I'm back!! {Five for Friday}

I've been away for far too long... but, I'm back! I can only hope that a rough ending to 2013 and rocky beginning to 2014 means that the rest of the year will go smoothly...

Just to catch everyone up on what I've been up to at home & in my classroom... here's a Five for Friday...

1. Gingerbread Man! Before holiday break, we read The Gingerbread Man and did lots of gingerbread inspired activities. One of my favorite activities from our Gingerbread unit was making and playing with these giant chalkboard gingerbread men:

They're made from thick cardboard, masking tape around the edges and painted with homemade brown chalkboard paint. I added some ginger, cloves, cinnamon & nutmeg to the paint for the final coat of paint to add a little gingerbread scent.

2. Snow Sensory Bin - this has been one of the longest living sensory trays out our house! Seems that my toddler preschooler doesn't tire of it and my 8 year old stepdaughter loved it too! When everyone tires of it, I plan to add vinegar in spray bottles and droppers for continued fun & experimentation!

It's a pretty simple recipe: baking soda, hair conditioner, buffalo snow. We used a couple of cups of baking soda, about half as much hair conditioner and a couple of cups of shimmery buffalo snow.

And we've since added other items to the tray for playing... currently it's filled with little construction trucks from Christmas!

3. Maryland Science Center - This year, instead of tons of useless toys for my 3 year old, we put his Christmas gift money towards a membership to the Maryland Science Center so that we can enjoy weekend activities all year long! I've decided that memberships are really the way to go, usually only 2 visits makes it economical for a family of 3+... here are a few pictures from our first visit of the year...

4. Looks who's Three! My toddler just turned three last week. I love watching him grow and learn every day... I just cannot believe that he's growing up so fast!

5. Back to school & mother nature - the 2014 school year has been off to a shaky start... we've had several snowdays & 2 hour delays that have interfered with getting back to the normal routine. Not that I'm complaining about a few extra hours of sleep ... but looking forward to getting back into the groove.

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