Saturday, September 28, 2013

Beach Unit!

Honey Pot is 3 years and 4 months old
Little M&M is 18 months old

We're heading back to the Outer Banks for our annual beach vacation. We did a few activities in anticipation of our trip. First, take a look at our beach unit last year!


We began our week with some beach-related books from the library. As with last year, I didn't stretch into the "ocean" theme too much. We'll do that another time! We combined these with a few we already have at home, such as Little M&M's favorite, Spot Goes To The Beach.

Family Scrapbooks

Also, we brought out our collection of beach albums for Honey Pot to look at. This will be our fifth annual beach vacation, so we have four albums for her to peruse, the first of which was before she was born. She loves looking at our family scrapbooks.

Chain Countdown

We created a chain countdown to help us get excited about our trip. Not having any number stamps, I improvised. These numbers come from her Lauri Puzzles, and the ink pad from my old scrapbooking supplies.

First Honey Pot stamped all of the numbers onto a piece of white paper.

Then we assembled our chain. This was a wonderful exercise in patterning, which I hadn't even anticipated. I called out the first three colors as we taped them together, but then had her tell me which color came next as we finished the pattern. This was fun!

Then she glued each number, starting with eight, onto the chains. I always asked Honey Pot which number would come next, counting down. And I was so impressed that she got these right all but once! She is really learning her numbers well, both counting and identification.

We wanted Little M&M to contribute to the countdown, so we had him color a picture that would be at the top of our chain. Honey Pot helped me choose one from Google images.

Here it is!

And each morning Honey Pot would get some scissor practice as she cut one chain off of the countdown.

Shells in a Wipes Container

This idea came from a blog called Moms Have Questions Too. I had some leftover shells from another of our Outer Banks vacations actually, and let Little M&M explore those.

He loved dropping them into the wipes container...

...feeling the ridges, and even stacking them on top!

Travel Journal

I am so excited to begin Honey Pot on her first journal. I have seen nature journals and daily journals on Pinterest. I used to keep a vacation journal when I was a kid, and just knew Honey Pot would enjoy it too! I feel like this is a good age to begin, because she is just learning her letters and numbers, and practices prewriting. But also because she has recently taken an interest in drawing as opposed to scribbling. I'll post pictures of her entries after our vacation.

First I trimmed a piece of cardstock to fit on a composition notebook. Then I added a title with stickers from my scrapbooking stash (please excuse the sloppy blur, as I've erased her name for privacy). I let her decorate her journal with all kinds of stickers. First, ocean foam stickers...

Although we go to the beach annually, I know there is a Disney World vacation in her future, so we added some princess and Disney stickers too. Plus a few random animals and traffic signs that she may happen upon in her travels.

The final product!


The Color By Number and Prewriting worksheets both came from 1+1+1=1 and their girly sea pack. Honey Pot isn't big on coloring, so I let her use her dot markers for this. She did flawlessly!

My printer goofed up and didn't print the top two dotted lines, but I copied them as best as I could.

Honey Pot loves prewriting practice. We still need to work on holding a pen correctly though!

Sun Spraying - Letter Practice

My sister created this fun game during her last visit. My kids love playing with their squirt bottles, so she showed them how to spray their ocean creature toys to leave prints! I extended the idea to include letter recognition, by laying down foam letters to spell a creature's name. Honey Pot had to identify the letters, and guess what it might say. We started with crab. She would call out each letter, and I asked what sound each one makes. "Cah-rrr-ahh-b." And when we read the word together, we would find the toy to match it.

Then she sprayed to make a sun print!

We read the word "WHALE."

And "STAR" because I only had one S and couldn't spell "starfish."

And then "LOBSTER."

Button Art

A fun activity for Little M&M while I'm putting away a load of laundry is button art by Alex. I chose an ocean-themed picture for him to play with.

He hasn't worked up to matching the colors yet, but I did notice that he placed the eye in the right spot!

Beach Ball Paper Plate Craft

We finished up our week with a fun craft that I discovered on Gummy Lump. This is a great one because it works just fine for both toddlers and preschoolers.

First up while big sis was at preschool, was Little M&M. I bought him the same smock we loved for Honey Pot. So happy for him to have it! I drew the lines on a paper plate, and provided Little M&M with just the primary colors. Then I let him finger-paint! It started out neat...

Then he started mixing all the colors together!

And squishing it between his fingers!

Here is the final product:

Then, during Little M&M's nap, Honey Pot got to work. I prefer to have them do these crafts separately for now, because Honey Pot has a habit of copying her little brother. This way we she can do it her own big girl way! I asked her to try to finger-paint in the lines.

She was very careful, and really enjoyed the challenge!


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