Kindergarten Home School Week 8: Wednesday

Home School 37 f

Happy hump day! We were busy and tantrum free except for one fit about pants (yes, pants). Here’s how the day went:

9-9.30: Letters B & C. We started with two workbook pages that focused on B and C. There were all sorts of activities crammed into these two pages: coloring pictures that started with the correct letter; drawing picture to go with a poem about a bee; practicing lowercase letters; completing rhyming words, etc. Whew! It was well worth the two stickers Travis could put up on his chart. (Good thing little sister was busy with texture swatches).

Home School 37 b

9.30-10: Art. We extended the beach and crab theme with ocean watercolor scenes.

10-10.30: Math. This was simultaneously math and snack, because today we played “Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar”. After watching a cartoon clip of the song, we sat in the playroom with a real jar of cookies. Travis liked chanting the rhythm, and then of course the kids’ hands were diving in for a snack.

Home School 37 c

I challenged him to make up cookie subtraction stories as he munched. If we started with 14 cookies and the kids had eaten 4, how many were left? This was also good practice for writing out an equation by hand.

Home School 37 d

10.30-11: Free play. (This allowed me to sit through an online storytime with baby sister).

11-11.30: Social studies. His encyclopedia page was about doctors and the work they do, including a QR link to a page with further info. We have a doll that zips open to reveal lungs, kidneys, a heart, a liver, etc. all in the proper place. I made Travis (and Veronika!) little doctor hats to wear to extend the hands-on play.

Home School 37 g

11.30-1.30: Lunch/free play.

1.30-2: Library. This would have been his special today. He was not terribly interested in the librarian’s online read of Ugly Vegetable Soup, though I tried to make it hands-on with a bowl and toy veggies!

Home School 37 h

2-2.30: Outside. A walk downtown was a chance to search for signs of community helpers.

That was it for his school day, since I had a baby gym class with Veronika to attend. Luckily Travis kept busy building Legos! A Whistle for Willie as a bedtime story capped off the day.

Watercolor Ocean Scene

Watercolor Ocean Scene (3)

Travis had so much fun drawing a squid for a project yesterday that I wanted to expand upon it today. This time, the assignment was to draw a full ocean!

For this project, it’s really up to your child to draw whatever ocean scene he or she envisions. Make sure to use thick watercolor paper for the best results. Travis started out with a big red octopus, but he was dissatisfied with it. He changed it into a crab, but was still displeased. So then he decided he wanted to start over!

Watercolor Ocean Scene (1)

On his second sheet of paper, I could tell he was really thinking about how the world might look under the waves. He drew sand at the bottom, green seaweed growing up, a crab, and a big toothy shark.

Watercolor Ocean Scene (4)

He added blue water all around as background. I worked beside him on a second scene with similar animals.

Watercolor Ocean Scene (2)

When we were done drawing with art pencils, the real watery fun began. Brush over your pencil marks with just a light layer of water. It will smear the colors somewhat, and make it took like you are scuba divers exploring beneath the waves!

Watercolor Ocean Scene (5)

Helpers and Heroes

Helpers and Heroes (5)

This activity gives purpose to any walk in your town, perfect if your family is outside getting a daily quotient of sunshine during social distancing!

We set off downtown and I assigned Travis the goal of finding signs of any community helpers. The trick here was not necessarily to spot the helpers themselves, which Travis can readily identify (police offices, firemen) but rather signs of them.

First up was a fire hydrant! That was used by the firemen, and Travis gave it a big thumbs up.

Helpers and Heroes (3)

Next we spotted a recycling bin. I pointed out how the bin doesn’t empty itself; we need sanitation workers!

Helpers and Heroes (2)

Now that he had the idea, he began to notice subtler signs, posing by an ATM for bankers, and ladders for construction workers. We also walked past the library, representing the librarians.

Helpers and Heroes (7)

Once we reached the town green, Travis spotted the memorial to local war heroes, which was a moving and apropos moment.

Helpers and Heroes (4)

This would be a great outdoor extension to any school lesson plan on “community helpers”!

Rainbow Salt Tray

Rainbow Salt Tray (9)

Here’s a project I remember doing with Travis when he was a toddler, and the seeming “magic” of it never grows old. I told Veronika that today she was going to paint a rainbow!

To set up, line the bottom of a shallow tray with construction paper, arranging the pieces in rainbow order.

Rainbow Salt Tray (2)

Oddly, our pack of paper doesn’t include purple, so I quickly colored a white piece with purple marker to fix that! Tape down the pieces of paper so they overlap. It’s helpful to use clear tape along all the seams, so salt doesn’t slip in between the sheets in the next step.

Now just cover the paper with a layer of table salt!

Rainbow Salt Tray (3)

I showed Veronika the tray and handed her a paintbrush. “Paint?” she asked. She began swirling the paintbrush through and immediately saw blue.

Rainbow Salt Tray (4)

A huge smile appeared on her face. As she worked, she uncovered all the colors of the rainbow.

Rainbow Salt Tray (5)

Of course she got a little impish and enjoyed sweeping salt out of the box for a time, too.

Rainbow Salt Tray (8)

You can make this educational by drawing big letters or shapes in the salt. (Hint: it might make for good sightword practice if you’re homeschooling a kindergartner, too!).

Rainbow Salt Tray (7)

But mostly Veronika just had fun, seeing what color would magically rise to the surface next as she brushed through each portion of the tray.

Rainbow Salt Tray (6)

You’ll notice that the tray was great fun to sit in, even after we’d dumped the salt!

Rainbow Salt Tray (11)

Texture Touch

Texture Touch (13)

I have a neat set of fabric swatches for Veronika, featuring a pair of each item ranging from the nubby to the scratchy to the smooth. Today we played with the swatches in multiple ways, for games that involved both sensory play and learning.

Texture Touch (2)

First, I hot-glued one of each pair onto a baby food jar lid. Hot-glue a magnet onto the other side. Now, the swatches had become magnetic toys that Veronika can slide around on a baking sheet!

Texture Touch (6)

I set them out for her to explore at her own leisure, but then we took the time to go through the pile together, talking about each one. Rough and scratchy were definitely interesting.

Texture Touch (1)

Veronika also loved any that were soft and smooth. When she felt the fluffy ones, she said our cat’s name and started rubbing it all over herself!

Texture Touch (11)

There are then lots of ways to extend the play. I gave her the other half of the swatches (not glued to magnetic lids), and helped her find the match for each one.

Texture Touch (9)

Although the ability to find a match will probably be beyond your 18-month-old’s ability, there has to be a first time for introducing any concept! I made things easier by giving her a choice of only 2 or 3 swatches. “Which one is the pair?” I asked her.

Texture Touch (7)

Then we lined them up in order, going from softest to roughest.

Texture Touch (12)

She also loved transferring the magnets over from the baking tray to our fridge. After that, I left the little swatches in a bin which meant she could return to them throughout the day. I have a feeling we’ll get a lot more play out of these!

Texture Touch (8)