Thursday, May 30, 2013


The Nature Shelf

You may have noticed that I often have a shelf set up with my calendar that highlights our unit now. Usually I have a selection of our reading materials and some eye catching manipulatives  to help emphasize the story or facts.

This time I decided to go full gusto and make a long nature table filled with opportunities for fine motor development, small world play, art and exploration. It was a big success and I found I had to keep the door to the room closed when I did not want them to play with it ! I try to keep the activities special for our in school hours and that way they work well independently while I teach their older siblings.

When you are setting up your trays or tables keep in mind that you need to include items that are factually accurate (is that the right way to say it??) You want your child to make connections to what they are learning. Include a variety of ways that the materials can be used to cater to different styles of learning. It should be fairly open ended and encourage creativity. Colourful and textured. Inviting ! You want this to be a good experience that they will remember and look forward to !

One of the things I most enjoy about the activities I prepare for my children is the process of actually preparing them ! I love to reflect on what interests them and come up with units that will bring them joy. I enjoy thinking about what they might enjoy doing as they learn and I find that it creates a lot of positive thoughts towards my boys. I am more intentional about knowing who they are and what appeals to them. When I am out at thrift stores , dollar stores or garage sales I'm always on the look out for special items that I know one of my children\ would like to use. It's a wonderful thing to surround yourself with good thoughts about your kids !

Books to read and pictures to look at
the little black boards are perfect for
drawing your own bird or just practicing some spelling !

Containers with plenty of materials for
nest building !
The bird is battery operated and chirps out a lovely song
Some driftwood, moss and feathers are perfect for examining under a magnifying glass. 

A square of artificial grass and some natural elements in a divider are great for sorting and setting a scene.
A ready made nest and some eggs that open and close.
A variety of little birds and a cute tree with many branches for the birds to perch on (with  berries for them to eat!) 

The boys worked together to build a nest 

Didn't take long to come up with the idea of putting the birds into the eggs to make them hatch out ! 

Pretty !

I really had a good time making this tray ! Bird houses Feathers Natural clippings from the yard red "berries" Rubber band "worms" Small insects on clothes pegs Bird Seeds

Monday, May 20, 2013

Just for Fun !

Backyard Bowling
A working bow and arrow with string and twigs

Going to start a collection of things you can "pin" and do yourself when you are looking for fun , easy and inexpensive things to do with the kiddos !

I'm hoping that the pictures will be fairly explanatory but feel free to leave me a message if you want anything explained.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Buzz....The Bee Unit

Unit Shelf

Yellow is my favourite colour. It makes me so very happy. Just  looking at this unit makes me feel good.
I start my units by setting up a shelf, which I keep up all week long.

We work our way through the books during our calendar time. Today we went straight to the fun of tasting the different types of bee honey goodness !

Liquid honey/cream honey/honey comb/bee pollen

The boys enjoyed some bee themed puzzle making ...

.... Some stencils and rubbings..... 

Taking advantage of this theme  to go through the book  Another Hive of Bees

As we read the short story we add another bee to our hive

It has short stories that help build character :
Bee Careful
Bee Orderly
Bee Thoughtful
Bee Diligent
Bee Unselfish
Bee Determined
Bee Loyal
Bee Truthful
Bee Teachable
Bee Patient
Bee Confident
Bee Honest
Bee Thankful

Of course my two year old is still enjoying sensory bins so this one was for him -

For my Busy Boy

Fingerprint Bees