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Holiday Schedule

Hello Parents,

We hope everyone has enjoyed their long holiday weekend, and that you’ve had many very merry celebrations. Remember the school will be open during our regular hours this week from Wednesday, Dec. 26 through Friday, Dec. 28.

Fun Learning!

CBLC Midtown

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WW: Paper Plate Christmas Tree

Hello Parents,

It’s December and that means that if  you’re celebrating Christmas, you’ve either purchased a tree already or will do so very soon. Kids get really excited over selecting things such as their clothes;  Christmas trees and decorations are no different – so be adventurous and fun, let them help you decorate. You’d be surprised how creative kids can get.

However, if you do want to keep the kids busy for some time while you untangle the lights, we have a cute Christmas tree activity the kids can work on in the mean time. This craft comes from the blog A Little Learning for Two, where they have many other fun holiday ideas. See below for instructions as posted on the site for the perfect Paper Plate Christmas Tree.

Materials Needed:
* paper plates (2 sizes)
* scissors
* ruler
* cardboard tube
* paint
* bingo marker
* blu-tack (or you might prefer to use glue)
* sticky tape
* yellow paper
* cotton ball
Instructions:
Using a ruler to get your lines straight cut three segments from the paper plates, each a little smaller than the last. You can cut the biggest and smallest pieces from a large plate and the middle from a small plate, or you can also use the same plate for all three.
This is how the pieces go together to form a Christmas Tree shape.
Use green paint, or make some green paint by mixing yellow and blue together (this will give you the opportunity to talk to the kids about color changing).
Paint the segments of the tree.
Once the paint is dry decorate the tree with some ‘baubles’ by dabbing on ink from a bingo marker. A cotton bud and paint would do the job too – If you want to get creative, rummage through your crafts box and let the kids choose things/clippings they want to glue and use as decorations – it is their tree after all!

Add snow around the edges using a cotton ball and white paint and finish decorating all three segments.
Cut a yellow star from a colored paper and used blu-tack to assemble the tree. You could also use glue if you wanted, blu-tack is just faster.
Make a trunk for the Christmas tree by splaying one end of the cardboard tube and taping it to an upturned paper plate for stability.

The very cute paper plate Christmas tree.

Get creative and make a skirt for the tree – share your photos if you do, we’d love to see them and post them.

Fun Learning!
CBLC Midtown

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FFF: ABC Snack

Hello Parents,

We have a great snack time activity for your kids today. As you know we are always encouraging literacy and today’s snack helps with just that. Over at Creative Kids Snacks they were reading How Rocket Learned to Read, and well, with a book like that the best activity to follow is getting your kids reading or at least identifying letters. Exactly that is what they did, but turned it into a fun educational snack. Read on below for details on how Creative Kids Snacks created the perfect ABC Snack that will make the kids sing the ABCs all the way till night time, as posted on the site.

Ingredients

  • Banana
  • Peanut Butter
  • Plastic bag (i.e. sandwich bag)
  • Celery, Apple or Graham crakers

Instructions

Slice a banana into 21 sections, and then find something else, like celery or perhaps apples or graham crackers, to use for your vowels.  Next, find a plastic bag, snip off a tiny piece of the corner, and fill with several tablespoons of peanut butter.

Before piping the letters onto each space, work the peanut butter around in the bag using your fingers until it softens a bit.  It will come out much easier that way.

Before eating, here are a few things you can do with your child:

a.  Ask kids to point to the first letter in his name.
b.  Ask kids to spell her name by pointing to each letter.
c.  Ask kids which letter makes the sound __(fill in the blank)___.
d.  Point out the vowels and explain that there is a vowel in every English word.  (“Y” is also used as a vowel in certain cases)
e.  Use your imagination.

Kids will love this tasty alphabet snack!

Don’t forget to check out other lunch entries on the Creative Kids Snacks blog; not only are they super cute, but they’re also always inspired by an educational activity.

Fun Learning!
CBLC Midtown

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WW: Ice Star Experiment

Hello Parents,

As November draws to a close we can’t help but wish for the cooler temperatures some northern states have been enjoying; true it may not always be enjoyable, but thinking of ice and skating rinks sure get us in the mood for a winter wonderland. Thinking about ice we discovered a very fun activity this week on the Toddler Approved blog you all know we love through a guest post by Science Sparks. The Ice Star Experiment is sure to amaze your kids with the wonder of cold ice and give you a great chance to teach a fun science lesson hands on. See the experiment below as posted on Toddler Approved by Emma from Science Sparks.

Ice Star Experiment

watermarkDSC_0191

She used star molds for the ice and some cake sparkles, but you really you can use any ice mold you want; the cupcake sparkles just give it a more magical feel – choose any color you’d like. Once frozen, pop the ice out and put it in a container.

Be sure to the ice melt a little bit before letting the kids play so it isn’t too sticky for them. It will be fun for them to watch the he ice move around the container. Add the stars (ice) to some water to make them easier to play with.

We suggest doing this activity outside to make sure you don’t get water all over your floor.

watermarkDSC_0215
 
Emma also posted other activities with ice that kids can do.
  • Find two pieces of ice the same size and place one on a plate outside and one inside to see which melts the fastest.
  • Try adding salt to see if that makes the ice melt faster.

You’ll want to take advantage of this experiment to teach the kids a little about science.

  • Why does water freeze? Water can be a solid, liquid or gas. In liquid form the water particles can move around freely, so the water takes the shape of the container it is in. When you cool the water down the movement of the particles slow down and the particles become tightly packed together, which means its shape cannot change easily.
  • Why is ice sticky? Ice feels sticky because when you touch it, the ice immediately freezes the moisture in your skin, which makes the cube feel sticky.

Go on to the Toddler Approved page for this post and see more ice activities you can do with the kids.

Fun Learning!
CBLC Midtown

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WW: M-n-M’s Turkey Tail

Hello Parents,

Here’s a fun turkey craft to get us in the mood for Thanksgiving next week. We found it on a great blog called Toddler Approved. We’ve posted other activities from the blog here before. Hope you’ve enjoyed them; be sure to check out everything else they have to offer on the Toddler Approved site.

Now for the Weekend Wednesday craft – this one will get our sweet tooth satisfied. Yup, you guessed it, the principal material for this fun craft is a bag of fun M&Ms. Try to hold back eating them until the kids have done at least one turkey.

All you’ll need is a bag of M&M’s, crayons or colored pencils, and a Turkey Template (one sheet contains 4 turkeys).

Color in the body of the turkey with crayons or colored pencils.
Next, “color in” the feathers using M&Ms (each turkey contains spaces for 16 M&Ms).
Now, eat the M&Ms!! Fun thing is, the kids can “color” the tail as often as they want and in all the color combinations they want.
A fun math note from Toddler Approved: You could also work on patterning or turn this into a math activity by adding a die and assigning each color M&M to a different number (1-6). Every time you roll that number you have to put the corresponding colored M&M on the turkey!
Housekeeping note: Don’t forget Thursday, November 15 is picture day.
Be sure to bring the kids ready.
Fun Learning!
CBLC Midtown
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FFF: Gluten Free Monte Cristo

Hello Parents,

Not sure if you all remember the restaurant, Bennigan’s; they had this great sandwich called the Monte Cristo – it was battered and deep friend and just so delicious. Well, in scouring the internet for great recipes to share with you this today we found a much lighter version that appears to be just as delicious over on 5 Dinners-in-1 Hour. Not only is it baked instead of deep fried, but it’s also gluten free.

Below is the recipe as posted on the blog, to see the full entry click here.

Gluten Free Monte Cristo

Ingredients

2 C. GF baking mix (Pamela’s)
½ C. butter
2/3 C. + 2 T milk
2 C. shredded (or sliced) mozzarella cheese
12 slices GF deli ham
12 slices GF deli turkey
*you can use any meat/cheese combo.  author used ham off the bone, nitrite free turkey and cheddar cheese slices.

Assembly

Mix baking mix with butter until crumbly.

Add milk and mix well.

Pour half batter into a greased 8×8 baking dish.

Layer the ham, mozzarella and turkey over batter.

Pour remaining batter over top and spread to cover.

Cooking directions

Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

You can sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with raspberry preserves.  It does not need it, just makes it more Monte Cristo-ish. The kick of the sweet and salty is a great combination!

On another note, related to the 5 dinners-in-1 hour blog; although this recipe was posted on the website for any visitor to enjoy, the author has a subscription service where she puts together weekly menus, grocery list and all – exactly five meals that only take one hour to prepare. Imagine, go shopping on Sunday, prepare all five meals in one hour, and dinner is ready for the entire week by the time you get home. Tried and true. Talk about making your life easier, and letting you spend more time with the kids after you pick them up from school.

Fun Learning!
CBLC Midtown

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WW: Paper Bag Turkey

Hello Parents,

It’s November already, and as you know, once the Halloween holiday comes, they end of the year holiday festivities come at us in the blink of an eye. So with the thought of warm Thanksgiving traditions coming up, we couldn’t help but think TURKEY!

We found this fun paper lunch bag turkey that was too cute to pass up. Although we couldn’t find a source for the craft, it seems pretty easy to make.

Materials:
Small brown paper lunch bag
Construction paper in shades of fall (brown, orange, yellow, red) – for the tail feathers
Scissors
Glue Stick
Buttons (if you have googly eyes from other crafts, that works too) – for the eyes
Red felt (or red construction paper) – for the caruncles

Instructions:
Outline the kids’ hands in each color of construction paper, and cut out the hands. Glue each hand in a fan shape behind the paper bag (as shown in the photo above), slip two between the bottom flap and the “walls” of the bag.

Glue the buttons as eyes. Make a triangle snood (beak) out of the yellow construction paper,  shape the caruncles like a “drop” using the red felt, and align it with the snood. Glue them under the button eyes (like in the photo above).

Kids love tracing their hands, they’ll have a great time making this craft, and you can get started with your Thanksgiving decorations!

If this activity doesn’t get you excited for the weekend, then here is a slide show of our Toddler I class learning all about the color yellow. It may be fall, but it’s still sunny in our classrooms!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fun Learning!
CBLC Midtown

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FFF: Delicious Recipes Using Halloween candy

Hello Parents,

As promised, today’s Fun Food Friday has a few options on sweet treats you can make using left over Halloween candy. That is, if you haven’t eaten it all already! These 10 great recipes were compiled and presented on the Cool Mom Picks blog with links to the original recipes here: Peanut Butter Snickers Brownies, Reeces Peanut Butter Popcorn, Peppermint Patty Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars, Reeces Peanut Butter Banana Bread, Chunky Twix Cookies, Butterfinger Cookies, Tootsie Roll Fudge, Stained Glass Cookies, Jolly Rancher Lemonade, and M&M Peanut Butter Banana Pops.

The Chunky Twix Cookies recipe from Sprinkled with Flour is our favorite of the ten presented by Cool Mom Picks. Below is the recipe as originally posted.


Ingredients
2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups coarsely chopped Twix bars

Instructions
Preheat oven 325°.

Coarsely chop the Twix bars (about 1/4-inch chunks).  *note: cut each bar in half lengthwise, and then make several cuts width ways to make even blocks.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined.

Beat in egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined.

Add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and beat at low-speed just until combined.

Gently stir in the Twix chunks.

Roll a scant half-cup of dough into a ball.

Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull apart into two equal halves.

Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball.

Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy (approximately 15-18 minutes). Do not overbake.

Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet. Since the caramel from the Twix can make the cookies stick a little, you can use an offset spatula to slide under the cookies without breaking them apart.

Let us know if you make any of these for your kids this weekend, and tell us how it turns out.

Fun Learning!
CBLC Midtown

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Housekeeping

Hello Parents,

Hope everyone had a great weekend enjoying the beautiful days we had in South Florida. We are looking forward to our Halloween activity on Wednesday morning! Do you have your kids’ costumes ready?

With the cool weather we’re facing this week (so nice!), we wanted to remind you that the school sometimes gets chilly too. While we try to keep the kids as comfortable as possible, sometimes a sweater is needed; please be sure to bring one for your kids while they’re in class.

Here’s a screen-grab from Weather.com of the temperatures we should be expecting this week. Keep this also in mind for Halloween night if you plan to go trick or treating with the kids around the neighborhood.

Fun Learning!
CBLC Midtown

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FFF: Muffin Tin and Ice Cube Tray Lunch

Hello Parents,

Recently we’ve seen a lot of lunch ideas served on ice cube trays and muffin trays. These are a great for portion control and giving your child a variety of foods. We suggest you use the space to make sure your kids get a rainbow of foods served, ensuring they’ll get the veggies, fruits, protein, and a little sweet treat too.

Here are two photos of lunch/snack ideas for the kids using either muffin or ice trays. Go out this weekend and try to make one. Send us a comment with how your kids liked it.

halloween muffin tin lunch from AnotherLunch.com

ice cube tray lunch from LovelyFluffyMama.blogspot.com

Fun Learning!
CBLC Midtown

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