“The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom”
-Henry Ward Beecher
Besides trying his best to figure out how to “work” a hula hoop (which was hilarious, by the way), M had a great week…
There are 80 pages of crafts in this book. It has kept him busy and interested all week long. It’s great for scissor practice and folding practice. It calls for glue, but M has (thankfully) chosen to use double stick tape instead. All kinds of neat little things can be made – a dancing dog and a rooster that flaps his wings are two of our favorites so far, As well as this little fishing game:
Making the fish…
The only downside, as you can imagine, is having somewhere near 80 little paper crafts lying around the house. :) Still, I highly recommend it.
Pin punching autumn shapes:
M still really enjoys these. There are two ways to do this – place push pins around the outline of the shapes, like this: Or use one pin to make holes all along the outside of a shape and then punch it out (like a perforated shape). He loves doing both, and they are both great fine motor skill work.
Design and Drill set – well, this was supposed to be a photo of M drilling a design, but then he decided to make hand shadows where the sun was shining on the floor. :) (I wrote more about this great toy a while back in this post, if you are interested.)
We have a drawer full of “dead” batteries. I am not sure why M insists on keeping batteries that are all used up, but we have learned to just not ask questions about these things or we will get an earful on batteries, which may just be his favorite conversation topic ever. Anyway, they came in handy this week when M decided to build a battery tester with his Snap Circuits set: (the railroad track is just there for decoration, because we LOVE stepping over things like that in this house. All. the. time.) Turns out, many of the batteries still had plenty of energy in them to light a 2 watt lightbulb or make a small motor go, so now they’ve been relocated to the “non-dead” drawer and it’s only slightly annoying when we have to go through them again trying to find one that will actually work in something important. ;)
We played a “penny drop” game this week. This was kind of taken from Peggy Kaye’s book, Games for Math:
I made a quick chart of numbers 1 through 9 and we took turns tossing or dropping a penny on the page. Whichever number the penny landed on was the number of linking people we would pick and link together.Once they were all gone we looked at our rows and guessed who had more (simple graphing), then counted them to see if we were correct. This was fun, but not much of a challenge for M. However, I love these little linking people and just had to use them for something. ;)
M has been practicing his writing. He seems to have a preference for the letters M T H E and W. ;) An occasional N and A get in there too. He has been seeing how tiny he can write, and then of course I have to read it back to him, which really is about as much fun as you’d imagine. ;)
We played a little game matching up objects with their beginning sounds for a few random letters (based on whatever small wooden pieces I could find lying around, which were originally from Michael’s). I had written the word on the back of the objects so we could self-check to see if we had chosen the correct letter. M matched upper case to lower case also: I was glad to find that he didn’t have any difficulty with this, seeing as how we didn’t do much of this sort of thing over the summer.
We also played a feeling game with the large foam letters. M would close his eyes (he decided against a blindfold, very emphatically) and picked a letter. He would feel it for several seconds and make a guess. I usually gave him a choice between two letters and he did really great!
M also made up a little story this week and had me write it down on his whiteboard so he could copy it: I do not take dictation as quickly as he’d like, so I may have missed a few parts. :) I think this is a great idea for helping him focus on spelling and phonics. In the near future I plan to see if he would like to make up a story for me to type out for him, and then have him try to sound out some of the easier words… we’ll see how it goes. He is definitely more interested in this kind of thing if it builds on something he’s already created.
Art/ Sensory/ Spelling/ Science:
This was the hit of the week. You can read about it in this post from earlier in the week.
M was awfully proud of the suspension “bridge”, which was actually more of an entire suspension track, that he made:The photo is not terribly clear, but he had an entire train track built up in the air around our living room, held up here and there by whatever was handy. His trains actually went around the whole thing a few times, until of course the inevitable and spectacular crash happened. :)
M went to a Build and Grow class at Lowe’s (for children 5 and up) and got to build this little wooden monster truck with a real flashing light and glow-in-the-dark stickers. :) He was very proud of himself and enjoyed hammering real nails into wood! The apron and safety goggles, as well as the supplies for building the truck were all free. This is a great program, and Home Depot has a similar one. I highly recommend it for any wood craft lovers out there!!