Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Number Cards

Hello! Hello!  You may be wondering if I am going to post something crafty soon.  Well, I am working on knitting my first pair of socks, knitting a baby hat, and just finished crocheting another swiffer cover.  I don't want to post a pic of the swiffer cover, because it is the same pattern as the last one I did.  My socks are far from being finished, but I am hoping that my baby hat will be done in the next day or so.

I have been trying to focus a little bit more on my children, too.  I designed these number flash cards for our preschool board that I am envisioning, but as I was pondering what I wanted to work on with My Princess, I realized they would suit that purpose as well.  You can find the cards on my website,  You can also link to my website from the right. 

Anyway, these very versatile cards have been helping us with number order concepts.  I chose 3 cards in order 1-2-3 and layed them out in order.  We counted out loud while pointing to the cards. I had My Princess close her eyes.  I took one card out and placed it with 2 other cards above the others.  Then, I had her open her eyes and pick the card that went into missing space.  She really impressed me.  This wasn't challenging enough for her so we added up to 5 and then she wanted 0 in there, too!

After a few minutes of this, I cleared the floor (our work surface) and selected 10-11-12.  These are the numbers I feel she needs to work on at the current time.  She can count really well up to 10 and has a pretty good sense of one-to-one ratio, but when she counts past 10, she gets the numbers all messed up.  She really enjoyed this game.  I am going to continue using this method for a little while to strengthen/build her counting on abilities and her number sequence mastery.

I recently read, "You can be as happy as you decide to be."  What a great bit of advice.  We may not be able to control everything in life, but we can control our attitude.  Hope you have a wonderful day!  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Floor Size Phonics Mat

Hello! Hello! I have been a little frustrated, because My Princess has not been as attentive to my attempts at the Phonics Mat I painstakingly created.  Then it hit me.  How could I make it more fun?  It only took a minute before this idea came to mind.  I quickly ran into my fabric stash and grabbed the biggest heaviest piece I could find.  I layed it out on the floor and grabbed my scissors.  In just a few minutes, I was able to cut out the vowels from white felt.  Of course, My Princess was looking over my shoulder saying, "What are you doing mommy?"  Me- "It's a fun surprise sweetheart."  Well, as soon as it was done I said, "Can you jump on the letter that says, 'ehh'?"  She immediately responded by jumping to it.  We went through the vowels this way.  Next I jumped on a letter and said, "What sound does this letter make?"  She nailed it.  Then I asked her to jump on the corresponding lowercase letter.  After she grew bored with this, I grabbed hold of her hand and together we started from left to right jumping on the letters and saying the sounds.  We did this a couple of times.  What a wonderfully simple idea to whip up.  So glad I had it.  Too bad they don't happen all the time!

We have used "My Phonics Mat" as well.  I have found that she is learning, but I think it uses a lot of brain power so she gets overloaded very quickly.  We are now blending CV and CVC sounds.  Each little baby step adds up.

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Stash Buster Crochet Newsboy Hat

Hello! Hello!  I have wanted to post something "yarny" for a week, but I've been caught up in trying to educate my children.  Amazing concept, huh?  I have done quite a lot of things with My Princess for preschool and will have to post about those adventures soon.

Anyway, I LOVE hats.  I also love to be outside and wanted a new hat for me.  That, too, is an amazing concept.  My children are always asking, "Who's that for?  I want one, too."  Well, this hat is actually for Me, Myself, and I!

I was searching Pinterest for some ideas and ran across a really cute design on .
Seeing the designer's hat is worth the click.  You cannot see the Long Double Crochet pattern very well in my picture.  I think the black hides it.  

Once my hat was finished, I crocheted a little flower out of the bright light blue.  The pattern for this is the flower I used for my Tropical Flower Headband.  You can download that pattern on my website After I crocheted the flower, I hot glued it to an alligator clip so that I can interchange different flowers/motifs according to my mood.

Wishing you a wonderful day!-Dari

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I really like these "lollipops!"  Although they are inedible, the counting resources can be.  The inspiration for these came from a picture I saw on Pinterest. There were some construction paper rectangles folded in half with the number written on the front and a pipe cleaner attached to it.  Easy enough concept.  I wanted mine to be a little more versatile than that, so I wrote out the word on each and just had to make it cute!  
Originally I thought we'd just use pony beads, but as soon as they were finished, My Princess said she was hungry.  Suddenly I merged her desire for food with my desire for her to get some preschool done.  Thus, Cheerios were used.  Win win situation.  We love those.
Anyway, I chose 4 random numbers for her to recognize and then string the correct number of Cheerios on.  As I watched her, I thought, "You could extend this activity to include number order, patterns, skip counting.  Wow! You could even use these to teach/reinforce addition or subtraction concepts."  I love when you get more out of something than you thought you would.
You can find both a black and white template and a color template of this activity along with the directions and some of my educational ideas for it on my website.  You can find the link on the left of this page.
Hope you enjoy!- Dari

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stash Buster Knitted Dish Cloth and Swiffer Mop Cloth

OK, so I am taking an online knitting class and finished my first knitted dish cloth.  I am pretty pleased with the results (with the exception of the white pointed corner).  I will have to learn how to decrease and cast off without a funky point!  Any words of advice are welcome! Although this is not a 100% stash buster project, it began as one.  I got half way through the project with the pink and realized that I didn't have enough to finish, so I bought some white (the dye lot did NOT match). Go figure!! 

After I finished this, I immediately began crocheting a Swiffer Cloth for my sister-in-law.  I helped her this morning with some of her cleaning and decided she needed one.  She doesn't like purchasing the disposables.  They are expensive.  Who would?  Anyway, I had an almost full skein of the white yarn I purchased for my dish cloth and thought it would work just fine.  I typed up my pattern and posted it on my website if you would like to use it. 

Hope you enjoy my yarn creations!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My Phonics Mat

I finally finished my smaller version of Sally the Sound Snail. Yea!  She will be much better suited for the desired purpose.   So, what is her purpose you ask?  Sally helps blend sounds together.  In some of my research for language/reading development, I ran across several methods that use either a sound train or a board to help children blend sounds together, thus beginning the process of creating words.

This is just the direction I have been trying to go with My Princess, but was not sure how to accomplish it.   As I merged ideas from these various sources, I came up with "My Phonics Mat" and Sally the Sound Snail.  Here are my ideas for using the mat and snail:
1) Place letter cards on the mat and have Sally slowly slide across the mat while saying the sounds out loud.
2) Place all the vowel cards on the mat and have My Princess put Sally on the card that makes the sound I dictate.
3)Have My Princess place letter cards on the mat to build words and then sound them out.
4) Write a word on a paper and have My Princess recreate the words with the letter cards.
5) Reverse the process by using the letter cards to create a word and having My Princess write the words letter by letter on the mat using dry erase markers.
6) I am sure I will come up with other uses for it!

I laminated "My Phonics Mat" for durability and also to enable My Princess to write directly on the mat.  Right now we are using it to solidify her understanding/mastery of the soft vowel sounds.  Next, we will add one consonant sound at a time and blend it with the vowels individually.  Progression will follow.

I would love for you to use this as well to help you in your educational endeavors.  You may download "My Phonics Mat" and my letter cards on my website.  The link is found at the right!
If you come up with any other ideas to use this, let me know.  I'd love to hear.

Wishing you a happy day!- Dari

Monday, April 1, 2013

English Garden Crochet Hat

Hello!  Although I have been working on busting through my yarn stash, I actually purchased this Caron Simply Soft Autumn Red yarn specifically for this hat.  It is another one for my cousin-in-law.  She loves this color.  I designed this hat using a Griddle Stitch pattern.  It is ideal, because it can be worked on any number of 2 stitches.  I always make my hats in increments of 10, so this stitch fits the bill. 
To create this stitch, add 2 st to base ch.  Skip 3 ch (counts as first DC), *1 SC into next ch, 1 DC into next ch; repeat from*.  When using this in row fashion, end with a SC in last stitch, turn. Row 2: Chain 3 (counts as DC), skip 1 st, SC into next DC, DC in next SC, etc. until you reach end of row.End with SC in top of turning chain, turn. Repeat Row 2. When working with this stitch in the round, I increased alternating SC and DC in the same st.Of course, this doesn't look the same as it would in row fashion, but it does add texture and is different than a simple SC or DC pattern.

For the cables, I only used FPDC!  This pattern is worked over a set of 6 stitches.  Rows 1 & 2- CH 1, SC in same st and SC in each remaining st. SL to join.  Row 3: CH 1, SC in same st and in next st, FPDC around next 4 st, *SC in next 2 st, FPDC around next 4 st.  Repeat from *. SL to join at end of row.  Row 4: CH 1, SC in same st, SC in next, *skip 2 SC, FPDC around next st 2 rows below, FPDC around next st 2 rows below, go back to first skipped st and FPDC around that st 2 rows below, then FPDC around next st 2 rows below, SC in next 2 st. Repeat from*. SL to join at end of row.  Repeat rows 1-4.

For my flower, I used a pattern that I pinned from Lianka Azulay.  The source is:

Hope you enjoy!