Archive for the ‘ Preschool for ED – Fall 2011 (age 3 1/2) ’ Category

Science Activity for Kids With Indian Corn Decorations

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I have a fun activity for your with your Indian corn.  We did this ‘science’ activity with Indian corn a couple of years ago.

Soak your Indian corn cobs in a bit of water to see what will happen.  We had a large tray with a paper towel and about 1/4 inch of water. We also pour water over the cob every 2 or 3 days.

By day 2 we saw a few sprouts. 

And after a week, there was quite a bit of growth.  Our acorns, on the other hand, have grown nothing but mold.  We also have some popcorn seeds in the water, but there’s been no change there either.  DD decided she wanted to add her Indian corn cob as well and they declared that it’s a race to see whose corn will grow fastest. Sigh… anyone else’s kids compete about most everything?!

After a couple of weeks, our Indian corn had grown quite tall in big pots at the end of our dining room table!

So here’s the corn after about 1 week of being watered.
After a while we decided to plant the corn in some empty flower pots.

The corn grew steadily. It grew to be about 12-15 inches high!

If you’re looking for more science activities, be sure to check out this post: (We have moved to homeschoolden.comPreschool at Home: Science for 2-5 Year Olds (and Up!)

If you liked this post, I’d love to hear from you over at our Homeschool Den Facebook page!

Corny Cookies
Corny Cookies
Corny Cookies

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Animals and Their Groups Sorting Cards (ages 5-8)

Friday, May 16th, 2014

A couple of months ago, I did an animal unit with my youngest.  We went over the characteristics of living and non-living things. Then we talked about vertebrates and invertebrates and finally we went over the five vertebrate groups in quite some detail. I shared the free Montessori cards I made for that part of our unit: the Montessori Vertebrate-Invertebrate cards and the sheets I made on Animals and their Characteristics.

I had intended to then go over Animals and their Groups, but with all my ear surgery (4 since October and one more coming up in a few weeks), we never got to that part of our unit.  I thought I would share the cards I made with you even though we haven’t used them in our homeschool yet. I don’t want to forget about them!

Note: We are moving and our printables will be found at

Animals Sort Cards: Animals and Their Groups Sort  

I also made a matching sheet to go along with this.  You can also download these if you’re interested:

Animals and Their Groups — Matching

I’d love to hear from you if you over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page if found these helpful!

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Preschool at Home: Alphabet Activities for 2-4 year olds

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Here are some alphabet activity ideas you can do with your little one: At first we played these activities just for letter identification, but as the kids learned their letters we would play these games and identify the sound/s they make. Above all, be enthusiastic and have FUN with the kids!!

Jump on Letters:We did this activity with everything from contact paper in the kitchen to letters written in chalk on the driveway. This active game was a huge hit with all my kids. “Find the “R.”  ”Go jump on the “K.”   You get the idea!

Sandpaper Letters: When my kids were letter, we ordered some sandpaper letters from The kids traced the letters which helped as they transitioned into writing letters (because it shows the order in which to make the strokes). It helped LD with some of the letters he hadn’t been forming properly.

Erase the Letter: You can write a letter on a white-board and have the kids practice “writing” by using the eraser size of the white board marker.

Paint in a Bag – Hair gel and dye: This activity only ever worked for a couple of letters with my kids before they lost interest, but it’s worth a mention. Anything to add creativity and piques the kids’ interest is worth a go, right?! We just put hair gel into a ziploc bag with some dye. Don’t add too much gel or the letter won’t show up. Then the kids practiced writing their letters.  I’ve heard of people using ketchup or liquid paint instead.


Writing in Sand: We did this in combination with a scavenger hunt and a “mail box” with a slot to mail the letter. We just had a tray of sand and ED had to write the letter before mailing off her letter!  I never wound up making more “letters” for her to mail, but if you’re interested in   A, B, C, E, L, M, N, O, R or S you can download them free here.

Alphabet discover bottle search and find bottle: Fill a bottle with rice, beads, glitter and the letter/s you are focusing on. Have your tot twist and turn the bottle to find the letter as quickly as possible.

Letter Scavenger Hunts: I can’t tell you how many scavenger hunts my kids went on when they were little. At first, I just hid letters and had them race back to tell me what they had found Enthusiasm was EVERYTHING in this activity! My kids were much more hyped when I was yelling out “Go, go, go! What’d ya find? Is it an “L” like in your name?!!!”

Improving Small Motor Skills

Do-a-dot Letter Painting: When the kids were little, we go a lot of mileage out of our do-a-dot markers.  I would print out an alphabet mat when it fit in with whatever theme-time table or unit we were covering. (Check out our theme time tables here.)

Q-tip painting: As the kids were learning their letters, I tried to change things up for them.  Sometimes I brought out Q-tips which they could dip into paint to practice “writing” their letters. Here are some alphabet mats I made that you can download as you need them:

Alphabet Mats: A to Z

(We have moved to

(font licence purchased from Kimberly Geswein Fonts)

Play Dough Letters: Once the kids were old enough to roll out play dough snakes, they could make letters (either with a mat or not).  We also made letters from time to time out of pretzel dough or bread dough. Here are our edible letter Bb’s! The beans are there because these were from our Fairy Tale Unit: Jack and the Beanstalk activities.

Glue-and-Glitter: I’d have the kids “write” their name (or letters) with glue and let them go to town with the glitter.

Fishing for Letters: Some good old fashioned fishing fun! Either matching upper and lower case letters or simply catching a letter and identifying it.  These are with shamrocks for St. Patrick’s day but you could cut out any shape appropriate for your unit, the holiday or season.

Hide-and-Seek Name Game: Place hair gel in a sealed ziploc bag along with the letters of your child’s name,  glitter, and color beads… have them try to find all the letters of their name and squish the bag around to place the letters in the proper order.

Letter Factory: All three of my kids loved the Letter Factory movies. The tune is catchy and it helped the kids learned the sounds of the letter.

I hope you found a few ideas you can use with your kids!  If you found anything useful or have other ideas to share, I’d love to hear from you at our Homeschool Den Facebook page.

If your child knows their letter sounds, they may be ready to learn to read. Visit this post, Teach Your Child to Read at our new location,  for fun ideas that help your child learn to read!

Other related posts you might be interested in (We have moved to

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Pattern Block Templates (Ages 18mo-4 years)

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

When my kids were little I bought a set of Pattern Blocks. It’s been one of the most enduring resources we have. We still bring them out occasionally and also use them for math now and then.

The kids have used templates like these:

And they’ve also used the pattern blocks for free play:

There are lots of places where you can find free pattern block templates:

One of the best places to get free pattern block mats is over at Prekinders.  There you have the option to print out black-and-white cards or full-color versions.

Kelly’s Kindergarten has two sets of pattern block pictures you can download as well.

Erica over at Confessions of a Homeschooler made a whole series of pattern block cards: Numbers 1-20; Alphabet Cards

If your kids are older, pattern blocks can be used for more advanced math problems. Mathwire  has a half-dozen problem solving activities that use pattern blocks for grades 3-4.

And there is a really neat set of Pattern Block Building Scenes mosques and temples here, though I don’t know the original website it came from.

You might be interested in this related post:

Long List of Activities for Tots and Preschoolers (Ages 2-6)

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Categories you may want to visit (which have posts related to these topics):

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Preschool at Home: More Geography Activities

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Yesterday, I shared a lot of activities that you can do with maps.  Today I want to share some other geography activities that my kids loved.

After reading through Me on the Map (which is just perfect for the 4-6 year old crowd), I had ED do an activity that focuses in on where we live.  You have the kids color in and paste their location, pinpointing their location by going from the largest to the smallest location. For example… I printed out labels such as I live on Earth, I live in North America…

I cut out circles for

  • the Earth
  • North America
  • USA
  • Your state: Kansas
  • City: Topeka
  • Street: 77 Maple Street
She colored in the maps and glued them onto the circles with the labels at the bottom:
Then you put the entire collection together (largest at the bottom) with a brad at the top:
In the past we did variations of this activity using stacking boxes instead. This post from several years ago was Nesting Boxes from the Galaxy to the Atom — and has a similar idea…
Here’s a close-up
We also sang through the song about the 7 continents and ED put in pins on our world map:
Here are the kids singing the Seven Continent Song. Last spring someone wondered if we could share the tune–so we made our first you-tube video.  We had a number of bloopers and flubs (which made us roll on the floor laughing), but this version went fairly well! So… here are the kids in their very first you-tube video!


If you want to print out and make your own Montessori materials, here are the posts where you’ll find those free downloads…

You’ll find the free Montessori World Map here (We have moved to and instructions on how to make a Montessori pin map:

You might want to visit the post about the Animals Around the World. You can access free Montessori cards of animals from each continent at that post:

Don’t miss this post about using the free Montessori US landmark cards I made (Grand Canyon, Statue of Liberty, etc.) and how we used them. We have moved to

Dinosaur Packet for Ages 3-7

We’re so excited to announce that our 60+ Page Dinosaur Packet is finally here over at our new location! What does it include?
  • Dinosaur Lapbook
  • Montessori 3-Part Dinosaur Cards
  • Dinosaur Matching
  • Letter Activities
  • Number Recognition
  • Counting Activities
  • Easy (and challengin!) Addition Activities
  • Coloring
  • Bingo
  • Dinosaur Math Grid
  • Odd-Even Games
  • and much, much more!

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