Thursday, 28 June 2012

Planning for next year - Preschool (YIKES!)

I love planning. I get all excited and like to browse and look at stuff for ideas for HOURS! C is going to be 3 soon - where did the time go? He gets bored easily and wants to do work like A, so I figured I needed to do more with him this coming school season. I don't expect to do worksheets, or activity pages or anything, but I think we will do unit studies in conjuction with what A is studying or whatever takes his fancy.  Of course, I have been looking at all these ideas from all these great sites and it's easy to get carried away. That being said, I created my list of goals for C today and it looks something like this:

Counting objects to 5
Be able to sort different objects by color, size, and/or shape
Be able to sort animals according to characteristics
Draw a circle, square, triangle
Be able to complete an ABC pattern
Sing songs

Be able to do:
Lacing work
Puzzle work
Building skills

Would be nice:
Recognize A, C, D, M, S

To change:
Less TV, more books and toys
More one on one time
More hands on fun like painting and messy work

As you can see, there is nothing in the above list that involves "seat work" - which is how it should be. I have found a site called Confessions of a Homeschooler that has some great free printables for lacing, patterning, letters, and colors. She has puzzles that correspond with each letter that I will be using just as puzzles - we will talk about the animals on those puzzles and the beginning letter sounds, but I TOTALLY don't expect him to know those sounds. I do want to expose him to that concept though so that when we start PreKinder stuff he has heard the idea before and it isn't alien.

So far I have decided that we will make a cardboard car and gas pump, sensory floor tiles(round or square cardboard tiles covered in different stuff like sponges, Bath sponges, bubble wrap, etc), lacing cards, sensory balloons, craft stick shapes, giant felt shapes, a felt button worm made from felt scraps that can be ordered by color or shape, etc.  

Some of the items that I can't make, I will have to buy.  Those include wooden puzzles, sorting trays(wood silverware trays), craft items like paint, pom poms, etc, aquarium gravel, rawhide dog bones in all shapes and conditions for dinosaur bone hunts, stampers, paint rollers, and dot dot painters, etc.  IF you live up in the great white north and want me to send you money for when you go to Goodwill and can pick me up some of those things, I'd be super excited :) Send me a message, I'll send you money :) :)

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Readathon 2012 - The Lion and the Mouse

A few days ago I stumbled across a great website called MeMeTales This site has a dual purpose. It allows aspiring writers to publish their own stories(for kids) and it also brings innovative books to children in an engaging platform.  MeMeTales has both free ebooks and ebooks you can purchase.  You can have the books read aloud to your child, printed off, or if your child is reading, they can read the book without the audio.

For the summer, MeMeTales is partnering with PBSKids, Harper Collins, Orca Books, Little Pickle Press, and others to bring you some great ebooks.  There are aps for your iPhone, Kindle Fire, iPad, and computer that allow you to download the books and set your little one up with hours of reading fun.  For the month of June, if you sign up with MemeTales you get 20 free ebooks that can either be read aloud or that can be read silently. After reading or listening to each book, your child earns sticker rewards that you can print out and glue onto their certificate.
Jungle animals singing don't wake the lion

If you want to participate, here is a link that takes you to the how to participate page.

Each week has different theme with activities to go along with theme.  Week 1 is animals. This makes me super excited as C loves all things animals and the books are simple enough that both A and C can do animal based activities together and reenact some of the books.

The book we listened to today was The Lion and the Mouse by Lavanya R.N.  We listened to the book  this morning and I LOVED it. It is the traditional tale of the mouse helping the lion, but the illustrations, the slightly Indian twist to the story line, and the audio made the book really come alive. C gasped in the scary parts, laughed when the lion roared and laughed, and cheered at the end when the lion got free of the net.  He also danced to the musical part. Really, listen to this book. It's fab.

"Squeek, squeek"
I figured that I wanted him to really remember this book - it has a great message after all. We grabbed his animal toys, his holey blanket, and reenacted the story line. Of course since he is just coming on 3 years old, it wasn't exactly like the book, but the mouse made squeaky noises, the lion roared(and snored), and he freed the lion.  After which, he made the mouse pounce and wrestle the lion - but hey - it was his reenactment!
Saving the lion from the net.

I can see us playing lion and mouse for many days in the future.

Thanks MeMeTales for great books and letting my children's imaginations grow because you started this service. we are hooked and will keep reading all Summer :)

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Thursday Thanksfulness

It's the little things, right?  Last year, our neighbor's Mango tree was EXPLODING with mangos. This year, it looks like there won't be any :( On our way to town, we found:

Life is good when you can grab a free range Mango and rescue it from getting run over. It was literally laying in the middle of the road. So as any good Crucian would do, I sent A to cross the street and grab it up before a car could squash it.  It is perfect. It is one of the prettiest mangos I have seen in a LLLOONNGG time.

C has been jonesing for a Garbage truck since Christmas. Every night(no, really, EVERY night) before he goes to sleep he asks if HOHO(Santa) will bring him a garbage truck. I know Santa can work miracles, but I am not sure he knows where to find a garbage truck. I have looked because I thought that maybe we'd take over HOHO's job and get C one for his birthday, but haven't been able to find on on internet land.  Well, what to my wondering eyes should appear at the St. Croix Animal Shelter Flea Market today, than a big orange Garbage truck! So, thank you, thank you, thank you to whomever dropped that guy off and boy am I glad and thankful that I can stop looking now :)

Be thankful. It's the little stuff that counts.