Sunday, August 11, 2013

Letter N

Honey Pot is 3 years and 3 months old
Little M&M is 16 months old

Letter N Worksheets

We started our theme this week with a few worksheets that focus on fine motor development. The first is a pattern block printable from Confession of a Homeschooler. Honey Pot likes these pattern blocks and chose to do a picture that came with her pattern block set after finishing this one. We also listened to Scout's N song on her Leap Frog Fridge Magnet toy.

Little M&M worked on a magnetic pom pom page from Homeschool Creations. He doesn't place them in the right spots yet, but seems to enjoy picking them up and placing them on the cookie sheet. 

Then Honey Pot had her turn with this activity. First, she placed the pom poms all over the N's! So I raced to the computer to find her a page that was meant for it, lol. She did that one next.

Getting creative with her extra pom poms!

 Here is the N page from Early Learning Activities. First Honey Pot used her pom poms on it.

Then she used her Do-A-Dot markers!

And finally, a tracing page from Twisty Noodle. She is really enjoying these prewriting activities, and I love to watch her do them! First she traced the big N.

Then she saw the dotted line (meant for writing your own N) and said, "I want to do this one." So as you can see, she traced it, lol. Then she traced the little Ns too.

Paper Towel Art

I haven't done this activity since Honey Pot was very little. Triangle theme, perhaps? I just needed something quickly to occupy them, and this fit the bill. First I used washable markers on paper towels to draw multiple N's.

Then I provided each of them with paintbrushes and a bowl of water. They seemed to enjoy this simple activity.

And Honey Pot in particular was very focused on her work. Used to tracing letters now, she used her paintbrush to very carefully go over each N, whereas Little M&M just painted haphazardly.

When it dries, it looks quite nice actually!

N is for Nine Noodle Necklace

We finally dyed some noodles! I had been wanting to do this activity for a while. So for our letter N theme, Honey Pot made a noodle necklace.

She really enjoyed doing this!

And after threading each noodle, she stopped to count them. That's when I decided to take the N a step further, and have her create a nine noodle necklace. She seemed ready to stop at that number anyway.

So hard at work...

She loved wearing her necklace and wore it all over town this week!

Noodle Fine Motor Practice

Next it was Little M&M's turn with the leftover noodles. I used a plastic container from the grocery store. (Yes, I splurged this week and bought those giant muffins.) And I cut a small hole in the center. I didn't even need to demonstrate, Little M&M started dropping the noodles right in there.

He opened it up by himself, and had some sensory fun.

Then returned to work. I tell you, this kept him occupied for quite a while. And he returned to it often throughout the week! Great activity for while I'm busy in the kitchen! I just had to keep an eye on him so he didn't put any in his mouth.

He liked shaking the bin around to make a loud sound!

And when Honey Pot returned from her morning at preschool, she wanted to join in too!

N is for Number Walk

One of our local parks has a half mile loop that we like to walk. As I was planning this week's activities, I remembered that the park had number posts along the trail, from 1-14. So I decided to let Honey Pot search for numbers and do rubbings of them along the way!

Every time she found a number, I'd ask her to identify it. She did really well!

"I see a number!"

It was a lot of fun for both of us, and I am so pleased with how good she is getting at recognizing her numbers!

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Sunday, August 4, 2013


Theme: Bugs!
Honey Pot is 3 years and 3 months old
Little M&M is 16 months old


Usually I browse the library's online catalog in advance to find books related to our theme. This week I literally walked down each aisle with my head sideways to read the titles. I was pretty surprised at how many I found that way actually. Because I really was skimming quickly! In addition to what's pictured below, we also enjoyed books from our own collection, mainly Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Melanie Gerth's Ten Little Ladybugs. We read all of these often throughout the week.

Ants - Scissor Practice

We kicked off the week with a simple activity that I found at Little Family Fun. First I cut off a couple strips of printer paper, then I drew little ants along each one with red lines between them.

Honey Pot picked up her scissors the right way and got to work!

Then I asked her to line them all up in a row. Of course we had to sing, "The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah..."

And she counted them all up.

Ants on a Log Snack

This is a classic snack that we've tried before, but I had to include it in this week's unit. Honey Pot isn't a fan of celery, but she was a trooper and tried it again.

Little M&M hadn't tried it yet. He loves peanut butter and raisins, so I figured he'd like this. He did!

Caterpillar - Balloon Painting

I found this idea on Pinterest, originating from Meet the Dubiens. We have really enjoyed trying new materials to paint with recently (toy trucks for our construction unit, rocks, bubble wrap at Honey Pot's Little Mermaid birthday party) and this was so much fun too! It started off really well. I let Honey Pot do her caterpillar's head first, then we let Little M&M play with the red paint, as I didn't expect his artwork to resemble a caterpillar in the end anyway.

She had lots of fun. I just needed to remind her once or twice to do the prints in a row, so the caterpillar's body wasn't disconnected!

When Honey Pot was done, we gave Little M&M both balloons. This boy needs a smock...

Here are their final creations. Both turned into a bit of finger-painting.

Once they dried, I found some semblance of a caterpillar in each, painted on the facial details, drew on little feet with marker and cut them out. They came out pretty cute!

Butterfly - Worksheets

These worksheets came from a wonderful preschool packet by Gift of Curiosity. First, Honey Pot did some pre-writing practice. We've been working on how to correctly hold a writing utensil, so it was a little sloppier than usual but not bad!

The next worksheet she did was size sorting. She loves this activity, and it really boosts her confidence.

Next she did a butterfly trail with her do-a-dot markers.

Butterfly - Chalk Photo Op

I've been seeing lots of these recently. I am so excited to have our driveway paved so we could finally join in on the fun! One afternoon this week while we were out drawing with chalk, I asked Honey Pot if she wanted to be a butterfly, and she was all for the idea! I drew the wings and antenna, and she lied right down. To my surprise, Little M&M copied his big sister and so I quickly drew a little one for him too. He didn't stay as long for pictures, but I think we got a couple of decent ones!

Ladybug - Shadow Matching Worksheet

This is another worksheet from the insect packet over at Gift of Curiosity. Honey Pot has enjoyed these in the past, so I was sure to choose this activity. The other times though, each piece was cut out. This was her first time drawing lines to connect them. She seemed a little unsure, but it was a great start to this new concept.

Ladybug - Math Worksheet

I wanted some counting practice in this week's unit, and counting ladybug spots seemed like the obvious choice. There are so many versions out there, but the one I chose for Honey Pot comes from Mathwire. It was the perfect template for something else I was eager to try: q-tip painting. So I quickly colored each of the ladybugs red, and added a number to each. Then I had Honey Pot dip a q-tip into black paint and add the proper number of spots to each ladybug. She enjoyed this and did very well!

Ladybug and Bee - Playdoh

I had seen this idea at The Imagination Tree and had been wanting to try them for awhile. I didn't want to use my laminator for a one time use, and couldn't find my contact paper at the moment (to use as we did in our pumpkin unit last year) so I wasn't sure how to go about it. Then I remembered how easily Honey Pot's craft table has always cleaned up, even after the messiest of crafts. So I decided to draw right onto the table. I used dry erase crayons.

We didn't have any black playdoh, so I just let Honey Pot choose her own colors. First she made spots on the ladybug.

And counted them up.

Then she made stripes on the bee!

Such great fine motor practice.

She counted the stripes up too!

While Honey Pot was working on her bee, Little M&M actually started ripping pieces off and placing them on the ladybug like his big sister did. Way to go, Little M&M!

My two kids playing, but actually hard at work. I love that.

Bee - Puzzle

Another printable from Gift of Curiosity's wonderful packet! A paper puzzle. These are great, because there are also numbers along each piece to help her see where it goes.

Bee - Footprint Craft

We love footprint crafts! So easy to do and such beautiful keepsakes. This idea of course comes from the blog Handprint and Footprint Art. First I painted Honey Pot's foot yellow, and pressed it down onto paper. Once it dried I had her glue on the googly eyes.

And I added all the details. So cute!

Spider - Button Art

We have the button art from Alex toys, and I like to add it to our activities once in a while. It used to be for Honey Pot mainly, but I think Little M&M has been enjoying it more lately. So I pulled it out for him. He doesn't match the colors yet of course, but he loves pounding the buttons in anyway!

Spider - Paper Plate Web

I found this fun idea at Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas. I didn't have any black plates as they did but I just gave Honey Pot black yarn instead and it worked just fine. Also, we used a Styrofoam plate, but paper will do. First I cut slits around the edges, and then I taped one end of the yarn to the back to help it stay in place. Honey Pot was pretty good at weaving! And I think she had fun.

Then I printed out a spider image I found on Google to add to her web and taped it on. So cute!

Spider - Contact Paper Web

A web for Little M&M to make too! The idea comes from House of Burke. I found the contact paper that I was looking for earlier this week, thank goodness! I didn't have any black paper to place behind it though, so I taped his contact paper right to our black dishwasher. Then I provided him with some strips of white yarn, and he placed them on there. He LOVED doing this!

It actually made him giggle at one point! He loved just putting his hands on it and feeling how sticky it is!

Then I printed another spider image like Honey Pot's and added it to his web too. What a great activity to keep him busy while I'm in the kitchen. I'll be doing this again with other materials (plastic straws, craft sticks, etc.)!

Frozen Bug Sensory Bin

We concluded our unit with some sensory fun! I saw this idea on a blog called Exploring Stories. I bought a pack of bugs for a dollar and froze them inside a muffin tin for the kids to explore outside. They loved feeling how cold they were and trying to pull the bugs out of them.

After some playtime we went inside for a bit, and waited for them to melt. Here they are after a half hour, halfway melted and sitting in a puddle of water...

Then after another half hour they were just about melted! Little M&M was playing with them, and I told him, "Get the bug!" So he actually went over to get the fly swatter so he could swat at it, LOL. He made a great game out of that.

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