Monday, November 19, 2007

Mitten madness part 4

SPECIAL NOTE. I hope you are not getting sick of seeing mittens. I hope you all understand I am using mittens because 1. They are quick to draw. 2. They are OK for boys and girls. 3. They fit into the season we are approaching. 4. They do not go with a religious holiday so anyone can use them. 5. Sticking with one thing can keep me focused better so I can share more with you of how I do things. Please don't feel you need to do things in this way. I know what works well for one child or family might not work with another.

I hope this list of stuff gives a mom ideas of things to do on a snow day. Maybe this list of mitten kits will give a mom new to homeschooling some ideas on a place to start with teaching a child or better yet maybe seeing the kits a mom will not be so tempted to spend a lot of money on teaching materials for little children. When Travis was small we spent a ton of money on educational stuff. Most of the purchases we regretted. I felt that I had to make up my own stuff to change around the thing we bought so they would work for us. After all that changing and tweaking the store bought stuff I would find myself thinking how if I would have made it all up myself in the beginning it would have been quicker and a lot cheaper than trying to get the things I bought to work for Travis . I feel that the only reading, writing and math program that will fit a child perfectly when they are little is one a parent makes up for the child. But that is just my opinion from my experience.

Many of my kits have made up have small parts. My daughter does not put things in her mouth and I am always with her. Our house has an open floor plan so she is not out of my view except for when she is sleeping. I don't want anyone to look at my daughters age and think it must be OK to give a child the stuff I do. If I had a house with walls and my child was out of my view I would not let her the things I do now. I ask her if I can wear her pretty string necklaces she makes for a few minutes if I have to leave the room to go to the bathroom or do a load of laundry. I don't want her to know this but I do it because I am worried that she is such a monkey she might get caught on something and choke.

I hope you all can see how when making this stuff it doesn't need to be a mitten. It could be a train, car, gingerbread man, stocking, doll, hearts, animals, or anything else you can think of.

I am not going to post many pictures of my children's projects because in the past I have wanted my children's crafts be done the same way other children did them. I don't want someone else to be stuck thinking that way. I think by not sharing many of my children's finished crafts you and your children can come up with your own perfect way to do them. To be honest many of ours come out crooked with upside down faces. LOL!

Last thing I wanted to say is I hope you all understand my writing. Please forgive my spelling and writing mistakes. I do have 3 children most of the time one sometimes even two are in my lap when I am typing this stuff. I am doing a lot of this very late at night and I am very tired. If I waited to share stuff until I was well rested, with no child in my arms, 2 hands free to type, and time to read over what I write to make sure it makes sense, I know I would never be able to share anything at all until my children grow up. I hope this explains my choppy, confusing, and often poorly written sentences. I am aware of how bad they are, my husband often points them out to me. I am sure that someone like my husband will come across this and be annoyed with my writing. Please either try to understand or just look at pictures and not read my words. I tried to put enough pictures up my words are not even needed. If anyone is confused with how I did something please feel free to write me my email address is

Mitten kit #31
Grammar/Geography cards
Noun mittens.
This activity is fun for younger children.
The noun cards (or even a noun list) can be used with a baby by Mommy touching the objects in a room and telling the baby what it is. Touching table and saying table, floor and saying floor, and so on. My son liked doing this with Demi when she was little. Now Demi does this with Zehira. I carry Z around the house following Demi's lead so she can "teach" her baby sister the nouns in our house (didn't want you thinking the 2 year old carries the baby lol).

By 18 months old my children LOVED noun cards. I would read the noun off a card and my children would run and touch the noun I read. We use words like table, chairs, window, floor, rug, ball, telephone and such. I call it the noun game so they learned without me teaching that things they touched all are nouns. My children thought adding words like hands, feet, arms, and such made it silly so we giggle a lot when we play this.

Around age 2 the children started picking out nouns from sentences in our story books. Asking them what words in the sentence are things they could touch helped them find them. I would make up more cards using the nouns they found in our books to add to this game. My children loved knowing they made up part of the game. We added in people and a photo album for them to touch the people when the name was read. We later added places to touch with maps.

The cards can be used for reading practice when the child is learning to read. The child can read the card and mommy runs to the object to touch.

This card set is an easy way to add geography/map work into the mix. Use a map to find places that you have on noun cards. For little ones you can take pictures of places you travel to often and make your own map (with crayons on cardboard) then put the pictures in the right places or point to them when you read the noun card. My children liked things like streets, towns, and stores for this activity. For an older child they can locate things like states, rivers, lakes, counties and such by using different maps. BTW I LOVE printing out these maps. For maps of places in my area we use websites like map quest or yahoo maps. Google Earth is another map resource we love. An atlas would also work. My son liked picking out and adding places to the list. An older child can read places on the map and write out ones he likes on a set of cards for little sister to learn about and find (works well for us).

This is a small set on regular paper cut into mittens. Our real set of noun cards are not on paper mittens. They are on thicker paper because they are something we like to use a lot. A set like the mitten one above would be perfect for people to try out and see if they like doing this type of activity.

Mitten kit #32
Tick tack toe mittens.
A simple game board made of construction paper and red and yellow mittens for game pieces.

Mitten kit #33
Writing practice mitten.
I had some dry erase writing strips (I bought a bunch back when Travis was little). You could write on card stock and cover it with clear contact paper it will work the same way. If you do that you might want to make sure it gets washed off good when the are done with it. Sometimes my children don't wipe off the marker well on contact paper then it is very hard for me to clean. When that happens I find it easier to make up a new writing set.

This kit is a mitten shape with dots to form the name on lines with a washable marker and a cotton ball to wipe off. I use a cloth for our dry erase boards most of the time but because a cotton ball was right in front of me I added it in so I didn't have to get up and get the cloths.
Mitten Kit #34
Grammar cards/Gym class
Verb mittens.

My children have always LOVED this game! It is a set of action verbs. I read them to non readers and they do the action on the card. My children add more to the list as they think of them. They LOVE seeing mommy do the silly things on the list. It is good reading practice for children who are starting to read. Just like noun cards they find new words in story books to add to the set. When you add enough cards and do it for 30+ minutes it fills in for PE.

here is a short list to get you started.
skip, hop, cry, swim, run, jump, laugh, giggle, sneeze, cough, hug, smile, bend, sit, twist, wiggle, dance, gallop ,and squirm.

My children like seeing me swim in our living room and do other silly things with this game.

Mitten kit #35
Mitten puzzle.
I like to make puzzles for my children. For Demi I always start out very simple just a few pieces. This way she can hear YAY! You did it right away. I then cut more and more pieces to make it a little harder. When it gets so hard she needs a little help putting the puzzle together I help and then she glues it on paper and decorates it. Doing it this way gives her several days of activities with just a simple puzzle.
Mitten kit #36
What happened next card set.
I think you can see it took me under a minute to draw this set. It will work just as well as the expensive card sets. The wonderful part of this set is if she destroys it I am not out any money. We also can add to it if she wants. Once she places them in order she can draw on them to add to the story.
Mitten kit #37
Just in case someone sees the kit above and can't think of any other ideas to make more simple what happened next cards here is another one I made.Mitten kit #38
A third idea for what happened next. If you look I am sure you can see that my cards could be in several different orders depending on how you tell the story. I like this set up better. Demi can tell me a story using the cards and her story might not go in the order I made the cards it will be fun for me to hear her tell them. For an extra activity I will put all the cards from all 3 sets together and have her make up a big story with them . I will also take a turn at this.
Mitten kit #39
Mittens with feelings.
It is OK to laugh! I know I am not the best artist. I will admit I didn't even try to do a good job on them. My daughter will not care. We can get a lot of use out of this silly set. I will use it with our books we have on feelings. We will use them to discuss feelings and use the cards as a game to act out feelings and talk about what makes us happy, sad, and such. My son had a hard time with understanding feelings when he was young. My daughter seems to understand them very well so that might be why I feel OK with making her a quick set like this. I think Demi will have a fun time with them.

Mitten Kit #40
Book mark mitten.
Just a piece of ribbon, a mitten, some markers to decorate and glue.

Making those 40 kits took me around 2 hours. I know they are not all pretty but they will keep my children happy, busy, learning and well behaved for a lot longer than 2 hours. I will not be sad if Demi doesn't like one of the activities. I will not even try to get her to do it. I might set it out in a place she can pick it up and check it out but I don't feel the need for her to learn or do everything I have made. She can let me know what she likes and what she doesn't. I did say this was a two hour project BUT it has taken me a way longer than 2 hours to take pictures, upload them on blogger, and write some instructions. I guess that is why I don't post a lot of things that we do. I hope to someday have a faster computer. I dream of getting a laptop and high speed Internet someday. I do have more kits made up, some others started and lots more (around 100) on paper as ideas to make up when I get more free time. I will post more soon.


Grumpy said...

Your mitten ideas are awesome for this 3rd time... Like you I bought stuff for my older daughter, but have no idea where to start with my youngest (how funny, eh?!) and your ideas make an awesome jumping off point! Thank you!

Timalee said...

We are going to make a set of noun cards today and see how it goes, I think that is a great idea and easy to make a game out of!

Amber said...

Grumpy,Thanks for the complement! I plan to keep going but I think after the I get this next set posted and am at 50 mittens I will change to something else. My children don't seem to even notice that mittens are on all this stuff but I am getting tired of looking at them.LOL!

Timalee, I hope you have fun with the noun cards. Our verb card set is my son's favorite because he is allowed to run and jump inside with them. LOL!