In addition to the regular printables we use (you can find them on the homeschool page), I always look for supporting materials to go along with the theme I’ve planned for the week. Sometimes a craft or activity is obvious – like, one would assume with a week focused on music, we’d listen to lots of music, right? Ha, funny thing… other than playing Christmas music or listening to the radio, we only watched one music DVD. I had so many good intentions! But then, that seems to be the re-occurring theme in my life.
We started off the week with a bang, decorating the Charlie Brown tree we picked from the yard over the weekend. I don’t mind if there are huge gaps in the branches – that just means I get to fill in the gaps with ornaments! I really do love how it looks, and the experience is fun for the kids. We were supposed to decorate it as a family, but we had a disagreement with our light strands. Yup, you know how that goes.
I let the kiddos play, as only they can do, and later on we made cookies in a jar for our mail lady. They love pouring stuff (and begging for M&Ms).
Last week we learned about David and Goliath – a classic! Christian Preschool Printables is one of my go-to websites for finding printables to supplement a Bible story. I could create a lapbook with all the things they have – like I did when we talked about Noah’s Ark – but more often than not I choose one or two to keep it simple. A favorite of ours is to print a minibook for the topic – once for telling the story, and again on cardstock or to laminate for sequencing cards. It’s like a puzzle to Gwen, and in trying to figure out the story she ends up re-telling the story and remembering the events. Pretty cool!
I stumbled upon this neat idea for turning the story of David and Goliath into an object lesson, but instead of using rocks, I thought – marbles! We have lots of marbles already – and hey, M for marbles for the letter of the week – and they’d be so much easier on the floor. So I got out the jar of marbles – the kids were so excited at the prospect! I don’t usually let them play with the marbles so it was somewhat new to them.
First we each had five marbles to represent the five stones David had, and we had to hit the large marble in the middle, representing Goliath. After that, we played traditional marbles, and I have to say – it was so much fun having Daddy home to play with us, and my two little kids caught on really quickly! It wasn’t one of those games where I’m impatient to have it over with already (like Candyland – c’mon, admit it already!).
I suppose I could have done something fun like M for monsters, or machines, or… I dunno… but my kids like music so that seemed the obvious choice to me. We made toilet paper tube maracas – actually a rather time-consuming project waiting for the layers of tissue paper to dry – and all three of us had fun decorating them with glitter glue.
When they were finally dry, we danced around with them while watching “Let’s Make Music,” a favorite since Gwen was a baby.
I really wanted to play freeze dance with them, but this fell by the wayside. I printed out My Musical Instrument book half the size and we talked about the groups of instruments, after which I helped Gwen categorize the types of instruments on her music worksheets (some of them are obviously for older kids, so they’re great to keep for future reference, but you can bring any number of activities down to a younger child’s level).
We’re officially at the halfway point in the alphabet! Gwen has come a long way since her first week of preschool and I’m so proud of her. Since I’ve been including Josiah more in things I often try to divide an activity, rather than print something out twice. So Gwen decorated the uppercase M from her letter poster while Josiah decorated the lowercase M. They made macaroni Ms with pasta I dyed different colors.
There’s just something about those Do-A-Dot pages; the kids love ’em!
They also love dry erase, and Gwen did her usual slew – letter hunt and worksheets that I put in page protectors. Even though I try not to push writing, she’s been getting better at it, and to break things up I often bring out her Kumon tracing book (it seems like fun tracing lines but she’s really learning how to hold a pencil).
I don’t usually take pictures of computer time, but we usually do the Starfall letter activity at least once a week, and Gwen often gets some computer time on any number of interactive websites.
Twelve was our number for the week, and though we did various counting activities, I think this is the only week we forgot to color the number poster. Oh well! One of the books we read talks about the twelve months of the year, and though I didn’t think of it then you could also discuss he twelve days of Christmas (which actually begin after Christmas, contrary to popular belief).
I know there must be lots of rhymes about music out there, but I stuck with “Ride a Cockhorse” from my copy of The Puffin Baby and Toddler Treasury.
The kiddos put their artistic skills to good use and helped me decorate our Christmas cards. I hope the recipients turn the card over to see their handiwork!
The Singing Ringing Tree
Monsters Are Like That
Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel
Melody’s Kooky Cover-Up
No More Monsters for Me!
My Messy Room
My “m” Book
Momma’s Magical Purse
My Mommy Is Magic
Mirette On The High Wire
The Twelve Days of Winter
Twelve Hats for Lena
Let’s Make Music!
Kirsten’s Surprise – A Christmas Story
Gwen is 4 years old (48 months) and Josiah is 2 (24 months).