Friday, October 3, 2014

Down by the Seashore - Part 2

Every good thing has apparently to come to an end. As such, last week, we said good-bye to our beloved "Down by the Seashore" theme. This thematic is definitely a keeper. I chose not to include any ocean components this week but that is only because I'd like to give our oceans the focus they deserve. Come Summer, we'll most likely have time to allow for an entire week to this beautiful topic. Until then, here are a few more activities Zahavah did during her beach week.

Folding "beach" towels
Folding beach towels. Most toddlers are delighted to help when it comes to big people's chores.  Zahavah being closer to 4, chores are starting to look a bit more like such in many aspects. I tried to disguise this practical life activity into something less formal than you'd usually see in a Montessori setting. I provided two washcloths, both marked with a big fat line down the middle and told Z that these were her plush cats' beach towels and needed folding so they could be packed for their next trip. After a demonstration, Z quickly set to work and even had some cats come pretend they went to the beach...
Fabric matching: Matching "beach towels" for tiny dolls
I truly wish I had access to a bigger variety of fabric but for now, I guess we'll call it a "start". For a first time matching fabric by touch, I didn't want it to be overwhelming either! I served this activity as beach towels matching. I had some fleece towels, some lace towels and a netting towel set. In the future, I'm hoping to get my hands on some burlap, silk, cotton, leather and such. This was, by the way, a very quick activity for my 3 year old. She matched the towels in no time so I furthered the activity by asking her which she'd rather use as a beach towel and why. We discussed the thickness, the sand possibly passing through others, and so on.

Some "paperwork" to be like her big brother!
An immense thank you to Katie at The Gift of Curiosity for putting together this HUGE printable pack with a beach theme. Zahavah is not much into "paperwork" but she sometimes like to "imitate" her big brother (who actually would like to see less "paperwork") so I printed several pages out of the pack for little Z in case she'd want to sit down and "write". To my biggest surprise, she loved this so much that she went right through the dozen pages I printed for her in one sitting!

Dry Pouring: Beach Sand
With a theme like "Down by the Seashore", it's hard to escape the beach sand, I brought it in disguised under a dry pouring activity. Zahavah was very good at it and loved it too.  She really wanted to poke her fingers into the small pitchers too! :)

Which sunscreen fragrance is a winner? Can you match the scents?
I love the smell of sunscreen, don't you? It just reminds me of a calm, serene and warm beach. Whenever I smell it, it brings me back! For this activity, I thought I'd do a twist on the traditional Montessori smelling bottles by asking Zahavah to help me with the newest sunscreen fragrances. I provided 3 different scents and they all had to be matched (blindfolded). In the end, she was welcomed to choose whichever fragrance she thought would be best suited for a new suntan lotion! If you're curious to know what we used inside, it's quite delirious: vinegar, hot sauce and a flower scented hand lotion! :) Needless to say, it was easy to match AND decide which would be best in a suntan lotion...

?(shell washing)?
(The moment you realize you've put everything away and forgot to photograph the tray!)

Zahavah would have loved to wash the big seashell but I felt it would be overwhelming. Instead, I provided her with another smaller and simpler seashell so she could scrub it. She's previously not enjoyed the meticulous washing of items so I tried to make it more fun for her by letting her explore  how to wash more than how she should be washing. Not very Montessori in that aspect but I'm hoping she'll see how best to wash by herself!

What's in YOUR beach bag? - practical life fun
Pretending to go on vacation is neat. Going is even better but we do not have any plans at this time. Still, it's better to be prepared and as such, I set out an activity where Zahavah had to select what to bring to the beach. Would she pick a bathing suit? A pair of pair of pajamas? I let her pick reminder her we would be at the beach on a warm sunny day. Once she was happy with her picked items, she had to fill her beach bag with her folded belongings.

Beach craft
Art is something Zahavah loves. She likes craft a lot though so I always try to think of things we could make together. As far as painting and drawing goes, she already does a lot with her brother during our art appreciation classes so when it's "preschool time", I try to keep it simple and fun. For this week, I picked a first palette craft, which recreates a beach scene. It was very fun to do for everyone who tried their hand at it and I highly recommend it! I modified the version found online to suit my preschooler's desires by the way. She wanted to use her own props instead of making them out of clay and preferred using play dough for the sand so her small animals could truly dig in the sand. Check out the steps and materials necessary on First Palette's website.

Can you find the hiding seashells?
Planned on using a sugar caster tool for this but it seems to be missing, so I put a kid size slotted spatula instead. The goal was to find the seashells hiding in the sand using the tool. I used real beach sand and real seashells found on an Israeli beach. They were small and as such, provided a better challenge than the store-bought kind.

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  1. I was coming to this post to pin it to my Oceans Unit board when I also noticed a nice shout out for my Ocean Printable Pack! Thanks so much for sharing it, and I'm so pleased to hear your daughter enjoyed it. :-)

    1. Thank you for making all these excellent packs! My daughter loves your work! I'm sure you'll see more features here! :) Happy pinning!