Before Mr. Sun made his appearance today, we were already busy at work! Over the past few weeks Luke, who will be three in January, has been more and more interested in computer games, puzzles, patterns and loves reading books. I’m taking his cues as time to start with some basic introductions of preschool skills; games and activities to enhance early reading/math logic/motor skills. Time to take it to the next step with some more formal one on one time!
I had saved many months back a free download called Exploring Letters in My World by Teacher Book Bag. It is a hands-on approach using a variety of learning techniques. It isn’t always free, but here is the site I got it from when they were having a special: Currclick.
Starting with the letter A! As I printed out a few pages to start with, I set him up at the computer to play on a terrific site called Starfall. He was giggling and repeating the phonetic sounds and saying “A” as he clicked along.
While he was enjoying himself, I started laminating the letter A, putting together some letter A cards and thinking of some game to play using the giant letter A page.
He came to the table and looked through the My Letter A Book, then I had an idea of coloring some salt and hiding the letter A under it so he could find it. Placed the laminated sheet on a tray and covered it with the salt. Then using the hand over hand method, we’d trace the letter together a few times. He loved finding it under the salt and shouted “A” and said “cool game, Mom!”
He did this repeatedly and had lots of fun doing it! With one more extension to this lesson I grabbed the popsicle sticks I had handy and laid them down on top of the A for an added visual and a puzzle type of activity.
Andy Warhol study was next for my older son. We watched a short cartoon video via youtube, then I had found a downloadable booklet from an art museum that explained his pop art and contained a few images and excersizes. I have a few more books coming from the library to further study his life and art, so today was just a kick off! Learning about his work explored the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement. I asked Liam to think of TV, Pop Stars or a product he’d like to feature in his Warhol inspired piece that we were going to do today. Using one image or product and repeating it as Warhol did. Well, Beyblades are his favorite things right now, so we took photos of them and then used some editing (he chose the images, features and colors)and came up with this! Now it’s a poster on his bedroom wall.
” 4 Battling Beyblades”
The next “A” thing of our day today was to my amazement, much more than I had expected it to be. I bought some geometric plastic shape pieces, and put them out on the table. We all automatically started playing around with them. Luke placed all the big yellow hexagons together and I said “hey, it looks like a caterpillar” to which he said “ooh, he’s hungry!” Referring to The Very Hungry Caterpillar story.
So, I made him a carrot. Then Luke said “now his stomach hurts.” So, I made him a nice green leaf! We continued doing this over an over for quite awhile, it was so fun and great lesson in size, shapes and colors as well as recalling the story!
Liam grabbed shapes and made a whole village and proceeded to make up an entire story about a village under attack! -” There was a guy with a sword and shield who came to attack the village and castle, he attacked two of the homes. The castle defended it using fire balls! So, since the castle failed, they paid the two houses to buy them to make new taller and safer homes. ”
As the story was told in sequence the shapes were moved around to match the story being told.
And they all lived happily ever after……
More on learning math through play