Thursday, May 30, 2013

ABC Puzzles

 I suppose you could go to Lakeshore Learning and purchase something like this, but I chose to make this ABC puzzle.  Using sentence strips, I wrote the alphabet, Capital A then lower case a from A-Z leaving a small amount of space between each letter.  Then I cut a squiggly lines between each letter.  I used regular and fun shaped scissors to get different cuts.

Initially, I gave my son the letters A-G and had him put the matching letters together.  I didn't want him to get overwhelmed by the whole alphabet.  It was interesting to see his thought process.  He checked each pair to make sure they were a match and would sing the ABC song to figure out what letter came next.  When he was successful with the first set of letters, I asked him if he was ready for more of a challenge.  He was ready!  When he was finished, we sang the ABC song as he pointed to the letters and we counted to see how many letters make up the alphabet.  Doing this activity, I realized that he still skips the letter Nn when saying the alphabet.  This allowed us to slow down and look at each letter as he sang the song.

*For younger kids, only start off with a few letters and build.  For older kids, you could make puzzles for practicing names and sight words.

Kindergarten Readiness Workshops Information:;postID=2253512591600044146;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=5;src=postname

Have fun!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

NAME Cheer

Our names are special, our names are unique.  There is a sense of pride when your child learns to spell their name.  I started "cheering" my son's name from day one, I think.  I had a framed picture above his changing table and I would cheer his name all the time. 
Cheer:  S-H-A-Y, Go Shay Go, Go Shay Go, GOOOOOOO Shay!
As he got older, I moved the picture so it faced the toilet.  As he was potty training and spending some time there, he started "cheering" his name.  Then, when people asked him his name, he would spell it first, then say his name.  He was so proud of himself and people were impressed when they saw this little boy spell out his name.  After years of his first name, we moved to his last name.  It is a bit longer, so I had to get creative and find a way that would teach him the spelling.  That's when I found a tune and changed the words to the letters in his name.  In the video below is Shay at age 5, but he learned the song when he turned four and still loves to sing his name!

Anyone can cheer or sing their name.  You just have to find a tune that works.  Here is what I have come up with so far.
3 letter names: The tune of 3 blind mice (B-E-N, B-E-N, Ben is my name)
4 letter names: Spell out the letters for a cheer (see picture above)
5 letter names: The tune of BINGO (There was a boy/girl who had a name and ____was his name-o)
6 letter names: The Mickey Mouse song (H-U-N,T-E-R, Hunter is my name)
7 letter names: The tune of BINGO again, but start right out with the spelling (J-A-C-K-S-O-N and Jackson is my name-o)
8 letter names: The tune of Joy to the World (see video)
9 letter names:  (Sorry Francesca, Auntie is still thinking of a song...stay tuned!)
In the beginning it is important to have your child see their name written as they sing their name.  You can write it on a plain piece of paper and have your child decorate it or glue pictures of themselves around it.  I wrote the name on a piece of paper and also on post-it notes.  My son had to cover the letters with the post-it notes.  See this post for reasons why I love post-it notes.

Have fun and let me know how it worked with your kids!  They will love singing and cheering their name!!!

*Find out about Kindergarten Readiness Workshops: 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Father's Day Gift Idea

Mother's Day and Teacher Appreciation are behind us and yet another holiday will be here before we know it.  As I write this, I initially thought this would be a Father's Day gift idea....however you could do this for an end of year gift for your teacher or save for another loved one.

I asked my son these 5 questions, but you can ask any question you like:
What is your daddy's name?
What color are his eyes and hair?
What does daddy like to do?
What do you like to do with daddy?
Why do you love daddy?

I found a photo of my boys and imported it to Printshop.  I made the opacity of the photo 80% so you can see the text.  Then I typed over the photo the answers to the questions.  Be sure to include the date! I printed it out and inserted it in a frame my son painted.  (I found the wood frame at Michael's Craft Store for $1.)  On the back my son wrote his name and put the date.  This is the one we made last year, but I think I might make it again.  It will be fun to hear how he answers the questions this year.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Simple Science

I was looking for a way to get the boys out of the sun for a bit and knew it would have to be good to get them away from their Hot Wheels dirt track.

I brought the supplies outside to them:
1 cupcake pan
2 spoons
different colors of food coloring
a bottle of vinegar
a container of baking soda
2 cups for pouring vinegar

They were a bit hesitant at first, but there were curious and ready to give the experiment a try.
Put 2-4 drops of food coloring in each cupcake holder.  The boys could mix colors.   Then put a spoonful on baking soda on top of the food coloring

I poured the vinegar in their cups.  Then at the same time they poured it into one of the cupcake holders.  They were so excited to see what happened.  The colors appeared and they loved the sound of the fizz.  We kept going until all the vinegar and baking soda was gone!

There are many variations to this experiment but it was a success!  I prefer to use a cupcake pan rather than individual cups because the cups can tip over.  Don't forget to use your senses: smell the vinegar, obsereve the changes of color, listen to the fizz.  The boys had fun.  "This is so awesome!" and "Science is so cool!"
I guess I will have to head back to the Dollar Store to stock up on more vinegar and baking soda!
Have Fun!