Friday, July 24, 2015

O is for Outer Space!


Books

These are our O is for Outer Space books for the day. The Magic School bus book is from our own collection, and a true favorite for my kids. We LOVE it.


Letter Recognition

For our letter recognition activity today we just drew O's on a piece of construction paper, and filled their shape with smiley face stickers.



Outer Space Craft

For today's main activity we created a large poster of our solar system. It was a combined effort, and it all began with some splat painting! The kids love doing this! We watered down some white paint, and flicked our paintbrushes at the black poster paper.



We wound up with a pretty awesome glimpse of outer space.


Initially, I was going to have each of them paint one planet, but then I came across a great printable of all the planets in their relative sizes. So I printed those out and started cutting them out while the kids worked on painting the sun with pom pom brushes.


They smeared them across the page for a fun look, then we found that stamping the pom poms along the edge gave it a fantastic burning appearance.


We attached the planets with pop dots as the final touch.


Here is the final product! The kids are SO happy with it (and frankly so am I). As Honey Pot said, "It almost looks for real!"

Thursday, July 23, 2015

N is for Nose!


Books

We chose these two books for our N is for Nose day! The first was a simply-written text about various smells, and how some are pleasant and some are bad. The second was just a cute, rhyming book about the many uses of an elephant's trunk. We enjoyed both of these!


Letter Recognition

For our letter recognition activity of the day, we printed dot marker pages from Shannon's Tot School and used our dot markers to fill them in.


Honey Pot did a pattern!


And here is Little M&M's.


Sight vs. Smell

I found this super cool activity from Brilliant Beginnings Preschool. I filled the clear glasses with water, white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Then filled two more with water + food coloring. Then I asked the kids to tell me, by looking at them, which were filled with the same liquid.


As predicted, they chose the three clear ones.


Then I asked them to use their noses to see if they were correct.


They thought it was pretty neat that their eyes and noses were telling them different things!


In the end, they were able to choose which three were actually filled with the same thing.


Scent-Matching Game

For further smelling games, I created this quick activity out of baby food jars, cotton balls, and various cooking ingredients. I put peppermint extract, lemon extract, vanilla, teriyaki marinade, vinegar and maple extract into two containers each. The kids had to smell their way to finding the matches. It was pretty fun, and a neat variation to usual matching games.



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

M is for Money!


Books

Here are our books for the day. Very cute stories about kids earning and saving up money. Some parts were a little advanced, since my kids don't know the values of coins yet. But these were a great introduction for them!


Letter Recognition

After reading our books we completed one letter recognition activity. Today we pulled out our sand tray and the kids took turns writing M's and other designs inside it.




Coins - Sorting and Patterns

To begin our letter M activity the kids sorted coins from their pretend cash register. We talked about what each coin was called and how to recognize their differences (color, size).




Then Honey Pot created a few patterns with the coins.


Dollars - Store Pretend Play

To introduce the kids to dollar bills, we set up a little store! I slapped on some stickers with prices ranging from $1-$22...



Sorted their pretend money into piles...


And got out the register for one of us to be the cashier.


First I was the cashier, and the kids went shopping! I had them buy one item at a time.


They read the price sticker, and had to find the right amount of money to give me. Little M&M surprised me with his recognition of all the single digit numbers!


And Honey Pot did a terrific job of figuring out how add bills together. I explained the value of each bill to her, and asked how she might combine them to make, for example, $7. This was a new concept for her, and she did wonderfully.


We continued this game for a while, and each took turns being the cashier. Because it's fun to open the register drawer and put money away!


Then, Honey Pot gathered random items for her own store! She took the price stickers off of my items, and placed them onto hers. And the game went on for a while!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

L is for Light!


Books

Here are our books for today's letter of the day. We really enjoyed I See Myself. It really put the concepts of reflection and light into terms young kids can understand.



Here's an example of one of the inside pages, which asks the reader to try to look in the mirror in a dark closet. Loved this book!


Letter Recognition

After reading our books, we completed one letter recognition activity. Placing gems on the letter L (this dot marker page comes from Shannon's Tot School). I printed the page onto vellum paper, and placed it on today's sensorial activity, our light box! It was just our usual sensory bin, with Christmas lights placed inside then plugged in, and a piece of parchment paper taped over the top. Worked out great, without being too fancy.



Light Box - Sensorial Activity

I had been wanting to do a light table for a long time, since seeing them on Pinterest. We did a simple version here today, while exploring light and color-mixing. We observed our water blocks over the light for quite a while.



Then we brought the gems back out, as well as a few small, clear cups.


Little M&M, in particular, enjoyed filling these cups and pouring the gems back and forth.



They also enjoyed scooping and sorting.



Then the kids brought the blocks back onto the light box to combine with the gems.


And Honey Pot, ever the fan of pretend play, brought a little giraffe over to eat some gems while she had her own dinner.


A successful theme!