Kindergarten Home School Week 13: Wednesday

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We crammed a lot into a busy morning, then got to enjoy more leisure time in the afternoon. All in all, a successful home school day as we near the finish line.

9-9.30: Author spotlight. Travis’s class exploration of Mo Willems continued, this time with The Duckling Gets a Cookie. Travis thought this story was particularly funny! Next he invented his own cookie on a provided worksheet (he told me it was an orange M&M spice cookie featuring turmeric and paprika; I almost want to try that!), and drew himself saying NO to the pigeon.

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We extended the play with play dough cookies and then printed out pigeon and duckling finger puppets.

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Note the puppet fly-by from a cute little toddler.

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9.30-10: Math. Travis filled out a summer workbook page on taller/shorter, and we did a quick hunt for things in the house that fit each category. He also made a graph of Mo Willem characters, continuing with the week’s theme.

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10-10.30: Snack/recess. We were getting wet outside with chalkboards and volcanoes, oh my!

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10.30-11: Science. Travis colored savanna animals on his summer workbook page, so it was then fun to check out video clips about each. I highly recommend Nat Geo Kids’ Amazing Animals series, with facts, jokes, and funny voices crammed into only a minute or two.

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11-11.30: ELA. Travis did 15 minutes on Lexia.

11.30-1.30: Lunch/free play.

1.30-2: Class Zoom. Travis grows more comfortable with the format each time.

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2-3: Outside. There was a Zoom for his Gym class today, but it was optional and Travis did indeed opt out (I was not surprised, as this was his least favorite special all year). Instead, we played a quick round of sock basketball to get moving, and got in some exercise rolling down hills!

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Tracing on a Wet Chalkboard

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Toddlers love to paint with water, and parents love this activity, too; kids think they are making a masterpiece, but there’s zero mess to clean up. Today, I added a slight twist to the activity. Veronika has painted directly on pavement and sidewalks, but this time I pulled out our chalkboard for a new canvas.

I started out with a shape learning twist, and drew four shapes for her in chalk: a triangle, circle, square, and heart.

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I showed her how to dip the paintbrush in a cup of water and follow along the lines of the shapes, a precursor to tracing!

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The mechanics of this (and the importance of it) were beyond her of course, but she loved seeing how the wet lines she made with the paintbrush could make chalk lines disappear. It was like a magical eraser!

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After that there was just the fun of painting on the chalkboard, watching the water swirl and make patterns, and turn the surface of the chalkboard darker.

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Eventually she upended one of the water cups over the chalkboard surface, and then there was lots of water to swish about with her brush.

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Or splash her hands! So the activity was a joy from start to finish.

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Rolling Down Hills

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What’s childhood without the pure joy of rolling down a hill? Today I introduced Veronika to precisely that!

There’s a small hill just behind our apartment building, just right for the kids to run up and down without being intimidating.

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But today, we lay down on the grass instead! Big brother Travis paved the way, showing Veronika how to roll like a log down.

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She was a bit nervous, and I think the grass prickled her, too, so at first she just lay there without turning. So I got down with her on my belly and we log-rolled together from top to bottom. This produced squeals of delight.

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Pretty soon she was running back up to the top to start again. This activity is so simple, but captures the care-free joy of a childhood summer!

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Water Volcano in a Bottle

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This science experiment is a splashy hit, as long as it works correctly! You’ll teach kids something about air pressure, plus create a fun way to get wet on a hot day.

First, we needed to blow up a balloon inside a bottle…but there’s a catch. Insert the balloon into an empty bottle, folding the edge of the balloon over the bottle’s rim. Huff and puff with all your might and it won’t blow up, because there’s nowhere for the air pressure to go!

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Next, we cut a small slit in the bottom of the bottle. Now, when I huffed into the balloon, it could inflate! It’s fun to watch this inside the bottle, almost like a lung filling up.

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The next part is a bit tricky. Keep your finger over the slit in the bottle, and ideally your balloon will stay inflated because now the pressure can’t escape. With your finger still cover the hole, fill the balloon with water.

When you release your finger, the water explodes!

It was tricky to do this solo, though, and eventually we ended up filling the balloon with water before inflating it. Then, we got a mini squirt of water when I released my finger from the slit. You can see our rather unimpressive puddle here:

Are you able to get a huge water volcano? Please share in the comments!