When you love what you have, you have everything you need.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two Days of Acorns

The past two days, Aubrey has been doing learning activities with acorns.  We started by going outside and collecting a bucket full of acorns.  We talked about oak trees, squirrels, and, of course, acorns.  Every time we would find just an acorn cap, Aubrey would exclaim "Silly squirrels got to this acorn first!"  

Her first activity was sorting "Cap or No Cap" in her math journal.  After she sorted the actual acorns, she counted how many of each and wrote the number on the top of that journal page.  Then she glued the appropriate number of "Cap" or "No Cap" acorn pictures into the journal.
 She then picked out 5 capped acorns and 5 no-cap acorns.  In her science journal, she made her "hypothesis" about which ones would sink and which would float.  She thought that the ones with caps would float and the ones without caps would sink.  She then dropped them in the water one by one and recorded the results in her journal.  I showed her how to make a four square graph (labeled "Cap/Sink, Cap/Float, No Cap/Sink, No Cap/Float).  She drew a circle to represent each acorn.  Only one acorn sank, it didn't have a cap.  We discussed why that one sank and she thought it was because it was a bit heavier than the rest.
 In order to save the acorns, we took some precautions, just in case there were some kind of bugs hiding inside.  We peeled and cut the caps off of all the acorns and baked them for 15 minutes in 200 degree oven. After they cooled off, Aubrey was thrilled to paint them.  Using a brush didn't work very well.  I ended up putting them in baggies with some paint, and she shook and rubbed the paint on.  We then emptied them onto some wax paper on a cookie sheet to dry.
 Acorn Subtraction:  Aubrey rolled an 8 sided die and put that number of acorns into the top left square.  She then rolled the 6 sided die and moved that number of acorns to the squirrel square.  Then moved the remaining acorns down to see how many she had left.  We then talked through the subtraction equation.
"You had ______ acorns.  The squirrel took ______.  How many do you have left?"
"So  _____-______=______"

Aubrey also made a "Fall Book."  She colored all the pictures in a book I had made and printed on the computer.  We do some kind of short book each week.  Each one repeats the same words throughout the book and have sight words that we have been working on.  She enjoys coloring the pictures and being able to read the words by her self.  This book was a modified version of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" only instead of animals, I used fall themed items, such as, a leaf, squirrel, pumpkin, and scarecrow.

I have also planned the following to do:
*Acorn Addition-in a similar format as the acorn subtraction
*Building ramps and rolling the acorns down
*Using our homemade mini-catapult to launch acorns

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Keeping Baby Busy

I have loved homeschooling Aubrey for the past year!!!  She loves to learn and always wants to learn something new!  

Now that Lena is getting more interested in getting into trouble different things around her, I have been setting out some simple activities for her too.  

I superglued magnets onto large pompoms and gave her a pizza tray (from the dollar store) and a couple old egg-dying cups.  
 Playing with some bath-toys that we never used for the bath.  
 I super-glued some soft Velcro to the top of a container.  Then I superglued the rough velcro to different items (clothespin, pompom, ball, peg doll, spoon, block).  She then put the items onto the container and had to really use those fine motor skills to get them back off.  And she really like the sound it made!
 Placing sparkle pom poms into ice cube tray from IKEA.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Penguin Fingerpuppets

Since Lena started with a new speech therapist, I have been inspired to engage her in different nursery rhymes, fingerplays, felt stories, and songs.  The more she is engaged, the more opportunities for her to show communication with us.  She has been doing so good with leaning new signs and letting us know her intentions lately!!!

So on my search, I decided to make some fingerpuppets for the rhyme:  "Two Little Blackbirds" but after some thought, I don't think that blackbirds are very cute.  Sooooo, my favorite bird was substituted, PENGUINS!!!!

Lena absolutely LOVED doing this with me and actually hid her hands behind her back with me!!!

 They were so easy to make!  Draw out a pattern, Cut, and Hand Sew!  I had them done in about an hour.  
After the penguins flew back, Lena loved grabbing them off my fingers and trying to put them on her own. 

Two Little Penguins
Two little penguins, sitting on a hill.
One named Jack, one named Jill.
Fly away Jack (fly one behind back)
Fly away Jill (fly the other behind back)
Come back Jack (bring one back to front)
Come back Jill (bring other back to front)

Other Versions
(Do the same motions for all of these, but make the opposites animated)

Two little penguins, sitting on a cloud.
One is soft, one is LOUD.
Fly away soft
Fly away LOUD.
Come back soft
Come back LOUD.

Two little penguins, sitting on a pot.
One is cold burrrrr, one is hottttttttt
Fly away cold burrrrrrrr.
Fly away hotttttttt.
Come back cold burrrrrrrr
Come back hottttttttt.

Two little penguins, sitting in the road.
One is fast, one is slow.
Fly away fast.
Fly away slooooooow.
Come back fast.
Come back slooooooow.

(Classic "Two Little Blackbirds" is modified to "Two Little Penguins."  The other versions that I have here, are ones I heard, learned, and/or modified myself from my years of teaching.  I do not take actual credit for them, but don't know an original source)

I am linking up with Flannel Friday!  It is being hosted on   www.storytimekatie.com
She has some wonderful ideas and lots of songs and stories for little ones!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Meal Time!

For some reason, Aubrey LOVES eating lunch from a ice cube tray.  I got this idea awhile ago when I was searching around the web and a LOT of people were doing this with their little ones.  I thought I'd give it a try, and it was a huge success!  Everyday, I am asked to please put her lunch in a kid's tray.  I have been trying really hard to come up with different things to put into these small sections, and it has been a challenge to not repeat myself too much.  Here are some of my ideas:

Hot dogs, tater tots, corn, strawberries, ketchup, and milk

Pancakes w/ syrup, canteloupe, cheese, peas and carrots, and milk

Hot dogs with ketchup, string cheese, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and milk

Deli Turkey, Apples, String Cheese, Carrots and Ranch, Strawberries, and Milk