Me and My "Guys"

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Patterning and block play...

Blocks are great for developing math skills. Place a variety of objects in the block area: standard unit blocks, colored blocks (Ikea), plastic animals, empty spice bottles, empty diaper boxes, cars and trucks, leaves, bark, mesquite beans, etc., old keys. Anything you can think of. Put a couple of objects in and change them out periodically. Given the opportunity, kids will discover and explore in ways you would never dream of. They will learn math, spatial reasoning, act out things they see in the world. It's great for classifying and sorting. You will notice your kids classifying different kinds of cars and trucks, animals and objects. These are foundational concepts that will help them to be successful in math.

It's a great opportunity to notice what they are doing and learning and then to extend that learning with a variety of activities and projects.

The Art Wall...

How do you display your kids' art or other talents?

Sensory Trays...

Not every household has the option of having a nice sensory table like this:

And, although there are simpler, less expensive tables like this (which you can often find on Craigslist):

It's nice to have other options for a home. Something the children can access easily when they want some independent play time, that you can be confident, also teaches them.

We've discovered sensory trays. I took an old cookie sheet that I didn't use anymore and I put colored sand in it, along with some tools for playing in it.

Possibilities for the sensory tray:
colored sand
corn meal
rice and beans
dry noodles, with or without food coloring
glitter, mixed with the other things or not

*Of course, you have to be careful of choking hazards with little ones!*

Modify it for a baby:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Letter of the Week...

About each week, we learn a different letter. This week we are on D. I simply post the following in the kitchen and just as we are finishing up our breakfast, we sing the alphabet song and do the activities.

Letter D print out
Letter D Rhyme
4 labeled pictures that start with letter d. These are the pictures that I cut out and tape up to the pantry:

We sing the alphabet song.
We say, "Big D, Little D, what begins with D?" Then talk about the pictures.
We read the rhyme and the little printable book

This week we are making donuts using this recipe to go along with the letter d. It also meets our cooking goal, which is to cook with my kids once a week at least.

Ways to add math and science into daily play:

Today we did some math and science:

1. During free choice play, Andy got his blocks out and made patterns with them as part of his play. 
2. I put these butterflies up in the kitchen that I found at Andy noticed them during breakfast and it opened up an entire subtraction dialogue as he played with them while he ate, taking them away and putting them back. Vocabulary that came up: How many are left? I took one away and now there are _______. Now there's only one! etc.
 3. Physics: Rolling balls and other objects down a "ramp". Vocabulary: Make a prediction, go stand where you think this one will roll to. Do you think this one will roll farther or closer? Why did that one roll so far (or near). heavy, light, fast, slow.

Block Math

Magnet Math

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kid-Friendly Recipes

This website has done the work for us on some recipes to make them visual for kids!