Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Outer Space

Tot School
R is 27 Months old.

R has been really interested in planets and the moon for a while now, and I really wanted to provide a fun program to continue his interests. It was a full-on week!

R painted with glitter glue on a rocket and I stuck it onto a toilet paper roll, so he could fly it around. This idea came from Printable Share. We did do the flames, but R pulled them out before I could get a photo of it.
R stamped with a star cookie cutter and then sprinkled glitter on it. 
R painted with a toothbrush on a rocket shape. I drew a simple rocket shape on a cereal box. R chose the toothbrush to paint with. He painted with some paint and glitter paint (again, his choice). When it was dry he stuck on some metallic circles for windows and lastly collaged some cotton wool under the rocket. This idea was seen on No Time For Flashcards.

Fine Motor and Sensory
I made a space themed sensory tub with stuff from our manipulatives box. Read more about it here.
I hid rockets in a small tub of beans for R to find. He loved this and spend almost 1/2 an hour repeating this activity. I filled a plastic container with beans and pushed some coloured rockets into the beans. He searched through the beans to find the rockets and put them in the container. I saw this somewhere in the blog world, but I am not sure where.
In a similar activity, I filled a tub with rice and put planets (marbles) in it. I gave R a big slotted spoon and got him to sift the rice away and transfer the marbles to another container. This was another activity that R loved, and repeated it over and over for about 20 minutes. I saw this idea on Counting Coconuts.
I printed off and laminated a space playdough mat from Sparklebox. R used a small star cookie cutter to make stars to go in between the Earth and the moon. He also really enjoyed this, and asked for it several times over the week. I also gave R silver glitter and some blue playdough. He shook the glitter into the playdough and kneaded it through the playdough.
Another idea from Counting Coconuts was spooning planets (marbles) with a melon baller from one container to another. This was another favourite from this week.
I gave R a sheet of star stickers and some metallic paper and he stuck the stars on the paper. He struggled a bit with the stars getting stuck to his fingers, but he persevered and got the hang of it.
Whilst building with our wooden blocks, I made a rocket. R copied it, with a little bit of help.
I printed out the pre-writing worksheets from Homeschool Creations space pack. R is just beginning with this type of activity.
R made a Spaceship Magnet Page from Making Learning Fun.

I took the rockets from the sensory box and R sorted them by colour into a muffin tray.
I made the Rocket Planet Colour Match game from Printable Share. R enjoyed this one, using the rockets to 'zoom' around the table with.
I adapted the Roll A Rocket Game from Musings Of Me to be a puzzle, because R is not quite there with dice games yet. I laminated the base and pieces and R lay them on the sheet like a puzzle.  
When I printed the Roll A Rocket Game, there were 2 sets of shapes to make 2 rocket. Rather than laminate them, I gave them to R to glue together, using the picture of the rocket as a guide. He did really well at this, with only a little verbal guidance from me. 

Music and Movement/Gross Motor
We sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "3 Men In A Flying Saucer" this week.
We pretended to be an astronaut in outer space floating around, weightlessly. My husband did the Moonwalk with R. It was hilarious, watching R trying to do it too! He also spent a lot of time 'zooming' around the house like a rocket. Lastly, we pretended to be a rocket. R crouched down, I counted backwards (only from 3, because it took to long to go from 10 each time!), the R would jump up and fly around the room like a rocket.

I have a poem called "We're Going On A Space Trip" which is similar to "We're Going On A Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen. I found it on Hummingbirded. We read the poem and acted it out as we went along. We did this a few times, because R really enjoyed it.

We made Moon Rocks this week. This was a simple recipe, which allowed R to do a lot of the steps on his own or with little assistance.

You can see the books we read this week here.

R made a "M is for Moon" craft this week. He printed with a cork in yellow paint that had glitter paint mixed into it.

A while ago, I made some number cards found on Childcareland. We used them this week for counting with rockets. R had to place a rocket in each circle on the cards, then we counted them together. When we had done the third card, R asked for more, so I took out the number 4 and 5. He really enjoyed this activity. In the picture, he is tracing the number 2 with his finger.
I made a Rocket Size Sorting from Musings Of Me. R quickly did this, then used the rockets to fly around the room.

I blew up a balloon and let it go. We watched it zoom around the room. R loved this and I lost count of how many times we did his over the week. R practiced blowing up the balloons as well, and got quite good at it. He did need us to hold onto the balloon while he took a breath, to avoid all his air leaking out!

Next Program: Letter Ee and Oval

Monday, June 27, 2011

5 A Day Books - Ee Books

5 a day books
This week we are working on our Ee and Ovals Program. See the full post here.

These are the books that we chose:

1. Sydney The Little Blue Elephant by Sharon Renatta.
2. Edward The Emu by Sheena Knowles.
3. Where's My Egg by Tony Mitton
4. But No Elephants by Jerry Smath. (This is my book from when I was a child, my Mum just gave me a whole stack of books that she was holding on to. I had a great time going through them all...so many memories!)
5. Whose Ears? by David Bennett.

Linking up to The Imagination Tree.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Outer Space Sensory Tub

I was so excited about this tub, because for the first time, I was adding a variety of materials into it. I made it as R watched on. He was keen to get in and play with it. R did enjoy the tub, but didn't spend anywhere near as long playing with the tub as I had expected that he would. He took the marbles out of it to roll them along the table and put them in the back of his trucks!

R usually loves sensory tubs, but I usually only add one type of medium (such as wheat, rice, beans, pasta etc) and a few other additions (such as cups, spoons, bottles, containers etc). I think this tub may have been too busy for R.

The contents of the tub are:
  • Moon buggy, 2 astronauts and an alien in a moon crater
  • Smooth garden rocks
  • Marbles in assorted sizes
  • Flat-bottomed glass pebbles
  • Black pom-poms
  • Star buttons
  • Star and circle counters
  • Shells from a aquarium set
  • Plastic rockets pencil-toppers

We used the rockets for a few other activities throughout our space week. See the full post here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Baked Beans Sensory Tub

When R started eating 'table food' rather than puree's, I began looking for reduced salt products. One product that I got was no-added-salt baked beans. When I opened them for our breakfast one day, I found them to be very sweet, and was quite surprised by the sugar content of the beans. As a result, no-one wanted to eat them, so they became a sensory tub for R.

I put them in the tub with some egg cups, melon baller, little containers and some spoons. I wasn't sure if R would be keen to play, as sometimes he doesn't like getting his hands dirty. I had nothing to worry about, because he was straight into it and played for almost 40 minutes!

And to think I almost threw them in the bin!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ice Painting

I have seen this idea many times, and have always wanted to give it a go...so we did. R helped me mix up the paint and water. R then poured it into an ice cube tray (with some help) and placed half a craft stick into each ice cube tray. 

 After freezing them overnight, we got to painting.

Once R had finished painting, we let the painting dry. The colours really faded as it dried. Here is the finished product. It looks like a beautiful watercolour painting.

Tip: Take the ice cubes out of the freezer a few minutes before you give them to your child, so they do not get frustrated waiting for the ice to melt enough to use them.

More Pom Poms

Pom Poms are always a favourite in our house. R loves them and regularly asks for them. When I set them out he will spend ages playing with them.

Last time R asked for pom poms, I was getting them out and wondering what we can do differently with them. Searching through our manipulatives, looking for some inspiration, I came across the bath non-slip suction mats. I put one on a tray with some mini pom poms and R set about filling the suction cups with the pom poms.

This was quite difficult, because as R moved his hand away, sometimes they would roll out of the cups. The challenge of it kept R busy for about 20 minutes!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

5 A Day Books - Outer Space

5 a day books

Wow, I am amazed at the memory skills of my almost 27 month old after reading the 5 books a day from last week. After only 4 days of reading the books, R could answer questions about the books, remember characters from the books without seeing them, and recognising letters on the pages (mostly D which we learnt last week and R for his name). I was so thrilled by this that I have decided to continue it.

We are learning about outer space this week, so we popped into our local library to get a few more books to compliment this topic, as we only had 3 of our own books.  R loves the library. We used to go regularly, but this was the first time visiting since M was born (he's 12 weeks old already, can't believe how fast that has gone!). R can also now say Library clearly. The full Outer Space unit is posted here.

Our books are:

1. Little Tom and the Trip to the Moon by Diane and Christyan Fox.
2. A is for Astronaut. (no author)
3. My Book Of Planets by Elise See Tai.
4. Planets by Melvin and Gilda Berger
5. Can I Cuddle The Moon? by Kerry Brown.

Linking up to The Imagination Tree.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Letter Dd and Yellow

Tot School
R is 26 months old.

This week we explored the letter Dd and the colour yellow.

R did a yellow collage with yellow items from our collage box.
R also did a drawing with yellow pencils, crayons and oil pastels.
We made a Duck Pond, inspired by Katies Nesting Spot. R painted his hands and pressed them onto the paper to make the ducks. He then fingerpainted with blue paint to make the water. Them, with the scissors he snipped at green paper to make the reeds, although it is hard to see the detail of this in the photo. 

I took out a dice for R to roll. (It happened to be yellow, so it fitted into our theme very nicely!) We counted the spots on the dice each time R rolled it, but he lost interest in this very quickly. 

Fine Motor and Sensory
I set out an activity for R to sort yellow paperclips from the rest of the colour and then slide them onto a piece of yellow card. He sorted them but really struggled to put them onto the yellow card. We will have to have some practice at this.
I had planned to do some digging for yellow dinosaurs in the sandpit, but we had a week of very wet weather here, so we took the dinosaurs into the bath instead. We also talked about how the ducks float in the bath and the dinosaurs sink. R counted the ducks in the bath, too.

Whilst tiding out the pantry a few weeks ago, I found some polenta that was out of date, and thought it would be perfect for a yellow sensory tub...so this week we had polenta to play with.  I also added in a funnel, some scoops and some equipment from our pretend play kitchen box. R loved it. He spent so much time playing with this, in particular he would fill the funnel and watch it empty out. Surprisingly, he made very little mess with this tub.
We had yellow playdough this week. I put all our yellow cookie cutters in a bowl, as well as the items that start with Dd (like dog, duck, dolphin). We also used the main letter page from Dd Tot School Printables as a playdough mat.
We did the Lacing Card and Letter Puzzle from Tot School Printables.

R completed the Dd Magnet Page from Confessions Of A Homeschooler's Letter Of The Week Program. R sometimes is really into this, and other times he is not interested. We also did the Dd tracing for the first time. R really surprised me with how well he did at this, and I forgot to take a picture.

Music and Movement/Gross Motor
We sang "5 Little Ducks." He pretended to be a duck, then a dinosaur and a dragon.

For a rare moment this week we managed to get for a short play, and threw a ball for our dog.

I put on a CD I have with some music from the seventies, and we did some disco dancing! R is really into dancing at the moment, so he had a blast.

I found a recipe for baked donuts, but didn't have a donut tray, so we baked them in mini muffin trays. They were tasty.

Colours and Shapes
I got out our lego bucket and got R to sort all the yellow blocks into a bowl. They went on our shelves this week. R stacked them all up several times, before breaking it down to start again.
We went on a yellow hunt, but R went straight to the paint cupboard and got out the yellow Do-A-Dot Markers and wanted to paint, so the yellow hunt was abandoned! I intended to do it again later in the week, but we never got to it.

I took out our small coloured dinosaurs and sorting bowls for some colour sorting. R immediately sorted the dinosaurs into the correct coloured bowls, before beginning to play with them. This week, they went for a ride in his plastic train!

Language and Letters
The books we read this week are here.

We did some yellow letter stamping on a duck, printed from Tot School Printables.
I drew a Dd on paper and get R to stamp on the letters with his yellow Do-A-Dot Marker, He did this for a few seconds, and then did not want to do any more.
Our D is for Door alphabet craft this week was seen on Learning Development Activities. R painted yellow dots onto a lowercase d with a cotton tip. I then cut open the inside of the d and R stuck a yellow dinosaur sticker into the centre.

Next Program: Outer Space. Looking forward to this, especially the sensory box I have planned!

Thanks for reading.