Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One More Thing

The University of Illinois has a presentation on insects, that has some great content.  Mister and Ladybug had fun making their own bugs and learning about the parts of an insect.  The presentation is long and in depth, so we skipped through the functions of each of the body parts.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Creepy Crawlers - Part Three

Here are the final activities we have done for June.  I had more planned, but what would summer be without spending some time bumming around?

We watched Smithsonian Critter Quest and one of the activities was making a bug collector.  Unfortunately we didn't catch anything and then it rained and rained and rained. 
3-Part Cards from Montessori Print Shop
They used a strawberry huller to transfer insects from one bowl to the other.  This activity took a lot of concentration and practice.
Ladybug and Mister made an insect garden.  Ladybug decided we should write letters and send them out to people, which was a great extension of the activity.
One of their favorite activities is stamping.  I always am on the lookout for $1 stamps and stamp pads.
Mister and Ladybug had to count the ladybugs and find the matching number.  It wasn't as easy as other counting activities because the ladybugs didn't have a lot of texture.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's the Little Things

No matter how early I start dinner, nurse the Wee One anticipating her being hungry, let the dog out or bring her in, give Mister and Ladybug an activity 5:30 hits and it becomes crazy around here.  The dog is whining to come in or go out, the baby wants to nurse, the kids are bored and running around, dinner is in process and I am ready to pull my hair out.  I am happy to report that tonight I took one part out of the madness equation.  The Wee One played with an empty spice bottle and its top for more than 30 min.  She was working so hard trying to get the top to stay on.  How many plastic toys have we bought that entertain for only 5-10 minutes?

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's Camp for Adults

We spent last week on our first family vacation!  We had the pleasure to meet up with some families at the YMCA of the Ozarks in Missouri.  It was by far one of the best vacations I have been on.

View from our room

We joked that we should have brought a nanny so we really could spend the day like we were kids at camp.  We kayaked, canoed, did the paddle boats and pontoon, flew on the zip line, did the rope swing and water slide, rode bikes, played miniature golf, swam, and made art projects.  Those were just a few of the activities we were able to do in the four days we were there. 
The rope swing

If you are looking for a family vacation, then I suggest you take a look at this place!

Friday, June 17, 2011

To a T

For the letter T we painted with toothbrushes and made a tree from our forearm and hand.  The leaves are tissue paper.  When we made our trees, the trees in our front yards stated to bud.  Mister noticed that the tissue paper looked like buds on the tree.  I love the connections that they make between what we are learning and real life because I know they are really learning and thinking not just doing.

Letter Tray
  • Trash can
  • Toucan
  • Trout
  • Tag
  • Toast
  • Tree
  • Tiger
  • Truck

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Almost

Over at Gratefully Growing in Grace, Amanda does a Wordless Wednesday.  Isn't it a neat idea?

Monday, June 13, 2011

R and S

Letter R - Rainbow and Rocket Ship

We danced to Rocket Ship Run and Adventures in Space.

Keep this project away from your dog.  Every so often I would hear munching coming from the learning room.  The dog was eating the macaroni.
I drew the outline for each shape and had Mister and Ladybug mach the shape cut-outs to each drawn shape.  We used tissue paper to make the fire.

Letter Tray
  • Rooster
  • Ring
  • Record
  • Rabbit
  • Rice
  • Ribbon
  • Rake
  • Rock

Letter S - Stripes and Fingerprint Strawberry
Ladybug and Mister glued on the stripes before I cut them out.  I love the way these turned out.
Fingerprint strawberry. 

Letter Tray - I had two letter trays for S.
  • Sled
  • Six
  • Star
  • Seal
  • Snowman
  • Sock

  • Spoon
  • Strawberry
  • Sting ray
  • Sun
  • Snake
  • Stapler
  • Seven

Friday, June 10, 2011

Back to Letters We Go

Did I mention that I have a tendency to start things and never finish them?  That's probably why I have about 7 projects going on at any given time.  I told my husband that I am not allowed to start any more projects until I have finished at least four...that was two weeks ago. 

Anyway I have been sitting on these letter posts for a long time.  Like almost everything, I started something and haven't finished.  I have been including them on our shelves, but aside from the letter trays they are my least favorite activity.  So, I am going to included all the letter activities we have done up until now.  

The Letter P

Our letter tray for the P
  • Pumpkin
  • Parrot
  • Pig
  • Pot
  • Pan
  • Penguin
  • Plate
  • Penny
  • Pizza
  • Pail

The Letter Q

Question mark stickers

Our Letter Tray for Q
  • Quill
  • Queen
  • Question Mark
  • Quilt
  • Quarter

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Creepy Crawlers - Part Two

Today was all about worms and Google informed me we were oligochaetologists.  I hadn't planned on including worms since they aren't actually insects, but Mister and Ladybug are infatuated with them since we have so many in our garden.

These bug magnifiers were $3 at the local teacher supply store.  They are easier for Mister and Ladybug to use than magnifying glasses. 
We used dirt, sand, water, dead leaves to make a worm habitat.  I made sure I used the word habitat to reinforce the concept of what worms need to live.
Our finished worm habitats.  We stored them in a dark place in our classroom.

Ladybug has been asking relentlessly to paint, but we keep running out of time.  Today I made it a priority and we did worm paintings.  Using brown paint and spaghetti, Mister and Ladybug made worm art.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Who Needs Toys?

Have you seen the market for infant toys?  They light up, sing songs, and are really annoying.  We have some of those most popular toys and don't get me wrong the Wee One likes them, but she likes her juice container just as much. 

The markers were the easiest thing to find, but I could have done any number of things that would have fit into the container.  I need to cut out the back of the container, so she can retrieve her markers by herself.  She was getting so good, that she was able to put 2 in at a time. 

When she isn't using her container, she loves to put markers and crayons in these Ikea stools.  Like the container, they have a hole in the top and the red part lifts off.  Unfortunately the stools are usually occupied by a three year old.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Creepy Crawlers - Part One

When I started putting these activities together, I watched a lot of praying mantis videos on night.  They are amazing insects and scary in your dreams.  I had a dream I was a praying mantis' lunch.  I am no longer watching praying mantis videos and I don't think I will show Ladybug and Mister any videos.

Insect Lore caterpillars and chrysalis. 

Match a Bug - I saw something similar on Lakeshore's website but decided I could make my own.  In this picture, all the bugs are in the same basket, but generally I have 5 in each set.

Butterfly sticks - I found these in the dollar section at Michaels

Bug Memory - Mister likes to play with about 6 pairs while Ladybug enjoys the entire set.  I have kept the bug identification chart in the basket.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Treasure Basket - The Best of the Kitchen

I love this treasure basket because the kitchen is our favorite place to be.  The only problem I have had is Mister and Ladybug taking over the Wee One's basket. 

From left to right, back to front: Coffee, Vanilla, Cloves, Cumin, Worcestershire, Cinnamon, Pumpkin Pie Spice.  I put some cotton balls rolled in the spice in the top of the shakers to prevent spilling.