As I mentioned in my last post, I really wanted to capitalize on this dinosaur kick LittleMan is on and create a dinosaur themed sensory writing tray, much like the fairy and mermaid writing trays I had seen on Pinterest. Today, I finally found the motivation to put it together.
LittleMan’s grandmother recently sent him a stack of dinosaur books she’d found hidden on her shelves so dinosaurs, which have always been popular in our home, are even bigger right now. We read the books and set up various small world plays with our toy dinosaurs, use toy dinosaurs for painting dino tracks, last weekend we even froze some dinosaurs in a block of shaving cream to play with on a hot day.
I wanted LittleMan do so some writing practice, something beyond tracing the words I write in highlighter on a piece of paper. I had hoped to set up a whole theme writing tray like I had seen on Pinterest (like this, and this). I still plan on putting one together, but to be frank, I just didn’t have the time or motivation do to so.
Instead I offered LittleMan this simple tray:
We took the plunge and started LittleMan on his first early readers. He’d been playing around with our Dr Seuss collection and working on small individual words. It felt like the next natural step. Right now he’s mostly still mirroring us, learning how to sound out words.
There are some words he recognizes without sounding them out. Oddly enough they are not common sight words like “on” or “the,” the words he can recognize without sounding them out are mostly names. His own name. Names of favorite superheroes, such as Spiderman. Also sound-words which are popular in comic books, such as “pow.”
At first I thought it was because an item was associated with that superhero, or because he recognized the font that the name was written in. Then I wrote them down in my own handwriting and without saying a word showed the paper to him. He recognized the words and immediately read them off to me. Guess all those comic books we’ve been reading together are finally paying off.
I used to do “letter of the week” style drills with LittleMan. I would direct his attention to that letter, read him stories about that letter, have him trace that letter, talk about objects which names started with that letter, etc.. But I found that it didn’t work.
The majority of the time LittleMan seemed to forget whatever letter we were discussing by the time we moved on to the next letter. And even when he didn’t forget the letter, he never really seemed to grasp what it was. C is for cat, d is for dog; to him these were nonsensical statements, abstract ideas which he was unable to wrap his head around. (more…)
Last week our family did our first grocery trip of our no spend month and we had all agreed that we would only buy what was on the list, so I made sure to put a couple small treats that we don’t normally get on the list. The first of those treats was a box of generic Fruit Loops.
I am all about stretching a dollar and I couldn’t help but wonder, “how much could we do with a single box of generic Fruit Loop cereal?”
We had a ton of fun answering that question!
Here’s what we came up with…
When we lived in the UK, LittleMan got hooked on a popular British book series known as the Mr Men books. There’s Mr Happy, Mr Greedy, Mr Bump, Mr Bounce, Mr Tall, Mr Small and a whole slew of other Mr’s. LittleMan’s personal favorite is Mr Tickle.
Today I was planning to do a color themed bath for the kids. Simple, easy, fun. Just throw in some balls and balloons, maybe some legos all the same color. Add scented bath paint and colored water and you’re golden. But sometime around breakfast I went from deciding to do a blue themed bath, to doing a purple themed bath, to doing a Harold and the Purple Crayon themed bath. Once my mind got onto Harold and the Purple Crayon things just started happening. Next thing I know I had thrown together an entire Harold and the Purple Crayon themed day for the kids.
In my previous post , I mentioned my box system for completing lessons with my son. Its quite simple actually, I simply have velcro numbers which attach to the side of each box and as my son completes the lesson in the box, he removes the velcro number and adheres it to a chart on the wall. I have 10 boxes however I don’t actually need 10, I just like to have more than I need. Usually we do 4-6 boxes a day, each box takes no less than 5 minutes to complete, no more than 20. Some boxes he can complete on his own, giving me time to tend to SunnyGirl, other boxes require my participation. The following is a compiled list of examples, lessons I have used in our box system.
Last week I saw this alphabet puzzle at Staples for $1 and it reminded me of an activity that I saw several months ago on Little Hands, Big Work.
So of course I had to buy it! And this morning I was poised over a tub of pinto beans, ready to pop the letters out of the puzzle and mix them in when out of the corner of my eye I spotted SunnyGirl collecting balls from around the room and returning them to the ball pit. Inspiration hit. (more…)