Friday, November 30, 2012

December Activities

Hard to believe it is December already! We are spending December talking about Christmas. I hope you join us for this busy month! Remember repetition is key so activities should be repeated throughout the weeks.

Friday, November 9, 2012

November Story Board/ Pre-writing Practice

This simple Story Board was created two years ago for Jacob to work on putting together a turkey. It was an easy little way to introduce story boards. Now a couple years later, I decided to take this to the next step.
I had Jake put together the turkey and then tell me a story about the turkey. For a pre-writing add on I wrote the story as he told it to me. I did have to prompt him slightly to extend his story and include story elements.
Of course, as a pre-writing activity, it is a very simple story but one just to get the idea started that this is how to write a story. By using the Story Board it helps spark inspiration and can be used to stretch the story by adding more detail. 

Game: Leaf Cards

I bought these paper leaves at a teacher store. I have hung on to them for the last 3 years with our Structured Play things. This year I did something a little different with them. I laid them all out on the floor. I told Jake we were going to play a matching game. Each leaf had three matching leaves.
This was a nice change to make Jake slow down and look for three matches. The leaves were multicolored and really took taking your time to look for the matches. The shapes were similar as well. Again, just what a busy toddler needs to help him slow down!
Jake enjoyed this game and did not protest. I think partly because it was a movement game, he had to move around the room to pick-up the leaves. We took turns collecting matches. 
We both had fun playing this game and played repeatedly. There are all kinds of way to make games out of unsuspecting objects. Get creative!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November Sensory Box

Our November Sensory Box includes corn kernels as the base. I have leaves, pumpkins, acorns and scarecrow and pilgrim faces.
Both boys enjoyed playing in the box. Jake (3) pretended he was a farmer and was using the corn to "feed" the animals. Joey (13 months) practiced pouring and dumping the corn and the acorns. It is great practice and a fun playing prompt for both boys. But I will warn you, it makes a MESS! 
I have used the same Sensory Box materials for 3 years. I have 12 plastic shoe boxes that I use as storage. I have pulled the shoe boxes out and filled the Sensory Box each month for 3 years. Jake does not remember the box from year to year and still has fun with the material although it is fading slightly. When you are thinking of creating these boxes, 12 to use over and over for at least 3 years does not seem so bad! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Motor Skills Practice and Sorting

Today we did a little motor skill practice while sorting people and food. This is a fun little printable from 1+1+1=1.
I let Jake cut out the people and food cards. He loves to cut and is getting much better but skill needs a little supervision. The best way to introduce cutting is to allow your child to cut blank paper. Having them cut lines are great but not a first step. Let them get the feel of the scissors and get used to opening and closing the scissors. 
After each piece was cut out I let Jake go to it on his own. He knew just what to do and glued each piece int he correct spot. While he was working we discussed Pilgrims and Native Americans. He does not really have a reference for them or really for Thanksgiving. 



Monday, November 5, 2012

Leaf Graph

Today we took a nature walk and picked up some leaves. The leaves are just gorgeous right now in Tennessee. We were able to find green, red, yellow, brown and orange leaves. I encouraged Jake to pick up only the ones he loved, the ones he thought were beautiful!
We picked about 30 leaves or so before heading home. Once at home I had a graph ready for us to do as an activity. Jake was not into it too much and decided that he needed to cut the stems off of the leaves before we could start the graph.
I thought this was a great idea, he would practice motor skills and use his focus to settle down a bit after the walk. He loves cutting so I told him to just cut the stems and not the leaves.
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Next, we sorted the leaves and started the graph. I held the brown leaves and moved one in front of him as he colored each box. I did it this way at first to help him understand a graph and what how we create one. (Excuse the scribble on the paper. He did that as he was waiting for me to get started.) This leaf graph was created by 2 Teaching Mommies you can find it here.
When we got to the green, Jake insisted on using marker. I outlined the boxes and asked him to make sure to stay within the lines. Markers can easily take over a paper. I HATE markers but Jake, like all kids, love them and really tries to use them whenever he can. 
Here is the finished product! He is getting much better at coloring within the lines. Of course he is not there yet but it is getting better. I think he really understood the graphing concept which surprised me a little. I asked him to look at our graph and tell me which color we had the most of and least. He answered without hesitation. I would not be surprised to see him "graphing" when he is playing in the coming days. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November Plans

Welcome to Autumn!
 We are finally feeling cooler weather to match the changing of the leaves. Fall is upon us and we are loving it! While the leaves are changing around us we are going to take time to enjoy nature and all of its changes. Won't you join us?
November Plans

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