Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Octopuses Day 2

So today was Day 2 of learning about Octopuses!  Most importantly for Monkey, it was craft day!  I had 2 octopus crafts planned for today.  Both are the same idea, but done differently. We are going to making Octopuses with Toilet Paper rolls and with  paper.  We started with the toilet paper rolls because we had to paint them, and then worked on the paper ones while we were waiting for the paint to dry.

First thing we had to do was paint 4 TP rolls

I set out a variety of colours, because as we learned yesterday, Octopuses are masters of disguise!  Monkey had blue, green, red, orange and pink to paint with.

Once he was done painting all the rolls, we put them aside so they could dry while we worked on the next set of octopuses.

However, Monkey started painting the paper....

...and then the finger painting started....

...and then the body painting started....   So we had to do a bit of a cleanup before we started the paper craft!

Ok, so I printed out this template on some card stock in different colours.

I thought that since I had printed on different coloured paper, that would be good enough, but of course it wasn't!  Monkey coloured all the tenticles and, of course, the smiley face!

And then came the tricky part...Cutting along the dotted lines.  Monkey really has trouble with scissors.  He really wants to use both hands to cut, so I figure I will let him go with it for now and hopefully his hands will get stronger so he can use one hand.

Then we taped them together and VOILA!  Super cute Octopuses!

Of course, like everything Monkey does, as soon as he was done he said "Lets hang it on the playroom wall"  This is a little tricky with circular octopuses, but we came up with the idea to hang across the window with some string.  So we cut the string to (almost) the right length and then we put 2 hole punches in each octopus.  Monkey laced the string through the holes and then we tapes the ends up to the wall!

Now, the TP rolls took a whole lot longer to dry than I anticipated, so we are going to finish that one tomorrow.  So stay tuned to see how they turned out!

While we were waiting for them to dry, Monkey asked to watch more Octopus videos.  We found an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING video that you all need to see.  The end (starting at 1:30 right until the final second of the video) is by far the most spectacular thing you will ever see...well maybe not ever be it is really COOL (as Monkey said)

Here is the video:

Monday, November 28, 2011


Recently, a friend of mine posted a video on Facebook of an Octopus that heaved itself up onto the rocky beach, walked around, regurgitated a LARGE crab, and then casually walked backed into the ocean.  Monkey watched the video with me, and then asked to find more videos about Octopuses.  So we started on youTube looking for videos, and found some amazing ones!  I decided that since Thursday is December 1st, we have 3 days that we can study Octopuses before we start our Christmas activities.

NOTE:  The plural of Octopus seems to be really controversial!  I looked in up on many websites!  Seems like people use Octopuses, Octopusses, Octopi, octopods, octopoids, octopodes, octopussies etc etc etc!  So I'm going with Octopuses!

Here is the video we originally saw. Especially pay attention at 2:07 of the video

We ended up watching youTube videos for close to an hour after seeing this one.  I started reading him amazing stories about how Octopuses had escaped in Aquariums/Zoos to go to other tanks, eat the marine life in those tanks, and then go back to their own tanks as if nothing ever happened.  We came across this interesting video of an Octopus that was actually eating sharks at the Seatle Aquarium in USA.

So I did some research and found lots of Octopus activities to cover over the next few days!  First, I printed quite a few colouring pages, so we could colour them in different colours since Octopuses are the masters of camouflage.  We talked about how they have 8 tenticles and they had no bones like us.

We got some good colourings from here and from here

Here are SOME of the pages we used.

Here Monkey is working on colouring inside the lines, something we are making a little bit of progress on.

Since we learned that Octopuses can change colours depending on what is around them, Monkey decided to colour each tenticle a different colour, well almost each tenticle :)

This Octopus picture conveniently had a turtle on it, so I had to use it!

After we coloured all the pages, Monkey decided he wanted to trace his hand.  So we traced his hand and then he pointed out that it looked like an Octopus!  So we turned it upside down and drew a face on it.  This one I helped him with the eyes and mouth and tracing his hand...

But this one he did completely alone!  (Hence the face is upside down)

We decided this Octopus was the best camouflaged one, since he could hide almost anywhere with colours!

Octopuses can be really great teaching tools.  We learned about ocean animals, counting to 8 (tenticles), the letter O, colours and camouflage,  that sometimes creatures can do things they aren't supposed to (walking on land) and we learned that animals are smarter than we give them credit for.  Stay tuned for tomorrows Octopus crafts!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas

On Saturday, we started getting the house ready for Christmas!  Since our Christmas tree came tumbling down NUMEROUS times last year, we had bought a new one on Boxing Day last year.  This new tree was significantly bigger than our previous tree!  Monkey is REALLY interested in Christmas this year, so we are expecting to have much more fun with him, teaching him about Christmas, carols, movies, and of course CRAFTS!! 

Daddy and Monkey worked really hard together to get the tree up! Logey-Bear and Emmy (our Bulldog) were interested in the beginning too!

Logey-Bear helped take the bubble wrap off....mainly because he was trying to chew it and it would pop while he was doing that.  He was laughing so hard!!

Monkey set the stand up by himself (three times to show us he knew how to do it!)

Daddy and Monkey put the first level of the tree in the stand together!

Monkey added the second level (while Daddy was holding him high enough)

Then came the part where we had to fluff up all the branches...Monkey helped in the beginning and then he got bored (see next picture)

...and so he jumped in the tree box and started playing peek-a-boo with Logey-Bear - who of course couldn't get enough of his brothers silly games!

Monkey was putting the final touches on the tree before the decorations went on.

Monkey and Logey-Bear admiring the finished tree.  NOTE:  Apparently when you go from a 6 foot tree to a 7.5 foot tree, you will not have nearly enough decorations!!!  AND...especially if your tree fell so many times last year that you had more broken ornaments at the end of Christmas than ones that weren't broken.  So we need to buy more ornaments for sure...OR more likely MAKE more ornaments before Christmas!  Also, I think our star for the top broke in one of the falls, so we need to make one of those as well!

So far, the tree has been up for 24 hours and has yet to come crashing down!   Monkey is really into taking one of the Santa decorations and one of the sleeigh decorations and giving Santa a ride on his sleigh around the tree!  I am loving Christmas so much more this year already!  (Might be because I'm not 9 months pregnant and about to give birth at any second)  But I LOVE IT!!  Next up: Christmas crafts!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Painting Day!

Once again, we had another painting experience!  When I bought the canvas for melting crayons project, I didn't even notice that on the back of one, came with a set of acrylic paints, brushes and paint holder.  I set it aside for the next time Monkey wanted to paint! 

He made some really awesome pictures today.  His pretend play has really started to flourish lately, and it is so amazing to just listen to him talk about what he is painting!

Here are his final products with his explanation of each picture:

1 - This picture is of a door with a window, and we have to use the window to see Emmy (our dog) playing outside in the snow.

2. This picture is of a tall mountain with a rainbow waterfall pouring down from it.
3.  This picture is when it is raining and a big 'beautiful' rainbow shows up when the sun comes out.

4. You guessed it, this one he painted his hands and made hand prints (as always making a not so messy craft, messy!)

 5. This was his rainbow hand print painting.  (Yes he is a little bit into rainbows right now, because it was a big theme on the "Cat in the Hat" and he just loved it)

Mess-Free Paint and Glitter Bags

Today the boys picked out their favourite colours of paint and we poured the paint into Ziplock bags.  We taped them to our patio doors. Monkey started to practice writing the Alphabet in the bags, but not until after he was done feeling, squeezing, squishing all the bags.  Logey-Bear loved pushing the paint around with his hands.  He was, however, more interested in trying to eat the bags!

We found it a little hard for Monkey to practice writing letters in it so we went to plan B.  We used hair gel, and glitter in Ziplock. I got this idea from here   This worked much better for him and they liked how they could see through it!  Logey-Bear still tried quite hard to eat the bag, but he kept going back to them for a quick feel and laugh all day long!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pasta Necklaces

On a recent trip to Walmart, a $1 bag of Rigatoni caught my eye.  Big, round and easy for little hands to string on yarn!

So first Monkey decided that the pasta was "ugly" and it should be green!  So we decided we need to dye them lots of colours.  I knew that you could dye with food colouring and rubbing alcohol, but I really didn't like that idea because I knew that Logey-Bear would eventually have the necklaces in his mouth.  So I figured I would try using vinegar and food colouring.  I thought maybe I had seen it somewhere, but couldn't find out where, so I just winged it!

We filled Ziplock bags with pasta, and then we used 1 tsp of vinegar to get the pasta 'sticky' and then Monkey squirted in the food colouring. NOTE: 1 tsp might have been a little too much because it made the pasta a little soggy and once it dried it cracked a little - so maybe 1/2 tsp instead

Then we shook the bag to make sure all the 'ugly' pasta was covered with 'beautiful' colours.

Since ours was a little soggy, we left the pasta to dry over night.  We left the bags open for the air to get in and dry it out.

Today, we cut yarn to the right length and made necklaces for everyone.  Monkey also made a snake!

Even our trusted Bullseye (rocking horse) got a necklace!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


To go along with our science experiments this week, we whipped up a good ol' batch of GOOP! Monkey loves goop.  So simple, some type of container, corn starch and water...and of course we had to make ours GREEN.  (We did 2 cups corn starch, 1 cup water...then added a little more water because it was pretty tough to scoop up)

This time I let Monkey add his cars into the mix.  He ALWAYS has hot wheels with him, and wants to make sure they are incorporated into every activity we do.  But this actually turned out to be way better than I thought. 

When he dropped the cars in, they began to sink, and we watch until they completely disappeared.  Then Monkey had to figure out how to get them out.  He had to figure out that he had to keep his hands wrapped around them to warm the goop so it became a liquid.  If he tried to fast it was just impossible to get them out.

It was interesting to watch him try to figure out why it was so hard when moving fast, like trying to hit it.  But then if he just slowly squished his hands in and picked it up, it would be a "goopy" 

Even Logey-Bear got his hands in there with this one (just didn't get pictures of it because I couldn't risk him shoving a big handful right into his mouth!  Some times us Moms just need 3 hands!)

Goop can be a little messy (especially in our house) but once it dries, it is super easy to just sweep up.