Wednesday, April 23, 2014

States of Matter - Liquids

Physical Science - States of Matter


The Physical Science album is a precursor to the other 3-6 Science albums. I'm using the KHT Montessori albums, which I love! We started with the 3 States of Matter - solid, liquid and gas. This was not entirely new since we had played with water and done several experiments in the past with ice, water and steam.

We had some friends over to join us for our work period. I started by introducing the definition of "matter" as anything you could touch or that takes up space. I asked the kids for examples of things they could touch (the couch, the floor, a book) and we talked about how all of those things are made of matter. I showed them the matter tray with a container of water for liquid, air for gas, and a rock for solid. I passed the containers around so they could see the differences. Then we listened to this States of Matter song on YouTube.

Next, we talked about a couple of the properties of liquids. Liquids don't have a definite shape, and will take the shape of the container they are poured into. Liquids are a type of matter, so they do take up space. Liquids also have a definite volume. You can measure the volume of a liquid, and that volume will stay constant if you transfer the liquid to a new container.

I set up a water station at the table (with lots of towels - this would be better outside if it hadn't been so cold that day!). I had a large bucket of water in the middle of the table, and several trays around the table where kids could sit and experiment with pouring water into different shapes and sizes of containers.

We were so involved in the activities that I didn't get any pictures (how did that happen??). Here are a few examples of things you could do:

Measure the volume of a liquid, then pour into a different container.
See how the shape changes, but volume stays the same.

Pour liquids into containers with very different sizes or shapes.

Play with different sized/shaped containers in the pool or bathtub.

Use a water table to fill lots of containers with water. Practice pouring the liquid from
one container to another to see how liquids flow and take the shape of their container.

See more Science activities here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

PL - Washing a Doll

Washing a Doll

In preparation for her new role as a big sister, we bought a new baby doll for M to take care of. She has an incredible number of stuffed animals, but doesn't have many actual dolls. I bought this Waterbabies doll specifically because it could go in the tub.

I set up a bath station with a bowl of water, a small cup, a baby bathtub (which could be substituted with any shallow tub or pan), a washcloth, and a small towel. I demonstrated how to use the cup to get water from the bowl and pour it over the baby doll to get her wet, use the washcloth to wash the baby, rinse her with more water, and then dry her with the small towel. We didn't use any soap, but that could definitely be added as an extension. You could also demonstrate how to wash hair if you have a doll with hair.

This was a huge success - I can't tell you how many times this doll took a bath! This would be easy to do in the real bathtub, or as an outdoor activity to minimize the possibility of a mess.

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

See more Practical Life activities here.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

PL - Unloading the Dishwasher

Unloading the Dishwasher

M helps as much as she can in the kitchen. I'm trying to make more things accessible, especially her own dishes and snacks, but her learning tower is also a big help. (My husband build this one using the directions from Ana White's DIY site.) She can't reach most of the dishes, but she is able to sort and put away the silverware. When I find a better way to store her dishes she'll be able to help with those as well.

See more Practical Life activities here.

PL - Setting the Table

Setting the Table

M is a huge fan of tea parties, so she gets a lot of practice setting the table. I printed table setting place mats from Simple Fresh Designs. I'm trying to get better at involving M in "real" chores around the house, but realistically, we don't typically set the table before we eat. We also talk about different ways to set the table when we eat out at restaurants, especially when there are multiple utensils or glasses.

See more Practical Life activities here.

PL - Tooth Brushing

Tooth Brushing

Like many Practical Life activities, this is something you teach your child to do naturally. M likes to do things on her own, and this is no exception. She can open and close the toothpaste (she still needs some help squeezing the toothpaste onto her toothbrush), wet her toothbrush, and brush her teeth. I typically do a quick follow-up brushing, but she is pretty thorough on her own now. 

See more Practical Life activities here

PL - Washing Hands

Washing Hands

This is pretty self-explanatory. M uses a stool in the bathroom to reach the sink, and we keep soap and a hand towel accessible. They make faucet extenders if that's an issue (it's not in our house). M loves washing her hands to make them all "sparkly clean." She also uses a wet washcloth or tissue to wash her face after eating.

See more Practical Life activities here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

PL - Walking the Line

Walking the Line

Walking on a line helps to develop balance and awareness of your body. There are tons of variations, and we practice walking the "line" (or playground edging, curbs, cracks in the sidewalk, etc.) all the time! We have used painters tape on the floor, or tape down the ends of a long piece of ribbon, when we make lines to walk inside. Sidewalk chalk is great for drawing lines outside.

Extensions include walking backwards, carrying an object, walking to a beat / music, walking on curved or zig zag lines, and more!

See more Practical Life activities here.