Friday, October 17, 2014

P is for Pumpkin Week

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P is for Pumpkin Week is our second week in October.  The next two weeks will be B is for Bat and O is for Owl then HALLOWEEN!  Fun dress up and even more fun books are coming!

But first we needed a field trip to the pumpkin patch!  I brought the library book basket with us for on the way and we got to read our pumpkin theme books.

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Luke LOVED the pumpkin patch!  There were three tractors to play on and a whole field of pumpkins to choose from.

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I told him he could pick one as big as he could carry… he took me literally and picked the biggest one he could pick up!

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He was SO proud of his pumpkin!

On his Montessori tray this week were a few pumpkin activities.  The first was Pumpkin Pie Spice play-dough. I ran out of pumpkin pie spice making it so I added extra cinnamon.  It smelled pretty good!

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Next day was a pumpkin life cycle card set from Montessori for Everyone (love that site!)

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And the last day of P is for Pumpkin week had a pumpkin printing project.  Luke LOVES this kind of project!  I put this project on thick watercolor paper so that we could make them into Halloween post cards for his little letters he likes to write.  Smile

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In his sensory table this week was ‘pumpkin pie’.  Simple oats with whole cloves and cinnamon sticks and measuring utensils.  I added the cute stuffed pumpkin to add charm.  This table made the whole school room smell amazing! 

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In other grades around our house: Logan (second grade) was having a science lesson with a pumpkin this week too!  He got to do a pumpkin dissection investigation!  I cut the pumpkin in half and he drew the inside and outside and then estimated how many seeds would be in the pumpkin.  After this, he cleaned the pumpkin out and counted the seeds…. for 45 minutes!  By the time he was done he had a pile of over 300 seeds from this one tiny pumpkin!

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Luke and I decided to take advantage of those seeds and while the other kids were finishing their other work, we made them a snack!  It was SO yummy!

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Monday, October 13, 2014

F is for Farm Week

This week was F is for Farm week!

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It’s pretty easy to find farm activities on our little Urban Homestead… we already collect eggs, build out buildings, harvest from the garden, and care for all sorts of critters.  I needed an easy week, so this fit the bill!

Field trip this week was to Shultz Farm.  Lots of fun chickens and tractors to look at.

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This very friendly donkey wanted to smell my camera pretty badly…  tried shoving his nose through the fence to say HI! 

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The song was, of course, Old McDonald!  He loves that song, although Old McDonald never has anything but PIGS!  Oink oink!

His Montessori shelf held puzzles this time.

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These puzzles are from our collection but they always seem new when put on his Montessori tray shelf.

The library basket reflected our farm theme with a couple fun books along with a few books on farm tractors which went to bed with him:

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Our sensory table followed suit.

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The bin had been refilled with farina (whole wheat cereal) and made into a little farm field and a John Deer tractor, ready to harvest some little orange pumpkins!  I even got some of the doll house stuff and made a sweet little garden plot to add to the real farm feel.

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A note on sensory tables.  Our sensory table is nothing but a under-the-bed storage container filled that is placed on top of a thrifted piano bench.  Beneath this piano bench, there is a bin (I found at a garage sale) that holds a small broom and dust pan.  It is perfect for picking up minor spills from the sensory bin before the dogs eat whatever has hit the floor. 

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I like to keep the bin covered and cleaned up as possible because Vader (4.5 mos old GSD) will eat anything that lands in his domain (the floor).

And speaking of eating!  I found some Annie's Organic Mac & Cheese that had farm shapes! 

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He LOVED that!

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Join us next week, where farm week turns into pumpkin week!

Friday, October 10, 2014

S is for Spider Week

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On the first day of “S is for Spider” week, Luke came out of his room dressed like this.  He said “I’m King Luke, of the Spiders!” and all day long, King Luke (of the spiders) did fun spider things with us for school.

In his sensory bin, the apple leaves had been replaced with fall leaves, and the glass gem ‘apples’ had been swapped for a small piece of bark where under it lived 6 plastic spiders.  A small, hand held magnifying glass and a few fresh hazelnuts (from our tree) completed the bin.

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The magnifying glass was a great addition and he spent quite a bit of time looking at all of the things under the scope while he moved things about.

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King Luke (of the spiders) was very happy with this table.  He was at it every day during spider week.  It was a huge hit!

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Our field trip was simple this week.  We took a nice long walk to hunt for spiders and webs!  We had to be camouflaged of course, so we got out spider rings and headed out.

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The song this week, is of course, the Itsy Bitsy Spider!

The Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the water spout.

Down came the rain and washed the spider out!

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,

and the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.

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We found this sweet ‘itsy bitsy spider’ to sing the song to.  Smile

On his Montessori tray, I had made a few water color sheets into post cards and made a glue-relief spider web on one corner and then let Luke (and Logan) paint them with fall colors.

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I think they turned out just beautiful!

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The library basket reflected our theme this week as well:

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It included a couple of fun videos to watch with Logan (2nd grade) too.

To finish off the theme, we made individual pizzas with ‘spider’ olives! 

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It was super simple, just cut one olive into the 8 legs and then another half an olive makes the body.  Add a few to the top of a pita with some sauce and cheese and you have a spider pizza lunch!

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Thursday, October 09, 2014

A is for Apple Week!

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It’s preschool time again!  Another kiddo is ready for some fun school lessons.  For Luke’s first preschool year we are focusing on fun themes and hands-on activities each week. 

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Luke is only 3, so this a maximum of 1 hour per day of things ‘educational’ and even then, they are multi-sensory experiences.  I set up a field trip, a sensory table, a magnet board, and a few Montessori trays for each theme along with maybe one or two traditional learning mediums and often there is a song or a recipe.

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The song for A is for Apple Week is sung to the tune of BINGO:

There is a fruit that grows on trees,

and APPLE is it’s name-o,

a-p-p-l-e, a-p-p-l-e, a-p-p-l-e and APPLE is it’s name-o.

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Our field trip was to a friends apple field to pick some apples!

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This simple Montessori tray was two green trees made out of cardstock with a dish of pom-pom ‘apples’ to add to the trees as we counted the numbers 1 –12.

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The library basket also reflects the theme.

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Recipe was a simple Apple Crisp found here:  Apple Crisp

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Sensory bin was filled with beans along with sticks, apple leaves off my trees, and little glass gem ‘apples’.

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This is the format for “Luke Preschool, age 3” and so far he is LOVING it.  He loves being involved in our school days and enjoys all of the things I have set up for him each school week.  Our themes will follow the seasons but I am trying to be diverse in the letters I use.  He is not ready for real alphabet learning yet, so just touching on the ABCs and singing the ABC song often during our morning school time is all that is included.  The fall list (Sept/Oct) goes as follows:

A is for Apples

S is for Spiders

F is for Farm

P is for Pumpkin

B is for Bat

O is for Owl

Hope you will join us in our fun!!