March 26, 2010

Tot School:Kites and Spring

We had spring fever this week! Gramma Jamma was here and wanted to see a little schooling in action, and because spring seemed to have given way to winter again, we had to find some fun ways to keep busy indoors. Almost all of what you see in this post, by the way, can be yours to print for your own tots if you visit the tot school link at the bottom of the post. You'll be glad you did!

We started with some lamb activities. The boys got sheets of paper with a lamb and a number.

They had to glue the correct number of cotton balls to each sheep. Both boys loved this initially, but Hunter was over it before he finished his last lamb. I required him to finish what he had started and he grudgingly did.
In the end, they were both pretty proud of their creations!

Next we did a color matching activity. I gave them each a piece of green scrap book paper, or a meadow as we called it. Earlier I had printed and cut out bodies and head of different colored lambs and they had to match the heads with the correct bodies and glue them happily into the meadow. Again, Hunter tried to quit one lamb shy of completion, but as you can see, he was pleased with himself when he was all done. He even asked me to hang them on the wall, which I did!
Last night Joe and I left the kids with Jamma for a date night at Hamilton's for some good food and quiet time, but on the way we stopped at the dollar store to get some fun supplies to motivate Hunter to be more excited about his schooling. Lots of the tot school bloggers have neat theme sheets with white dots for using BINGO paints or magnets on. I decided to try out these little pom poms on magnets. I bought enough to fill a jar for sorting and whatever fun activities I come up with, and some to put on magnets that can stick to the top of the jar. Let me just tell you that 4 little eyes lit up when they saw this brightly colored jar!

Hunter used the pom poms first and this became the first activity that he as approached in quite a while that he not only finished, but repeated twice before letting anyone else have a turn! Success!!!
Gramma Jamma sat beside Haven as he took his turn and they thoughtfully evaluated and discussed each color choice before he placed his pom poms. Boy did they wear this out! Suddenly I was considering hiring a teacher's aid for our home school! The two of them repeated this activity a few times too, and I literally had to pry them away to go fly kites outside!

Hunter did a pattern recognition activity with a kite sheet. He had to choose the last two kites for each row. This was pretty tough, but he did it!

After watching him do it I decided not to have Haven try it, but to save the second print out for him to try again on another day to see if he found more success with it once it was a familiar process. We've never actually done pattern finding. Boy, did I drop the ball on that skill!

While Hunter battled the pattern finding kites, Haven was breezing through the pattern block kite outline. Jamma asked how often he did these because he was really rockin' it, and I realized that he had never really done one. We did a large group pattern block design of a detailed gate for the Birth of the Bab, but I don't think he participated at all unless dismantling counts as participating.
Hunter breezed through it too and was proud to have mastered something so effortlessly! We needed that confidence booster!

We went out to fly a kite in the field, but kite flying is not a forte of mine, and we tore up the kite in about 5 minutes. All of that time getting bundled up for only a few minutes of fun! But the kids were glad we tore it up and came in because the wind was so bitterly cold that they were pretty miserable!

Baby animals make up most of the rest of the spring kit, and I am a considering holding out for those until just before Baby Animal Days at the American West Heritage Center. But there's no need to get too tied up in thematic units here, so we might just go ahead and do it next week. Who knows?

Tot School

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