Tuesday, August 31, 2010


A few weeks back I posted on the kids themes each week, and I thought it might be fun to blog regularly about what we've tried. I'm always on the lookout for fun, new activities - as well as any "war stories" about what I may want to avoid, haha!

To keep it "real", I am posting after the week is over instead of before. I think this keeps me honest as a blogger. I may have lofty plans for the week, but lets be real - we never accomplish all we set out to and nothing ever goes perfectly.

So you will be getting an honest version of the week - what worked, what didn't, and what was left.

To recap Dinosaur/Farm Animal week:

This week was a hit and it led in perfectly for the first week of school, when - what do ya know, they chose their first class book to be How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? I must be psychic or just plain lucky. We had already read How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? all week, and Hayden love trying to learn the names of the dinosaurs. Although he learned three dinosaur names, he still couldn't differentiate between all the different types by the end of the week. Which is ok! I'm sure we'll be doing more dinosaurs in the future. The only one he could pick out was the Pteranodon - but that was because of repeated exposure to Dinosaur Train.

There are LOTS of great (and free!) resources online for dino-exposure. The PBS site had fun printouts from Dinosaur Train that I will be using next time. Hayden also loved the interactive games they had on the show site (which also teach letter recognition and pattern matching).

We ended up watching The Land Before Time twice, but only by fast-forwarding through scary and sad parts. Unfortunately for Hayden, Dinosaur Train comes on right before we leave for school, so he won't be able to watch that one again if we do another Dino week. There are a few episodes online at PBS though, so that's one option.

I decided to extend Corbin's Farm Animal week into 2 weeks because he needs longer exposure to things to really get into them. He really loved F is for Farm (Baby Touch and Feel) and we read it every nap time and bedtime for 2 weeks. He is just now getting tired of it and we are starting to move on.

We also added Farm Friends (Guess Who?), which is a great "peek-a-boo" style book. It's a bit wordy for Corbin's level, so instead of their text, I just said " Peek-a-boo, guess who? It's a cow! Mooo." for each animal. And voila! He loved it.

I put his barn and farm animals out on the coffee table all week to encourage animal play. I also added ducks to the bathtub toys as well. And we watched Word World and Wonder Pets (which is on Netflix right now) for more animal exposure.

In the second week we got Corbin quacking like a duck in the bathtub and clucking like a chicken (including arm flapping) while watching a show - which was our goal - animal sounds. We're hoping that it wasn't a "fluke" and he will continue imitating noises.

I like the laid back pace we're doing - if I think we need more time on something, we'll take another week - or we may move on. Spending two weeks on animals was definitely the right choice and Hayden was pretty much done with Dinos after only one week.

I'll post tomorrow about Hayden's second theme: Nature!

What activities are you doing with your little ones? I'd love to hear them!



Gail said...

I have been breaking things into categories---Science, Social Studies, Math, Language(which usually involves books on the science or social studies topic, but also letter recognition/phonics, and this week prepositions like in, out, under,over etc.).

Right now for science we are doing space, cause somewhere Roland discovered rocket ships (I am not sure where), and is making randomn things he encounters into rocket ships. So I ran with his interest. Mainly just books right now, but want to expand with art so this will be longer than 1 week for sure. Planets, etc.

For social studies we are doing All About Me. My name is Roland. I am 2. I live in Leander, Texas. Family/friend picture/name recognition, etc.

We do ABCs a lot (he is digging this upper/lower 2 alphabets in 1 puzzle by Melissa and Doug right now. And we are focusing on the letter A and B specifically. We did this craft A is for apple tree(finger painting the leaves, and gluing the trunk, and stamping apples onto the tree). We also did B is for Boat, with gluing shapes into a sail boat. And I hang his work on the doors in our hallway,which excites him, and reinforces the letter often. We do a lot of different songs online. This is our song of the week, http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_279640&v=pyKdUpJQBTY&feature=iv,
which he has about half memorized and we sing it a lot while playing with the abc upper/lower puzzle.

Honestly,we have not been doing math, haha, except counting objects randomnly. I got these number playdoh stamps for free using Kohls card in the mail, but have yet to whip them out like I planned.

Gail said...

And we are loving word world.

There was this episode about trying new things which really has helped in trying new things, haha-Mmmm Mmmm Milk I think it was called.

And another episode about being sick, which being sick, really clicked too. I loved how it talked about needing to lay in bed with a pillow and blanket. It is kind of scary how impressionable kids are, haha

Robyn said...

We just started preschool this week and it's been fun so far. This week's Bible story is Jonah so a lot of stuff is themed around that (today he colored a picture of a big fish, and later in the week he'll use that as a sort of puppet while we talk about the story). We're also working on drawing lines left to right to emphasize how writing works (left to right, down, left to right again, etc.). Squares are the shape of the week. Working on rhythm (clapping to a beat, etc.). He's almost got his memory verse down including the reference, but still needs a little prompting.

We don't have one central theme for the week, I guess... still getting a feel for this curriculum, but so far we're enjoying it!