We started our morning by listening to the stories, Leaf Man and Look What I DId with a Leaf.
After we did this we went on a leaf hunt!
As we collected the leaves we looked at their different properties. We looked at their shapes, colours and types of lines. We saw that some of the leaves had jagged edges and some were curvy. After we had collected our leaves we sorted them. I arranged them in piles and asked the kids how they thought I had sorted them (by colour, size or shape.) After we did this we made patterns with the leaves. I talked to them about a pattern core again, which is the smallest part of the pattern that repeats again and again.
After we played with leaves we started making our leaf creatures. The kids had so much fun making different animals. As they played they noticed the different parts of the leaves. They asked why the leaves had bumps on them. I explained the veins of the leaves carried water and nutrients throught the plant. We then watched a science video about leaves on SciShow kids. It had a great experiment to show how the veins carry water through the plant using celery.
Today we decided to play with shapes. We started the day playing with shape puzzles. Melissa and Doug make a great one. You can also find templates of different shapes on pinterest and printouts to cut out your own shapes. I made a basic anchor chart to go over the pattern block shapes. We looked at the shapes and counted how many sides each one had. We talked about how polygons are multi-sided closed shapes. These shapes were made up of straight sides only. We listened to a song about polygons on youtube.
Next, we made crowns out of the shapes. I know it is tedious, but I spent an hour cutting out all of the pattern block shapes using templates from pinterest. I figured we would use these shapes in our crafts throughout the summer as an alternative to stickers. This way we could review the shape names every time we used them.
Next we used coloured glue to make patterns on our crowns. Squeezing the glue bottle to make little dots is wonderful to build a child's pincer grip. It also slows them down as they focus. We talked about how a pattern is something that repeats and the smallest part of the pattern is like a stamp that can repeat over and over again. This is called the pattern core.
For beginning writers, you can trace their names in yellow and have them practise writing in over top. Next for the preschoolers we reviewed the shape names as we put them on the crowns. For the older kids I challenged them to make a pattern with the shapes. I also tested them on the shape names. This was a great activity for children 2-7.
As a fun extension to this activity, we made watermelon shapes. I think this was the most popular shape activity of the day!
This week my kids found many caterpillars in our backyard so we started talking about the life cycle of a butterfly. We read non-fiction stories on this topic and listened to songs about metamorphosis. We listened to songs on butterfly migration as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_1xC_nTDCY
We also did a butterfly yoga video on Cosmic Kids Yoga.
Today we decided to do a butterfly craft. For this craft you first fold a paper in half. Depending on the age you can draw the outline of the butterfly in various degrees of complexity. The next thing you do is use coloured glue to trace over the pencil lines. Crayola makes this glue but you can also put half paint in your glue bottle to get the desired colour.
When you are finished covering the outine with glue, fold the paper over onto itself and pat gently. When you open the picture you can talk to your child about the line of symmetry and the meaning of symmetry (a mirror reflection). This exercise is also wonderful for younger children to build their pincer grip and fine motor with the glue bottle. It also helps them trace different lines and prepare them for tracing and writing letter. If you decide to only use the primary colours in your butterfly you can teach your child these colours and any secondary colours that are made when two primary colours mix together.
Overall, we were very excited with the way this project turned out!
Here I will share 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.