Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bugs: Butterflies II

So, finishing up our caterpillar/butterfly week.  Here are some of the things we did today.

Marbleized Butterflies
1.  Child cut out the butterfly.  Reinforcing the term symmetrical.
2.  Child spread shaving cream onto tray.  I chose to review basic shapes, letters, and numbers as I was put the shaving cream on the tray.
3.  Child used straws (and one ended up with eyedropper) in liquid watercolor to dribble onto the shaving cream.
4.  Child swirled the paint into the shaving cream with craft sticks.
5.  We gently pressed the butterfly paper onto the top of the shaving cream.
6.  I scraped off the remaining shaving cream and then wiped clean with paper towel.
BEAUTIFUL!  They repeated to make prints on paper.  We haven't decided quite what we'll do with them yet.  They dried very quickly :-) but they'll need to be put under something heavy (ie: books) to flatten out the curled up edges before we work with them.  Next time I might try cardstock.
Side notes: 
*  This was messy!  Well, we live and learn.  We found out that really, eyedroppers/straws don't work well when your fingers are covered in shaving cream so we ended up with the instruction that they were welcome to explore the shaving cream with their fingers AFTER they were done printing.  I'll definitely do it again though!  Though cleans up relatively easy.
*  Straws work for children with great fine motor skills.  For those that do not have great fine motor skills, use eye droppers.  I couldn't find all my eye droppers, for some reason, so decided on the straws thinking they could do it but the one child could not do it without much frustration so I gave him the one eye dropper I could find and said it didn't matter if he mixed the colors.  He definitely had an interesting gray brown when he was done.  :-)

Oh, by the way, I have a bowlful of shaving cream in my fridge.  :-P  One child suggested it and went on to predict (even saying "I predict...") what he thought would happen if we left it in the fridge for a certain amount of time.  So we did, and really, there wasn't much change :-) so it's still in there.  We'll check it after nap again.  Please encourage their curiosity!

Butterfly Sewing Card
This particular pattern was from but they can easily be made without a pattern.  Remember that old greeting cards work well for "sewing".  Use cardstock or cardboard as construction paper can rip easily.  Today I encouraged them to go from hole to hole in order.  There have been times where I'll write the numerals on the back of the pattern just to reinforce number recognition, counting, and numerical order. 

Clothespin Word Spelling
I chose only three of the bugs from the set or they'd be there all day and become uninterested.  I chose a small, medium, and large word and we sorted by size and word chunks first.  I placed all the clothespins, in random order, with letters up in a single layer on the tray.  I heard sounds and names of the letters as they were working here.  Actually it looks like I snapped this picture at the right time.  If I remember correctly she had found the letter p and was saying /p/ /p/.  The 4 year old put the letters on randomly the 5 year old went from left to right finding each letter in a row.  Shows where they are in their development.  Clothespin activities are great for fine motor!  Slip them in when you can!

Butterfly Counting Cards
I placed the cards in our dollar store butterfly napkin holder.  They randomly chose eight cards to work with.  This is a good way to introduce something and then if possible, leave it out so they can work on the rest of them if they desire.  I believe the little butterfly erasers that they used to mark the answer were another dollar store find.  I used this more for number recognition.  Best to do that type of activity randomly as otherwise they are just orally counting and guessing what the number is.  I also included higher numbers as a bit of a challenge for the older ones.  My 3 year old student was sick today.  :-(  But I would have only put numbers 1-5 plus three larger numbers as he's still working with those particular numbers.

Skip Counting "Extra" for the 5 year old
We've been skip counting by 10s with him to help him get the counting patterns.  Really, making charts 1-10 is really just redundant for him and not interesting so I thought I'd give him a little challenge.  :-)  I had set it up for up to 20 but took it back apart as it was still a bit too much for him to get.  Sometimes we do these charts as a yesterday's bow tie pasta number chart.  He asked me, "I get to take this home, right?"  :-)  So I'm going to take this as a positive...that he enjoyed this little bit of a challenge.  This activity was from a Mailbox publication.

What's this have to do with caterpillars/butterflies/bugs?  Nothing.  Other then one was using the magnetic balls and said, "Look!  I made a, it's a snake."  :-)  But this child asked specifically for the magnets today.  One thing that is hard for me, with being home-based, in my main living area, with mixed age groups is that I can't leave a lot of the stuff out.  My personal belief is that children should have interest centers and many types of materials should be available for them to explore on their own.  But we really can't do that here.  Maybe someday I'll have a program where I WILL be able to do it that way.  :-) So in the meantime, I encourage them to tell me what they'd like to do and when they do I try my best to allow for it, if not on that day, then as soon as possible.

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