For our fourth letter pair in our phoneme journey, we started out tracing N and D on our Usborne wipe-clean alphabet cards. This was sort of an odd sound to explain to a child, a sort of -und pronunciation. Perhaps because of that fact, it wasn’t as exciting a phoneme for Travis, and he was less interested in the flash cards that accompanied our week. But here’s what we did for fun and learning anyway!
Phonics Book of the Week: Underpants for Ants, a hilarious gem from Usborne’s phonics collection. In addition to uNDerpants, you’ll find the words: haND, caNDle, haNDle, graND, and woNDerful.
Guiding Theme: baND
This turned out to be a happy coincidence as the suggested guiding word from Letter of the Week, since Travis’s favorite thing in the world is music! We set the stage by playing two songs to get in the band mood: “Oh When the Band” and “Seventy-Six Trombones.” You can march to Sousa music, or perhaps even draw to Sousa music, having your child draw slower or quicker according to tempo.
- We Made:
- We Learned:
- For science of the week, we talked about a different word, wiND. Explain to your child that wind is moving air, and have fun experimenting! We discussed how tornadoes are one of the fastest types of wind, and made a tornado in a jar!
- Our math of the week also focused on a different word – caNDy. What child wouldn’t want to count candy colors? You can sort them into separate piles by color, first. Travis seems to lose track of things when I ask him to count higher than 4, so we didn’t even bother with lower numbers this time. After some prompting, he was able to get the correct number of bears on index cards.
- We Visited:
- A bluegrass band for Mothers’ Day
Other Words of the Week:
- Land: Listen to “This Land is Your Land” – a patriotic song to add to your baND’s repertoire, of course!
- Sand: This word was arguably the biggest hit of the week. First we simply scooped sand in an indoor sandbox, always a favorite game. Then we made a sand and ice comet and sand art. If it’s nice outside, look for sand ant hills. Indoors, you can draw on sandpaper with chalk. Finally, we built a sandpaper sandcastle, an activity we’ve done before, but nearly a year ago. It was neat to do this now, with Travis much more in charge of where each piece of his sandcastle went on the paper!
- And: We read two books prominently featuring this word in the title: Above and Below and Town and Country. These two books really emphasize the and!
- Hand: I tried all week to convince Travis to paint with his hands, to no avail! At the very least, cuddle up for a silly read of Dr. Seuss’s Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb.
- Pond: Go for a gorgeous pond walk of course! We continued the fun at home by making pond play dough:
- Fond: We made photo prints of special relatives in Travis’s life, and discussed how we can be fond of people and things – like music and bands of course. This would also be a great chance to put together a family tree.
- Bond: What things are able to make a bond that holds items together? We had fun exploring both glue and magnets, to see what had the strongest bond. Then snuggle up and talk about how there can be a bond between two people as well!
- End: Give your child a fit of the giggles at storytime by starting all the bedtime books at the end one night this week. Travis thought this was very silly, and then I asked him to help me go back and start at the proper beginning.
- Bend: Your body can bend of course! Get in some exercise of the week by bending down to touch your toes in a yoga pose or two. Then pull out that classic toddler activity, bending pipe cleaners through a colander.
- Send: You can make an easy gift to send to someone special with this coaster set. The pop it in the mail and send on … who better than to graNDparents?
- Lend: Even if you’re a regular at your local library, talk some time this week to explain to your child how lending works. Since we’ve often borrowed books, we made this week’s trip special by taking out a movie, a true treat!
- Find: You’ll have a blast with Usborne’s Big Book of Things to Find and Color. I purchased the book thinking it would be a bit advanced for Travis, but he surprised me making some terrific fiNDs, i.e. the empty bird cages on one page in particular. We also read Find the Puppy, a book that’s meant for the littlest little ones, but which even preschoolers get a kick out of. Then play good old-fashioned hide and seek and fiND each other! Now where could Daddy be…?
- Wind: In addition to our science of the week, we just played around with wind in general! For example, if we set up a fan, what would blow and what wouldn’t. Could we also scatter tissue paper across a tabletop with our breath? Then head outside and hold up tissue paper into the wind – Travis loved the way it twisted and turned! For a neat art project, drip a little liquid watercolor onto a piece of paper. Blow through a straw to scatter the watercolor into gorgeous patterns. We tried to make wind chimes although they weren’t very sturdy!
- Grand: Two great songs feature this word, so be sure to give a listen to You’re a Grand Old Flag and The Grand Old Duke of York.
- Sound: Talk about the sounds you hear all week – then delve into some of Usborne’s great sound books, such as First Book About the Orchestra and Garden Sounds. To finish our focus on the word, we made a string telephone to explore the properties of sound!