As a former Pre-Kindergarten teacher and now stay-at-home mommy of 2 boys and a sweet baby girl, many people ask me how they can be implementing educational concepts in the lives of their young children at home before they enter school. Instead of trying to come up with a quick list of ideas off the top of my head to answer these questions, I have decided to put all of my lessons into this blog. I, along with so many other parents, want to be purposeful at home with my children and make the most of the time I have with them.
I hope that this blog can help, encourage, and inspire you to work with your kiddos and
get involved in the learning process! The benefits will be endless,
and the moments you share together will be priceless! As Dr. Seuss once said,
"The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go!"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fantastically Fun "Wednesday" - Happy Halloween!

 * We are switching things up today and having a fantastically fun "Wednesday" because of Halloween!  Have so much fun dressing your kiddos in cute costumes and eating lots of yummy treats!  I will have a wacky word "Friday" post at the end of the week!

* Happy Halloween from my Cowboy and Indian!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Totally Technical Tuesday: Educational TV

* To recognize which television shows are educational and productive for children to watch
* To watch and learn from these programs

* TV

* We all know that too much TV is not good for our children; however, the shows that they do watch can be very beneficial if you look closely at the programs available today.  This lesson is mainly a personal review of the educational programs that are on television daily.  The shows listed below are some of our favorites and the best I have seen at teaching in the academic areas.  We try to only watch two shows a day, one 30 minute program in the morning and another 30 minutes in the afternoon/evening.  (Of course there are days in which mommy needs to turn on one more! :))  Enjoy watching these together!

* Dora The Explorer on Nickelodeon

Everyone loves Dora!  Great for letter/number
recognition, social skill development, and
of course, Spanish!

* Bubble Guppies on Nickelodeon

Super cute program with a theme for each
show that is centered around real life
areas.  Lots of fun music and dancing, too!

* Super Why on PBS

Great show for reading skills including
letter recognition, rhyming, spelling,
and sounding out words that give
everyone the power to read!

* Go, Diego, Go on Nickelodeon

Science based program that focuses on
different types of animals, their habitats,
and their characteristics, as well as
more Spanish!

* Word World on PBS

Another fun reading program with tons of
spelling and phonics.

* Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood on PBS

My new favorite show!  Based on the old
Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, this program
focuses on a different social skill or
situation each day.  Great for learning
cooperative behavior, manners, and
communication skills.  Love the cute
songs to go along with each show!

* Team Umizoomi on Nickelodeon

Perfect show for math!  This tiny team of
super heroes solves problems using
addition/subtraction, patterns, shape
recognition, and measurement.

* Sesame Street on PBS

Of course I had to include this old faithful! 
Sesame Street is still going strong with
so many academic lessons, songs, and
activities with all of your favorite characters!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mighty Math Monday: Candy Graph

* To sort Halloween candy into categories of the same type
* To graph the number of candies in each category using a bar graph
* To analyze the results of the graph (most, least, equal amount, etc.)

* Candy Graph Printable from me :)

* Crayons
* Tape
* Halloween Candy

* You can use this graph with any types of candy, but this lesson coordinates around Halloween so your children can graph the kinds of candy they receive while trick or treating.  I am doing this a few days early so you can have it, so we are just using a bag of assorted candy.

* Let your child dump out all of the candy they have and sort it into groups.  You can do the same type of candy, chocolate vs. non-chocolate, large pieces vs. small pieces, etc.  Whatever you want! :)

* Of course your child will want to eat some of the candy as they go, so tape the wrappers to the bottom of the graph according to the different types of candy you have.  Your child could draw each piece, as well.

* Have your child count the number of candies in each group and then color each column in the graph according to the results.

* Once the graph is complete, ask your child which group of candy has the most, least, equal amounts, etc.

* Enjoy eating some more! :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fantastically Fun Friday: Pumpkin Painting

Fun Objectives:
* To observe pumpkins and recall their characteristics
* To use the fine motor skills involved with painting

* Pumpkin
* Paint
* Paintbrushes
* Plate or Bowl to put the paint in
* Drop Cloth/Cover

* Each year we visit the pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins.  Instead of carving them this time, my boys wanted to paint them.  I put a drop cloth down outside on our patio, poured different colors of paint on a paper plate, and let them paint their pumpkins however they wanted to!  For older kiddos, you could help them paint patterns or different designs if you'd like.  They could even paint their name or initials.  Have fun being creative!


Creating their masterpieces!

* Here is our Pumpkin Unit from last year for more activities!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thoroughly Thoughtful Thursday: ABC Bible Verses

Thoughtful Objectives:
* To memorize scripture according to the alphabet
* To create a scripture book

* Spiral of Index Cards and a Pen
* Printables of your choice from:
   Homeschool Creations
   I Can Teach My Child
   Totally Tots
   Delighting in Today
(There are also cute printables on Etsy available for purchase)
* Scissors
* Ring or Ribbon to attach book together

* I have been working with Sawyer for a while on scripture memory.  This is so important for all of us to do, and young children have an incredible mind of remembering in order to learn verses at an early age!  We have done many verses that go along with The ABC Bible Verse Book

* The lesson this week is to make a scripture memory verse book for your children.  When I started scripture memory with Sawyer, we just made a book out of a spiral of index cards. This is what I've always used for my own scripture memory, and it has worked well for Sawyer.  However, pinterest has shown me tons of cute ABC verse printables that you can cut out and make into a book, as seen on the links above.  Choose whatever you would like to do! I encourage you to start learning these verses with your kiddos and teaching them the truth of the gospel.  What better way to share the love of God with our children than through His Word!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thinking Theme: The Farm - 2 Weeks

Lesson 1: Cow Craft
* To learn the characteristics of a cow
* To use the fine motor skills involved with cutting, gluing, and drawing

* Paper Plate
* Black, White, and Pink Construction Paper
* Scissors
* Googly Eyes (optional)
* Glue
* Black Marker

* Start by cutting out the shapes for the cow craft.  You will need a white circle that is a little smaller than the paper plate, an even smaller pink oval, 2 black triangular shapes with 2 smaller pink triangular shapes for the ears, and black spots in any kind of shapes.

* Have your child glue the white circle on the bottom half of the paper plate and glue the pink oval on the bottom half of the circle like this:

* Then glue the ears under the top of the white circle with the black triangles first and the pink triangles on top like so:

* After this, let your child starting gluing on the spots at the top of the paper plate, however they want.

* Then glue the googly eyes on and draw the mouth and nose.

* A cute little cow!  Talk about cows and their characteristics.  Discuss the sound they make, as well as the food they give us.

Lesson 2: Mommy/Baby Animal Matching Game from This Reading Mama
* To learn the baby animal names of farm animals
* To match mother animal pictures to the corresponding baby animal pictures

* Printables from This Reading Mama
* Scissors

* Print and cut out the printables and spread them out on the floor.

* Have your child match the mommy animals with their babies.  As they make a match, tell them the mommy name and the baby name. For example, a pig and a piglet, a hen and a chick, a horse and a foal, etc.

* Once all of the matches have been made, review the names and ask your child to say each one.  These are great to use as flashcards throughout the week so your kiddos can remember the different vocabulary.

Lesson 3: Life Cycle of a Chicken Craft from I Heart Crafty Things
* To learn the characteristics of a chicken
* To discuss the life cycle of a chicken (egg, hatching, chick, chicken)
* To use the fine motor skills involved with cutting, gluing, drawing, and painting

* White, Orange, and Yellow Construction Paper
* Red Paint
* Paper Bag (or brown construction paper)
* Glue
* Scissors
* Googly Eyes
* Red, Yellow, Orange, and Black Markers

*  I found this creative craft on the I Heart Crafty Things Blog.  You can follow the directions from the site.  Such a clever way to explain the life cycle of a chicken.  Enjoy!

Lesson 4: Farm Animal Sounds
* To listen to and learn the sounds that different farm animals make
* To explore You Tube for videos of animal sounds

* You Tube: Farm Animal Sounds for Children
* Computer or iPad

* Click on the link above and go to the Farm Animal Sounds for Children video.  Let your child watch and listen to all of the sounds the different animals make.  I loved this video because it had real life pictures of the animals, as well as the actual sounds they make.  It is good for your children to learn that a cow says moo and a duck says quack, but it's very important for them to hear what they really sound like.

Lesson 5: Sheep Craft
* To learn the characteristics of a sheep
* To use the fine motor skills involved with painting, cutting, and gluing

* Construction Paper (pink and any other color)
* White Paint
* Googly Eyes
* Black Marker

* I love how my children's schools just read my mind sometimes!  I picked Tucker up from MDO today, and this was his craft!  Super cute!  Just make their handprint using white paint.  Then help them paint a circle for the head.  Add pink, oval ears cut out of construction paper, two googly eyes, and a smile! Talk about the characteristics of a sheep as you go.

Lesson 6: Animal Sorting from This Reading Mama
* To recall the names of different animals
* To discuss where certain animals live
* To categorize the animals into groups of farm animals and non-farm animals

* Printables from This Reading Mama
* Scissors

* Download the free printables in the Pre-K Farm pack from This Reading Mama.  Scroll through to find the 2 animal sorting pages seen above and print.  Cut out the animals and spread them out on the table.

* Help your child sort the animals into the two categories "Down on the Farm" and "Not on the Farm".  Once all of the animals are sorted, talk about how there are many types of animals that live in different places.  Discuss where the "Not on the Farm" animals live.

Lesson 7: Duck Craft
* To learn the characteristics of a duck
* To use the fine motor skills involved with cutting, drawing, gluing, and tracing

* Toilet Paper Roll
* Yellow and Orange Construction Paper
* Scissors
* Black Marker
* Glue or Tape

* Cut a piece of yellow construction paper to fit around the toilet paper roll tube and tape/glue into place.

* Trace your child's hands and cut them out of yellow construction paper.  These will represent the wings of the duck.  Glue them to the back of the toilet paper roll like so:

* Cut out a small yellow circle for the face and let your child glue googly eyes and an orange triangle on for the bill.

* Cut out two webbed orange feet and tape/glue them to the inside of the toilet paper roll.

* Talk about the characteristics of a duck and what a duck says.  You can even look online at pictures of different types of ducks.

Lesson 8: Food from Farm Animals
* To understand that different foods we eat come from farm animals
* To learn which foods come from different animals
* To use the fine motor skills involved with writing

* Printable from me :)
* Pencil or Crayons

* Discuss the different types of food we get from animals.  Print out the worksheet, and show your child each animal and each food.  Help them draw a line from the animal to the foods they give us.

Lesson 9: Pigs in the Mud Craft
* To learn the characteristics of a pig
* To discuss why pigs like to be in the mud
* To use the fine motor skills involved with cutting, gluing, drawing, and painting

* Pink and Blue Construction Paper
* Brown Paint (with bowl or plate to put it on)
* Paintbrush
* Scissors
* Black Marker
* Glue
* Drop Cloth (or something to cover the table)

* Place a drop cloth or a cover on the table you are using.  Cut out a medium sized pink circle, two small triangles, and two legs as seen below:
(The blue construction paper with the title label was left over from my teaching days :))

* Glue the pink circle in the middle of the construction paper.  Then put the two triangle ears on top and the legs on the bottom as seen here:

* Help your child draw a face on the pig.

* Using brown paint, let your child blot "mud" all around the pig.  Talk about how pigs like to keep cool in the mud.

Of course, Sawyer wanted to make
one, too!

Lesson 10: Down on the Farm File Folder Game from File Folder Fun
* To review all of the farm animals and their characteristics
* To match the fronts and backs of each animal

* Printables from File Folder Fun
* File Folder
* Scissors
* Glue

* Print and cut out the pieces for the file folder game.  Glue the title and cover on the front of the file folder like this:

* Cut the animals in half and glue some fronts and some backs onto the inside of the folder, leaving the matching pieces off.

* Have your child match the pieces together and say the animal's names as they go.  This is a great review game for this unit.  Don't forget to store your game pieces in a ziploc bag!


Great farm songs and rhymes at DLTK!

* Letter Animal Crafts from Totally Tots: h for horse, r for Rooster, g for Goose, G for Goat
* Field Trip to a Farm
* Cooking: Making Bread or Butter (previous post on The Little Red Hen has a bread baking lesson)