Do you spend time by the pond? I feel like "by the pond" is such a classic theme. Something I find in a lot of curriculum books and would find in lots of schools if I went on a tour. Of course, if there are no ponds around your area, this thematic is highly adaptable to a river as well. So go ahead and check out what we did last week with our pond mini-unit/river! :)
Art & Fine Motor : The Play Dough Pond
At first sight, this mere pond looks like a simple play dough activity but there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Of course, the pond itself was rather easy for Adrian to make as he simply had to "smash" blue play dough on the table, somewhat shape it like a circle and all but then, he had to get to work on the lilypads which were a bit more difficult to shape as they were to be smaller. To give them their distinctive shape, Adrian used our playdough scissors. On top of the lilypad, he made water lillies for which he rolled small pink play dough balls. That was difficult for him. The cattails were something he quite enjoyed making though. We used toothpicks and I showed him how to make the first one and then he was off to do the rest, simply rolling brown play dough on the tip of the toothpicks (at first, he had simply stuck them in the pond so I had him think of how to make them fluffier on the ends). Adrian also added some river rocks and pond animals from our Safari Pets Toob to decorate the pond he created and finally, he "chopped" some "wood logs" using brown play dough and play dough scissors. He loved that part. Overall, making this pond was one of his favorite activities this week. I think it's partly because Adrian loves play dough but usually doesn't quite know what to do with the dough. When given a project and ideas, then, he's off to work on it and is so proud of the results.
Fine Motor/Practical Life: Fish carrying Fish Eggs
Another nice fine motor activity we enjoyed this week was this bath suction pad and marble "kit". Adrian simply had to balance a marble on top of each suction cup using his fingers and that was it. It was extremely easy for him so next time I pull one of these mats out, we'll be using tongs with the marbles or something otherwise, this suction mat activity will have to be only for fun. Not one bit challenging.
Art: Turtle Craft - made with an egg carton
As a pre-planned craft this week, we enjoyed this egg carton turtle. I pre-cut an egg carton piece for Adrian and I and we painted the "shell" one day and let it dry overnight. We also glued the eyes with washable glue that day on the pompom. The next day, we finished our turtles. I poked holes in the egg cartons and we inserted green pipe cleaners from side to side. We then folded them onto themselves. Finally, the head was glued on. Adrian liked making this turtle. He didn't really like getting his fingers green with paint and had a bit of trouble inserting the fuzzy sticks into the small holes but loved the finished turtle. He was very proud of his work. This delightful little reptile was first "made" by Allison's children at Train up a Child, who did theirs with a brown shell. Loved it in brown but we had no brown paint so I figured we'd try making an all green turtle instead of mixing colors again.
Language - Frog booklet and Frog 3-part cards
We hadn't studied the frog that much yet. The life cycle yes, but not the parts of the frog so this was our occasion. I printed a booklet and 3-part cards and we proceeded. I got all this material for free from Montessori Print Shop (told you I was addicted lately!). They also have a free frog matching game if you are interested! :)
Following last week's huge success with the foam patterning blocks, I went ahead and presented Adrian with "pond themed" patterns this week. He was super excited and couldn't wait to try them out. Just like last week, he picked a sheet on which a pattern was printed (got mine for free from Prekinders) and he would then pick the foam blocks (I pre-cut those from foam sheets) needed and built the pattern by looking at the sheet; not on the sheet. I am showcasing three pictures but he also did a fish and insisted on getting last week's patterns out as well... :)
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Today, I'm happily linking up to
Montessori Monday, The Kids Co-Op, Show-and-Share Saturday, Link & Learn, TGIF, Share it Saturday, Mom's Library, The Sunday Showcase, Sun Scholars's For the Kids Friday, Stress-Free Sunday, Thursday Toddler & Preschool, Tuesday Tots, Artsy Play Wednesday, Serenity Saturday, Virtual Montessori Sharing Fair, and We Made That.
If you would like me to link up with you, please don't hesitate to ask, it might take me a week or two, but I generally do!