Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Exotic Birds Vocabulary Cards

Since we're using a flamingo theme for the letter F in our preschool activities, it was the perfect time to make some new Exotic Birds vocabulary cards. I used the birds from the Exotic Bird Toob, with a couple others. You can use them without the toys, though (as we will since we do not currently own that Toob)! You can read about how we use our vocabulary cards and print other cards for free on my Vocabulary Card Page.


Friday, September 18, 2020

Letter E - Elephant Week

These are our homeschool preschool activities for the Letter E and Elephants week. Archer was 27 months. You can see our full "curriculum" post here, but we will only use some activities each week. The majority of his time is still unstructured play.
This was his desk setup. I hung some bulletin board letters, some E/Elephant printables (from 1+1+1=1), a sign language card (from And Next Comes L) and his art from the week. The shelf had a letter construction capital and lowercase letters, a peg letter, an Alphabet Readers, a Meet the Phonics Letter Readers and a Letter D wooden train car.
His "Preschool Basket," had a magnetic tracing board, his Brain Games activity book (we just talk through together), My First Brain Questdry erase tracing cards, sandpaper letters and lots of books. 

I'm trying to include readers to read together, but also books about the week's letter or animal. We had an Animal Antics Reader, a First Little Readers book, a sight words reader and a book about elephants.
This was his shelf set up in the playroom. I used Magnatiles to make an E on his white board and added some magnetic letters. On top I have his Alphabet Soup Can,  his preschool basket and some elephant figurines.

Shelves on the left had dominoes and pattern cards, geometric solids, Elefun and a safari truck. Shelves on the right had beginner spelling cards, a safari puzzle, a shape/size sorting puzzle,  (something in a basket I can't remember), magnetic pattern blocks and a basket of cars.
Pattern block elephant. We used magnetic pattern blocks on our magnetic easel, because he seems to like that much better than doing these activities horizontal. He did it mostly himself, with some repositioning help from me.
Cut and Paste Phonics Hunt. He's getting more confident with glue, but still tends to glue everything on top of each other. I have to help him spread them out.
Alphabet sensory bin. Alphabet noodle base, toy elephants, cookie cutters, lacing letters and a wooden letter.
For play dough, we used cookie cutters and a letter stamper (similar to these) as well as a play dough stamping page for him (free to print here).
Letter Clipping Activity (free to print here). He likes the dolphin clips better than the regular ones, so we're sticking with them.
Letter maze (free to print here). Still a favorite. As soon as he finishes, he starts asking for the next letter (this week he asked for F), which means he has some idea of alphabetical order.
Letter construction (From Tired Need Sleep)
Letter sorting. He did ok, but still needed a little help.
Bottle cap page. He doesn't put the letters on in order (which drives Xander bonkers), but he gets them all in the correct place, so I'm happy with it. (Free to print here)
Once again, we used magnetic bingo chips for the dot page (free to print here). He really likes counting them as he puts them on the dots.
I have learned I'm not allowed to skip the number cards, because he asks for them. However, I didn't think to check to make sure I had all 0-10. Apparently, when I did this with Xander, I only made printed 0-5. He did them, but he was not happy I didn't have a card for every number.
Various E puzzles. I wasn't sure how he would do with the baby/mama elephant one because it is irregularly shaped. With only a tiny bit coaching and no physical help, he was able to do it. I think he liked it because he immediately did it again.
Beginner spelling cards. I only got out a few cards and the corresponding letters. I helped him sound out the words and he did great finding the letters. I'll definitely be getting these out more often.
Magnetic alphabet tracing board. This has been a favorite for a while.
Dominoes and pattern cards. No action shots this time.
I don't usually include pictures, but we're still using his magnetic calendar. He knows all of the days and months, but gets frustrated that the weather and season don't chance more. Sometimes he puts in random seasons or weather, just for fun.
Sometimes learning at home just means snuggling up in bed with a pile of books (in this case all of his Mighty Machines books).

See other Alphabet Posts:

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Halloween Family Games

I know it is a little ways off, but I am getting so excited about Halloween homeschool activities! recently posted about some of the great Educational Halloween books. Another activity we plan to do for Halloween homeschool is play some board games (I love having a theme). I love board games, both for their educational value and for the family bonding time. Here are some ideas if you're looking to play some Halloween themed board games too!

 Go Away Monsters 

  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Everyone has a room board and draws tiles to complete their room. If you draw a monster, you yell "Go Away, Monster!" and banish it.
  • This game is for very young kids. Archer has been playing since about 24 months. I included it for anyone else trying to work a toddler into game time, but would not recommend it solely for older kids. It is too simple.

Monster Chase Board Game

  • Recommended age: 4+
  • This is a cooperative memory game where players are trying to scare away monsters. Archer is still too young, but some reviewers said they play with 3 year olds.

Monster Factory

  • Recommended age: 5+
  • This is a competitive tile laying strategy game where you build monsters. If your kiddo

Ghost Fighting Treasure Hunters

  • Recommended age: 8+ (Its cooperative so could definitely go lower)
  • Another cooperative family favorite. There are four friends trying to retrieve treasure from a ghost infested house. You have to work together to get all of the treasure out before the house becomes too many Hauntings appear. We like that it has various levels of difficulty, so we can adjust depending on who is playing or how brave we're feeling. There is also an expansion available now.

Cauldron Quest

  • Recommended age: 6+ (Its cooperative, so could probably go lower)
  • A cooperative strategy game where everyone works together to save the kingdom from a dark spell. Components are cute and the reviews are great. I didn't discover this game until recently, so it is on my list to get when Archer is a little older.
  • Recommended age: 7+
  • A game with a unique mechanic, in this game you have little "manor" boxes that you have to shake to get objects into the correct rooms. Objects include snakes, eyeballs and spikers.

Shadows in the Forest

  • Recommended age: 8+ (I think this seems a little high, younger players could play with the group of Shadowlings)
  • A fun game to play in the dark. In this game multiple players move the cute little Shadowlings and another player moves the lantern trying to catch them. My family enjoys it, however, it does have to be fairly dark and you do have to trust your fellow players, it would be relatively easy to cheat.

Monster Fluxx

  • Recommended age: 8+
  • Fluxx games are card games where the rules and objective constantly change, depending on what has been played. Because of the changing rules, it sometimes takes 10 minutes and sometimes 40 or more. This version uses classic horror movie monsters for the theme.

Ghost Blitz

  • Recommended age: 8+
  • A ghost themed dexterity game where players race to grab the correct object. Since it can play up to 8, it would be good for bigger families or small parties. There are also a couple of expansions

Potion Explosion 

  • Recommended age: 14+ (my 9 year old plays easily)
  • This is a competitive potion creation game that has a nice tactile component. Your "ingredients" are different colored marbles you collect to make your potions. Once you complete your recipe, you can use those potions to help you in the game. How you select your marbles from the little rack can also cause "explosions" letting you take more ingredients. When I first got this for Xander, he wasn't all that interested. Then we played once, and it became his favorite game.

Broom Service

  • Recommended Age: 10+
  • This is a resource-delivery strategy game, where players are witches, druids or fairies. It is supposed to be a little bit "heavier" of a game, but is reviewed well. We have it on our list of games to try, but I wouldn't choose it if your family does not play a lot of games together. 

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