Saturday, June 30, 2012

Expanding Readership

 Even though we will not be doing a formal preschool next year, I am still going to keep up the blog and post things that I do with my kids. I've decided to try to expand my readership and I started up a facebook page. My goal is to get 50 people to like our page in the next week. So if you are a returning visitor or visiting for the first time, jump over to facebook and like us over there. 
 
Thanks!


Bottle Cap Alphabet Soup

My daughters and I had a fun time practicing our letters and making words using simple things that you probably already have at home. The great thing about this game was that it worked for all three age levels of my girls - toddler, preschooler, & elementary aged. Read below for how I changed it up for each age level.

 

We started by collecting plastic bottle caps from things we were getting ready to recycle (milk jugs, juice, gatorade, water, etc.). I wrote a letter on each cap with permanent marker, relating to the words we were working on. (In this case I used letters from the names of the people in our family.) 

 

**In these pictures, you will also see baby food jar lids, but we found out that they don't work as well because they sink.**

We filled up a bucket of water and put the letters in. A towel under the bucket and on the table is really good for this project. The girls used a slotted spoon to fish out and play with the lettered bottle caps at their own level:

My toddler just had fun trying to grab the letters. If your toddler is ready, you could have them grab certain colors or draw shapes instead of letters on the bottle caps.


My preschooler worked on makings words from word cards and identifying letters. She is really into writing the names of the people in our family right now so I used this to practice the spelling. I wrote the names of all the members of our family on 3 X 5 cards for her to use. She would spell each name, using the word card as a guide. (I learned the hard way that the word cards should be laminated. It was one of those, "Uh, duh Laura" moments.)


 My elementary aged daughter made up words with 4 letters or more from the letters in the bucket. She could make any word that she wanted, but had to spell it correctly. (Kind of like that text twist game on yahoo, is anyone else out there addicted to it too?) 

It was a really fun and easy project that is great for hot summer days!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Camping

 We had a lot of fun on our annual "camping" day during the last week of school. I set up a tent, river and wild animals around the room and the kids had fun doing different camping activities. 

Here are some of the things that we did this year: 

We went fishing . . .
I put paper clips on the fish mouth and magnets on the end of a string on a dowel.

We went on a bear hunt (and of course sang Dr. Jean's Cool Bear Hunt song) . . .

We roasted S'mores . . .

We star gazed . . .
I put glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. We turned out the lights and blocked out the windows to find stars. We looked for different colors, different sizes, shooting stars and practiced counting.

Our main lesson was focused on animal prints. . .

During free time, the kids had fun exploring different animal footprints using plastic animals and play dough. First they just pressed them in and looked at the features of the foot - toes, claws, shape, etc. Then, the kids tried to group the animals with similar feet - hoofs, clawed animals, etc. Next, the kids closed their eyes and I made a print and the kids had to identify what animal it came from. Last, we looked at pictures of real animals and their feet and the kids did a matching worksheet where they matched the animal print to the animal picture. 

All in all, a pretty fun day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bubbles!

We had so much fun celebrating bubbles and all of the fun things that you can do with them. I wanted to share a few of the ideas that we did during the last week of school and throughout the school year using bubbles. 


First of all, we talked about the shape of bubbles. We looked at different types of bubble wands and talked about the size and shape each bubble wand would make. In the end, they all turned out round and that was a fun discovery for the kids. 


We also read the book, Bubble, Bubble by Mercer Meyer. 
 
It is a really fun book about a little boy who buys a bottle of magic bubbles that turn into different shapes when he blows a bubble. (Unfortunately, it is out of print so you have to order it from Amazon and it is hard to find new.) Then the kids drew pictures, if they had magic bubbles, what would they turn into. The kids drew things like princesses, unicorns, monsters, boats, etc. 

Of course we did our mega big bubbles again! It was windy so the going was a little tricky, but we still had a lot of fun. For a detailed post about how to do mega big bubbles, visit here. 


We have also done bubble art on our post here. 

   

Stay tuned throughout the summer for more bubble fun!


Friday, June 1, 2012

Graduation 2012

This was our first graduation at Chipman's Corner and it was a lot of fun. Thank you to all the parents and kids for an amazing year. I sure am going to miss you all!

(I'm going to apologize right now that I don't know what setting I had my camera on, but I am so sorry for the lighting in all these pictures, it is atrocious.Anyway . . .)

We did a short program where the kids showed what we learned and did a music performance for their moms and dads. Miss Diana has worked hard all year to teach the kids about notes and rhythms and I was blown away by how well they did showing what they knew.  Then we passed out diplomas, the books the kids had made, and took class pictures.


One of our moms made these awesome hats for the graduates and future graduates. I think she said she found the tutorial on pinterest. Thank you Cori!

 Here are the decorations I made for the event. It was a lot of fun putting it all together. The hanging mobiles were my favorite, they looked so much fun turning around above the table. Although, I had to use a needle to make the balloon banner and I don't know whose bright idea it was to make something using a needle and balloons. : )




 

X Marks the Spot


We talked about pirates for letter X day because X is their favorite letter! They have it on their flag and they use it to bury their treasure! We read the book How I Became a Pirate then we went on a treasure hunt. I hid cut out letter Xs all over the house and yard then drew a treasure map leading to the xs and the  treasure box. Each student got a turn leading the hunt to find the next letter X. Each leader got to wear the pirate's hat and hold the treasure map. Unfortunately, the pictures of finding the treasure box were lost at sea, but here are the pictures of our fun hunt.