My Little Readers is a place where you can learn about our family's learning adventures, techniques to help build literacy, and ideas for activities to engage in with your children.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


I'm finally ready to reveal my new website!  It is called Enjoy the Learning Journey and can be found here.  I am so excited that I finally have *something* to show you.  It's a work in progress but I have the necessary basics in place which I am thrilled about.  

I know I told you way back long ago that I was working on this and since that time I actually changed the name of my site and did a ton of soul-searching, brainstorming, thinking and testing.  And here is where I have landed.  So, please join me on this new road.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fireworks in a Glass

With the 4th of July just around the corner I thought it would be fun for us to do some activities related to the upcoming holiday.  I have seen this particular experiment on many different blogs over the past year and thought it would be fun to try.  Typically it is called "Fireworks in a Jar" but I didn't have any glass jars so we used some drinking glasses.

Each of the children had their own glass and bowl and were able to do their own colorful "fireworks".  We did it twice because the first time didn't work very well. I put too much food coloring in and when I poured the oil into the glass the color mixed too quickly. Putting 4 drops of food coloring in total worked the best (versus the 10+ drops we used the first time).

1.  Fill your glass or jar with warm water.
2.  Pour vegetable oil in a small bowl or plate.
3.  Squeeze several drops of food coloring into the oil.
4.  Gently mix the drops of food coloring with a fork.
5.  Pour the oil and food coloring mix into the water.
6.  Watch the "fireworks".

This was a super easy and fun experiment.  And we didn't end up with much of a mess at all which is always a good thing! :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Playing with Shaving Cream and Cornstarch

This is such a simple activity and was a lot of fun for the kids.  It was very messy though so it's something I would strongly encourage you do outside.  I had actually purchased the shaving cream for some artwork we were going to do but I saw this idea at I Can Teach My Child and thought it would be a great sensory activity to do today.  I set up each child with their own tray, we mixed some shaving cream and cornstarch together right on the tray and then I let them explore.  It was no surprise that Kitty Cat got very messy, very quickly but once she was finished exploring I gave her a little dunk in the tub and she was sparkling clean in no time.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Working at the Car Wash

Little children get so excited to do work if it means they can be helpers.  They love the opportunity to do the things that mom and dad do.  And of course it's even more exciting for them when it is something they've never done before.  Today I was able to see our children enjoy "work" when they helped me wash our van.  They were so involved in the task that I had a really difficult time getting them to stop washing!  But I am so thankful that bird doody is no longer splattered all over our van!!

So, let's make sure to take advantage of these opportunities when our children want to help.  Sure, it often means a little extra work or a little extra mess but how wonderful for them to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sometimes the Impractical is the Most Practical

Who would drive over 30 minutes to get to a park when there is a perfectly good park with a playground for the kids just a minutes drive from the house?  I mean with the cost of gas and time being so precious that seems pretty crazy.  So who would do that??  I'll tell you who.  A mama who is desperate, that's who! And yes, that was me today.  With double temper tantrums and two very tired two-year olds I just absolutely needed those girls to get some sleep.  They of course insist on getting up when the birds start chirping and refuse to take naps during the day.  They are two years old now and just don't need naps (so they think). They just kind of don't realize how out of control they are when they are so tired!  And I know them well enough to know that a car ride is the only guarantee of them getting some shut-eye so a nice little car ride was what I relied on today.

Thankfully they did end up sleeping in the car and I let them continue their nap for a while once we got to the park.  Snootz played some learning games on my phone, and I read for a bit in the car until I thought the girls had slept long enough to take the edge off.  And don't you know we all ended up having a great time at this super fun park on a very warm spring day!

That's how it works sometimes, right?  You do something impractical because it's the most practical thing to do at the moment.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mixing Colors with Fingerpaints

Rather than bore you with all the reasons why I abandoned my blog for over half a year and now decided to post something, I will just say that I am going to try really hard to post more often.  Looking back at the post from September I can't even believe how much our children have grown.  I want to do a better job of documenting our journey and if some of you can gain something from it that's even better.  Last year I felt like I needed to make my blog *awesome* but I decided that even if I don't have the time to make it real cute and link to other blogs I at least want something that our family can look back on and remember all the fun we had learning together.  I've taken lots of pictures of our learning journey over these last months but never posted anything and I regret that.  But rather than look back I am going to move forward and talk about what we are doing right now.  So here goes......

This week we have talked about colors and how mixing two colors together can make a different color.  I have read the following books to the kids in order to help them understand the concept better (a review for Snootz).

We just used Primary Colors for finger painting and I told them they could experiment to see what colors they could make with those three colors.

Three blobs of paint on the paper.

And the experimenting begins.  This was the girls first time doing real fingerpainting and they really enjoyed it.

They did a great job keeping the paint on the paper.  Of course it wasn't perfect but overall they did well and more importantly they recognized that they were making new colors on their papers.

I love this painting that Snootz did.  You can't really tell here but it ended up looking like a big heart with a handprint right in the top middle of it.

I have some other color experiments planned with the kids and we'll see how those go!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

First Day of School

Snootz was very excited to start 4K today (at home) and he has been the one saying that the Twins are going to be in 2K so that is what we are calling it.  In reality it is more like damage control all day long with a little bit of learning thrown in.

So we started our school day out with some painting.  Not a great plan on my part because I was pretty frazzled and stressed out by 11:00 and had to take a big long break to get everyone outside to burn off some energy.  I think it's going to take a while for me to get a good schedule in place that works for everyone.  Unfortunately, right now I'm not sure *what* will work for the girls.  Especially Kitty Cat who is our little "destructo girl" who rips, crumples, dumps, shreds, destroys and throws away all kinds of things that she shouldn't.  It's challenging because she'd often rather get into something she shouldn't rather than play with her toys or participate in something we are doing.  But Snootz LOVED painting and putting together the dinosaurs.  And they turned out so cute even though they were a lot of work.  I found the templates at Learn.Create.Love and if you are looking for cute art projects like this I would encourage you to visit her site.  She has a ton of different things to make.  I'm sure we'll end up doing others.

I must say that I'm extra exhausted tonight and wondering if we should take a field trip for our second day of school......well, maybe we'll wait a few days but it's tempting because it's *hard* to be home all day managing two year old twins and also working with a very motivated 4-year old.  He whips through his work so quickly and I could barely keep up with him at times.  I found some nice printables at Royal Baloo and we worked on a lot of them while the girls were napping.  We also started our Bible memorization today, we are using ABC Bible Verses along with some printables over at 1+1+1=1.

As for other subjects, we will begin Spelling tomorrow; we are using All About Spelling.  And maybe next week I will begin Math and Science.  For Math we are going to use Math U See and for Science we are going to use A Beka, Discovering God's World.  As for Art, we will be using Home Art Studio.     And I'd like to continue to have themes intertwined as well to make sure we are keeping things fun and interesting.  All the subjects I mentioned probably sound like a lot for a 4-year old (I know it sounds like a lot to me) but Snootz is begging to learn more.  If you don't know him, he's a really bright little guy, a super fast learner and just thrives on learning new things.  And to paint a better picture, he's been reading since he was two.  That's right, he was *two* years old when he read his first beginning reader book.  And no we did not push him into it.  He initiated it and we just went with it and now he's probably at a second grade reading level.  So needless to say he needs to be challenged or he'll be bored.  I'm hoping I made all the right decisions with the curriculum but if not we can always change what we are doing.  As for the next couple of weeks, we will continue to work through our Dinosaur theme and have lots of fun doing it.  If you know Snootz personally, you are aware of his love for Dinosaurs.  He's a big fan of the meat eaters.

A few weeks ago we finally finished Snootz's Dig a Glow Dinosaur that we had bought for him for Christmas.  It took quite a while to get all the "bones" uncovered and we weren't consistent about working on it so that's why it took so long.  But even though the dinosaur is a plant eater (Triceratops) Snootz enjoyed the project and was very pleased with the end result.  While we were putting the dinosaur together the girls had a bunch of fun getting out their toys and books.  Look at those innocent faces! :)

**On a side note, I don't know when I will get around to putting my new and improved blog site together.  I had thought I would get it done last month but guess what?  I didn't.  I actually didn't work on it at all.  I was so busy preparing for homeschooling and getting ready for the Twins 2nd birthday party that I didn't touch my blog (except for deciding on the new name and a general design).  I will let you know when I do something with it.  At the rate I'm going, maybe by 2020!  In the meantime, if you are at all interested in this blog I encourage you to subscribe to be on the email list.  That's a great way for you to know when I put up a post, since I don't feel like I can make any commitments right now with how often I will post something.  I'm hoping we'll get into a nice routine at home and I can do more blogging in a few months but I just don't know yet.  For now, it will just be kind of sporadic.  Thanks for hanging in there with me!!