Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Homeschool Fun

Homeschool Fun

I mentioned in my last post on our St. Patricks Day Themed activities that school had gotten kind of boring for a while there due to first trimester exhaustion.  But here a couple of the fun activities we have done lately as I've been getting back on top of things and planning more...rather than just doing workbooks and flash cards!  lol.  

Here is one of J's FAVORITE games to play.  I make a little "shop" with things from around the house and we play shopping.  She buys something and has to figure out how to pay me the correct amount in coins.  She has no idea this is "school"  The kids have also been enjoying watching the rock'n'learn money & making change DVD to help.

We love doing art!  Here is one activity we did from the book Drawing Faces by Usborne.  We were making cartoon faces.  I had her use the yellow dot stamp thing for the head and then draw the different features while looking at examples from the book.

We were a TJ Maxx recently and on clearance found the Discovery Kids Recycled Paper Factory so here are the kids making their own almost 3 year old B could have done this all day!

 Their paper turned out great but I forgot to photograph it.

And we've gotten some later winter snow storms recently so they have enjoyed playing in the snow a lot...and eating it.

 And building a snow fort with Dad which on different days transformed into different things in their day it was a pirate ship, another day it was a teepee and they collected sticks from around the yard pretending they were dear and buffalo hide.

This is an Easter Sensory box we just did.  We are moving out of state this weekend so I decided to do some things early in case we are too out of sorts to be able to easily put things like this together after the move...closer to Easter.  I found this on Pinterest from More Fun Mom and literally did exactly what she did.  Maybe just paraphrased some of the verses a little to make sure I got through them all before they lost interest.  I know not the most glorious looking sensory bin out there but hey, I am still pretty tired and have a lot going on with the move and so it's nice to just throw something together that the kids still have fun with and occupies them for a good amount of time!

And they play doctor ALL the time. B is always covering J in Bandaids....I stock up at Dollar Tree.

PS- we do more than just this, but I don't get around to photographing most of what we do!  I used to be much better about that.  J has been learning a lot of life skills and doing a lot of food prep and making with very little help....I supervise and help only when needed but try to encourage her to do it om her own as much as she safely can.  It makes her so proud of herself.

St. Patrick's Day Reading, Math and Craft Activity

St. Patrick's Day 
Reading, Math and Craft Activity
for Homeschool

This is the first year we have really done anything St. Patrick's Day themed.  Last year we did a lephrechaun craft with friends but that was it.  I think seeing all the fun St. Patrick's Day fun Crystal from Wanna Be Balanced has been posting has been making me feel like a holiday slacker lol, seriously, check out everything they have been doing that is St. Patrick's Day themed!

So we started out by finding this fun little song that teaches about St. Patrick's Day and so that is how we learned what it is all about.  I thought it was quite interesting, I never had any clue what St. Patrick's Day is other than people wear green and lots of people get drunk.  

We started out with our rainbow craft. My daughter held up a scrap strip of paper and said "I want to make a rainbow with this!" and that is how we came up with the idea to make more strips of colored paper, fold them accordion style and create a standing rainbow.  For the base we used a recycled cereal box covered in sky blue paper.  To fasten the rainbow strips we used the glue gun...I thought with elmers glue it might dry to slowly to hold them in place and I get impatient with that kind of we use the glue gun a lot!  When making the rainbow, you have to make the colors on the bottom progressively shorter than the ones on the top, we started with them all the same length and then just glued and trimmed as needed.

For our reading pot of gold activity I wrote some of the sight words that J has been working on lately, some she knows and others that she needed more practice with, on yellow paper and then put it through the laminator and cut them out in circles.  I put them in the pot (which was from halloween) and then hid the pot in the play room with their rainbows.  I put a few strips of fabric leading into the playroom for a following the rainbow effect to lead them to the pot of gold.  

(sure gonna miss this playroom....sigh)

Once they found the pot of gold, J had to read each coin if she wanted to keep it.  B decided to join in and started reading off letters that he knew so he could keep some too.  The words she missed on the first try went back in the pot and then she was able to try again to keep them.  After collecting their coins we came downstairs and I had her figure out how much money her gold coins were worth.  I had made a key for how much each word was worth with values from $0-$10.  I had her locate the words on the key and then type the value into the calculator to tally up her total.  Then I had her tally up the total of B's coins (which gave her a chance to read those words too).  Then I had her calculate how much all the coins we worth all together.  The next thing we did was arrange them into piles of 2 letter words, 3 letter words, 4 letter words and 5 letter words and she recorded how many coins were in each category and identified fewest, most, etc.  I just kept making her think of them in different ways.  The last activity we did was a page of mystery addition that I made up.  I wrote equations like have+said=   and she had to use the key that listed each words value to figure out the true equation and get the there was a lot of reinforcement with using the sight words as well as math going on....and there was NO COMPLAINING!!!!  that was nice for a change...I need to make it more fun like this more often.  I was better before Christmas but then since being pregnant I was so tired the first got kind of boring...good thing 2nd trimester is giving me some energy back to get more creative and fun with school again!

And here is my belly at 14.5 weeks....I'm finding the 3rd time around, things change a lot more quickly!!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sensory Car Wash

Sensory Car Wash

I came across this cool sensory car wash on Pinterest  and thought my kids would love it!  It's made for occupational therapy but my kids love going to the car wash and I wanted to make them something like it.  I ended up using a large dish pack box we still had from the last move and the first station in the car wash was "rinse"...which you can see below is the shimmery silvery stuff hanging down.  I found it at the Dollar Tree in the Christmas section, it was some kind of garland.  I hot glued the garland to the inside of the box.

The next station inside was "soap". I used embroidery thread and threaded packing peanuts onto several strands and then at the end of each strand, poked the needle up through the top of the box and tied the thread.  It's held up really well through lots and lots of car washes.

This is a view from the end of the car was looking in. You can see the soap suds better and then you can see I used 2 dusters from the Dollar Tree next.  I tied embroidery thread through the ends and again poked the needle up through the top of the box and then tied it on top so they hang nicely.  When the kids crawl past them they spin/twirl...since I used the thread to tie them up, it allows them the movement to twirl and reminds them of being at the real car wash.

The last station was the drying station.  I used the fake imitation sham wow car wipe thing from the Dollar Tree, cut slits in it and then hot glued the top to the box.  I tried to pick things that would have different sensations as they went through to make it a more sensory experience.  I wanted to find one of those small battery powered personal fans that people carry around in the summer and attach that at the very end so they would have a little blow drying too, but I couldn't find any at the time.

Sometimes when the kids are having fun going through, I pretend to be the car wash attendant and I give them a quick squirt with a water bottle before they go through, just like they do at the real car wash we go to.  They love it!  And their friends ask me to take it out when they come over too, they all love it.  And it's nice because when we are not using it I just pick it up and the box folds flat and put it in the storage room.  When we use it we set it up with one side against a wall and then put a magazine rack or  something else sturdy on the other side to keep it standing upright as both ends are open it has no support to stay open otherwise...but makes it easy to fold flat and put away when you're done playing.  It was super easy, cost $4 in supplies from the Dollar Tree and has gotten a LOT of playtime over the last few months!  

Isn't it funny how you can spend so much on toys your kids say they really want and then they barely play with them?  And then you can make cheap things like this that get tons of repeat play?  I love it!