Monday, February 29, 2016

L is for Lion

Most children have some idea of what a lion is.  But, after Little Miss had started our day off by painting in the black and white version of our Lion Craft...

...she asked if she could watch a Lion movie, and so after a quick search, I found this one, which we watched while the paint dried.

Then, I pulled out her Path of Motion Practice Sheet:

She zipped through this like the little pro she has become.  So we cut out the pieces of her painted lion and found some nice construction paper to glue it to.

Now, the craft sheet calls for spaghetti noodles (dry ones).  I swear, when I created these craft sheets I attempted to use materials that everyone would have easily on hand, but darned if I was all out of spaghetti noodles when I peeked in my cupboard!

Turns out yarn works too.  Anyway, we glued the pieces behind the head of the lion, and then we added more glue for his head.

And I wrote the word "Lion" just to connect the dots that the lion craft body is made from an "L".

We finished off with our Lion Dot to Dot page:

And that is everything that we did today.  If you'd like a fun story recommendation, I'd recommend Janet Stevens' recommendation of "Androcles and the Lion".  A classic story, of course, but the illustrations in this one are delightful.

Remember, all the activities seen in this blog can be found in our Letter of the Week packet for L, here at our store:

Friday, February 26, 2016

Introducing Letter L

The Letter L Introductory Card in our Letter L packet has such a fun story.  I love it, but that may be because I have a fond memory (not drastic or traumatic) of a similar incident in my own childhood.

You see how Glimmercat's tongue is stuck to the lamppost?  Yep.  I did that as a kid.  Well, it wasn't a lamppost.  It was a metal fence-post.  And after a moment or two of terror as I realized my tongue was stuck, I was able to get it removed without taking the skin off the top.  Though I definitely wouldn't recommend having your children try this out on a cold morning because the end result isn't always so happy.

Anyway, the story goes that Glimmercat licks the lamppost.  And her tongue gets stuck to it.  And all she can say is "Llllll".  And this really "stuck" with Little Miss.

She has her tongue out here, and I think she is envisioning what it might be like to have your tongue stuck to something.

Today, I printed out the Matching Game first because it is such a great way to introduce most of the L words we will be covering in this week of L.  I like to go over them with Little Miss and make sure she is familiar with each one.

Often, on the day I introduce a letter, I won't do a craft, but Little Miss was eager to do more today, so I decided to have her do the Ladybug craft.  I printed out the black and white version so she could color it herself.

As you can see, she is still thinking about her tongue being stuck and practicing the L sound.

The craft page suggests that you use a plastic spoon for this craft, but I didn't have a plastic spoon.  Only a fork.  Ha.  Turns out, you can also use a fork.  Now we both know.

 We used regular Elmers to stick the ladybug to the back of the fork.  And, once it dried...

Little Miss could move it back and forth on the the leaf and make it look like her ladybug was walking around a little.  And took it with her to her room afterwards to play with it.  Yay!  Successful introduction to letter L.

For all of the activities seen here, check out letter of the week packet for L at our store:

Thursday, February 25, 2016

K is for Kangaroo

Today was our last day for letter K.  So, of course, we had to make it about the kangaroo.  I think I've shown boxing kangaroos on here before, but they are so much fun, I've got to include another video of them. 

Always try to find a short, engaging video to introduce new animals to children.  Something like the one above.  I don't even usually look for videos that are this long, but it is a very engaging one, what with a baby kangaroo, great camera footage and a nice voice-over.

The Kangaroo Craft we offer in our Letter K packet is actually a rather realistic looking one.  So it's a great follow-up to a video like the one above.  I helped her get started by cutting out the head of the kangaroo myself. 

The skinny rectangle at the bottom of the kangaroo is folded back.  We also use half of a toilet paper tube for this one.  You can see the photo, it has already been glued to the grassy base.

Next, Little Miss takes the baby kangaroo (called a "Joey") and sticks it in the mommy kangaroo's pouch (the toilet paper tube).  It looks great!

Little Miss also practiced writing her K's on our letter K practice sheet.  I often let her use large markers for this sort of practice because they are very easy for her to grasp. 

And last for this day's work, we cut out the pieces for the letter K "What Do You See?" puzzle.  This one is pleasantly easy for little people to figure out, and she put it together all on her own!  Yay for independence!

For all the activities seen on today's blog, (and many more) you can check out our letter K packet in our store:

Thursday, February 18, 2016

K is for Koala

For our third day into our letter of the week packet, I decided to focus on our Koala activities.  Once again, koala bears aren't something we run into every day here in Colorado, so we began our day with this short YouTube video:

Who knew that Koalas made such a sound!  Apparently the little guy eventually made it into his tree, so it happily ended well, even if we don't get to see that part.  Anyway, this video gave Little Miss inspiration to get going on her Dot to Dot, so off we went to the table.

This Dot to Dot is a bit more complicated so I asked her to trace the numbers with her finger first.  She needed a little help from Mommy for the higher numbers, but this weekly repetition is really increasing her confidence with these activities!

Then, she finished it off with her pencil.  Now, in our Letter of the Week packet for Letter K we have this very fun Koala craft that uses the child's hand-print to make the little koala's body.  It turns out very cute, but the point is, Little Miss and I have done that one already.

So I decided to just create a new Koala craft this morning, and put it up as a Freebie extra because those are always delightful for everyone.   Here it is: 

Isn't that cute?  You may download it freely here at this link:

I cut this one out for Little Miss so she could get started on it right off the bat.

First, the head attached to the ears.  We recommend putting the ears behind the head.

Then, she attached the head to the body.  Just like that, almost done!

Of course, we need a flower as a finishing touch!

Ahh, so cute!  And the Koala craft isn't bad, either.  :)   Happy Freebies!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

K is for King

Day 2 in our Letter of the Week for K and today we are looking at "King" and with that comes one of the most beautifully illustrated children's books, "King Bidgood's in the Bathtub" by Don and Audrey Wood.

We have a very fun sequencing reading literacy activity (in our letter K packet) that goes along with this story, and Little Miss did an amazing job on it, too. 

But first, a little K practice.  She is getting such great pencil control and really zoomed through this one. 

 Also, I am seeing a better awareness/understanding of the fact that there is a big letter K and a little letter k, and she asked me to write them on her hand today.

Now, to the Sequencing activity.  We haven't done anything like this before, so I wanted to take it gently and make it fun for her.  I began by cutting out the pieces she would be gluing in order, and I prepared a strip of paper for her to glue them to. 

Then, I stopped reading the story after I got the the king and the duke playing in the tub.  I asked Little Miss, "Can you find the picture with the boat?"  And of course, she could and did.

Next, we read on...until we came to the Queen and the King eating lunch.  And then I stopped.

Since the picture on the activity sheet shows a chicken, Little Miss is pointing out the chicken in the story as well.  She glues that one down, and we go on.  I stop when the King goes fishing...

And she quickly found the next image and took a little time studying the incredible illustration on this page.  We moved on to the final images and she has this down, now:  and completes it independently.  Yay for a successful first Sequencing experience!

For the King Craft, Little Miss decided to color her little King like King Bidgood, so we kept the book open so she could double-check.

I cut the King out for her, and since I didn't have a paper cup on hand, I made a cone from paper.  We used tape so that Little Miss could affix the King's head and sword arm to his body.

And then, since we are Mr. Roger's Neighborhood watchers over here, she commented that this was King Friday and she needed a Queen Sarah.  Hmm....I'll have to come up with that one another time.  :)

For all the printables seen here, check out our Letter of the Week packet for K in our store:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

K is for Karate

K is for Karate!  It doesn't get more fun than this.  But since my children have no prior background in "Karate", other than a few moves from Kung Fu Panda, we had to start with a video.  So, I found this short one of a child breaking a board with a marital arts move:

Now I explained to my kids a very basic martial arts background:  "A long time ago, there was a country that did not allow its people to have weapons to protect themselves.  So they developed a way to fight where they used their hands and feet to protect themselves.  And one of the ways they fought was through a kind of protection called 'Karate'."

Like I said, very basic.  Point is, it's important for children to understand that Karate is for self-defense.  So, I absolutely loved finding this version of the Three Little Pigs, which illustrates this idea very well as the Ninja pigs take down the bully wolf through their amazing skills in martial arts (the girl pig is skilled in karate!).  This book, called "The Three Ninja Pigs", by Corey Rosen Shwartz, is read aloud on this YouTube video.  (I'm now going to buy a copy because I fell in love with this story!)

After we watched this YouTube video, Little Miss was feeling her oats.  Now, I brought in our Introduction to the Letter K story card which shows our fiesty Glimmercat kicking a board with the sound, "K!"

At this point, Little Miss decided she needed to try out a few karate kicks herself.  "I'm a Karate Kitty, Mommy!" she exclaimed and kicked (that's her kicking, 3rd picture in).

I asked her, "What does the letter K say?" And she announced "K!" and kicked again.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call a successful mnemonic.

So I brought in our Path of Motion for the Letter K page, and showed Little Miss the way to write a K with my finger.  We traced it together, and then I gave her a marker for her to try it out herself.  After she was done with that, she decided to color it a bit more...I notice above she is coloring in the cracking board first.  :)

After this, we finished up with a book called "Nighttime Ninja", by Barbara DeCosta, recommended by a friend who has boys in Martial Arts classes (thanks, Elizabeth!)...

After my children watched this one, they were in all the way.  "I want to learn Karate, Mommy!" my five year old announced.

I'd say it was a successful day introducing the letter K.

For all the printables seen in this blog, head over to our Letter K Packet in our store:

Friday, February 12, 2016

J is for Jeep

Here we are at our last day in our week of J.  And this, of course is the day for Jeep.  We began our day with our little Mini Book because there is a nice Jeep activity in there.

Little Miss was very careful with her coloring on this activity.  She used larger markers for the big shapes, like here...

And fine-tipped gel pens for the more detailed parts.  In fact, she was so pleased with her final product on her Mini Book that she told me, "I read my book--to you!"

And here she is, "reading" it.

Teaching Tip:  This lovely "Pretend Reading" that she is doing is an important Reading Milestone for Preschoolers.  When your child offers to "read" to you, let her do it!  These small child-directed steps are incredibly important stepping stones to her learning and growth.

Now, before we moved to the next activity, the Jeep Craft, we read the children's picture book, "Sheep in a Jeep" by Nancy Shaw.  

To review this story (best story including a jeep that I have found!), you can check it out here on a YouTube Read aloud:

 And now we are ready for our final activity, the Jeep craft.  Our Jeep craft is supposed to print out in red, but my printer is low on Magenta, apparently, because ours printed out yellow.  Oh well, yellow works, too! 

I cut out the Jeep pieces for Little Miss because these are pretty tricky.  But she proudly glued them on herself, the tiny shapes (circles and stars) cluing her in as to where the pieces belonged.

It's a little rough, but she is VERY proud of it, so I'm not complaining!  That's the last of our J week!  Let me know how yours went, below in the comments. 

For all the activities seen in our blogs for letter J, check out our packet for Letter J here in our store: