Friday, August 26, 2011

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

All of our preschool activities this week were based off the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. I love the rhythm of this book and really enjoy reading it to my kids. Here are a few of the things we did to go along with this fun book.

We dyed alphabet noodles by putting a few squirts of hand sanitizer into a bag with some food coloring, then added the noodles and shook it up to coat the noodles. Then we poured them out on a sheet pan to dry. After the noodles were dry, we put them in an old bottle which we added foam leaves to and had a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom shaker. When I read the story she would shake it every time I got to the part that said "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom".

Peanut made a green handprint and brown arm print on a piece of paper with Tempera paint. After that was dry we glued some of the dyed alphabet noodles onto the tree to make our own Chicka Chicka tree.
I picked up some alphabet beads at the craft store, and Peanut laced them onto a string to make an abc necklace.

Peanut and Petie completed this roll and color page from Making Learning Fun.

I had these alphabet cards from the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom totbook at 1+1+1=1. I stuck them up all around 3 walls of the school room and Peanut had to find and touch each letter in order.
I made 10 coconut trees out of construction paper and laminated them for durability. I wrote a number on the trunk, and Peanut had to put on the right number of "coconuts". We used chocolate covered raisins, but you could also use brown pom-poms or m&m's.

Petie has been working on the value of a nickel, so when I found this counting by 5's activity at Making Learning Fun, I thought it would be a great way to incorporate the theme into his schooling too. (Try not to be too jealous of my awesome carpet.)

I took the beads from the necklace Peanut had made, and put them into an old container with some rice and some pink & orange pom-poms and beads. She had to shake it around and find each of the letters of the alphabet and cross them off on her paper. Honestly, she lost interest in this pretty quickly, but some other child might find this really fun.

This tree picture was also from Making Learning Fun. I just had Peanut put alphabet stickers all over it as she said each letter.

We had an old blackout shade that I cut down and painted a coconut tree on for a coconut toss game. You could easily make this on a shower curtain, or even a piece of poster board. I didn't have any brown felt on hand for the coconuts, so I just sewed them up out of an old brown shirt of The Professor's.

We were even able to include some math practice for Patty in this game. She took all 10 coconuts at once, threw them at the tree, and turned around. I told her how many were on the tree and she had to tell me how many were off the tree to equal 10.

We also read Chicka Chicka 123 this week. Following that, Peanut did this magnet page from Making Learning Fun. My kids love these magnet pages. Sometimes we use our pom-pom magnets, and sometimes I laminate the pages and they drop little drops of colored water in each circle. (Great for working on fine motor skills.)

With the coconut trees, Peanut had to read the number and put on the right number of coconuts, but with these, I provided the apples, and she had to count them and match the right number. (In Chicka Chicka 123, it's an apple tree instead of a coconut tree.)

And finally, our book cut out for the week. I cut out a foam tree which Peanut glued on, along with some more of the dyed alphabet pasta.

I didn't get a picture of it, but we also watched the video here.

There are tons of great activities online to go along with this theme, but here are a few of my favorites:

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's Not All Sunshine And Roses Around Here

Just in case I had you all fooled into thinking that things were always smooth sailing around here with all my kids sweetly working together as we do fun learning activities....well, here's your (and my) reality check.

I spend a good deal of my day keeping this little one out of trouble. Like here, where she decided to pull all the numbers that she could reach off of our calendar. And if I had a dollar for every time she's climbed up to the table and scribbled all over on of the kid's school papers...well, let's just say I wouldn't have to worry about paying for next year's curriculum.

Our tub of rice made an appearance today. Yeah, that practically empty tub that was once full, the one on the towel, the towel that was supposed to help contain the mess. Guess where that rice is now? That's right - GONE - sucked up in the vacuum cleaner, never to be heard from again. And if you think that's all the action that vacuum cleaner saw today, you'd be wrong. It made an appearance again when one of the kids broke a glass jar all over the schoolroom carpet.

And this is how my kids decided to spend their evening last night - rolling around in the dirt pit and throwing handfuls of it at one another. No, children, we are not birds, that is NOT how we get clean. Unfortunately, my washing machine doesn't have a "perform magic" setting.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Patty's School Week

I think we're fully into the swing of things around here. We've completed almost three whole weeks of school now. Patty's enjoying being back in school, but is having a bit of a reality check with all of the writing involved with the new school year. (Did I mention she HATES writing?)

In history this week, she learned about early Christianity in Britain. We read about the monks and how some of them spent their whole day writing out books by hand. One of her projects was to color this Illumination pattern like the designs they would draw in the books they copied.

This wasn't part of school, but I found this fun activity on Pinterest. I just poured piles of baking soda on a sheet pan and gave them colored vinegar and squirters to play with. They all had a lot of fun with this, and it lasted much longer than a baking soda volcano would have.

We've also been doing lots of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but I don't have any exciting pictures to show of those. Patty did take her first math test this week and aced it :)

Finally, here's a little video demonstrating our science lab this week.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Goodnight Moon

Our preschool book we read this week was Goodnight Moon. Believe it or not, we don't actually own a copy of this book and had to check it out from the library. The more I read it, the more I fell in love with it, so we will definitely be buying this one and adding it to our collection. Here are a few of the activities we did to go along with this book.

I found an image of the cover online, printed it out, laminated it, and cut it into squares for Peanut to put together as a puzzle.

I printed out this sheet from Homeschool Share and had her put a square over each object the bunny said goodnight to. This site has a wealth of Goodnight Moon resources, so be sure to check it out.

She matched rhyming objects found in the book, such as bear & chair; kitten & mitten; sock & clock, balloon & spoon.

She hung socks and mittens on the line like the ones hanging in the bunny's room. This idea came from Delightful Learning.

I found these balloon cut outs at Joann's which we used for several different activities. First I had Peanut sort them into the four different colors.

Then, I hid all the red ones around the room for her to find and say goodnight to.

Then Petie and Peanut turned them all over and made it a matching game. I hadn't even planned this activity, they came up with it on their own. I love when they think of ways to use things in ways I hadn't.

I usually like to incorporate at least one other book into our week, and while I was at the library last week, I just happened to grab the book The Moon Shines Down. This book also just so happens to be by Margaret Wise Brown, so it fit in quite well. This is an adorable book based on the rhyme "God Bless the Moon". It goes around the world and talks about little kids in different countries. As we read this book, we got out our world map and put moon stickers on all the countries mentioned.

And for our little book cut out this week, we of course picked moons as our item that best represented the story.

We did a few more activities that I don't have pictures of, and I have a few things that we didn't quite fit into our week, like making cornmeal mush, and doing this really cool craft from I Heart Crafty Things. Hopefully we'll be able to get to them this weekend.

Check out these sites for some more Goodnight Moon related activities.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

If Your Give A....

In case you hadn't guessed it from the title of the post, our book of the week was If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. My kids love the If You Give A... books and I love to see the look of anticipation on their faces as I near the end of the book and they can't wait for what's coming.

For the first activity, I cut out black circles for chocolate cookies and glued upper case letters on them. I then glued lower case letters to the brown chocolate chip ones. Peanut had to match the lower case and upper case cookies. Her big brother Petie then had to come along behind her and match his cookies that had pictures on them to their correct beginning sound.

I also cut out some more cookies which I numbered 1-10. Peanut had to count out the right number of chocolate chips onto each cookie. (I was going to take a picture of this in actions, but discovered that The Professor and the kids had eaten ALL the chocolate chips.)

After the mouse gets a glass of milk, he asks for a straw, so she stuck straws in play clay lined up from tallest to shortest.

We did the count and clip cards from Making Learning Fun. You can find them here. This site has a lot of fun activities for this book as well as a few others in the series.

This magnet page is also from Making Learning Fun. Instead of using magnets to cover the dots though, we used mini cookies.

We also read the book If You Give A Pig A Pancake, so naturally, we had to make pancakes.

Here she had to sort items onto the right letter. They either started with "M" like mouse, or "P" like pig.

And for our book cutout to hang on our book wall we made a cookie out of craft foam.

A few other activities that I didn't get pictures of were:
- Reading about pigs and mice from our animal encyclopedia.
- Coloring pages from here and here.
- I also put the numbered cookies in a cookie jar, called out a number and she had to run and bring me back the correct cookie.
- I had also planned to bake cookies together, but that just didn't happen.

A few more links to check out for more ideas using this book:

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