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! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!"

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mad Science Monday: Which Will Freeze?

    Mad Science Monday is back! We haven't been doing too many science activities in the past few weeks, but I thought we should give experiments another round! I came across a simple kitchen science experiment from No Time for Flashcards.
    We were curious to find out if all liquids would freeze. So, we grabbed a few liquids from around the kitchen and poured a little of each liquid into squares of an ice cube tray.
    Here are the things we used:
(Distilled Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Canola Oil, Syrup, A1 Sauce, Ranch Dressing, Dish Soap, and we added Ketchup and Water at the last minute)
    The little munchkin predicted that everything will freeze, while my teen thought that the oil would take awhile to freeze, but it eventually would.
    Here is what we discovered:
   After one hour, we took it out of the freezer and found that the dish soap, vinegar and A1 Sauce were already starting to form crystals and freeze. The syrup, ketchup and ranch dressing were just a little mushy. The soy sauce, canola oil and syrup were not frozen nor showed signs of crystallization. 
    After 2 hours, we checked it again, and found that the only things that had not frozen were the soy sauce and syrup.
    And a day later, the soy sauce remained unfrozen, along with the syrup!
It was a fun simple science experiment to do with things you have in your kitchen! We were all surprised by the results!
Try it with your munchkins!! 
    All you need is an ice cube tray and different liquids to fill the tray. Ask questions about what they know about the liquids and make predictions as to what till freeze and what will not freeze! Or to go even further, have them guess which one will be the first and last to freeze! 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Freebie Friday...Pets!

   Hi! I just wanted to stop in and share this week's Freebie!  
   Earlier this week, the munchkin and I began a mini learning unit about Pets!
   Here is my little creation that she used:
Word Wall Cards:
Trace & Match:
Click on any picture to get your FREE copy!
Or click the picture below to get a copy from my TPT Store!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

We Love Our Four Legged Friends!

   Today we began our mini learning unit on Pets. And we know a whole lot about pets, as we should!
 We have 7 furry and four legged family members in our household:
Two dogs, Two cats and Three guinea pigs!
   Both of our dogs were purchased from reputable breeders and we have had them since they were 8 week old puppies. Both cats have been adopted from Rescue Shelters (in different years). And the piggies just came along one day...Basically I saw them, they needed a forever home and they gave me one look and I had to have them! It was originally supposed to be just one, but I went back for the other, who turned out to be pregnant. The light brown one (Cupcake) is the one baby I kept. Mommy piggie, Brownie, is camera shy and refused to look at the camera during our photo shoot!
   Okay, sorry I went off on a tangent... I can talk about my fur babies forever!
   It's quite the zoo in here some days. But we love it and each one owns a very special piece of our hearts! I love them all!
   Anyhow, so now we are going to devote some time to learning more about different kinds of pets and how to care for them.
   The Reading Corner has a special bin of Pet & Animal themed books--with Pete the Cat, Clifford and Pigeon being some of our favorites!
We read the book Pets by Hannah Wilson and John Butler to begin a discussion on pet needs. After we read and discussed the book, I had the munchkin brainstorm ideas on What a Pet Needs:
    (My favorite was when she said that pets need a leash to go outside for a walk- but NOT cats! She freaks out when she sees a cat outside b/c I always tell her the cats are not allowed outside)
    For this mini Pet Unit, I created word wall cards of common pet names and the little munchkin practiced her writing and matched each pet name to the picture.
I created some work on Beginning Sounds as well.
    I will be uploading these printables as soon as I finish tweaking a few things!
 Hmmm...I MAY even give them away as a Freebie this week...
    During this mini unit, I will also be using two learning packs created by two different homeschooling moms! Each pack has many printables to give children practice in a variety of skills. These printables will be on her clipboards for independent practice.
Dog Pack by Homeschool Creations:
Here is a Patterning sheet from this pack:
Cat Pack by 1+1+1=1:
Here is an Alphabet tracing and fill in the blank sheet from this pack:
(Click on either packet picture or the blog link to get your own free copy of these fun learning printables)
We have so many fun learning activities planned for this mini unit and we are just getting started!
(Do I sound too excited?)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Prepping Our Work & Play Space for Summer Learning Fun!

   The past few days, I have spent some time reorganizing the little munchkin's play & work space.
   I bought new storage shelves for some colorful learning bins, which I purchased from Lakeshore Learning. There is also a basket of Sight Word books and a clipboard with letter & number tracing sheets--both activities that she can try to do independently.
   To help keep things somewhat organized, I labeled the colored bins with a subject (in each one, there are 3 different learning activities) and I plan to switch out activities as she goes along. Then I put some of her toys on the shelves as well.
   Our other shelf area holds her learning trays, puzzles, games, toys and art stuff (this was one area I didn't change up much).
   One thing that I added was a Just Color! tray, which was an idea I found at 1+1+1=1, a homeschooling blog. (There is also lots of themed coloring pages on this blog as well.) I printed out some coloring sheets for her to color at her leisure, along with drawing paper, markers and her ultimate crayon set.
   And then of course, there is her Reading Corner... where our kitty, Brooklyn, likes to snooze!
My little munchkin is geared up and ready to have some (indoor) fun playing and learning this summer!
       Are you planning on some summer learning fun for your kiddos? 
What are some fun ideas that you have planned?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Officially in Summer Planning Mode!

   The little munchkin is officially a preschool graduate!
   Check out these fun Graduate Snacks I made for her class:
   She has been on summer break for less than a week and when I asked her what she wanted to do the other day, she said "I want to do work." I guess no summer slide for this one... not that I would let that happen!
   So I am in summer planning mode and have done some reorganizing in her work/play space. With all the fun summer ideas on Pinterest and on some great teacher/mommy blogs, I have some fun learning activities up my sleeve... so stay tuned!