Monday, July 7, 2014

Mad Science Monday: FROZEN Slime!

   I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!  The weather was perfect and it was a pretty quiet and relaxing 4th of July for us this year.
   I know some of you are in the same boat as me when I say that my little munchkin is stilll very much obsessed with everything FROZEN. So, I have been thinking- why not have some learning fun with a FROZEN theme?? There are TONS of ideas all over Pinterest lately and I am eager to try a few and have some FROZEN fun!
    Today, we squeezed in some Mad Science Monday fun.... and we made FROZEN slime!
    There are many different ways to make slime, but the one I chose was very simple and required only 2 ingredients and it was a recipe from Growing a Jeweled Rose:
1) Liquid Starch (I found it in the laundry detergent section at Walmart)
2) Colored Glitter Glue (It can be found at Walmart, Michaels or any craft store.)
The munchkin poured the glue into a bowl and I slowly added in the liquid starch, one cup at a time. 
    We mixed it together and kneaded it for a few minutes until it reached a soft, slimy, yet not too sticky consistency. If it is too sticky, add a little more liquid starch, but not too much or it can take on a consistency of playdoh. (We made 2 batches- one purple and one blue and added her Elsa, Anna and Olaf toys.)
The slime was so fun to stretch and twirl!!
She engaged in slime play for over an hour. Elsa, Anna and Olaf each got slimed!
And Elsa got a brand new blue glittery (very see through) dress!!
And then she put them to bed!
This was so much fun! I even enjoyed playing with it myself... great sensory play for any age!
I know this is just the beginning to all the fun we are going to have with a FROZEN theme!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Teeing Up and Hammering Away Beginning Sounds!

    The past few days, the little munchkin has been working hard at reviewing beginning sounds. I want to make sure she has a good grasp on beginning sounds before we move on to identifying middle and ending sounds. Kindergarten will be here before we know it!
   She had some fun with a little wooden hammer and golf tees we borrowed from daddy's golf bag. (When I first put out the hammer and golf tees for her awhile back, she really liked it.) So this hammering activity, "Tee It Up For Sounds" by Make Take Teach was lots of fun, with some learning included!
    Another beginning sound activity she did was with our ABC Cookies. We have used this on many different occassions to learn different skills: Letter Identification, ABC order, Spelling and now Letter Sounds. The great thing is that it includes learning cards inside.  (One lucky Facebook Fan will have a chamce to win today!)  So, if you are not a fan on my Facebook Page yet, you should be if you want a chance to win this!

    With these games and other spontaneous activities that we have done with beginning sounds, I am confident that my future kindergartener has a very good grasp on letters and their sounds! 
Now onto some more challenging, learning fun! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Vet Doc Is In!

   The past few days have been full of imaginative play! I rearranged a few things in the playroom to set up a Vet Clinic! What better way to learn more about pets and how to care for them than with pretend play props.
   My mom gave me a gift card to Lakeshore Learning for Mother's Day, because she is awesome and knows how much I love to teach and engage little ones in learning.  And of course, I used it on my munchkin to buy her a Vet Dramatic Play Set (It will eventually end up in my classroom, no doubt.)  I gathered a few of her stuffed animals toys and her Doc Mcstuffins Doctor kit to add to the area.
   I created a few signs, such as the welcome sign, the waiting room sign and the Doctor on Duty sign. I also used a vet play printable resource from PreK Pages that included the Pet Patient forms.
     I switched out our learning bins and replaced them with random baskets, to be used as crates to store the animals that are under observation, as well as little shapes with the pet name on it.
    I took my dog, Brownie, in for a checkup, and Dr. Naomi gave him a thorough check-up, wrote down his information,  took his temperature, told me he had an ear infection and then gave him some medicine for his ears.
Dr. Naomi was busy all week long, taking x-rays, giving medicine and even bandaged up an injured pet.
    There was so much learning going on. She had hands-on learning about how to care for animals, even when they are sick or injured. She learned a few new vocabulary words relating to body parts of different animals, practiced writing letters and words on paper, and showed empathy when caring for the animals. She was a kind, gentle and loving vet!
Here is what was included in the Vet Dramatic Play Set:
Lakeshore Learning Materials can be a bit expensive, but they are awesome!
 (And the stethoscope is an actual, working stethoscope)
    This has been a very fun, engaging and educational little unit. For a culminating type of activity, we took our two dogs for their check up yesterday and she was able to see firsthand how the vets checked and handled animals. Our dogs got a thorough check up and a few shots... and she was intrigued by it all. I might have a future Veterinarian on my hands!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

And the Winner of my Summer Giveaway is....

    Thank you to everyone who participated in my Summer Giveaway! The winner is :
Jennifer Ann Hayden!  
( I will be contacting you today)
   I love having giveaways!
Be on the lookout for another one very soon! 

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer Giveaway!

    Tomorrow marks the First Day of Summer! 
    To kick off the summer, I am hosting a Summer Giveaway!
The kids will be out of school and they will need lots of fun things to keep them busy!
    Enter to win--not one, but TWO fun items!!
    #1 :   Win a $20 Gift Card to Coldstone Creamery (Who doesn't love ice cream on a hot summer day?)
    #2:    Win a Melissa & Doug Bubble Bucket (You chose which one you want!)



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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Math IS fun..."No bones about it!"

    Our fun Pet unit is completely underway and the munchkin is having lots of fun learning and playing! I love it when, after breakfast, she asks, "Are we gonna do work today?"  She is such an eager little sponge who loves to learn and play, I tell you.
    To prep for this Pet unit, I grabbed a few pet related items at the Dollar Tree, such as dog treats, dog bowls, dog & cat toy and collars, etc. You know, things that the average pet owner has in their possession. And then I gathered a few of her thousands of stuffed animals to use in play activities.
    One of the activities that I had in her Math bin, focused on addition. She had two bowls, some dog treats and two of her stuffed animal dogs She rolled a foam die, counted the dots and gave each dog that amount of treats. When both dogs had their treats, she added them up and chose the correct number card.
    Another counting activity we did this week with the dog treats & bowls focused on counting and determining the larger amount.
She rolled the foam die to see how much to give each dog. She repeated it about 3 times.
Then she took out the bones in each bowl and counted how many each dog had received.
    After counting each bowl of bones, I wrote down the number of bones each dog had and she determined which doggie was the winner and had the most bones!
And for some more doggie & bone math fun, we played Shelby's Snack Shack Game by Educational Insights!
We LOVE this game!
    It is a great game for fine motor practice (as you have to grasp and pinch the Shelby clip to pick up the bones); as well as for counting and number identification practice.
    All these games are ones that she has repeatedly asked to play all this week, and has asked big brother and daddy to join in on the fun too!
    And just a heads up to all my avid readers and followers, I am prepping up for my First Day of Summer Giveaway, so stay tuned and be sure to check back tomorrow for details!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fun with Math and Pete the Cat!

    Have you fallen into the Pete the Cat craze? We have been talking and learning about different types of pets, and alot of our learning and playing has been centered around Cats this week. And lo and behold, our favorite cat character made a comeback!
    We had a big Pete the Cat thing going last school year... and here we are again, knee deep in all things Pete. There are now quite a few My First I Can Read! books centered around the adventures of Pete the Cat. With the munchkin eager to read, we picked up a few and the whole obsession started again!
    Alongside having fun with the new books and reading and dancing to the songs in the older books, we also had some hands-on math fun, with Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons.
   I felt somewhat crafty and made our Pete the Cat a litte yellow shirt from felt material. I am hopeless when it comes to sewing and ideally I would have sewn an actual shirt together BUT with the material that Pete is made of, there was no problem with the felt shirt sticking right to him! A simple velcro strip and velcro on the backs of buttons and we had a shirt for Pete... even if it was one sided!
    Anyhow, the little munchkin reinacted the story first, removing buttons as we read the story.
    Then I threw in some addition and subtraction work with the buttons, by placing a random number of buttons on his shirt and gave her a simple addition or subtraction problem and she removed or added buttons to find the answer.

And then she decided that Pete needed more shirts- so she made him some more:
THREE  more!  (That lucky Pete the Cat!)
Are you and./or your munchkins fans of Pete the Cat? 
If not, "It's ALL Good!"