This week we decided to pull out the flower press. If you don't have a flower press you can use a thick book to do the same thing. Simply put the flowers between the pages and put the book back on your bookshelf. Just ensure that the book is wedged tightly on the shelf.
We then used the flowers to make our Father's Day card. This was a great activity to work on fine motor and visual spacial skills. To help each child with their writing I used various strategies. For Gavin who is 5 I traced the words out in yellow marker and he traced over the letters. Merryn who is 6 was given a word list to assist her.
For our next project we used the end of a head of romaine lettuce. We used this as a stamp. We mixed yellow and blue paints together and talked about primary and secondary colours. As we folded our pages in half we also talked about fractions and the line of symmetry on the page.
The cards turned out so well and it it kept the kids entertained for over half an hour.
This week Merryn and I made tiny terrarium or fairy gardens. In some of them we put little fairy figurines. Gavin decided to put a Ninja Turtle in his. This was a really easy project. First we put tiny stones at the bottom, followed by earth and larger stones on top. Then we added succulent plants. Many terrariums tell you to put activated charcoal to the soil. We experimented and used some on half of the terrariums we made. I think it will be fine without it but we shall see! All of the materials aside from the plant we got at dollarama. We also used old vases that we had at home.
Every time Merryn put in a big stone she said she had to make a wish on it. As a writing activity you could have your child write out some of their wishes. Another option would be to write the instructions so they could make the terrariums independently. Merryn opted to write a note to the fairy that was going to move into its new home. She loved this exercise so much she insisted we make a video of it to share with the class. Stay tuned!
This week my kids wanted to use the beads. I asked them if they could make a bracelet with a pattern. I made them a little simple pattern chart and asked if they could make any of the patterns. Before we got started my girls started organizing their beads in the muffin containers. We talked about how you can sort your beads by attribute such as colour, size and shape. We examined what attributes in the patterns changed after they had made their creations. We also looked at the smallest part of the pattern and I reminded them that this was called the pattern core. The pattern core is like a little stamp. If you were to stamp this part of the pattern over and over again to make it repeat you would have your pattern.
Spending so much time outdoors now as the weather is getting warmer, my kids and I thought we would me a game board for our back yard. We had an old tree stump and first drew straight lines with a ruler on the top to make the board game background. When we did this we talked about parallel lines and measured how long each line was in centimeters. Then we went on a scavenger hunt around the neighbourhood to look for flat stones. Next came the sensory fun as we got to paint the stones. We painted them yellow on one side and the next day painted them green on the other. After they were dry we used acrilic markers to draw xs and os on either side. Finally we coated the rocks with a watered down glue. This project took a few days but really only 15 minutes each time. So it really kept thier attention.
When it was done the girls played Tic-Tac-Toe. This was a great project for collaboration and in playing the game a lesson in strategy and taking turns.
This morning while we were playing with the hose something neat happened. The sun was shining behind us, went through the water and made a rainbow. This made us wonder how rainbows were made. After we were finished playing outside we looked up kid friendly videos to answer our question. We found a great site at Sci Show Kids on youtube:
We learned that all the colours of the rainbow are already in the sunlight but mixed together. When the sunlight moves through the water it bends and the colours separate making a rainbow. This action is called refraction. We learned that you can also make a rainbow by putting water in a glass and putting it in the sunlight.
After we were finished with our science experiments we decided to draw rainbows!
I showed my kids that there are different types of lines you can experiment with...although Merryn opted to go with the standard curvy line for her rainbow. When Merryn was done she wrote about what she learned. This was such a fun lesson for everyone. We also sang a couple of rainbow songs together!
Here are our favourites:
Following a child's interest is the most engaging way to extend on their learning. Here I have posted some every day activities that can draw from various strands across different age groups. Remember each child has different interests so the key to working with your child is to follow their lead and ask the right questions.