Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tot School- A is for Apples and Other Fun Activities

This year I decided to write my own curriculum for Little Sweets.  I will be using my ideas and incoroporating ideas I see from other preschool websites.  One theme I will be doing is a letter of the week. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do this theme, but I have decided to go ahead with it.  I want to make it clear that this will not be the only way that I will be teaching language arts.  While I think that knowing the alphabet is important. I do not agree with a phonics only approach.  Learning to read is so much more than knowing letters and their sounds.  I plan on including other language arts activities in my posts.  I also plan to have a Bible theme section. I would like to intergrate Little Sweets interests into the curriculum, so I plan to include an other acticvities section too.  I hope you enjoy my posts. 

A is for Apples

Language Arts -Alphabet Books
I picked up some great alphabet books from the library this week.  I thought this would be a great way to introduce the alphabet and the letter of the week theme.  Here is a list of great books I got at the library:
Bruno Manari's ABC by Bruno Manari
Alphabet House by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Max's ABC's by Rosemary Wells
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin

Here is a list of great apple books we read this week too.
Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Ten Red Apples A Bartholomew Bear Counting Book by Virginia Miller
The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall
Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington

I taped a picture of a coconut tree onto our refridgerator and had Little Sweets put the letter A on the tree.  Each week I will have her put another letter on the tree.  This is a great way to retell the story Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  Confessions of a Homeschooler has a big tree in her house that she uses.  I adapted her idea to use with my abc theme.  I am using magnets because I don't have the space to make such a big tree. 
Science- The Inside of an Apple and Apple Tasting

We read an awesome book called Apples, Apples, Apples, by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace.  The book is about a family that goes apple picking.  The book has a lot of factual information about apples in it.  One thing it showed was what the inside of an apple looks like.  Little Sweets was so excited about the seeing a star in the apple in the book.  We cut our own apple open so she could see the star in a real apple. 

We also tasted three different kinds of apples.  I wish I had pictures, but I forgot to take some.  She loved the red delicious apple and the gold delicious apple.  She refused to eat the granny smilth apple after she tasted it. 

Math- Counting Apple Seeds
I took out the seeds from our granny smith apple.  We counted the seeds.  The apple had 9 seeds!  Our golden delicious apple only had 4 seeds.  I was surprised at how many seeds the granny smith had. I did some research and found out healthier trees produce apples with more seeds.

Art- Apple Prints
Little Sweets used her apple to make some apple prints.  This activity didn't last too long.  I was hoping to see the star print, but we weren't able to get a good print with the star.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get a pretty star print?

stArt- Ten Red Apples

This week we read the book Ten Red Apples A Bartholomew Bear Counting Book by Virginia Miller. Afterwards Little Sweets painted apples on her own apple tree.  I cut the top off of a water bottle and Little Sweets dipped the top in paint and made red circles on her tree.  After she finished with her tree she continued to paint with the bottle top. 

For more great stArt activities go here.

Math- Big and Little

We read the book; Big and Little by Margaret Miller. I found things around the house that were in the book and used them as props while we read the book. After reading the book I asked Little Sweets to find the big hat or the little hat and she would show them to me.

After we read the Big and Little Book I had Little Sweets sort pictures of big and little apples.

Other Fun Activities

Art- Footprints

I orginally wanted to show Little Sweets the difference between a big footprint (mine) and a little footprint (hers).  The prints didn't turn out, but Little Sweets really enjoyed painting her feet so I let her paint her feet and then wash them.  She liked this activity more than making the prints anyway. 

Playing in the Pool
We spent most of the week playing in the pool in the backyard.

Bible Story and Activity- Jesus Calms the Storm
This week I continued to tell Little Sweets the story; Jesus calms the storm Mark 4: 35-40.  While she was in the pool she splashed around and pretended there was a storm.  (I wish I had a better picture.)  She had a little raft in the pool that represented the boat and it would go up and down in the waves.  We would say Jesus says" stop storm"  and she'd stop making waves.  We talked about how powerful Jesus is.  We also talked about how Jesus can help us when we have storms in our heart.  I explained that when we are angry and want to throw a tantrum we can ask Jesus to help stop the storm in heart and help us not to throw the tantrum.

Language Arts- Enviromental Print

Enviromental print is the print that is around us that we see everyday.  Examples are restaraunt signs and logos.  These printed materials can be used to help teach our children to read.  I had planned on eventually making a book of enviromental print when Little Sweets got older. This week she started reading the words on logos herself so I thought it would be a great time to start a book.  These are three logos she can read, not because I taught her but because she recognizes the print.  This can be used as a building block to teach reading and build children's confidence about reading.  Here are some websites I found that share great ideas about enviromental print if you are interested. 

For more Great Tot School Posts Go Here

Thursday, July 22, 2010

stArt- Ten Red Apples

This week we read the book Ten Red Apples A Bartholomew Bear Counting Book by Virginia Miller.

Little Sweets loved the book.   It is an easy read with few words on the pages, which is great for young children.  The book also reinforces counting, great for preschoolers.  After we read the book we painted apples on our own apple tree.  I cut the top off of a water bottle and we used the water bottle cap to make circles that represented apples on our tree.  I suppose you could just unscrew the cap and use it, but that would be a lot messier.  Little Sweets doesn't always enjoy getting messy so I thought this would work well.  Little Sweets loved this activity and she continued to paint with the top of the bottle even after she was finished with the tree.  Here are some pictures of our art activity. 

For more great stArt Activities go here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Stocking up on Art Supplies

I just made a trip to wal-mart and started stocking up on some art supplies for the year.  I got Crayola Markers for $1 Crayola Watercolor paints for $1 and I think Elmers glue was $.25 Glue Sticks may have been a similar price.  Now is the time to get the art supplies.  Things are so much more expensive during the year. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

I Got an Award

Kelly from Little Wonders' Days has just passed along the Versatile Blogger award to me! Thanks : )

1. Thank the person who gave you this award. Thanks you Kelly for this award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

1.  I actually enjoy exercising.  It is my alone time and a great time for me to reflect.
2.  I love to write poetry.  (I've been known to write poetry while exercising.)
3.  My favorite movie is The Sound of Music
4. I just started to use coupons in the last year and love it.  We've saved so much money as a family. 
5.  I am a big Ohio State Buckeye fan.
6.  I have an amazing husband and wonderful daughter.
7.  I love Jesus

3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers you have recently discovered and think are great (in no particular order).  There are so many great blogs out there.  I am trying to limit my time spent on blogging so I am going to put up 8 great blogs.  Here they are. 
"It's Quiet Now. What Do You Say?'

United Teaching

The Ramblings and Adventures of a S.A.H.M.

small Burst

Mommy Moment

Little Page Turners

Homeschool Creations

Hart 2 Hart

4.Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

Tot School Summer Randomness Week 4

Tot School- 25 Months Old

Shape Sorting Activity

I bought these foam shapes at Target in the dollar section and the tray from the dollar tree.  I gave Little Sweets the foam shapes and she sorted the shapes by color and shape.  She also identified the shapes.

Shape Identification Game

I am not really into flashcards, but Little Sweets absolutely loves these Dora shape cards.  She found them on the shelf and asked to play with them.  She is able to identify all of the shapes on the cards.  The cards also include patterns, but she doesn't quite understand patterns yet.  I found these cards in the dollar section of a craft store. 

Block Color Sort

This was another Target dollar section find.  Little Sweets sorted the counting cubes by color.  She loves sorting and does an excellent job.  She is still working on identifying her colors.  If she doesn't know the color then she'll say it's green.

Lining Up Blocks

When she was finished sorting, she lined up the blocks on the windowsill. 

Block Patterning Cards

I made block patterning cards.  Right now Little Sweets is matching up the blocks with the correct color.  I also talked a little bit about the pattern on the card with her. 

Mommy and Daddy Puzzle Cards

Little Sweets has taken an interest in letters lately. I thought it would be fun to make a letter matching game that spelled out familiar words.  I pasted my picture next to the word mommy and my husband's picture next to the word daddy.  (I also made a card with Little Sweets name.)  Little Sweets matched the pictures and the letters on each mat.  We said the letters together as matched them up.  I thought this would be fun way to learn letters and familiar words. 

Playing with her Dolly

Little Sweets loves playing with dolls. Here is a picture of her taking a dolly grocery shopping. 

Bible Activity-Jesus Calms the Storm

I recentlly bought the book More Toddlerific Fun Faith-Builders to use as a Bible Activity Curriculum.  I used the boat and pictures from the curriculum to tell the story of Jesus calming the storm.  Afterwards, we used watercolor paints to paint a storm. 

We Love Books
I don't always post about the books we read during the week, but we are constantly reading.  We go to the library every week.  I can't stress enough the importance of reading with our children. 

For more great tot school posts go here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fun Educational Items in the Dollar Section at Target

I love this time of year because most stores will stick educational items in the dollar section.  We made a trip to Target yesterday and as I walked in I think my eyes about popped out of my head.  I felt like a kid in a candy store.  I was very excited.  I basically got a lot of items I could use for math manipulatives.  Here is a list of some items;  Counting Blocks, Foam Shapes, assorted pom-poms (they don't have different sizes at my dollar store), sports ball erasers,  and pipe cleaners.  I will use these items for sorting, counting, and patterning activities.  I also bought several books.  I was even able to buy some leveled readers.    I could have bought more things, but I didn't want to go too crazy.  They had a ton of fun things for older kids too like maps and trivia cards etc.  : )

Tot School Summer Randomness Week 3

Tot School
25 months

I haven't been feeling the greatest lately so we haven't done much tot school.  I am a few weeks into my second trimester and am starting to feel much better. Hopefully, we will start to get more activities in.  Here are some activities from Friday and Saturday.

Little Sweets has really enjoyed pouring things.  I decided to let her pour oats as a sensory activity.  This was super messy and I am still finding oats all around the play room and in other parts of the house.  Little Sweets really enjoyed the activity so it was totally worth the mess.

Little Sweets took a bowl of oat to her table and pretended to eat.  She poured some for me too.

Pattern Block Fun

Little Sweets got pattern blocks for her birthday.  The patterns that came with the blocks were a little too difficult for her so I made my own patterns on our copy machine.  She placed the block on top of the picture and we talked about the names of the blocks.  When she gets older I plan on using the cards to help teach patterns.

File Folder Color Match Game

I picked up the some color pockets at the dollar tree and decided to use them for a file folder game.  I had Little Sweets place the colored Popsicle sticks in the pocket that was the same color as the Popsicle stick.

File Folder Shape Matching Game

Little Sweets placed the correct shape on top of the shape on the file folder.  I used Velcro to help keep the shapes in place.

Dancing and Making Music

We put on some fun music and Little Sweets danced around and made music with her maraca and homemade shaker.

Monkey Joe's

It has been super hot here, a heat index of 105.   I thought it would be fun if we could find an indoor playground.  I came across a place called Monkey Joe's.  They have tons of inflatables for children to play on.  Little Sweets had fun, but I think we will wait until she is a little bigger to go back.  She was too scared to go on things by herself.  Daddy spent a lot of time with her on the inflatables.  : )

For more great tot school posts go here

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fun Homemade File Folder Game- Shape Matching Game

Shape Matching Game

Here is an easy, fun game you can make for your child.  You will need a file folder, construction paper, laminator and velcro is optional.  I cut out 2 sets of shapes from construction paper and laminated the shapes. Then I glued one set of  shapes to the file folder.  I pasted a label with the the name of the shape and color next to the shape.  I placed a piece of velcro on the shapes.  Then we played the game.  My daughter placed the shapes ontop of the shapes on the file folder.  She identified the shapes as she played.  This game has really helped my little one learn to identify her shapes.  

Fun Homemade File Folder Game- Color Matching Game

Color Matching Game

This was super easy and inexpensive to make.  I bought the colored pockets from the dollar tree.  (You get 24 pockets for $1.00)  I glued the pockets to the folder.  I used some colored popsicle sticks left over from other projects. You can buy colored popsicle sticks from wal-mart or you can easily make your own by painting left over popsicle sticks. After I made the game I showed my daughter  how to put the popsicle sticks in the right pockets.  We talked about the color of each popsicle stick as she put them in the pockets.