Monday, March 19, 2012

Home Made Fish Tank

A few years ago Zachary and Scott made this fish tank as a fun project while I was on bed rest in the hospital.  The extra projects with Daddy and the grandparents definitely helped him cope with me being away.  The nights away from him were of course hard on me too so I enjoyed seeing the activities they worked on.  I'm very thankful we had great hands to help out during that time. 

I believe this beautiful tank contained leaves, rocks, sand, plants and plenty of pretend sea creatures! The container was an old drink container of some type....tea...lemonade...

Zachary lately has begun asking for a fish tank again. Taking care of our dog is plenty for me right now so I plan to bring this up again! :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lent Table

My mother-in-law gave us a packet of different church season activity ideas.  For advent we had a centered area for our nativity and advent wreath.  The kids both loved that and benefited from it and so I wanted to make one for lent too.  We were able to incorporate the lent color, purple with a piece of fabric from my sewing area.  We also used palm branches from previous Palm Sundays which we put in the vase in the back.  We got a lent calendar from Catholic icing to provide a visual for the kids.  Lent can feel like a very long time for the children so the calendar is very helpful in giving them a sense of time. The other paper you see is a quote I liked about improving yourself from Thoreau.  The seashell has the Out Father on it and the picture in the back has three children signing "I love you".  

When Easter come we will replace the palms with pretty flowers and replace the purple with white.  I think I like this table for myself as much as I do for the kids! 

Game to Search for Sight Words

I made this cube last night for Zachary. I probably should have taken more time because as you can see it's not as sturdy as I would like. I came up with this because Zachary prefers to search for words in his books rather than sound them out and some of these words are not words we sound out such as "the". He likes the idea of playing a game while reading and he has a picture of the word he is looking for instead of me just telling him "look for i-n". Hopefully he will recognize the words more quickly as we play the cube game more often. 

An alphabet cube can also work for toddlers learning the ABCs.  I have some of those that I actually purchased at a teacher supply store.  Maybe these will work for others too!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Picture Schedule

This picture schedule has been amazing for my own kids and my music therapy clients.  This is a sample of our home schedule.  The rainbow at the bottom was our theme for the week. I do not always put the theme there but we happened to have a picture of it for that particular week. We learn as parents that our young tots or pre-schoolers are still developing their memory skills.  They do however build confidence and feel more in control when they know what is coming next during the day.  Consistent routines are of course great for that and a picture schedule to go along with it is even better! It is especially helpful for the days when something out of routine occurs. 

This blue scheduler comes from Lakeshore Learning and makes a triangle so there are two sides showing and it can be placed on a table/desk. It also folds up and has a pocket to hold the pictures in. Lakeshore also carries plenty of charts that can be hung on the wall. I needed the table top in order to bring it easily to my music therapy sessions and then back home.  These pictures came from Google images and I added color to some of them through the program  

Tectonic Plates

Here's a creative way to teach kids about how tectonic plates work! My husband found this idea online. I'll have to ask him where he found it.  

  1. Take a shoe box and cut it in half.
  2. Put one side inside of the other for sliding closed and apart.
  3. Add dirt to the entire bottom.
  4. Push boxes together or pull them apart to make mountains, valleys, earthquakes, etc
Happy Learning!