Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Letter M Theme

Theme: The Letter M
Honey Pot is 3 years and 1 month old
Little M&M is 15 months old


We borrowed some great books from the library this week with titles containing the letter M. We read them throughout the week, and I often asked Honey Pot to identify the M in the title. Honey Pot's favorite here was Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet, followed closely by Maggie and the Monster. Little M&M favored The Moon and I particularly loved Moose Tracks. Something fun for everyone!

Pattern Blocks

I finally purchased pattern blocks for Honey Pot. The set contains about ten pictures, but there are also tons online! I found an alphabet set from Making Learning Fun. Honey Pot loved doing this!

No, she wasn't this neat. She put them all in the right places, but I helped straighten them up.

M is for Marshmallows

I am so in love with this activity that I first found at Say Yes To Hoboken. I took it a step or two further, and we were able to combine these fine motor skills and shape identification with color recognition and counting as well. First, I drew up a template using the colors that matched our toothpicks.

Honey Pot then chose and identified her first shape, and counted how many toothpicks would be needed for it. Then she collected that many in the color that matched.

Then she worked on jabbing a toothpick into the marshmallow. I did need to keep reminding her to use two hands. "One on the marshmallow and one on the toothpick." But once she remembered to do that, she did very, very well at assembling her shapes. Proud mom here.

I never pushed her to finish. After completing each shape I asked if she wanted to do another one. She always did! We first established the shape, the color we needed, counted the sides of the shape, then she assembled.

We of course recognized that the word "marshmallow" begins with the letter M. And I wanted to throw the letter recognition into the project too, so she built an M as well.

Here is the final product. Yes, there was some marshmallow sampling done as well. Ahem...from both of us.

Playdoh M

We like to use playdoh for each of our letter units. This one was a lot of fun. As always, we started with a cookie cutter.

Then she had some cake.

We keep some popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, buttons and things in her playdoh basket. So she found something to represent a candle all on her own, asked me to sing Happy Birthday to her, and blew out the candle!

I had to run with her cake idea, and bring it back around to our M theme. So I had her cutout another M, and decorate her "M cake" with button "sprinkles."

After pretending to eat it, she made another one for me. And sang Happy Birthday, of course.

Then, playdoh monsters! Her idea, not mine. But "monsters" starts with M. So I was sure to point that out while we played.

And congratulations, Little M&M, on your first playdoh experience!

M Lunch

I threw together an M lunch for Honey Pot: M-shaped cold-cuts, melons and munchies. She loved it so much. She had seconds of everything. I'm pretty sure these cupcake liners make food more appealing. I might test this hypothesis and start serving her broccoli in them.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

First Day of Preschool!

Theme: First day of preschool
Honey Pot is 3 years and 1 month old

Countdown and Advent Calendar

I wanted to psych Honey Pot up for the first day of school, so I created a countdown as we had done for our beach vacation and our move to a new house. But this time instead of doing a chain for her to cut, I had her mark each day with do-a-dot markers. In addition, each day revealed a different activity for us to do to help prepare for the first day. Take a peek!

It was a great number review, and I feel confident that Honey Pot can recognize all of these.

Each day leading up to the start of school, Honey Pot flipped down the number, marked off her dots in the corresponding color, and we completed the activity described inside.

There were a couple of days that we were away for a weekend, so I kept these activities simple and short. Here are the six activities we did: 

6. Read books about school and discuss how we feel. (See below.)
5. Visit new school and playground.
4. Read The Kissing Hand and do craft. (See below.)
3. Sing "If You're Excited For School Clap Your Hands."
2. Learn teacher's name and how to be a good listener.
1. Pretend school day. Run through daily schedule with toys. (See below.)


I chose some books at the library that might help prepare her for school too. Unfortunately, most that I found focus so much on the anxiety of being away from home. If she wasn't already feeling nervous, these books would probably plant the idea in her head. So we read just a couple of these.

I later stumbled upon this one at the library, and highly recommend it. Much more what we were looking for!
Maisy Goes to Preschool, by Lucy Cousins.


The Kissing Hand Craft

One of our advent calendar activities was The Kissing Hand craft. I thought this book was so adorable, and I loved the simple coping method the little raccoon learned when he missed his mommy. This was one of Honey Pot's favorite books this week too. And while we didn't end up using a kissing hand when we said our good-bye before school, I do still think it was effective in showing her that he is loved even when she is away. 

I had planned on doing my own hand beside hers, but it didn't come out so great. So I awkwardly had to trim hers out, lol. 

Pretend Play

Honey Pot loves pretend play. I wanted to use this love while helping her learn what to expect at school. First we gathered a few characters to go to school, as well as a teacher. Miss Minnie led her class through a lesson, free play, snack, circle time and playground fun. Then the kids' mommies came back for them and asked about their days. This was a lot of fun, and I think Honey Pot got a good feel for what she'll be doing at school.

We made our students very good listeners. Sometimes they sang songs. They gathered around for a craft. And they even told Miss Minnie when they had to use the potty!

Here they are divided into quiet circle times, to practice things like scissor skills and tracing letters.

Honey Pot enjoyed this game so much, we even got more characters to go to school after the mommies came to pick up the last group. And she even took the lead and played Miss Minnie.

First Day Pictures

I had to do the classic First Day picture. The sun was too bright in her eyes in the location I had planned, so we had to stand her in front of the car unfortunately. But she was happy to oblige, and was looking so cute for school. The free printable came from I Can Teach My Child. They have grades pre-k through eighth grade available.

We are starting her with a summer program, two mornings each week, to see if this school is a good fit for us before beginning the official school year in September. I cannot believe Honey Pot is going to be in someone else's care. This is new for us. But I think she'll do great!  

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