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March 25, 2013 / Letter of the Week

Letter R

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Risfor

I love how the colours had to match the background!  You can get this series of printables from Home School Creations

Little Red Hen

We read the classic Little Golden Book The Little Red Hen.  Then he dot painted a picture of a hen.  I tried to continue on with an activity related to the book (we were going to bake bread) but much like the characters in the book, there was no way he was going to bake bread.

Left and Right Worksheet

We did this group of worksheet activities from Kids Learning Station and he kind of astounded me with how quickly he cottoned onto the concept of left and right.  We’d spoken about it before so it wasn’t completely new but he did this worksheet completely by himself and as you can see (checks to make sure) he got everything right!  I’ve tried using left and right in a few real life situations (ie, when I pick him up from child care which way our car is parked) and he almost always goes the correct direction.

Mosaic Letter R

We made a letter R using his Mosaic Pin Board that you saw back in Letter M week.

rainbow craft

Using cotton balls for clouds and coloured pop sticks for the rainbow we made a rainbow picture.  And there is a funny story behind this picture.  I’m not quite sure why I was googling this after the event but I saw a picture that was EXACTLY the same as mine!  So I was all kinds of self righteous and mad before I realised that I’d not even uploaded the picture yet, I was just remembering what it looked like from my camera.  *facepalm*  So there may very well be someone out there looking at this picture thinking it’s exactly the same as theirs.  But it’s not.  I ran out of yellow pop sticks so we had to use two oranges. 😀  But seriously, that’s the only difference.  Crazy!

Golden Books

We read a few more Little Golden Books.  It is amazing how many alternate endings to Little Red Riding Hood there are!

Rocking Robot

We played this Rockin Robot game.  He loves robots so I thought this would be a huge hit.  It kind of wasn’t.  The game has a timer that you set and cards of different robot card templates that you have to make.  If you take too long, the timer goes off and all the bits explode everywhere.  He liked building the robot but hated the explosion.  So we just didn’t use the timer or we set it off only once he’d finished.  He doesn’t like things to be unfinished.

rockin robot

And here it is in progress!  There’s mainly two options for the pieces but the head has four options (on the back of the red eye piece, for example, is square eyes)

Froot Loop Rainbow

I introduced my kid to Froot Loops for the sake of this activity and it is a match made in heaven.  He absolutely adores them.  Not a surprise when you consider how much sugar is in those things!  I can’t believe that it can actually be classed as food!  But he did manage to almost complete his froot loop rainbow before he started munching.

finished froot loop rainbow

Here is the finished product.

Russian Dolls

We made some Russian Dolls from Activity Village.  There is more to the template and you are actually able to nest them inside one another.  Colouring is clearly not his strong point…

rainbow

Although having said that, this is probably his very best colouring EVER.  It was so good that I even offered to stick it up on his wall.  He is so proud of it, he has to show everyone who comes over to our house his rainbow.

city

This picture is actually all kinds of awesome.  I cut out some shapes for us to make a robot but before I put them the way they were supposed to go, I just put them on the table and asked J what he could make out of them.  The first thing he came up with was, indeed, a robot (which I stupidly didn’t get a photo of) but then he dismantled the robot and made this city!  There are three houses (the green pieces), one is mine, one is his and one is Daddy’s and we all have swimming pools out the front with a little bit of grass.

dog

Then he took it apart and came up with this dog!

another city

And then he really started clutching at straws and made this other city.

submarine

And this is a submarine.  But I totally didn’t have to tell you that, did I??

robot

And finally, here is his robot.

Other Activities

painting

We did some painting and I actually managed to take a pic which really conveys the joy he was feeling.  So even though he’s got a yucky lip and nose and dirty glasses, this is one of my favourite pics I’ve taken of him recently.  It’s so real, if that makes sense.

Godthab

He still loves his World Game so we made a few of the capitals using his Letter Construction Kit.  And for those of you who don’t know, Godthab is the capital of Greenland.

dhaka

And Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh.  Yes, I did have to just go and look them up.  No, if my son was awake I wouldn’t have needed to.

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February 9, 2013 / Letter of the Week

Letter Q

Letter Activities Header

QStickers

His completed Letter Q.  Well, actually, this isn’t the finished product – he coloured all around the white bits and recoloured the mouths.  But this is where I had hoped he would stop!  You can get this printable from Home School Creations

And that’s about it for Q activities this week!  Since Q is basically impossible to think of any activities for, I just decided that we’d revisit some old favourites this week.  We did attempt to make a paper quilt but someone got bored half way through and then ripped up his pictures so there went my only Q activity.

Other Activities Header

MoonSand

I got the moon sand out again and he does love it.  I don’t think he smiled the whole time, he was just concentrating intently.

MoonSand2

And moon sand is the only thing I will put in that UGLY casserole dish!

WorldCards

The playing of the World Game (This One) has abated slightly but we’ve come up with a new adaptation!  You can’t really tell from the photo but we put all the countries in alphabetical order and then put their capitals on top.  They weren’t strict alpha order, simply “A countries” and then “B Countries”.  This took ages but he loved it.

letterconstruction

We then got out the Letter Construction set and made the capital and the country words.  Thankfully he only wanted to do one country and capital before he got bored.  That would have lasted for days had he wanted to do the lot!

Three Letter Words

We did some matching of three letter words with their respective pictures.  He did extremely well at this although I feel he is only looking at the first letter and recognising that and the sound rather than successfully reading all of these words!  However, that is a step toward reading so that’s all good.  He definitely knows a few of them but there was a bit of guess work going on.

patterns

This one kind of baffled me.  I think we did these patterns right near the beginning of Letter of the Week (almost a year ago now) and he couldn’t do it.  There were two different lots of pictures but they both had a ABCA pattern.  This time, he did one easily and then I gave him this one, which, as you can see, is the same ABCA pattern but he couldn’t do it!  He was sure that the rabbit went next and got really grumpy when I tried to tell him that it didn’t.  So how he can “get it” with one lot of pictures but not another I’m very unsure (he had no help on the first one, he just did it) so I’ll keep this pattern and drag it out again in a few months time.

CatPack

We did the Cat Preschool Pack from 1+1+1=1 that I’d downloaded so long ago and forgot about!  This was all too easy.

CatGraphing

I think I said this last post but he adores anything that can, in any way, be thought of as a race.  Graphing is wonderful as it’s a race, you get to do different colours, and your monkey watches on on the background.

SillyBoy

Silly, happy, boy!

Fillintheblanks

This worksheet (still from the Cat Pack) is for kids to fill in the blank letters of the alphabet.  But I mainly included this photo to illustrate one of the many positions he likes to do his activities in.  It really doesn’t look comfortable but I guess that’s how kids concentrate.  I wonder if mainstream schooling should pick up on my brilliant observations rather than making kids sit at desks? LOL

First Passport

This wasn’t a planned activity this week.  We’d had an appointment the day before for his eyes and they were running incredibly late….as in 50 minutes late!  And because it was a long appointment he had to have some drops and then wait another 20 minutes before the drops had dilated his pupils enough for the next doctor to do her thing.  Over an hour of waiting time isn’t really ideal for a 3.5 year old but he was so incredibly brilliant and waited so patiently, it was ME who was getting huffy and wanting to throw a temper tantrum, not him!  So because he was exceptionally good for such a long time, I said I’d buy him a present.  This is made by the same people who make his beloved world game and you may be able to see from all the stickers on the front, it’d been marked down to $15.  Score!

passport

And this is what’s in that little suitcase.  It focuses on five countries (Australia, USA, UK, China and Russia) and there are stickers of landmarks, animals, foods, flags and people that you have to stick on the correct page.  That was quite difficult for him.  In the middle is the passport where you’re sticking the stickers.  On the right are some postcards and on the back of them there is a picture to colour in, room for the stamps you can see down the bottom and some questions.  There was also a map where you could write the names of the countries.  The space allocated for writing the countries was quite small.  Fine for UK and USA but Australia definitely didn’t fit using “toddler writing”.

January 26, 2013 / Letter of the Week

Letter P

Letter Activities Header

Paint with water

This picture didn’t turn out too well but he is doing painting with water. He did about three of these before he got bored so definitely well worth the $2 I spent on the entire booklet of templates!

PoohBearAddition

We did the entire Pooh Bear pack from Living Life Intentionally. Here is the addition readiness. I expected him to romp this in and I wasn’t disappointed. He’s been doing simple addition for some time now. The writing of numbers, on the other hand, needs a bit of practice.

PoohBearJumpCounting

He didn’t really seem to get the concept of jump counting although we did manage to fill out all the numbers. This took FOREVER! He also kept putting his numbers back to front (ie, 02 instead of 20). We happened to have a paediatrician appointment a few days after he did this and he assured us that it’s completely normal. It’s more unusual that a 3.5 year old knows his numbers as well as J does.

Playcorn

This was a disaster! I held onto this for SO LONG waiting for P week and it was a bomb. 1. You can only use it once (as in, each piece can only be used once) 2. You need to get a very exact amount of water on it to bond it – too little and it doesn’t work and too much and you end up with a soggy mess 3. There are not really enough of one colour to make any of the suggestions in the instruction booklet except for a tree. Glad I didn’t pay too much for it. I might get it out again in a year or so.

PoohBearOpposites

And after that short interlude with Playcorn, we’re back to the Pooh Bear Pack. He did this with no problems at all until we got to Tall and Short and Big and Small. Neither of us could really decide wither Piglet should be Short or Small and same with Roo so I just guessed. It’s pretty bad when even the Mum isn’t sure of a Pre School pack answer! LOL

PoohBearNumbers

This blurry photo shows the Pooh Bear Pack Numbers page. This is where he got stuck drawing his 6 and 8’s which led to the first pic under “Other Activities”

PoohBearColours

I knew he’d do just fine with his colours and he did. It was such a cool pic, though, he did it all by himself and even did a pattern on the P up the top.

PoliceStationLego

We put together his Lego police station that he got for Christmas. He then played with it, demolished it, put it back together (with assistance), played with it again. Definitely a hit. Especially because the lights on the police car flash and make siren sounds when pressed. A little boy’s dream toy!

Playdough Garden

We made a playdough garden! I had made him four colours of play dough for Christmas (and somehow, miraculously, they are all still in four separate colours rather than the one heaps of mish mash I expected) so we put a little in each hole in the egg carton.

Playdough Garden Flowers

And then we “planted” some fake flowers.

Playdough Garden Windowsill

And put them on our windowsill.

Doubloon Graphing

I was sure that I got this Jake and the Neverland Pirates pack from 1+1+1=1 but I can’t find the link to it anywhere – only a Kindergarten Pack which looks very interesting! In this pic he is doing the doubloon graphing. This was a HUGE hit. To him, everything is a race, so the colours were racing to the top. And believe me, it was a close finish 😉

PinBoard

We got out the Pin Board again but he really wasn’t terribly interested. Oh well, maybe another time.

PirateFelt

I sometimes give this to him during his “quiet time” but he never really does much with it. He needs a bit more direction in order to do it. Here is the felt board when we’d just started putting bits and pieces together.

PirateFeltFinished

Here is the finished product! He definitely had some help with parts of it. Like the pants. He totally wanted his pirates to be gangster with pants only pulled up to their knees.

Puppet

I’ve been holding onto this one for a while, too. Although it said 6+ on the box I figured that he could always just play with it! Turns out that the age recommendation was probably on the money (or at least, it wasn’t suitable for a 3 year old!). I ended up pretty much making it, he passed me things as I needed them.

PuppetJ

Here he is with the finished product. It actually turned out quite well and pretty much looked like the one on the box! He loved it and played with it for ages, going back to it on other days, too. Success!

PuffyPaint

I found a recipe for Puffy Paint online so we gave it a go. It didn’t really work too well for us, I’m afraid. I had to change the recipe (ie, add a heap more water) as my paint was more like dough!

PuffyPaintFinished

Here is the finished paintings. They are all suns, by the way. The first one we did (bottom right) I don’t think I microwaved for long enough so the middle didn’t really puff up. I doubled the time to microwave (which I’d already doubled from the “recipe”) and the green and the blue singular ones worked out much better. He generally loves painting so I thought he’d really want to do a lot more of these – I’d cut up a heap of cardboard – but he’d had enough after these “masterpieces” were completed.

Other Activities

LetterTracing

He was doing some number writing and getting terribly frustrated with his inability to correctly draw a number 6 or an 8. So I got out an old baking tin, some custard powder, and set him to work drawing numbers in the custard powder. WIN! This was something I’d seen in a Montessori book that I borrowed from the toddler program leader and it was brilliant. He could draw the numbers without the added pressure of having to hold his pen correctly. I would definitely recommend this method. It’s a little messy and I put WAY too much powder in. Cornflour is the recommended base or regular flour.

We also did the Longer and Shorter Basic Concepts Worksheets from Kids Learning Station

Education.com had a worksheet on measuring which I thought we’d have a go at. He loved the idea of measuring, but he didn’t really understand that you had to start your measurement from the beginning of the tape measure. He just put it anywhere and would read the number at the end. I was telling him that you had to start at the beginning of the tape measure – perhaps I should have told him to start at number 1?

We did a colour by number, also by Education.com which in and of itself is no big deal. But he revealed to me while doing this worksheet that he can FREAKING READ! There were four colours in the legend up the top – they were all printed in black. He rattled off which number corresponded with which colour! Without any kind of clues at all. I was absolutely flabbergasted. And proud. So so proud.

We worked quite a lot on ABC Mouse . He’s getting a bit impatient with it as he’s mastered their lessons – it’s just too easy for him but I don’t know how to skip him ahead. I think the only way is to go through all the lessons.

Wow – P was a busy week! Don’t expect the same from Q 😉

January 7, 2013 / Letter of the Week

Letter O

Letter Activities Header

Outerspace1

Please ignore our yellowing grass!  It was an incredibly hot day/week.  Here is J and his Dad doing the first step of our Outer Space theme project.  We went to Riot Art and Craft and bought this black card and using watered down white paint made flickings on it that looked like stars.

Outerspace2

And here is the finished backdrop.  Hubby, who is quite arty, couldn’t help himself and had to add some special features over and above just flicking stars!

Planets

We did some work with the planet packs from 1+1+1=1 which included lining them up in the order they are from the sun and then again in size order.

PlanetsSize

Here they are after being correctly lined up in order from biggest to smallest.

Space3partcards

Here he is working on the three part cards, all outer space related.  This word he actually knew already.  Unlike satellite.  Or Space Station.

PlanetNotPlanetSorting

Doing some planet vs not planet sorting. This was actually surprisingly difficult for him as some of the not planet things were round (like a comet and a sun) and kinda looked like they could have been planets (if you are three).

Planets2

And here is the finished product!  We stuck on those planets from 1+1+1=1 along with some others which we made labels for, too.  What a work of art!  He loved that this activity was made up of many individual activities so we might need to do more project based activities now that he’s getting older.

LetterOStickers

The stickers were really intended for the worksheet below his crayons and the crayons for the one in front of him but that’s not what HE intended!

OStickersFinal

And here is the finished product.  Note the O sticker on the Opera singers mouth!  And note this is the best colouring in he’s ever done.  Very proud!  As it is every week, all thanks to HomeSchool Creations for these colouring ins.

Ocean Pack

Here he is doing the Ocean Pack from Homeschool Creations. He’s also getting a lot better at pen control.  He wants to do these as fast as possible so I have to slow him down a little – it’s not really very beneficial if he just does a straight line for all of them, including zig zags.  We actually did a lot more of this pack than is pictured.  Basically everything except the writing as he just wasn’t interested.

Olympic3partcards

We did the Olympic Pack from 3 dinosaurs.  He did incredibly well on these ones when they each started with a different letter.  He knows his beginning sounds fairly well.  I also REALLY appreciated that Cassie had done soccer and football rather than just football.  Very considerate of her international readers where football is something else entirely 🙂

OlympicWhatComesNext

The What Comes Next sequencing was no challenge at all, even with all the different possibilities you can see here.

OlympicPreWriting

He’s getting so much better at his pre writing practice activities.

OlympicCutting

He loved doing the cutting practice and asked to do more when it was finished.  He’s really getting quite skilful with the scissors.  Compared to six months ago, he’s going great guns!

Other Activities

FindTheRhyme

This was a Christmas gift from his aunty and uncle (which I actually went out and bought – we each bought for one another’s kids this year).  It says on the box that it’s for ages 2+ and I scoffed at that thinking that a two year old couldn’t rhyme but I wasn’t really thinking outside the box there.  He did this easily because he could match the pictures, not because he was reading the rhymes.  We talked about the rhymes and made silly matches (ie a cat driving a jeep) and he’s starting to get the concept of rhyming but I probably wouldn’t have bothered with this particular puzzle for this purpose in hindsight.  It was only $15 and I do so adore ELC products so I’m not too devo’d.

WorldGame

This was another Christmas present, it’s called “Travel the World” and it’s advertised on the box as being a game for 3+ but I really think that’s a little ambitious.  We’ve had to, for wont of a better phrase, “dumb down” the rules quite a bit in order for J to play it with any success.  However, we’ve found that what he really enjoys is matching the country cards to their locations on the maps by himself rather than really playing it.  But we do play it a LOT, it’s a big hit.  (oh dear God, I’m so sick of it!) So he’s learnt a lot from this game, he can point at all the countries identified without too much of a hesitation at all.  Very impressive.  Another ELC game.  And he’s starting to look at the capital cards, too, rather than just the country cards.

ColourbyNumber

Together we did this colour by letter drawing – can you guess which letters were mine??  And while I normally like to credit the creators of such free materials, these bright sparks had managed to make a typo on their legend.  Yes, the legend that consists of the four letters that you’re supposed to colour, putting a J in the legend and an I on the picture.

SameandDifferent

We did the same and different basic concept worksheets from Kids Learning Station.

LetterConstruction

This was another Christmas present which was incredibly difficult to find!  I couldn’t get it in Australia so I had to get it shipped over from the US.  Normally shipping is hideously expensive and just not worth it, but Amazon actually had very reasonable shipping for this really heavy product.

LetterConstructione

Here he is making the lower case e.  You can see the upper case E in the background.  Naturally this led to making the entire alphabet, albeit over a few days once boredom set in!

LetterConstructionupper1

Here is half the uppercase alphabet.  We started to do upper and lower together but realised that we were going to run out of pieces.  I’d hoped that we’d have enough to do the entire alphabet just upper but I was mistaken!  So here’s the first bit.

LetterConstructionupper2

And here’s the rest of the upper case alphabet.

letterconstructionlower1

And the lower case alphabet.  Complete with model.

letterconstructionlower2

And finally, the end of the lower case.  Phew!  If you think it was bad scrolling through all those photos, imagine living it.

Puzzle

He got this wonderful puzzle for Christmas from his Grandma and Granddad.  It’s a puzzle but it’s also a find an object game, too.  He’s not at all interested in the find the object part of things (even though he has a book very similar and adores it) but we’ve done this puzzle quite a few times.  Here he is early one morning, still in his PJs doing the puzzle with his Dad.Puzzle2

Here is the finished product.  Wish I’d noticed that reflection in the photo when I took it.  There’s not a piece missing, regardless of what it looks like!

December 26, 2012 / Letter of the Week

Letter N

Image

We concentrated on numbers a lot this week, given that numbers starts with N.  And that he adores numbers.  So it was a win win situation, really.

ImageWe made a clock out of a paper plate and some foam number stickers.  I showed him our regular clock and divided the plate into quarters to give him some guidance and he stuck all the stickers where they were supposed to go.  He mastered the “o’clock” times and the “half past something” times and I think that was enough.  As he’s a bit little to really understand fractions, I didn’t worry with the quarter past, quarter to times.  Maybe he would have surprised me?  Who knows!

ImageAnd here is the finished product.  Not perfect, as you can see but he was proud of it.  So proud he ended up ripping all the stickers off about half an hour later.  SIGH.

Image

Here he is writing his numbers.  Yes, we were up to eleven and yes, we’d done one through ten before I got the camera out.  They did get progressively worse but he definitely concentrated on this one because eleven is his “favourite number”.  These sheets came from Teaching My 3 but I can’t find exactly where in her blog.  Oops!

Image

Continuing on with N is for Numbers, he got given a dot to dot book and he absolutely adored it!  He wanted to do the entire book but ONLY managed to do 36 of them.  Truly!  They got progressively harder with the first few only being from one to ten but by the end it was one to twenty five.  

Image

Our last number activity was playing with a fraction game that I bought him from Avon.  I’m not sure that he truly understood the concept past splitting something in half but he could put the “puzzle” together so perhaps he did?  I shall have to revisit in a few months to see if he gets it a bit better.

Image

ImageI’m sure there is educational value in this somewhere, like fine motor control,  but this was really a fun activity.  We dipped the marbles in paint (red and yellow as you can see here but we did blue, too) put them on the paper and then tipped them every which way.  The box is simply an old cereal box with the front cut off and taped up.  

ImageHere is J doing his own painting.

Image

Here are just some of the finished products hanging on the clothes airer.  They look pretty cool!  But the best one was when hubby showed him how to do it in circles rather than just up and down and across.  I want to go to IKEA and get frames for that one it’s so good 

There were other activities that we did this week that didn’t mange to get photographed – 

And back when I had planned this week I thought we would do some napkin folding but he has totally nailed that now with the help of going to the Montessori Toddler Program each week so I didn’t worry about that one!

 

 

 

 

 

December 16, 2012 / Letter of the Week

Letter M

This post is not very photo heavy.  Those of you who know me in real life know that my husband and I went overseas recently – this week of activities was done the week before we left so I was a tad distracted with everything else I had going on that week!

Letter Activites

Letter M Stickers

Doing his letter M stickers.  As always, these are from Homeschool Creations.  I got out his do a dot paint pens so he could have a choice but if there is a choice between stickers and anything, it’s stickers all the way.

Mosaic Stickers

I found a mosaic sticker book and he did quite well with it.  But I mean, come on.  It was STICKERS.

Macarons

I’ve always wanted to try macarons so what better time to do so than letter M week?  I’m a bit of a baking snob in that I will almost always make things from scratch so it was not only the price (nearly $8!!! WTF!!!) but pride that makes it difficult to post this picture.  As it turns out, they were really nice.  Except I made them WAY too big so when it says that it makes 12, well it really only made about half that.  The other benefit of baking from scratch is that there is heaps more that your child can be involved in.  Packet mixes don’t really require much in the way of measuring out ingredients.

Licking the beaters

My son, on the other hand, is no such baking snob.  He’s a beater licking connoisseur.  Maybe I should have just put veggies on the beater?  Thoughts for next time… (should next time ever happen, that is)

Moon Sand

It was a lovely day so we got out the picnic blanket and dug out the old moon sand from the pantry. Moon sand is just flour and oil mixed together.  It is such a lovely texture that even I found myself playing with it mindlessly, too.  There are recipes online where you can make it smell lovely, give it a different colour, make it sparkle etc etc.  I may need to make some of different colours.  OH WOW, hello Christmas gift idea!  Writing that down on the to do list right now.

Moon Sand 2

Although easy to clean up, this stuff is messy.  Do it outside.  I had to change his entire outfit afterwards as he was covered in it.  But he had a good time and that’s what’s important.

Doc McStuffins kit

This was a HUGE hit.  The bag itself was actually a gardening bag that we got him last christmas but I took out the gardening tools and put in stuff from the Doc McStuffins Tot Pack from 1plus1plus1.  What you can see here are a few laminated characters from the show.

Doc McStuffins Kit inside

And inside there are laminated medical instruments, some pom poms as medicine, some plastic shot glasses as medicine cups, and a blue doctors hat that we got from hospital when he had his grommets put in.

dr buzz

And here is the doctor examining his first patient – Buzz Lightyear.

buzz bandaid

This is a terrible photo but I had to include it.  I can’t remember what the diagnosis was but the treatment?  A bandaid!  How toddler!

dr examining

And here is the doctor examining Mummy.  Buzz Lightyear apparently made a full recovery as he was released fairly shortly thereafter.  Or he is dead on the ground in the background.

We played Doctor J for ages that day.  After examining my “sore leg” and “sore arms” (thankfully he doesn’t know of any worse injuries than that) many times over, he would give me medicine to cure it.  The flavour of the medicine needed to corrospond to the colour of the pom pom.  The first few things are pretty easy to come up with by once you’ve gone through all the fruits, vegetables and things you can see (ie, tree flavoured medicine, grass flavoured medicine) it gets a bit difficult to think of new and exciting flavours.  Especially for purple.

Other Activities Header

Glueing Activity

I’m not entirely sure what he’s doing here.  It simply involves a lot of paper and a lot of glue.  I’m sure it was a masterpiece…that may or may not have ended up in our rubbish bin.

Activities without photos this week:

  • Mickey Mouse Tot Pack from 1plus1plus1
  • Disney Flashcards (I’m sure I took photos of these but buggered if I can find them anywhere with all the photos of the overseas trip taking place.  They are a wipe on wipe off card where your child can write the word on the cards.  They were a bit hard for him (but I mean, really, “wheelbarrow”?  What about some simple words Disney!) but he enjoyed it anyway.
  • Length Basic concepts

And we were going to play with the Mosaic Pin Board but ran out of time.  I also tried to get him to do his world map puzzle a number of times but he was simply not interested.

December 16, 2012 / Letter of the Week

Letter L

Letter Activities Header

Letter L Stickers

Here he is sticking stickers on his Letter L from Homeschool Creations.  We started off with circular stickers but as you can see here, he’s “graduated” onto square stickers.

Getting Ready for L

Doing “Getting Ready for L” from 1plus1plus1

L is for sheet

Doing the L is for… worksheet also from 1plus1plus1.  Some of his L’s were much more like C’s by the time we got to the end.  And he can’t really say L very clearly just yet either.  We’re working on it!

Little Einstein Sheets

J loves Little Einsteins!  So when I saw that 1plus1plus1 (they seem to be featuring a LOT this week don’t they?) had done up some worksheets I couldn’t wait for L week.  He was pretty stoked with it and you can see the different patterns he did using his do a dot pens.  I love those things.  I also love that he had to dot in the middle of the O in Leo.

Ladybird Maths

I wish that this photo had turned out a bit clearer – we’re doing basic maths using a ladybird and her spots!  I printed out a bunch of easy flash cards (the 1+ 1 you can see in the top left) and he would put the corresponding spots on the ladybird.  He adored this activity.

Learning Activities Header

Tall and short concept

This is the Tall and Short Concept from Kids Learning Station.  And in case you were wondering, that is a bandanna he is wearing on his head.  We didn’t do many activities this week as he had a sleep over at my Mum and Dads.  Mum, for reasons best known only to herself, bought him a pirate costume which he LOVED.  The bandanna went with the costume and he refused to take it off.  Pick your battles, parents.  This wasn’t worth the hassle.

Candyland

We played a LOT of Candyland this week.  This game has a really simple concept but it really good at teaching turn taking and the fact that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  He’s pretty good at “losing” because he says that he came second or third or fourth but the bit he struggles with is the having to go backwards if you get that particular pink card.  Many a tantrum has been had and many a game has been packed up early if he can’t get himself under control.  He also loves to play the game with just him and monkey which is all kinds of cute because I used to do that as a kid, too.

Pin and Gear Playset

We also played a lot with this toy this week.  I can never quite get it to look like the front but he has fun with it regardless.

Cutting

Practising his fine motor skills with his own scissors.  He has improved amazingly with the scissors since we abandoned the safety scissors and just got a regular smaller pair.  He also tells me frequently that I must be very careful with scissors because they’re sharp.  I guess the message does get through!

September 16, 2012 / Letter of the Week

Letter K

Letter K

This is his version of a coloured in letter K.  He did eventually do a bit better and it’s up on his wall with all his other letters so far.

Letter K Stickers

Putting his stickers on his letter K sheet.  Both this and the above letter K activities come from Homeschool Creations

Kingdom Painting

I got this idea from Pinterest, though Free PreSchool Crafts and it’s a great idea for using up old toilet rolls!  We are making our very own kingdom for letter K.  He only painted three before he lost interest so I had to paint the rest of them.

Kingdom Painted

And here’s the finished painted product.  I painted the blue paint so we could have a moat and of course, he wanted to paint a plate, too.  So the other two are his.  We looked at how colours mixed so he did actually learn something from that.

Letter K Writing

Here he is writing his letter K’s.  I couldn’t find a pencil at this stage so I had to give him a pen which he thoroughly enjoyed.  I have about seven pictures that I deleted of him posing with the pen he was so proud.  Toddlers!!

K Letter Recognition

I found these great worksheets again through Pinterest done by Kids Learning Station.  He circled all the K words and the pictures all by himself.  He also did the colouring all by himself (except for the kangaroo)…

Key Tag Counting

Another idea from Pinterest!  The one courtesy of The Princess and the Tot.  As I only had four key tags, and he knows his numbers way past four, I got out a pile of 20 colour matching (well, pink/purple is pretty close!) paperclips to see if he could thread them on.  He could do it with a bit of assistance.

Paperclip Length

He wasn’t terribly interested in it, so the activity quickly morphed into seeing which one was longest and shortest.

Paperclip Patterns

We then looked at how we could make patterns with paperclip colours.  In this photo, he’s actually putting a white paperclip at the end of the pattern.  He could see the pattern in the ones that I did (A,B,A,B and AAB, AAB patterns) but couldn’t make his own pattern.  Interesting.

Paperclip Racecars

It then morphed into race cars!  There was no educational value in this – it was just FUN!

Kingdom Assembly

Now that the kingdom was dry, we started to assemble it.  He cut the two snips needed in the toilet roll and I did the sideways cut.  He definitely needs more practice at cutting – he looks so awkward with scissors.  I’ve also learnt that safety scissors are pretty much useless so I got him a set of scissors that are just small but still sharp.  He’s not cut himself but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.  But at least he CAN cut things, the safety scissors barely even cut paper.

Kingdom Finished

And here is our finished product!  He put some glittery stickers on, you know, since it’s a special kingdom, but they barely even stuck so some of them had to be sticky taped.  And after we made it, complete with moat, he didn’t want to play with it at all.  Yeah, you learnt stuff along the way, but playing with the end product was kind of the whole point!!

Kangaroo Planter

I found this little gem at Mama Jenn.  Hers looked a lot more “kangaroo-ey” than ours did!  And I imagine the original source, which you can clearly see in the photo, did too!

Kangaroo

Here’s the finished product!  I’m not quite sure what we’ll put in the cup yet, but I’m sure we’ll find something.

Learning Activities Header

Big and Small concept

I found these great worksheets, too, at Kids Learning Station and they have tons of them on basic concepts.  I’m going to be doing one group each week with him.  I’m pretty sure he knows a lot of the concepts already, but it won’t hurt to reinforce it. And if there is something that he doesn’t quite get, at least I’ll pick it up early.  The worksheet you can see here is “Big and Small” and he totally nailed it, as I expected.  I love the look of concentration on his face and the little tongue poking out. Way too cute!

Spices

One of the boring jobs on my to do list was to clean up my spice collection.  I have a LOT of spices so this was going to be quite a mammoth undertaking.  Who better to help me than a toddler?  You can see that each bottle is labelled (and there is my labeller in the background) but the bottles themselves were quite grimy and yuck, some of them were empty and I hadn’t refilled them and some I’d never even used.  J ripped the labels off the bottles, I cleaned them up and stuck a new label on them and we both refilled the ones that needed to be refilled.  He played while I was doing my jobs, pretending to cook and trying his best to say the names of some fairly exotic spices.  I took the lids off some of the more pungent smelling ones, like cloves and fennel seeds so he could smell the different spices, too.  We only dropped one jar (okay, it was totally me, I can’t even blame him for it) but thank God it didn’t break!  My spice collection is all lovely and organised (alphabetised.  Why yes, I am a little anal) and I’m happy.

Alphabet Sponge Painting

He did get a little bored by the time we were about two thirds of the way through so his Dad took him outside to do some painting.  He did some watercolours and made a “treasure map” first but then he got out some Alphabet sponges that I’d bought from Riot Art and Craft (love that shop!) and did lots of sponge stamping.  You can’t see it here but he did “write” one of the words he knows the best – his name.

Steps towards writing

 

I found a book called “Steps Towards Writing” at K-Mart for $3 so I bought it for him, knowing that penmanship is a weak point for him.  I cannot tell you how many times I had to remind him to hold his pencil (which I found!) properly.  He absolutely adored doing this – especially because he got a sticker for each page that he completed.  I did make him do it properly before I gave him a sticker, though.  I’m a hard task master.

Steps towards Writing ABCD

 

And then about half way through you had to either draw or cut out something that started with letters A, B, C and D.  This was great and devastating all at the same time.  Great because he got to practice some cutting but devastating because we had to wait for the glue to dry and that, my friends, is a toddler tragedy.  He needed a lot of help with this but we managed to get apricots, baked beans, condensed milk and a picture of a dog.  That is mince for a dog, not minced dog, just in case you were wondering.

Techy Toddler Heading

 

After not wanting to know it for a few weeks, he’s gone right back to ABC Mouse with a vengeance! And since we’re actually paying for this site month by month, I’m very glad to see it.  He finished the toddler lessons a little while ago and he’s getting towards the end of the Pre School lessons.  The Art lessons have evolved into colour by numbers and the puzzles are harder.  He has the option to make it easy but he adores puzzles so he always puts it on the hardest level that he can manage.  We still have to sit through these god awful songs, though!

Other Activities Header

 

We actually did all of the K activities I had planned this week!  And believe me, if I’d had more planned he would have lapped it up.  As it was, I probably needed more activities, he was THAT into it.  Whenever I’d ask him if he wanted to do an activity, he’d get really excited, jump up and down, come and give me a giant hug and tell me that he liked me the “best in the wide world”.  But when we finished, he put the sulks on big time.

The activity we did that I didn’t manage to get a photo of was to eat kiwi fruit.  I took a picture but it was quite blurry so I didn’t publish it.

The other activity that we’ve started doing each night for a few minutes is teaching him to read.  He knows his alphabet (both the letter and the sound) really well so it’s kind of the next logical step.  I bought some Bob Books which are teaching him sight words and he’s doing really well.  When he feels like it.  And tonight, he did not feel like it, refusing to even recognise the word “it” when last night he was reading it fluently.  Frustrating!  But I have to keep reminding myself that he’s only three (and only JUST three at that).

September 13, 2012 / Letter of the Week

Letters H, I and J

Well, it’s been a LONG time between posts!  Winter hit us pretty hard in this household and between the three of us, we were pretty much sick for the entire season.  Which means I have no motivation to find activities and he has no motivation to do anything!  But now that it’s spring and the weather is warming up, we’ve been healthy for a while (touch wood) so we’re starting up for a few weeks.

We did a few activities but honestly, it’s been so long since I took these photos, I can’t even remember what he was doing in most of them.  

ImageDoing some painting on what appears to be a nice enough day.  You can tell it was taken a while ago because there are still autumn leaves on the tree.  It’s since lost all its leaves and has now begun sprouting some blossoms.

ImageCooking one of my favourite healthy treats, Giant Breakfast Cookies from Heavenly Homemakers.  I really must get some buttermilk so we can make these again.  I’m running out of ideas for snacks for this kid – he’s going through another growth spurt and eating me out of house and home.

ImageSomething I remember!  We played Humpty Dumpty with a real egg, rolling it off the counter and into the waiting bowl.  I was running with the theory that if you make food preparation fun, they’ll eat the finished result.  I should know by now that that particular theory does not work on my kid.  He loved smashing the eggs (duh!) but wouldn’t eat the omlette I made with them… after fishing out all the stray bits of shell, that is.

ImageThese were a great find and naturally, I can’t remember where I got them from.  They are a puzzle where you have to match the number of dots, the actual number and the word but we made him put his coloured beads on, too, to reinforce the point.

ImageWhen I told him it was time to pack up (as you can see, he kind of lost interest after doing six of them.  I think he was probably sick in this photo as you can see the tissues on the ground right nearby!), he said “Hang on Mummy” and ran out of the room.  He came back with his cookie monster/elmo vacuum cleaner and pretended to vacuum up all the mess.  Bless him.

ImageOn another nice morning, I took him outside to play with the shaving cream that he loved so much from Week C.  

ImageOnly this time we had an old toothbrush with us to clean the animals and I dropped some food colouring in the water so we could study colour mixing.  

ImageThis kid has such a great imagination.  He’d stuck the toothbrush to the side of the bowl (it has suction thingies on it) and as you can see here, the lion was doing some diving into the now green water.

ImagePracticing moving beads from one bowl to another using tongs.

ImageWe went to IKEA, which is quite possibly, his favourite shop in the whole world.  I don’t really know what you’re supposed to do with these beads but we just used it for fine motor practice and making patterns.

ImageWe used his Montessori style Moveable Alphabet to make colour words.

ImageHe tried to pair up rhyming words.  I don’t think he did too well at this so we might have to pull these out again

ImageWe did threading of his cotton reels.  He had started being very interested in patterns so everything must be in order.

ImageLetter J Stickers.  We do this for every letter of the alphabet as he adores stickers.  it’s from Homeschool Creations

ImageWe made a Jungle Animals Book.  Here he is gluing an animal onto a page.  He loves to glue stuff.

ImageAnd here are all the pages once he’d finished gluing the animals on.  Yes, some of them are upside down.

ImageI made two lots of jelly and put them, along with the beads and some dinosaurs in a tupperware container for an awesome sensory experience.

ImageI guess he asked to do cooking because I’ve obviously gotten him some cooking implements here.  

ImageNaturally some of it got eaten.  Not as much as I expected but it was a nice ending to the activity.

 

Well that somehow covers letters H, I and J.  We’ve started on letter K this week and he was so ridiculously excited when I told him we were going to do Letter K activities I really wished I’d gotten myself organised earlier.

I expect we’ll be a bit more regular from now on, now that we’re healthy, organised and I’ve been reminded just how much he loves “tivies” (activities).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 28, 2012 / Letter of the Week

Letter G

Letter Activities

Colour By Number

This Colour by Number was in the G is for Green pack at Oopsy Daisey and you can’t really tell from this angle, but it’s a leprechaun’s golden treasure.  He adored colour by number and asked to do more as soon as he’d finished.  My other “student”, Monkey, is watching on the left hand side.

Colour by Number Green

He couldn’t decide which shade of green he wanted so he did them both.  At the same time. That’s toddler multi tasking for you!

Colour by Number Monkey

Monkey wasn’t satisfied with just watching this activity, he had to join in and colour, too.

Guess that Smell Monkey

A game we played which we couldn’t really get a good photo of was “Guess that smell”.  He put a blindfold (read: tea towel) on him and then wafted a few things under his nose to see if he could identify the scent.  He HATED having the tea towel on so it didn’t really go that well.  He did identify lemon and honey but couldn’t pick vegemite, jam or golden syrup.  This photo is him re-enacting the game with monkey.  Monkey has the tea towel on and J is holding a piece of lemon for him to smell.

Geography World Ball

We studied Geography by looking at his blow up world ball.  I got this from Cotton on Kids for $2.50 about a year ago and up until this point all he’s done is throw it.  This time we actually sat down and looked at it.  I showed him Australia where we live and New Zealand where his Grandparents/Aunty/Uncle/Cousins/lots of other family live.

Geography Australia

Continuing on with our Geography lesson, he coloured in a map of Australia.  Monkey was sitting in his seat so he had to do it side ways.  Monkey looks kind of creepy in this photo, like he’s just STARING at J.  In a creepy stalkerish way.  Will need to keep an eye on stalker monkey.

Geography Extreme Colouring

Which then led to some fairly extreme colouring.  Yes, he is planking between the lounge chair and his table.  I wish this photo was clearer but I think I was laughing to hard (and hoping he didn’t fall!) to keep the camera still.

Geography Australia Finished

Here’s the finished product.

World Map Puzzle

Continuing on with our Geography lessons, we did this World Map Puzzle that I picked up from KMart for $5.  Although it said 60 pieces, they really are quite large so although he would have had a heap of trouble doing it by himself, with guidance this was perfect.  Although we could really only learn about the bigger countries, he said them all with me.  I’ll be interested to get this out again to see if he remembered any of them – even just Australia would be good!

World Map Puzzle Edges

We separated out the pieces into edges and middles.  Here he is very diligently putting a piece in.

World Map Puzzle Dancing

Another slightly blurry photo but here he is dancing once we’d finished the puzzle.

World Map Puzzle Finished

Here is the finished product.  It comes with some famous landmarks that you can put on the relevant country.  He even managed to put the Eiffel Tower fairly close to France.  Of course it was on purpose!

Granola

Here we are making Granola!  He’d been stamping with his Cars textas that morning and had managed to get it all over his hands.  Thankfully it came out in the bath.

Granola in Bowl

Here is the finished product the next morning complete with a very generous dollop of my home made yoghurt.  It was SO DELICIOUS!  I’ve had it every morning since we made it.  I gave him way too much, though, as it’s incredibly filling.  He didn’t like it – he said it was too fluffy.  What the??

Goldilocks

We borrowed this version of Goldilocks from the local library.  It’s a bit different to what I remember the story as – Goldilocks helped Mama Bear fix the chair and then they all made Blueberry muffins together.  It even has a blueberry Muffin recipe in the back of the book.

Blueberry Muffins

It’s not really a Letter G activity but since we got the idea from Goldilocks I’ve included it in this category.  We didn’t follow the recipe in the back of the book as it was very American and I have no idea how much a stick of butter is.  So I went to a site that was a tad more specific and we made them based on that recipe.  It’s difficult to convey in a picture but he was shaking the bejeesus out of our measuring spoons and making a god awful racket in this picture.

Blueberry Muffins Spooning

Although he’s gotten so much better as his control of whisking, stirring and spooning mixture, he still ends up quite messy by the end of cooking.  You just have to accept that they’re not nearly as neat as you or I and run with it or you suck the fun out of an activity like this.  From this picture it doesn’t even look like there are any blueberries but believe me, there were plenty.  In fact, if I ever make that recipe again, I’ll probably put in half the amount of berries there were that much.

Learning Activities

Cleaning

J has started saying “my do it!” a LOT.  And if he wants to clean his table then who am I to stop him??

emergency Puzzle

We did his emergency puzzle.  Remember the Firetruck puzzle from Letter F week?  Well this it he puzzle that’s on the reverse.  This was just as difficult for both of us for the same reasons.  No straight edges and he feels as though it’s too hard so he only gives a real half hearted try before saying “no do it”

Playdough Counting One

We printed off the playdough counting pages from Home School Creations.  I showed him how to move your hands differently to roll a ball and a sausage.  In case it’s not blatantly obvious, his first attempt at a sausage was the top of the one.

Playdough Counting Two

And this is what he came up with for number two.  I think we may need to get these out for a bit more practice.  He did enjoy it, though.

Crystal Soil

These things are awesome!  (In fact, they’re so awesome that I just ordered some more.  I got them from a website called The Living Color who are based in Melbourne.)  They’re called Crystal Soil and you are supposed to use them in plants I guess but they’re a great toddler sensory activity.  They’re so pretty some people are using them as part of their centrepieces in their weddings!  I put them in a large Pyrex dish and a litre of water.  They’re about the size of hundreds and thousands here.

Crystal Soil Part 2

And here they are about ten minutes later.  Look how much water they’ve already absorbed!

Crystal Soil 3

And here they are a few days later.  Note: it doesn’t take a few days to get to this size, we just had other things to do and didn’t get to play with them until then.

Crystal Soil Play

Here he is gingerly dipping his fingers in.  See the smile on his face!  This isn’t the kind of activity that you can just set them up with and leave.  Those little balls bounce and they travel a LOT.  And if your toddler can’t quite contain them (even hubby and I had problems with keeping them all in the tray) they will end up everywhere.  And if you happen to be walking around the house barefoot – beware!  You’re almost guaranteed to find a stray crystal that bounced somewhere you didn’t see…

Crystal Soil Play Pouring

He did a lot of careful pouring (while Mum and Dad did a lot of crystal chasing!) and it was at about this stage he thought he’d had enough.  I was really hoping he’d play with it for a bit longer (had only been about five minutes) so I dashed away and added something else into the mix.

Crystal Soil Play Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs!  This was now the best thing ever!  He was even trying to name one of the dinosaurs by its correct name which is incredibly long and starts with a P.  From a kid who has only just stopped having speech therapy this is great.  We did lots of activities involving the dinosaurs.  First they were eating the crystals (possibly reason of extinction) then they were all dirty so they had to go back into the coloured containers to have a bath before being put back into the crystals. They were colour sorted and counted and tried to pick up crystals in their legs and flying and pretty much you name it.  The imagination just went wild with this activity.

Crystal Soil Play Magic

This picture is my very favourite.  He graduated onto making magic with his crystals.  He would put some in the bottom container, put the second container on top, point at it with his pointer finger and say a magic spell (normally either “abradabra” or his very own made up word which can be used in any situation “pookygaga”) and then take the lid off.  I thought for a nanosecond about getting him my Harry Potter wand to use but decided against it.  Best case scenario I don’t get it back, worst case scenario he pokes someone’s eye out.  Neither of those are acceptable!  From a huge Harry Potter nut, to see your son autonomously do magic spells is so so cool. 😀

Ham and Vegetable Slice

He wanted to help me make Ham and Vegetable Slice for our lunch.  I was really hopeful that if he helped me make it, he might be more inclined to eat it.  He ate a lot of the raw ingredients but didn’t eat much once it was actually cooked.  Hubby and I ate it instead – it was yum!  Note: In the background of this picture you can see his flower from Letter F week on our kitchen table.

Ham and Vegetable Slice Grating

He’s starting to say “my do it” a lot more and whenever possibly I try to give him the opportunity to have a go.  I really want to encourage his independence no matter how frustrating it is to me.  Truly, it takes about seventeen times longer when I let him grate a carrot.  However, when I can look at it logically, there was no rush and no reason to go as fast as possible so I stood back and just took joy in seeing him trying to master a new skill.

Pinwheel

We finally had some half decent weather this weekend where it wasn’t raining the entire time and he had a blast running around outside with his pinwheel.  I bought this from Riot Art and Craft (LOVE that shop!) for $3 and I never realised what a versatile toy it is.  We ran around trying to get it to spin since there wasn’t much wind and the next day it became a magic wand!

Techy Toddler

ABC Mouse

He finished the Toddler part of ABCMouse.  He was so proud of himself!  We’ve started on the Pre School Level One and am finding that some of the lessons we must have already done in the Toddler part as they’re already unselectable.  That’s a bit disappointing but there’s now many more lessons before you finish the overall lesson.  He still loves it, though, and his mouse control has improved immensely through doing these lessons.

Other Activities

There were a few other activities this week.  We went outside to garden but when there were about three drops of rain (in total, mind you, not just as a beginning) he insisted we go back inside.  I had planned on going to see his Great Grandparents on Saturday but since he was still coughing a bit I thought we’d best postpone it to next weekend.  We were also going to make Gingerbread but we didn’t get around to that activity either.  Mainly because the weather was so nice we spent a lot more time than I thought we’d be able to outside.  We played with his pinwheel, we played Hide and Seek (he’s a terrible hider but he loves the game), we played magic spells (where his Dad taught him a new spell “a la peanut butter sandwiches”) and hid in the washing.  We had so much fun 🙂