Friday, February 21, 2014

O is for Olympics

Oh, letter O.  I had a lot of ideas, but they all came together SUPER last minute.  So thankful for my talented husband, the #1 supporter of Parker Prep.  He made some clutch manipulatives for me.  Thanks Ryan!

Day 1

How perfect that O week just so happened to fall during the Olympics?  We had been watching them pretty non-stop the past week, so Parker had a bit of an idea of what they were and why it was okay to have the TV on a majority of the day.  His current favorite was bobsledding, which he calls, the Bobcat Sled.  He likes it because it requires driving.  Ryan was pushing him around in a little wagon the night before saying "Feel the rhythm.  Feel the Ride.  Get on Up, it's Bobsled time!" (From Cool Runnings)  Parker could not stop laughing.

We usually do our preschool in the morning when Adley is sleeping, but today was SO nice, so we had to go outside.  We didn't have to go far to find some huge piles that we pretended to bobsled down.  Parker loved yelling, "It's bobsled time!"  

Later that day, we sang the Jolly Phonics song for letter O.  Then we counted to 40, reviewed numbers 1-10, reviewed shapes and noticed that oval and octagon both start with O.  Then we reviewed letters A-N, their verses, and then we sang the Alphabet.  We don't do this too much, but I wanted to call his attention to the "L, M, N, O, P" part.  Usually when he gets to that part, he sings "Ella, Enno, P."  I figured it was about time to fix that, even though I always thought it was cute when he sang it wrong.  

We learned letter O and its verse,

"Obey the Lord, and follow His commands." Deuteronomy 27:10

For our Intro to Letter O activity, I had an O made out of a coffee filter that I had him cover with yellow octagons. 

 I just did the uppercase since the lowercase looks the same, and so I could continue on with the big picture... The Olympic Rings!  I laid out four more coffee filter rings around the yellow one and showed him a picture of the rings in Sochi.  I taught him a little about how the five rings represent the five regions of the world that compete in the Olympics, that the inter-locking symbolizes the unity of the countries during this time, and that at least one color of every country's flag is represented with the five colors.  He covered the rings with the right color pattern blocks and puff balls.

Then we read

We played the Olympic Match Game.  (I printed off two sets of the flashcards to make it work like a match game).  I pulled out one of each card to show him the different sports.  Then we laid them out and played the game.  Parker was very excited when he got the Bobcat Sleds ;)

When we were finished, he wanted to lay them all out and tell me which one was his favorite.  By this time, he had all the other sports memorized, including speed skating, ice hockey, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and a few more.  What a great way to learn!

Of course we watched the Olympics later that night, and Parker played the match game with Ryan the next day.  

Day 2

Usually Day 1 is the "random things that start with that letter" day, but I was excited to do the Olympics.  Day two was a bit random, but it came together pretty well.  

We started by matching up the shades of orange.

Next, I had him pick out six toys of his choice.  

I gave him an orange and asked him it was heavy or light.  He said, "heavy."  Then I had him hold the orange in one hand and take the toys one by one in the other hand and decide whether it was lighter or heavier than the orange.  

Then, we read

The second time through,  I would say the first word, we would act it out, Parker would tell me the opposite and we would do that, too.  Then we ate the orange.  Must've been tart ;)

While we were doing all of that, Ryan was making a letter maze based on a picture I showed him on Pinterest.  His final product was 100x more awesome than what I had in mind!

Parker moved the owl along the O's, through the maze until it landed safely on the branch.

Ryan also made a sweet owl craft for them to put together.  Boy's got skills!

Later, we read

Day 3

Originally, I was thinking O week would be all about the ocean, but for some reason this idea just became intimidating.  Probably because the ocean is SO big.  I can't possibly teach it in depth. haha.  We were going to a friend's house in the morning, so I brought along some supplies.

First, we read

Then the kids painted toilet paper tubes (that would eventually turn into octopuses).

Then we read

Once the tubes were dry, I cut the 8 legs, curled them up with a pencil, and the kids picked out the eyes they wanted to use.  (Not sure why they even make red googly eyes).  

I thought they turned out pretty cute.

Valentines Day!

Some people love it, some people hate it, but regardless of your views, Valentine's Day can be very educational =)  Here's what we did throughout the week!

Heart Game
I cut out some hearts and put stickers on them.  
Then I got out  one dice and some Valentine-colored puff balls.

One player would roll the dice, count the number, 
and cover that many stickers on their heart with the puff balls. 

The first person to fill the heart, wins!

We attempted the paleo frosting, too, but ended up adding some powdered sugar ;)

Graphing Hearts

TP Roll Heart Stamping

Cut toilet paper rolls in half and bend into a heart shape. Dip them in paint and stamp away!

Cube Heart Puzzle

Take four cubes, make a heart over the top of them out of glitter glue, let it dry, turn the cubes, and make another one.  Do this on all six sides of the cube.  

It turned out to be a lot harder to complete than I anticipated.  
We had to work together to get them to fit just right. 

Our Highlights Magazine also had a heart version of Go Fish, so we played that, too.  It was really fun!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

N is for Neighborhood

Here we go, Letter N.

Day 1

We hooked the computer up to the TV to get some music for this morning.  We sang "Shine, Shine, Shine" By Carol Peterson because we are ready for some sunshine around here!!  (And warmth).  We also sang, "I Can Hammer."  After that, we headed over to the board to do our name activity.  I had the letters of his name mixed up on the board. 

 He walked right over and said, "That's not how you spell my name."  
Then he put them in the right order =)  

We reviewed letters A-M and their verses, and introduced letter N and its verse

"Nothing can separate us from the love of God." Romans 8:28

Right after he repeated the Romans 8:28 part, he said, "Letter A has Romans, too!"  I was shocked.  He was right!  Then we made letter N's with numbers.

  Time to make a neighborhood.  I did a neighborhood unit with my former Kindergarteners, so I had some supplies left from that.  We started by talking about what a neighborhood is, and what you might find there.  Houses, a fire station, people, roads, buildings, and of course, ours would have a farm. =)  I started laying out the tape (roads) while Parker sorted through his toy box finding anything that might go in our neighborhood.  After I got the main roads taped down, we started on building the city portion.  I put numbers on the floor and got out the blocks.  He made towers on top of the numbers to make the skyscrapers.

Then I laid out upper case letters A-N in the neighborhood and had Parker match the lower case letters on the bottom of the houses to figure out where each one goes.

We set up the fire station and construction area,

put Thomas on the train track,

and filled up the parking lot.

Parker also set up the farm.

He did a great job laying it all out.  He lined up the machinery, made a fence, had the cow eating hay, and even made a fire pit =)

Then he played with it for the next few hours!  It was a major blessing because we were getting tired of being inside and this was a fresh new indoor adventure.  We built it under our stairs, so it was kind of tight.  He kept knocking over the city, but then he would call the fire department (me) and I would come help him rebuild it.  Whenever he called me, he always used a deep voice.  haha

Later that day, we read


He woke up the next morning and got right to 'work.'

Day 2

I didn't get much sleep the night before because Adley had a fever from teething and was very uncomfortable.  I didn't have a ton of energy for preschool, so we skipped the silly, up-beat songs ;)   I had Parker spell his name for me without looking.  He totally got it.  That was so awesome for me to see.  We are really getting in to things that he's never done before and I really feel like he's learning a lot lately.

Someone gave me this a while back.

There are all sorts of cards, but I started with one that shows how two little shapes can make one whole new, different shape.

Then he did the boat picture.

Next, we read Noah and the Ark from our  

Time for a craft.  I don't do crafts much because honestly, I don't know what to do with them when we're done.  I'm certainly not going to keep them forever, but I feel bad just throwing them away.  Bible crafts are a little more significant and I was able to incorporate some fine-motor skills we have been working on, such as coloring in the lines,

and tracing.

I drew these shapes out beforehand and cut them out in a way that would make it easy for him to cut on the lines.  He likes to use his scissors, but he pretty much makes slits in paper instead of actually cutting out a shape.  Here we go!

It was quite funny.  I held the paper while he cut.  I kept saying, "Open (the scissors), snip, move forward."  We were both laughing, but the shapes turned out surprisingly recognizable.  I saw some perfectionistic tendencies in Parker throughout this process that I tried to nip in the bud.  Wanting everything to be perfect can be so paralyzing!  Trust me, I'm not like that at all.  I usually just slop things together and call it good, but my husband likes things to be perfect, so we make a good pair!

I helped Parker glue the Ark to the paper and things were looking pretty good. The best part was that it looked like it was done by a 3 year old and not a 3 year old's mom.  I can't stand it when doing a craft with your child means doing a craft for your child so it looks better.  Well, that's how I usually feel at least, but then Parker said he wanted to draw a rainbow.  I hate to admit it, but I was thinking, "Oh great, he's going to ruin the picture by scribbling all over the page and it's going to look bad on the blog."  I tried to convince him that he should let me draw it and he could trace it, but he insisted that he draw it.  I finally gave in.  I got out all the markers and took a deep breath.  He started with the blue, and he drew a shape that had a very close resemblance to a rainbow!  Then he did the same with the green, yellow, orange, red and purple - my jaw dropping more with each color.  This is the kid that when I pick him up from Bible study, there are 12 crafts on the table and none of them have his name on it.  When I get him from Sunday School, his sheet entitled "The Parable of the Lost Sheep," has one cotton ball glued to it that the teenage helper probably put there just so he'd have one to take home.  Now, out of no where, he was drawing a rainbow!?  You can understand my excitement.  

When he was done, he added the red mountains, and then the picture was complete.  

I think I might put this is the "keep forever" pile.

Day 3

We were heading out of town for the weekend, so we read these

and then we drove to Uncle Nate and Auntie Natty's.  We were going to hammer some nails and work with nuts and bolts, but it was actually a beautiful winter day, so we scrapped that and played outside.  

N is for Never-ending Winter!  I really wish we could visit an ocean for O week...