5 After 5, Games Edition

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It's time for another round of 5 After 5!  In case you missed it, last week's list was 5 jobs you've had and if you're new to this series, you can read more about it here.


Today I've got my list of 5 to share, as well as next week's topic for you to stew about over the upcoming days.

And if you've posted your own 5 After 5 list on your blog, I've turned this series into a link party - so be sure to get your own 5 things added below (or leave your answers in today's comments if you're not a blogger).  I loved reading everyone's comments from last week and I really can't wait to see what you share today!


List 5 Games You Love to Play


I've always loved games and thanks to something I recently did, our collection is now much more organized.

In this post, I shared all sorts of fun game ideas to try out, but I decided to limit my list here to those of the card-and-board sort:

1.  Phase 10



Whenever we visited my grandparents, each night of our stay would be spent with a handful of cards and hours of Liverpool Rummy, which is technically my favorite card game.  However, I fell in love with Phase 10 the first time I played it - it's similar to Liverpool, but takes less time and uses just this one deck of cards, making things easier to handle.

2.  Balderdash



If you're looking for some laughs and silliness with a crowd, this is definitely the game to reach for.  From camping trips to family get-togethers, this game has created more inside jokes for us than just about anything else.  Don your bluffing hat and see how well you can fool others when you play!  

3.  Trivial Pursuit



I've always loved trivia games (my dad and I would "compete" against each other each night while watching Jeopardy!), so it makes sense that I love to play this game.  I'll play any version out there, but my favorite is probably this one, because it's portable.  I bring it along on practically every picnic we go on!

4.  Pictionary 



Because of this, I have a particular fondness for this game, or rather this version of it.  Perfect for holiday gatherings with the extended family, we bring just the pack of cards along with a big white board and markers to ensure a great time for the talented and artistically-challenged alike.

5.  Rush Hour 



Because when you're an only child, you get really geeked-out at finding games to play alone!  Even though I immediately went through each of the game cards when I got this game for a cross-country road trip years ago, I find myself dragging it out to play all the time. 



For next week:


List 5 of Your Favorite Flowers



I wonder how much repetition we'll see with this list?  It will be interesting to find out whether they're all common choices, or of the more unique sort.  Even if you're not a blogger, I hope you participate. Start thinking of your list!

What's your list?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Also, if you don't want to miss a single minute of great tips like this and all the fun around here, be sure to sign up for free updates and then look forward to having each post delivered right to your inbox. 

Creation Week Cooking

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I'm going to continue to tease you a bit longer before divulging what my first week's Latticed Learning framework is like, but today I'm sharing another fun activity that Gv and I did to go along with our focus on the Creation Story in the Bible.

Besides adding something to our "Creation Box" each day, we also ate something specific to correspond to the day of creation we were learning about.  As you'll see, we scattered the meals throughout the day, and here's what we ate:

Day 1


The anticipation built all through the day before we finally devoured black and white cookies for dessert, to represent the darkness and light:



As you can read here, I'd never had these before, but thought they were just the perfect treat to start our week of special culinary creations off right.

Day 2


Since this day was all about God separating the waters, we held a water-drinking challenge.  We kept extra cups of water out on the kitchen counter (which is in the middle of our house) and every time we passed them by, we had to drink them down and fill them back up again.

It worked so well, I'm thinking of having a water-drinking challenge every day!  Even though that's all we drink around here anyway, it never hurts to drink more!

Day 3

I figured this day would line up really well with lunch, so I threw all of this together and roasted it in the oven...


...then I piled it onto yummy slices of still-warm homemade bread... 



...and voilĂ  - trees (because that's what the asparagus looks like) and plants (the onions and garlic) on the dry land (the bread!) for a tasty open-faced sandwich that had us going back for seconds (& thirds & fourths, if you want to get technical about it!)

Day 4

Another lunch rolled around and had me making lazy gal's grilled cheese (leave the butter off the outsides and just heat the sandwich until the cheese melts) cut out with these in the shapes of stars and crescent moons.  I suppose I could have cut out a sun with the flower from my set or a biscuit cutter, but these two were fun enough:




Day 5

A dinnertime match-up had us all digging in to one of our favorite salmon recipes - made with strawberries (we love it with blueberries, too!)  Since we eat salmon once a week anyhow, it just made sense to coordinate things on this day.



Day 6

Day 6 had me creating a whimsical breakfast, in the form of a bear:



This slice of bread with banana and raisins was ridiculously easy to arrange, but don't you know it made our morning so much more fun?  I was thrilled to come up with this idea - not just because it was easy, but because I had been having the hardest time thinking of something "animal" to eat, since we don't eat meat here at home...


Day 7

I wasn't quite sure what would represent rest best, but then hit upon this idea:



It's a recipe of mine called comforting carrot onion soup and I figured, what represents rest better than snuggling up with a warm cup of tasty veggies?  I'd considered going with some chamomile tea before I thought of this idea, but that beverage always makes us so sleepy and I wanted to distinguish between "rest" and "sleep" for this day.

I've had all sorts of other ideas for food to fix for these days - even planning an entire day's food around what was created that day.  I might make this activity more involved in the future, but these tasty treats were perfect for us this year - they were a breeze to throw together and really made each day's eating extra fun!  Have you ever thought of tying in a theme like this with your meals before?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Also, if you don't want to miss a single minute of great tips like this and all the fun around here, be sure to sign up for free updates and then look forward to having each post delivered right to your inbox.


Latticed Learning - Daily Resources

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Welcome back to another installment of Latticed Learning!  Today I'll be sharing some of the great resources that Gv and I will be using all year long in our journey of discovery.  I'm sure I'll be adding to this page as time goes on, but here are the main tools we're getting started with: 

Bibles

I spent the first year of Gv's life exploring every Children's Bible I could get my hands on.  My goal was to find the perfect one, but in the end, there were two I liked equally well:

The Beginner's Bible



I love the illustrations in this version and from the start, Gv was attracted to it at least once each day.  I've found that the number of pictures/pages for each story is just the right amount to "prompt" Gv when she's "reading" it - by the end of the week, she can easily tell me all the details of each chapter!

My Read and Rhyme Bible Storybook


 

This Bible's rhymes are what attracted me the most.  The illustrations are colorful and engaging, and I'm looking forward to the time when Gv is old enough to discuss the questions at the end of each chapter as well as do the activities.  But for now, we have great time reading the sing-songy verses aloud each day!

I'll refer to the page numbers for both of these Bibles in each week's Latticed Learning post so that you can easily follow along in your own copies.

Alphabet books

Read these on a regular basis and have your child point out the current week's letter throughout the pages.  Research has shown that focusing on only one letter at a time in isolation isn't a "best practice," but you'll see that I suggest highlighting one letter for a period of time while still discussing the entire alphabet.  This puts everything into context - the integration of the letter with the whole alphabet helps your child see the whole picture.

The same goes for the letter sound/name debate.  I stress including all three (Capital letter, lowercase letter, and proper letter sound) each week, so that nothing is missed.  To help you with all of this letter work, collect a variety of alphabet books and try to read them at some point during the week.  Here are some of the main ones we use:

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom


 


This is a favorite among Kindergarten teachers everywhere.  It was a must-have in my classroom, but I have to say, I've never really cared for the book.  However, Gv loves it - I guess the rhyme and the silliness of the repeating "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" are loads of fun for a two-year-old.  

Luckily, it doesn't show up on the irritating books list for me, so I don't mind reading it over and over (plus, Gv's starting to remember it all by this point, so it's one she often "reads" by herself).  I do like the way it highlights just a few letters on each page - I've noticed that Gv really enjoys naming those as she thumbs through the pages.

The Underwater Alphabet Book


 

This book would be especially fun if your child was into all things ocean, but I like that it's a unique take on an alphabet book.  I'm sure it will come in really handy when the week's topic is sea life!

Bad Kitty and Poor Puppy and Bad Kitty

 

These are full of alliteration fun (and will give you all sorts of ideas for how to win at The Alphabet Game!)  Poor Puppy is also great for learning numbers, and has taught Gv a bit about empathy - "Poor, poor, poor, poor puppy!"

Annie, Bea, and Chi Chi Dolores

 

I have this because it was part of the textbook series I used when I taught first grade, so I'm not so sure how mainstream of an option it is, but I like the school theme and Gv has fun pointing out all the different animals, so it's a winner for us.

Dr. Seuss' ABC

 
Because you just have to make sure you're reading at least one nonsensical Dr. Seuss book each week, right?

ABC: A Child's First Alphabet Book

 

This book is illustrated in a really cool style and has pictures of more than one thing starting with the letter on each page, but what G and I think is the neatest part of it is that there's a hint on each page of what is still to come in the book (as well as reminders of what has already occurred).  It seems that each time we read this selection, I discover something new and learn something more about the couple's relationship and experiences (expressed solely through the pictures), making the book more interesting for me to endure while waiting for Gv to finish naming off all the items she sees.

26 Letters and 99 Cents



This is two books in one - there are photos of objects beginning with each letter and when you flip the book over, you'll be able to count coins that correspond to each number (so this book is great for learning about money, too!)

Elmo's Big Lift-and-Look Book



This giant board book has long been one of our favorites (it's perfect for bringing along to an appointment, because all the flaps will keep your child engaged for a long time), but you'll find yourself referring to the first page (with a set of alphabet blocks stacked up) again and again.  

"Find the letter G" and "What picture do you think might be behind the Q flap" are two ways to turn time with this book into play.

Animal Alphabet

I'm not particularly fond of the wording in this book (nothing wrong with it, it's just not very "fun"), but I do like the unusual collection of animals it contains.

Toys

Magnetic letters and numbers

I had these from my classroom, where I would use them as a reading center for even my gifted second-graders to build words with all over the sides of my file cabinets.  I put them up on the refrigerator fairly early for Gv (just for something to play with - moving the magnets around), but we have them on our washer and dryer and the metal door to our garage now, too.  These things are so versatile - you can spell your child's name or other words out, in addition to displaying them in alphabetical order.

Letter and number puzzles

Gv loves playing with puzzles, so when I found some great foam versions similar to these at our local dollar store around Easter time, I knew they would be perfect in her basket.  Even a very young toddler will enjoy dumping the pieces out and trying to put them back in, long before noticing the letters and numbers they contain.

Letter and number blocks

I had a set of these when I was little (in fact, these are the same blocks that Gv now uses!) and I remember building structures and spelling out words with them long into my later elementary years.  There are so many different ways you can use these blocks, I truly think they should be a childhood staple.

Websites

Starfall

My students used this website daily in my classroom - not only is it fun (& free!), but it uses sound educational practices, as well.  There's even an app that you can download.  The free version doesn't include everything on the website, but it's got enough to keep Gv busy during one of my tutoring sessions, and I feel like she's really learning while she's playing.

There are plenty of swell blogs for me to share that have great resources for all letters of the alphabet, but you'll have to look for those as the weeks go by.

For even more helpful tools

Click here to follow my Latticed Learning: General Resources Pinterest board

And be sure to pin this page and come back to visit throughout this series, because I'm guessing that I will discover even more fantastic resources to add as Gv and I take this journey!

What are your favorite Bible/ABC/123 resources?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Also, if you don't want to miss a single minute of great tips like this and all the fun around here, be sure to sign up for free updates and then look forward to having each post delivered right to your inbox. 

Summer Family Fun Party, Week #11

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I've been having so much fun joining a great group of moms this summer for this link party and I can't wait to see what amazing things you will be sharing next!

The party goes live every Tuesday at 8 p.m. and when you link up your awesome summer fun post, it will be shared on 30 different blogs, which means thousands of new readers will have the chance to see all of your amazing ideas!

In case you missed it, here's what I've been up to lately:

An introduction to Latticed Learning, putting together a fun Creation Box, the Career Edition of 5 After 5, and this week's snapshot
It would be great if you showed a little love to all of the other wonderful party co hosts:

Your 30 Summer Family Fun Cohosts

Barb of A Life in Balance Mitzi of Written Reality Jen of Making Our Life Matter Candi of A Day in Candiland Steph of A Grande Life Laina of The Art of Living Fabulously Reesa of Momma Lew Bethany of The Southern Couture Paris of My Big Fat Happy Life Brenda of Schooling a Monkey Stefanie of Making of a Mom Katie of A Mother Thing Heather of Divas Run for Bling Stephanie of Stuck in Your Rut Laci of Sequins in the South Kristia of Family Balance Sheet Wendy of The Art Of "Why Not?" Nichole of Sweet October Angie of Joyful Journey Lux of About Life And Love Nikki of Tikkido Shirley of Intelligent Domestications Rhonda of MultiTaskingMaven Holly of While I'm Waiting... Lisa of Syncopated Mama Tina of Mom Is Forever Vicki of Five Spot Green Living Kim of Life in a House of Testosterone Liz of Motherhood Muse Sofia of FUN WITH A MESSAGE

Project Snapshot Week 86

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commission at no cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting my efforts with this blog!


The goal of this post is to capture a memory from the past week, either with a camera, words, or both.  Time passes in the blink of an eye and this will create a collection of treasured memories from throughout the year.

My Snapshot(s)


Nothing too exciting around here - school starts up again this week, so G was busy with final preparations for the new year.


This photo shows just a very average slice of life:  Gv sitting in her room, counting out a dozen things.

What was your favorite memory from this past week?  I'd love to hear about it!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

5 After 5, Career Edition

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase something, I'll receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting my efforts with this blog!



It's another round of 5 After 5!  In case you missed it, last week's list was your top 5 foreign films and if you're new to this series, you can read more about it here.


Today I've got my list of 5 to share, as well as next week's topic for you to stew about over the upcoming days.

In case you've posted your own 5 After 5 list on your blog, I've turned this series into a link party - so be sure to get your own 5 things added below (or leave your answers in today's comments if you're not a blogger).  I loved reading everyone's comments from last week and I really can't wait to see what you share today!


List 5 Jobs You've Had (Career or Otherwise)


I did one for free, one just for the perks, surrounded myself with things I love for another, and made careers out of the other two:

1.  Candy Striper

Growing up, my favorite books were about Sue Barton, Cherry Ames, and  Vicky Barnes, so the second I reached the minimum age requirement to volunteer at my local hospital, I was donning my red-and-white-striped uniform and roaming the antiseptic-scented halls of the Pediatric floor each week:

You know you're old when all your pre-digital photos are starting to deteriorate...

2.  Library Assistant

When it came time for college and I had to find a job that actually earned me an income, I turned to the library, of course!  What could be better than surrounding myself with books all day long, and through my years working here, I learned all sorts of secrets for how to make the most out of your library.


Ah, a bookworm in her natural habitat...


3.  Disney Store Greeter

My stint at this job was so short-lived, I never even saw the video loop playing on the giant screen in the back of the store change.  Why was I there such a short time?  Well, the only reason I was there in the first place is because my aunt talked me into it - she'd signed up to work a few shifts just for the free park passes and store discounts and as an added perk, got a bonus pass each time she recruited someone else to join the team as a cast member.  I was all for working three measly hours a week just for a couple of months to earn myself some free passes, so I jumped at the chance.

Since I just worked the bare minimum, all I did was greet people at the front of the store and fold a few t-shirts.  It was a pretty good gig, although there are still days when this song is stuck in my head for hours on end!

The sole reason I donned an over sized Letterman sweater and matching pleated polyester skirt each week...when you live in this town, you find ways to go here for free...


4.  Primary Teacher

My degrees are not in education, but after hearing so much about the state's teacher shortage over a decade ago, I figured I'd go help out.  After all, I enjoyed teaching all ages how to skate, so it just made sense to introduce others to my love of books and learning as well.

Turns out, it was a great fit for me, and I'm still in contact with so many of the amazing families I got to know, even though I left the teaching world after Gv was born.


My room was so cool, even the Chik-Fil-A cow hung out there!

5.  Figure Skating Coach

This actually is what my main career has been, and although I'm still enjoying a bit of a hiatus until Gv gets a bit older, I most likely will return to the ice soon.  I'm sure posts about the skating world will start to creep in here a bit more when that time comes, but until then, you'll have to wait for the Olympics to roll around again (here's one of the posts from last time) to read my thoughts on the sport.


With two students during a fun Halloween group lesson


And for next week:


List 5 Games You Love to Play



Any type of game is up for grabs (board, card, video, outside - anything!) so share your list and maybe we'll come up with some fun new ways to spend our time.  Even if you're not a blogger, I hope you participate. Start thinking of your list!

What's your list?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Also, if you don't want to miss a single minute of great tips like this and all the fun around here, be sure to sign up for free updates and then look forward to having each post delivered right to your inbox. 




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