Thursday, January 19, 2012

Misc. M Activities

Today was definitely a "Miscellaneous M" day.  :-)  Marbles were a big hit this week and Tuesday H. asked if we could do more marble stuff today and though it wasn't in my plans I tweaked my plans to include marbles.  He requested more marbles next week with our H week.  Hmmm!  :-D Anyway...

More Marbles
 Kind of a difficult activity to get any good pictures but here is what we did.  I used hula loops to keep the marbles contained.  I placed a tape line to give them direction and I showed them how to flick marbles like you do in a real marble game.  Good fine motor.  After practicing a bit, I then had one child roll dice and flick that many past their line.  Then the other children chose a number that was MORE than the rolled number.  We went back and forth taking turns rolling the dice or choosing a number that was more while interest lasted.

Marble Balance
 This was specifically for H and if you can believe it...I didn't get a single picture of him doing this!  He loves this type of thing and it's something he benefits from also...fine motor.  Also added scissors with the playdough as that's a favorite (and very beneficial) activity.

M is for Melt!

For our science/sensory today we explored with primary colored powdered paint and melting icecubes.  You could use this as an art project but truthfully, I've done this many times and children enjoy it's definitely a process project  as the outcomes are all that "pretty" and often there are those children who will explore for a long time and eventually a hole will be made in their paper because of the water from the melting icecubes.

Marshmallow M's and Free Painting (and eating!)
 Putting those awful gigantic corn syrup fluffs to a good use.  LOL  Well, the kids don't really agree with my "awful" description but that sure is a lot of sugar!  H. painted his M with lines, K. did marshmallow M prints.  Interesting!

Me and Mom
Using markers to draw of course!
I wanted to share these two pictures.  Both were done by 4 year olds who are age-eligible to attend Kindergarten this fall.  This is just one reason why I respect Kindergarten teachers so much.  They are getting such a mixed group of abilities.  Yes, exposure and practice makes a difference in a child's ability to do many things but in this case...the main difference is age.  Yes, both are 4 year olds but really, the first picture was drawn by a 4 year old that will be five in a few weeks and the second picture is drawn by a child who is only a couple  months into year four.  Gender does play a part in fine motor development but really this shows that a few months make a BIG difference when it comes to Preschool/Kindergarten aged children. 

Monkey Writing Cards

A "special" movie: Math Circus by LeapFrog
This has been a favorite with all the children right from the get go.  But they don't watch it often because it's 30 minutes.  I'm not a big "screen time" person and find there are so many more "hands-on" things to do that I don't have time for so really, they usually end up watching a World World Segment, if that, that runs 10-12 minutes while I'm preparing lunch.  So this was "special" for them.  M is for Math.

We also had muffins and melons for lunch.  :-)

Our wall is getting a bit full.  Time for some rearranging and refreshing but did want to mention a free printable available to do with months.  Titled: Months of Year cards.  It is a pdf. file that can be found at We started a month song when we came back from winter break since January is the first month of the year.  This makes for a nice visual for the song.  You can also see a sentence underneath our calendar.  I may have shared that before but will share again because it has really helped K. in  so many different ways.  She gives me a sentence and I write it on paper and then cut out using the word configuration format.  We put the words back together into the sentence.  It's so humorous when the sentence gets put together with words out of order, which happens at least once.  :-)  Humor makes learning fun! Doing a sentence like this allows for us to review that letters make words and words make sentences.  We talk about punctuation, spaces between words, what letters are capitalized and how most letters in the words are written in lower case.  We talk about tall, short and monkey tail letters, and also slip in word chunking.  I've also been mentioning that every chunk has a vowel when we sound out that word.  I find that this has helped many a child.  Normal development is that they hear and write out the consonants in their kid spelling but sometimes just pointing out that each chunk has a vowel makes them more aware.

And this is just a cute picture I'll share from today :-)

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