As with the SH phoneme, summer has us moving slow, meaning we spent about a month working our way through fun FR words and activities rather than a week. Travis latched on right away to the rather odd “fruh” sound, telling me that frog has a fruh, but tree doesn’t! I love seeing him grasp the concept of phonemes. We traced our F and R Alphabet Wipe-Clean Cards and then embarked on some learning fun.
Phonics Book of the Week: Frog on a Log. This silly phonics book actually doesn’t have a single other FR word aside from the frog in the title (it rhymes many -og words instead), but FRog is repeated throughout, making it a quick sight word for Travis. And how could we pick any other book, since frogs were our main theme? Read on!
Guiding Theme: FRog
To jump right in to the frog main theme, I taught Travis how to play leap frog. We also pulled out rubber frog bath toys, who joined in bathtime for nearly 2 weeks before he tired of them!
- A Paper Plate Frog
- A Feed the Frog. Travis loved first painting a tissue box green, but when this didn’t make it quite great enough, we added green construction paper with glue the next morning. Glued-on googly eyes complete your little frog. Then have fun feeding your frog plastic insects or spiders. Tongs make the game great for fine motor skills.
- Also check out old frog games of ours, including a DIY Frog Pond and Frog Rock.
- Usborne’s Beginner non-fiction book on Tadpoles and Frogs was the perfect reader for our science of the week on a frog’s life cycle. If you’re ambitious, you might consider buying a grow-a-frog kit!
- For math of the week, we had fun measuring the leaps of frogs! We pulled out a large sheet of butcher paper and took turns leaping (i.e. throwing) the frogs. We marked a lily pad wherever one landed, and then used a ruler to see how many inches each frog had jumped. Travis had so much fun that he was busy drawing lily pads and tossing frogs long after the activity was officially “over.”
- A local nature preserve was the perfect place to look for frogs. We spotted this big fellow outside… …as well as some in their rehabilitation room. Spotting tadpoles helped reinforce what we’d learn in our science of the week about the frog life cycle. Meanwhile, we soaked up plenty of FResh air while we were there.
Other Words of the Week:
- Frame: We pulled out the chalkboard paint and had a blast painting a simple wooden frame. This craft would make a fantastic gift. Perhaps for a FRiend?
- Fraction: Make fraction plates! Keep it simple for a preschooler, but you can also talk about fractions as you divide food all week – pizza slices into eighths, for example, or a sandwich in half.
- Free: This was my personal favorite word of the unit, since it led us to come up with ways to have free (or nearly-so) fun. Examples from our summer bucket list of free enjoyment included: a car wash; browsing a farmers market; blowing bubbles; taking an inch hike (look for things that are one inch or less, surprisingly harder than you’d think!); having a shaving cream throw-down (free if you steal Daddy’s canister); and a picnic in a park.
- Freeze: A perfect word for a hot summer month. First we simply FRoze a tray of ice cubes – and then had fun thawing it! You can also play a good old-fashioned game of freeze dance.
- Fresh: We had fun exploring the properties of fresh vs. salt water. This is also the perfect chance to introduce kids to the wonders of fresh homemade bread – fresh pretzels were the perfect yummy example. Then – perhaps the most magical moment of our FR unit – we picked fresh berries at a local farm!
- Friend: Here’s the perfect chance to talk about the meaning of the word friend, since preschoolers are beginning to form early bonds and playing together instead of parallel play. One cute book to read is That’s What Friends are For by Florence Parry Heide. So have a playdate this week, and while you’re at it, sing the silly song Be Kind to Your Web-Footed Friends.
- Frown: We took advantage of homemade playdough to make frowny faces. I added FReckles too! Making faces, whether in playdough, clay, or marker is a great vocab builder for expressions, emotions, and facial features.
- Frost: Even though it was wildly out of season, Travis loved watching clips of Frosty the Snowman. Then we made homemade frost on our windows!