Saturday, July 19, 2014


I'm a bit behind on my blogging, but we did a really fun bug unit that I want to blog about so I will remember it.  :).

These are the activities that we did for the bugs unit.  Of course we don't always get to everything planned depending on how the day goes, but if I don't get to them one day I usually adapt them and do them later in that unit.

These are the spider sun catchers which turned out very cute.  You put clear pony beads and pipe cleaners in muffin tins then melt in the oven on 400 for 15 min.  Helpful hint, place pipe cleaners in pony beads so they are more stable and the bead melts around the pipe cleaner.  When you remove from oven put google eyes on before they are cool so it will melt and stick to the spider.

This is the spider web paper toss game we played with masking tape and crumpled newspaper.

On ant day we listened to the  Ants Go Marching song then we went outside with instruments and had our own Ants Go Marching parade while we sang the song.  :).  

I made bugs out of scrapbooking paper to put on the walls for the bug unit.  Each of the bugs are about 18 to 24 inches tall/wide.  They really added to the bug unit.
This is the ladybug counting activity I created using card stock, clear contact paper, and ladybug buttons I found at Walmart.

They all really liked the ladybugs.  I also used the ladybugs to sing the Ladybug Ladybug song by Frank Leto found on YouTube.  The song has a ladybug that lands on different body parts and the children take a button ladybug and have it land on the same parts of their body. 

Worms!  I got a carton of worms at the store for the kids to hold, feel, and examine.  I also bought rubber worms for the kids to paint with but I used two of the ones from the carton dipped them in paint and then let them wiggle around on the paper so that the kids could watch them paint.

These are the real worms.
This is the fishing game that we played the week after the bug unit was over, but I thought I would go ahead and post it with the worms because fishing and worms go hand in hand. I made the fish out of foam sheets and then wrote letters on them so that the children could fish for their own names.  I made an eye for the fish with a metal brad and I put a magnet on the end of the lines so that they could catch their own name fish.
Our second week of bugs unit activities.
Caterpillar day!
These are the caterpillars that we made by stringing pony beads onto pipe cleaners.  Great fine motor activity.
I made the letters of their names on circles, then had them put their name together in order to make a Caterpillar.  I did this during small group and for the younger kids just did it individually telling them the letters of their names and having them trace it with their finger.  The older kids I just let them put it together on their own and then took it apart and had them put it back together just for practice putting their names together.  We also compared the lengths of all the Caterpillar names.
Dragonfly day.
The are the really awesome dragonflies that you can make using helicopter seeds (maple tree seeds) and sticks of little piece of pipe cleaner and paint.  We glued them together using Elmers glue but they took a long time to dry so I would suggest gluing them with hot glue.  I also glued magnets onto the back of them so that they could be used as refrigerator magnets.  Some of them I hung above our table using fishing string.
Posing with dragonflies.
Butterfly day!
This is the butterfly patterning game that I made for the kids to use during small group/individual time.

I would set up one side and then let the kids create the same pattern on the other side of the butterfly

It was really good patterning work and great for them to pay attention to details.  It was easy to make it more simple for the younger kids and more complicated for the older kids

Bonus pictures!  One day it was raining outside just a little drizzle and so we had a rainy day walk.  this was was extremely fun!
It was so cute watching them leak with their umbrellas.
Second group of bonus pictures! woo hoo!  This is our garden it is getting huge!
Yay! watch our garden grow !
Last bonus picture. I have an eight week meal rotation and in order to make shopping for each week easier on myself, I went ahead and wrote out my menu and recipes for each week along with the shopping list of everything that I would need for that weeks' meals.  Then when it's time to go shopping I just go to my pantry, cross out what I have, and then take the list to the store.  The menu with the recipes and the shopping list are laminated so I can use them week after week after week.  This saves me a lot of time!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Every Spring I always get an itchy green thumb, so I decided to put that to good use and do a gardening unit with the kiddos.
Here are some of the fun things we did during this gardening unit:
 The first week we focused on flowers.  During calendar time I drew a flower on poster board and each day we labeled new parts.  Our planting seed song was sung to the tune of "The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock" and it went like this:
You plant your seed down in the ground (hold arm out in front of you like the ground then pretend to pick up a seed and slip it between your middle fingers)
You plant your seed down in the ground (repeat action)
You plant your seed down in the ground (repeat action)
And then it starts to grow (thumb up)
The roots grown down and the stem and leaves grow up (wiggle fingers down from your "ground arm" then point finger up above "ground arm" and branch fingers out like a tree)
The roots grow down and the stem and leaves grow up (repeat action)
The roots grow down and the stem and leaves grow up (repeat action)
And that's how your garden grows
All the girls can sing this song and proudly name all the parts of the flower that we learned (seed, roots, stem, leaves, petals) and they know what all the parts do.  :).
Each day we also watched a short video or cartoon clip about planting gardens.
We also planted flowers one day.  The seedlings all came up.  I'm waiting until they are just a bit bigger then we will transplant them to the lovely yellow buckets that are waiting on the porch.

All the girls enjoyed planting seeds.  They thought it was fun to try to guess what the seed would be like by looking at the flower.  They were pretty surprised by how different seeds can look.

 If they all make it we will have quite a lovely display

I made this flower blossom number game.  The numbers are separate so the older girls were able to count the stems, match the numbers to the correct flower card, then put on the pompom blossoms. I helped the younger girls find the correct number after they counted the stems and then they added the blossoms.  Even the youngest enjoyed just putting blossoms on the stems and counting with help.

Lots of fun times and a great taking turns small group activity as well.

These are the beautiful paper plate flowers that the girls artistically painted.  They loved doing this.  Each girl did at least three.  They took some home...
And we put some up on our wall.
For Mother's Day I thought it might be nice to make something for mommies to put in their gardens.  This is the frame for the stepping stones that my hubby made.  :). He does great work.
Here are the girls carefully (or not so carefully) adding their lovely stones and beads.  I had to frequently remind them not to push too hard, I think at least half of the treasures are buried under the cement.  :)
They all seemed to enjoy the process, though they weren't too sure about getting their hands messy in the cement.  (Well one of them probably would have happily done a full body print, but the others weren't so sure).  ;)
The finished products.
And the girls made fantastic Mother's Day cards.  I love how hard they all worked on these.  The insides were just as wonderful.
The second week we focused on vegetable gardening.  We planted bean and pumpkin seeds in ziplock in the window so we could watch the planting process.
As you can see, the beans shot up and were fascinating to watch, the pumpkins never sprouted.   we all brainstormed and decided that maybe they needed dirt and the dark to start growing.
Tis is th garden game I made.  Each section on the spinner has a few different vegetables so whichever the arrow lands on are the vegetables you add to you garden patches.  The first to completely grow their garden wins. (There is also a scarecrow for fun!)
We liked this game.  We played it again...
And again. (It is made with foam "garden patch" sheets, Velcro (just the rough side on the foam sheets) , and felt vegetables that stick to the rough Velcro.  The spinner is just card stock laminated and a brad.
One day our art was torn vegetables that we put into a garden on the wall.  :). Tearing paper is a lot of fun and good for kiddos to do also.
We also planted a vegetable garden.  First We planned out the garden, looking at our seeds and deciding where we wanted all the plants to be.
Then we went outside and planted it.  This is now a wonderful daily recess activity.  Everyone gets a ketchup or mustard squirt bottle then they go and water all our plants (and each other). :). I didn't get pictures of all the activities we did during this unit (like planting the flowers in the front, watering, drinking from straws like roots, and the flower dice growing game) but I covered most of it. We had lots of fun and learned a lot about gardening.

I loved gardening and planting seeds and the girls did too, but the hard part is, of course, the waiting.  Gardening takes a lot of patience, especially when you are  2,3, and 4.