Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Letter Z!


Beginning Sounds and Letter Tracing Worksheets

These printables come from the Education and Kids Learning Station websites, respectively. We like to start off our weekly letter units with these pages. Great introduction to the letter Z!

Creating a Story

Z isn't a very common beginning letter in a preschooler's vocabulary. But I came up with six for this activity, and printed off a clip-art image for each. Then Honey Pot and I took turns creating a story, using all six each time! This actually went on for longer than I expected. She really got creative with these!

Math and Cognitive Skills

Z is for Zigzag - Giant Dot-to-Dot

We went out to the driveway and created a giant dot-to-dot with chalk. The final result was a zigzag shape. Honey Pot loves connect-the-dot activities. I love how this worked more on large motor skills, instead of fine motor skills. And she enjoyed it too!

Z is for Zero - Pennies Game

This fun idea comes from Preschool Alphabet. I printed off the large Z, and filled each circle with numbers from 0-5. Then Honey Pot had to put that number of pennies into each circle. It really emphasized the meaning of the quantity of zero, which turned out to be incredibly beneficial for her. Fun game, and she loved stacking those pennies!

Craft - Z is for Zebra

This idea originally comes from Play Create Explore, though we had done a shaving cream painting before. (Remember our beautiful Earth craft for Earth day?) This time we used only black paint, and Honey Pot swirled it around with a large skewer.

Then she placed her paper on top and pushed down gently.

While letting the paint set for a minute, Honey Pot asked to put her hands in there. She loves sensory bins! After a few minutes, I scraped the excess shaving cream off of the paper with the back of a butter knife.

Later, once it had dried, I cut out the zebra. Honey Pot practiced her scissor skills and made grass while she waited.

Then she glued it onto a blue background.

And glued her zebra to her landscape. Add a googly eye too!

We stepped over to the refrigerator to sound out and spell the word ZEBRA with her magnets, so she could write it at the top of her paper.

All finished!


Cooking - Z is for Zucchini

Despite the large variety of desserts you can make with zucchini, I wanted to take a break from baking sweets for a moment. Instead we made Cheesy Zucchini from How Does She? Honey Pot helped with the mixing, and the adding of cheese! I took two process photos, but forgot to take a picture of the finished dish. Oops! In any event, the kids liked it enough to take a few bites. It's a vegetable, so I'll take what I can get! Next time, we make the zucchini brownies!

Social Studies and Social Skills

Z is for Zoo - Habitat Game

For our social studies day today, we created our very own zoo, and Honey Pot was the zookeeper! First I printed off four landscapes, and glued them into a shoebox. I used a hole-punch to create holes along each side. Then Honey Pot created the animal cages by threading string through them.

I taped each end of the string so it would stay in place. Then it was time to play! I hid images of animals throughout the room, and told Honey Pot that the animals had escaped from their cages. As zookeeper, it was her job to go find them, and return them to their habitats. She took her brother's safari truck, and went in search of the animals.

Then we came back to the zoo cages, for her to match the animals to their habitats. She identified each one correctly as dessert, jungle, ocean and arctic. And then she put each animal in its cage.

Here they are! Such fun!

She was so pleased, she wanted her picture taken with them!

Z is for Zipper - Skills

Honey Pot has known how to pull zippers up and down for a while now. But when it came to getting them started, she hadn't had much practice. We worked on that today. She put on a sweater and we went over the correct method. She did it without a problem!

Sensory + Music

Sensory - Z's in the Salt Tray

For a quick sensory activity this week, we pulled out Honey Pot's salt tray and she made Z's and zigzags.

Z is for Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!

We learned a new song today, and fun movements to go along with it. It is called Zoom, Zoom, Zoom and here is where I learned it. It goes like this:

Zoom, zoom, zoom! We're going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom! We're going to the moon.
If you want to take a trip, climb aboard my rocket ship.
Zoom, zoom, zoom! We're going to the moon.
In 5...4...3...2...1...BLAST OFF!

Honey Pot loved it, and learned it very quickly. We did it a few times together.

And we have finally finished our alphabet! Shame on me for allowing it to take so long, but we did get so many other themes throughout that time too. Now we can take our new preschool curriculum and move onto other things!

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 4th!

Monday - Literacy

Fireworks Scissor Skills

This printable comes from Itsy Bitsy Fun. They had a few fun ones from which to choose! So pleased with how well Honey Pot has come along in her scissor skills. This new pair from Amazon has definitely helped!

ABC Order and Tracing Worksheets

These come from Gift of Curiosity and the Education website, respectively. Both were a hit with Honey Pot!

Tuesday - Math and Cognitive Skills + Craft

Spot the Difference

This comes from the Education website, and it was a fair challenge for Honey Pot. Over the Big Moon has a fun July 4th Pack that has a few more of these!

USA Maze

Honey Pot loves mazes! This cute one comes from Kids Activities Blog.

Shades of Color

Gifts of Curiosity had an interesting printable that would challenge the child to sort the red, white and blue stars from light to dark. This activity would have never occurred to me, and I'm so glad I came across this concept. Honey Pot had some trouble, so we've saved these printables and will keep working on it!

Salt + Watercolors - Fireworks Craft

I've been meaning to try this craft with Honey Pot! The version we followed comes from Crafty Morning. First I drew some firework shapes onto black paper, and went over them with glue. (Honey Pot might have been able to do this part herself, but I thought she'd enjoy the cleaner result of a more practiced hand.) Then I had the kids pour salt over the glue with spoons.

Once they had covered all of the glue with salt, we dumped the excess salt off. Honey Pot and Little M&M then used a pipette to drop small amounts of red and blue water (dyed with food coloring) onto the salt. A little bit goes a long way. And it is fun to watch the color spread along the trail of salt all by itself from just one drop!

In the end it looked something like this; although, Little M&M and Honey Pot went a bit pipette crazy, and soaked most of their papers with water. So this project turned out to be more about the process than the final product! Fun though! We'll do this again.

Wednesday - Social Studies and Skills

USA Study - Pushpin Poking

I printed off a coloring page of the USA, and had Honey Pot poke holes within each state. It provided nice fine motor practice, as well as providing an opportunity for discussion on our country. We talked about the fifty states, and pointed out where we and some of our family members live. I had seen on Pinterest that some people do a similar activity, where the child pokes a flag toothpick into each state on the map, which is atop a piece of Styrofoam. Had I found those toothpicks, I would have done the same!

Weaving - Skills Practice

I came across this weaving idea from JDaniel4'sMom. I love the idea of using a draining mat from the Dollar Tree! Instead of using separate red, white and blue ribbons though, we used just one patriotic ribbon. I knew Honey Pot would lose interest if she had to do it too many times.

After the first row of weaving, I asked if she wanted to do another. She wanted to do just the top and bottom rows, and I didn't push her to go any further. This was a success!

Thursday - Sensory + Music

Soap Foam - Sensory

This idea had been on our summer bucket list, and I was so excited to try it on this hot afternoon. Instead of the rainbow version that I had first seen on Fun at Home with Kids, I made ours red, white and blue of course. Mix 2 TBSP of Dawn Soap with 1/4 cup of water, then mix on high speed for 1-2 minutes. That's it! This was so easy and so much fun. We'll be doing this again! First I mixed up a batch and dumped it into the kids' sensory bucket.

They had so much fun digging their hands in! The water table was filled nearby, so they enjoyed transferring bubbles to the water table and water to the bubble bucket.

And that happened.

And of course, the feet went in.

After a while, the bubbles had started to dissipate so I whipped up a couple more batches of bubbles.

Hose at the ready...

Patriotic Sing-along

We also listened to some patriotic songs today, which I'm ashamed to say the kids had never heard before! Just some of the classics such as This Land is Your Land, God Bless America and My Country 'tis of Thee.

Friday - Science

Firecracker Cookies - Cooking

We put on our aprons and spent some time in the kitchen today baking these Firecracker Cookies from Cookin' Cowgirl. Now, we had significantly fewer sprinkles than the recipe called in, perhaps a quarter of what they used. I don't know why it was so hard to find red and blue sprinkles, especially at this time of year, but I used what I could find. And the cookies came out just fine. Delicious, soft and cakey cookies! Yum!

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