Today’s Fun Time is brought to you by the letter B featuring Big Bubbles and Beautiful Birds (Lessons can be used in small sections for individual children)
Life Skills: Picking up objects
2 small bowls
Place on the tray a bowl with sugar cubes and an empty bowl. Slowly show your child how to pick up one sugar cube and put it into the empty bowl. Let your child repeat the activity. You can use small balls, beads or pom poms instead of sugar cubes.
It’s as easy as 1,2,3
Materials needed: numbers 1-9 and 45 pennies . Here is an easy printout for counting.
The first step in math is to start counting. Take 3 pennies, count slowly, and point to the pennies saying, “one, two, three.” If this is too difficult, use 2 or 1 pennies. Add another number everyday until your child can count to 10. Whenever possible count with your child. Count in the grocery store, in the garden, in the park, anywhere! Counting is the first essential skill for math.
Materials needed. Buy or write on tag board the numbers 1 through 9. (You can make sandpaper numbers if your child is a tactile learner or needs reinforcement of learning this lesson with sound, sight and touch.) Free Number Printout
Method: If your child doesn’t recognize all their numbers this is the first step. Use two numbers if your child can do this easily.
Point to the number 1 and say, “This is one.” Point to the number 2 and say, “This is two.”
Give me one.
Give me two. (If your child can do this go to step 3, if not go back to step 1)
Point to number one and say, “What is this?” Continue with the other numbers. (If your child can do this you are finished with this lesson, if not go back to step 2).
Add new numbers each day.
When teaching new concepts Montessori always use this 3-step method. It breaks down the learning process by introducing the new concept, understanding the concept at a concrete level and finally, understanding the concept at an abstract level.
Also, this approach is very positive because you don’t need to say the word “no” or “wrong.” You just go back to the last step your child knew.
When you child has mastered counting and can recognize the numbers 1 through 9 you can proceed to this lesson.
This is an easier version
To make this simple counting apparatus save 10 small cardboard shoeboxes or individual silverware boxes (from a dollar or discount store), 45 Popsicle sticks, or slim crayons, cotton swabs, etc.
Show your child 0, and ask if he or she can guess how many items make 0. You’ll usually get a resounding, “none”! If not tell them. Put one item in the one box, two items in the two, etc. If your child takes over before you can finish, great!
The Counting Game
This is an easier version
Show your child (saying each number) the order of the numbers cards 1-9. Give your child the number cards and ask, “Can you put these numbers in order one through nine?”
(If your child has difficulty with this step, give your child less number cards. You may want to do 1 through 3 and then add a new number each day until your child can place 1-10 in order.) After putting the numbers in order, show your child how to put pennies under each card. Again if your child has difficulty putting the correct quantity of pennies under each card, do less numbers at first. Make sure you give the exact quantity of pennies needed for the exercise. If your child doesn’t have enough pennies or too many then he or she will know that one of the numbers has too many or too few pennies.
HINT: If your child is ready for these activities, but finds all the numbers 0-9 are overwhelming, break the exercises down from 0-4 in the number box and counting game, then add more numbers when they are more comfortable with the activity.
Introduce the letter "b"
Show your child the letter "b", ask your child to point to the letter "b", point to letter "b" and ask what letter is this? Tell your child what sound b makes- the short b sound, like in bat. If your child has difficulty with both the letter name and sound, just introduce the sound of the letter.
To reinforce the letter let your child point to the letter and rap or sing to melody of “Row, row your boat” to these words
Bh, bh, bh, the bubbling sound, “b” makes a bubbling sound. Bh, bh, bh, bh, “b” makes a bubbling sound. If this is simple for your child, add another short “b” sound, such as baby, boy, and ball.
Put some sand in a square cake pan or box for drawing purposes. Help your child trace the lower case (small) “b” Feel and say the short a sound.
Art Project-String Painting-
materials: string, masking tape, white paper tempera paint
You will need a string for every pot of paint you are using. Place several different colors of tempera paint into individual paper cups or recycled plastic bowls. Wrap a small amount of masking tape on the end of the string (your child will be able to hold onto this handle). Using thick, light colored construction paper swirl around the paint soaked strings for an unusual abstract effect.
Toddler Cutting exercise.
Take a 6-inch wide sheet of construction paper and with safety scissors fringe the paper by sniping one snip on each attempt. This is a great way to introduce cutting because your child only has to cut with one downward movement. Just help open the scissors for the next fringe on the paper. It won’t be long before your child will be able to cut anything. My children would even cut their shoelaces!
If cutting is too difficult your child may enjoy tearing paper. You can help start the tear by snipping a few places on the paper to tear.
Lots of Bubbles
Discuss the shape of bubbles, they are mostly round, some are big and some are small; you can even count to see how long each bubble lasts.
Here is a basic recipe for making your own big blowing bubbles.
10 cups of water
1 cup clear blue or yellow dish soap
Add 1 to 4 teaspoons of glycerin (it makes the bubbles last longer-buy at a drug store) Stir gently (don’t make it frothy) in a big bucket or container
Bubble recipe 2
This is a smaller portion. You’ll need:
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup blue dishwashing liquid
1 teaspoon glycerin (optional.) Combine well, but do this gently. Use as you would any other bubbles.
Bubble recipe 3
1/2 cup dish soap
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons sugar or glycerin (you can buy glycerin at a drug store)
Mix all 3 ingredients together. Don't stir or shake too much! Store in a jar.
Experiment with blowing bubbles using plastic six pack holders, plastic fruit baskets with holes, slotted spoon, a plastic straw, a big circle made out of an old wire coat hanger, a recycled margarine tub with the bottom cut out, anything your imagination can think of.
Cookie bar sheet (ones raised with a lip) or rectangular cake pan,
Straws, whisk, or an old fashioned hand egg beater
Fill the pan about ½ inch with the bubble mixture. Use straws to blow, whisk or egg beaters to make a fun bubbly, frothy sculpture. Kids who like to get wet and messy will love this activity.
Hints for great bubbles.
What is good bubble weather? Bubbles love cool, overcast days with high humidity (because they are made out of water!) Blow bubbles right after a rainstorm or on a foggy day and watch how long a bubble will last. On dry days you may have to add up to 50% more water to your homemade bubble mixture. Also, blowing bubbles under trees or by a lake helps keep the moisture level in your bubbles. Blowing bubbles on very humid day makes the bubbles last longer. Put a wool blanket on the ground for your bubbles to land on, they will even take longer to pop.
Family Weekend Projects
Make a bird watching area in your garden or deck. Birds need several things to attract them to your yard. Make sure there is plenty of food during all four seasons and lots of fresh water. You can make a bird feeder and bath with an old pie tin or buy one at a discount store or a wild bird shop. Birds also love to eat old eggshells for calcium, which they need for laying eggs. Spread out some sand, which helps them in digestion. Buy a color illustrated bird book for the state or location where you live, they a less voluminous and are small enough to have near by. A good durable pair of binoculars helps for up close viewing.
What do birds like to eat?
Different birds like different types of food. Sunflowers attract many common birds.
Sunflower seeds, black oil type, black stripped, and hulled, attract-
Tufted titmouse White-crowned sparrow
White throated sparrow
Try other types of food such as, millet, peanuts, breadcrumbs, cut up apples and oranges, and anything else you can think of. What types of birds like these foods? What other animals does your food attract? (Squirrels? chipmunks? etc.)
Help birds make a nest. Leave in your bird area bits of yarn & string, cotton & stuffing, straw, bright strips of cloth, and even hair for building materials for a bird’s nest. Look at the nests this spring and see if you can find any of your building materials.
Peel a banana
With long skewers or toothpicks make a fun fruit kabob with thick, sliced bananas, pineapple chunks, grapes, marshmallows, and any other favorite fruit. Brush with orange juice to keep the bananas from turning brown and enjoy. This is a great activity for practical life skills. Even a young toddler can thread the fruit and “paint” with a brush the orange juice on the finished products. Let your older child peel and cut the bananas with a safe plastic knife. Slowly demonstrate how to peel and cut a banana.
Parents can help with this.
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup sugar (or your favorite sweetener such as maple syrup or honey)
2 eggs, beaten
1-cup banana (mashed)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Practical life skill. Both toddlers and preschool child can peel the bananas and mash them. Also, let your child help beat the eggs with a whisk. Your child and you can take turns stirring the mixture.
Beat eggs until foamy, add sugar and stir. Add flour, baking powder, soda & salt alternating with mashed banana.
Mix well and pour into 9x5x3" loaf pan. Bake for approximately one (1) hour. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing.
Nuts or chocolate chips may be added before baking for additional flavor and texture.
Reading Out loud Corner
Here are some great books about birds and bubbles.
Author: James, Diane
Title: The feathered crown
Author: Hayles, Marsha.
Title: The life cycle of a bird
Author: Kalman, Bobbie
Title: Dizzy's bird watch
Author: Inches, Alison.
Title: The hungry hummingbird
Author: Sayre, April Pulley.
Title: Birds in your backyard
Author: Herkert, Barbara
Title: The strange egg
Author: DePalma, Mary Newell
Title: Pop! : a book about bubbles
Author: Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker.
1.Point to your mouth, say the word mouth, then the Spanish word, boca. Have your child repeat boca.
2.Ask your child your show you boca.
3. Lastly, point to your mouth and ask, what is this called in Spanish? Again, proceed slowly and only to the next lesson when ready.
There are Spanish CD’s and tapes for young children that you may want to use.