Wednesday, September 26, 2012

D is for Dinosaur, Ducks, and Dots

This week was all about the letter D!

Monday: D is for dinosaurs!  
Stories: Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs  By: Byron Barton and Ten Terrible Dinosaurs By: Paul Stickland 

Ava started her school day with a color sorting activity. She had to sort different shades of blue, red, yellow, purple and green. The activity mat is part of an old window shade and the shades of colors come from the paint store.

During circle time, we reviewed letters A, B, and C . Ava had to pick a sticker out of a bag and tell me what letter was on the sticker (and if it was capital or lower case).Then, she had to find a picture on the white bored that had the same beginning sound as the letter on her sticker. She labeled each picture. 

Dominic doesn't like being left out so he got to help too, Ava was his helper. 

During art time, Ava created a dinosaur out of the letter D!

She made it all by herself!

In the sensory table this week, I added home made cloud dough (just like moon sand). I found the recipe from Tinkerlab (  ) Instead of vegtable oil we used baby oil. It smells so good! It's been a big hit with the kids! I added plastic dinosaur skeletons and small paint brushes. The kids had their own dinosaur excavation site right at home.  

During math time Ava had to sort dinosaurs by type and then put them into a bar graph. She had to label the number of each type of dinosaur on the graph using pre-made number labels. We then discussed which dinosaur she had the most of, which she had the least of, etc.. We did this using 3 times using different combinations and numbers of dinosaurs. 

Here she is working on her alphabet page for her ongoing alphabet book. 

She also practiced tracing the letter D. 
 Tuesday: D is for ducks! 
Stories: Down of the Farm: Ducks By: Sally Morgan
Song: We acted out Five Little Ducks using a puppet and rubber duckies.  

Ava's completed duck project.

We made duck ponds and played with rubber ducks. I dyed the water blue for something different and added  measuring cups, a funnel, spoons, and smaller containers for scooping and pouring water. The kids played with this for an hour and were as wet as ducks when they decided they were finished playing! 

Lilly didn't like the fact that big brother and sister were out on the deck without her, so I let her have a go at some water play in the kitchen. I added some ice and a few toys. She really got into splashing around. 

During math time we worked on AB patterns. Ava had to Velcro different colored ducks to complete patterns on laminated pattern strips. Some patterns needed to be continued, while on others she needed to figure out what was missing inside the pattern. There was even one strip that had an ABC pattern. 
At the end, she was given the chance to create her own patterns on a blank pattern strip

Look Mommy!

I found great alphabet mini books on The books are a great little activity because they involve, coloring, cutting, gluing, sorting pictures, and  practice writing the letters. The site has them for every letter and both long and short vowel sounds. I plan on having her create these mini books for each letter. 
Wednesday: D is for dots! 
Story: 10 Black Dots By: Donald Crews
We spent a good part of our day at the Cincinnati Children's museum participating in story time and doing lots of playing and exploring! We worked on a couple activities while the two little ones were taking their afternoon naps.
Ava made a number dot book with numbers 1-10. Each page had a numeral and corresponding number word. Ava had to put the matching number of dots on each page using our dot paints. 
Using the dot paints, Ava filled in a capital and lower case D. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

C is for Caterpillar, Cookie, and Cars!

Letter C week was a busy one. Actually we didn't even get through everything planned. But, it was a fun week just the same. Here is a glimpse of the week!

C is for caterpillar! The story of the day was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by: Eric Carle

Here Ava is finding objects that start with C in our letter of the week box. Daddy was in charge of filling it this week. She was pretty excited to pull out a piece of chocolate and a cookie in the shape of a letter C among other things!

We read the Very Hungry Caterpillar two times. The first time we read ift for enjoyment. The second time we read it as part of a sequencing activity. Every fruit that the caterpillar ate had to be beaded onto our pipe cleaner caterpillar. I found this activity at activity also promoted great hand eye coordination. 

During art time, the kids made a caterpillar out of the letter C. 

Our sensory bin this week was filled with dried beans. We added cars and trucks to make a construction site. It was a hit! 

Each week Ava makes a new page for her alphabet book . 

We spent some time tracing the letter C. 

For math we worked on building a caterpillar by putting his body into numerical order on our magnetic board.

C is for Cookie! On cookie day we read Mmm, Cookies by Robert Munsch.

Using tin foil we I created a "cookie sheet" We glued paper cookies on the sheet and used a q-tip and black paint to add the chocolate chips. I precut and glued Dominic's cookies. He added the chocolate chips. 

I traced Ava's cookies. But, she did all her own cutting, gluing, and painting! 

Of course we had to make real cookies too! 

Since the story we read is about a boy who makes cookies out of play dough, we got out our play dough, cookie sheets, and cookie cutters too! There were some interesting cookies made. Ava said she was making chocolate mustard cookies. 

For math, I spread "cookies" with numbers 1-6 on a cookie sheet. Ava then picked from a pile of cookies with the corresponding number of chocolate chips. She had to count the chocolate chips and match the cookie to the cookie with the right numeral. 

C is for cars! Our story for the day was Cool Cars by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker.

For our art activity we explored painting with cars! The kid's enjoyed trying different cars to create different tracks on their paper. 

I created a car mat out of an old window shade. Thanks to Kyle for helping me paint it! The mat is also a math game. There is a race track in which players take turns rolling a dice and moving their car that number of spaces. The parking lot is also a game. I numbered cars to go in each numbered parking spot. Like it happens in any classroom, we never got to all the plans for the day. So for right now the car mat is for playing with cars. But, we will take it back out to play the math games soon! 
These are specific theme related activities. In addition to our school day we have circle time. During circle time we sing songs, use the felt board, do calendar activities, and weather activities.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It's the Simple Things

We had such a busy summer going here, there, and everywhere that I haven't heard, "What can we do?" for quite some time. Now that Kyle is back teaching and there is a new baby in the house, we stay a little closer to home during the week. I have quickly been reminded of the importance of finding new and fun ways to entertain kids. Of course I want to keep their days fun, but also the less "I'm bored" I hear, the more sane I stay! Since becoming a mom, I have come to the realization that kids don't need or even want big fancy toys (well they may want them, but once they have them they quickly lose interest). It is amazing how simple things can provide entertainment and educational experiences for very little cost.

Here are a couple forms of entertainment that have been a hit at our house lately! 
Spray bottles! I found them on clearance for 50 cents a piece. The kids take them outside to "spray paint"  and "clean".They also discovered if they put there hands down on dry deck boards and spray their hands, when they lift their hands the outline will still be there. 
The action of spraying the water is great for fine motor skills! 

Shaving cream! It's oldie but a goody. The kids love the way it feels and smells. It is a great sensory experience that allows the kids to use their fingers to practice writing letters, numbers, and shapes. 

Some like getting a little more "into" it than others! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

B is for a Beautiful Week!

We have had some perfect fall weather this week and have been loving it! Along with finally feeling like we can get outside without cutting through the humidity, we have been busy learning about the letter B and numbers 3 and 4! In addition we worked on creating AB patterns and sequencing objects by size.

Here is a little look at our week:

Monday: After our morning circle time, we sorted through our grab box to find objects with the /B/ sound. After looking at all our objects that started with B we sang the song Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee (it was a hit and has been sung many times since!). Below are pictures of our other "B" related activities that I was able to capture on with the camera!

For story time we read The Big Blue Spot By: Peter Hollwitz
It is a really cute story about one blue spot who travels through the book in search of a friend. Toward the end he  finds a yellow spot. They discover that together they make green!

We experimented painting with blue and yellow . They had dot paint brushes to work with  since the book was about a dot, but their artistic sides took the pictures in a different direction! : )
Painting always turns into finger painting at our house! They  threw around the idea of painting  with their feet too, but I thought hands were enough mess for one day! They'll love one of the art projects I found for the letter C because it involves painting their feet!

We spent our outside time looking for bugs (though I am sure we will still be out in the backyard looking for bugs even while we learn about the letter Z. )It is Ava's absolute most favorite thing do do outside! Notice the large spider in her bug box. She came up to me very excited. I said, "Ava I sure hope you didn't pick that up with your bare hands!" Her response, "Oh don't worry Mommy, he's a nice spider." YIKES! After looking at it more closely, I think it was actually dead! Good thing! We have since had to have a bug handling lesson. Unless its worms from the garden, gloves, tweezers, or shovels must be used to get the bug into the bug box! Maybe she will study bugs when she is older.
Dominic loves to play alongside his big sister. He was out bug hunting too! 

The kids worked on some beading. Dominic wasn't really into yet. Ava and I also spent some timing making patterns on our magnetic board using bug magnets that I created. And of course, she practiced writing the letter B!

Tuesday: Bear Day! Ava and Dominic rounded up their teddy bears to join us for school. We did the Teddy Bear Dance and sang Going on a Bear Hunt. 
We read the big book version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears

After reading our story, we worked on sequencing cutouts of bears, apples, pumpkins , and hearts from biggest to smallest and smallest to biggest. 
We picked three bears to measure. Ava determined how tall they were using  blocks stacked together. We compared the height of each of the stacks to decide where our bears should go in the line-up of biggest to smallest. Ava thought that all her other bears should be lined up too, so she figured out where to put them too! She thought it would make a good picture if she were in the line up! I have to agree!

Wednesday- B is for bugs! We had to spend at least one day talking about one of Ava's favorite things- BUGS! We had fun singing our bumble bee song, searched for capital and lowercase Bs among lots of other letters on the white board, and worked on AB patterns. We read Creepy Critters for story time. See below for pictures of a couple other activities we worked on during our school time! 

While big sister worked on practicing using a glue bottle and  gluing lady bug spots,  Dominic  practiced using a glue stick by gluing shapes onto construction paper. 
Ava was given 4 lady bugs. Each had a number written on them.  She had to glue the corresponding number of spots on each bug. She loved using the "adult" glue as she calls it! 

During our work time, Ava worked on making a bug book. She had to color  each bug  a specific color. She was so excited to "read" the book to her Daddy! Dominic didn't want to be left out, so he worked on one too!  The book was a free printable from
We felt it important to include a religion component to our preschool. We purchased and are following Catholic ABC’s. This week Ava will learn that B is also for baptism! My husband will work with her over the weekend on these activities. Catholic ABC's  is a curriculum put together by Lacy from Her blog is an awesome resource!

I better start planning some letter C fun for next week!