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.
Finished!
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.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Deal A Story

This is another activity given to us by my amazing mother-in-law. It is very simple to put together, and the odds are good that you already have what you need right in your home. 
Let's gather our materials:
Playing cards with numbers on them (regular face cards, UNO cards, Rook cards, Skip-Bo Cards, whatever you have)
That's it! Piece of cake, right? No prep, although this is a game that requires your participation. 
 So how do we play?

Deal two or three cards facedown to each player. Choose a child to turn over a card and name the number on it. Use the number as you begin telling a story. Then continue, each turning over a card and saying it's number to incorporate into the story. For example: (child turns over a ten) "Ten little rabbits went to town." (child turns over a two) "They went to two houses looking for food." (next card is a five) "At the second house they met five kind children." (next card is a seven) "The children gave them seven carrots." Continue the story using the number cards. Older children can take turns being the storyteller, adding to the story on their turn.


*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 amazon.com. This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Exploring Density (Sink or Float)

For our letter D science activity I followed the lead of this post and we did an exploration of Density. This was super easy to set up, and kept both kids entertained for a long time. 

Let's gather our supplies:
A selection of toys and other objects, some that will sink and some that will float
A large container to fill with water
A piece of paper that says "sink" and on that says "float"

 We took this activity outside because I wanted to be able to turn the kids loose to have fun without any worries about messes. We could have also done this in the bathtub and it would have worked great. 
The first thing we did was talk about what it means to sink or float. Then we took all the toys out of our bin while hypothesizing on how each one would behave in the water.
 Erik was thrilled to turn on the hose and fill up our tub. Sharli wasn't too sure what was going on yet, but we were outside so it must mean something good!
 Then we tested each item and placed it on the paper that described what it had done. Sharli just splashed around and had fun.
 After we'd tested all our objects, I just turned the kids loose with the water and sat back and watched. Water free-play is one of our favorite activities. Almost no prep, and SO much fun!
 There is so much to be learned from just exploring with water. Fine motor skills such as scooping and pouring, spatial awareness when deciding if water from one container will fit in another, hand-eye coordination, sensory awareness, social skills like cooperation (when you've got more than one child involved), language development as you discuss things like cold or wet.
 Since this day, Erik asks often if we can play with density again (he actually uses the word density, it really stuck with him). He also loves to test all his bath toys to see if they'll sink or float. This was a hit in a major way!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Letter D Activities

Here's our lesson plan for learning with the letter D. We had lots of fun with this one, hope you do too!
As always, the links will activate as the posts go up over the next week or two.

Language Development:
                Letter D Books

Math Concepts:
                Deal a Story

Social Studies:
                People in our Community; Doctors

Science:
                Density Experiment

Health and Physical Development:
                Dance a Dot or a Dash

Creative Arts:
                Letter D Duck Craft
                Painting with Dots

Friday, March 13, 2015

Community Clean-Up

Over the last week or two Erik and I have been discussing the meaning of "community". We talked about how a community is a group of people who live near each other and help each other out. As we've gone about our daily lives I point out people/places in our community and we talk about how they help everyone else. For example, our tiny town has one little store/gas station, where one can go to buy basic grocery items, treats/sodas, gas, and few other miscellaneous things. Erik and I talked about how nice it is that we can go get an ice cream bar or some gas any time we want/need to. We talked about the library, the church, the park, the ranger station (remember, we live in a tiny town at the edge of a wilderness area, even the ranger station is an significant part of our community).

We also talked about how it's important for everyone to help out to keep our community nice. Even little kids like Erik can help pick up trash from the park or on the side of a quiet road. The plan is to go to the park with a bag for trash and see if we can fill it up. Unfortunately, between the flu, the weather, and the everyday business of life, we have yet to make it to the park.

I am hopeful that this coming week is finally going to work out for us to get this done, and when it does happen I'll be sure to share some pictures and details of how this went. For now, we're going to move on to the letter D here on the blog, since there's no point in waiting to post new material until we meet this one goal.