Here in good ol’ California we have the biggest trees in the world. The Calaveras Big Trees State Park boasts the magnificent sequoias. It is about a 2 hour drive from us- so practically in our backyard. Before the kids were really too small to allow for us to visit, but we managed to get to the park this past week. It was a cool 70 degree day- perfect for a small hike/walk with little ones. The park is absolutely beautiful…
Is it not adorable seeing Husband walking hand in hand with Miss G?! And that shot with the boys in the tree trunk just shows you how massive these trees are.
It was a great day with the family. (Aside from occasional whining and crying of course. G is deciding whether or not to boycott her naps which makes planning stuff like this difficult.)
So the boys have been anxious to learn about new things for school. We don’t have a printer so all the worksheets so far have been hand-drawn. This makes “doing school” a bit more labor intensive than normal. I have also been trying to finish up filling out the curriculum to print (once we have a printer or I concede and go over to my parents for a marathon printing session). So official school time has been hit or miss with lots of play and reading instead. However the other day the boys specifically asked to do school. So that meant I had to come up with a unit that required minimal paperwork to recreate…
enter in robots!
We practiced writing our Rs and also reviewed what the little “r” looks like (and did a little robot dancing too! Gotta love that):
Then we reviewed our shapes with this first robot creation…
Then we created another robot (which because it was 3D, it was that much more fun for the boys to make!) Don’t you just love J’s robot’s nose! I still have to work on getting J to turn his J around, but it is just so cute.
Lastly we practiced our counting by adding up the buttons on our math robots: (J’s expression was “There are too many buttons!” I reminded him to take it one robot at a time and by the end, he was so proud that he had been able to do it all!)
Overall it was a fun quick unit that boys loved. It also revitalized my drive to not just prep for school, but actually to do it!
The boys had been noticing all the fake spider webs that neighbors had been using for Halloween decoration. I looked through my pinterest boards and found something that was perfect activity for the kids to do.
Using masking tape (which I get at the dollar store), I made a spider web on the corner of one of the archways in our house. Then I gave the boys pieces of paper with either letters or numbers written on them. The boys would read off what was written on the paper, crumple it, and throw it at the spider web. The point then was to get the crumpled paper to stick in the web. It was great gross motor skill practice with throwing and letter/number practice too. We ended up using a chair in the end to get the boys throws closer to the web. They got so excited when it actually stuck.
It will be an activity that will be “on deck” next year too. I can imagine sight words in addition to the letter and numbers.
Because I knew that we would be in Seattle for vacation limiting my prep time a bit, I encouraged the kids to pick a costume for Halloween that didn’t need as much in order to be done. We ended up with two firefighters and a princess (was going to be a fairy princess but G decided as we got ready to go out that the wings were a no-go that night). E said for the longest time he wanted to be a prince but at the last minute decided to be a firefighter just like J. (Good thing I kinda knew this would happen and made him a fire truck as well!) It ended up being a fun night filled with lots of walking- we walked all the way to my parents house to surprise them! (far for kids, but not for adults- roughly 2 miles)
Just as we did for apples, the boys and I investigated our pumpkins. I used small sugar pumpkins so they would be manageable for the boys (and I wouldn’t get stuck with cleaning out huge pumpkins!)
We used their jack-o-lantern pumpkins as mantel décor (along side the plug in one).
With doing so many apple activities, we had to round out our unit with a trip to go apple picking. Of course, this late in our season there weren’t very many apples left to be picked. But we managed to find some small ones left up in the tree tops, and the kids didn’t mind at all.
We did lots of apple activities since we got back from vacation.
For school, the boys were busy little bees. we started with scissors practice. I was truly amazed at how well J did with it. E had more fun cutting little pieces than cutting on the lines. I figured as long as practice of holding and cutting with scissors was done it was a completed lesson.
Then the boys colored in trees and added apple stickers according to the number written on the tree.
We practiced out numbers some more with a roll and color chart. Both boys would do a happy dance after they rolled a number, chanting what the number was. It was cute and funny how much they were getting into the chart activity.
And last up was an apple investigation complete with cube weighing and measuring…
and of course tasting too!