Saturday, April 4, 2015

Lego Easter Egg Hunt

Since we try to eat pretty healthy and prefer to eat homemade baked treats instead of candy, I usually try to find a non-candy Easter Egg filler.  This year Xander is VERY into super heroes and Legos, so I decided to go with that theme.  I was originally going to go with these Super Hero MiniFigs, since they would easily fit inside an egg.  
I really like to encourage the building aspect of Legos, though.  What I ended up buying was an Avengers Hydra Lego set, mostly because it included super heroes, building and was inexpensive.  I also picked up The Lego Movie because it was only $7 on Amazon.
In order to still do I hunt, I opened up the set and put the pieces in individual eggs.  It came with two big packages inside the box (one for each vehicle), so I opened one and left the other in the box with the instruction booklet.  I put a few pieces in each egg and I made sure to count them, so that I know when they're all found.  One of the packages of tiny pieces, I just put into a bigger egg whole.
I wrapped up the box and the movie and plan to give him after his egg hunt is done.  Can't wait to see the look on his face as he opens each egg with more and more Legos!  He'll be even more excited when he opens the package and see the instructions (not sure why the little instruction books are so fascinating.  He will spends long periods of time looking through them).

What other, non-candy ideas have you done for egg hunts?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Updates

Hello everyone!  Sorry it has been so quiet around here!  I had all these wonderful plans for Xander's school time, but honestly, my new job has been kicking my butt.  I am working most nights and weekends in addition to the normal hours, so I'm just trying to enjoy my time with him when I have it.
Recently Xander said to me "Mom, Duplos are for little kids.  Legos are for big kids, so we need to get some Legos."  Guess my baby is growing up.  I got him some Lego Juniors and some other "big kid" Legos because he really wanted the super hero ones.  He has been doing great; still needs a lot of help, but getting better.   I'm loving listening to him playing with his figurines!

He's still reading up a storm.
In bigger news, I just bought a house.  It is definitely more scary doing it as a single mom than it was the first time I bought a house.  I'm excited to be able to give him a home and a yard though.  It is definitely a fixer-upper, so I'm sure I'll have plenty of before and after pictures.  Maybe I'll even have a few DIY posts along the way!  We'll wait to move until this summer since I just can't make it happen with my work schedule.  Xander fluctuates between excited and apprehensive.  He can't remember living anywhere else and is going to miss his Grandpa.  I'm definitely hoping we find ourselves very happy in the new home! 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

H for Heart

Although we made it from A-Z in our Alphabet in Simple Science, I decided that I'd add some here and there.  I added this one to go with our Heart and Lungs Unit.  We also had a Science Notebook Page B is for Blood.
 Science Notebook Page (Click the picture to print).

Since we were learning about the heart and lungs, we went over how the heart is a pump that pumps the blood around the body.  The blood carries oxygen so that our muscles can work.  We also talked about how your muscles need more oxygen when they're working harder, so you heart has to pump faster.  The Magic School Bus Lost Works Out was a good episode for talking about the role of oxygen in the muscles and why the blood needs to circulate (on Netflix).  

Changing Heart Rate
Place to write results

We started out by using our stethoscope to measure our resting heart rates.  I did it by setting the timer for 30 seconds and multiplying by two.  You could also go ahead and do the whole minute if it would be less confusing for your little one.  Once we wrote our resting heart rates down, it was time for some exercise!  Xander ran around in circles, did jumping jacks and stayed really active for a 3 minutes and we took his heart rate again.  Then I exercised for the same amount of time and we took my heart rate.  When we were all done we compared the results.

(We'd been to a party that day, hence the Batman face painting)
The Conversation:
I tried to ask Xander what he noticed about the numbers, and help him get to the idea that the active heart rates were faster than the resting.  Then I asked him why the heart would need to pump faster (more times every minute) when we are moving than when we are resting.  I helped lead him to the idea that the muscles are working harder, so need more oxygen.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Free Base Ten Mat for Dollar Store Place Value Cards

I recently purchased a Mathtacular DVD for Xander.  Even though it is super long, and formatted more for use in an elementary classroom than entertainment purchases, he LOVES it.  He's been watching it frequently and been very excited about numbers and mathematics lately.  Not wanting to lose the momentum, I decided to look for a set of base ten blocks.  Unfortunately, they all seemed pretty expensive, so I was absolutely THRILLED to find some place value cards at Dollar Tree.

  Place Value Cards from Dollar Tree

To go with them, I made this place value mat.  The colors all line up and  I included a place to write the numbers at the bottom also.  By printing it on card stock and laminating it, he can write and erase over and over.  To use it, I gave him a stack of cards, had him sort them into their place values, and then figure out the total.

You can print your own here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Human Body: Heart and Lungs

This year we're working on Preschool Themes.  You can check out this post for our learning goals)  One of the big themes we're working on is the Human Body.  The most recent section was Heart and Lungs.

As always, we read a ton of books!  He really seemed to like A Drop of Blood, probably because it starred a vampire.

Pumping like the Heart
This was one of those times when an activity seemed great in my head... but didn't quite work out.  The idea was to have Xander see how much water he could pump using a hand pump in 30 seconds.  Then we could discuss how his hand got tired, but his heart pumps all day and night.  I'd done a similar activity in a 7th grade classroom and it worked out wonderfully.  Unfortunately, I picked up a cheap bulb from Wal-Mart, not knowing that it didn't have a valve inside, so it made a horrible pump.  Next time, I definitely need to invest in a good rubber pump with a valve.  You could also add a hose clip to simulate clogged arteries and see how much harder it is to pump.
Model of a lung
We made the very popular model of a lung.  Cut the bottom off a two liter bottle and stick a balloon inside.  Then cover the bottom with a bigger balloon, or heavy piece of plastic.  The little balloon simulates the lungs while the bottom simulates the diaphragm.  Push up on the diaphragm, and the lungs squeeze out the air.  Expand the "chest cavity" by pulling down on the bottom portion, and the lungs fill.
Listening to Our Hearts
I picked up this inexpensive stethoscope for Xander.  He has really enjoyed listening to everyone's heart!  He likes to compare.

We did two Alphabet in Simple Science posts for this unit.  We did B for Blood and H for Heart.  Be sure to check them both out for fun activities!
Sensory Play
We made a simple sensory bin out of red kidney beans, some googly eyes, some skeletons (left over from Halloween) and some straws and balloons.  As you can see, Xander dove right in.
Blood Sensory Bin
We used red water beads (which somehow ended up pink) for red blood cells, ing pong balls for white blood cells, and little glass gems for platelets.
We watched a few YouTube videos, as well as Magic School Bus Works Out

Since I'm having trouble being consistent about math, I have started having Xander do 10 minutes of either Splash Math or a Math Age 4-6 app.  We also try to incorporate math play when we can.  Here he is making a mess with learning with his number board.  After a while of free play, I had him skip count by fives.
He also played with his Inchimals.
More Playful Learning
Playing with his Zoob Juniors
Pattern Play
He's always had such serious faces when he's doing something!
World Map Floor Puzzle
Practicing Tracing Letters with Kumon Cards
Lots of Letter Stamping!

Kaysha @ Memorizing the MomentsBody/SensesScience Crafts & Activitiesbrainhighways - series of videos that explain the sense systems really well for adults AND children, as well as things that people do to balance their senses.Juicy Fruit Gum Five Senses Science Investigation with FREE printablenervous system ideas and printablesWeeks 1-12. meet your organs.Week 12.   Once upon a time Life videos, cells, human body science, bloodHuman Body Preschool Theme (Part Two) - "How strong are your lungs?" experiment!Your ribs protect your organs! More free & fun crafts about the human body on Our Time to Learn - preschool, kindergarten, homeschool, anatomyWhy We Have BonesMemorizing the Moments: Alphabet in Simple Science: T is for TendonA free printable game to teach kids about their eyes.Letter of the Week A-Z Series: B is for Body Preschool Science Activity - A Little Pinch of Perfect2 FREE food group card games: Teach your kids about choosing healthy foods through these two fun games! Great for kids of all ages! We played with a preschooler, 1st grader, 5th & 6th graders.Human Body: Respiratory System | The Home TeacherTricky Senses - Exploring the sense of touch while investigating temperature.PRINTABLE    LIFE-size organs printable pdfPrintable SkeletonFree printable - The Skeletal SystemDoin' the Bone Dance - Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana Teaches Anatomy  One example of a "learning your bones" song comes from a 2007 episode of Hannah Montana.    In this episode one of Hannah's songs, "Nobody's Perfect," gets converted by a young Miley Cyrus (and her dad) into a memory aid song to help her learn and remember her bone anatomy for a test.    Take a look at the Video clip, the lyrics and assessment of how well this might work as a teaching aid to teach Hannah Montana fans anatomy.What is blood made of : A hands-on science demonstration for kidslearning about the human eye - balloon eyeball from Life with Moore BabiesThe Homeschool Den: Human Body Unit: Heart and Circulatory System ActivitiesPrintable Body PuzzleUse glitter to teach about how germs spread.  Good activity for week 9 on the lymph/immune system.Blow painting germs. Week 9-lymph systemLOVE LOVE LOVE - want to do a version for each of the kids!!!pasta skeleton...human body studies ... :)PRINTABLE - Five-Senses-SortPrintable =  Human Body Lapbook & UnitAnatomy Lapbook - Muscular SystemAnatomy Lapbook - Skeletal SystemLife size human bodyBodySystemsWorksheetAnatomy for kids. What to do when your child is interested in human organs and human bones...X-rays on the light table - learning about the skeletal system.Printable body partsSuzie's Home Education Ideas: 8 Ideas for learning about the Human Body - FREE printable human anatomy three-part cardsLearn about the skeletal system with X-Ray playdough!Nerdy Science: Model Lungscirculatory systemhow a lung worksExplore bones and bodies with your kids! - Free printable x-rays from Tried & TrueInvitation to Create-Play Dough Skeletons or fine motor play for Halloweer or Letter X activitiesHuman body Systems foldableHuman Anatomy for Kids. Make a life-sized model using toys, craft supplies, and other random objects from around the house. Science and creativity!Cutting Tiny Bites: Weekly Home Preschool Theme- My BodyHuman Anatomy Felt Board Organ SystemsSkeletoni from SpoonfulCounting Coconuts: Sensory Tub - The Human BodyEasy Sensory Activity for Kids: Make an X-Ray Light Box from The Measured MomSee On
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