Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Activity Box

I promised a while back that I would write a post on the activity box that I put together a year or so ago, that we use for school. It's taken a little while, but it's finally here.

Here is the actual activity box. Most of the stuff is stuff that I made or put together, but some of the items were purchased pre-school items that I store in here.

Alphabet Games: These were actually from the sonlight curriculum that we bought (and then returned), but we kept the alphabet bingo and alphabet go-fish. We haven't actually played them yet, I wanted to introduce a few more of the letters to Treyton.

Puzzle Pieces: these my mom actually got for Treyton for his 3rd Birthday (I think they're from Wal-Mart), they're puzzle pieces for letters or numbers. Numbers 1-20, and alphabet A-Z. Treyton loves these.

Lady Bug Game: I posted about these here. These were extremely effective.

Shapes: These are shape sticks, we play review games with these. Treyton actually made these as part of his school one day, but we store them and use them quite regularly for review.

Puzzles: these are also from my mom for Treyton's 3rd birthday (again from Wal-Mart). They are number and shape puzzles, as well as a wipe-off activity book.

Color Matching File-Folder Game: I had planned on making more file folder games but never really got around to it. This one is a little beneath Treyton now but I'm sure Lexie will enjoy it too when the time comes :~)

Tracing: I made some card stock tracing pages and then also added tracing paper and a clipboard so that Treyton could practice tracing his name, shapes and numbers.

(This is a picture of the actual bag and activity together, as well as the instructional sheet. This is how I store the activities in the box.)

Pattern Matching: I put together some patterns with beads on pipe cleaners, as well as some other lose beads. Treyton matches the patterns.

Lacing Shapes: I made these out of cardboard and shoe laces

Counting Cards: 1-10, I have the numeral on the front of the card and then the actual number of stickers on the back side of the card, I also have a large handful of pennies in the bag so that Treyton can count out the number of pennies for each card, then he turns the card over and can match them up to see if he's right.

Number Flash Cards: 1-10, I believe we got these from the dollar tree.

Sorting Colors and Counting Beads: I super glued a bead on the bottom of one of these craft boxes and included a bunch of beads that he can sort, and then count them out.

This I recently found on another homeschooling blog (the name slips my mind now, sorry) I took caps and put all the letters on the lids so that we can play a letter fishing game, then I also made Treyton his own name tag so that he can match the letters, learning how to spell his name. Once Treyton starts learning to read/write words, I plan on making a larger set, but for right now it's primarily for a fishing letter game.

Color Matching: these are foam pieces that I cut in half (as puzzle pieces), again these are a little beneath Treyton now, but they helped alot in the beginning.

Animal Memory Game: I made these one day after Treyton and I read the Noah's Ark story.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Letter Bb

For those of you keeping track, no, we didn't take a week off of school, we actually spent two weeks on the letter B, so I wanted to wait to do the post on it.

Get Ready for the Code & Letter Activities
We used both Get Ready for the Code and Handwriting without Tears this week. I am still extremely satisfied with Get Ready for the Code, both the way they introduce a new letter as well as the review of the previous letter(s). Handwriting without Tears we actually used at the very end of the two weeks, to just brush upon writing the capital B.
Treyton was struggling with remembering the name of the letter B, but seems to have gotten in (thanks to the last craft we did), and is also doing well with the sound /B/.

Letter Book Page
We also did our B letter book page which we printed off from Homeschool Creations. Treyton is doing great with cutting and gluing entirely on his own now.

Here's the finished project (sorry I couldn't rotate it for some reason)

Fun Activities & Crafts
Blowing Bubble Craft
One of our first crafts that we did was a blowing bubble craft - I found the idea at Delightful Learning but didn't have the time to look up the recipe so I just threw in a little clear dish soap, water and food coloring, it worked (but I have no recipe for you, sorry). I then gave Treyton a straw and let him blow away. He was so excited about it, and luckily he only sucked in two times :~)

Bug Hunting & Catching
I think Treyton's favorite activity was "bug hunting" we caught ourselves a grasshopper - but it wasn't easy!! I wish I could have taped us out there: me, Treyton and Lexie running around in the middle of the road chasing grasshoppers. It was TONS easier when I was a kid growing up in Oklahoma! I don't remember them flying!!
And no worries, we let the grasshopper go (fully alive and well) two days later.
(The grasshopper is up against the screen on the upper left-ish side)

Bird Hand Craft
I can't remember where I found this craft but it was a part of my original curriculum. In order to show Treyton how to do the craft, I traced Lexie's hands too, Treyton thought it was cool there was a bird for him and for Lexie.
1. Cut out an oval from construction paper
2. Trace your child's hands onto orange construction paper, also cut a small triangle out of the scraps for the bird's beak.
3. Draw some eyes onto the bird, have your child glue on a beak
4. Attach the hands (wings) to the back of the oval (bird)

Filled the Bird Feeder
We filled the bird feeder and tried to wait and watch for birds to come... that didn't go that well, we didn't actually wait very well :~)

B is for Bee Craft
I actually got this craft last minute from Homeschool Creations and I knew it would be a great idea to help Treyton learn the name of the letter B.

Below is a picture of all of our supplies.

The Letter B Mini-Book
I posted last week about how we put together a Mini-Letter B book. I am considering doing this again for some other letters in the future (we'll see)

Physical Activities
Played Baseball
Blew Bubbles
Went for a Bike Ride

Extra Activities
After seeing several moms recommend the Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD (You can find it in the carousel below), I got it off of Amazon and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!! Treyton has asked to watch it every day for 3 weeks now and he's learning from it too! His favorite one is the letter K, which kicks and makes the sound /k/. Treyton saw a K this week and said "That says /k/" and just by chance K is our letter for next week!! Half my job is already done!!

We used Kumon 1-30 workbook, this week we started writing numbers 1 and 2, Treyton is trying hard to write his numbers and he's okay at it but he isn't really retaining them, which I think is fine for now I don't think its important at this point.

We also reviewed shapes with our new flashcards (I love my munchkin flash cards $4.95 at toys r' us)

We read about Joshua and the Battle of Jericho and played the trust game. It was actually pretty funny, I thought that Treyton would do better trusting Tim and I. We learned about how important it was to trust God (and our parents) because we don't always know what's going on.

Books & Resources We Used

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Letter B: The Little Book of Bb

This week we are working on the letter Bb. Treyton is having a harder time remembering the name of "Bb" but not the sound (though it sometimes comes out /p/ instead of /b/, he's doing a great job with the sound, but not so great with the name.
This morning I asked him (in actually more of a "thinking out loud" kind of way) "Treyton what can I do to help you remember the letter "Bb"? And he said "we could make a book maybe". Which really got me thinking, literally sunday night I ran across a blog with instructions on how to make a little book out of one piece of scrap paper (you can find it here). So I started re-looking where I might have seen it, and found it easily. I then set about making the book. Once I got it put together (which took less than 5 minutes, I might add) Treyton filled it with stickers starting with the letter "Bb", I then went back and wrote the names of each picture.

I had meant to make the outside the stripes and the inside the blue but obviously did it backwards :)

The other mistake I made was that I used the capital B for the first half of the book, because our primary focus is on lower case I wish I would have just done lower (I'll remember for next time)

We had one page left so I used my "artistic talent" to draw balloons... no judging, Treyton liked them! :)

Overall, I'm loving this idea, and it's neat because it was actually Treyton's idea. It hasn't helped him remember Bb yet, but I know that will come in time, if we have to spend two weeks on some letters, I'm okay with that :) We're having a blast doing what we're doing so I just have to remember to leave it at that! The learning part will come if I spend my time having fun and taking every teaching opportunity as it comes.

There will be more Bb stuff later, but I just wanted to get this out here because I knew there were too many pictures to include in my weekly post.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And The Winner Is:


I already have your address Kristi, so I will put the journal and pens in the mail for you on Monday!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Week 1: Letter Ff

We literally just finished up school 30 minutes ago, but I could hardly wait to get on here and share with all of you what we're doing for school!

We decided to use "Get Ready for the Code" for our primary curriculum and then supplement other activities to expand from there. Get Ready for the Code is a letter and phonics curriculum that teaches primarily lower case letters but includes upper case recognition. Up until this point we have been learning only upper case letters (because they were easy for Treyton to write) but after a little more reading I've found that it's actually more accurate to teach lower case letters first (or at the same time) as the upper case letters, by doing so you are preparing for earlier reading and letter recognition.

Anyhow, each letter is given 12-14 pages of activities to do, some of which blew me away! I am LOVING it! (for all of you continual readers out there, I'm still loving and using HWTs, but because it only has 1-2 pages for each letter, it works great as a supplement for the capital letters)

So... on to the activities we did this week:

Memory Verse
"Fear not for I am with you" Isaiah 43:5

Get Ready for the Code & Letter Activities
We started every day with doing some activities out of the Get Ready for the Code book.
From there we decided to write the letter "f" in a tray of sand. This was an INCREDIBLE way for Treyton to start tracing the letter. With Treyton being as hands-on of a learner that he is, I've had several friends recommend this type of thing for him, and I'm so glad we did it. I had planned to only doing it once this week, but ended up doing it every day because Treyton would ask for it.

We made the "Ff" letter page book from Homeschool Creations. This was great scissor practice for Treyton as well as pronunciation. Just by chance /f/ is one of the sounds that Treyton really struggles saying, so we took this week as an opportunity to slow down our f words so that Treyton would purposely say the sound. He is doing great! Tim mentioned on Wednesday how he even noticed Treyton saying his /f/ sound better.

Fun Activities & Crafts

Stuffed tissue paper fish

I cut two fish shapes out of construction paper and had Treyton glue on tissue paper and foil, I then trimmed the edges, we stapled the fish together, leaving a little slit to stuff in more tissue paper, we then finished closing it up and attached a string by which to hang it.

Painted Footprints
This was something the entire family got into. We each painted the bottom of our feet and then pressed it onto a piece of paper. Treyton has fun identifying who's foot is whose. (Side Note: Lexie did not particularly like this craft :~))

Finger Print Bugs
We stamped our fingerprints on to a piece of paper and then made fun bugs out of them. We made a caterpillar, spider, ant and butterfly.

Frog Tot-Book
You can find this tot book here. We are really enjoying the tot books as they help Treyton experience his creative side as well as giving him activities to learn shapes, numbers, letters, etc. (Seriously, if you haven't already, I highly recommend looking into the tot books)

(This is Treyton doing some of the activities in the tot-book, side note: that is not a glass a wine in the background, it is actually a glass of Kombucha :~)

Finger Print "F"
I took a picture of an Ff and had Treyton stamp his fingerprints all over it. I tried to have him stamp randomly, but my perfectionist son just could not, he had to do it in the shape of an Ff :)

Books we used this week