Kindergarten Home School Week 8: Tuesday

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We seem to have settled into a rhythm whereby Travis loves school in the morning, but protests anything I suggest after 1 p.m. or so. That’s why our schedule is so front-loaded, so feel free to space out activities more if you have kids who aren’t freshest first thing!

9-9.30: STEAM. Travis’s workbook page today involved reading the names of ocean animals and then coloring them in. We expanded on this ocean theme with porthole scratch art!

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9.30-10: ELA. His workbook page involved sequencing a story about a coyote chasing a prairie dog.

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He then invented what would happen next/last in the story with a drawing. I did try to entice him into writing this out, similar to a classroom Writers Workshop, but he only wanted to do the picture. That was fine, since he gamely sat for 20 minutes on Lexia. (Little sister was busy painting with trucks).

10-10.30: Snack/recess. (Li’l sis had a toddler sing-along class).

10.30-11: Social/emotional learning. We read an encyclopedia page about healthy bodies, which overlapped nicely with wellness questions sent home from the school counselor. The QR code took us to a link about yoga poses, so we followed up with yoga of our own… Jedi-style of course!

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With Tuesday as his half day, we never got back into academics from here. The afternoon involved social time (Skype with a friend!), time outside (a leisurely neighborhood walk), and cooking!

His bedtime story was Leo the Late Bloomer.

Painting with Trucks

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Veronika loves her little set of construction trucks, and she loves paint, so today I thought we’d combine the two. It turns out she was more into finger painting than truck painting, but at least we had good fun.

I started out by taping two pieces of construction paper in a shallow craft bin, and setting out her trucks. Add blobs of paint directly on the paper and show your toddler how to roll cars or trucks through.

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Tire tracks!

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I thought Veronika would be fascinated, but the paint blobs themselves were just too enticing. Soon we just had two very blue hands (“Hello fingers!” she said).

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I did get her to drive the trucks back and forth a few times, but it was always quickly back to smearing her hands right through all those tire tracks.

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I thought she might get more into the tire tracks if she had a bigger surface to drive along. So we cleaned up the first version and set up a second. I taped a long piece of craft paper to the floor, and this time I only dabbed down a little black paint, just enough to drive through.

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This time she did maneuver the cars for a few passes, and did seem to notice the tracks.

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But even the little blobs of paint were irresistible for her fingers.

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Soon we had smeary black hands!

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Well, she had a blast, and of course half the fun is the “car wash” at the end. We put the trucks in soapy water and I gave her a few rags. This was arguably even more enjoyable than the painting itself!

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So start to finish, it made for a great project.

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Tofu Lettuce Wraps

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Travis’s Raddish Kids this month is all about spring produce, celebrating the seasons’s beauty and bounty. The timing is so apt, a reminder that there is still fresh food and a beautiful spring, even during social distancing.

This first recipe was big on mise en place. Travis helped prep all the components and we arranged them in pretty colored bowls before setting the dinner table!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound firm tofu
  • 4 sliced green onions
  1. Tear the lettuce leaves away from the head of romaine, so they form individual cups. The best ones are about the size of your hand, so you might want to save the large, outer leaves for another use. Set aside.Chicken Lettuce Wraps (1)
  2. Meanwhile, peel and grate the carrot; place in a bowl.
  3. Cut the bell pepper into strips and then dice; place in a bowl.
  4. Place the peanuts in a bowl; set aside.
  5. To make the sauce, whisk together the garlic, ginger, lime juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and cornstarch; set aside.
  6. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the tofu into the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture; bring to a boil and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the green onions.
  7. To prepare the dish, spoon a little tofu mixture into each lettuce cups.Chicken Lettuce Wraps alt
  8. Have kids add their favorite toppings directly at the table!Chicken Lettuce Wraps (3)

Porthole Scratch Art

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This ocean-themed art project didn’t quite work as intended, but it still led to great artistic and creative play for Travis today!

The goal with scratch art is to have two layers of color, scratching off the top layer to reveal the shade underneath. To start, cut the center circle from two paper plates and set aside; these will be the rims of your submarine “portholes”.

On a second set of paper plates, I asked Travis to draw his favorite sea creature. He chose a big red squid, and I was so proud of his drawing even though it wasn’t exactly easy to scratch off, as intended.

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I made a nice fat starfish in the center of another plate as an easier option.

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We then colored all around the sea creatures with white crayon. Layer a second color of crayon over everything, choosing a dark color to go over the sea animals and then blue crayon over your layer of white.

Using a penny, you now should be able to scratch off the top layer of crayon. If this works, you can make animal details like fins or scales, as well as water details like swirls and seaweed.

Unfortunately, our two colors of crayon just smudged together! Well, we were undeterred. Tape these plates underneath the first set of plates, and add details like bolts with more crayon.

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Then we got inventive and played deep-sea diver on the couch! Travis loved pretending to be the squid outside my submarine.

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We might try this again on a different brand of paper plates next time and see if we have more success.

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