E is for Emergency {preschool and 1st grade} - Fire Saftey Week

Emma and Connor spent a few weeks on Hubbard's Cupboard's Ee is for Emergency, because I felt the theme to be one of great importance.  (and for Emma I just added Connor's old crafty ABC's for added phonetic awareness and play).

Of course, true to our regular habits, we had many different books to go with our theme.

My highest recommendation out of the lot would be No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons) by Jean E Pendziwol (I'm in love with this book series!).  This book actually made me choke up. (which isn't all that hard for this over-emotional gal).  "Don't go back for anything!  we can get another bear but we can't get another you!"    Ugh.  Just the thought.  Anywho.  It's a super cute book for kids dragons that walks them through the dos/don'ts of a fire.  And as a bonus, teaches them that it isn't the best choice to invite your friend, Dragon, for tea. 

Emma's highest recommendation would be Poinsettia and the Firefighters by Felicia Bond.  She just adored this book and requested it to be read often, and if we weren't available to read it for the 135,789th time then she would sit on her own and recite it.  (pictured above, right).  She seemed to really relate to it.  Scary and dark room, all alone.  Spooky noises keeping you awake.  And then Poinsettia gets to be the heroine (not to be confused with heroin).

Her (and my) second favorite of the week would be Five Little Firefighters by Tom Graham.  It's short and lots of Onomatopoeia.

Of course this all spurred lots of talk on what we would do in a fire/where we would go, and of course, lots of role play ... aka crawling around on our hands and knees "under the smoke".

There was also plenty of neighborhood watch going on (upper left of the picture below) - and, how cool is it that our neighborhood fire station had an open house!  Connor had to go dressed as a firefighter, no surprise there.  :)

It was so awesome there.  They had a trailer for the kids to go into and climb out of their "bedroom".  A rock climbing wall .. which is unrelated to fire or fire safety, but was still cool to have there.  There was this car with huge stuffed animals that they rotated to show the necessity of seat belts.  And many more activities and things to see.  It was a perfect, and crowded, outing.

Back at home we played with our emergency vehicle toys.

The helicopter rescue made some vital trips back and forth from 'house' to 'hospital' and saved the mini erasers.  It was a close call for all patients involved.

The firetruck and Emma had plenty of heart-to-heart talks.  I looked outside one day and Emma was on the patio all alone, talking to her friend, Truck.

Emma loved the printables.  The bottom two we laminated to use over and over again. {link to the printables are down further}

Connor (1st grade) used the firetruck and numbers to sort even/odd.

Another book we read was, Impatient Pamela Calls 9-1-1 (Impatient Pamela series).  On his own, he thought to make his own book.  He loves to do this - dictate as I write or type for him, then he will illustrate.  The Pamela book version was a bit outdated on the technology side - but Connor didn't seem to notice at all.

For our Human Body project we've been working on, we focused on muscles, because firefighters have muscles.  lol.  There's this amazing app, The Human Body, that we used to learn about muscles. (linked below)

Don't forget that Firefighters need regular check-ups.

Crafty ABC's at Totally Tots
Firemen Printable Pack from Homeschool Creations
Firefighter Reader Printable from So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler
Police Lapbook from Homeschool Creations

Fireman Books and Toys we used and love:

Fireman Related apps we used and love:

Oh My Pumpkin Pie!


We borrowed this cute easy reader from the library, Oh My, Pumpkin Pie! by Charles Ghigna.  I must be a "unit study" teacher because from this one book we did many things.  Sort of like those "If you give a Mouse a Cookie" style books.  "If you give Debbie a book, she's likely to ____" on and on and on. 

Anywho.  I'm sure it's not hard to figure out what we did.  First, we went to our local pumpkin farm!

There we picked out The Very Best Pumpkin.

 We went home, washed up that pumpkin, sliced her open and stuck her in the oven.
{after guts are cleaned out place in one inch water in roaster, pan or sheet; place in oven at 350F for 45 mins or so - until it's soft.  Peel off skin, or use the scoop, and discard.  Place pulp in a blender and puree!  Voila!}

If you use your Ninja Blender then you get some major brownie points with your son.  Because it's a Ninja and all.

Take your new and fresh puree and make yourself the best pumpkin pie ever.  
{funny side story:  last Canadian Thanksgiving my family was visiting to celebrate the holiday and help with then newborn Sammy.  I went on and on bragging about my mad pumpkin pie making skills.  Bragging gets you nowhere, I learned.  Because I forgot the sugar and ... my self described award winning pie was so gross.  Lesson:  don't brag, and more importantly- don't forget the sugar!!  and maybe ... when you're postpartum, stay outta the kitchen.}

Back to the puree..... Freeze any left over puree for later.  And trust me.  You'll never use canned pumpkin again.

I've tried many many pie recipes.  This was actually my craving when I was pregnant with Connor.  I think I made like 2 a week.  And in all that pie making.... the following recipe was the one I deemed best of all.  Plus, it's super easy!!

Best Pumpkin Pie

1 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar <--- key ingredient there, folks  ;)
2 eggs, beaten
1 TBS melted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 unbaked pie shell

Preheat your oven to 425F.  Mix everything in a large bowl and blend well.  Place your pie shell into a prepared pie dish.  Pour your pumpkin mix into shell.  Bake 45-50 mins.  Cool and serve!

While that cooked we did lots of fun crafts, painting and coloring. 
pumpkin related links:
from 1+1+1=1
from Lawteedah {tot pack}

Linking up at:
The Homeschool Village
So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler


Halloween Week 2013

Connor's passion in life is role playing.  So it goes without saying that he loves Halloween.  Plus, it's the one week a year we don't get questioned as to why he's dressed up.  Like the other day at the Dr's office when he decided he wanted to be a fireman.  They just assumed it was for Halloween.  Nope!  Just Connor being Connor! =]

This week was a "break" week for us.  So just lots of child-led learning, book reading and play.

Here in this house, we have a mad love for books.  Even baby bean.

Our family favorites:

Who Said Boo?  by Anne Miranda & Ross Collins

This book is a yearly favorite.  I remember purchasing it years before I even had a child of my own.  (I have a major love for children's books).  I bought it with wistful hoping to one day read this to my own kids, and also to read to my then 3 year old niece, who adored it.  It's just spooky enough, without being too spooky, for the preschool age.  With lift the flap surprises.  Love love love this book!  Seriously.  Emma lugs it all over town with us.

Ghost Gets Dressed! by Janee Trasler  
This is a cute and simple book the kids love.  It's perfect for the beginning reader and for the pre-reader, "memory reading".  Emma (3) loves to "read" this out loud all by herself over and over again.  It's a cute back and forth book between Ghost and Monster with a funny surprise at the end.

Counting Our Way to Halloween by Alyson A. Zachary

This was a wonderful gift from Grandma, for the kids, last Halloween.  Connor manned the puppet, Emma helped count, and Sammy provided the heart melting giggles.

Connor's favorite:

 Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet by Diane deGroat

This was another I bought years before I had kids.  I love her books, and now that the kids are old enough to sit and listen, they adore her books too!

Our Favorite Library Finds:

Trick Or Treat? by Melanie Walsh 
Emma (3) adores this book so much.
It's by Jane Yolen.  In this house of kid's book lovers... that's 'nuff said right there.  All those books like How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, yeah.  Same author.
Favorite Christian Books:
The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs

 With all this snuggle time book reading, we did do some light "work", as the kids requested.
Pumpkin Packs by 1+1+1=1
Pumpkin Patch Parable at Totally Tots
Shining God's Light on Halloween by 1+1+1=1
Jack-O-Lanterns by Gift of Curiosity
Halloween Pinterest Board - my own
Monster Penny Toss at Education.com
Monster Pack at 2TeachingMommies
Itsy Bitsy Spider Story Props at KidzClub
Spiders Pack from 2TeachingMommies
Pumpkin Patch from Our Little Monkeys
Fall Do-a-Dot from 3 Dinosaurs

Last year I found this super cute monster pack, but didn't save it.  I can't for the life of me figure out who made it to link back or to print more for us.  Anyone know!?!?

 Linking up at:
The Homeschool Village

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