Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spring for Preschoolers - Part 2

The warmer temperatures and the sun shining nearly everyday are two big reminders that the school year is slowly but surely coming to an end. I am now multitasking (one of my favorite things) Adrian's current school curriculum with Zahavah's school themes for next year and thinking of Adrian's schooling situation for next school year. Overall, I do expect him to be home schooled a bit less as I plan on having him remain in German school longer (everyday, and including part of the afternoon) but my posts will still feature him (simply not as much; we'll see how much he wants to do). I do believe Zahavah will be featured a lot more in my posts come next school year though, so if you have a toddler,  you'll be delighted! :)

Planting silk flowers playdough
Planting "Silk" Baby's Breath Flowers into Playdough

Although I've seen this activity done here and there and with multiple variations, I remember the day I first saw it on Counting Coconuts as it it were yesterday. I so badly wanted Adrian to do it right away. Unfortunately, that didn't happen until now (1.5 year later) but look at the results! Well worth the wait, wouldn't you say? Picked up fake baby's breath flowers and clay pot at our local hardware store and set out the chocolate scented Tutti Frutti playdough we had on hand for the "soil". Adrian planted the flowers carefully and overall liked the activity but didn't go bonkers over it. I still consider it was a nice practice for when we step out and plant real flowers! :)

Play dough planting flowers
Before Adrian planted the Baby's Breath Flowers

Flower 3 part cards
Botany: Parts of a Flower

I looked long and large for free three parts cards on flowers and finally found some to my liking! :) I actually found LOTS of things to my liking at The Helpful Garden. If you like the Montessori Method and like freebies, you'll LOVE that blog as much as do. Anyhow, that's where I downloaded the cards from. The language for the flower is difficult so I brought in a real flower from our yard to make it more "concrete".

Flower Buttoning Board
Practical Life: Buttoning Flowers/Petals onto "Pistils" Buttons

Buttoning and unbuttoning is part of life but it's still a bit of a struggle for Adrian so I prepared a soft felt sheet with three different sizes of flower buttons. I then prepared three different kinds of flowers to button and unbutton over the "pistil". He had no trouble whatsoever with that "board". Must have made it too easy... :)

Tulip clip cards
Spring Flowers Clip Cards - Math & Fine Motor

One week that I linked up my post to another, I saw these beautiful Spring themed clip cards made by The Measured Mom. Couldn't resist getting my own set. They range from 0 to 20 so it was a great for my preschooler. Get your own set here and check out her other printables. She's got lots great stuff. I've already put aside some ladybug sheets for my bugs unit later this summer! :)

Matching baby mommy animals
Spring Babies - Matching animal babies and mommies

Springtime is "baby time" for lots of animals. I am pretty sure Adrian matched farm animal babies and mommies earlier this year so I was looking for different animals this time. As it turns out 1+1+1=1 has a pretty big pack that includes farm animals as well as pets and zoo animals (labels included too!). I included all of them in our matching activity and it was great fun. Some were actually not that easy for Adrian (the duckling and chick can be tricky) but most were obvious to him. Ah...I guess he's getting older and ready to move on to tougher activities now! :(

Vivaldi Info Sheet
Music: Composer of the Month - Vivaldi

April's Composer of the Month for us is Antonio Vivaldi. Having composed the most famous "Spring", I thought it'd be most appropriate. We talked a bit about Vivaldi first (check out Making Music Fun for a bit of information) and then, listened to "Spring" and "Summer" (why not?) while crafting. It was most enjoyable. I love classical music and Vivaldi is such light and playful music. I'm still trying to figure out "what to do" with our Composer of the Month. I feel like it should be better incorporated/heard more. Something I'll look into this summer while we're "on break". For now, I'm just happy I remember to add a composer every month! ;)

Flower Path
Flower Path - Getting a hold of our Pencil  Grip

A quick filler activity printed from 3Dinosaurs's Spring Pack; a Flower Path. There are several paths in the pack, I just picked this one. Just thought we'd get Adrian to work with his Grotto Grip again. :)

Moveable Alphabet Exercise
Moveable Alphabet Exercise...Not at all Spring Related but out this week anyway...

I've been doing quite a bit of shopping with the Montessori Print Shop lately. My latest acquisition is this series of Wooden Alphabet Cards (bought all three packs). We went through the entire first pack this week (90 cards!) and Adrian LOVED them. I must say from my point of view, the investment was well worth it. It was not expensive at all considering the work it would have taken for me to make these cards. I wished it came in "small" wooden alphabet version but since it didn't, I simply scaled the cards down to 80% and it fitted our small alphabet like it should.  It took no time so it's really not a problem if you have a small wooden alphabet like we do and want to purchase these cards as well. My only "complaint" is not even a complaint; some pictures were "difficult". It simply didn't come naturally to Adrian to think of "gas" upon seeing a "gas station tank" for example. I had to prompt him into getting the word out. I thought of it as a "language enrichment" activity as well...

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  1. You do such a beautiful job with your themes, Valerie! Thanks for the link to my tulips :)

    1. You're welcome! I love your materials Anna! They make my life so much easier! :) I'm looking forward to using the ladybugs during our Bugs theme! :)

  2. Once again, you did a great job with everything. I love how you organize everything, too. Your kids are blessed to have you as their mama! :)

    1. Thank you Angela! The kids love doing school with their mama so I think they appreciate it. It's a lot of work but it's worth it since they seem to love it all so much.

  3. Another wonderful theme! I especially love the buttoning flowers activity here. My littles need some practice with buttoning, too. Thanks for linking this post to Discover and Explore. I hope you'll be back to share for our museum and fine arts theme this week.

    1. Museum & Fine Arts? I'm loving the theme. Hopefully it will inspire me to add more art appreciation for next year! :) Not sure I'll have much in that department. We worked on few artists this year. :( Thank you for dropping by Shaunna.