Kindergarten Home School Week 13: Friday

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TGIF! We pulled out lots of toys and items from around the house in connection with each lesson today to keep things feeling fresh.

9-9.30: ELA. After a workbook page on animal rhyming words (dog/log, cat/hat), Travis designed a “habitat” for a few stuffed animal friends.

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This led to lots of stuffed animal play early in the morning, but I was happy to pause and go at a slower pace. He also did a page on the letter Z, and about 10 minutes on Lexia. (Little sister was busy, meanwhile, with bottles and lids).

9.30-10: Math. Travis’s workbook page had him skip counting by 10’s to 100, using pictures of dimes. That meant we pulled out his old collection of foreign coins!

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Both kids loved looking at all the different types, colors, and shapes of currency. Travis was fascinated finding the year on the oldest ones. Veronika simply loved the fine motor challenge of fitting them in the slot of the piggy bank! A big win for everybody.

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10-10.30: Snack/recess.

10.30-11: Author Spotlight. We dabbled back into the suggested Mo Willems curriculum for the week. Travis watched the story Waiting is Hard, but then protested about writing about it after (character, setting, etc.). He did record a message to his teacher saying his favorite story this week had been Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.

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We finished with a STEAM extension: Elephant and Piggie puppets! Lacking the suggested paper bags, we glued the templates to paper plates instead, with craft sticks for a handle.

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We then acted out a story on the back patio!

11-11.30: Science. Travis learned about how pollination works through this hands-on activity from Highlights magazine. Bury a wrapped candy (we used lollipops) in one bowl and cover with a cheesy puff snack (like Hippies).

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Place a second wrapped candy in a second bowl, and cover with apple slices. I invited Travis to dig for the lollipop, and he eagerly began searching down through the puffs.

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When he lifted his hands, they were covered in cheese dust – pollen!

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Now he dug for the second lollipop and we saw how the apple slices we covered in the “pollen”, just as pollinators like bees and butterflies transfer it from plant to plant. Of course then it was time for a lollipop.

11.30-1.30: Lunch/free play.

1.30-2: Board Game. We played a favorite game with one caveat… Mommy got to go first! The idea was to reinforce the lesson of waiting from the earlier Mo Willems’ story. Travis was thrilled to take this pause together while baby sister was sleeping, insisting on two rounds.

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It was an early start to the weekend after that, getting outside to the playground. One week to go!

Easy Baked Chick’n

Easy Baked Chicken

With just two ingredients, this easy recipe elevates store-bought vegan chick’n. I like to use Gardein, but swap in your favorite kind if preferred!


  • 4 Gardein chick’n scallopini
  • 12 ounces plain non-dairy yogurt
  1. Place the chick’n in a baking dish and cover with the yogurt. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  2. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

If your kids like a little spice, add a dish of their favorite bbq sauce on the side for dipping!

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Dry Painting

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Here’s a novel painting technique, the complete opposite of other options you might have tried with your toddler, like watercolor! I had a few packet of powdered dry paint leftover from a Holi celebration, and thought they might make the perfect art material for Veronika.

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To make a “paintbrush” for this activity, clip a cotton ball into a spring-type clothespin.

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Sprinkle a little powdered paint onto heavy watercolor paper. We used two to three different colors per sheet. Now simply use the cotton ball to swirl it around!

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Veronika was really into the dusty piles of paint, although not nearly as interested in the cotton ball “brush” as I thought she would be.

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But eventually the powders were swirled all over the paper.

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We then spritzed hairspray all over the picture to set the paint, which was arguably her favorite part of the activity! Brush off any extra powder, and let the “painting” set.

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The resulting artwork has a beautiful swirled look. We cut out little rectangles and folded them in half to send to family members as greeting cards in the mail!

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Five Activities with Bottles and Lids

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I’ve been saving a collection of empty bottles and lids for a while now (think smoothie bottles, sparkling water, peanut jars etc.). Basically anything with a lid that a toddler can twist off. Today, I finally pulled out the collection and there were so many ways that Veronika and I could play with them!

We started with the obvious: placing all the bottles in front of her with the lids off, so she could mix and match and figure out which lid belonged where.

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She was remarkably adept at this, I think because she knows some of these bottles by sight (like her favorite smoothie!). Sometimes she picked up a lid that was too big or too small, and I loved watching her puzzle through why it wouldn’t twist onto the bottle she’d chosen.

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Next, we did a little learning. I lined up the bottles from big to small, pointing out the size differences to Veronika.

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Older toddlers can solve this challenge all by themselves, but for Veronika at 19 months old, it was enough to introduce vocabulary about size.

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We then filled the bottles with items from around the house that would range in volume from quiet to loud. Our items included: pipe cleaners (the quietest), a pen, craft sticks, and buttons (the loudest!)

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She loved shaking these…

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…so of course we had to put on some music and have a jam session. Then she wanted to get at the items inside the bottles, so the lids were twisted off once more.

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Once the lids were off, we had fun rolling them on the floor! You could even have bottle cap races if your kids are a bit older.

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Finally, we did an art activity, tracing all of the lids on a piece of heavy watercolor paper. (Older toddlers can practice their own tracing).

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I asked Veronika what shape she saw. “Circle!” she said proudly.

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We used watercolor paint to fill in the circles. I mostly was the one painting, filling each circle with a different color, while Veronika was more into the cups of water!

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But the resulting artwork looked quite neat.

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Just a girl busy with her bottle and lid collection!

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How do you play with bottles and lids? Please share in the comments.