Kindergarten Home School Week 7: Friday

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TGIF! We’re off book from the teacher’s suggestions again, and whoops, maybe had a few too many projects. But it kept Travis (and baby sister!) engaged and happy all day, so I can’t complain.

9-9.30: Letter A/Apples: His summer workbook page focused on the letter A, including coloring in apples marked with “A” and circling words with the short a sound (I asked him to give me a rhyme for each of these, too). Then we carried forward that theme of apples for some silly fun!

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First up was erupting “apples” made from baking soda and vinegar. We then did a simplified version of an old apple experiment to test whether an apple browned faster in lemon juice or vinegar.

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Late day results revealed that lemon juice had kept the apple white! As a bonus, all of these activities allowed baby sister to happily get involved (when she wasn’t busy with bottles and lids).

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9.30-10: Social studies. The corresponding workbook page was about matching community helpers to their tools. I liked that it featured some unexpected ones like sanitation workers and lifeguards.

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We made the play hands-on with a magnet doll dress-up set, and Travis proudly dressed it as a firefighter, police officer, and more.

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10-10.30: Snack/recess. Travis wanted to join in some super messy toddler shaving cream fun, perfect for a rainy day pause.

10.30-11: ELA. Travis did about 20 min of Lexia story sequencing.

11-1: Lunch/free play.

1-2: STEAM. The encyclopedia page today was about storms, expanding upon yesterday’s tamer lesson on the weather in general. Travis watched the QR code video about hurricanes, then we made a “tornado in a jar”, an old experiment that is really just watching glitter swirl through water.

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The sun came out from the clouds just in time for us to make a rainbow, too, using a CD tilted in a tray of water, then reflected against a sheet of paper.

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2-3: Little sister had an online music class, and Travis joined in, making this his music for the week, too!

3-3.30: Outside. I thought we would use a walk for his teacher’s suggested “jump and count” math game, but after a rain storm, it turned into art class instead! That meant we really didn’t do any math today, but there’s always next week…

Pink Milk

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This pretty-in-pink glass of milk is a fun alternative to a plain glass of your non-dairy favorite. All the sweetness comes from fruit, so there’s no added sugar like as with a store-bought smoothie or juice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vanilla almond milk
  • 3/4 cup strawberries
  1. Combine the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Giant Puddle Paint Brush

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When life gives you rain… go paint with puddles! After two days of gray skies, the sun broke through in the late afternoon, and I hurried the kids into rain coats and out into the sunshine. The rain had stopped, but left behind warm puddles on the sidewalk, making it the perfect moment for puddle stomping… and puddle painting.

A note to parents on this activity: Your kids are going to get wet and you’re just going to have to be okay with that. As a result, you probably want to play during warm rain rather than cold rain, so no one starts shivering. Then just be ready with towels and dry clothes when you head inside.

With that preamble aside, the fun outside is gorgeous! I showed the kids how to draw with chalk on the sidewalk right next to puddles. Either dip the chalk in the water to wet it, or draw in a saturated spot of pavement for deep, rich colors.

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Then we used a child-sized broom as our “paintbrush”. Sweep across the chalk with water from a puddle, and you’ll get a gorgeous smeary effect.

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Veronika loved sweeping over my drawings, or adding her own.

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Big brother Travis loved making big swirls of color in the deepest part of the puddles and then sweeping through it (he called these “ghosts”).

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We left positive messages for the neighbors, too, since we’re all social distancing!

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Older kids might want to get really artistic with this and younger ones will probably just make doodles.

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Either way, it’s fantastic rainy day fun.

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Shaving Cream and Colored Sand

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Is there much educational value to this sensory tray? No. But is it fantastic messy fun? Yes! And sometimes that’s all you need with a toddler.

I originally intended to use sand for the craft, but didn’t have any. In a pinch, I made colored salt! I first put coarse salt into small zip-top plastic bags and added a few drops of food coloring to each. Seal and knead to disperse the color. (Meanwhile, you can also use colored sand from a sand art kit or add your own food coloring to sand at home).

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Now squirt a generous layer of foamy shaving cream onto a shallow tray – the more the better! If you prefer, you could do this activity right on a craft table, but I liked containing it (somewhat!) on the tray.

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Sprinkle with the colored sand or salt. I added a few plastic spoons to facilitate things, but Veronika immediately had her hands in the mixture without any encouragement. She liked scooping it onto the floor in big dollops…

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…and also enjoyed testing how it felt with her fingers. The contrast of smooth creamy shaving cream and very coarse salt is of course the point here, and she seemed fascinated by this mix of textures.

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I thought she might just spoon through it, but soon her little toy figures were in the shaving cream. Once they were messy, she couldn’t quite decide if this was funny or if she was worried about them! I rinsed the toys off before she got upset.

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In retrospect, I would have done this project at bedtime, rather than early in the day. That way I could have stripped Veronika down to a diaper and plopped her into a bathtub right after. As it was, I felt bad cutting things short before the mess got out of control, once I realized she was walking around with shaving cream all over her hands, feet, and legs.

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But she still got in a good twenty minutes or so of fun.

Bottles and Lids

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For about a week, I saved up every plastic bottle we finished in our kitchen (think: juices, peanut butter jars, mini spice jars) and set them aside. Today, I simply presented Veronika with the collection!

I had all the jars and lids apart, with the challenge for her to find the right lid for each jar.

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Beyond that, though, she was interested in playing with them in ways I hadn’t anticipated. First, she showed her understanding that these containers used to contain food, because she tried to “drink” from them; the orange juice might have still smelled like juice!

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Then she loved piling them back into a bag and toting them around the apartment.

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After a while, she did get more into the puzzle of jars and lids, testing out various combinations.

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She looked so proud when she could twist them on and off again.

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For extra fun, we took the collection up to bath time!

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Not only did she continue the challenge of lining up bottles and lids here, but the bottles were perfect for squirting and pouring.

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You can even take the same collection outside for water play on a warm day!

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