Sight Word Bean Bag Toss

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Travis is struggling a bit with the 40 sight words we’re working on over the summer, and grows impatient just sitting and looking at flashcards. So I switched things up! For this game, I used just 12 very basic words and then moved us outside and turned the sight words into a sport: beanbag toss, that is!

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I made a 3 x 4 rectangular grid out of chalk on the patio and wrote in the 12 words.

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I handed Travis a beanbag and told him that the goal was to toss it into a square. For each one he landed in, he had to shout out the word.

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It was helpful for him that I took turns, too. He could hear me reiterate any word that he might have already landed on, making it ever more familiar. Or sometimes I aimed for ones I knew were particular tricky for him, like ‘the’.

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By the end, he was quick with some he has struggled over previously, like ‘up’ and the ‘in/is/it’ trio. We’ll be playing this one again!

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Starburst Symmetry

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This quick project was a fantastic way to show Travis circular symmetry, slightly different from symmetry with two halves as we’ve explored late in symmetrical socksĀ and paper doll projects. There was a lot of need for precision with this activity, so I was proud of Travis’s concentration level.

To start, fold a coffee filter in half. Then in half again, then in half again! Travis took the task of folding and making a good crease each time quite seriously. At the end, your filter will be the shape of an ice cream cone.

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Next he spritzed the filters with water until damp on each side, but not soaking.

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Use marker to make dots all over the filter, counting to three for each dot. This was a great little lesson in patience and also not scribbling (as he’d done recently for a different type of coffee filter project).

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Flip the filter over – wow! His pattern was waiting there on the other side.

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I showed him how to go over his dots again – slowly and carefully – to make the final result a little more clear.

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Now he opened it up for a big reveal. “Wow!”

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He wanted to know how the pattern had gotten there, but understood once I explained that the marker went through all 6 layers of the filter, resulting in perfect symmetry in all 6 segments.

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I loved how his pattern made a purple diamond, unintentinoally.

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These are beautiful hung on the wall or fridge once they dry!

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Make a Natural Wind Chime

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I’ve wanted to make this art project for Veronika for quite a while but wanted to wait until we were in our new home before doing so. With the unpacking done, it was time to get crafty!

Some of this wind chime was trial and error, but an eight-month-old baby doesn’t mind a few quirks in the end result.

To make the chime, first make a hole in small shells, whether those collected at the beach or ones from the craft store.

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Instructions suggested that I could do this by twisting a pair of sharp nail scissors against each shell, but they were far too tough. Next I tried tapping them with a screwdriver, using gentle pressure with a hammer. But I wasn’t gentle enough, and any open-faced shells like clams shattered.

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Turns out the screwdriver method worked great with any curled snail shells, though!

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Once I had enough shells with holes, I threaded them onto gold string. Tie these to the arms of a decorative starfish. If you don’t have a starfish, a piece of bamboo or driftwood would be pretty, too.

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I suspended the star fish from a low branch of a tree outside, and clicked the shells together for Veronika to hear the beautiful sound.

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She was immediately entranced and wanted her own chance to clack the strings and shells together.

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Next we lay down on a towel underneath the tree to enjoy way the shells looked from up above. We could watch the strings move and the leaves dance in the tree, and I talked about everything she could hear and see. All in all, this was a beautiful project!

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