Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Past two memory verses

I've gotten behind on posting our memory verses, so here are last week's and this week's! We are learning many verses from Psalms! Interestingly, I usually end up getting the verse I choose for Q to memorize from something we talk about/a verse we reference in my Sunday Morning Bible Class. It becomes a great way for me to reflect on our past lesson all week long and I have been led to verses that I love helping to imprint on my little one's heart.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Painting HUGE paper

Oma bought something that was wrapped in a huge sheet of white paper to protect it from breaking while she was here. She put it out for Q to paint! We taped the corners down to keep it in place. I had saved the plastic container from some frozen mini quiche's that was being thrown away at a baby shower last month, and it made the perfect paint container! Q loved choosing from the different colors of paint that fit in each compartment. After painting, we washed it out for another use!
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Our girl is into throwing stuff. Kinda annoying to Matt and I, but understandibly a developmental stage.....she's learning control of those large muscles and also learning to express her emotions through throwing things. We have been working to redirect her throwing to positive venues--I made her a set of beanbags (post to come) and we love to play the "beanbag game." We put a rug on the floor and then set a metal baking bowl a few feet away. We take turns throwing the beanbags into the bowl. Throwing somewhat accurately is a 2-3 year-old milestone and fun to practice with all different objects, including beanbags!
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Waterplay fun!

A fun sensory experience we've been enjoying....
-fill sink with water
-add a bit of soap
-use a whisk to make a LOT of bubbles
-blow on them, throw them up in the air, stir them, drop items into them and see if you can find them

Older kids can use a hand mixer (with help--don't want electrocution!)
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010


These little spangles have become an art staple at our house! Sequins are WONDERFUl for so many reasons....
-they encourage fine motor refinement of the pincer skill to pick them up off the table
-can be used to practice color, shape, sizes
-can be sorted and classified by different categories
-are wonderful for practicing gluing skills (placing sequins on dots of glue)
-can be strung on dental floss for very precise fine motor practice (by older preschoolers)
-draw a letter with a dark marker and allow child to cover the lines with glue and then stick on sequins
Plus they are just so pretty!
For not very much money you can sure find a ton of great learning opportunities for these shiny little guys!
Here Q is gluing sequins on a bday surprise for Opa!! She was enraptured by trying these new manipulatives and really enjoyed examining them! We have a multi pack with different shapes, sizes and colors. Cost around $2 at Hobby Lobby.
(ice cube trays, pill boxes, chocolate boxes with compartments, or even small fishing tackle boxes make great sorting containers!!)

Also, try adding a handful to your sensory tub/tray--mix them in with rice, birdseed, beans, corn, etc. and encourage your child to pick them out!
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pennies in a jar!

My mom reminded me of the great fine motor skill of picking pennies off the floor/table and putting them into a jar. It primarily encourages the pincer grasp. Older infants, toddlers and younger preschoolers often try to pick up smaller objects using either a raking motion (raking with several fingers into palm) or a side-hand grasp. For fine motor control necessary in writing, children need to develop the pincer grasp between their thumb and first finger.

Notice in the first finger Q is using a fist rake, not a pincer grasp.
However, picking up small objects repeatidly helped teach her that it is most efficient to use a pincer grasp, and the more she practiced the better she got! My dad tried several different coins with her, but found nickels and quarters were too thick and did not force the pincer grasp.

We found her a little bottle with an opening only slightly larger than the pennies to drop them into, and of course it has a lid so she can practice putting it on and off!
She loves this activity and she and Opa had a lot of fun doing it together!

Obviously this activity is appropriate for non-mouthing children or under adult supervision. Sequins, small buttons, hole punches of cardstock, grains of rice and dry beans and tiny beads also work well for this activity!

This could turn into a game, too, with a die added--picking up the number of pennies that were rolled!
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

another counting book fave

This book is currently in our favorites rotation. It is a counting book about a duck who gets "stuck in the muck" and different numbers of animals come and try to help. The lines are very repetitive, which allows the child to join in "reading" aloud with you. I love the vocabulary, the predictibility that's just perfect for toddlers, the way the words roll off your tongue (this is the FUNNEST book to read aloud!!) and the gentle way the reader gets to practice counting/number awareness. Q's accomplishment is that she can "read" the title. I point to each word and she "reads" the word. Of course this is because she has heard me point/read these three words so many times, but she is beginning to associate the relationship between one written word to one spoken word. We have also started pointing out other words that begin with the letters she knows. We'll say, "Duck starts like Daddy!" "Stuck starts like Sue!"
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Friday, August 6, 2010

Creation Day 3--our week in review

This week we studied about Day 3 of creation some more. Here's our week of "kitchen school" in review:

Monday: Went for a naturewalk to see some plants and trees that God created. We felt bark on trees and talked about its roughness. We chose some pieces of bark to bring home. At home we painted on them with white paint. This was a new texture to experiment upon with the paintbrush!

Tuesday: Mommy drew a tree on the paper and Q colored in it. We talked about how trees have bron on the trunks and green in the leaves. We glued the bark from yesterday onto the trunk and used some small pieces of green paper (actually green paper we had coincidentally just peeled off the green crayon!) for leaves. Q is working on squeezing out "just a dot, not a lot" of glue from the glue bottle. She still needs me to apply some pressure to the bottle some of the time, but she is doing great!

Wednesday: We made flower garlands to hang up. We took apart some silk flowers. Then we cut a length of thin ribbon and Mommy melted the end a bit with a lighter so it wouldn't frey. Q practiced threading the flower pieces onto the string through the hole in the center. Mommy tied knots to hold the flowers in place. We talked about the sizes and colors of the flowers Q chose. We hung 1 in our display area where we hang all our projects, and Q hung the other one in her playroom for her to hold and touch and play with.

Thursday: We looked at flowers in our yard. Oma is coming today, so we made her a bouquet of flowers for her bedroom! We practiced holding the flowers soooo gently so they don't get crushed and carrying the little vase of water carefully so none spills. Q wanted to do some gluing, so I put 10 drops of glue along a sentence strip (the pink piece of paper) and asked her to put one bean in each drop of glue. She was able to do this--which allows her to practice her one-to-one correspondance, which is a necessary foundational skill for mathmatics knowledge (counting, operations {addition, subtraction, etc.}, and ordering). She was fairly random about the order she placed the beans in, but as she becomes more familiar with this activity as we repeat it, I will begin to gently suggest she works from left to write (the way text runs) when she puts the beans in the glue. After the beans dried I wrote the numbers 1-10 on the top of them and we practice counting them, with her touching each bean as we count. It's hard to convince her not to pick them off! Also, as we did the gluing activity, after she put the beans on the way I asked, I let her complete her own freeform gluing of the beans, letting her do it her own way. She did a bunch of beans close to eachother. I always like to give her some freedom as well as some guidance when we do projects together. Letting her do the same project twice often serves well to meet this goal.

Friday: Opa is here! He and Q collected leaves outside and glued them onto a collage together.

Everyday this week Q also had sensory time. I gave her the choice to work with macaroni, water or dried beans. She has been choosing dried beans all week. She loves to use lids now, so I have been giving her a little pot with a lid she can put on and off. I also give her some type of scooping utensil each day--this promotes the fine motor skills needed for drawing and writing. I have been encouraging her to do some pouring as well, and she has improved at pouring so much this week!

Flower garlands:
These could also turn into great necklaces or crowns! Older kids could knot beads under each flower to keep them in place. I can see some great props for dramatic play being made this way!

We've been reading this book:
mostly because it's the best one they had at the library (not a great selection....) I love the illustrations and the text is actually Genesis 1. We read it each day up to the day we're studying (so for now up to day 3). We also sing the Days song each day.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bird magnets

We're using a bird theme in the learning room right now, loosely....Still keeping lots of the "baby" items because she is all about practicing her Mommy skills...but added in some bird books, work, and decorations.

On our fridge we added bird magnets! I had saved some little wild animal cards from Q's magazines. I laminated them and put magnetic tape on the back. I also laminated two pieces of brown cardstock drawn to look like a nest, then sewed them together to make a pocket nest where all the birds can be stored when she's not using them. I tried to include bird cards that were new to her--not the regular ole birds she already knows. We're working on heron, owl, toucan, flamingo, penguin, and a few others to expand her knowledge of birds.
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Memory Verse this week

Q's verse this week comes from Ephesians--verses 4, 5, and 6 tied together into phrasing appropriate for an almost two-year-old. I found another great website for looking up words--and it has a lot of religious words, which comes in helpful for our memory verse work. I used the signs for God, creation, world, holy and Jesus. We put a photo of Quinn next to the word for her name.

I left the strips for last week's verse in the bottom slot so we could review them during the week.
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