Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Preschool- Transportation Week 3

Welcome to our third week of our transportation unit!  This last week was done a bit more here and there, as we were preparing for a trip and dealing with a cold for Little Guy.  You can see the activities we did in week 1 and week 2Little Guy is 39 months old.
Reading has been a fun part of this unit.  We gathered many non-fiction books from the library to help us learn about the different types of transportation.  We also read many fiction books.  Here are some of our favorites!

Everything Goes: In the Air by Brian Biggs (This cartoon style book showed what you do at the airport, from parking to going through security to getting on the plane.  It also shows different types of airplanes, all in an entertaining way.  Little Guy went to this book over and over...and over!)
First Flight by David McPhail (A sweet story of a little boy's first airplane flight on his own.  We own this one and it is a favorite.)
Angela's Airplane by Robert Munsch  (A funny story of how a 5 year old accidentally flies plane!  Entertaining for Little Guy and for me.)
Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle (A great story of how good things can happen when we work together.)
Trains, Planes, and Airport by Byron Barton (Airport is another great book that shows what happens at the airport.  I love the simple illustrations and text.)
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper (What transportation unit would be complete without this classic book?)
Freight Train by Donald Crews (Simple illustrations show the different types of cars on a freight train.)

This week we spent some time using the Count and Clip cards from Homeschool Creations.
We also got out some playdough and some cookies cutters in the shapes of a train, plane, and racecar.  We had not played with playdough for a while, so it was fun to get it out again.
We also worked on our alphabet train puzzle again.  This time, Little Guy wore a train conductor hat while he worked on the puzzle.  Makes it much more authentic, don't you think!
This last activity was my favorite!  We made a book about the experiences he had at the airshow and Touch a Truck event.  It took us two days to complete, but was well worth it.  I printed out pictures from the airshow that we attended, as well as the Touch a Truck event.  I made a label with a sentence for each picture.  I tried to use the same pattern, which mostly was "Little Guy saw a ...".  We started with the pictures from the Touch a Truck.   Little Guy chose a picture and we would slide it into a little photo album.  Then I would get the corresponding label and put it on an index card.  Then, using alphabet stickers, Little Guy would put the name of the vehicle on the top of the index card.  The book turned out great!  Little Guy could "read" many of the pages.  He really took ownership over the book.

Finally, we had to make some traffic light crackers to finish out the week!
This was a fun unit for both Little Guy and I!  What have you been up to in preschool?

Need more ideas?  Check out my letter T and letter A Pinterest boards!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Preschool- Transportation Week 2

This transportation unit has been really fun! This is our second week of our three week unit. Some activities are repeated from last week, and some are new. Little Guy is 39 months old.

One part of our preschool time has been reading. I will share some of the books next week. One thing we did (and plan to do every unit) was visit the library and check out several non-fiction books. These are books we go to and really enjoy! It has been great to expose him to different genres of books.

Puzzles were, of course, part of our work time. This week we had a number train puzzle that he could complete, again left over from my days as a classroom teacher. Little Guy enjoyed completing this number train puzzle from Melissa and Doug.

We also used the small wooden puzzles again. He spent time working on this set of Melissa and Doug transportation puzzles.
We practiced counting with Count and Clip cards from Homeschool Creations
There are lots of free pattern block available on the web.  I found some at Prekinders and at NW Florida Money Saving Mom.  This week, he chose to work on an airplane.
This next activity was really fun. I traced an airplane on big paper. Then Little Guy took alphabet stickers and put them on the airplane. As he stuck them on the airplane, he had to name the letter. We have lots of different types of alphabet stickers, so it was also fun for Little Guy to choose what type of stickers he wanted to use.  He chose foam letters the first day.

The second day, Little Guy chose to use his letter stamps to put letters on the airplane.  Although he did not use all the letters, it was still a good review of letters.
The next part was great, and was initiated by Little Guy. He saw that the stamps were pretty dirty, and he wanted to wash them.  He carried them all into the sink and began to wash them.  He was really proud of himself for washing the stamps and getting them clean.  We laid them outside to dry and later Liitle Guy worked to put them back into their case.

This week we got out our button snake.  We first used this about a year ago (you can see that post here).  This idea was originally from Happy Hooligans.  Buttoning is still a skill he has not mastered, but is definitely getting easier for him.
We used the shape trucks idea again from The Measured Mom
This was a fun graphing, counting, and fine motor game. I had a spinner that had four colors on it, and got out the corresponding colors of small blocks.  We took turns spinning the spinner, then used the tweezers to pick up the blocks and dropped them into some mini ice cube trays.  We made a graph, putting all the blue blocks in a row, the red blocks in a row, etc.  When one color reached the top (six cubes high), we stopped spinning and counted how many blocks there were of each color. We also talked about which color had the most blocks and which color had the least.  After playing this together a few times,  Little Guy played by himself, by spinning and then putting that color cube anywhere into the tray. Once he had filled his tray, we counted how many blocks there were of each color and again talked about most and least.  This was one of Little Guy's favorite activities of the week.

Another new activity was a texture grab bag.  We had some sand paper and two different sizes of mesh screens.  I put them in a bag and Little Guy reached in and grabbed one, without looking. Then he reached in a second time and tried to grab the same texture.  This was good sensory practice for him.
A fun activity that we worked on (and I don't have pictures of) was making clothespin airplanes.  Using a clothespin and two tongue depressors, we put together a little airplane.  (You can see one in the picture below.) During the week, we played with these numerous times.  Here, Little Guy is playing with it on the runway we drew on the driveway.
We made a yummy snack this week.  I saw this idea on Playful Learners, although I did not make the crackers. We used graham crackers, peanut butter, and M&M's to make traffic lights. Little Guy worked hard to spread the peanut butter on his graham crackers. It was a really fun snack, and quite tasty, too!

Join us next week for our last week of the unit!

Friday, October 3, 2014


We live not too far from an Air Force Base, so a few weekends ago, we went to an airshow!  Now, Daddy and I both grew up with fathers in the Air Force, so we are no strangers to airshows.  However, this is the first one that we've gone to since we've been married, so it was also Little Guy's first! Knowing the airshow was coming up was one of the reasons I planned our preschool transportation unit when I did. 

If you've read this blog for a while, you may recall that a little over a year ago, Little Guy was in love with airplanes.  I wrote about it here and here, and his second birthday had an airplane theme!  After that, and three trips on airplanes, the interest started to dwindle.  Well, not anymore!  Airplane play is back in full swing at our house!

Little Guy had a really fun time at the airshow! We enjoyed watching many of the aerial demonstrations, but we also had a good time looking at the planes and other things that were on the ground.  Check out these pictures of what he did!

One of the first things he did was get to try on the mask and helmet that pilots use in jet planes! 
One of the cool things about the airshow was not only seeing the planes up close, but also talking to the pilots.  Here, Daddy and Little Guy were talking to this A-10 pilot.

Another plane we saw (and toured) was a KC-135.  This is the type of plane that can refuel other planes while in the air!  Or, as Little Guy likes to put it, its a big gas station in the sky.  He was talking to the pilot.
Not only were there airplanes there, but there were also hummers and helicopters.  Little Guy had a fun time trying these out!

One of the highlights of the day was watching the Thunderbirds.  This amazing group of F-16's did some spectacular tricks.  We had a great time watching them fly.
After they flew, the Thunderbird pilots were signing autographs.
At the end of the day, Little Guy was able to choose one toy airplane as a souvenir.  He chose a Thunderbird.  What a fun finish to our day!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Preschool- Transportation Week 1

Our next preschool theme is transportation!  Little Guy loves trains, planes, school buses, and trucks, so this goes well with his interests.  During the unit, we are going to an airshow and will be flying to visit family at the end, so the timing of this theme was perfect.  This theme will last three weeks.  Little Guy is 39 months old.

What transportation unit would be complete without some trains?  We had been playing with his trains lately, so I added some letters from our Bananagrams game, scattering them around the table.  As Little Guy pushed his train on the track, he would stop to pick up letters, name them, then put them in his box car.  He LOVED this!  I think the first day I scattered the letters two additional times, and we also did it the second day during the week.  This fun idea came from There's Just One Mommy.
To work on some gross motor skills, I made this stoplight out of some craft foam.  Little Guy threw the bean bags, trying to get one to land on each color.  This was a little tricky, but a fun way to practice some throwing.  This activity came from I Can Teach My Child.
For our name practice, I wrote Little Guy's name on a large sheet of paper and turned it into a road.  The then had to drive his cars on the "road," identifying what letter he was driving on.  We also made some road signs using clothespins and foam, from this idea at And Next Comes L.  Little Guy had a fun time driving different cars around on his name, as well as taking turns with mommy.
We also took some time to use pattern blocks.  There are lots of free pattern block available on the web.  I found some at Prekinders and at NW Florida Money Saving Mom.  With as much as Little Guy enjoys doing puzzles, I would think that he would also like to use pattern blocks, but that is not the case.  Pattern blocks are something he chooses last, if not at all.  Daddy happened to be home with us this morning, so Daddy and Little Guy completed the train together.
Speaking of puzzles, we had several puzzles to work on this week!  From my days as a teacher, I had a Melissa and Doug alphabet train floor puzzle (similar to this one).  We had a lot of fun putting it together.  We sorted the train cars by color, making it easier to find each letter, as the car colors made a pattern.  We sang the alphabet song several times to complete the puzzle, using pointers once the train was complete to point to each letter. 
The alphabet train was not the only puzzle we completed.  We have this set of Melissa and Doug transportation puzzles.  These puzzles are 12 pieces.  Little Guy can work these on his own.  Out of the four puzzles in the box, Little Guy completed two (I did not let him do the other two; I wanted to save some for next week!).
To practice counting, he did some Count and Clip cards from Homeschool Creations.  The cards are available up to the number 10, but I only printed the cards to the number 8.  This was great numeral recognition practice for Little Guy, as well as some fine motor skills in working the clothespins and putting them in the correct space.
Another math concept we worked on was shapes.  I cut out a variety of foam shapes, and Little Guy needed to use those shapes to build trucks.  I found this idea on The Measured Mom.  He was pretty reticent to do this, and kept wanting me to help him build his trucks.  I would sit down and build a truck, telling him what all the pieces were for, then encourage him to build a truck.
In addition to counting and shapes, we also worked on sorting.  I gave a Little Guy a variety of rocks, and he had to sort them into this veggie dish.  He did a great job and was able to tell me the rule for each section.
For snack, we practiced more banana cutting.  I love to see how his skill and confidence continues to grow!
This was just the beginning!  Join us over the next two weeks to see what else we are working on!

Want more ideas?  Check out my letter T and letter A Pinterest boards!