Moldable Beach Sand

Bring the beach inside!  I love this moldable beach play sand I made for my little guy to play with.  It turned out so well even his big sisters wanted in on the action!

I had looked up a few recipes but they just didn’t work for me.  What I liked was that this was still sand for the most part, felt nice and smooth, and it smelled tropical.

Recipe:

6 cups play sand

1 cup corn starch

1/2 cup coconut oil

 

Of course the recipe isn’t set in stone, so just adjust to get the amount and texture you would like.  I added the corn starch to make the sand a little softer and stickier.  We keep our coconut oil in the garage and live in climates so hot that ours is always in liquid form.  If yours is solid, then just melt it.  And the best part about the coconut oil is the smell it’ll give you sand.  My Zoe hates the smell of the store-bought living sand so this is a big deal in our house.  🙂

Since I was going for the beachy vibe, I added shells and some small plastic creatures to our bin.  The sand was so easy to build with and soft to the touch it has immediately become one of our go-to sensory activities!

Doctor Foster

With all the rain we’ve been experiencing here, I thought that the DSCN1680nursery rhyme “Doctor Foster” would be perfect as we got back into our nursery rhyme memory work.

Doctor Foster went to Gloucester
In a shower of rain
He stepped in a puddle
Right up to his middle
And never went there again.

To go with the poem we made these cute umbrellas.  The girls fingerpainted the tops and then glued on the handles and the rain drops.  I just gave them ribbon and precut raindrops and let them decide how they wanted their rain to look.

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We also did rain paintings.  The girls painted designs and then we placed the sheets out in the rain to get splattered.  It was inspired by a picture on pinterest that didn’t turn out at all like the pin, but we still liked the tie-dye, watery look we got.

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Be sure to use thick paper (I used cardstock) and only have it out in the rain for a minute or two (or your picture can disappear).

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And while practicing reciting our poem, we also colored these printouts from SparkleBox.  (SparkleBox is a UK site filled with all kinds of great printables and goodies.)  Just click on the picture to go get the coloring page along with a short book.

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Veterinary Dramatic Play

Guess what we did today!  Lately the girls have been obsessed with playing with their stuffed animals so I decided to set up a veterinary office in their playroom for after we finished school.

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We’ve always done child-directed activities so I’ve DSCN1286never actually set up something like this ahead of time.  If you know my girls in real life you know that they have no shortage of imagination (my mom would tell you that their whole life is dramatic play) so it just didn’t really occur to me sooner.  But this was super easy and considering the happy reaction, we will definitely be doing this again.  So here is our veterinary office using only supplies we already had on hand….

 

 

For our tables I used TV trays (we received some kid-sized ones a few years ago).  I covered one with a small table cloth to make it an examination table.  And laundry baskets came in very handy for additional set-up.
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Medical supplies we used:
  • Toy doctor kit laid out
  • Our microscope (to examine test results)
  • Plastic gloves (We don’t have any real ones but luckily I had some from my hair dying kit that worked just fine.)
  • Package of old gauze bandages (These come in every first aid kit we’ve ever gotten and I think we’ve only used them once.)
  • An ace bandage (I ended up letting the girls cut it into pieces to fit their animals and dolls so it looks like I will be buying another one.)
  • Clipboards with recording forms attached and pencils

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And I added:
  • Laundry baskets to serve as kennels for patients
  • Baby doll bathtub to wash the animals
  • A receptionist space with their cash register and play phone and some appointment slips I found online
  • Obviously all the animal accessories the girls have
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It immediately became a very busy office

 

Desk where clients pay and records are updated

Desk where clients pay and records are updated

We found great printables at:

I printed out all the different forms so that they could see which ones they liked.

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So it looks like we will be playing vet for awhile…

All of their customers waiting to be seen!

All of their customers waiting to be seen!

 

I loved the teamwork!

I loved the teamwork!

Fall Reading and Writing Activities

It might still be hot out here where we are, but that doesn’t mean we can’t bring the fall indoors.  Here are some of our fall-themed reading and writing activities that we’ve enjoyed (but don’t fit with some of our other themes).

Practice with “the”

Since we were working on the sight word “the” this falling leaves activities from Mrs. Wood’s Kindergarten Class was perfect for us…

Fall sight word the

Download Fall writing for THE

Fall Similes

Another writing assignment that the girls enjoyed was describing the fall using similes.

fall similes
fall writing

Download Fall Similes Worksheet

 

Reading the Leaves

Our apple tree underwent another transformation, becoming the perfect fall decoration.  Again using the same trunk from Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, we removed the green leaves and added more branches.

fall classroom decoration

I used my cricut to cut out all the leaves in different shades of red, orange, yellow, and brown.  Then I wrote our most recent vocabulary words onto leaves.  The girls would add a leaf to the tree after they read the word.

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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.

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