Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Robots Week for Preschoolers - Part 1

Welcome back to me! :) It sure has been a loooong time since I posted, hasn't it? Missed me much? Well, you know, with the holidays and all, I just had to take a breather and embrace the season with the family. That being said, I might not have posted them but we did do a few activities in regards with Christmas. Will I post them? I guess not. I feel like it's been more than a while since we wrapped up the season so... let's just skip to our next theme: robots!

My version of robot playdough - inspiration for Adrian's robot playdough below

Now I was a bit apprehensive when I sat down to create an entire week worth of robot school materials. My son, for one, isn't into robots. I don't personally know much about robots either but I was wanting to use this theme as a way to expand his knowledge and have him develop an interest in other subjects. Robots, it seems, is something little kids like. As it turns out, robot week was my all time favorite so far and I believe it was one of Adrian's as well (nothing will ever beat Trains and Angry Birds week). Without any further introduction, here is a sample of what we did last week-part 1.

Robot Playdough

Children in general love modeling dough and clay. Play dough is usually my go-to because it's easy to set up and easy to clean up. Unfortunately, my son usually doesn't quite know what to do with the dough and gets bored quickly because he finds himself doing the same things over and over again. For robot week, I set out some "robot parts" (washers, nuts, plastic anchors, pipe cleaners) and decided to model along. Although I had mentioned we were going to make robots out of playdough, Adrian's imagination and excitement really flourished after he saw me make one of my robots. Then, he set off to work and made robots based on mine (which were based on Counting Coconuts' ideas). It was the first time he really created anything with a modeling compound so it made me proud and it made him happy. 

Changing batteries

Do robots run on batteries? Well, many do. Although CloudB's Twilight Turtle isn't a robot, it needed its batteries replaced (how timely!) and so we practiced changing the batteries so we'd be ready when a robot would need our help. I personally unscrewed the door and then showed Adrian how to pop out a battery and how to insert one in observing the polarity. The other 2 batteries were to be popped out and popped back in by him. A nice practical life activity.

Isolating The Letter "R/r"

Adrian loves manipulatives so whenever I use worksheets, I try my best to match them up with tangibles; not just markers. Here, a printable from Homeschool Creations's free package and a container filled with washers to be put on all the "r" and "R" found on the page. Quite easy  for my big boy but how fun!

Assembling Nuts & Bolts

A great practical life activity for improving dexterity. I demonstrated how to disassemble these and how to put these back together. Each part was also identified. At first, Adrian wasn't so quick but he eventually learned to "spin" the nuts instead of screwing them little by little and such. Adrian liked to think that these constituted a family of robots! :)

Measuring Robot Height

Our first time using a tape measure. This activity was so well liked that I am thinking of buying a child-size tape measure for Adrian. Cloth tape works well for now but it's not very sturdy; just lightweight. I was agreeably surprised by Adrian's use of the tape; he knew how to read it intuitively and how to to use it. Anyhow, the activity was quite simple; Adrian had to measure the height of each robot with the tape measure and then put the number corresponding to its height. Standing in for robot were three of my Russian dolls wrapped in tin foil.

Stay tuned for more Robot activities!

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