Apples, Apples, Apples

We recently finished our apple unit–it was definitely yummy and fun and perfect for the fall!  Here are some of our favorite activities…

We started our unit with a bare apple tree.  apple tree decorationI made the tree out of the trunk from our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree and then added the tree part using a cheap, green plastic tablecloth–quick, easy, and cute.  Eventually our tree was covered in apples in apples.

 

Letter Hunt and Smack the Apple

For reviewing letter sounds, we started with another letter hunt since they liked the last one so much!

After the letters were up on our tree, we played our Smack the Apple game.  I made the letter sounds and then they slapped the lettered apple with our flower fly swatters.

Kindergarten Apple Game

 

Apple Words

In addition to reviewing letter sounds, we also used our apple tree to practice our reading list.  I copied our reading lists over to apples and as the girls read each letter they put it up on our tree.  The visual image of so many words on the tree made the girls very proud and allowed them to see how many words they already know.

apple word board

Apple Tasting

Or course we had to taste apples!  We first made a trip to the grocery store where the girls picked out a wide variety of apples.  They took turns tasting each apple we had.  And then they recorded their opinion on their apple worksheet.  We used happy, sad, and middle faces to show how they felt.  Then we compared everyone’s results to see what we all liked.

apple tasting worksheet

 

Apple Popsicle Word Practice

We used these cute little apples to practice our reading words.  On the apple I wrote the vowel from the our three letter words and then on the popsicle stick I wrote to consonants.  Just cute slots on either side to feed the stick through.  I used the large sticks so it was easier to read the letters and I laminated the apples so that they would hold up better.

apple word activity

 

Apple Science

We used this easy science project to introduce the girls to acids and bases.  (The best part of this lesson was that my husband taught it all!)  After introducing the girls to the concept, they selected some acids and bases around the house for our experiment.  We used orange juice and vinegar as our acids while milk of magnesium and oil were our bases.  We soaked apple slices in each substance as well as water and watched to see if acids or bases spoiled or preserved the apples better.

apple acid base experiment

The apple slices browned in every substance except orange juice which caused us to speculate that orange juice has something else in it that helped preserve the apples.apple experiment

 

Plant the “Seed” Letter Recognition

We played this as further review of letter recognition.  We used large lima beans to be our “seeds” and wrote on each the lower case letters.  Then we used a mini-muffin pan (with two more little dishes) with capital letters.  The girls just matched the seeds to the correct spots in the tin.Letter recognition with lima beans

 

Apple Bingo

My kiddos LOVE letter bingo.  I draw the letters, make the sound, and the girls cover the letter with the M&Ms.  When they have four in a row they call bingo and get to eat the M&Ms.  Simple, but fun and yummy.

Download Apple Letter Bingo

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Apple Counting and Painting

We filled in this worksheet by painting apples with q-tips, just dipping the q-tips and dotting the row with the correct number of apples.  The worksheet does go from 0-20.

Download Painting Counting Apples worksheet

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Apple Counting

I also made this worksheet for the girls to practice their numbers.

Download Apple Counting worksheet

apple math printable

 

Seasons of the Apple Tree

To go with the story Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree, we also did this painting activity from Mrs. Vento’s Kindergarten Class.

apple tree seasons

 

Science Worksheets

We also looked at the life cycle and different parts of the apple as part of our science curriculum, including these printables.

DSCN0528[1]Apple life cycle from education.com


DSCN0529[1]Apple parts from ateachingmommy.com

Baking time

Our cooking activities included apple butter (a favorite in our house) and candied apples.

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Sensory Activities

In addition to cooking with each unit, I also try to include a few sensory activities.  Even though the girls are getting bigger they still love these activities.  I find that it also helps relax the girls, gives me time to work one on one with each, and allows them to further develop their language and fine motor skills.

We played with apple scented homemade playdough.  I picked up the recipe from The Imagination Tree, but I had to use apple and cinnamon tea.
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And we did apple scented frozen baking soda and vinegar squares.  Since it was still hot here the frozen blocks were very refreshing to play with outside.
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I have even more activities posted on my kindergarten pinterest board.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

To get back into the school groove, we started with a unit based on the classic alphabet book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin.  There is a reason so many kindergarten classes start the year with this book.  For us it was a DSCN0221great way to review our letters and ease back into our school schedule. To get in the spirit, we started with a palm tree I made in our school room.  I just used brown construction paper and part of a very cheap green plastic tablecloth.

Letter Hunt

DSCN0224I printed these letters out on cardstock and hung them around the house the night before our letter hunt.  I was surprised how much the girls enjoyed finding them and for some reason wearing them.  They were still in their pajamas when we got started.  We then hung the letters up on our palm tree just like in the story.

Download Large Lowercase Letters here

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Coconuts, of course!DSCN0232

You can’t talk about palm trees without exploring coconuts.  I picked some up at the grocery store and after touching and describing them from the outside we broke them open (well, their dad broke them open) and then we all got to taste the coconut milk.  It was different than all of us were expecting.

Mia's face shows exactly what she thinks of the coconut

Mia’s face shows exactly what she thinks of the coconut

Coconut Volcano

I stuffed one of the coconut halves with baking soda and then we took turns pouring the vinegar in to make our volcano explode.  Having recently visited Hawaii, the girls loved mixing two things they saw on their trips.  And then of course, they had to play in the mixture while it was fizzing.

Coconut Volcano

Shake & Color

This was another letter review activity that I’ve seen on a few different sites.  We made these palm trees out of Sprite bottles then filled them with rice and small laminated letters (I used the color version of their worksheet).  The girls would shake the bottles and then identify the letters they saw and color them on their worksheet.

Shake and Color Game

Download Student Version Shake n Color Game in black and white

Download Shake n Color Game in color

Boom Boom Letter Game

The girls loved this game which we picked up from Kindergarten Kel here.

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Letter Sensory Bin

This was super simple to set up but fun for the girls.  I just tossed magnetic letters into our sensory bin with some blue water to mimic the ocean. They fished the letters out with chopsticks (great for motor skills) and then sorted them by capital and lowercase.

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Playdough Number Cards20140908_110351

These number cards from Kindergarten Celebration were a huge hit with the girls.  They filled in the squares on the ten frame for each number and also formed the numbers out of playdough.  You can find the cards here.

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Letter Worksheets

Chicka chicka boom boom worksheetWe also used these worksheets I picked up online.  For the uppercase letters the girls marked the letters with dauber dots as we read through the first half of the book.  The lowercase worksheet involved matching the letters together.  Click on the links below to find the worksheets.

Uppercase Chicka Chicka Boom Boom worksheet

Lowercase Chicka Chicka Boom Boom worksheet

 

Bathtub Fun

This was all purely for fun but the girls LOVED the themed bath I did for them.  The palm tree pieces are cut from regular fun foam sheets–when wet it sticks to the tiles easily.  I used some alphabet pieces we already had although you could also cut those from fun foam if necessary.  The girls also played with the coconut pieces but if you do this, be sure to clean them carefully.  We learned that the hard way.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom bathtub

Snack time!

We also enjoyed snacks inspired by the book.  I saw a few different versions of these online.  For us, we used grapes to make the coconuts.  The girls were also much more willing to try something new (they have never been a big fan of kiwi) when it was in the shape of a palm tree.

This one was made from apples, graham crackers, and grapes

This one was made from apples, graham crackers, and grapes

This lunch was made of banana, kiwi, grapes, cheese, and sliced turkey

This lunch was made of banana, kiwi, grapes, cheese, and sliced turkey

We also baked Chicka Coconut Banana Booms.  You can find the recipe here from Growing Book by Book.

Letter Collage

I precut the pieces of the palm tree and then the girls assembled it.  They then decorated the tree with letter stickers and were supposed to make a collage using magazine pieces.  Unfortunately things didn’t go according to plan.

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As for other art projects, there are tons of cute ideas online.  We kept running out of time and the girls weren’t feeling crafty so as much as I loved all the ideas I saw, we never really made any of them. 🙁

Pinterest

Need more ideas?  Feel free to check out my Pinterest board!

First Day of School

When we made the decision to homeschool I knew this day would come…. the first day of school.  I wasn’t worried about our first day of school (excited about that actually).  No, I worried about how I would feel when my friends posted all their pictures of their children’s first day of school, especially this year when so many, just like ours, are starting kindergarten.  Would I be jealous seeing their children in their brand new outfits wearing oversized backpacks and big smiles?  Of course we aren’t going to make our educational choices based on cute photographs.  Especially when there is such an easy solution… take my own adorable pictures!  And make our own traditions.

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Our Future Graduates

One tradition we started… Taking a picture every year in our high school graduation shirt.  My husband made the 2027 Graduate logo that we ironed on to white T-shirts (we LOVE iron-ons!).  The plan is to take a picture of the girls in their shirts every year and watch as they grow into them.

Graduate TshirtsGrad

Just in case you also have a 2027 Graduate, here is the image we used: 2027 Graduate image for shirt

Or you can download this powerpoint and make changes as necessary: Graduate Tshirt design

School Cones

Another tradition was our “school cones.”  I heard school coneabout this German tradition from a friend and it sounded perfect for our family.  I included new school supplies as well as some special treats.  I had also closed up the school room a few days beforehand to get it ready so the girls were surprised when they entered and saw the room all set up and their school cones on their desks.

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They also had all their new school books sitting on their desks for them to look through and get excited.

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All About Me worksheet

On that first day we also completed our “All About Me” worksheets which we have done in the past and do at least once a year.All About Me Worksheet

Download All About Me worksheet

Self Portraits

And we made these self-portraits from their first day in kindergarten, which just might become another start of the year tradition for us.

kindergarten self portrait

Download First Day of Kindergarten Self Portrait

Different Kinds of Graphs

Since the girls were so into their graphs, I decided to have us just go with it and explore graphs even more.

Our Pizza Graph Display

Our Pizza Graph Display

My goal was to expose the girls to different kinds of graphs since they were interested and to help them see that in math you can say the same thing in many different ways.

As I mentioned before, we graphed what type of pizza our family and friends like to eat.

Our pizza graph

Our pizza graph

We then turned that pictagraph into one using slices of pizza to show how many people prefer which kinds.

Pizza Pictagraph made by Zoe

Pizza Pictagraph made by Zoe

Click here for Pizza Pictagraph Labels & Slices

To help you create your own pizza graph, here are the images I used:

pepperoni pizza
cheese pizza
supreme pizza
Veggie pizza
pizza-boxes
No pizza

 

Following that we also colored in a bar graph similar to the pictagraph with pizza slices.  The girls were able to see that each graph made the same shape and gave the same basic information even though they looked a little different.

Bar graph of Pizza Preferences

Bar graph of Pizza Preferences

 

Of course we had to make pie graph when talking about pizza.  I cut large pizza images into slices and we assembled the slices to make a pizza pie graph showing the different preferences with pizza slices.  To make the slices all fit together, I actually used powerpoint to “slice” the different kinds of pizza into the same size slices (We surveyed 28 people so each pizza–cheese, pepperoni, supreme, etc–was divided into 28 equal sections.)

Pizza Pie Chart made by Mia

Pizza Pie Chart made by Mia

Click here to see how I divided the pizzas into slices

We didn’t do quite as much with the graph we made about what people loved as a baby.

Our Original Lovey Graph

Our Original Lovey Graph

We translated our big graph with people’s pictures into a smaller pictagraph using heart shapes.  I tried to get the girls to make their graph horizontally but they were not going for that.  I did make sheets of hearts, both blank to be colored (like we used) as well as hearts of various colors to use.

 

Heart Pictagraph showing which comfort items people had as a baby

Heart Pictagraph showing which comfort items people had as a baby

Before they colored it in

Before they colored it in

 

Click here for sheets of heart shapes

Click here for Comfort Item Survey Labels

I probably wouldn’t have introduced so much graphing so early but since the girls were excited, I was happy to follow their passions.  And I think the idea that the same idea can be expressed in different ways is a great take away that will help them as they move forward in math.

 

 

 

Graphing Fun

Who knew graphing could be so much fun?  Once we started it was hard to get the girls to stop!

The graph that started it all...

The graph that started it all…

Our math program had the girls graph the hair color of family members (we are using Saxon Math kindergarten this year which has worked well since it has limited writing but big concepts).  When we finished Mia asked if we could graph people’s pizza.  I don’t know where the idea came from but it started us on quite a graphing kick.

Our first question was “What is your favorite pizza?”  The girls came up with the choices: cheese, pepperoni, meat & vegetables (Supreme), vegetarian, every pizza (Mia’s pick), and no pizza.

Our pizza graph

Our pizza graph

Click here for our pizza graph labels

To make our graphs we used the profile pictures from our family magnets and sheets of paper taped together (yes, posterboard would work but I’m trying to be more frugal).

Then the girls Skyped with family and friends and asked them their question to graph their responses.

After working on our pizza pictagraph, Zoe wanted to come up with her own question.  Since she loves her lovey, she asked “What was your favorite comfort item when you were a baby?”  Her choices were: lovey, blanket, teddy bear, stuffed animal, doll, or nothing.

Not to be left out, the lovey survey

Not to be left out, the lovey survey

Here are the labels from our Lovey Survey

What I love about this is that the kiddos were making up the questions and then investigating and reporting the results.  They were practicing so many skills!  It was also a great way to connect with family and friends and include them in our learning.

Our graphing madness

Our graphing madness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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