If you happen to live in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring has officially arrived now but has it shown any "real" signs yet in your area? It was a very slow start for us here in Germany but last week was the first week where we actually got to enjoy sun, warmth AND beautiful blooms all at once. An absolutely perfect week to host our Spring themed week for Adrian, 4.5 years old.
Cherry Blossom Craft
Aren't cherry blossom trees just magnificent? I know they have already gone through their peak in many places but ours hasn't even started blooming yet. *sigh* I had to remind Adrian of how beautiful our tree was last year and show him pictures before we started this craft to inspire him. To make this, you'll need black paint (we used washable tempera), straw, liquid glue (we used washable glue), and two tones of pink silk paper cut in small strips. Although I came up with the idea of having Adrian do a cherry blossom craft myself, the technique itself was borrowed from Meet the Dubiens with a little twist. They blowed the paint on their paper to make the tree trunk and branches and well, Adrian couldn't really get good shapes with the blowing so instead, I showed him how to paint with the straw. As for the rest, he crumpled the silk paper strips and dipped them in glue once the tree was dry and glued them on the branches.
"Pot Pourri" Smelling Pouches
Spring always had a special smell to me. Maybe it's because of Spring cleaning or maybe it's because of the flowers. I'm not sure but I thought it'd be nice to bring in some olfactory activity in for the Spring week. I quickly picked the scent of lavender, lemon and orange to represent Spring. At my local Bargain store, I found a small bottle of lavender oil, then I had some lemon extract on hand and an orange I could use some peel for a good scent. The pouches were actually something I also had. They are spice bags for making bouquet garni. They can be washed after use so they were perfect. To assemble the bags, I put a few drops of oil/extract on one cotton pad and put it in the bag. As for the orange, I grated the peel and put it on the pad making sure there was enough to get a smell. I made two bags of each so they could be matched. Adrian sniffed one bag at a time and then tried to find its counterpart. He eventually had them all matched successfully. I personally chose not to put more than three bags out. I feel like sniffing any more than 3 can make things overwhelming for the nose.
Smelling Pouches Preparation
Tulip Phonograms - Looking for the Intruder
Phonograms were quite popular for Easter so I brought them back for Spring with this cute tulip mat. It could obviously be done with any word family but I went with "at". I made all the combinations I could think of and then added one that did not exist. Adrian's task was to create the words and read them along. I told him he'd find one flower that did not represent a real word and he'd have to find out which. After trying all the flowers, he proudly handed me the flower "j". I am one proud mama. Original tulip mat idea: Little Family Fun.
Fresh off the presses are my Spring Flower Nomenclature cards including mostly what you'll currently find in our backyard (or what you will soon find anyway) As usual, some cards are not pictured. My goal was for Adrian to know the names of the most common Spring flowers but also to know the names of the ones that grow in our our yard.
Our backyard Crocus! :)
I had not intended for Adrian to do any Spring cleaning around the flowers actually but as it turns out, Adrian desperately wanted to get rid of the cobwebs in the trees and on the fence prior to completing any flower picking required for our next activity...I really had brought out the broom only for our garden house porch sweeping activity as part of our practical life tasks "classified" under "Spring cleaning" (along with painting the fence with water)! :)
Once Adrian was finished with the never-ending cobwebs removal, he quickly picked one specimen of each flower found in our yard. These were brought inside for identification. All our cards were spread on the table for Adrian to match flowers with the cards. As you can see, last week, we had some crocus in a variety of colors, some snowdrops and some scillas. Since then, snowflakes appeared, daffodils, and bluebells. Our tulips and hyacinth are slowly but surely under way...
Spring block patterning
A beloved activity this week was this block patterning activity. I printed a few templates at Prekinders and cut out from foam sheets the needed shapes to make two different types of flowers, this caterpillar and butterfly. Adrian chose one of the templates and simply had to reproduce the flower or bug he picked with the foam shapes. Adrian loved it so much that I'll be printing more templates for next week based on our "By the Pond" unit...
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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, Preschool Corner &5K, Hammock Tracks' Look What We Did, Life's Little Adventures, Artsy Play Wednesday, Serenity Saturday, Full Hands Full Hearts, Discover and Explore, 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!