Kindergarten Home School Week 9: Wednesday

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It was such a busy Wednesday that we never even got around to daily routines like the Lexia ELA platform online. But innovative ideas prompted by Travis’s K-to-1st summer workbook kept things fun and tantrum-free.

9-9.30: Math. Travis’ workbook page involved coloring in shapes (both flat like a square and 3-D like a cone), on an ice cream truck image. We made it hands-on with an ice cream playset the kids have. Travis even turned baby sister’s food truck into his ice cream truck! I had hoped to use the opportunity for more math (like addition or subtraction problems), but he just wanted to play. Not worth a battle…

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9.30-10: STEAM. After an encyclopedia page on bugs (creepy-crawlies!), we watched the QR video and then made a firefly craft. We also pulled out an old bug set with a magnifying glass for further exploration.

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10-10.30: Snack/recess. Travis got involved with some of little sister’s tube play.

10.30-11: ELA. Travis loved writing in his Star Wars book, thrilled that he was forming complete sentences. There was also a quick page on letter H in the summer workbook.

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11-1: Lunch/free play.

1-1.30: Outside: In honor of National Frog Jumping Day (yes that’s a thing!) we played “jump like a frog” hopscotch.

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Veronika learned to ribbit and hop, too!

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1.30-2: Class Zoom! The class went around sharing what they are thankful for, and Travis thanked the bees and pollination.

2-2.30: Counting. We finished the day with a return to math because his 1st Grade Star Wars math workbook arrived and he was so excited. (I hadn’t even intended to open this up until summer!) After filling in numbers up to 120, we played “Light Saber Interrupted Counting”. One person started to count, but if tagged by the opponent’s light saber, the tagger took over. This was a great way to trick him into counting so high, purely for fun!

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After that we traded in lessons for cooking! His bedtime story was a video of his teacher reading Peter’s Chair.

Fun with Toilet Paper Rolls

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After building towers with toilet paper tubes, I helped Veronika discover another fun way to upcycle rolls today. I originally planned to tape together toilet paper tubes, but decided longer paper towel rolls were sturdier for this particular activity. Duct-tape as many as you like (or have stockpiled!) together securely in a long line.

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I placed the tube line about midway up our stairs, aiming the bottom into an empty toy bin.

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Depending how old your kids are, you can make this chain even longer and go all the way to the top of the stairs. But I was worried about Veronika’s safety, so we kept ours shorter. I showed her how to put a toy car into the tube, and then whee!

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It landed in the bin at the bottom. As soon as she realized the cause-and-effect, she loved slotting the cars in and waiting for them to land.

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What a delight!

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The bucket was angled in such a way that we couldn’t see them land very well, so I rotated the tube and the cars drove out directly at the bottom of the stairs. Arguably this was even more enjoyable!

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I also made a short, hand-held version that was easier for her to slot a car in and instantly see it drop through.

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She loved doing this on the floor for a while, with lots of vrooming noises to go along of course. Thank goodness for upcycled tubes!

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Firefly Craft

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Here’s a cute little firefly your kids can put together, and it really glows! Bonus points: it’s simple as can be to make.

Fold a piece of black construction paper in half, and draw a shape that looks like the head and body of a firefly as seen from the side. I copied a template from Highlights magazine, not quite trusting my artistic skills.

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Cut out, then use scraps of black paper to add legs. We also cut a small circle from yellow construction paper as the eye, and two yellow antennae.

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Glue the eye, antennae, and legs on with a glue stick. Now tape a yellow glow stick just under the tail, and watch him flicker!

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Travis liked the craft so much that we made a quick bee, too!

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Spring Party Toasts

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There’s been a glorious abundance of spring produce in our kitchen these days, and this recipe continued the theme. I loved watching my kids taste their way through all the ingredients as Travis and I made the recipe!

First up was prepping a little mise en place for our veggie toppings. Travis helped dice 1/2 an orange bell pepper, 1/2 an English cucumber, and 1 tomato.

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Next he helped slice 12 (1/4-inch thick) slices from 1/2 a baguette. We arranged the slices on a baking sheet and brushed with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.

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Meanwhile, prepare the herb spread: In a blender, combine 1 pitted and peeled avocado, 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise, 1/2 cup plain non-dairy yogurt, 15 fresh chives, 6 fresh basil leaves, 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, and 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice. Travis loved nibbling at extra chive and basil leaves!

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Process until smooth.

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Spread the herb mixture over the toasted baguette slices, and add toppings of choice.

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Travis loved making rainbow versions, all-cucumber versions, and more! Little sister loved eating up extra herb spread by the spoonful. The recipe card included a few fun extras to read as we noshed, including the benefits of eating green (for your body) and shopping green (for the Earth!). We thought this recipe was just beautiful, and tasty too.

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Toilet Paper Tube Towers

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Since we stocked up on all that toilet paper during social distancing, I figured I might as well start saving the toilet paper tubes once they were empty. We now have quite a stockpile: 12 in total! So when Veronika was fussy before dinner and I needed to keep her little hands busy, I knew exactly what to give her.

I invited her over first just to explore the tubes with her senses. She could roll them, or peek through them. “I see you!” she said.

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I wanted to show her how to build towers with them, though it turned out that the methods I chose were a tad complicated for a toddler. In the first, we stood the tubes upright, then added a thin layer of cardboard, followed by another layer of upright tubes, another layer of cardboard and so on.

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But these towers quickly toppled when the balance wasn’t right… or when Veronika impishly knocked them over! Needless to say, we never built very high.

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Next I showed her how to stack them almost like honeycomb. This too was unstable with an eighteen month old around.

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But she sure loved the way they rolled! So I left her just to play on her own from there, and wouldn’t you know, she found her own method for building a tower. She began placing them so carefully on a board game box as a base.

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Mostly she stopped at one level high, but sometimes she succeeded in stacking two levels.

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She counted the tubes out as she went, as high as “5”!

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She also said “white” when she noticed the one white roll; I hadn’t realized she knew this color word yet.

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I loved watching her busy at her building, and all the more so because she created her own method for doing so.

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Big brother Travis did later help me stack all those thin cardboard layers up to 4 levels high.

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He was so proud!

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Older kids might also like making two notches in the top and bottom of each tube, after which you can build towers that slot together.

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