Farm Week Review

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This week, technically two weeks, turned into a week full of exploring and adventure. We had wonderful activities planned and did them all, once. My kids already knew their animal names and sounds. It wasn’t a challenge at all. That makes sense because we often play with our little people farm yard, read books and sing songs. We watched some cute and informative YouTube videos that shared more about animals and farm life. The kids loved watching the videos but they unfortunately didn’t spark any questions for us to follow any deeper.

Here are our workboxes prior to starting this week:

Farm Dice GameBuild a farm was not as great as I thought. Bee was good at matching the number on the dice with the assigned animal but the trick was he wanted specific animals on his farm. If he wanted the horse he was upset if he didn’t roll a three. He adapted the game by finding the side of the die to match the animal assigned. Not the intended game but he was learning numbers and what they were assigned to. While I was setting up our farm dice game I had Bee organize the animals. He loves putting things in order so he enjoyed helping me out.

Farm Game Sort

We were animals all week! Mostly just the cat and dog but the kids enjoyed meowing and crawling around the floor. We also played with our See n’ Say and made the animal sounds after we pulled the lever. I like the see n’ say but I think it is a better fit for kids younger than 1.5 years.

Bee also broke out our pattern play activity. He is doing much better at thinking outside of the box to complete the shapes in the pictures. Another great out of the box learning activity is the Wedgit. My parents have two sets which opens up a lot of options for creativity. Both Bee and Sweets could play at a level that was appropriate for their skill level.Wedgits

When I was growing up my Grandparents had a farm. Now it is more of an acreage with lots of equipment to explore. The kids had a great time running around and climbing all over various things. Grandpaw and I followed them all over the place. I think my Grandpaw had as much fun as the kids. Eventually we ended up in the sand pit where Bee turned all boy. He was digging holes, driving trucks and getting dirty. He had a great time and the victory was that he didn’t even hit Sweets with the shovel. It did come close though.

Hudsons Exploring

We discovered ladybugs on our balcony. The kids loved watching them. We counted their spots, talked about their colors and Bee tried to get them to eat little bits of grass. Too bad ladybugs eat aphids. We will learn more about bugs when the weather warms up a bit more. Eventually the ladybugs flew away but we got to watch as they spread their wings. Sweets really loved the tiny wings.

Ladybug discovery

For Bee’s Language activity we spelt animal names with Bananagrams. Bee is technically spelling, making words, but he is learning his letters. His letter recognition has gone through the roof recently. He has even managed to match upper and lower case letters. This was our biggest hit. Bee got our his letters almost every day. One day Sweets was playing with her Little People Farm when Bee realized the animals were the same animals on his worksheet. He then matched them up and wrote the animals names. He was so proud of himself.

Farm Spelling Bananagrams

Sweets tried scissors for the first time! She did so good. I didn’t plan on teaching her how to use scissors for another couple of months but she was interested in the work that I was doing. Might as well teach her when she is already curious instead of  waiting til I planned to introduce her. I love following my babes lead.

I found an excellent book at my moms house. It came from the series How It Works put out by Disney. Bee loved this book! It introduced many concepts that never entered my mind. He frequently flipped though looking at the pictures and occasionally I went beside him and talked about was on the page. My favorite page was on cows. The picture was of a milking factory. It showed where the cows stand, the machine that hooks onto the cows utter and finally the machine that separates and cleans milk before it is packaged for selling. Jason read about plumbing and took Bee under our cabinets to check out our pipes. Where the water comes from before going to the tap and where the drain is. He enjoyed it! It wasn’t complicated to expand on this concept but it was above what Bee expected. Learning can happen all around us. I’m so glad that my hubby took the time to teach a concept by applying it into our daily life.

Pipe Collage

We added Old Mac Donald Puppets to our song time and adapted the classic song a tad.

Flannel Farm FacesThe original song goes:

Old Mac Donald Had a Farm

E-I-E-I-O

And On His Farm He Had A Cow

E-I-E-I-O

With A Moo Moo Here And A Moo Moo There

Here A Moo, There A Moo, Everywhere a Moo Moo

Old Mac Donald Had a Farm

E-I-E-I-O

Repeat (changing the animal names and sounds)

 

I simply swapped the E-I-E-I-O’s for A-E-I-O-U. This simple change has allowed me to introduce the concept of vowels in a catchy and easy way for the tots to understand. Of course they don’t know what vowels are but when we come to that then I can easily remind them of those Five little letters in Old Mac Donald.

…….and sometimes Y.

I am working on a quilt for the new babe. While I worked the kids joined me at the table and did their own work. We talked about measurements and the tools that I was using. Later on during the week I assigned Bee to be my helper. It was either put him to work or have him pester me. I choose to recruit him. He was my pin master. I sewed the strips and then passed them off to him. Bee took the pins out and put them into the tomato. Win, win. I got a lot of work done and Bee learned about sewing. Hooray. Again not theme work but most definitely educational.

Bee Sewing

Resources:

Books:

Little Black, A Pony – Walter Farley

How It Works In the Country – Disney

Let’s Go to the Farm (Lift-the-Flap) – Little People Fisher Price

Giggle, Giggle, Quack – Doreen Cronin

Big Red Barn – Margaret Wise Brown

Moo Baa La La La – Sandra Boynton

Open the Barn Door – Christopher Santoro

 

Printables:

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Arctic Week Review

This was one of my favorite themes so far. We had so much fun and learned more than I expected.

Here are our workboxes prior to starting this week:

Bee’s math bin was by far his favorite this week. First we took the animals out of the bin and identified them all. Then we matched the number manipulatives with the numbers on each animal. Our last step was to place them numerically. It was so easy but great number repetition. The printables were darling too which made it even better.

Arctic Numbers

We also had some pre-writing practice with our math bin. Bee is getting much better at holding a pencil and also following basic lines and shapes.

Arctic Prewriting

Sweets continued working on her puzzle skills and shape recognition. In keeping with our arctic theme I had her match pictures of animals. She is improving so much and enjoying the challenges.

Arctic Animal Matching

Arctic Fox Label

Once I printed off the activities that I choose I was a little concerned. Bee can’t read, we are so far from even thinking about teaching reading. Letters are our main priority, what was I thinking… Oy. Oh well, we went for it and Bee loved labeling the foxes body parts. The words were simple: tail, paw, nose and ear. I asked Bee what the first letter of each word was. Once we got the right letter, a little prompting needed, then we said the word and placed it on the image. I was surprised with how frequently Bee choose to do this activity.

 

Sweets focus is also on letter recognition. We are loving our Melissa and Doug Alphabet puzzle. It is high quality, has bright colors and says the letter when you place a piece. It is just perfect. We also matched arctic animal images while saying the animal names. Sweets is surprisingly good at pronunciation even though I was simply trying teaching her some new animal names.

Arctic Animal Letters

Our Science sensory bin was so much fun! Sweets loved balancing the animals on top of each other. It was goofy but she did it over and over again and just giggled. While Sweets napped I filled the bin with cool water and ice cubes and let Bee play outside. His hands got chilly, which opened the door for us to talk about temperature and how arctic animals stay warm up North. After we warmed up we watched the Magic School Bus where they discussed how animals keep insulated with various insulators such as fur and blubber. We also had the book but sometimes I like the option of just turning on a show so I can have a little break.

Arctic Ice Sensory

Everyday we’re reading! Everyday and everywhere. We made excellent choices for our reading material this week. Some times we just looked at the many pictures, sometimes we read the info and sometimes I let the kids tell me about the Polar Bears.

Arctic Reading

Charcoal Drawing

Originally I had a small polar bear and cotton ball craft planned but it never came together. We did however make a trip to Grandma’s house, my parents. While we were there the kids were able to play with a new medium. Charcoal. What beautiful pictures they made!

Resources:

Books:

The Three Snow Bears – Jan Brett

The Polar Bear Scientists – Peter Lourie

Welcome to the World of Spirit Bears – Diane Swanson

The Magic School Bus in the Arctic: A Book About Heat

The Bear Report – Thyra Heder

Baby Polar Bear (Nature Babies) – Aubrey Lang

Polar Kingdom Animals – Christophere Boncerns

Printables:

Workbox Wednesday

This week we are learning about farms! Here are Sweets bins!Workbox Farm 1 yr

Creative Arts - Farm Masks and Sounds

Creative Arts: Animal Masks and Animal Sounds

Language - Farm Puzzle

Language: Farm Animal Puzzle, Boogie Board

Math - Farm Patterns

Math: Hide and Seek Barn Puzzle, Pattern (AB) Practice

Science - Farm Sensory

Science:  Farm Yard Little People

Our World - Farm Readings and Puppets

Our World:  Farm and Animal Readings, Old McDonald’s Farm Puppets

Wondering how our week went? Check out here! You will also find a list of all the resources that we used.

A: Apples, Adam, Alligators and Ants

With my new baby in tow I am off to a slow start with sharing our Tot School Adventures. We have been going for a few weeks now so here goes our catch up.

This week we focused on the Letter A. A for Apples, Adam, Alligators and Ants.

This week our scripture study was Adam and Eve. I printed off some clip art and used them to tell Bee the story of Adam and Eve in the garden. We mostly just introduced Adam and Eve as people God sent to the Earth to start families. He really enjoyed hearing that Adam and Eve named all of the animals. We played with some animals after our very short lesson then ate gold fish. The perfect Family Home Evening for a 20 month old.

Our weeks rhyme was The Ants Go Marching. Two or three verses was enough for Bee but if your child is really loving the rhyme you might as well keep going. If you are unfamiliar with this song just give it a quick search on YouTube. I love this rhyme for a few reasons. It repeats Ants to help with letter recognition, counting up to ten and if you forget the official rhyme its easy enough to make up on the spot. My favorite part though is that you can easily add in actions. We pretended we were Ants and marched, crawled, skipped and hopped all over the living room. You can also clap the BOOM’s. Bee was quite fond of that and could barely wait ’til the end of the rhyme.

Bee is a sucker for books which makes reading really quite easy. In fact if I could handle it I’m sure we would read all day long. I don’t have that kind of patience, I MUST mix things up before I loose my mind. Our official weekly book was 10 Apples Up On Top. I loved this book as a child and I still enjoyed it. This book also focuses on counting. I found some great printables here to reinforce Apples Up On Top. I am a huge laminator! Cutting out printables for school while snuggling my hubby watching a show is how I spend my evenings. I asked Bee to put such and such number on top of a characters head. He hasn’t mastered numbers by any means but he can put them on their heads. Mostly in a stack horizontally instead of vertical but still impressed. I also cut out a picture of him so he could stack them on himself. He thought that was oh so silly.

Snuggles

Very rarely do I get to sit down on the couch. As soon as I do Bee bolts to get his pillow, a blanket and a stack of books. He knows reading time is snuggle time and I love it. Well mostly except for when I actually want a break…. A mum can wish right?

One of my favorite sites for teaching tots is 1+1+1=1. I’m sure that I will refer to it often. You might as well bookmark it now. I printed off some great math activities there such as Apple Sequencing, Small, Medium and Large, shadow matching and a three piece puzzle.

For our sensory aka messy activity of the week. We played in oatmeal that had objects hidden in it. The objects were all things that started with the letter A, of course. We had a great time finding them and hiding them again and again. This particular bunch of oats had accidentally been the recipient of a coconut oil leak which made it of so much better. It smelled great and was good for our skin. Now that’s what I call a win win win!Oat Sensory

In my researching journey I can across the Measured Mom, another great resource, she has a whole page for A crafts. Check it out here! I really liked her Apple Tree craft but I saw it going a little bit differently. To me the answer was obvious. Paint your child’s arm. Crazy, oh probably. Who teaches their kids to paint their entire forearm to make a tree? Well I do! And we loved it! Bee doesn’t particularly like to get messy but once I get him started then he is okay. As you can see his arm and hand made the tree then he painted the leaves on. I made sure to give him different shades of green to choose from. Then we used a random liquid glue tube, that I had lying around, to paint the apples. If I had a round brush or stamp I would have used that but we made things work with just a bit of creativity.Apple Tree Painting

I Love It!! On the fridge it goes with all the other works of art to follow.

On our Tot Trays this week were Melissa and Doug’s Alphabet Lacing cards, Pipe cleaners into straws and building blocks. Here you can see Bee concentrating on getting those pipe cleaners into the straws. Its trickier than it looks people.

Fine Motor Pipe Cleaners and Straws

I will try and take better pictures of our Tot Trays because they really are a great way to introduce lots of skills to your little munchkin.