Friday, June 17, 2016

Summer Units - Ice Cream!

It's summer vacation, and it is so wonderful to have both kids home every day again! This was our first year with one of the kiddos going to school full-time, and we sure missed her! We are going for an unbusy summer, full of lots of unstructured play and outside time. But we're squeezing in just about a half an hour each day to have some learning fun too. We kicked off our new routine with an ice cream theme, and here is how it went:

Monday - Math (and Music)

We started off with a fun I-Spy game from Gift of Curiosity. Both Little M&M and Honey Pot had fun counting up the ice cream cones while I prepared the main activity.

I began by cutting out four flavors of ice cream from felt. It looked so cute, I had to take a picture of it before I ruined it with my awful handwriting...

Here is the complete activity. Today's skill to practice was addition, which Honey Pot had learned a bit of in Kindergarten. I left this propped up against the window, and when the kids were done with their I-Spy, they got right to work!

First Honey Pot took her turn...

So proud of her work!

And then Little M&M gave it a whirl. During the school year he attended preschool part-time.

But he too is pretty great with Kindergarten math, and he was so pleased with himself!

He returned to this activity again and again throughout the day.

And so did Honey Pot. What a sweet, hands-on way to get in some learning!

Monday is also our music day, so this is also the day Honey Pot practices playing the piano!

Tuesday - Literacy and Library

Tuesday is our reading and writing day. Storytime begins next week at the library on this day, but we still went and picked out all the books about ice cream that we could find! As always, the Gail Gibbons book was very informative and a little above their comprehension level, so I paraphrased as we went along and we still learned quite a bit about the history of ice cream! The favorite of course was the Elephant and Piggie book, which Honey Pot read to us. I love these books by Mo Willems. Perfect beginner readers!

To get in some practice in pencil grip and tracing, we used these pages from KidSparkz.

After reading all of our ice cream books, it was time for Honey Pot to practice her writing. I printed a simple draw-and-write page from a website called Writing Templates, And then I asked Honey Pot to write about her favorite part of the Curious George book.

Super cute ice cream truck!

And Little M&M, our preschooler, practiced writing his name in his notebook!

Wednesday - Craft (and Computer)

We tried a puffy paint recipe today, using 1 part school glue and 1 part shaving cream. The kids and I had so much fun painting with it! We each chose an ice cream flavor, and shared the bowls of paint. We added green paint (food coloring would also work) to make mint chocolate chip, brown paint to make chocolate, and left one white for cookies-and-cream.

We were sure to glob it on thick so it would keep its texture! Then we added real sprinkles.

Here are the final works of art, before they dried:

And a couple close-ups so you could see how they dry nice and thick!

Looks good enough to eat!

On this day we also hop onto the computer or ipad to play a game or two. At school, computer lab was one of Honey Pot's favorite specials, so I wanted to let her continue that fun at home.

Thursday - Science or Sensory

Today we went into the kitchen to explore ice cream science! We followed the printable instructions from this blog, but used rock salt instead of regular. I had read that suggestion from multiple other sources. We mixed up the milk, vanilla extract and sugar in a quart-sized bag, and placed it inside a gallon-ziploc bag with ice and rock salt. Then we shook it up for several minutes!

After just a few minutes it started to get reeeally cold, so we placed a towel over it to continue shaking it.

Then, after just a few more minutes, we noticed the milk starting to solidify!

I carefully opened each bag, making sure not to let the rock salt touch the inside of our quart bag. And then I scooped the ice cream into three bowls (the recipe made 3 fair scoops). And it tasted perfect! It was regular vanilla, and we jazzed ours up with some chocolate syrup and sprinkles. We look forward to trying other variations of the recipe!



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