ivey league preschool: the I's have it!

This week has been brought to you by the letter I!  We actually did this letter a couple of weeks ago but I'm playing catch-up on the blog!

We started out by doing our playdoh mat, do-a-do worksheet, and pattern block sheet for the letter I:

We also did a few pages of an Incredibles preschool pack.  We circles letter I's, connected the dots, found "what's different," and traced shapes:

We did a magazine scavenger hunt and collage:

And we did a couple of simple science experiments that involved ice.  First we did the baking soda and vinegar reaction on top of ice to see what would happen.  Caleb liked seeing the ice slowly melt as everything fizzed all around it!

The other experiment involved picking up an ice cube using only a piece of string!  This one proved to be a bit more difficult to achieve, but it helped teach Caleb that sometimes you have to keep trying different things to get the result you want.  First, we tried laying a piece of thread over an ice cube in a glass of water, and then we put salt on top:

That didn't work, so we tried thicker string and used one of the ice cubes in Caleb's other experiment.

This also didn't work, but it did make the ice melt differently than the other ice in the pan once Caleb squirted some vinegar on it:

See how the salt made the ice look bumpy and crystal-like as it melted?  Pretty cool!  But we still weren't able to make the string get stuck to the ice cube.  So I thought I'd try sprinkling less salt on the ice cube, and it turned out that's what worked!

Yay!  So with the previous attempts, I was putting too much salt on the ice and string so that's why it didn't work.  Either way, we had fun trying different things to get the result we wanted.

This week we listened to Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" while we worked.

Our "I" books:
Incredible Ned by Bill Maynard
Manana, Iguana by Ann Whitford Paul

Do-A-Dot Alphabet Pages (Home School Creations)
Play-Doh Letter Mats (Home School Creations)
Pattern Block Printable Templates (Jessica's Corner of Cyberspace)
The Incredibles Printable Pack (123 Homeschool 4 Me)
Fizzy Ice Experiment (Toddler Approved)
Ice Cube and String Experiment (Mess For Less)


ivey league preschool: hooray for H!

We actually did our H week about three weeks ago, but I forgot to post anything about it until now.  Then we had family in town and after that it was a bit longer before we got back into the swing of things.

Our H week was further complicated by the fact that our printer was out of ink, so we decided to go more low-tech this time.

Of course, we did a magazine scavenger hunt and collage for the letter H:

Caleb also worked on tracing letters and numbers in some Winnie the Pooh pre-K workbooks I had found at Goodwill awhile back.

Next, we did some art projects based on a few "H books" we had found at the library.  First, we read a book called My Heart is Like a Zoo.  It's actually pretty cool; all the animals are illustrated using different sized hearts.  We decided to do a hippo made out hearts:

Or a hippo-like creature...kind of.  Oh well, we had fun doing it.

We also read The Happy Hedgehog Band and tried painting "quills" with a plastic fork!

Finally, we read A House for Hermit Crab.  Caleb liked seeing all the different sea creatures and plants that ended up on the hermit crab's shell.  I drew and cut out similar ones for Caleb to glue onto his own shell:

We also did a couple of "experiments" out of a water and bubbles science experiment workbook (another Goodwill score!  Our community has a lot of homeschoolers in it!).  The first two we did pretty much just dealt with the nature of water and the amount of water that's on the earth.  So for the first one, we constructed a water molecule using a plum, two blueberries, and a couple of toothpicks.

For the second one, we were supposed to fill up a clear container part of the way with sand, then pour water over it to illustrate that the earth is covered with more water than land.  The closest thing we had was potting soil, which turned out not to work so well.

Yuck.  I told Caleb the main thing to remember from this was that the Earth has more water on it than land, and he seemed to understand.  :o)

All in all it was a pretty good week.  It's nice to know I can still teach my child things even if I can't print things out!

Our H Books:
My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall
The Happy Hedgehog Band by Martin Waddell
A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle


fall decor on the cheap

Fall is officially here!  So I decided to dress up our fireplace mantle a bit.

I found a small bag of funny gourds at Walmart for around three bucks.  I made sure they didn't have any yucky brown spots on them, and that at least a couple of them would stand up on their own.  Then I grabbed some googly eyes and the hot glue gun (turns out Elmer's is useless is this case) and went to town!  I also used a Sharpie to add more facial features.

Then I really got crazy and pulled out some simple chipboard triangles I had picked up at least two years ago.  My vision had been a candy-corn garland all along, but for some reason I never got around to doing it.  I still have some acrylic paint in fall colors that's in good shape, so I painted the triangles one color at a time, making sure to let each coat dry inbetween (it didn't take long).  I didn't bother with painters tape because real candy corn looks a little muddled, so why shouldn't my garland look that way too?  I used some twine we had on hand to hang it up once it dried:

Very pleased with how it turned out!  :o)  Welcome fall!!


ivey league preschool: go, G's, go!

This week was brought to you by the letter G!

First we did the do-a-dot, play-doh, and pattern block activities.

Caleb also did a G maze all by himself!

We did a G magazine scavenger hunt and found some good stuff (guacamole, Georgia, a gecko, Guy Fieri...haha!).

We read Giraffes Can't Dance and made a giraffe with clothespin legs.

We read a few books that featured the color green as well.  One of them was Where is the Green Sheep? so we decided to paint a green sheep.  Caleb is still learning about color mixing so this was a good opportunity for us to make our own special shade of green.

I explained to Caleb that we could have just used his green paint, but by mixing different amounts of blue and yellow, we could get our own special shade of green.

Our Bible story for this week was Gideon.  We read the story of his small army defeating the Midianites in his storybook Bible.  We learned how they confused their enemy by blowing trumpets and carrying torches, so we decided to make a torch.  I got a cardboard tube (the really sturdy kind that plastic wrap comes on) and covered it with aluminum foil.  Then we cut out strips of red and orange paper to make the "fire."  Caleb practiced his scissor skills by making little cuts in the strips.  I glued the "fire" around the top of the tube, but since it looked like it wasn't sticking very well, we also used small rubber bands to secure it.

Caleb kept raising the torch in the air and shouting "For the LORD!!!"

We also made a fun G snack...guacamole!  Caleb's never had it but he seemed to like our version.  I let him help mash the avocado in a bowl, then I just added some lemon juice, salt and pepper, and a little onion powder and garlic powder (I figured having chunks of garlic and onion in there might ruin the experience for Caleb!).  I normally add tomatoes to my guacamole, but I wanted Caleb to eat it so I left those out too.

I think he liked it!  He seemed to be more excited about the tortilla chips, but he kept dipping them in the guacamole so overall it was a success.  Maybe next time we can be more adventurous and add (small) chunks of tomato and onion to it.  Baby steps.  :)

Our classical music for this week was Mozart's Greatest Hits.  Yep, I have a CD that's called that!

Our G books:
Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae
Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
Spring Green by Valrie M. Selkowe
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Do-A-Dot Alphabet Pages (Home School Creations)
Play-Doh Letter Mats (Home School Creations)
Pattern Block Printable Templates (Jessica's Corner of Cyberspace)
G Maze (3 Dinosaurs)
Clothespin Giraffe Printable (Spring Time Treats) 
Gideon Torch Inspiration (Adventures in Mommydom)


simple chevron table runner

This afternoon I decided to do something to dress up our table.  Bear in mind that this table is used not only for eating, but also for preschool, art activities, sewing, etc.  It's just become a general dumping ground for anything and everything.  No kidding, I lost my phone charger for a week, and I eventually found it on the kitchen table, hidden in plain sight.  I'm hoping that by putting something pretty on the table, I'll be more motivated to keep the mess a little more manageable.

So I took a cute yellow chevron remnant from Hobby Lobby, cut it to the size I wanted for a table runner, and then laid it on top of a big canvas dropcloth. (Yes, you read right.  Dropcloths.  As in over by the painting supplies.  Cheap yet shabby chic for a number of home decor projects.  You're welcome.)  I basically used the canvas as both the backing and the binding of the runner, so it ended up being an inch longer than the chevron remnant on all four sides.  Then I just ironed and pinned to make the "binding," and then sewed it all down.

Yes, it's wrinkled a bit.  We'll just call that part of its rustic charm.  Plus it's a good nesting place for this cute couple:

Saw these at Target and couldn't resist.  Hopefully I won't start collecting salt and pepper shaker sets now.


ivey league preschool: fishing for F's!

This week has been brought to you by the letter F!

A busted air conditioner made preschool, shall we say, "interesting" this week.  We still got a lot done, but the warm temperature in the house made things uncomfortable and the ceiling fans often blew around our papers and art supplies.  Caleb pushed through and did a great job!

As always, we did do-a-dot, play-doh, and pattern block activities for the letter F.

Check out his fish face!

Then we did some activities that go along with Dr. Seuss' The Foot Book.  Caleb still mixes up his left from his right, so I used little band-aids to mark his feet and then he would hold up the respective foot whenever I read "left foot" or "right foot" in the book.

We traced his foot and used it to measure a number of things in the house.  I would ask Caleb to estimate how many "Caleb feet" across something was, then we'd measure it to see if he was right.  He's still grasping the concept of estimating but we still had a lot of fun!  For the car measurement, we decided to use his remote control monster truck since we didn't want to go down to the garage to measure the actual car!

As you can see, we also talked about a Bible verse having to do with feet!

There was also a matching activity where you matched the animal to its corresponding footprints.  I'm pretty sure we mixed up the dog tracks with the cat tracks, but I think we still did a good job!

We also did a fish-themed preschool pack.  There was one activity where you had to write in the missing letters in the fishbowls.  Caleb independently wrote a few letters on his own and I helped him with the others.

We also colored by number:

Can you tell that coloring isn't Caleb's favorite right now?
He found the F's and stamped them with a fish stamp:

He finished patterns:

And he sorted uppercase and lowercase F's:

As always, we did a magazine scavenger hunt and found some good "F" stuff.  Including a flamingo, a fire truck, Florida, frosting, and "Flo" from those Progressive Insurance commercials.  :o)

For our Bible story, we learned about when Jesus helped Simon Peter and some other men fill their nets with fish.  I paraphrased the story while reading out loud from my Bible, then we did a "net full of fish" activity!  I cut out a bunch of fish, then we put them on a paper plate and covered it with plastic wrap (pulling it tight and taping it in the back).  Then I drew lines with a permanent marker to make it look like a net.  Caleb also wanted a stick for it, so we taped a jumbo craft stick to the back.

Finally, we made homemade whole wheat fish crackers!  And some frog crackers.  Caleb wanted to use more than one cookie cutter and we decided frogs would work too since they also start with F.

Our classical music for this week was Beethoven's Piano Sonatas (Moonlight Sonata, Waldstein Sonata, Pathetique).

Our F Books:
The Foot Book by Dr Seuss
Sam and The Firefly by P.D. Eastman
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
Fish Eyes by Lois Ehlert
Flip and Flop by Dawn Apperley

Do-A-Dot Alphabet Pages (Home School Creations)
Play-Doh Letter Mats (Home School Creations)
Pattern Block Printable Templates (Jessica's Corner of Cyberspace)
The Foot Book Ideas and Printables (Homeschool Share)
Fish Preschool Pack (123 Homeschool 4 Me)
Net Full of Fish Activity (I Can Teach My Child)
Fish Cracker Recipe (Smitten Kitchen)
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