## Tuesday, September 22, 2009

### Numbers Book!

Materials...
Computer, printer, Microsoft Power Point

Construction paper, scissors, crayons, markers, glue, a variety of art materials.

Directions...
If you have access to a computer, open up Microsoft Power Point and make a book and a slide show at the same time! Tell your child that you will make a book of numbers together! You can decide on the title. We wrote 'numbers, numbers, numbers!'

On each page write the numbers in order 1 to 10. Then ask your child "what should we put on page 1. We need one thing." We used a happy face for the number 1. Try to get your child to use an adjective (words that describe the picture, for example: happy, colorful, big, round, etc.) for each picture. You can use shapes or clip art for each page. Let the child direct you and choose what they want in their book.

Here is what we used:
1 Happy Face
2 Blue Moons
3 Colorful Squares
4 Pink Balloons
5 Leprechaun hats
6 Rainy Day Umbrellas
7 Crunchy Apples
8 Jumping Frogs
9 Sharp Scissors
10 Dancing Hippos!

If you don't have access to a computer you can make your book by hand. If you want to save on paper you can cut each construction paper in half and number then from 1 to 10. If not you can use the whole sheet. Next to each number your child can choose to draw, color, or cut and glue items. For example she can draw 1 happy face, cut out 2 moons, glue on 3 stickers, cut and glue 4 triangles.. and don't forget to have them describe what they choose. For example, 3 colorful stickers, 4 purple triangles, 5 swimming fish.

When you are done you can staple the pages together and read your book!! When reading your book encourage your child to touch each item on the picture as they count the objects.

### Making Patterns with forks n spoons!

Materials...
Forks and spoons of different sizes

Directions...
Tell your child that together you will make patterns using forks and spoons! Ask them if they can think of a pattern they can make. You can model it if they don't know how to do this yet. You can say "I'm going to make a pattern with the spoons and forks. Here's a spoon and then a fork, another spoon and another fork." Once you made your pattern together say it out loud. "Spoon, fork, spoon, fork, spoon, fork, what do you think comes next?"

If you want to expand on this pattern that you just made, on a sheet of paper label the spoons A and the forks B. Tell your child that we are giving the spoon the name of the letter A and the fork the name of the letter B. How can we read this pattern now. "AB, AB, AB, AB, what letter do you think comes next?"

"Can we make other combinations of patterns using the forks and spoons?" Above you can see pictures of some of the patterns we made. We used the ABB, ABB pattern and ABCC, ABCC pattern!

Have fun making patterns!

### Making a Dollar with Quarters!

Materials...
4 Quarters
1 dollar bill
paper and pen

Directions...
Show your child the dollar bill and ask him/her how much it is? If they don't know you can show the number 1 and tell them that it's a one dollar bill.

Next show the quarters. Ask them if they remember what the name of this coin is? And how much it's worth.

On a sheet of paper write down that quarters are 25 cents and that a 100 cents are equal to 1 dollar. Then tell your child 'we are going to make a dollar with quarters! Can you guess how many quarters we need to make a dollar? I don't know.. let's find out together!'

We get to count by 25's because a quarter is 25 cents! (Counting by 25's can be difficult for younger children. I will explain how we did this in the following paragraph.) Place a quarter on the paper and put the number 25 on top of it. Next place the second quarter and put the number 25 on top of that one. Draw the plus sign in between and ask your child what's 25 cents+ 25 cents. It's 50 cents, is that a dollar? why or why not? We need a 100 cents to make a dollar and we only have 50. What do we need to do? add another quarter. Now let's count 25, 50, 75 do we have enough? Keep going until you reach a 100.

To add 25+25 ask your child what can we find in the number 25 (breaking the number down.)
If your child doesn't know how to break down the number yet, you can use a counting manipulative for example cheerios, buttons, crayons, etc. Count 25 cheerios and put them on the table. After you counted 1by1 ask how many cheerios do we have? That's right 25. Can you give me 10? Count together and take 10 out. Then you can ask "so in this number 25, is there a 10?Yes! Do you think there's another 10? Let's count and see." Count and take out another ten. "Do you think there's another ten? Let's count and see.. Oh we have a 5! So the number 25 has a 10+another 10 + a 5!"

Under the addition problem 25 + 25 write in paraphrases (10+10+5) + (10+10+5) now you can add by tens and 5's and write your answer =50. Repeat this procedure each time you need to add another quarter. Break down the number, write it down underneath in parentheses and count by 10's and 5's until you reach 100 cents!

When you reach a 100 cents go back and count by 25's one more time together to check your work. Then you can ask how many quarters did we use to make one dollar? Let's count and see. 4 quarters make one dollar! If you still have the sheet with the pennies, nickels and dimes from the other day's exercise you can compare 5 different ways to make a dollar. (the dollar bill, 100 pennies, 20 nickels, 10 dimes and the 4 quarters!) Emphasize that all 5 ways are equal. You can use our earlier example and say something like, "If you went to the store and wanted to buy a candy bar for 1 dollar, which one can you give the 100 pennies, 20 nickels, 10 dimes, 4 quarters or the 1 dollar bill? You can give any one of the choices because they are all equal! Which one do you think would be their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th choice and why? First choice would be the dollar bill, then the quarters, then the times, then the nickels and last the pennies!"

Go over this concept a couple of times on different days until your child completely understands that quarters are 25 cents and that 4 quarters are equal to a one dollar bill.

Have fun!

### Making a Dollar with Dimes!

Materials...
10 Dimes
1 dollar bill
paper and pen

Directions...
Show your child the dollar bill and ask him/her how much it is? If they don't know you can show the number 1 and tell them that it's a one dollar bill.

Next show the dimes. Ask them if they remember what the name of this coin is? And how much it's worth.

On a sheet of paper write down that dimes are 10 cents and that a 100 cents are equal to 1 dollar. Then tell your child 'we are going to make a dollar with dimes! Can you guess how many dimes we need to make a dollar? I don't know.. let's find out together!'

We get to count by 10's because a dime is 10 cents! Place a dime on the paper and put the number 10 on top of it. Next place the second dime and put the number 10 on top of that one. Draw the plus sign in between and ask your child what's 10 cents+10 cents. It's 20 cents, is that a dollar? why or why not? We need a 100 cents to make a dollar and we only have 20. What do we need to do? add another dime. Now let's count 10, 20, 30 do we have enough? Keep going until you reach a 100.

When you reach a 100 cents go back and count by 10's one more time together to check your work. Then you can ask how many dimes did we use to make one dollar? Let's count and see. 10 dimes make one dollar! If you still have the sheet with the pennies and nickels from the other day's exercise you can compare the 4 different ways to make a dollar. (the dollar bill, 100 pennies, the 20 nickels, and the 10 dimes!) Emphasize that all four ways are equal. You can use our earlier example and say something like, "If you went to the store and wanted to buy a candy bar for 1 dollar, which one can you give the 100 pennies, 20 nickels, 10 dimes or the 1 dollar bill? You can give any one of the choices because they are all equal! Which one do you think would be their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th choice. and why? First choice would be the dollar bill, then the dimes, then the nickels and last the pennies!"

Go over this concept a couple of times on different days until your child completely understands that dimes are 10 cents and that 10 dimes are equal to a one dollar bill.

Have fun!

## Wednesday, September 16, 2009

### Making a Dollar with Nickels!

Materials...
20 Nickels
1 dollar bill
paper and pen

Directions...
Show your child the dollar bill and ask him/her how much it is? If they don't know you can show the number 1 and tell them that it's a one dollar bill.

Next show the nickels. Ask them if they remember what the name of this coin is? And how much it's worth.

On a sheet of paper write down that nickels are 5 cents and that a 100 cents are equal to 1 dollar. Then tell your child 'we are going to make a dollar with nickels! Can you guess how many nickels we need to make a dollar? I don't know.. let's find out together!'

We get to count by 5's because a nickel is 5 cents! Place a nickel on the paper and put the number 5 on top of it. Next place the second nickel and put the number 5 on top of that one. Draw the plus sign in between and ask your child what's 5+5. It's 10 is that a dollar? why or why not? We need a 100 cents to make a dollar and we only have 10. What do we need to do? add another nickel. Now let's count 5, 10, 15 do we have enough? Keep going until you reach a 100.

When you reach a 100 cents go back and count by 5's one more time together to check your work. Then you can ask how many nickels did we use to make one dollar? Let's count and see. 20 nickels make one dollar! If you still have the sheet with the pennies from the other day's exercise you can compare the 3 different ways to make a dollar. (the dollar bill, 100 pennies, and the 20 nickels.) Emphasize that all three ways are equal. You can use our earlier example and say something like, "If you went to the store and wanted to buy a candy bar for 1 dollar, which one can you give the 100 pennies, 20 nickels or the 1 dollar bill? You can give any one of the choices because they are all equal! Which one do you think would be their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. and why? First choice would be the dollar bill, then the nickels and last the pennies!"

Go over this concept a couple of times on different days until your child completely understands that 20 nickels is equal to a one dollar bill.

Have fun!

### Making a Dollar with Pennies!

Materials...
100 pennies
1 dollar bill
paper and pen

Directions...
Show your child the dollar bill and ask him/her how much it is? If they don't know you can show the number 1 and tell them that it's a one dollar bill.

Next show the pennies. Ask them if they remember what the name of this coin is? And how much it's worth.

On a sheet of paper write down that pennies are 1 cents and that a 100 pennies are equal to 1 dollar. Then tell your child 'we are going to make a dollar with pennies! Can you guess how many pennies we need to make a dollar?'

Start counting and lining up the pennies up to ten. Once you get to 10 start a new row of pennies. After you have two rows, write 10 on top of each row and put a plus sign in between and tell your child let's count how many pennies we have. "What's 10 + 10? 20. Now we have 20 cents does that make a dollar? why or why not? what should we do then? add more cents until we reach a 100." Every now and then stop and ask again "do we have enough?"

After each row of pennies write the number 10 on top and add by tens from the beginning. After you have 100 pennies emphasise that all of those pennies are equal to the 1 dollar bill.
You can say something like, "If you went to the store and wanted to buy a candy bar for 1 dollar, which one can you give the 100 pennies or the 1 dollar bill? You can give either one because they are equal! Which one do you think they would like you to give? and why? that's right, they wouldn't be too happy counting 100 pennies!!"

Go over this concept a couple of times on different days until your child completely understands the concept that 100 pennies make a dollar.

Enjoy!

## Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Materials...
Pennies, Nickels, Dimes and Quarters.. empty out your change container!
4 paper plates or containers

Directions...
Sort all the money into the different containers. Keep using the names of the coins over and over. For example, 'I want to collect all the dimes. Can you help me find the dimes? Where is another dime."

This is a simple activity but a very important one! Not only are they learning about money but they are learning about sorting and classifying which is a math concept!
If you click on the link below you can go to one of my favorite websites and play a game to practice sorting and classifying.

Enjoy!

## Sunday, September 13, 2009

### Shapes!

Materials...
Paper
Glue
Different colored construction paper cut in small pieces
(if you did the activity 'scissors anyone' your pieces are ready for use!)

Directions...
Ask your child to draw a shape on a piece of paper. Demonstrate by picking a shape and drawing it yourself on a sheet of paper. Then tell them that they can glue the small pieces of paper cut-outs on the outline, or they can glue it on the outline and the inside of the shape.

If your child is younger you can draw the shape for them and have them glue it on. Or you can draw the shape using the glue bottle and they would just stick the papers on top. If you also want them to practice their colors, say the name of each color you are using as you glue them on. You can ask them to pass you a color piece you need or ask them what color they would like you to hand them, etc.

If your children are older they can try to make the shape free-hand without drawing it out first.

Have fun!

## Friday, September 11, 2009

### Patterns!

Materials...
Paper
Glue
Different colored construction paper cut in small pieces (if you did the activity 'scissors anyone' your pieces are ready for use!)

Directions...
Tell your child that you are going to try to make a secret pattern and then try to guess each others pattern! Model how to make it by showing an example. "I'm going to use red, red, yellow, blue. Red, red, yellow, blue. " Then put another red at the end and ask " can you guess what goes next on my secret pattern?" If the child has a hard time say the colors again slowly and rhythmically to help. If this pattern is still complicated don't stress over it. Give them the answer and then try a simpler pattern! Keep practicing and they will get better and better.

If you have school age children they have probably worked on patterns at school. Ask them to solve the pattern using letters or numbers instead of saying the colors. There's a sample pattern my 8-year-old made using the letters. You can make it more challenging by adding colors or making more complex combinations for your patterns.

Have fun!

### Scissors anyone?!

Materials...
3,4 different colors of construction paper
scissors
3,4 containers (bowls, paper plates, etc. We used ice-cream bowls!)

Directions...
Give your child a sheet of paper and ask them to start cutting! (free cutting)
If you want to teach them to cut on the line, you can draw straight lines on the construction paper first then ask them to cut on the line. When you have the long strips cut out, start cutting into smaller pieces. You can get another color and also cut so you are modeling the activity and staying involved.

When you are done cutting all the papers have your child mix up the pile. This part is lots of fun for them. If they want to take a few minutes to mix and play with let them. This is a good sensory experience at the same time.
Then start sorting the colors into separate containers. Show and say the colors as you sort. This is an early math skill!

To make this activity more challenging you can use more colors 5, 6 different colors to sort. To make it easier you can choose to use only 2 colors.

Store the pieces in a zip lock bag for later use!

## Wednesday, September 9, 2009

### Catch Counting!

Materials...
ball
2 players

Directions...
Practice throwing and catching the ball. (a game loved by most!)
Tell your child that you will take turns saying a number when you catch the ball. For example when you throw your child will say 1 then when you catch you will say 2 and so on. Set a goal and say "let's see if we can count all the way up to 20! without dropping the ball!" If you drop the ball you start all over again.

You can make this game easier or harder depending on the age and ability of the child. For example to make it more challenging you can count in 2's 3's 5's 10's etc. You can also extend the game to end at a higher number. (count by 3's all the way to 99!) You can also stand further away from each other to make the catching and throwing challenging.

To make the game easier you can count up to 15, 10, or 5. If your child is having a hard time catching come closer to each other.

Have fun!

### Ordering Numbers

Materials...
Construction paper (5)
Scissors
Marker

Directions...
Cut each paper into 4 equal sections. (1st cut the paper in half - then cut all of those papers in half) You will have 20 rectangular papers. I numbered mine from 23 to 43. You can number them according to your child's age and ability. If your child has never done something like this before, I suggest you start by numbering then 1 to 10.

After numbering the cards, ask your child to tell you what each number is (like a flashcard) if your child doesn't know his/her numbers yet this activity is not appropriate for them. If your child knows all the numbers, give him/her the cards and ask them to put the cards in order from smallest to biggest.

If this activity is difficult or somewhat confusing please jump in and help out. For example, if your child could name all the numbers but doesn't know which number is bigger you can use cheerios, buttons, large uncooked pasta (any manipulative you have handy) to help find out. For example count 3 buttons and put on the card with the number three and then count 5 buttons for the number five. Visually seeing it and being able to manipulate it can help them grasp the concept or more and less easier.

If this activity is easy, write down different numbers. The numbers don't have to be in order and they don't need to start from the number one! You can also give numbers in counts of 10's 5's 2's etc. to practice counting in that number sequence.

Remember please be patient with your children, if they don't know something or if they don't understand. If you get stressed out or get disappointed with them, they will not develop a love for the subject or the time they are spending with you! Just relax and have fun with it!

## Sunday, September 6, 2009

### Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

Today we played Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes!

When singing the following song touch each body part. Start singing the song slowly then get faster and faster until
everyone is moving as fast as they can!

"Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes;
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes;
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose;
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes."

This game teaches the really little kids about body parts and older kids to follow directions and coordination.
And it's a lot of fun!

## Saturday, September 5, 2009

### Practice Reading with Memory Cards (2nd set)

Materials...

Construction paper/Cereal box
Glue
Scissors
Computer & Printer (optional)
The following words:
it
is
green
red
you
like
six
yellow
to
up
the
for
go
one
see
my
blue
are

Directions...
If you have access to a computer & printer you can type the words above on Microsoft Excel and outline the boxes for ease of cutting. Write each word 2 times and print. Glue the whole sheet on to the construction paper then cut out each word box. If you have an empty cereal box you can glue the sheet of words on that instead of the construction paper. This will make it more durable and last longer. You can also laminate it if you want it to really last!

If you don't have access to a computer or a printer you can simply hand write the words 2 times directly on the construction paper and glue it on the back of the cereal box. Or you can write it on the cereal box with a marker and then cut out the words. Use what you have!

Once you are done getting the cards ready you may begin to play! Turn each card face down. The child will open two cards and read the words. If she has a match she will take the two cards and make a pile for herself. Then open two other cards. Repeat until she no longer has a match. Then move on to then next player. The person with the biggest pile wins.

If using all the words above that will make 34 word cards. If this is too much for your child. You can only choose to use 20 word cards for this game and maybe the other 14 cards the next time. Or you can introduce it 10 cards at a time. Depending on your child's readiness. Remember this is supposed to be fun not stressful!! So if your child can't read a word or has trouble feel free to help them. Point at the letters and try to sound it out together! We do want our children to learn through these wonderful games but the main idea is to be able to spend quality time together and have warm loving memories that will last a life time!

Enjoy!

## Friday, September 4, 2009

### Practice Reading with a Memory Game!

Materials...

Construction paper/Cereal box
Glue
Scissors
Computer & Printer (optional)
The following words:
note
dust
math
sleep
write
stamp
clean
cute
stop
bump
grew
choose
clock
soap
tent
play
light
nine

Directions...
If you have access to a computer & printer you can type the words above on Microsoft Excel and outline the boxes for ease of cutting. Write each word 2 times and print. Glue the whole sheet on to the construction paper then cut out each word box. If you have an empty cereal box you can glue the sheet of words on that instead of the construction paper. This will make it more durable and last longer. You can also laminate it if you want it to really last!

If you don't have access to a computer or a printer you can simply hand write the words 2 times directly on the construction paper and glue it on the back of the cereal box. Or you can write it on the cereal box with a marker and then cut out the words. Use what you have!

Once you are done getting the cards ready you may begin to play! Turn each card face down. The child will open two cards and read the words. If she has a match she will take the two cards and make a pile for herself. Then open two other cards. Repeat until she no longer has a match. Then move on to then next player. The person with the biggest pile wins.

If using all the words above that will make 40 word cards. If this is too much for your child. You can only choose to use 20 word cards for this game and maybe the other 20 cards the next time. Or you can introduce it 10 cards at a time. Depending on your child's readiness. Remember this is supposed to be fun not stressful!! So if your child can't read a word or has trouble feel free to help them. Point at the letters and try to sound it out together! We do want our children to learn through these wonderful games but the main idea is to be able to spend quality time together and have warm loving memories that will last a life time!

Enjoy!

### Silly Stories!

Making a book of silly stories!

Materials...
Construction paper
Crayons/Markers/Pensils etc.
Stapler

Directions...
Tell your children that today you guys will make a fiction book (a great time to explain the difference between fiction and non-fiction books.) Let them know that when writing a fiction story anything is possible!

Next come up with some silly sentences and give the kids examples like; The ant ate the couch! The butterfly took the dog out for a walk..

Depending on the child's age, you or the child can write down each silly sentence on a sheet of construction paper then have the kids illustrate the sentence! You can make as many sentences as you like! When you are done simply staple the pages together and read your book!

Don't forget to make a cover page! We called ours Silly Stories!

Starfall has a great page that has both fiction and non fiction stories! Click on the link below to access that page.

## Wednesday, September 2, 2009

### Twister anyone?!

Today we didn't have time to do any arts and crafts. We were too busy hanging out and making new friends at the playground! My 1st grader was able to meet 2 other girls that will be in her class this year! That will help calm her nerves to see a couple of friendly faces at her new school!

So we decided to squeeze in a game of Twister! I love this game because not only is it fun it is educational! When they are playing this game they are learning one of the hardest and most confusing things for kids, right and left! Of course they also learn their colors and following directions if they are younger. I also like this game because it is one of the few games we can play as a family that keeps us all up and moving around!

If you haven't played twister before or don't have the game at home. You can easily make this game using construction paper and some clear tape. All you need is 4 different colors of construction paper. Trace a big circle on the paper using a paper plate or something round and cut out about 8 circles of each color. Then you can let the children sort the colors that are the same and line them up on the floor (learning math!) Tape them to the floor. When you are done lining up all 4 colors next to each other you may begin to play.

You can have 2-4 players for this game. One player will pick a body part, ex. arm or leg and the other player will pick a color. Then both players have to place the chosen body part on the chosen colored circle! You keep playing until someone falls down :) Trust me it's easy to get all tangled up, especially if there are 4 players!

If you wish to teach your child shapes, numbers or letter and their sounds you can use this same game.

If you want to teach shapes, instead of using 4 different colors just use one color and cut out 4 different shapes. Then you can play the game saying for example, right hand on a square. (you can use more challenging shapes for older children like a sphere, cone, cube, etc.

If you want to teach numbers you can cut out all the circles on a white construction paper and then write down 4 numbers you are working on.

If you want to teach letter sounds.. write down the 4 letters you want to teach. Left foot on the letter that makes the sound s-s-s-s...

Have fun!

## Tuesday, September 1, 2009

### Caterpillar!

My husband brought home 2 green caterpillars that he found outside on his way home. This was a wonderful and spontaneous activity we did. Observing the caterpillars! I took a short video clip of our caterpillars moving about and you can hear the excitement in their voices! Later that evening we went out to buy a small container for the caterpillars to keep until they turn into a butterfly! They also sell special butterfly kits that come with an order form so you can order your caterpillars. We did that a couple years back and it was a lot of fun!

I really wanted to read the book 'The very hungry caterpillar' by Eric Carl, but I couldn't find it anywhere! So we read this other book that I had on the shelf. It was a fun read. The next video clip is of that story we read.

There's so much you can do with this theme.. So many questions that come up observing the butterfly's .. what do they eat, how many legs do they have, how do they turn into a butterfly, etc. If your children are interested in doing this activity I would recommend a trip to the library
to check out some cool books about butterfly's. Enjoy!