Kindergarten Home School Week 14: Thursday

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We did it! My son is a Kindergarten graduate and I successfully taught seventy days of home school. There were tears and smiles, tantrums and triumphs, and lots of learning along the way for everyone involved. Thank you to the readers who have followed along on this journey, something I never intended to do or blog!

It would have been cruel to make it a full school day for Travis, knowing that summer was mere hours away. So here’s a quick rundown of the morning.

9-9.30: Workbook pages. Travis had only a few pages left in his workbook, including: ELA (adjectives and a poem), math (addition), and social studies (map reading). He zipped through them and put all the final stickers on his progress poster.

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9.30-9.45: Math. We got in exercise and math by skip-counting as we tossed a ball. We did this by both 10’s and 5’s to 100, a perfect review before summer!

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9.45-10: Specials. Travis recorded himself singing his favorite song from Music this year. He then watched a final story in Spanish (The Three Little Pigs) and an Adios song.

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10-10.30: Snack/storytime. Travis’s teacher had sent links to 2 final books to watch: Mrs. Bindergarten Celebrates the Last Day of Kindergarten and This Year Was Different.

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Well how about that! We needed to celebrate with vegan ice cream, of course.


Pool Noodle Ball Games

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After making marshmallow launchers with pool noodles, today we got even craftier with them, setting up two silly sports: a Ball Toss and a Golf Game.

For the former, you’ll need to first make the “hoop”. Fold three long pool noodles into a circle and secure with Duct tape. Travis was so proud helping me with this step, definitely a two person job. Repeat two times, for three rings total.

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Use garden Velcro strips to attach the three rings together in sort of a triangle, as shown.

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To make the ball, cut a pool noodle in half vertically. Tie each half into a knot, and fold the ends in.

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It was a bit tricky to get the knot tight, but the tighter it is, the rounder your ball.

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Time to slam dunk!

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This game would of course be awesome to play in a pool, but we loved it even on dry land.

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As you can probably guess, the ball and rings alone were great fun to play with, even when we weren’t keeping score.

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Then we repurposed the pool noodles to set up the latter game outside. Highlights magazine billed this as golf, but it looked more like croquet to me! For your wickets, fold a pool noodle into an arc and anchor into the ground using two wooden skewers.

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For a club, cut a notch near the bottom of one long pool noodle. Bend and secure with duct tape to hold the curvature in place. Travis thought this was fun, but then declared it too easy! We’ll have to think of ways to make it trickier.

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Looking for other ways to get moving at home this summer? Check out some of the simple “sports” we set up last week.

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Feather Painting

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It’s fun to give toddlers something other than a paint brush to paint with, whether a cotton ball, an ice cube, or even just their fingers. Today, Veronika got to try painting with feathers, plus a few other items from nature!

I had some brightly colored feathers from the craft store that were perfect for this activity. To set up, I filled three cups with different colors of paint and added a little glue to each, making the mixture slightly sticky.

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Veronika loved dipping the tips of the feathers in the cups…

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…and then transferring over to her paper. She loves to say “dot dot dot!” as she paints and watches the color appear. The feathers themselves fascinated her, too.

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Whenever one became too limp and saturated with paint, we simply added it to the painting and grabbed a fresh “brush”. As the gluey paint dries, the feathers will stick and become part of the final masterpiece.

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We then decided to try the activity with other items, this time truly from nature and not a craft store. In the yard, we found “brushes” from pine needles and leaves.

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Time to repeat the process! Dip the edges in the paint, use them as your brush, and whenever one gets too painty, it becomes part of the artwork!

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These turned out so pretty! I loved that the tactile feel of the different nature items was just much a part of the activity as the paint was.

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Washing Toys Water Activity

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Here’s one of the simplest yet best ways to keep a toddler happy: washing his or her own toys. Yup: between water, favorite toys, splashing, and imitating you the grown-up, this activity has it all!

And it couldn’t be easier. This morning while I needed to keep Veronika busy, I simply set out two basins, one with clean water and one with a tiny bit of soap added, along with a towel underneath to catch inevitable sloshing.

Then I added a few favorite toys that can get wet, including trucks, animals, and a dinosaur. Plus her unicorn, otherwise known around here as Sparkly Neigh.

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She immediately fell to washing them. I had given her a tiny bristles brush meant to clean out straws, and this was a perfect for giving cow and sheep and Neigh a good scrubbing.

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In between washing the toys, she also just loved splashing her hands in the water.

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When she seemed about to tire of the game, I handed her a cloth, and she lovingly fell to drying everyone off!

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Beyond just the fun of cleaning the toys, toddlers love games like this where they can feel like a little helper.¬†As long as you don’t mind a little water on the floor, this is a great way to keep your toddler busy.

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