Friday, August 23, 2013

Preschool/PreK Theme: Bugs and Insects

If there's one thing this world is teeming with it's bugs. Wherever you turn there's a bug. Like many children T finds himself fascinated by these creepy crawlies. I do too actually. In fact if you looked at my camera roll you'd find a few pictures of insects.

Recently T and I had tremendous fun with a bug theme. We've found a couple great CDs, read some awesome books, gone on bug hunts. It's terrific!

Hands On Exploration

What's a study on insects without a study of bees? Exploring honeycomb was such a hit last year we did it again this year. We learned how the bees make honey, the comb, and seal it. Then T got to eat.

T also did some hands-on life cycle work with butterflies.

We made a butterfly feeder!

We made some nectar

I used a nail to poke a hole in an empty jar lid, and stuffed a bit of sponge through. Stuffing it took a lot of effort! It really was work. Needed to have half of the square sticking out either side of the hole.

 Then we filled the jar, screwed on the lid. You can hang it upside down and watch the butterflies come and drink. Making one was inexpensive and fun.

Bug Hike

 Taking a hike through various environments can be a fascinating experience. Some beetles are rather obvious like the one above.
The ants here were moving a huge load (and harder to see because they blended in so well!)

Books, Songs, and Games

While at my parents' house we played a childhood favorite of mine: Ravensburger's Memory game. We used the insect cards.

A very good friend of ours gave T a game called Bug Blast. We've had so much fun with it! It came with a book on insects and a tube full of them. Note: it also includes arachnids like spiders and scorpions.

 Love this CD and book from the Smithsonian. It has a song CD that goes through a list of insects A-Z, another track where they read the book, and more information for curious parents or littles in the back.

We enjoyed this CD from Kimbo Ed so much we kept renewing it! I'm sure one day we'll own Songs About Insects, Bugs & Squiggly Things. The songs are catchy. The lyrics are highly informative. It's a great combination in an educational CD.

If your child is anything like T you must've seen at some point a tendency to squishing. T sees an ant or something and immediately wants to stomp on it! This book was perfect for T. A little boy, egged on by his friends, is about to stomp on an ant. He explains why he thinks it's ok. The ant responds explaining his point of view. After the boy imagines what it'd be like if their situations were reversed we're brought back to the kids egging the boy on to squish the ant. The boy's foot is seen heel down, toes up, poised to stomp as he hesitates. The book ends on that scene, asking the child what he thinks the boy will do.

We just loved the Noisy Bug Sing-Along by John Himmelman. Each page shows a bug and writes its sound out phonetically. Illustrated prettily it's a delight to read. There's a link in the back to a recording of the insect sounds. I just wish it included a CD copy of the sounds! I can't wait for the author's next book, on Frog calls, to be published. This is such a nice book I also bought a copy for my parents to keep at their house. They enjoy nature too.

There were many enjoyable moments. As time went on we kept doing more and more bug related activities because we are simply surrounded by them! However, we eventually had to more on. Now we've started a forest animals theme!

Linking up at Homeschool Creations Preschool and Kindergarten Corner

Monday, August 19, 2013

Logic of English Foundations A

Just a quick note right now. I ordered the pdf teacher's manual to Logic od English Foundations A last week. This morning T and I tackled the first lesson. It was so enjoyable. I loved the way it introduces the whole subject. Instead of launching right in to phonogram cards you start by exploring sound.

Yes exploration.

First thing LOEF had us do was figure out what our bodies were doing when we made the sound for p or b. Next few days it will be different sounds. What an interesting approach.

The lesson then moved to handwriting. Today we just discussed baseline, midline and topline of the paper. Later this week we'll work on a stroke.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Everything Beautiful In Its Time: 4 Process Art Projects

What a busy couple of weeks! We finally made it out west to visit my family. It was such a fun trip! We went on several hikes a week in the mountains. Still though there were quiet moments in which T found time to do a bit of art.

 Oily Cloud Dough proved to be easy to make, awesome to play with, low odor, and retained its moisture.

Here was a really fun art project. T used two pieces of scrap paper, scissors, and paste. First he cut one piece of paper in different size strips. Using the paste he glued the strips upright on the second paper. It kept him quietly focused for quite a while. Plus helped him practice cutting skills. Bonus!

For this simple art project we used markers and crayons. With music playing in the background and large sweeping motions of the arm we created circles of all different sizes on the paper with the markers. These were then colored in with the crayons. Fun, simple, and engaging. I was drawn in and found it very relaxing.

Blot art. T folded a piece of paper in several directions. He put drops of paint in the creases, re-folded, and pressed. When he peeled the paper open he discovered it had changed in appearance.

~ Everything Beautiful In Its Time ~