Thursday, October 28, 2010

Preschool - Letter G

G is for Geography this week. I had all intentions of doing these activities last week but fall ideas kept coming and I went with it. After putting this lesson off a little I was surprised that we actually did have enough to go on.

As soon as I saw this craft I knew I wanted to adapt it for this geography unit. Certainly not as cute as the original inspiration but it made the point. (Thanks Ramblings and adventures of a stay at home mom!)

Really my inspiration to teach G is for geography came from a desire to introduce global concepts to the girls. I didn't go all out but just did basic introductions to a number of continents, foods, cultures and the like.

We spend some time building "pyramids" and learning about Ancient Egypt. Our key word was ancient. Of course we had a lot of fun knocking them down as well since most things ancient are in ruins.

I let Emma discover the hidden message I left for her. Of course she loved seeing the letter G.

I made a play dough mat and some green and blue play dough. The most fun was that I let them mix the colors which is usually a big not allowed. We made earths and talked about the names of the continents.

We also had a lot of fun at a fall costume party with some good friends and although you often see my children in costumes on here I really liked this one.

Toys: We played with our vtech Fly and Learn Globe this week. I found this at my favorite thrift shop for $1. Serious bargain there.

Books we read:

I chose a variety of books that featured different cultures. We did NOT always talk in depth about the culture but rather introduced them to the fact that everyone is unique and God made us all.

1. Nine O'Clock Lullaby by Marilyn Singer
2. Abiyoyo (based on a South African lullaby and folk story - Pete Seeger)
3. New Shoes for Silvia by Johanna Hurwitz
4. The Empty Pot by Demi

I also got a few books from the dollar tree about states and capitals and an atlas.

The week as a whole went well and although I had much grander plans for it I can't call it any more than an introduction to the world around us. I enjoyed it and hope the girls retain at least a little bit of the info.

To check out what other preschoolers are learning at home visit Preschool Corner at Homeschool Creations.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Family Night - Joseph part 2

Well, we continued part two of the story of Joseph last night. We didn't have family night last week because the girls were both sick and it just didn't happen, such is life sometimes.

As I said last time, I love the story of Joseph and as a family we were focusing on what we can learn about attitudes from the story. Though there are so many core values I think you can learn from this story we focused on attitude. We reviewed the story and read it again from the girls bible. We underlined words that described the different attitudes of the characters in the story and also talked about ones that were implied in the story. For instances the brothers were jealous, angry and lied to their father. Joeseph was patient, loving, respectful, obedient and forgiving.

I came up with an idea to use an Attitude Stoplight as the prop to learn from this week. We started family night with a rousing game of Red light Green light. The girls loved it as it is one of their favorite games. We correlated the red light to those attitudes and behaviors that we need to stop. (anger, jealousy, lying, complaining, WHINING, rudeness, etc.) Then we correlated the green light with attitudes that are good to continue in. (loving, patience, forgiving, respect, listening, obeying, etc.) The yellow light symbolized this, Slow down, think and choose green. I wrote the girls suggested red and green attitudes on the traffic light prop and will hang it in the house. My desire is to recommend they visit the stop light when their attitude needs adjusted. I call it the Red Zone. When directed to this Red Zone they will have time to think about how they can change their attitude from "red" to "green".

I am hoping this post at least makes some sense. Let me know if you adapt the idea for your house and how it works. Thanks for reading!

Check out here how other families are Raising Rock Stars!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Preschool - Letter F

Ah, my favorite season. I love fall and all that comes with it. We dove straight into letter F for fall last week and we had so many activities. Here are some of my favorites.

Investigating leaves with magnifying glass. We did not take time to write down our observations but it was still fun.

Art project found here. We used erasers to dip in the paint and simulate the indian corn.

Bean sorting. I had a leaf shaped veggie dish and it just so happened that it had three small sections and one large section. I put in three different beans and had her sort them. Great fine motor skills though she quickly became disinterested.

Gourd heads. I drilled holes in some acorn squashes and got out the Mr. Potato Head pieces and let them put them in the holes. Fun, fun, fun. Probably my favorite activity.

I made some play dough and put some spices in it so it smelled wonderful and the girls played and played.

I made an autumn sensory bin and the girls actually played with it a great deal. I was amazed to see both of them use their imaginations and play well independently.

Great week overall and reinforced just how much I love teaching my girls and spending time with them.

Thanks for reading!

To find out more preschool ideas check out HomeSchool Creations.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Preschool - Letter E

E is for Elephant

E is for Elephant. We started with this really great shape elephant craft which inspired not only elephant themed activities but also shape review.

I printed out these wonderful shape matching cards from one of my favorite bloggers and had the girls match them. We also played memory with them several times. We have really been working on playing memory and Emma is getting better.

I made some counting cards. I love stamping and putting some of my supplies to use so I used an elephant stamp and stamped them on cardstock. Emma used a manipulative to place on each elephant to count them and then chose which number matched the number of elephants. She know how to count well and how to identify her numbers. Yay!

Next I introduced the girls to a salt box. They LOVED it! The girls played with them several times the first weekend and never complain when I give them an opportunity to use them. Lydia (5yrs.) has no problem keeping the salt in the box but Emma (3yrs.) needs to be reminded more firmly. I've definitely had to vacuum each time but they have loved it and if I can get them to practice writing it is worth it. I found the idea and info. on how to make it here.

We also played "Feed the Elephant" which is a game I made up. They had a really good time and we will visit it again in future weeks. Great week and lots of fun learning. I also set up stations for some fun self guided learning. I didn't get pictures but will be setting something like this up again soon.

Thanks for visiting!

Also, I plan on introducing a new feature here soon called Musical Monday's in which I will post a simple song and activity so those who may be musically challenged can introduce their children to music at home. I will keep you posted.

But No Elephants by Jerry Smath
The Silly Swamp of Shapes
Curious George Feeds the Animals
The Saggy Baggy Elephant
And of course, Horton Hears a Who (we ended the week with family movie night watching this movie)

To see more preschool ideas visit HomeSchool Creations Preschool Corner.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Family Night - Joseph

I have to admit, Joseph is one of my absolute favorite characters in the Bible. I love his story and just how God uses him. Our family is working on and talking about the attitude of respect and our over all attitude and I thought studying Joseph is a good case study on the subject.

We started the evening with craft so it could dry. We just glued squares of different color tissue paper to a plain white sheet of paper. Simple yet easy. This represented the cloak Joseph's father gave him.

Then we danced as this is always a family night tradition.

After we danced we read the first part of Joseph's life from the girls Bible. We talked about how to have a good attitude. We looked at each character's attitude in the story and talked about whether or not they were pleasing to God or not then we did some role play with our words and intonations. Overall, very simple but still a good night.

I am looking forward to adding to the story in this weeks family time. Thanks for reading!

Posted to Raising Rock Stars.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Feed the Elephant (game)

So, last week we focused on the letter E for preschool and I made up a game for the girls to play. Here is how it works and how you can make the same game to play with your kids.

Supplies needed:
1. Oatmeal canister (empty of course)
2. Gray paint
3. Ears for the side (I printed and used these but you could easily make your own)
4. Toilet paper roll
5. Peanuts (I used real but you could use packing peanuts or paper peanuts)
6. Cards numbered 1-6
7. Dice

First we painted the canister and toilet paper roll. As we let it dry we colored the ears. When the paint was dry I cut slits in the side to insert the ears and I cut a hole to put in the elephant trunk.

To play the game:

1. Have a card with the numbers 1-6 written on it.
2. Each person rolls the die and counts the number rolled.
3. They put the same number of peanuts in the trunk of the elephant that the die says.
4. Place a peanut as a marker to mark which number you rolled.
4. The winner is the first person to roll each number on the die (1-6).

Fun for all of us. This will definitely come out of the closet again for fun game that includes math and identification of numbers.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Very Fairy Weekend

We don't watch too many movies with the girls but the Tinkerbell movies have always been a hit with them. We recently bought the newest Tinkerbell movie and as we were watching it yesterday. When we watched the extra features we saw some kids designing their own fairy houses. Not one to get an idea and drop it Lydia asked if we could make our own fairy houses and I said yes.

Here is Emma hard at work coloring and putting stickers on her fairy's home. She made a house for Tinkerbell.

Lydia chose to make one for Silvermist. Over all we had a good time doing the project and I like seeing them use their imaginations. It was nice to be a "yes" mom in this moment.

I also gave the girls their autumn sensory bin to play in and told them it was the autumn wood and their fairies could visit it. They loved it. I was glad to see Lydia enjoy it so much building Pixie Hollow tree and hiding places. Very fun.
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