Archive for the ‘
Preschool (Age 4) ’ Category
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
As I mentioned on Friday, ED has been working on her world geography. She has spent a couple of weeks going over the 7 continents again and working with some Montessori 3-part cards I made for her. They are probably available elsewhere, but I wanted both small cards to place on each continent and some larger ones so she could work on word-matching.
As she sang the 7-continents song (that I mentioned on Friday), she looked at the animal cards for each continent and placed them on the proper continent.
She did this with a large world map we have:
Another day, she identified and set out the satellite photos we have of the continents (they were free, but are no longer available where I got them a few years ago). You can probably google continent satellite photo and find photos you can print out.
Once she was pretty familiar with the animals on each continent, I brought out the Montessori 3-part cards. I printed out two sets of each and cut out the animals and word labels. She had to match them to the picture.
At the end of the week, I challenged her to match the word to the picture (without the control card)!
We also brought out all our plastic animals and she spent a couple of days sorting those onto the world map as well:
She also did a sticker activity of the world animals. We got a set of 12 from Oriental Trading:
If you are interested, you can print out your own world animal cards. They come both as large cards and as smaller versions of the same cards. I’ve been doing this activity with the kids since they were about 3 years old.
Here are the free 3-Part Montessori Cards — Animals of the 7 Continents:
If you found these useful, I would love to hear from you either here or over at my Homeschool Den Facebook Page! That’s also a great place to go catch up on some of the posts you might have missed lately. I keep a running list of all our posts there.
Categories: Geography, Homeschool Den, Montessori (general info), Must Read, Preschool (Age 4), Preschool and Toddler Activities, Preschool for ED - Fall 2011 (age 3 1/2), Rain Forests | Tags: Free Montessori 3-Part Cards, free world animals cards, Montessori geography activities, preschool geography activities, world animals cards
Friday, May 10th, 2013
It has been a while since we’ve done any lapbooks. I saw this free robin lapbook over at Dynamic 2 Moms and asked the girls if they would be interested in doing one on robins. ED and DD both said, “Yes!” So, I printed everything out and the girls set to work.
If you’ve never heard of a lapbook, it is a cute way to display small folded mini-books, flaps, pop-up books, and/or folded display material. The lapbook can include photos, drawings, or anything else that helps them learn about the topic at hand. Kids can add their own information, include questions to quiz themselves on or other interactive activities. They glue their finished pieces into a file folder (see the second photo below).
What I love about lapbooks is that the kids are drawn back to them again-and-again, showing them off to family and friends… even pulling them out to admire their work and repeat the activities.
Here’s a picture of ED as she was putting in the finishing touches… she glued in some extra photos of robins.
Here is a picture of the front so you’ll see how the file folder was folded (the front and back of the folder were folded to meet in the middle). I have to say that ED was horrified when I started to cut her drawing in half, but quickly saw why I was doing that! Whew… catastrophe averted!
By the way, ED signs everything “McKenna…” Her obsession with her American Girl Doll continues as strong as ever!!
In this particular lapbook, the girls learned what robins eat, what predators eat robins, where robins live in different seasons, the parts of the bird and the life cycle of the robin. If you look closely you can see how some of the parts unfold… that’s what makes the lapbooks so appealing and interactive!
ED has brought out the lapbook a number of times (to show Daddy and to look over her work). I love that! Here she is reading the words (egg, juvenile, adult) and matching them to the pictures:
In the picture below, ED is telling me what the colors mean in the map. Lapbooks are a great way to reinforce material and make it exciting!
Here’s another lapbook on bears I did with DD when she was 3 or 4:
As you can see, it was pretty interactive. Below she is feeding the bear (the mouth is open so she could slip the berries, fish or whatever into its mouth)
In this lapbook, I taped in another page in the middle so I could add a few more activities like the color matching activity below (she obviously colored the bears in!):
One last example is this bat lapbook that LD made when he was in preschool:
He was so intrigued by bats! I can’t remember exactly where I got the parts for this lapbook. It might have been from Hands of a Child. I used them quite a bit for a couple of years. They have a free lapbook you can download on Metals.
Here’s a glimpse at the inside of a butterfly lapbooks DD did. You can see more of our lapbook projects here:
Where to Find Free Lapbooks:
I absolutely adore all the free lapbooks shared by Dynamic 2 Moms (Thank you so much Kelley and Tina!). That’s one of the first places I head if we are itching to do a lapbook. I especially love all their free history lapbooks.
Another incredible resource for free lapbooks is Homeschool Share. I bet there’s two or three hundred different lapbooks to choose from there!
You’ll find some free science lapbooks based on the Magic School Bus series over at Yee Shall Know.
Just ask your child what he or she is interested in learning about and give it a try!
One more thing before I go, these days we still use a lot of these flaps, foldables and little envelope sleeves, but we often include them in our science or history notebooks, but the lapbooks themselves seem to have a satisfaction-factor that just can’t be beat. It’s a finished product that the kids can show off and review over and over. That’s why we did so many when the kids were 3-7 or so.
Categories: Lapbooks, Must Read, Nature, Preschool (Age 4), Preschool and Toddler Activities, Science, Useful Resources (websites books etc) | Tags: bat lapbook, bear lapbook, free lapbooks, free robin lapbook, lapbooking with preschoolers, what is lapbooking?
Monday, May 6th, 2013
We did a lot of hands-on activities over the course of two or three weeks. I’m going to put them all into one post.
Does food fall down to the stomach? We proved that muscles helped move the food bolus down to the tummy with this quick upside-down activity. Everyone took turns standing on their hands, chewing up a cracker and swallowing. We also did this lying on our sides. Yes, the food travels to the stomach, no matter what direction the esophagus is pointing.
As food is swallowed, the muscles in the esophagus contract and relax. This activities with panty hose showed how the food is pushed down with the rhythmical muscle movement.
After food is swallowed, it collects in the stomach where stomach acid and food enzymes mix. Muscles in the stomach wall squeeze the food around to mix it.
Make your own vomit:
The kids were keen to do this quick activity that I saw on Zelda’s wondeful blog, Homeschool Escapade, a couple of years ago. We used the recipe she suggested:
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup
- 1/2 mashed banana
- 1/2 cup carrot, finely chopped (we were out, so we used a red pepper)
- 1 or two cookies or crackers, crushed (we used 3 so each kid could do their own)
- 1/8 cup vinegar (we were out, so we used lemon juice as our stomach acid)
- 1 tsp baking soda
Of course, it all fizzed, but after it was done we were all SO GROSSED OUT!!! What do you think? Looks pretty disgusting, doesn’t it?
(Zelda does a lot of hands-on, wonderful activities with her kids, be sure to go check out her blog, Homeschool Escapade.)
As the stomach wall squeeze and mix the food mixture, it makes a lot of noises. We took turns listening to each other’s tummies. The kids said they could here a lot of noise, but unfortunately without my hearing aid in, I couldn’t hear much (though I’ve certainly heard my own rumble from time to time!!)
Using panty hose we squeezed some cooked oatmeal down through our “intestines.” We noticed how some small particles, “nutrients,” were able to make their way out of the lining of our “intestines.”
We pulled out our Squishy Human Body and spent time looking over all the internal organs. This product by Smart Lab is really fun. The kids love it and it has held up well.
I have a few more things to share with you about this unit, but I need to bring this post to a close for now. I’ll also share the digestive system packet I made for this portion of our unit with you in the next day or so.
Saturday, May 4th, 2013
We love books! When we lived overseas, the local library was quite lacking and we wound up with quite a collection of board books by the time all three kids were born! ED still looks at these books pretty regularly and we’ll keep them around as she becomes a more confident reader (she’s still just reading simple 3 and 4 letter words). We actually have gotten rid of lots of board books already, but these books are keepers!
I’ll share a bit about them with you below:
I Went Walking is in the same style as Brown Bear, Brown Bear. I read this over and over when the kids were tots.
The Napping House and Guess How Much I Love You were especially beloved when the kids were around 3 or so. ED still really loves Guess How Much I Love You — and she chooses this once every few weeks. She’ll often say I love you all the way to the trees and back… alluding to the lovely message in this book!
Mr Brown Can Moo! Can You? and Put Me in the Zoo were never the #1 favorites of my kids, though we read them pretty regularly.
This row of books, were ones I read to the kids SO SO SO often when they were babies! The rhythm and rhymes of Sheep in a Jeep and Jamberry are really appealing. Baby Chick’s Day was the favorite of all three kids when they were 9-18 months old or so. All three of my kids learned to sign “bird” because of this book! It has a lovely little story and the tummy makes a little squeak. The kids also loved the textured books at that age like Touch and Feel Wild Animals, but they were so well used and loved, they got worn out and passed along. Big Red Barn is by the same author as Goodnight Moon.
Polar Bear, Polar Bear is the same basic storyline as Brown Bear, Brown Bear. For some reason, Brown Bear didn’t make it into this set of photos (it must be hidden elsewhere in ED’s room!). We still have these around because ED will “read” them aloud to herself! Crazy Colours (obviously I bought that in Australia (where all 3 of my kids were born), right?!!) was another favorite of the kids when they were tiny tots (9-18 months) because they lifted the flap as we read. I remember reading I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly to LD every single day, 3-times a day when my son was about two!! Sometimes I thought that book would never end because I was so tired (I was pregnant with DD at the time). The Owl and the Pussycat has lovely pictures (by Jan Brett). And Go Dog, Go! was another must have. Our first copy was loved and gnawed on (by LD) and we got a replacement copy somewhere along the way. My son loved, loved that book!!
All of these books were winners. We did baby-signing with our kids and I signed a lot of the words in Goodnight Moon! Good Night, Gorilla has no words, but I had to “read” it to the kids very, very regularly. My kids loved the books I Don’t Want to Go to Bed and I Don’t Want to Take a Bath. And–who doesn’t know (and love?!) Wheels on the Bus?! I used to read that one with the kids on my knee and would bounce them “up and down, up and down, up and down…. the wheels on the bus go up and down all around the town!”
Eric Carle’s books have been well loved here at the Homeschool Den… and we’ve even done a number of crafts based on his books:
A Chameleon Craft based on Mixed Up Chameleon.
That post shares a slideshow at Eric Carle’s website that I watched with the kids (click on the picture to read more)
Seahorse Craft based on Mister Seahorse.
And a very simple tissue paper craft when ED was about 18 months and DD was about 3 based on Eric Carle’s books:
When friends and family are expecting, these are wonderful books to give as gifts!
What board books would you recommend to other families?
Related Posts You Might Enjoy:
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
Amazing, Fun Science To Wow the Little Ones!
One of the wonderful things I love about homeschooling is all the hands-on activities you can do with kids. In the preschool years, I scoured the Internet and various science experiment books to find things that would intrigue and excite the kids… and that they could have a hand in doing. Most of the things we did were done using household ingredients.
As you can see from the previous posts in this series, we did do some more traditional preschool activities like learning letter sounds and learning about numbers, but my main goal in the 2-4 year old age range was to keep the kids intrigued and engaged.
So how did I fit science in when I had a newborn, 2 and 4 year old? Well, I generally planned things out on a Sunday night. Mondays were usually our science experiment days. I usually covered over the tray so the kids couldn’t see what we’d be doing to add spice and excitement to the activity! These activities really only lasted 10-20 minutes (plus clean up), but seeing the kids so engaged made that extra effort worth it.
Here are a few examples some things we did when my kids were 2 and 4 years old…
One day we talked about liquids. We learned that some liquids are more dense (heavy) than others. We put oil and colored water into a bottle. Then we added honey and watched what happened.
If you’ve glanced through various Montessori blogs, you’ll see that pouring is wonderful skill to build dexterity, hand strength, fine motor skills… what better practice than to enjoy some science along with it!
Then we wanted to see what would happen when you add milk to oil and water. If you pour slowly and carefully, the milk will form droplets within the oil. You might pour the milk onto a spoon and gently let one drop go at a time or use an eyedropper to squeeze out a drop at a time. The kids loved the way that looked!
Exploding Volcano: Another very fun activity to do with kids is to make a volcano.
We made a paper mache volcano with a plastic soda bottle as the base.
- 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup water.
- Stir in 2 cups boiling water.
- Put newspaper strips in the mixture and glop it onto the plastic bottle. I think their projects were more charming being slopped on haphazardly! Once they were dry (it took several days in dry conditions), we painted ours brown.
Then comes the fun part!! Get your lava ready!
- 1/2 cup baking soda into the volcano.
- In a pitcher mix 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup dishwashing liquid, red food coloring.
- Pour the vinegar mixture into the can and watch the lava flow!
Make Your Own Fossils – The kids made their own fossils several times over the years. The picture below includes some are impressions from LD’s Thunderbird rockets which he was really into at the time (age 4 or so). DD made dinosaur tracks and impressions of a beetle, dragonfly and fly.
The recipe for making fossils is pretty easy:
- 2-3 Tablespoons used coffee grounds
- 2/3 cup salt (a little less)
- 2/3 cup flour
- enough cold coffee to make the mixture dough-like
- Make your impressions and then bake in a low heated oven for a while (an hour on one side, an hour on the other).
You can print out a copy of these recipes and descriptions by clicking on the link below:
Related Post: You might also be interested in a the 9-page science experiment pack I put together a year or so ago. This includes egg-related experiments, our “fireworks in milk” science activity, yeast blowing up a balloon and others. This link takes you to that post:
You can also browse through the huge selection of science experiments we’ve done. You’ll find that in the right sidebar. Click on the Categories button and select Science Experiments
Have fun with your budding scientist!
Other posts in this series:
If you found these helpful, I’d love to hear from you here or over at my Homeschool Den Facebook Page. I keep a running list of my posts over there, so it’s a quick and easy way to browse through old posts you may have missed.
Categories: Homeschool Den, Must Read, Preschool (Age 4), Preschool and Toddler Activities, Preschool for ED - Fall 2011 (age 3 1/2), Science, Science Experiments | Tags: easy science experiments for kids, free science experiment pack, free science experiments, science experiments for kindergarten, science for preschoolers, Science for tots