Unicorns and mermaids and fairy tales – oh my! I knew we would have fun with this theme, but almost decided to switch it with the following week - V is for Valentine - since I figured it might be more fun during the actual week of Valentine’s Day. But I had already printed out some worksheets and made my library run for the week. And who says you can’t have hearts two weeks in a row?
We read about Zaccheus, sang the song about the wee man in the tree, and Gwen got a kick out of trying to find him in the lift-the-flap coloring page.
It was somewhat of a challenge, attempting to narrow down a fairy tale theme. In the end, I approached it by discussing what makes a fairy tale using this cute “what is a fairy tale?” printable. Then we listed some of our favorites; Gwen says hers is “Beauty and the Beast” because she likes the magic flower and glittery dress. *chuckle* Usually “The Little Mermaid” is at the top of her list because she and Ariel both have red hair; or “Cinderella,” because it’s her aunt’s favorite.
We both had fun with the Fill-Them-In Fairy Tale to create our own story, though it was interesting trying to ask Gwen to give me a verb or an adjective. Talk about learning your parts of speech! I wanted to fill all the words in before we read the story so I just gave her hints to direct her towards an appropriate word. I now present our fairy tale in its entirety (Gwen’s words are in purple):
Once upon a time, there weas a lovely princess named lollipop. She lived in a castle with her pet tiger, Scooter. One day while she was walking Scooter, a pink dragon appeared! The princess and Scooter were so scared – when the dragon opened his mouth, they though they would be consumed in flames! However, no flames came out, only a gush of breath that smelled like carrots! The foul-smelling breath madethem play dress up, but the dragon, who was named Cinderella, was so sweet, he and the princess and Scooter soon became fast friends.
While playing fairies in the woods one day, the happy trio came upon a prince, who was under a spell. He had been frozen in a bowl of fruit for many years. The fearsome threesome tried everything to break the spell. First, they created a potion out of the eye of a bumblebee, some salsa, and cheerios – which they held under the prince’s bum, while chanting. Nothing happened. So, the three of them drove to the castle, grabbed “The Book of Reverse Singing Spells,” and together started playing the song, “Free the Frozen Prince.” Still nothing. All of a sudden, the dragon sneezed, and his windy breath, which smelled like squash went all over the prince! Poof! The prince was magically released from the spell and started to dance. The happy princess, Scooter, the dragon, and the nice prince became a fabulous foursome and lived happily ever after!
I hastily threw together a hodge podge of shiny fairy tale-y stuff since the kids like exploring the sensory bins I put together. In the mix was a bunch of irridescent Easter grass, a small purple playsilk, wooden blocks (to build a castle, of course), and a variety of mythical creatures (including a mermaid and unicorn). Some other unicorns and ponies came to visit.
I almost always leave the sensory bins out for the entire week and it’s fun to watch the kiddos go back to them again and again when the mood strikes.
For breakfast one morning the kiddos were delighted to be served fairy bread. I lightly toasted some whole grain bread, spread it with whipped butter, sprinkled on some cinnamon, and lastly some rainbow sprinkles and edible glitter. I figured it was glorified cinnamon sugar toast!
Some fairies visited one evening and surprised them with fairy wands to take to their Meme’s for a play day; good thing, because Mommy was tired from staying up to visit with the fairies. *sigh* Gwen said the wands are really pretzels. I… er, the fairies… dipped multigrain pretzel sticks in melted dark chocolate and decorated them with sprinkles. Let them harden on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper in the fridge and you’re good to go.
Besides reading all sorts of fairy tales from our book basket and watching a few movies, Gwen dressed up and enacted her own imaginary stories and played with her magnetic dress-up princess. She already has a mermaid paper doll, and I printed out a Belle paper doll on cardstock - which she discovered right away and immediately began to play with. We also played a round of Tinker Bell’s Pardon My Pixie Dust Game, which is actually kinda fun! It’s especially fun watching Gwen get excited when she wins a game piece.
I didn’t find very many educational printables with a fairy tale theme, but I did break out some of the princess-themed printables from our K is for King week on royalty. And tracing is always more fun if it’s a picture of a castle.
We did all sorts of unicorn-themed activities – like a coloring page and maze.
We also did a few umbrella-themed things. One of Gwen’s Kumon tracing pages was in the shape of an umbrella and her letter hunt was about an umbrella.
A couple times during the week we read stories under an umbrella just for fun – it’s amazing what simple things will delight the kiddos – and they decorated umbrella cutouts with paper raindrops.
The cutouts were a last-minute idea and if I had planned it more carefully I would have done something more rigid since the kiddos were disappointed they couldn’t hold them up like real umbrellas. This hanging umbrella craft seems cute, or you could use paper plates.
As the numbers have gotten higher – we’re in the twenties now – I’ve given up focusing on a specific number unless I can find a story or resource directly related. Instead, we do number-related activities, like dot-to-dot pages or counting things throughout the day. I’m a big believer in learning through practical, every day things – like counting the produce we pick at the store or turning an episode of playing with blocks into how many we can find of each color.
I also broke out the Cupcake Count file folder game – one of the first ones I made! Gwen’s a pro at it now. *sniff sniff*
The heart shape was well reinforced throughout the week! Our Valentine’s Day morning began with the kiddos walking paper heart trails and ended with heart handprints. I reserved all the valentine printables for the 14th, including a tracer page, word tracing page (you can see we’re working on compound words!), word matching, letter clip cards and a cutting practice page.
I got out a shape-matching puzzle and Gwen matched all the pieces; I was shocked when she got “hexagon” right away! She won’t remember rectangle but she’ll remember hexagon. *shakes head*
Along with the Cupcake Count game Gwen did the Patterns of Love Matching Game that I made around the same time.
I found a cute little rhyme for the week called Queen of Hearts. It’s been fun sprinkling in some unfamiliar rhymes with the more traditional ones.
So… I know I took a picture but I think Josiah may have erased it from my camera. He’s taken to turning my camera on and snapping away; who knows what other buttons he pushes. Makes me wonder what other pictures he erased.
The Usborne Book of Fairy Tales*
Jan Brett’s Beauty and the Beast
Whisper the Winged Unicorn*
Claire and the Unicorn happy ever after
The Midnight Unicorn*
The Ugly Duckling
The Princess and the Three Knights*
The Secret Life of Princesses*
Princess Hyacinth – the Surprising Tale of a Girl who Floated*
The Classic Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales
Miss Hunnicut’s Hat*
My “u” book
Duck in the Truck
The Wonderful Thing About Hiccups
A Porcupine Named Fluffy
The Fairies’ Alphabet Book
My Little Pony: Twinkle Wish Adventure
Nico the Unicorn