Monday, December 17, 2012

Archeology Dig

I found this great Toob with skulls in it and have been saving it to surprise the boys with an archeology dig!
The dig was part of our STOW: Introduction activities and they had a blast. I had to reburry the bones several times so they could keep going.
 There were eight skulls, I used a regular plastic bin which I filled with dirt. I gave each of the boys a spoon, paint brush, and tongs. I explained to them how the tools should be used and why archeologists have to be so careful when they are digging up artifacts.

 I unfortunately didn't get to this project until the weather had gotten bad so we ended up doing it at the kitchen table. It would have made life a lot easier if we could have done it in the yard, but it was still worth it.

This was a really fun activity and I would highly recommend trying it out. I really wanted to use some type of clay or harder material but dirt was what I had.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fall Bingo Dotters

 A has really been enjoying bingo dotters lately. Not that you can tell from the picture :).
 I've found plenty of printables online for him to use, and he also really likes using them on plan paper to create his own pictures.

Here's a couple of the sets we've used:
Fall Pack Extra: Dot Markers

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Making Cave Drawings

One of the Story of the World activities we did was to recreate cave drawings. I used a black sheet and hung it up across our hallway to create a cave. This worked perfectly as the sheet hung down in the back creating an opening on one end and wall space on either side.

 I taped pieces of brown paper to the wall on either side. I smashed the paper into a ball then flattened it back out to create a rougher surface that replicates rock.
 The boys got to work thinking up ideas.

 I'm laying on the floor at the point looking in the door, you can see the sheet hanging down behind the boys. It was really neat, A has asked for a cave several times since then just to play in.

 They snuck flashlights in at one point. I had to explain to them how historically inaccurate that was.

 Here's some of the finished drawings.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Color sorting strip

My mom made A this awesome color sorting strip last year from fabric scraps.
A doesn't stick with the activity for very long, but he does pull it out frequently.
 We've gathered a collection of small items (I think my mom and sister started with sets of things from the dollar store that came in a variety of colors like hair bands and clips, toy cars, and foam shapes. We've added blocks, pom poms, and other random things.
 Obviously the idea is to pick an object from the box and sort it onto the right color square. A confidently knows all of his colors except black/brown and pink/purple which he still gets mixed up.

 I threw in a pair of tongs to make things a bit more interesting for him.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cutting practice

 Sometimes it's the simplest things that keep little ones busy and happy!

 A spent about a half hour simply cutting up bits of paper and smearing purple glue on them.
I don't think he ever actually stuck the glued bits to anything.

 He was having a blast though, so I didn't interfere.

 Nothing like purple glue to make a kid happy.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading: Memory

I made some quick memory games for a couple of our chapters. I will be making more since this is a favorite of J's. He also gets tons of practice as he reads off each word that gets turned over.

 If I had thought about it ahead of time, I would have printed my word list of colored paper to begin with since the lettering shows through the back of white, but I didn't.  I cut the words apart, used photo splits (much faster and cleaner than glue) to stick them onto pieces of colored paper and laminated the whole thing for durability.
 Obviously my cutting job isn't perfect, but it doesn't really matter. I also bothered to laminate them at all because I know we'll be using them with A too.
 J loves playing memory and asked to play the game repeatedly throughout the school week.This is a nice change from the constant battle every time I bring out the reading book.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

School supply boxes

I had a plan, long before we started school for the year, to make each of the boys supply boxes for school. I got so tired of hunting down scissors and glue and pens that actually work last year. 
I was going to make something, but then I spotted these cute little carry boxes in the Target dollar spot.
 I used plastic cups and covered some toilet paper rolls with scrapbooking paper to contain supplies.
 J's box includes fine point and thick markers, scissors, Elmer's glue and glue sticks, mechanical pencils, colored pencils, crayons, and a flexible ruler we picked up this summer. He also keeps a paperclip in the box to use for a spacer while he's doing writing.
 I had these chunky cardboard letters in my scrapbooking stash so I put the boys' names on the front of their boxes. They sit at eye level on our school shelves and are easily accessible. When we start school each morning I remind them both to get their boxes so we have everything in front of us for regular school activities.

A's box contains colored pencils, glue sticks, beginner scissors, Pipsqueak markers, mechanical pencils, and crayons. He usually has one dry erase marker in there as well for use in his "school book" which I'll share later.
Monkey doesn't join us for traditional school much but often sits and draws at the table with us. My one rule is that the school boxes are used only at the table and only during school time (though I do let this one slide a bit). The boys have boxes of pens, crayons, and other art supplies in our craft cupboard that they are free to use anytime. I don't worry so much about those things getting dried out.