Kindergarten Home School Week 11: Wednesday

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Between ants to watch and the arrival of new toys from his grandmother, I’m glad we got Travis’s school work out of the way early! The afternoon was really devoted to play, but sometimes with home school that’s for the best.

9-9.30: Social studies. Travis’s workbook page was about the American flag. We said the Pledge of Allegiance (a good refresher!) and he colored it in, then designed a “family” flag for us. I loved that he decided our flag needed a smile.

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We continued the theme with a little art, repeating an old patriotic rock project

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9.30-10: Math. Travis is growing skilled at counting the tens place and then ones place, to make double digit numbers. He was so proud doing this in a workbook. Then we practiced adding in the teens . He chose 16, and we used dot stickers to count 5+11=16 or 6+10=16 etc. (These stickers were fun for my toddler, too, when she wasn’t busy with jingle bells or pom poms).

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10-10.30: Snack/free play

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10.30-11: ELA/Letter P. Travis started with some time on Lexia, then did a workbook page on letter P. We took the fun outside for a picnic of course! While outside, we touched briefly on the digraph CK. I gave him cards so that we could sightread P words ending in CK, but switching the vowel in the middle. Pack, peck, pick, pock, puck! 

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11-11.30: Quiet time. I had Travis work on puzzles and also watch his teacher read an online story.

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11.30-1.30: Lunch/free play. Did I mention ants? New toys from his grandmother? It was a bit hard to rein him in for…

1.30-2: Class Zoom. I was proud of him raising his hand during show-and-tell.

Then I gave him the afternoon off to play! We had hoped to fit in some science with SpaceX’s rocket launch, but it was a no-go.

Sensory Bean Astronaut Box

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In honor of SpaceX’s would-be historic launch today, I set up this easy astronaut-themed sensory bin for Veronika!

All I used were two different colors of dried beans, which I poured into a shallow tray. I originally had the box half filled with dark red beans and half with white, but they very quickly were mixed together.

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Then I simply added a few astronaut toys, including aliens and a little space rover for Veronika to play around with. It was an instant hit!

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She loved the sound that the rover made as it drove over these bumpy “moon rocks”.

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Of course we could also collect samples of rock to take back to Earth.

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She moved the little figures around in the beans, enjoying the way this made the beans scatter. I also showed her how to bury the alien underneath them, and she could then go digging.

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A sensory box like this would work with just about any toy of course, whatever your toddler currently likes best! Or just add scoops instead of toys, for practice pouring. But the astronaut theme felt perfect in conjunction with today’s historic event, even when we later learned the launch was a no-go for bad weather.

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Towards the end of her play, she discovered that if she raked her astronauts quickly through the beans, they scattered over the edge.

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So then this happened.

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Which is just fine because dried beans are one of the easiest sensory items to clean up ever! You can do this activity over a towel for even faster clean-up, but I find it just as easy to sweep all the beans into a dustpan. They sweep up with zero mess, unlike other materials I could name.

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We are wishing the astronauts good luck on their voyage!

Rainy Day Busy Box

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Veronika has an obsession with umbrellas, so today I put together this little toy bin for her to play with! It was equal parts sensory play and imaginative play, meant to imitate a “rainy day” in miniature. I had to supervise since the mini drink umbrellas we used have sharp points, but older toddlers and preschoolers could play with this solo as a true busy box.

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In a small toy bin, I simply put the following: little people figures, blue pom poms as “raindrops”, and a few small umbrellas (like the type you find in tropical drinks).

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Veronika was smitten! The actual role play was a bit lost on her, but we “rained” the pom poms down on the people and sang “Rain rain, go away” one of her current favorite songs.

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She eagerly popped open the umbrellas! I needed to help her with the mechanics of this a little bit, but once open she could then slide them up and down.

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She loved trying to have her little people hold on to them. This brought a big smile to her face.

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In retrospect I would have made this bin on a real rainy day, to help emphasize the theme.


Coffee Can Games, Two Ways

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I had an empty coffee can in the house, and knew better than to recycle it; it would make a perfect prop for Veronika’s play. To wit, we found two great ways to use it today.

First up was a combination of art and musical play. To decorate the coffee can, I wrapped a piece of contact paper around it, sticky side out. I gave Veronika pieces of old gift wrap and old postcards so she could adorn the outside.

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Once it was decorated perfectly according to her toddler standards, I wrapped a second piece of contact paper on top, sticky side in, to seal her design.

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I then put small jingle bells inside the coffee can and secured the lid.

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Shake shake shake! We sang along (admittedly to unseasonable songs like Jingle Bells!) and she had a huge grin on her face.

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Then she discovered that she could roll the can along the floor and make it jingle. She chased it all around the house this way.

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The drawback to this game was that she wanted to open the lid and get at the bells inside, but I worried about them as a choking hazard. So we repurposed the coffee can! I cut a slit in the top with an X-acto knife and then rounded the corners slightly so she wouldn’t cut her fingers.

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Now she could post (a.k.a. push) pom poms through. “Where did green go?” I asked, popping down the first one as a demonstration.

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She mimicked my words perfectly and talked her way through the entire pile, mostly getting her colors right. “Where did blue go?” “Where did yellow go?”

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When they were all inside, we opened the lid for the big reveal and dumped them out. And then she wanted to do it again! What a great way to keep busy.

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What would you do with an empty coffee can? Please share in the comments!

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