Kindergarten Home School Week 8: Friday

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There was very little schoolwork today because it was… National Field Day! We did start out with a few pages in Travis’s workbook, the first of which involved drawing a map of his neighborhood. Which meant instead of starting with circle time, we headed outside on a walk!

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8-9: Geography. It was a crisp spring morning and Travis had so much fun walking and discussing our neighborhood that we walked for a full hour! When we returned, he was ready to draw his map on the corresponding workbook page.

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9-9.30: ELA. Travis worked quickly on a workbook page about letter E and did about 10 minutes on Lexia, and that ended the academics for the day. (Baby sister kept busy with glue!)

9.30-10: Snack.

10-11: Field Day. Let the games begin! Travis and I picked 4 of the 20 suggested activities, and tackled the following:

Backboard Bank It: Roll up pairs of socks into balls, and place a laundry basket against a wall. Aim the socks at the basket, making sure they hit the “backboard” before landing. See how many you can get in 1 minute!.

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Clothes Relay: Start at one cone and run to a second cone where an over-sized shirt is waiting. Put on the shirt and run back to the first cone to put on a hat. You can also include a stop at a cone with over-sized shorts, but Travis didn’t want to wear those. Time yourself!

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Flip Your Lid: Start with a Tupperware lid lying right-side up on a table. Use a spatula to flip the lid, and count the number of times it lands upside down in 1 minute.

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Tennis Shoe Tower: Pile a whole bunch of sneakers (or any shoes!) in the center of a room. Divide into teams (Mommy versus Travis!). Players run to take one shoe from the pile and run it back to their home space. Continue returning for another shoe and adding to your tower, until all the shoes have been used. Player with the most shoes wins!

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That was the end of our Field Day. The afternoon included social time with a friend online and a music class for baby sister, and I confess there was some extra screen time thrown in since it was a bit of a lazy TGIF. Story time included a read of Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Improv Games, 3 Ways

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Travis and Veronika were playing dress-up this afternoon and I seized on the opportunity to introduce a few improv games. It was a reminder that Travis is missing out on such play, now that his acting class is cancelled for the season, and it felt good to have silly fun!

First, we warmed up with a round of “Zip Zap Zop”. Point your hands at another person (ideally you’ll want three or more people, although Travis and I made do just the two of us) and slide them against each other, saying “Zip!” The next person says “Zap!” and then on to a third person (or back to the original first), who says “Zop!” Repeat and get faster and faster until everyone is hopelessly giggling.

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You’re warmed up!

Next we played “Yes, Let’s!” I demonstrated for Travis how to say, “Hey everyone, let’s all…” after which you choose an action. First we rode on broomsticks! Travis predictably had us marching like Darth Vader.  We also hopped like frogs, at which point baby sister wanted to join in.

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For the final game, we played “World’s Worst”, i.e. a firefighter who decided to chill out instead of fighting a fire.

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We were world’s worst construction workers dropping things or world’s worst weight lifter, too weak to lift a beach ball. Travis really got into these!

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It was great to have pure silly fun together.

Italian Beans & Farro

Italian Beans and Barley

This hearty dish comes together quickly, thanks to canned ingredients. If you can’t find farro, use barley instead.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked farro
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 cups chopped green beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) drained and rinsed can chickpeas
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  1. Combine the farro and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the farro is tender. Drain any excess water and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Add the green beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Add the green bean mixture to the farro, along with the chickpeas and tomatoes, stirring to combine.

Color Match

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Veronika is showing great interest in colors now. She knows all the words of the rainbow, but adorably gets them all wrong. “Yellow!” she’ll say with confidence, holding a blue crayon. “Purple!” she calls out, to just about anything. So today we played this little game to help associate each color with the correct word.

I set out pairs of construction paper and crayons, sticking with only four colors so as not to overwhelm her. We used: blue, red, yellow, and green.

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For each color, I showed her the crayon and said (for example), “Yellow. Can you find me the yellow paper?” I then directed her to the right sheet so she could draw yellow on yellow.

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Repeat with the remaining colors, or reverse it: “Here is blue paper. Can you find me the blue crayon?”

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After she’d scribbled for a while, I wrote the name of each color on the paper, using black crayon.

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Don’t expect your toddler to get this “right” on the first try, of course, as that’s not the point. These early color games are all about introducing the concept.

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And of course she loved just scribbling.

Glue Play

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Your toddler is going to be a using a lot of glue in the next few years, since it’s part of just about every nursery school and preschool project. But how often is glue itself the object of play? The point of this activity was simply for Veronika to explore glue… and yes, you can probably count on it to be messy.

I lined the bottom of a shallow tray with two pieces of construction paper just to contain some of that mess, and then showed her how to squeeze a glue bottle.

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Squeezing glue bottles is actually great for muscle development in the hands, and she was so proud when she could do this all by herself. “Dot dot dot!” she said.

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Then we opened up the nozzle and really let the glue pour out, which she found fascinating.

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From here, she wanted to touch it, and I used the word “sticky” as she played. She was not at all afraid to get hands-on with the stuff.

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Thinking to extend the play, I added a few plastic spoons and little pom poms she could sprinkle into the glue.

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But really she was mostly interested in the glue itself! Then it was time for a hand wipe and clean up.

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