Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tot School: Learning Our Colors- Black, White, and Brown

This is our fourth week of our Learning Our Colors series.  This week we are learning about black, white, and brown. We have previously learned about red and orange, blue and purple, and yellow and green.  We have one more week left, a wrap up and rainbow week!

 We started the week by going on a hunt for things that are black, white, or both.  Little Guy can already do a pretty good job of identifying these two colors, so it was pretty easy for him to identify these things.
Our black and white collection.
We continued reading this week.  We finished the pop-up book series by David A. Carter by reading 600 Black Spots and  White Noise.  Little Guy has really loved these pop-up books, and asks to look at them over and over.

Remember the sunflower seeds we planted?  (I wrote about them here and here.)  Once the flowers started to wilt, we cut off the heads and let them dry for a few days so we could harvest the seeds.  We don't think we let them ripen long enough, so while we won't be eating the seeds, they are perfect for play!  I set up a sensory bin for Little Guy with the sunflower seeds.
Our home grown sensory bin!
Digging right in.
We also used the seeds for gluing.  Little Guy put dots of glue onto the paper, then put a sunflower seed onto the glue. 
Squeezing the glue.
Working to move the seeds from hand to hand.
We also got out the cloud dough.  This is always fun to play with.
It is very fun to squish!
Our book page for black and white was a zebra.

Some other things we did to learn about black and white:
  • We drank white milk.
  • We wrote Little Guy's name on a paper, traced it with glue, and he glued sunflower seeds on it.
  • We wore white shirts.
After learning about black and white, we switched to the color brown.  We started learning about brown by going on a brown object hunt.
Our brown collection.
We read books with the color brown in them.  We read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle.  We also read Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin.

One morning we decided to bake.  We made some brown cookies (aka peanut butter cookies).  Little Guy helped to add the ingredients and rolled the balls of dough in sugar before they were baked.
Rolling the dough balls.
Don't our brown cookies look yummy?
One afternoon after nap, we took a walk to find some pinecones. 
Here's a bunch.
This pine cone looks good.

Our book page for brown was a bear.  Little Guy helped glue the bear onto the paper, then smear the glue around the bear's tummy.  He added little pom-poms and googley eyes.
This pom-pom goes here.
Our brown bear.
We are excited for our rainbow week next week!  Stay tuned!

We linked up to No Time for Flash Cards Link and Learn!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tot School: Learning Our Colors- Yellow and Green

This is our third week of our Learning Our Colors series.  This week we are learning about yellow and green. We have previously learned about blue and purple as well as red and orange, and still to come is brown, white, and black, with a wrap up week at the end.  Some of our ideas come from Play Create Explore and some are from Simple. Home. Blessings.

To start the week, we went on a hunt for yellow objects.  We were able to find a lot of yellow things around our house!   Little Guy was particularly excited when he realized his bouncer and Bucky (his two ride-on toys) were both yellow!  He has also really enjoyed his Weeble school bus lately, and this was yellow too!

Our yellow collection.
We read books about yellow.  Continuing with the pop-up series, we read Yellow Square by David A. Carter.  This one is much easier than Blue 2! We also read Emily's Balloon by Komako Sakai.  A fun book was 10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle.

The book 10 Little Rubber Ducks inspired our next activity, a water sensory bin!  I added a packet of yellow Kool-Aid to the water, along with 3 drops of yellow food coloring, to make the water look yellow and smell like lemonade!  We added some rubber ducks and some other yellow toys, and Little Guy had a blast!
Little Guy wanted to get in as far as he could!
Pouring the water was fun.
The ducks have boats!
Another sensory bin we had was popcorn kernals.  I put them into a cake pan, which meant they made a little more noise.

Scooping the popcorn.
Our book page for yellow was a giraffe.  Little Guy cut out the legs and the spots, then glued the spots on.  (Thanks to Daddy for drawing our very cute giraffe!)

Our yellow giraffe.
Some other things we did with the color yellow are:
  • We played with yellow playdough.
  • We looked for yellow alphabet stickers on a sticker sheet, like we did for purple.
  • We ate yellow food, including bananas, corn, and butternut squash.
After learning about yellow, we switched to the color green.  We started learning about green by going on a green thing hunt.

Our green collection.
We read some fun books about green.  Little Guy's favorite book was Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox.  We also read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess.

A fun sensory activity we did was play with green rice.  This was rice that I had dyed for a Christmas sensory bin, so there are also little red pasta stars mixed in.

Sweeping the rice off the side.

Hiding the car.

An activity that Little Guy enjoyed much more than I expected was drawing and writing with green markers and crayons.  I gave him a sheet with the outline of an apple, and he went to town!  He also was "writing" letters (which were little squiggles that he was calling my letter names) for the first time. 

Look at my drawing!

Another fine motor activity we did involved beads and green Model Magic.  First, I got out the bag of beads and Little Guy had to separate out the green beads.  After he had a collection of green beads, I gave him the Model Magic to squish for a few minutes.  Then I showed him how to push a bead into the Model Magic.  After several beads were in, then he had to work to pull the beads back out.  The Model Magic worked really well for this as it did not leave any dough on the beads.

Looking for green beads.
Working hard to put the beads in and take them out.

Our book page for green is a turtle.  Little Guy did not help prep any of it, but he enjoyed smearing the glue around, adding the craft foam green squares, and (of course) the googley eyes!
I love my turtle!
Our green turtle.
Some other things we did with the color green are:
  • We looked for green alphabet stickers on a sticker sheet, like we did for purple and yellow.
  • We ate green food, including broccoli.
  • We drank from green cups. 
We linked up to No Time for Flash Cards Link and Learn!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tot School: Learning Our Colors- Blue and Purple

This is our second week of our Learning Our Colors series.  This week we are learning about blue and purple.  Last week we learned about red and orange, and still to come are yellow and green, and finally brown, white, and black, with a wrap up week at the end.

To begin the week, we went on a blue object hunt.

Our blue collection.

We wanted to use the sticky paper again.  This time, instead of placing it on the table, I hung it on the wall.  Little Guy quickly found out that only light, flat objects would stick.

Only the letters stick!
We read books about the color blue.  One of Little Guy's favorite books is Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle.  As a follow up to One Red Dot from last week, we looked at Blue 2, another pop-up book by David A. Carter.  This book was a little more difficult to find all the hidden 2's, and I'm not sure we ever found them all!  We also read I Love You, Blue Kangaroo by Emma Chichester Clark.

Our book page for blue was a bluebird.  To make the bird, Little Guy first had to go through the bag of feathers and pull out the blue ones.  This was a great beginning sorting activity.  Then we smeared glue onto our paper, and Little Guy got to work.

Adding some feathers.

Don't forget the head.

Our bluebird!

 Some other things we did with the color blue are:
  • We wore blue shirts during the week.
  • We played with our blue rice sensory bin.
  • We played with blue Model Magic.
  • We ate blue food, including blueberries and blueberry muffins.
Our blue week was cut short by the long weekend (meaning extra day with Daddy!) and Little Guy not feeling well on one day.  However, since we had recently had a blue day and Little Guy can pretty consistently recognize the color blue, I wasn't too upset.

Halfway through our work week, we switched to the color purple.   Some of the ideas for purple week came from Play Create Explore and some others came from Simple. Home. Blessings.

To begin working with purple, we went on a purple object hunt.

Our purple collection.

We read books about the color purple.  One was Clarence Goes Out West and Meets a Purple Horse by Jean Ekman Adams.  This is a charming book about a pig (Clarence) who becomes great friends with Smoky (the purple horse).  (I know we missed out on Harold and the Purple Crayon.  We will enjoy this book during our rainbow week at the end!)

As fine motor practice, visual discrimination, and to practice some of the alphabet, I had Little Guy look for purple stickers.  We had a large sheet of alphabet stickers in different colors.  Little Guy had to look for the purple letters.  Originally, Little Guy was trying to get them off of the sheet, but it was too big, so he would point it out and I would pull it off the sheet.  As I gave him the sticker, I would tell him the name of the letter.

I want that sticker!

It goes right there!

Hamming it up for the camera!
Last week during our red week, we made this red shaking bottle.  I filled a bottle half full with water, added a couple of tablespoons of dish soap and a couple of tablespoons of red tempera paint.  When it is shaken, it would fill with red bubbles!  Little Guy really enjoyed shaking the bottle.  To use it again, I added a couple of tablespoons of blue tempera paint.

Our red shaking bottle.
Not much is happening yet.
Whoa!   It's purple!

The purple page for our color book was a snail.

Our purple snail!

 Some other things we did with the color purple are:
  • We made purple dirt dough using grape Kool Aid, then took it in the bath to make a purple bath.
  • We ate purple food, including grapes and plums.
  • We put purple beads onto a purple pipe cleaner. 
This activity  is linked to Kids Crafts and Early Learning Link Up!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Color Practice: Throwing blocks

Little Guy is getting pretty good at recognizing different colors.  As a way to practice, I will have him identify colors of various things.  One thing that works well for this is a set of rubber blocks.  In the set, there are 2 blue, 2 red, 2 yellow, 2 green, and 2 orange.  In addition to practicing color recognition, we can use these blocks to work on some large motor skills; in this case, throwing.

I gave Little Guy the blocks and had him stand at the edge of the carpet.  (This provided a natural boundary that he did not cross and kept him from dropping the blocks into the basket.)  I set a laundry basket about 2-3 feet in front of him.  He had to identify the color of the block, then throw it into the laundry basket.  It turned out quite fun!

Thanks to No Time for Flash Cards for the inspiration for this activity!

How do you incorporate large motor skills into your other learning activities?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Homegrown Salad

Our tomatoes are starting to ripen in our garden!  I love biting into a tomato that is still warm from the sun.  It doesn't get much fresher than that!

Since we are getting more tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden, I wanted to make a simple salad that Little Guy could help with.  So we made a cucumber salad.  However, this is not just any cucumber salad, it is a star shaped cucumber salad!
Tomatoes, fresh from the garden.

Working hard to punch out stars!

Little Guy worked hard on stars (and he only ate about 1/4 of them)!

Look at the cute little stars!

Cucumbers are ready.

Stir it together.

We added a little bit of Italian dressing and some Parmesan cheese when we were ready to eat!  What a fun way to eat some vegetables!

What have you made with your homegrown produce?