# Hands on and creative learning-no lesson plans needed!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was wonderful,  filled with family and a few pre- Christmas festivities.  Last week,  Thanksgiving week, I had a busy schedule at work and decided we all needed to just take it easy as far as lessons go and just learn through play, games,crafts and books! Somehow, when it’s not labeled “school” my oldest is on board with all my ideas ;).  A few times he even made up a few of his own activities and told me what he was learning, see mom I’m doing some math right now, etc.

I did spend a fair amount of time on pinterest last week searching for some Montessori ideas for my 2yr old. I found quite a bit and tried a few of the ideas with him. I  love the Montessori method/concept as well as Reggio Emilia! Here are a few things we tried;

Pom poms and chop sticks for fine motor development. He counted and filled up the entire bottle.

I found foam snowflakes at the dollar store and used them for patterns and counting.

Math Fun!

A tray filled with colored water, sponge and measuring cups kept him busy for a long time! He instinctively used the words: more, less, half, and full.

Using colored popsicle sticks, he made shapes and used lots of imagination as he spotted a rocket and a robot within the formations and ran to get a couple of his books to match up the pictures.

– My goal is to get some small circle velcro tabs to stick on to each end of the sticks, so he can really build and they’ll stay in place for him, love to see what he’ll come up with!

We also did some cooking; here is our butterscotch and chocolate popcorn.

Using the geo board, we matched the shapes in the book to the board and he named them all, traced the elastic shape with his finger; pre-writing and math all in one! He also used our geometric shapes to fill in the negative space on the page itself.

As we jumped back into a slightly more planned week this week, Liam started with some Christmas list math. I asked him to write a list of his family members, provided some magazines and gave him a budget to stick within as if he were actually shopping. We used play money to “buy” the items and he added and subtracted/adjusted the items as needed and really had fun doing it. He even asked if we could do it again some time.

We continued to study the Arctic and read two great books; Welcome to the Ice House by Jane Yolen and Ice Bear and Little Fox by Jonathan London. Both have beautiful illustrations and factual information within the story.

We did go a bit off track on science this week too as we viewed these great underwater science videos/lesson plans included, as I was emailed this fantastic,  site.

Geography, we read Ben’s Dream by Chris Van Allsburg. A mostly illustrated book about a boy visiting great monuments of the world as he falls asleep while studying for a test. I was pleased to see that he recognized and could name most of the structures and we discussed the location of each as well.

Polka-Bats and Octopus Slacks by Calef Brown was a fun poetry book we read this week as well. Liam chose one poem to copy for his copywork writing lesson. He chose Skeleton Flowers and even volunteered to do his own illustration!

In our History studies, we’re still heading westward! I read a bit of The Oregon Trail by Mel Friedman each day this week. The beginning of the book asks T or F questions to think about before reading the story, at first he just listened and then yelled, Mom!, I know all the bold face words are clues! Let me write them down as you read!……Uh, Sure! I knew they were vocabulary words and not necessarily clues, but who am I to argue?! 😉

Reindeer Do Wear Striped Underwear by Marcia Thornton Jones and Debbie Dadey was a fun read-aloud book this week as we head towards the Christmas season, he loves this book series! (The Bailey School Kids) All quick, easy reads that are just for fun!

That’s our week in a nutshell! Time to get ready and head to library for more books this morning and then my husbands Birthday celebration this afternoon, followed by decorating the Christmas tree tonight! Have a great weekend!