Saturday, June 14, 2014

Summer Reading Program

Summer Reading Program!

I was really bummed out to find out that our local library wasn't doing a reading program this year. So we devised our own. We are a family of readers. ( even those of us still learning!) We love to read!  Chandlers love of books has expanded into a love of counting in the past few days. He has mastered counting by tens to one hundred so we worked the golden number of 100 into our reading program.

I printed out a picture on cardstock with 100 books on it. We put it on the fridge for easy access and will cross one book off for every book we read.

Chandler has become very excited lately about writing, but not repetitive letters. So we decided to make a few book reflections. That way he can practice his letters in the title area, but not feel forced to write out a large amount of information. I want to keep the writing fun, and part of the adventure.  I also added a large section for him to illustrate the plot of the story. On the bottom I added a few emotional faces to lead into discussions about how the characters felt during the story.


Upon completion of each row of books he will get a small treat from our prize box. Just as they do in the summer reading program. When he finishes all the books he will have a ice cream party with friends!

I was a little sad at first hearing the program was closed but after creating our own - I am really excited!

                         Happy Reading everyone!

I am trying to  find a way to make files available for  you to use. If you would like me to email these printables to you I will happily do so!

Sink or Float

Total cost: - Free
Total Time: 10 -15 Minutes
Chandler and I selected things from around the house to test which would sink and which would float.  I drew a vase on cardstock and printed out pictures of the items he selected.

Step 1  : Fill clear container with water.
Step 2: have child take printed picture and put it where he thinks it belongs. Will it sink or float.
Step 3: Drop the real item in the water.
Step 4:  Glue the picture where it went.

How did you do?

A little drawing and clip art for a nice free project!

He was right!

Make a guess, then do a test! Document your findings!

Coins sink!

The only one he got wrong was ice. He is trying to put the car on it to make it sink. Still wrong, but I love his outside of the box thinking!

Finished! He had so much fun with this project!

Chandler did great, the only one he missed was an ice cube. He then tried to sit the car on it to make it sink, so he could still be correct. Love the outside of the box thinking!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Stingray Growth Project

I had been wanting to introduce measurement and charting to my little man but wanted a way to engage him and keep it both project based and hands on. It was on a visit to the local dollar store that Chandler answered the question for me. He found a stingray and showed it to me. What he didn't realize is that it was one of the grow-in-water toys. So we spent the dollar and home we returned to discover what would happen to this little stingray as we exposed him to water.

1 - Trace a grow in water animal.
2- Measure it with yarn.
3- Cut the yarn to the same length.
4- Measure the string 
5- Document the length.
6- Put in water for 3 days
7 - Repeat process
8- Document growth.

Skill sets: Measuring, Science, Scissor skills, Glue skills, Charting, Observation

Cost: $1.00

Tracing the original stingray before we put it in the water.

Measure and cut yard the length of the stingray.

Apply glue for our yarn

Glue yarn

Measure the yarn and document the findings.

Put the stingray into a bath or shoebox of water. Make sure it has room to grow.

Three days later we traced the grown stingray, and measured the yarn again.

It has grown!

Every scientist must document their discoveries!

Finished project!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Space Lesson

This week we are learning about space. With it still being dark fairly early my little one had gotten very curious about the stars and moon so we decided to spend a week on space. Here are a few things that we did during that week. Good luck little Astronauts! 

Star-cave - Dramatic Play, Sensory, Gross and Fine Motor

Needed Items:
  • A large box. (I used our XL dog kennel)
  • Construction or Card Stock paper
  • String or yarn of some sort
  • Flash Light
  • Cost $0.00

What to do:
  1. Cut the paper into stars of various shapes.
  2. Suspend stars from the top of the  "cave"
  3. Tape Stars to the sides of the "cave"
  4. Drape a blanket over the cave so it is completely dark
  5. Give child a flash light and let him explore!

    Getting ready to explore our Star Cave!
 Inside our star cave! 

We counted stars, and talked about constellations!  

Make a shooting star - Fine Motor / Art / Creativity

Needed Items:
  • Pom-poms or a collage material
  • Construction or Card Stock paper
  • Paint
  • Popsicle stick
  • Ribbon or streamers
  • Cost $0.50

What to do:
  1. Have a large star cut for your child to use.
  2. Invite them to paint it.
  3. Invite them to glue collage material on it.
  4. Once dry glue or tape it to Popsicle stick 
  5. Add ribbons 
  6. Let the fun begin!

Dinosaur Study

 This week we have been learning about Dinosaurs!  It was an unexpected direction of study but I was happy to follow him on the adventure path he created!

Dinosaur Skin! - Art / Texture / Patterning
Needed items:
  • Washable Paint - We mixed green and brown
  • Paper Plates - 2 
  • Bubble Wrap - We had ours saved from packages we received
  • Total Expense - $0.00
How To:
  1. Mix your paint onto one of the paper plates
  2. On the other paper plate write "Child's name - Dinosaur Skin - Date"
  3. Allow child to lay the bubble wrap into the paint.
  4. Place the bubble wrap paint side down on the paper plate.
  5. Press down or have some fun and pop the bubbles
  6. Remove the bubble wrap.
  7. Ta-da!
  8. *Helpful hint* The less paint you use the clearer the print.

Here we can see Little Paleontologist laying the bubble wrap on his plate to create the texture. 

Finished Dinosaur skin!

Little Paleontologist - Fine Motor / Science / Professions / Tactile 
Needed Items:

  • A tray to keep bits of chalk from everywhere
  • Small dowel rod, and paint brush
  • Fossil kit
  • Cost $5.00 for kit.
How To:
  1. We have been talking about who Paleontologists are and how they dig up fossils
  2. Give the child the chalk with dowel rod and brush
  3. Motivate child to dig to find the fossil
  4. Discuss if it was faster or slower then they expected
  5. Celebrate their discovery!
Here is our little paleontologist  as he begins to work on digging the chalk away to find the fossils. It is a great time to talk to him about how hard of a job it is. How they know where to dig and other open ended questions. 



Create your own Fossil - Fine Motor / Science / Professions / Tactile / Art
Needed Items:

  • Dinosaur Toy
  • Air Drying Clay
  • Cost $5.00 for Clay
How To:
  1. Have child select their favorite Dinosaur toy
  2. Create a small disc of clay 
  3. Have child push the foot into the clay
  4. Allow clay to harden.
  5. You can also expand on this by burying it in sand and letting the child discover their fossil.
Here is our little paleontologist stomping the foot into the clay to create his own fossil
Instant fossil!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July Activities Part 2 : Of Creeks and Creatures

Lets go to the Zoo -  Science / Gross Motor / Nature / Animals / Ecosystems

What do you need:
  • A trip to the zoo!
He got to ride the carousel at the zoo. He picked a wolf.
He had wonderful fun talking about the other animals chasing him!
We had silly fun howling like the wolves we had seen earlier in the day.
The carousel offered a great chance for us to talk about what different animals ate.
It was a fun time to see if he remembered the facts I had shared on our venture into the park!

My Monkey surrounded by monkeys. Well, Great Apes actually. 
He fell in love with them. We talked about how they moved and interacted.
We looked at the poster and tried to spot each different Chimpanzee. It was fun! 
We talked about how different faces mean different things. We even practiced the faces in the mirror! 

They had a really cool exhibit of geyser. He really wanted to go play in it!

 His favorite part was absolutely the Dino exhibit. He had to ask every animal name. 
Then mimicked the sounds they were making. 
He discovered fossils at the dig site and even found baby dinosaur eggs!

Nature walk - Gross motor / Life Science / hot and cold / senses

What do you need?
  • Just go take a walk in the woods!
Below are some pictures from our nature walk! He found a creek and was scared to get his feet wet. After a few moments of being silly he dared to get a little wet. Then - He loved it! It was such a wonderful day of discovery splashing in the creek. It breaks my heart to see how many children are denied such a simple and perfect experience as cooling off in a creek on a hot summer day. Children are washable - let them get a little dirty now and again. Be observant and Be safe, but that doesn't require living in a sterile world of  recirculated air and the buzz of technology. We had both been a little grouchy before our discovery. Afterwards we felt closer than ever before and the ride home was full of giggles and story swamping. I will remember this discovery for many years to come.

Monday, July 1, 2013

July Activities Part One: Of Shopping and Home grown foods

Lets go Shopping!  - Dramatic Play / Money / Community Helpers / Math

Needed Items:
  • Saved boxes from old groceries
  • Saved bags from previous trips to store
  • Tables (already had)
  • Shopping cart *optional* (already had)
  • Pretend Money ($1.00 at Dollar Store)
How To:

  • During Nap I placed all of the boxes and empty jugs that I had saved and lined them up on three tables pushed together.
  • I placed the money tray and his toy computer with mouse at the front as a register and scanner.
  • Placed his toy car at the door and the shopping cart at the entrance of the shop.
  • I went shopping first to serve as a basic guide then stepped back and let them take their own trips!
  • They had so much fun! 
Here we see Chandler getting into his car with Cassie, his baby. He was careful to buckle her in her car-seat first. He waved and told me he would see me when he got home from the store.
 He had his toy money in his pocket and he showed it to Cassie after he got her in the shopping cart. 
 He took his time picking out all the items he needed from the store. 
 Then it was time to pay for his purchase. 
 All bagged up and ready to go. 
(I know bad green momma! But all my reusable bags were in use!)
 Next it was time for him to be the cashier. He started using the mouse as a scanner on his own. What a great use of creativity!  He also got his art smock to be used as a vest to show he worked there.
 Making change.
 Thank you have a great day!

Where does food come from?  - Science / Community Helpers / Cooking

Needed Items:
  • One ear of unshucked corn
  • A few pieces of uncut okra
  • A few pieces of uncut squash
  • A handful of unbroken pole beans.
  • A can of each food mentioned above
  • Total expense. $3.64
How To:

  • I set up the table you will see at nap time. When they woke up we discussed what they thought each thing was and where it had come from. We used our senses to smell, touch and taste the uncooked food and later do the same once our meal was cooked. It was a great chance for open ended questions.
This was the table I had set up. It was a great chance to talk about where food comes from.
 Cutting Okra under -VERY- close supervision.
 I cut the squash since it doesn't give easy like okra. He laughed as some of the squash was smooth and other portions were very rough. He said he liked the smell of it but it felt slimey.
 Shucking Corn! He was so tickled by the silk. He kept asking why the corn grew hair.
TADA! He found the corn! 
 He helped me wash the food and we had all that we prepared for lunch that day! YUM!

Here is my favorite picture of the 4th of July