Wednesday, August 12, 2015

V is for Volcano!

Books

We borrowed two volcano books for our letter V day. I could tell that both kids were absolutely engrossed in each of these! An Island Grows was a wonderful book with simple text for preschoolers to comprehend. I had my doubts about whether or not the true story of Pompeii would be appropriate for them. But in the end I decided they could handle it. We discussed ahead of time that this is history, a true story that happened a long, long time ago. Honey Pot asked many questions throughout the book and at the end actually said, "That's amazing...but horrible." So I knew she understood. And I put her fears to rest by reiterating how far science and technology have come since then, in detecting active volcanoes. So glad we read both of these books!


Letter Recognition Activity - Scissor Skills

I've been trying to give them a different letter recognition activity each day. Today I drew straight and curved lines on the letter V for some scissor practice. Both kids did a great job.



Science - Creating a Volcano

We did the classic baking soda + vinegar experiment today! We had done it during Honey Pot's letter V unit as well, and it is always such a hit with the kids. We took the playdough we recently made for our duck pond small world, and turned it brown. Then the kids wrapped it around a mason jar. We filled the mason jar with warm water, 2 TBSP of baking powder and a couple drops of dish soap. We also added some orange food coloring for the lava that was about to pour out of it!


This was a great exercise in turn-taking for the kids. Little M&M poured the vinegar and we saw the first explosion!


Then Honey Pot had a turn. Note they had already grabbed a couple of dinosaur toys to play with.


They made the volcano erupt again...and again...and again...



I loved watching how much they enjoyed this!


When we had run out either vinegar or baking soda (I can't remember which) they decided to make a sensory bin out of it. They started by reaching their hands into the volcano...


then pouring out its contents and squishing the wet playdough around.


The play when on still for quite a while, but I put my camera away when things got messy!

Monday, August 10, 2015

U is for USA!

Books

We borrowed three USA books from the library for our letter U day! Little M&M was a little young to appreciate these, but I really think Honey Pot enjoyed learning about our country. America Is... in particular is a beautiful book, and really illustrates the different landscapes and ways of life that exist right in our own country. Honey Pot began to get a gist of how big the USA really is.


Letter Recognition Activity - U Flag

I created a flag template in Photoshop Elements for today's activity. I encouraged the kids to color blue around the stars, and to color every other stripe in red. This was a great exercise in following directions, as well as practice staying in the lines!



And of course Honey Pot must always add hearts to every picture!


USA Landmark - Memory Game

I created this in Photoshop Elements for today as well. I chose eight landmarks in the USA, printed the page twice, and created a 4x4 memory game for the kids. It was a nice introduction to some important places in our country, and it was good for them to become familiar with their names.


The kids were pretty good!


Little M&M even wanted to play again after we had finished the first time.


As an extension, I took out a map of the USA for them to see. First we talked about our home state, and where that is. Then we made note of where some of our friends and family live. Honey Pot was able to find a few states on the map by recognizing the letters. For example, she found where Pennsylvania is by finding the word that started with P. Texas was also an easy one to find by sounding the word out. We grabbed a few of our pictures from the memory game, and also briefly discussed the directional terms North, South, East and West



Would you like to print the U flag or USA landmark memory game? Grab them below!

    


Thursday, August 6, 2015

T is for Trains!

Books

We borrowed two library books, combined with two of our favorite train books, for our letter T day. Our absolute favorite is this version of The Little Engine That Could. It's a classic story, and Loren Long's illustrations are just gorgeous.


Letter Recognition Activity - Hole Punching

Just as a conductor punches train tickets, the kids punched holes in a letter T ticket. This was a great activity for strengthening their hand muscles!




Craft - Name Train

For our main activity today, the kids created trains out of construction paper. To assemble the train, they had to put the boxcars in rainbow order and spell their first names. (Each boxcar contained a letter of their names in real life, so please excuse the portions where I erased those.)

First they glued on their engines.


Then they glued the train cars beside it. Honey Pot knew both how to spell her name, as well as rainbow order, so this was easy for her but still fun! Little M&M could do his fairly well too!



Then they glued on their wheels.


Next, they doodled cargo and passengers onto the trains. And, minus their erased names, here are their completed projects! Super cute choo choos!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

S is for Snake!

Books

We borrowed two books about snakes for today's letter of the day. Both were very cute. We are huge Elephant and Piggie fans, and Can I Play Too? quickly became one of our favorites!


Letter Recognition Activity

For today's letter recognition activity, we drew S's on our window with dry erase markers. Then the kids filled them up with Squigz! It was a challenge to stick them all up there before they lost suction, but both kids did a great job!

Little M&M covered his S with the blue Squigz.



And Honey Pot use the green ones.


Afterward, they tried to fill in the empty spaces with orange. It was a fun activity!


Fine Motor Beaded Snakes

We created snakes out of pipe cleaners for our activity of the day. The idea came from Mess for Less. I attached a small jingle bell to one end of the snake. Then the kids had to choose two colors of beads with which to create a pattern. Honey Pot chose pink and purple, and created an AAB pattern.


Little M&M chose dark blue and black, and made and AB pattern.


Then we just attached oval papers to the other end, and the kids drew on their faces. Very cute!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

R is for Robot!

Books

We borrowed these fun books for our robot day. Another favorite, which we discovered during our Robot Unit two years ago, is Boy + Bot. This is always such a fun theme!


Letter Recognition

For our letter R activity today, I gave Little M&M and Honey Pot a template of the letter R to fill with robot stickers. I found these at the Dollar Tree, and we had plenty leftover for future sticker activities.



Robot Tinker Tray

We had done a tinker tray for the first time last Halloween. It was one of the most engaging activities we had ever done! We had done foam pumpkins at the time, but with most of the same supplies we used this time.

    

For this activity, I used floral foam and foil, both purchased from the Dollar Tree.


And here is what I provided at the kids' craft table: pom poms, straws, pipe cleaners, rubber bands, toothpicks, paper clips, hole punch reinforcements, thumb tacks, brads and googly eyes. I also set out some glue and a pair of scissors.


They were so excited to get started! Little M&M was a big fan of the rubber bands.


While Honey Pot went crazy with toothpicks.


Here she is attaching two foam blocks together to make a larger robot!


And Little M&M loves scissors. He cut all of the straws into teeny tiny pieces.


I sat right beside them, working on my own robot, so I could watch them closely with the sharper pieces. They were both very careful.



Here is Honey Pot's first finished product:


Mine:


And Little M&M's:


We used these for pretend play, all the while rearranging their parts and adding more pieces. Here, Honey Pot added rubber band bracelets:


Lots of pom pom antenna:


And here is the little baby robot she made.


It was a super fun activity and, just as the Halloween version, lasted a long time!




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