Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Writing Letters in Homemade Sand

Another new activity today! (Working on adding activities to Carlee's school shelves.) A friend of mine had told me of an activity where the child practices writing her alphabet in shallow pan with rice, or corn meal, or another substance. I chose to make homemade sand since I wanted to try a recipe that another friend and homeschooler recently shared with me. It works really well for this exercise! (I tried the rice first, but the kind I had didn't stay so that you could see the letter that you wrote, so that's why I chose the sand.) Carlee is really enjoying this activity.

Homemade Sand Recipe:
4 cups dry coffee grounds
2 cups corn meal
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt

Mix, sift, pour, measure, and feel!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sorting Beans.... with tweezers

Carlee had the chance to try a new activity today. She got to sort beans using big tweezers. She did really well! I was so surprised that she also kept the mess to a minimum today. I really think it has to do with her new school setup.

If you look in the background, you can see two bookshelves. This is now Carlee's school organizing area. It's still a work in progress, and I haven't added all the activities that I want to yet, but basically she will have an assortment of things to pick from. I will change out the activities based on what we're working on at the moment. Today, she chose her Triceratops lacing card (another first time activity,) the bean sorting and pouring, Melissa & Doug Puzzles, coloring, reading a few books together, and her Dino Match game.

I was really inspired by the blogs I've seen using the Montessori approach, and so I incorporated the setup into how we do things. I think the structure and having the carefully chosen activites available for her choosing will really encourage Carlee's independence. She already showed improvement today, her attention span was so much longer after getting to choose the activity, and she even did a lot of it independently (which is highly unusual for her!) She was also much better at putting each activity away before picking another one. Hopefully, she'll continue to do this even after the newness of the setup wears off. =)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Preschool Co-Op #3! Apple Day

Today, Carlee had her monthly Preschool Co-Op. This month's theme was Apples. The kids got to do some apple crafts, coloring, and got to hear books about apples. Carlee had a blast with her friends, as usual. After the learning activities, they had a snack, and got to go outside to play with a bunch of P.E. equipment. Carlee's favorite were the stilts. I'm going to be making her some out of coffee cans. She was talking about her school time at Ms. T's house all day long! hehe. She really enjoyed it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fire Station Day!

Today, we took a break from dinosaurs and learned a little about firemen! We went to a fire day event for MOMS Club, and the fire fighters put on a great time for the kids. They each got to sit in the fire truck, honk the horn, hear the siren, see the fire suit, and got coloring books and other goodies. I talked to Carlee about each part of the fireman's suit and let her get up close to get a good look. We talked about how the suit protects him from the fire, and what a fireman's job is. She had a blast, and told me that she's not scared of firemen anymore. She later told me that she wanted to be a fire fighter. So awesome. =)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dino Dig!

This month, we're working on dinosaurs! Carlee is loving it! Yesterday, we had a preschool type co-op event for MOMS Club. We read a few books about dinosaurs, played "Dino Match" game, played with dinosaur toys, colored pictures, and did a dinosaur dig. The kids could not wait for the dig! They had a lot of fun.

I made the "Dino Match" game out of Juicy Juice lids and dinosaur stickers. I used 2 of each kind stuck to the bottom of the lid. Then printed out a pattern of "DINO MATCH" repeated over and over to cut out into circles and attach to the top to make it more official I guess. =)

For the Dino Dig, I had wanted to make bones out of salt dough for the kids to find. I didn't have time to do that for the event, so I used two packages of small plastic dinosaur toys. They loved it anyway. This week, I think Carlee and I will make salt dough bones, and make impressions into the clay to talk about fossils.
Sorry for the weird crop. Don't know if Carlee's friend's mom wants his picture on my blog. =)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Busy with Beans

Today, while at a friend's house, Carlee had the opportunity to play with a mixed assortment of dried beans. She was able to pour, stir, mix, measure, etc. (She's done this with rice at home before, but never beans.) She enjoyed it so much that when we we got home, she wanted to do the activity again. She had to wait until after lunch, but then she had her chance. However, at home she did not care to keep the beans on the cookie tray like she did at my friend's house. They were everywhere!

She took them to her little kitchen to "cook." She learned what happened when the pot was full and she continued trying to pour more beans in. She measured and scooped, and divided the beans into little sections of a mini muffin tin. It was good learning... then I asked her to pick up. The sight of the beans literally everywhere was a little overwhelming for her. She picked up for about 5 minutes before giving up and insisting that I help. I finally gave in, since she had at least tried and picked up for a while (for a 3 year old, 5 minutes is a long time!) I'm thinking of starting a star chart for picking up, as it seems she gets her strong dislike of cleaning after creative time from me. =)

I took pictures of the aftermath, but it didn't even cross my mind to take a few while she was actually enjoying the activity. I didn't want to interfere.