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We’re Having A Bear’y Good Time!

This week we are having a great time with the Teddy Bear unit from Funshine Express. They have tons of fun ideas, activities, and crafts to accompany the theme.

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The book of the month has become one of my favorites.  It is a take off Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn Around. But, it adds in math ideas like finishing patterns, counting bears, more and less, etc…

We used the included counting bear cards to practice those and other math concepts. The kiddos absolutely love it!

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Of course all that bear’y fun lead to a game of Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear. Luckily, Funshine was prepared and provided us with a great Mother Goose poster.

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We have had many cute crafts and next week will be filled with more. I want to share with you a variation that we did with one of the activities.

Included in this months freebies was a template for making bear lacing cards. Grab it Here!

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Instead of making paper lacing cards, I decided to let them make felt Teddy Bears. They turned out super cute and the kiddos got cutting, tracing, and painting practice.

First, I had the kids cut out the templates and trace it onto a sheet of felt.

Then, I helped them cut out a front and a back from the traced felt.

After they had cut it out, they used fabric paint to paint the from of their bear.

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I then sewed or hot glued the two sides together. They then stuffed them full of stuffing and stitched or glued the bottoms shut making a great little Teddy Bear friend!

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Next week we start our wee off with “The Three Little Bears” followed by more Bear’y fun!

Valentine’s Day Love Bugs

As I mentioned last week, we have a Valentine’s Day party coming up this week. Last week we worked on our card boxes and they turned out super cute! In case you missed them you can see them here!

I am also in charge of craft time at the party. So we are going to make these super silly Love Bugs!

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Here is what you need…

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But 1st here is how to make the pom pom!

Wrap yarn around cardboard template. I wrapped about 30 -35 times. the more you wrap the thicker the pom pom will be.

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Slide yarn off the card board and tie a small piece of yarn around the middle of the bundle.

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Cut the loops of the yarn bundle to make them fan out. In the photo below, the right side is cut. The left is still in loops.

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Once cut, fan out to create your pom pom.

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Once your pom pom is made your ready to assemble the rest of the pieces into your love bug. I used a hot glue gun to hold them together.

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Kids Need Art

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Why is it so important for young kids to do art?

Practicing art is a HUGE part of your child’s development. With school systems moving more toward core subject emphasis and away from free thinking art and music it is important that the kids get time somewhere to create.

We are lucky that we are able to homeschool and live in a very relaxed stated with little rules to follow on homeschooling. But if you aren’t, it is important to still make room for it.

Art helps children develop…

Motor Skills – There are so many skills learned and practiced through art. Cutting, tearing, grasping, hand control are just a few!

Language Development – Art gives an opportunity to learn new words such as shapes, colors, direction, movements. It also gives the child an opportunity to tell about their creation using descriptive words. I was always taught not to ask a child “What is this picture?” but ask them “Can you tell me about your picture?” The simple change in words encourages the child to describe the picture using colors, shapes, etc… instead of just replying “It’s a ball”. It also help their self esteem so they are not disappointed that you can’t see what they see.

Making Choices – During their art experiences, a child has so many choices that they can make all on their own. It is an important step in growing up! Even better, their choices are safe. There is no big responsibility or liability that comes from these kind of choices, but the fact that they can make them without any adult influence is a great practice. What color they uses, design, pattern, etc… is all up to them!

Cultural Awareness – Through creating art and observing others art children learn differences in shape, size, color and more about the people around them. They can learn to be diverse in their thinking and acceptance of others.

Enhancement of Core Subjects – All the pluses that art gives,it is only common sense that it will help children improve those subjects also! They are able to create an image of what they read, draw out a math problem to give visual aide in solving it, improved writing due to extra practice. The possibilities are endless!!!

Most Importantly, art will give kids a sense of ownership in something. It can be a great tool to encourage struggling learners and encourage their self esteem. I have a child who thrives in art but struggles in other areas. It is an opportunity for her to succeed in an area.

It gives a child the opportunity to imagine, pretend, and create!

I was lucky enough to have discovered FunShine Express when my children were young. We have homeschooled since preschool and have used this program for each of them. They put such a great emphasis on art and creativity. This week my youngest has had so much fun making her very own artistic creations and displaying them all over the house! Here are a few of her work from January’s Fireflies kit.

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