Saturday, July 26, 2014

Home Preschool: The Letter W

Last week, we learned all about the letter W. My nephew, Will, was at the beach during part of the week, which is why you'll notice that he's absent on Day One. Luckily, he joined us on Day Two and was excited to learn about the letter his name starts with.

 
Day One:
 
We started off working on our handwriting with a printable I found using a simple Google search. Camden kept repeating the W mantra to himself: down, up, down up.
 


I did a little something different here-- a math/science combo. I thought "weather" would be a nice W word to explore. So, we began by talking about the different kinds of weather. I had Camden tell me what the weather was like that day (sunny, hot) and then asked him to name some other kinds of weather. He named: snow, ice, rain, thunderstorms, hot, cold, sunny. Not too shabby.
 
Next, I gave Camden the pictures below (there are suns, snow clouds, rain clouds, thunderstorms, and rainbows). I then read to him some clues (ie- umbrella, puddles, wet) and had him match my clues (on the yellow paper in the second picture below) with the weather pictures. He sailed through that task with no problem. After my clues were assigned to their proper weather event, I had Camden use number cards to assign a number to each weather group (in the 4th picture below). For example, he matched the number 6 card to the 6 suns, etc.



 
Our craft today had nothing to do with weather, but was a W word-- watermelon. This was a cute, easy craft from The Measured Mom. I cut a paper plate in half and the rest is pretty self explanatory.




 
Delicious construction paper watermelon!
 
Apparently, I've been habitually forgetting to take a picture of the book we read, so a shout out to Amazon for this picture. Camden really loved this book. It went right along with our weather theme and included some counting. He asked to read it again as soon as we were done.
 
Day Two:
 
Will's back- yay! Once again, we worked on our handwriting to start. 

 
On Day Two, I decided to forego our usual math activities for some science. Since water is a W word, we headed out back to our water table for some "sink or float?" experimenting. The items we tested: aluminum foil, cotton balls, popsicle sticks, pennies, and a bar of soap. Before testing out each object, I had the boys take a guess- would the object sink or float? Then they excitedly placed each object in the water to determine if they were right or wrong.
 
The floating foil...
 
Popsicle sticks...
 
Cotton ball time!
 
 The bar of soap broke in half.
 
After we tested all of my pre-planned objects, the boys looked around for more things to test. As you can see, a pair of Macey's shoes and a baseball made their way into the water table. I can neither confirm nor deny that Will's socks might've also been tested.
 
After the testing was over, I had the boys divide pictures of the objects into two categories: S for sink and F for float. They remembered most of them, but had to run back outside to test a couple of items again.


 
We then moved on to our craft: a whale (who lives in water- woohoo for the double W!). I didn't do any of the pre-cutting this time (they did follow my outlines though).



 



 
Finished product: Camden's on top; Will's on bottom.

Yay- I remembered to take a picture of our book! Both boys enjoyed this imaginative book about what clouds might be made of.
 


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Phew, I'm just barely making the cut for this week's Wordless Wednesday (not that anyone really keeps track of this stuff...).
 
Here's a few of my favorite shots from the past week:
 
Macey has a new favorite game to play outside. See those wonderfully drawn balloons behind her on the patio? There are 5 or 6 of them, all different colors, and she's obsessed with the "baboons". The game goes like this: she steps on a balloon, I name the color, she moves to the next balloon. When she's stepped on every single color, we cheer and clap. Rinse and repeat 1,000 times.
 
PS- We are getting that little area behind Macey screened in soon. I'm so excited about that. I'm having visions of sitting out on a (little) screen porch with a glass of wine in hand, not getting chewed up by mosquitos.


There is something just so sweet about this picture to me. Camden is teaching Macey how to play Angry Birds. See how he's gently guiding her finger to shoot the birds? I loved this moment, and I love how good they are to each other (most of the time).
 
Camden's really getting good at Mario Kart (what? We're working on hand-eye coordination!) and Macey thinks she's racing too. While holding the controller upside down and shaking it.

 
Meh, it's a blurry iphone photo (aren't they all?) but Camden's expression in this picture is pretty priceless. This was his "high jump".
 


 
I captioned this picture "tired twins" and sent it to Matt yesterday. The night before this picture was taken, Macey decided to forego her normally awesome sleeping routine and party in her room (with me, as her guest) from 2:45-6am. I made sure to thank her profusely for the invitation.

Today, we took a trip to the observation park at our local airport. It's pretty awesome there-- there's a big observation deck where you can sit and watch planes take off and land. I didn't really know what to expect-- I thought the kids would enjoy it, but figured the novelty would wear off quickly. Well, it didn't. Below is Macey's expression upon seeing a plane take off for the first time. The girl was mesmerized. And my normally wild child who never stops moving sat still almost the entire time we were there, just taking in the show. She was thoroughly depressed when it was time to leave and talked about airplanes (while fighting back tears) the entire ride home. I think we've found her new favorite destination.

 
Big brother thought it was pretty awesome, too.
 
There's a pretend runway at the park too, which Camden took advantage of. Here he is, ready for takeoff.
 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Home Preschool: Time for V!

We spent last week focusing on the letter V.
 
Day One:
 
We began with our typical handwriting practice.

 
We then decided to mix it up a bit and practice writing our V's in play-doh using a (dull) knife.

 
Next, we moved on to this fun little activity that I found through some googling. I used this "parking lot" below and asked each boy to pick out a toy car from our expansive collection. I then called out the name of a shape and asked the boys to park their cars accordingly. After we finished shapes, I had the boys park their cars by calling out colors.
 



 
We then moved on to creating our very own V vases for flowers. I had pre-cut the big purple V's but let the boys handle cutting most of the smaller pieces.



 
Sorry it's sideways, but there's the finished product. (Camden's is on the left; Will's on the right.) They were pretty pleased with their work.

 
 The reading for Day One. We discussed the word "vehicle" and named different kinds of vehicles. Since a train consists of a bunch of vehicles, this book was fitting (plus, I knew it would catch their attention because, you know, trains).
 
Day Two:
 
We had to break out the Do-A-Dot markers (seriously, those things have been such a huge hit!) for some fine motor work.


We continued to use the "vehicle"/parking lot theme on Day Two. This time, I switched things up a bit: instead of parking according to shapes, they parked according to numbers (and I switched the parking lot up too-- gotta keep it interesting!). I put various amounts of star stickers in the parking spots-- some held just one sticker, some six-- and asked the boys to park their cars according to a number I called out. On a couple of the spots, instead of using star stickers, I wrote some higher numbers, like 42 and 100.
 




For our craft, we made a pretty simple volcano. They cut out the basic volcano shape I had drawn for them, and then used red and yellow paint for their lava. It's funny- this was probably the most simple craft I've prepared so far, and they spent the most time on it. I'm sure that's because it was also the messiest craft I've prepared so far. Preschoolers love their painting!





 
Finished products: Camden's on top, Will's on the bottom. Will said that his lava "spilled everywhere!" 
 
 

We actually did read a book like usual, but apparently I slacked on taking a picture of it. I can tell you that it was a riveting book about a family getting stuck in a traffic jam on the way to Grandma's house.