Friday, August 14, 2015

An Eggy Experiment

For our letter E science activity I knew we had to do another experiment. And, why not throw some more E's in there and make it an egg experiment? I found some fun ideas on Science Sparks, and we decided to go for it. First we gathered our materials.
-Distilled Vinegar
- An Egg
- A glass container big enough to hold the egg
- A measuring cup (optional, I wanted Erik to be able to pour the vinegar without handing him the whole jug)
 Put the egg in the glass and cover it with vinegar. Leave it for several days (I think ours was 5-6 days) while you observe. 
The egg will get air bubbles on the shell when it starts reacting with the vinegar. For us this happened almost right away. We observed the bubbles both visually and by listening to the bubbles pop.
 While we haven't actually sat down and discussed all the steps in the Scientific Method, I still try to get Erik thinking by discussing what we're observing and making some hypotheses. We even get Daddy in on the guessing, just to make it more fun. We made up a chart showing what we thought would happen and taped it to the wall above our egg jar. Dad guessed the shell would go away and the egg would break. Mom guessed it would become see-through. Erik guessed that it would bounce and break.
 I didn't get any pictures of the end result, but it was really neat. The egg shell dissolves (we had to gently rub off the residue with our fingers) and the egg swells up inside the remaining membrane until it's noticeably bigger than it started out.
After making our observations about the end result, we decided to go a step further and go with another idea from Science Sparks. We carefully removed our egg from the vinegar and I let Erik drop it (gently) into the empty kitchen sink. His guess was right. We were able to bounce it a few times before it broke and ran down the drain.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Letter E Activities

So we haven't (and are not going to) finished all the activities we had planned for the letter E, so this will be a mix of things we did do, and things that you might find interesting that I never got around to doing. Links either take you to a post about our experience or to somewhere else with fun ideas for the letter E. Links will go active as I get posts up over the next few days.

Language Development:
                Letter E books
Math Concepts:
                Measuring with an egg carton
                Count the Eggs              
                Dissolve and bounce an egg                   
Creative Arts:
                Elephant letter E craft/plastic egg printing

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dance a Dot or a Dash

The idea for this activity came from my book, How to be your Child's First Teacher. We've gotten so many fun ideas from this book!

We started out by talking about how some sounds are more like dots. They are short, quick, sometimes even jerky. This is called Staccato. Other sounds are more like a line or dash. They are long and smooth. This is called Legato. You can try to make samples of these sounds (with your little one's participation of course) by using your voice (something like saying la la la vs. laaaaaaaa). If your kids are like mine they'll love making silly noises. You could even take turns making noises and having the other person decide if your noise was a dot or a dash. From there, ask them how to make dot-like movements with their bodies (jumping, clapping, etc), and dash-like movements (spinning, moving hands/arms through the air, etc).

Once you've got the idea down, the real fun starts. I found this video on you-tube that has some good, up-beat examples of staccato and legato music, but you could find your own if you'd prefer. Then, you get to have a dance party right there with your cute kiddos. Listen and decide if the music is playing "dots" or "dashes", then try to move your bodies accordingly. 
Erik is attempting to demonstrate a "dot" movement by jumping. 
Sharli wasn't so sure about all this craziness, but Erik had fun. Unfortunately it's hard to take pictures of moving/dancing children while you are also moving/dancing, so you'll just have to try this one out for yourself and see it in action.
Moving around the room in long smooth "dash" movements. 

*Diedre Mower is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Letter D Books

We love trying to come up with books to supplement each letter theme. If you need help coming up with ideas for you to use here are some good places to look for letter themed books: The Measured Mom and Crystal and Co.
Some of our favorites this time around were:

The Dora the Explorer book would have gone nicely with our Doctor's Office imaginative play if I'd ever gotten that together like I had hoped to. Oh well.

*Diedre Mower is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Letter D Duck Craft

As I was planning our letter D theme, I saw this duck craft and knew it was the one for us! Erik has never been a big fan of coloring so instead we decided to paint our duck. We started out revisiting our Dot Painting technique from a day or two before, but Erik just wanted to dive in and the cotton swabs quickly fell by the wayside. 
After our letter D had dried, we cut it out and glued it onto a fresh sheet of paper. Great chance for some fine motor skills!
I gave Erik the duck's body parts (which I had cut out of construction paper), and he glued those on as well.
Last, but not least, the feathers! We found these at WalMart for cheap, and there are lots left to play with.
We came up with a short description for his duck so we could incorporate some lower case D's into this, and then hung him on the well next to our other ABC animals.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Dot Painting, Exploring Pointillism

For our letter D art activity, we explored Pointillism, or Dot Painting as we called it. 

Let's gather our supplies:
Paint (we were out of store-bought paint, so we made some of our edible finger paint and it worked great)
Cotton Swabs
Paper (I traced clipart of things that started with D, as well as the letter D, but I also gave Erik some blank pages to explore with too.)
After demonstrating the idea of "dot" painting, I turned Erik loose with the paint and let him dot away. Or not, whatever suited him. He dotted for a while, but (as always) it was just a matter of time until this morphed into finger painting, and body painting, and just general mess making. 
 It was fun to talk about the sound the letter D makes while exploring a new art technique. This took some fine motor skill and hand/eye coordination, which makes it a great physical learning experience as well as a creative one.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Throw Back Thursday, Edible Finger Paints

We needed some paint for one of Erik's letter D activities, so we made some edible finger paint. After Erik was done with the paint, we took Sharli to the bath tub and gave her some to play with too. It's a good thing it's edible!

 Sharli loved painting so much she decided to roll in it! It was about this point we got rid of the diaper and washed the mess down the drain. One thing about this paint is (being flour and water after all) that it can be hard to wash off once it dries, and is not much fun to get out of hair. So, as soon as the mess started getting all over, it was time to be done.