Our family moves around quite a bit, and one of my favorite parts of moving is setting up a new homeschool classroom. There is something invigorating about getting a fresh start in a new space every once in awhile.
My son and I are HUGE fans of the How to Train Your Dragon book series. Last year when the 12th and final book came out, we celebrated by putting together a HTTYD Fan Club where all the local fans could get together and bond over their shared interest in the books.
We created a lot of fun activities and games for fan club members to enjoy, and we want to share them with you. (more…)
One of the main staples of most any classroom is the board.
A chalk board. A dry erase board. There always seems to be some sort of board.
Teachers diagram concepts for their pupils. Students practice their sight words and solve large math problems.
All at the board.
Watching wildlife in their own backyard is one of the most rewarding and inspiring activities that a child can do. I don’t even know the innumerable hours I spent as a child watching the squirrels gathering nuts for the winter and birds building their nests in the spring. Many seasons I sat in quiet observation of the raccoon kits as they outgrew their mother’s care and the flowers as they over-flowed their garden beds. I befriended the toad who made his burrow beneath my patio and awaited his awakening each evening as the day came to an end, frequently catching little fireflies to feed him.
Nothing makes me happier than knowing I can give my children a similar experience. Sending them outside everyday to connect with the world around them, in their own ways.
Many older houses come equipped with clotheslines in the backyard. Our home is one such place.
The large metal pole cemented into the ground in the middle of our outdoor classroom was an eye sore for me to look at every day.
So I sat down and brainstormed up a few ways that we could take that eye sore and make it useful.
Small world play is an excellent tool in the development of well-rounded children. They act out stories they’ve read (or had read to them), they act out social situations and practice handling emotions, they make up their own stories and exercise their creative muscle.
Having an outdoor small world play area just adds to the benefits. The sensory experience of real plants and dirt, the fresh air and sun on their skin. No doubt about it an outdoor small world play area, or “fairy garden,” is a childhood must-have.
I try to waterproof as much of our outdoor materials as possible. I’ve even found ways of making water-proof books and board games that can be left out in all sorts of weather without being damaged. But there are other things that I’d rather not get left out in the rain. Things like chalk. Magnetic letters. Dress-up Supplies.
Our quite the collection of Tonka cars. So much so that I decided to re-locate half of their collection to our outdoor classroom. Many of their Tonka cars are construction vehicles, which inspired me to create a construction play area for them.
Pinwheels, besides being colorful and fun, can also be a great way to draw young children’s attention to things like weather, wind, and air.
Making pinwheels out of duct tape is super easy. Older children might enjoy making a few for themselves and their siblings.
Last year we built a mud kitchen for our children and it was wholly popular among our children and their friends. Lots of big time messy play went down at that mud kitchen. While we loved our old mud kitchen, it wasn’t very easy on the eyes. This year we decided to revamp the idea; build a new, more visually appealing mud kitchen.