Chalk Walk & the Art of Playing to Learn

Chalk Walk & The Art of Playing to Learn

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Spring is here and between spring rain storms, we are enjoying the warm spring weather and lovely breeze.  Who wants to be stuck indoors learning when they could be out playing scooter, digging in the dirts and exploring nature! With that in mind, our little ones have ventured out doors to play and learn.

After a quick trip to the dollar store were we stocked up on a few containers of sidewalk chalk, we decided to have a good time building learning games on the driveway.  The first round, I created bursts of word families.  Using a hop-along pony our little one formed words and sounded out words as we raced to each finish line.

 

After the rain washed this particular game away, created a winding shoots and ladders style learning game.  With two pennies, the kids moved forward one space for each head and two for tails. Boxes along the journey had learning activities and exercise ideas for the children to preform.  On this track, they used their scooters to navigate the twists and turns.

 

Since the rain has now washed this game-board, the three are already planning their next chalk walk. This time they want to create a CandyLand style game with creative magical stops along their journey. This is what they’ve come up with so far:

  • Mud Swamp
  • Magical Room of Potions
  • Candy Flower Garden
  •  Troll Bog

Activities along their path::

  • Rhyming Words
  • Beginning Sounds
  • Rubber band words (stretching word sounds)
  • Simple Math Problems
  • Hopping on one leg
  • Pushups
  • Squats
  • Other Work Outs

Let us know what other creative ideas you’d like us to consider!  Or, do you have a picture of your own chalk walk? We’d love to see!

Egg Adventures

Egg Adventures!

How is Easter already next weekend?  Didn’t we just celebrate Christmas?  In the spirit of the holiday, I created a few fun projects for our kids this week.  With each one of our children at different academic levels, I wanted to develop an activity that would address each individual’s needs. Also as a combined family project, I brought back our Christmas Kindness Challenge and revamped it for Easter.

 

Kindness Challenge

Be Grateful, Be Kind, Believe in Kindness

Little toys, tiny trinkets, a coin or maybe a dollar, these are some of the possibilities that fill our kindness challenge eggs. Over the next week, our family will find places around town or even on our spring break travels to place these little gifts of love.  What would you put in your own kindness eggs?

Sight Word and Beginning Letter Challenge

Egg Fun for Four

 

Our four year old this week is working on beginning letters and recognizing site words in preparation for Kindergarten in the fall.  On the outside of each egg is the letter of the word inside. At the $ section of Target I found an egg puzzle. On one side I placed shape stickers and the other number for review.  Story starters are also typed up on other pieces of paper as a fun way to travel.  Open up each egg, read the story starter and create a family story as you drive or fly towards your family adventure.

Motor Skills and Movement Challenge

Eggs & Movement

Our middle girl is working on strengthening her muscles. So for her eggs, we placed a variety of movement exercises to get her up, moving and engaging those muscles in a fun challenge.

 

Stem Questions in Context Challenge

Stem Stories

Our oldest is working hard to master Stem questions in reading context. For her, I typed up a list of questions sent home by the school to use for her story retell.

What Egg Creations do you have planned for your Easter Celebration this year? 

Serving up Learning

Serving up Learning

Have old plasticware and plastic bowls laying around the house?

Why not use them for a fun learning exercise!

We just happen to have an odd assortment in from our last party. So with a little fun and creative planning we turned those plasticware a lot of fun.

Materials I used:

  • Marker
  • Plastic Bowls
  • Pastic Spoons
  • Play Rolling Pin (& fondant rolling pin for me)
  • plastic letters or letter cookie cutters
  • play dough or cookie dough

Label the spoons with letters, I choose to focus on a few word families and consonants (_ap and _op). Allow the child(ren) to roll out the door and stamp letters.  Also have him/her match the letters to the spoons moving them from one bowl to the next.  Make words with both the spoons and stamped letters.  If you are stamping and baking cookies why not create a fun little picnic treat.

Beanbags, Balls and Boggle

Beanbags, Balls and Boggle

With multiple snow days, running my Rodan+Fields business and sending out query’s for my book, getting back into the swing of preschool has been a challenge.  A little math lesson here a literacy project there, we haven’t been as consistent.  To kickstart the week, I decided to create a few lessons that would engage, entertain and excite my little 4 year old.

 

Yesterday we took a trip to the dollar store for a pack of sports balls and balloons.  Additionally, I dusted off my game of Boggle Jr. and tracked down my bean bag letters & numbers to add to our projects.  Then, once the girls arrived home I adapted the activities to review their math and literacy skills.

 

Looking for some interactive literacy and math practice, here are the activities we generated.




Literacy and Math Review with Beanbags

Preschool

Play toss with the beanbag.  My three year old and I sat on opposite sides of a yoga mat and tossed the beanbag back and forth.  We reviewed phonemic awareness with letter names & sounds, and matched beginning and ending sounds.

Bean Bag Spell: Pratice making words and phonemes with simple three to four letter word combinations.  I usually try and stay with one word family group a day such as -it or -an.  Then we change out letters to make new words.

Pop the word: Just this morning we used up a cereal box of Pops.  So, my four year old and I raced the timer (in the Boggle game) to name as many letters as we could.  As soon as the timer rang, we popped the letters out of the box.

Number Pull.  In a beach bucket I placed numbers 1-10.  We drew a number and counted out chocolate chips to match. Then we practiced writing the number on our Boogie Board.

1st and 3rd Grade

Word Review and Spelling. My 3rd grader practiced spelling her words with the beanbags while my 1st grader helped build and read new words.

Math: Beanbag Multiplication skills were practiced for my 8 year old while the 6 year old focused on fact families (or adding and subtracting three sets of numbers ie: 2,4,6). For example: 2+4=6, 4+2=6, 6-2=4, 6-4=2

Learning with Sports Balls

The sports pack from the dollar store consisted of a football, soccer ball and basket ball.  On the football I wrote common ending words such as: at, an, all, it.  Upon the mini basket ball I wrote three sets of numbers, evenly spaced, on each section. Each hexagon on the mini soccer ball had a letter. Upon reflection, for less confusion, I should have written the vowels on the black pentagons or used a red pen to isolate.

Preschool

Letter Review (Soccer):  Practicing and identifying letters and their sounds, we tossed the ball at each other reading a new letter each time.  We then moved on to identifying words that started and ended with specified letters. We then kicked the ball around the room also naming letters we saw.

Making Words: Tossing the football, we practiced reading the words/common endings. Using the soccer ball, we then added a letter to the common endings to make words.

Grades 1 & 3

Number Review: We took turns tossing the basket ball identifying numbers.  For my oldest, we tossed back and forth for multiplication review. The first player named a number then passed the ball. The next player then said a basic binary operation then read an additional number.  He/she then tossed back the ball for the player to solve the problem.  For my first grader, using mental math: I tossed the basket ball, read the three numbers across and then had her add them together.

Boggle Jr:

Beat the clock to find the correct letter, spell and read the word.  I challenged my preschooler to quickly find the letters before the clock expires, exaggerating and being goofy as we solve the puzzle. He also enjoys playing by himself to review letters and make words.

Polar Express Week

All Aboard the Polar Express!

It’s time for some Christmas fun! Travel with us over the next two weeks and learn about holidays around the world. This holiday themed learning is filled adventure. This set includes a DIY train story, math with more and less, subtracting on 1 less, family activities and more! Plus head over to Venture2Learn.com and follow along as I list helpful books and projects to go along with our Christmas Train Ride! I’ll be adding more holidays around the world next weekend so stay tuned!

Throughout next week, I’ll update this blog post with pictures of my little 4 year old working on some of the creative projects designed especially for preschool learning fun.  Here is a glimpse of the projects created. For the full set, check out my Etsy page.

  

Suggested Books for Polar Express Week

The Polar Express

Holidays Around the World 

Celebrate Christmas 

Christmas Around the World

Christmas Traditions Around the World 

Legend of the Poinsettia 

The Legend of Old Befana

The Night of Las Posadas

The Tomten

Other Activities for Polar Express Week
  • Read The Polar Express the watch the movie. Compare and Contrast them.
  • Prepare a Polar Express party with hot chocolate, cookies and music. Dress the part.
  • Look for a local train ride (locate a a Santa Express, Polar Express ride or just a short little train ride)
  • Research each country, look online and discover what makes each country unique and different.
  • Check out the following website for Christmas celebrations from around the world. Videos from Around the World and this big list of Christmas Traditions Around the World .
  • For our England visit, we will follow these directions on How to make a Christmas Cracker.

 

Elf in Training Day 5

We continue our advent adventures with Day 5. Click here for a full copy or to print your own advent activities.   The categories we choose for 2017: Family Holiday Activity, Elf in Training and Workout Challenge.

Day 5 Tasks:

Elf in Training

1. Greet at least 5 people and say a kind word to them.

For kids:

  • Say hello to the teachers at school.
  • Greet your friends as they start their day.
  • Say something kind to your brother(s) or sister(s).
  • Say something nice to and about yourself.
  • Wave at the neighbors.

For Adults:

  • Pause in line at the grocery story and give the person ahead or behind you a smile.
  • At work give an greet your co-workers with a positive start.
  • Say something special to your spouse or significant other.
  • Be kind and extra loving to your kids, spend time with them.
  •  Be courteous to the car ahead or behind you.

2. Donate a Toy or Book you no Longer Need

The kids each picked out a couple toys or books to give to charity today.  Goodies will be dropped off this afternoon.

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Family Holiday Activity

Read a Holiday Story

This year I grabbed the holiday books off the shelf and wrapped them in 25 bundles, one for each day before Christmas. This worked great until I came downstairs last night to a couple more then a few unwrapped by eager little kids, oops. A couple more days may pass until we get to unwrap again. LOL Do you have a favorite holiday or Christmas story you read every year?  I would sure love to hear it!

Here are some of our favorites:
Auntie Clause by Elise Primavera
Auntie Clause and the Key to Christmas by Elise Primavera
Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo 
The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck
The Polar Express by Chris Can Allsburg
The Night Before Christmas Clement C. Moore
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Workout Challenge

5 Pull-Ups

 

Get your strength on, today is pull-ups!  Need a little more then five pull-ups, try 5 sets of 5 pull ups throughout the day.  Struggling to get your pull-ups in, use a pull-up strap for support or equalizer bars to mimic the movement.

pull-upsImage from clipart.com

T is for Turkey

Time for some Turkey Talk!

November is here and with it fall themed activities for Preschool.  This Thanksgiving themed learning is filled with all things turkey with an emphasis on being thankful. This set includes a letter T word hunt, a thankful book, math with more and less, math with adding on 1 more, thanksgiving placement cards, family thankful game and more! For a link to my Etsy page, click here. 

Throughout next week, I’ll update this blog post with pictures of my little 4 year old working on some of the creative projects designed especially for preschool learning fun.  Here is a glimpse of the projects created. For the full set, check out my Etsy page.

 

 

 

Suggested Books for Turkey Week Reading

Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving 

Five Silly Turkeys

The Silly Turkey

Turkey Trouble 

The Great Turkey Race & The Silly Turkey Party

10 Fat Turkeys 

Run Turkey Run 

Other Activities for Leaf Week
  • Daily have each child write down what they are thankful for on the feathers. Create a display turkey on Thanksgiving for a Turkey Talk.
  • Turkey Talk: Discuss the many ways you are thankful. Use the provided feathers to help prompt the children.
  • Display cards: Create display cards with one reason why that family member is loved.

 

P is for Pumpkin

Halloween Preschool Projects

P is for Pumpkin

This little collection has Halloween themed learning with the letter P for Pumpkin which includes a letter P word hunt, a color by numbers, patterns and simple counting page and a fun little interactive pumpkin song. For a link to my Etsy page and more Pumpkin Activities. Here is a small sample out of the 18 pages I created.

created by venture2learn.com

Pumpkin Books

Looking for Pumpkin Books to read?  Here are some of the titles we are using:

Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll

My First Halloween by Tomie dePaola

Corduroy’s Best Halloween Ever! by Don Freeman

Sixteen Runaway Pumpkin by Dianne Ocholtree

The Runaway Pumpkin by S.D. Schindler

The Pumply Dumply Pumpkin

 

Other Activities for Pumpkin Week:

Graphing Candy Corn and Candy Pumpkins (or rainbow goldfish)

Sorting and Counting Candy Pumpkins.

We happen to have play handcuffs sitting around the house to use as sections.  Grab a couple of pumpkin plates or string to make circles and you are all set to sort and count.

Adventures in Reading

August Home Reading

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Get your August Home Reading Here. With the theme, “Adventure in Reading”, make reading fun and meaningful with these educational activity calendars. Fun for all elementary learners, there are three calendars in this set. Pre-K & Kindergarten, enjoy coloring in the adventure themed picture for each day you read. 1st and 2nd grades, enjoy a good book and complete 20 activities then color August Home Reading Page! Grades 3-5 enjoy a calendar filled with fun activities from art to athletic and simple to engaging, complete 20 tasks for 20 days read. Have fun and share your work. Download a digital copy of August Reading Here and head back to school ready to learn.

Summer Family Adventures Week 8

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Summer Family Adventures

July 2017

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our July Summer Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List.

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Week 5 Adventures!

Monday: Art Class. Handprint Art.  From our Collection of Art, Cooking & Life Skills of On my Own Cards, the kids will follow the directions to create Handprint Hedgehogs.

Tuesday: Cooking with Math Time to make healthy cookies!. I’ll let the kids choose from one our sweet tooth picks on this weeks menu.

Wednesday: Sports Day– Since our move, we are on the quest to find a new martial arts school for our oldest and the other two would like to also try.  Today they will all get a workout at the gym.

Thursday: Life Skill Discovery Writing a Letter.  Our oldest decided, after reading the first couple of Harry Potter Books, to write a letter to J.K. Rowling.  So we asked each of our kids to choose their favorite author to write to and we will turn it into a fun life skill project. Check out this week’s posting on which authors were chosen.

Friday: Exploring Science. Exploring Science, we may head up to the local city and try out one the science museums today.

Family Adventure

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Blues Cafe or Museum!  

With our recent move, and all the crazy that goes with a transition, sticking to our activity schedule was a challenge.  So, we have some catching up to do on our Summer Wish List. This week we are going to try and head to a local museum and head to the Blue Cafe for our family adventures.