Sunday, October 6, 2019

Beach Activities!

Our family is heading to the Outer Banks for a week! To prepare for our vacation, we did some beach activities. Click on the links below to revisit similar themes, or keep scrolling to see what we did this week!

The Ocean 2014

We borrowed several books about the beach this week, but Sweet E had a definite favorite. I think we read each of them a couple times, but we read "At the Beach" over and over and over. It's a good one!

We always create a fun countdown about twenty days before we leave. This year we did something new! Sweet E helped to color the sand pail, and the big kids helped to cut out the seashell numbers. Each morning, we placed one seashell into the bucket! I had created a pocket there by cutting the hole out of the sand pail, and taping another sheet of paper behind it. The kids loved this!

Mega Bloks Puzzles
I printed some cute puzzles from ABCs to ACTs with beach pictures on them, and taped the puzzles onto our Mega Bloks. I remember we did something similar during Little M&M's C is for Car week, as well as our 2014 Valentine's Day theme. It was a hit then too! Such a clever idea.

Sweet E loved putting these puzzles together!

She asked to do it again right away, and even had her stuffed Tiger join her!

Color-Matching - Beach Balls
I created these colorful beach balls in Photoshop Elements, and printed two copies. Then I cut out one copy, and asked Sweet E to match them up!

We talked about the names of the colors, and she matched them with no trouble.

When she finished she asked, "One more time?"

Of course, she had to hop up onto the couch and reach over to finish it this time.

And we actually did it three times in a row!

Beach - Small World
We have done several small world bins in our many years of Tot School. Fake snow with Santa and reindeer toys, construction trucks with an assortment of dirt and rocks, dinosaurs in sand, frogs on lily pads in the water, etc. But my top two would definitely be The Arctic bin from 2016 and this one! I happened to have a sheet of scrapbooking paper that looked like ocean waves. Combined with our kinetic sand, a few seashells, scraps of felt for towels, and some Playmobil toys from my own childhood, we had a pretty great setup!

Sweet E was so excited to dig in! 

We each took a character to play with, and they had all sorts of adventures! Things that we would do on our vacation, which we also read about in our beach books!

They made sand castles!

And buried one another in the sand!

The went swimming in the ocean!

Made footprints in the sand!

The fun went on and on. We later took out kinetic sand molds and made some crabs. Here is Sweet E getting in some counting practice!

And then playing some more!

I reset the bin, so that Honey Pot and Little M&M could have some fun with it after school. They loved it too!

Exploring Seashells - Fine Motor
This was a simple activity I did with Little M&M when he was one. But Sweet E also enjoyed it at two! She pushed all of the seashells into the empty wipes container, emptied it out, and started again!

Exploring Seashells - Playdough
And this part was Sweet E's idea actually. She wanted to play with the seashells in playdough! So I set her up with the playdough, our shells, and some tools. And I let her play while I was nearby in the kitchen.

She loved pushing them into the playdough, and making prints!

Hand Print Crab
We did this during a previous beach unit as well and it was super cute. I found a sheet of beach paper in my old scrapbooking stash, painted Sweet E's hands, and pressed them onto the paper. We used peach paint, because on our beach vacations we see a lot of sand crabs, and they blend in with the sand! When the paint dried, Sweet E helped to glue on two eyes.

And she squirt glue onto the paper for clouds!

We used some cotton balls. And she also glued on one small shell.

Here is the final product, and it is adorable!

She was so proud of her work!

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Sunday, September 29, 2019

D is for Dinosaur!

We had a roarin' good time this week doing several different dinosaur activities. Check out the links below to revisit similar themes, or keep scrolling to see what we did this week:

We found a lot of dinosaur books at the library this week! Sweet E's favorite was "Old MacDino Had a Farm" and we read it countless times throughout the week. Even Little M&M and Honey Pot would come running into the room when they heard me singing it. And the other favorite of the week was "Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs" which is the only book here from our own collection. I often found Sweet E sitting on the couch "reading" this one to herself. So cute!

Letter D - Dinosaur Stickers
I have tons of stickers leftover from Honey Pot and Little M&M's younger days. For this week's letter recognition activity, I offered these shiny stickers for Sweet E to place onto a big letter D that I cut out for her.

She loved these!

And it was great fine motor work.

Find the Letter D - Dinosaur Stickers
Next I brought out another sheet of dinosaur stickers that I found, and invited Sweet E to place them on top of all the letter D's she could find.

This was the first real alphabet activity we have done, combining letters, and she was eager to try!

Together, we found all of the D's!

Playdough and Dinosaurs
We pulled out our dough and cut out some dinosaur shapes!

We decorated them with beads and googly eyes.

Then we brought out our large dinosaur toy and made footprints!

One of Sweet E's favorite shows is Mother Goose Club. We opened her Mother Goose Club book and found the dinosaur song so we could sing it while we stomped through the playdough!

Lego Duplo Painting
This idea and the printables come from Stay at Home Educator. I wanted to find a way to change up our painting crafts, so this seemed like a fun way to do that. I let Sweet E choose three colors of paint, and we pressed some Lego Duplos into them.

After I showed her how to stamp them onto the paper, she happily gave it a try!

So fun!

Here they are dried and cut out!

Later, she had the idea to stick her dinosaur toy into the paint all by herself. So I gave her a coloring page with a similar dinosaur on it. She loved stomping it around on her paper!

Dinosaur Ice Excavation
I have done this activity with Honey Pot and Little M&M before, though we used to have more dinosaur toys to use than this. LOL. I provided Sweet E with the frozen dinosaurs, a couple tools, a dropper, and a bowl of warm water.

Then she started squirting the water onto the ice blocks to try to free the dinosaurs!

Once they were a little more visible she tried using the tools too.

It was a fairly cool day, so the ice wasn't melting very quickly. But she was very patient, and played like this for a while! I refilled the bowl of warm water as needed.

Later, Little M&M joined her, which sped up the process!

She loved picking up the chipped off pieces of ice!

 Once all the dinosaurs were free, Little M&M brought a cube of ice onto the trampoline and made up a new game called Bouncy Ice. He and Sweet E played this for a long time until dinner! We replaced the ice cube once in a while. And Honey Pot came out to play too. It's actually a new favorite trampoline game LOL.

Dinosaur Bones in Sand
I hadn't planned this activity, but we had some free time one afternoon so I threw it together for her! We only had kinetic sand on hand, so I took a few dinosaur bones from a puzzle toy and pressed the sand on top of it.

She brushed the sand away to reveal the dinosaur bones buried within it.

Then she started playing with the kinetic sand. She hadn't really done this yet, so it was a fun new sensory material for her. She molded it.

And carved a face into it!

And made handprints in it!

Dinosaur Stomp - Gross Motor Game
As our last activity of the week, I drew some shapes onto the driveway. I would ask her to "Stomp like a dinosaur to the heart" and other shapes.

But Little M&M was also outside with us, and he extended the activity into a dinosaur obstacle course! Here he wrote "Ready, Set, Go!" and the first part of the course was to "stomp" across the shapes I had made.

Then he wrote "spin" and a squiggly line, and "run" followed by another line.

"Pretend to be a dinosaur" and then "jump" came next.

And finally, "Shout and roar like a dinosaur" was at the end. He and Sweet E did his obstacle course several times together. Love how he contributes to our themes each week!

We are going to take a break from our letter-of-the-week themes, and do BEACH activities next week as we prepare for our upcoming vacation. Stay tuned!

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