So here's why I like I like writing a blog - If you asked me what we did last week, I would have said "absolutely nothing." But when I skimmed through our pictures to see what I could pull together for a blog post, I realized that we actually did quite a bit. And this is just what I happened to get pictures of. It's so cool to realize how much M is learning just by living our normal lives - no extra planning required!
So here's what we did last week:
Practical LifeLacing beads / Sorting
M found a bag of these foam beads and wanted to make another necklace. I gave her a lacing string, and she decided to sort the beads and put them on her necklace in groups. I was so amazed that I just sat there and watched (and took a few pictures). First, she separated out all of stars into a pile on the side. Then, she decided that she wanted to string all of the yellow beads together.
Next, she added all of the orange beads. There were two different shades of blue and two shades of pink, so she stopped sorting colors and moved on to shapes. She rolled one of the round beads on the table and talked about how circles are round. She cracked up when I asked her how many corners a circle has - "There are no corners Mommy!! It's round!" This led to a discussion of how many corners squares have while she she added all of the squares to her necklace.
M wanted to get some water from her large pink bucket into her smaller green bucket, but the pink bucket was too heavy to lift. I showed her how she could use one of her shovels to transfer water from one container to the other.
I tried to get M to put on her long sleeved swim shirt so we wouldn't have to keep reapplying sun block as often (it has built-in SPF). She was not interested in wearing it, but she said she would wash it for me instead. She rubbed it in the sand until it was completely covered, then rinsed it out in her bucket, squeezed it out, and laid it to dry on one of the towels. Then she immediately picked it back up and repeated the whole scenario three more times!
My husband and I decided to do some straightening up in the garage. M wanted to help, but I wanted her to stay out of the way so she wouldn't get hurt while we were moving some large boxes. I grabbed a big cube of florist foam and stuck in a few large nails. She spent quite a while hammering the nails into the foam over and over. Pretty soon she'll be ready to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity!
There are so many different textures in such a relatively small area at the beach. M spent most of one afternoon sitting at the edge of the ocean digging in the wet sand and watching the waves erase her markings.
We sat together and let our feet sink into the sand and M covered her legs in sand and shells to be washed off by the waves. We watched for the little bubbles in the sand as the waves retreated and dug for tiny sand crabs. M moved back a little further from the water and dug down until her "pool" filled with water.
This was our not-so-successful attempt at some DIY Sound Cylinders. I was reading about some pre-reading activities, and saw this site that talked about how learning to discriminate between similar sounds is an important skill when getting ready to read (think about how similar many of the letter sound - like t, d, p, etc.).
I didn't want to fork over $40 for a real set, so I bought three cheap sets of salt and pepper shakers from Walmart ($0.98 per pair). The shakers were clear, and that kind of defeats the purpose, since you are supposed to just use your sense of hearing to match the sound pairs.
I saw a neat post on Pinterest a while back that showed how to put some paint in a flower vases and swirl it around to line the inside to make it whatever color you wanted. I thought I was being so brilliant, and had M help me to paint three green and three blue containers.
However.... I didn't think about the part where I would fill the containers with something like rice or pasta and SHAKE the containers, which would very quickly chip away all of the paint from the inside of the container. Oops! So these have now been washed out and are ready to try again later.
The perfect sensory material! M had fun using our play-doh press to make "spaghetti" and "snakes." We also got in a little math by comparing the lengths of the "snakes" and putting the pieces of spaghetti in straight lines.
I made a quick DIY Salt Box with a small, shallow gift box I had laying around. I painted the inside pink as a contrast color and filled it with salt. This will hopefully eventually lead to some language activities (tracing letters), but for now M just wanted to make hand prints and dots and shake the salt around in the box.
I drew the letter "m" in the sand, and M helped me fill in the shape with little shells we found in the sand. I encouraged her to try to copy my letters in the sand, but she wasn't interested.
Library "Writing Center"
I absolutely love our library. I love that their website is really easy to navigate. I love that I can search for books from their online catalog and then find them easily when I get to the library. I love how helpful the librarians are when I can't locate one of the books I'm looking for. I love all of the activities they have to keep M entertained while I'm finding her books. Did I mention that I love our library?
Usually when we're at the library M either finds a book (or 5 or 6) and sits in the lounge chairs in the children's area and looks at the pictures, or she will play with the castle dollhouses or magnet board or hopscotch or any of the other games they have set up in the children's area. She has never ventured over to the "writing center" and I assumed that it was a little too old for her anyway.
On this most recent trip, she decided to go over to the writing center after we had already found all of our books and had already been at the library for nearly two hours (which is why I don't have any pictures...). I was really ready to leave, but I just couldn't say no when I saw what she wanted to do. They had a mini mailbox along with small slips of paper, pencils and crayons where children could write "letters" to mail. M drew a person (seriously - it actually looked like a person with a head and arms and legs!), and decided to take it home for her uncle who is visiting.
She also wanted to try the letter stencils. They had a box of stencils - one for each letter of the alphabet - that had the outline of the letter and spaces to practice writing the letter independently. M recently broke her travel magna doodle (we paid a dollar for it at Target's Dollar Spot, so frankly I'm shocked that it survived as long as it did), so I'm wondering if it would be worth it to buy the Lakeshore "magic board" and the set of practice cards. Hmmmm....
|Magic Board Printing Practice Cards|
Shape Scavenger Hunt
This picture was from one of our evening walks around the neighborhood. This particular walk was right after she had finished making her necklace, and we had just been talking about different shapes and how many corners they had. We went on a shape hunt and looked for as many shapes as we could find along our walk (octagon stop sign has eight corners, rectangle storm drain has four corners, circle sewer cover has no corners).
Counting Sand Castles
M wanted me to build a whole city of sand castles. She was the developer, and would level out the sand and point to where she wanted the next castle to go. She kept counting the castles as we went to keep track of how many we had built.