black shirts.  I glued reflective tape on the shirt and left a spot without glue to hold the sword.  We tied the other shirt on his head to make the mask.  Here are the directions: Super EASY and COOL!
 Finally, the year of Star Wars.  My boys were Darth Vader and a Jedi.  Notice Darth Vader is using the same Ninja shirt and black sweat pants from the precious year.  I only added foam pieces to make the chest plate.  I bought Darth Vader's cape and helmet.
The jedi is wearing a tunic from brown material and a sash for the belt.

Let me know if you have any questions.  All these were super easy to make.  But don't ask me what the boys are doing this year!  I'd love to hear your ideas too!

Thanks and Happy Haunting!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pumpkin Mosiac

 Now that it is October, it is time to have some pumpkin fun!  Today we made a mosiac pumpkin by applying glue with a paint brush on a pumpkin shape and sprinkling pieces of orange paper on the glue.  My two year old had more fun painting on the glue and wasn't too interested in filling up the pumpkin with the orange.

Welcome October!!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fall Exploration

Today was a perfect Fall day for a walk.  We brought a bag and collected things we found on the ground: pine cone, acorns, leaves and sticks.  We observed how the leaves and branches moved with the wind, watched the clouds float by and saw birds and airplanes.
After our walk we dumped out our treasures and noticed how some were rough or spikey and others were soft and light.  I poured small amounts of Fall colored paints and then used the tresures as our paint brushes.  It was a great way to take in the change of Season!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall is Here

Here are two simple Fall projects to kick off the season:
1.  School House - The start of school is always very exciting!  This simple project is a perfect keepsake.  Depending on the child, paint or ink their hand or foot.  Each heart has information about the child, including their height, weight, name, age, teacher's name, etc.  It would be fun to do this every year and see how they have grown,
Very proud of his first day of school!

2.  Leaf Painting - Cut out a leaf shape and child paints using Fall colors.  It is fun to use red and yellow and have them create the color orange.  My son loved mixing the colors on the paper plate.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

NEW Fall Class Schedule

NEW CLASS JUST ADDED at the Lamorinda Theatre Acedemy

FUN FALL PHONICS for students ages 3.5 - 5 years on Tuesdays from 9:30-10:20 beginning September 16!  Each week we will focus on letters, sounds and numbers as we explore the themes of Fall.  Activities include craft, music, stories, games and lots of movement to reinforce learning! 

Mommy and Me Mondays begin September 8 at 9:30-10:20.

Miss Diana is a credential teacher who uses her creativity and enthusiasm to make learning fun and memorable.  

Friday, August 29, 2014

What is a bully?

What is a bully?  We hear that word  a lot these days.  As parents, we want our kids to be secure and confident.  I read this article and wanted to share it.  It defines what the differences are between rude, mean, and bully.

Mommy and Me starts September 8!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to School

My vision of heading out the door this morning and my reality were a bit different!  I found these signs online and thought we could take a cute picture - this is what I got.  Welcome back to school!
         Wishing everyone a great school year!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mommy and Me Mondays this Fall

Fall Mommy and Me Schedule of Classes at the Lamorinda Theatre Academy begin Spetember 8th!!!  Reserve your spot TODAY!

Mommy and ME - FUN FALL : Ages 18 Months-3.5 years
Come Explore the change of Season through Music, Movement, Stories and Simple Crafts.  *Infants are welcome.  Themes include apples, leaves, pumpkins spiders and more!!!

Dates: Mondays, September 8 - November 3  (8 weeks)
Time: 9:30-10:20 OR 10:30-11:20
Cost: $150 Materials Included  

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Only at Gigi's House

 Yes...that would be a tower of toilet paper!  Why didn't I think of that.  The fun never ends around here.  The best part is no one gets hurt and nothing breaks. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Silly Sentences

I purchased this game years ago and used it in my classroom as a center activity.  Recently I brought it out for my son and he cracked up making silly sentences.  It reminded me of another activity I used with my second graders as an independent center using a file folder and index cards.  So we recreated the game this week.  Great for writing and reading!

Using a large piece of construction paper glue down 4 pocket envelopes.  Write or print out the words: Who, Did What, Where and When and glue one on each envelope.  We decided on a color for each group and began brainstorming words for each category. Came up with lots of ideas for each category - one idea per index card.  Then you can switch up your cards and make new, silly sentences.  Color code the top of the index cards to make it easy to form the sentences. Examples:
WHO:  The beautiful mermaid or The scary pumpkin or The hairy spider
DID WHAT:  had a party or climbed a tree or flew
WHERE: in the hot lava or by the jungle
WHEN: at midnight or on Halloween or on my birthday.
Have fun mixing up the index cards to make silly sentences.  You can have your child write their favorite sentence and illustrate it.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Summer Adventures Week 4

This was a big week for swimming...we have finally turned a corner and my son now LOVES the pool.  I guess we will be spending more time in the water!
Some of our highlights this week included:
Toothpick and gumdrop creations!  Hours of fun! See what structure can hold the most weight?  Which one is the longest?  Tallest...etc.

 Making and playing with playdough never gets old.  Our neighbor (age 12) loved making it!  Here is the super easy recipe: They divided up the dough and made their own color by adding food coloring.

More adventure walks and climbing trees.

We continued reviewing sight words, played a dice game that covered numbers to 1 to 100, and made our own Silly Sentences.