Monday, October 17, 2011

Mini Sensory Tub with Dried Beans

R most favourite manipulative medium is pom poms, but is very closely followed by dried beans. I made a mini-sensory tub for him with a couple of aims. Firstly, I gave R a choice of items to hide in the beans...he chose the rockets that we used in our outer space unit. Secondly, I wanted to give R a small container for him to practice keeping the beans in the container. Thridly, he loves playing with the dried beans!

R did such a great job of keeping the beans in the container, despite it being so small!
He stayed with this activity for just under 1/2 an hour. He found all the rockets several times, then he started pushing the beans into the holes in the bottom of the rockets (they are meant to be used as pencil toppers). I didn't mind because I thought it was a great fine motor development activity, that was until I went to pack them away and spend nearly 1/2 an hour getting the beans out of the rockets! :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New beginnings

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. We have been really busy over the past few weeks, and have not been getting much of our programs done. We have only just finished the winter program (been going for almost 3 weeks now!) and are almost done with the Gg and Grey program.

I have also been busy organising the start of my teaching degree. I have always wanted to do this, and feel that now is a good time to start. Not quite sure how it is all going to work yet, but we'll work it out. Time-wise, I am not sure if I am going to be able to fit it all in. I am so excited to get started, but at the same time, very daunted about the commitment to 4 years of study. My husband is more confident about my ability to do this that I am...but slowly he is convincing me! :)

R and I will still do our school stuff. I love sharing what R and I have been up too, and hope that I will have enough time to continue to share with anyone who is interested. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

5 A day Books - Gg Books

5 a day books

We have had a really exciting week with books. R seems to have recaptured the magic that he used to show when reading books when he was younger. He looks at books a lot through the day, remembers characters/phrases and talks about the pictures. Its such a joy to watch!

This week we are learning about the letter Gg, so these are the books we chose.

1. Where Is The Green Sheep by Mem Fox. (This would have to be #1 on R's list of favourite books.)
2. Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae. (We have this on a CD, so R can sit and listen on his own. R enjoys this for a while, but with the addition of music to the story, it takes quite a while to listen to, and he often moves onto something else before the story is finished.)
3. Geraldine's Blanket by Holly Keller. (I loved this book as a child!)
4. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss.
5. Goodness Gracious! by Phil Cummings.

Linking up to The Imagination Tree.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Letter Ff and Square

Tot School
R is 27 months old.

We had a great week last week. We had a bit of sunshine, and although it was still cold, we managed to get outside almost everyday. R has been recognising letters when we read books. So excitied by that.

R did a foot painting. I saved the paper that my deli goods were wrapped in when I last went shopping. The paper is large and quite thick. I just drizzled some paint on the paper and R walked on it. I had to hold his hands so he didnt slip, but he loved it. He did 2 paintings.
R printed with our square stacking cups. He wasn't so keen on this, doing it for a short time only.

Fine Motor and Sensory
Many years ago, I made a face where you can velcro the pieces in place. I got it out for R because he loves velcro, and he loved it. He did it so many times, first it was Daddy, then Grandad. Before we did it we looked in the mirror to see where all the parts of our face are located, then R began to stick the parts on. As he did, I talked about where parts are located on the face, and he got everything in place. I am not sure where I got the face from.
R did the Square Magnet Page from Home Grown Hearts and the F is for Fish magnet page from Confessions Of A Homeschooler. We tried with marbles, but they kept rolling off the page, so I got out the sparkly pom poms.
I got out the felt food that I made a few weeks ago. I made a sandwich with fillings and a pizza with toppings. Both ideas were seen at Serving Pink Lemonade. R had a great time, especially making a sandwich and pretending to eat it!
I gave R some feathers to explore. He enjoyed this, and kept trying to tickle me and M with the feathers.
I put some flour into a tub for R to explore. He absolutely loved it and spend over 1/2 a hour playing with the flour. He moved it around, drew in it and sprinkled onto his and my hands.
We used the Main Letter Page from Tot School Printables again as a playdough mat. I also put out the F and fish cookie cutters.
We also used the Ff lacing card and puzzle from Tot School Printables. R is getting good at putting the puzzles together, but still only laces the card a few times.  
I got out our magnetic fishing game to play with R. He did not like this last time I got it out, but this time he loved it. He played with it so much that it is still out on our shelves now. He gets this look of intent concentration on his face when he is trying to 'catch' the fish with the fishing rod.

Language and Letters
You can see the books we read here.

R is still right into drawing and tracing at the moment. I gave him the Ff tracing from Confessions Of A Homeschooler. He is getting so good at this now.
R did a finger painting on a letter F.
R stamped with Ff stamps on the foot from Tot School Printables. He really got into this more so than usual.
R did some Ff Sorting from Confessions Of A Homeschooler.

Shapes and Colours
R traced a square from the shape tracers that I printed from Home Grown Hearts.
We got out our wooden blocks to sort the squares. We also looked at squares and rectangles to see the differences. I showed R the longer sides on the rectangles.
I had intended to make squares out of straws with R, but when I went to get out the straws, I discovered that we only had 3 straws left, so I got out the craft sticks instead. I quickly made some little mats to help R with the constuction of the squares. He really like this activity and made the shapes several times. I saw this idea at Shannons Tot School. Once R had made the squares, we counted the sides.
R did Do-A-Dot Painting on a square, from Childcareland. He did this quickly, and is getting much more accurate each time he does this.
When R was about 18 months old, I made some squares from sandpaper. I got these out and R matched the differet grits of sandpaper. I also got R to trace the edges to feel the shape of the square.
R made a little shape man from squares, and of course, had to put some wiggly eyes on it! I cut out the squares and a mouth for R and then he completed the rest on his own. The final product is kinda cute!

Music and Movement/Gross Motor
We sang "Five Speckled Frogs" this week.

We kicked a football around when we were outside.

I used masking tape to make a square on the floor. R walked around the lines and jumped in and out of the square.

We made fairy bread this week. It was simple thing that R could complete on his own with little help from me. He spread the butter on his bread, then sprinkled the 100's and 1000's over. He loved this.

I got out our small plastic fruits and coloured bowls for R to do some sorting. R was so excited when he saw these. He loves these sets, we have transport, bears, fruit, farm animals and dinosaurs.

Next Week Program: Winter.
Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 25, 2011

5 A Day Books - Winter

5 a day books

R has got such an amazing memory, and he surprised me this week when we were reading a book at bedtime. I was reading it when my husband came in. I stopped reading and R started "reading" the words almost perfectly. So, I started reading the next sentence, and stopped after a couple of words. R continued on. He can remember the words to about 3/4 of the book. He gets a bit fuzzy in the last few pages. Since this happened, we have pulled out a few of R's favourite books to 'read'.

These are the books we chose for our winter week. You can see the winter post here.

1. The Smallest Snowflake by Bernadette Watts.
2. Snow Bears by Martin Waddell. (This is such a cute story, R loves it!)
3. Fuzzy Bear by Dawn Bentley. (This is an interactive book about a bear who gets dressed to go outside and jump in puddles! It has pull tabs, a button, a zip and velcro parts - great for fine motor development too. Another favourite in our house.)
4. Seasons Of The Year by Jilly Attwood.
5. Seasons With Pooh by Nancy Parent. (This is a basic story with magnets that relate to each season.)

Linking up to The Imagination Tree.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ping Pong Transferring

I set out some ping pong balls, tongs and 2 yoghurt containers. R used the tongs to transfer the ping pong balls into the containers. I thought this would develop his muscle strength. Usually when we do this type of activity, we use pom poms, which are soft and easy to hold in the tongs. I thought the ping pong balls would offer a challenge, because R would have to apply the right amount of pressure to keep the ping pong ball in the tongs.

He repeated this activity heaps and went back to it several times. The balls were used as props for many other types of play.

Another good thing about ping pong balls is that R can throw them in the house with little fear of him hurting M with a stray ball or something getting broken.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Teddy Bear Cut and Paste

This was not a planned activity, but R really enjoyed it. I found some old worksheets and was looking through them one morning. R picked up the one of the bear and asked to do it. Why not, I thought, so we gave it a go.

R drew all over it with brown texta's. I tried to get him to trace the letters of the word 'teddy'. Once he was finished drawing, he cut out the circle and glued it onto the teddy's tummy.

When he was finished, he asked to do more. He really enjoyed the activity, I think because it had 3 elements that he really enjoys - texta's, cutting and gluing!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


R has been right into playdough for a while now. Each week, I change the tools and cookie cutters that R has. I have also printed out a few different playdough mats to add variety to his play. We make our own playdough, and keep using it until it either dries out or becomes sticky. I now leave it out for R to play with whenever he chooses to.

I have added the flat marbles to R's playdough equipment this week. He is loving it. As a bonus, his fine motor skills are getting a work out as well. He pushes the flat marbles into the playdough, then uses his pincer grip to pull them out again.

He has been playing with his dough almost every day, since the addition of these flat marbles.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

5 A Day Books - Ff Books

5 a day books

R is amazing me each and every day with his memory skills. Last week, he said something about Donald's drums being noisy. We read a book called "Donald Loves Drumming" as part of our Dd program about a month ago. We haven't read it since, and he remembered specific things about the book.

This week we are doing our Ff and Square program. The books we chose are:

1. The Tooth Fairy by Sharon Peters.
2. Five Little Bats Flying In The Night by Steve Metzger.
3. Fox In Socks by Dr Seuss.
4. Fancy That by Pamela Allen.
5. Farmyard Sounds by Colin and Jacqui Hawkins.

Linking up to The Imagination Tree.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Polar Animals

Tot School
R is 27 months old.

This was a really fun program that I compiled to enhance R's interest in polar bears. It had also been really cold here, so it fitted in perfectly! We even did some activities in bed this week, because it was so cold! I set R up with a pillow and a stable table, and we got some things done while being warm! R really enjoyed this, and wanted to do it again the next day.

We made a paper plate penguin, seen on R loved this, especially painting on the paper plate and using the wiggle eyes. I love what he created, it is so cute!
R glued cotton balls onto a polar bear pattern from Making Learning Fun. R helped me pull apart cotton balls to glue onto the bear first (a great fine motor and muscle strengthening activity). He did not enjoy the cotton wool sticking to his fingers once they had glue on them.

I printed off the Polar Animals Track Matching Puzzles from 2 Teaching Mommies. R wasn't too sure about this at first, but once I showed him how the cards joined together, he completed them all several times. He then matched up our polar animals to the cards.

I made the Roll A Penguin Dice Game from Carls Corner. For the first time, we used the dice to play this game. Usually we put them together like a puzzle, but R is recognising the dots on the dice now, so we used it. After he rolled the dice, R would match up the dots on the dice to the dots on the page. I would then read what he had to do, and he would do it. He did it twice.
I made some arctic animal cards to match the arctic animal figurines that we have. R matched the animals to the cards, and I encouraged R to name the animals.

Fine Motor and Sensory
I hid the polar animal figurines around the room for R to find. I hid them in less obvious spots that I have previously, and it took him a while to find them.

I put the polar animals out with some ice blocks. I had intended to make some large ice blocks in an ice cream container, but in the end, I forgot about it, so we had to use the small ice blocks. R really enjoyed this, but only played with it a short time, because of how cold it has been here.
I made 'snow' from 1/2 cup of soap flakes whisked together with 1 cup boiling water until it increases in volume and thickens up like whipped cream. I used to make this a lot when I was working, but had never made it for R. He loved it, and spent over 1/2 an hour playing with it. He had it all over his little table, his chin and apron (so glad I put it on him...I nearly didn't).
We built an igloo from marshmallows. We looked at pictures of igloos on the internet, then tried to build one. It was quite hard to stack the marshmallows because they were irregular shapes. R had also never eaten a marshmallow before, and enjoyed the ones he got to eat. We also talked about hard and soft whilst playing with the marshmallows. The first picture is R's igloo and the other one is mine! I couldn't get a packet of white marshmallows because they were on special at the supermarket when I went and the white ones were all gone.
R used tongs to transfer cotton balls from one container to another. He always enjoys this type of activity, and I though the cotton balls would add a bit of variety, as we usually do tong transferring with pom poms.
For our cutting activity this week I printed a penguin size matching worksheet from R drew on it with textas and then cut out the squares before gluing then into the correctly sized boxes. R did so well at this activity, he is really getting good control over the scissors.
I printed an igloo playdough mat from Sparklebox. I also gave R all the bear cookie cutters that we have.
Quite a while ago I made R a Polar Bear Shadow Match File Folder Game from Making Learning Fun. He can do it easily, but I put it out as we have been reading the book every day. The first few times that we read the book, he was referring to the zookeeper as a farmer. Finally, he pointed to the zookeeper whilst completing the file folder game and said "that zookeeper, Mummy."
I printed out some tiny arctic animals and laminated them. I hid them in a tub of pom poms for R to find. R did this so many times.
I also printed the penguin puzzle from Lawteedah. R wasn't interested in this at first, but completed it twice when I joined in with him. We have mostly only done 3-4 piece puzzles like this, so I think the 8 pieces were a bit overwhelming for him.
I created a really basic sensory tub from cotton wool and the arctic animal figurines. R played with it for a little while, before using the cotton balls with his train set!

Music and Movement/Gross Motor
We sung a simple little song this week about Eskimos. R and I also did the Snowy Pokey, which I found at Perfectly Preschool. This was lots of fun.

We put a ball in between our legs and waddled like a penguin. Both of us had a great time.

R and I slid around the tiles in socks. R showed quite good balance whilst doing this.

I made a little penguin from an English Muffin for R to eat for a snack. I saw the idea on Totally Tots. I used a sultana for the eye and carrots for the beak and feet. I spread the penguin with cream cheese.

The books we read this week are here.

R made a P is for Penguin this week. He used cardboard pieces to scrape paint onto a "P" cutout, and the beak and feet. Then R glued it all together and added on a wiggly eye (his favourite part, so he told me!). I saw this idea on Rockaby Butterfly.

We sprinkled salt on ice blocks and watched it melt the ice. This didn't happen fast enough for R and as soon as he was finished sprinkling the salt on the ice, he wanted to pack away!

R made a shape polar bear from DLTK. We talked about biggest and smallest circles when doing this activity. R is getting really good at following directions now.

Next Program: Ff and Square

Thanks for Reading.