Monday, August 1, 2011

Other C Activities

Well, as you can probably guess, the girls are gone on their trip to Minnesota. C week ended abruptly, as last Wednesday we spent at the zoo, and last Thursday we were away from home all day and then the girls left.We did listen to some of our favorite C artists in the car on the way to the zoo (Casting Crowns and Jeremy Camp), and the girls looked for Cs on the long drive to the zoo. Lily begged to watch the movie Caravan of Courage, which she decided we had to watch because it started with C, as does one of the main characters Cindel. But none of these were very exciting C activities.

There were plenty of other things I had wanted to do, but we didn't get a chance to do them. I wanted to have the kids do crayon resist, which is where you color or draw a picture with crayons and then paint water color over the picture. The wax in the crayons prohibits the paint from sticking to the paper anywhere there is crayon, so you can see the colored picture through the paint. I also wanted to have the kids make paper plate cats. I was going to give them the shapes, along with a paper plate for the face and let them glue together the cats. I wanted to do counting activities (although this is something we incorporate on a daily basis, especially when doing calendar). If it wasn't so unbelievably hot, we also would've baked chocolate chip cookies or made sugar cookie dough and done cut-outs of C related things with cookie cutters

There are so many fun things to do with the letter C. Caleb likes to cry and climb. ;) I am now trying to come up with a list of D activities the kids can do while I am at work next week. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

C Week ~ Day 2

You may notice that sometimes we do a lot of worksheets. While I, personally, am not much of a worksheet fan, Faith and Lily both love to do them, so we occassionally have days where we do a bunch. Sometimes I print things off the night before and leave them out on the kitchen table with the boxes of crayons, markers and pencils. My girls tend to be early risers and often ask first thing in the morning if they can color or draw, so this gives them something focused to do when we're working on a theme, and it's a way to find time to work on the theme when we're busy.    
Faith is showing Lily how to trace the Cs.
I love watching her "teach" her little sister!
Today the girls came to the table in the morning to find a coloring and C tracing page. They told me what the pictures were and colored them. They also traced the Cs. The girls also made C Itsy Bitsy Books, which I had already cut and assembled for them. Unfortunately I do not have a picture of these. The only thing I disliked was that they wrote out the hard C sound as "cuh," which is incorrect. It is simply /k/. (no "uh"). But since I read it to the girls, I made the sound correctly, and then they copied me as they read it again and again.
Faith is tracing her Cs.
Today we had plans with our friends, so we went to cool off at the splash pad with our comrades.

At dinner we reviewed the sounds of C again, and I introduced the /ch/ digraph. We were having cheeseburger pasta, so it worked out well. I made a picture of C and H holding hands, and then we brainstormed a list of words. (Of course CH doesn't always say /ch/; it sometimes says /k/ like in Chrzanowski, so that makes things even more confusing!) Faith is really getting the hang of the different sounds of C (she tells me "hard C" whenever we say something starts with C and it makes the /k/ sound), and Abby needed a bit of a challenge to come up with more words.
Ignore the misspelled words! I was eating and trying to keep Caleb quiet while I wrote!

After dinner the girls were able to do a few more easy C-related projects. They used cotton balls to make Cs. They also made pictures of Larry the Cucumber. They colored and cut, and I was very impressed with how well Lily cut out her Larry body!
I love tactle projects like this.
Coloring the pieces of Larry.

Lily did such an impressive job of cutting!
Faith's Larry the Cucumber. She cut hers out, too.

At story time, we discovered something neat about the book Lily chose to read. On one side it had the word castle, and on the other side it had the word Cinderella. One side with a hard C, and one side with a soft C. She thought that was fabulous! We also read the C books one last time before bed.

Tomorrow we are off to the zoo, so I am sure we will be on the lookout for C animals! I also want to make a cat out of paper plates, but we'll see how wiped the kids are when we get home!

And despite the fact that my pictures show my children in their pajamas constantly, they do actually get dressed! After playing at the beach or on the slip and slide, they are usually covered in sand or mud and have baths before dinner. Plus, of course they do activities first thing in the morning before breakfast most days! :) 

C Caterpillar Activity

We made these caterpillars over a year ago. Faith was 3 1/2 and Lily was 2. We were talking about C then, as well. Since the girls still have their caterpillars displayed in their room, we aren't making them again, but it was quite fun for them. Obviously they loved the caterpillars, since we still have them! And it was a project that both girls were able to do with minimal help. Here are a few pictures of the project.

Faith very carefully painted each bump a different color.

She kept her paint colors neat on the plate.

By the time Lily was done, her plate was a mess of mixed up colors!

Finished project. Faith's on the left and Lily's on the right. Cute, colorful caterpillars.

Monday, July 25, 2011

C Week ~ Day 1

This week is a short one for us. The girls will be leaving Thursday afternoon to go to Minnesota with their bio dad for a week. That also means next week will NOT be D week. And since I start training for my new job the following week, it looks as though we may be putting some of this on hold for a bit. So sad that summer is coming to an abrupt stop a few weeks earlier than I planned!

That being said, I'm so glad it's C week, since so many of my favorite words/things begin with C! (Caleb, Chrzanowski, coffee, cuddling. . . )

Today we focused on the fact that C makes two distinct sounds: the hard sound (which sounds like K) and the soft sound (which sounds like S). In order to help the girls see and hear the difference, we made 2 Cs this morning. The first was a cardboard C for the hard C sounds (I made this out of a Diet Coke case, so I was limited in size, but I wish I had used something larger. We thought of so many more words that we could not fit on the C!) I also made a soft C out of a blanket with circles on it. (This I made way too big. There aren't many words that begin with the soft C sound. It is more often found at the end or middle of words, as in acid or fence.) I talked about the CH sound with Abby, and we may make a list for those words, too, but I felt it was too confusing for the younger girls, especially all at the same time. We went for a walk after we made these, and as we walked, we continued to come up with more words to try to squeeze on the hard C.
Soft C and Hard C

Faith is cutting out face circles. My righty cuts with her left.
The girls were very excited about the fact that both coloring and crafts begin with C, and they would be happy if I let them do that all week long! So imagine how excited Faith was when she realized that CUT begins with C! This morning I let her cut out circles. We talked again about the difference between the soft C of circle and the hard C of cut. This template is easy to make yourself, or you can print the one I used. Circle Cutting Template

Lunch today was all C words (although only Abby knew about the CH portion of lunch). The girls love when their food fits with the theme in some way.
Circle sandwich, carrots, C of ranch, cheddar goldfish
After lunch Faith and Lily colored a page with different shapes. The shapes with capital Cs were to be colored pink and the the shapes with the lowercase Cs were to be colored black. The picture it makes is a C.
The rest of our day was spent doing non-C related things (like returning library books, going to the beach--although we did COOL off, playing in the slip and slide and eating dinner). But before bed, the girls played with shaving cream. While it is just fun to play with, it is a great way to help early writers learn to make letters. The girls practiced writing Cs and then writing their names and other fun things. (Abby practiced cursive in her shaving cream, so it's fun even for older kids.) And while Caleb really loved playing in it (and asked to play in it again), after a couple of minutes it went straight to his mouth.

And for an after dinner treat, the girls ate COLD CIRCLE COOKIES (Thin Mints out of the freezer). Those are some yummy Cs!
After the girls picked out their books for story time, they had to wait on me for a few minutes. They instinctually started pointing out all the Cs. So while I finished switching over some laundry, I had them each take a book and look for as many Cs as they could find.

Tomorrow we have some plans with friends, but I'm hoping we can do some more C activities. One of our favorites from years past is the egg carton caterpillar. We probably won't do it again because the girls still have the ones they made several years ago, but it's fun and so cute!

B Week ~ The Weekend Edition

After a busy week, we continued right on to a busy weekend, but we managed to add a few more fun B-related activities into the mix. We never did find the time to bubble paint, as it is really an outside activity, and it was so hot last week that the only outside activities we did involved water.

Look what came in the mail on Friday!
Looking for the letter B everywhere was a week-long activity.

Both girls made Bob the Tomato on Friday. This was a great small motor activity, which included coloring and cutting. The girls cut out the body themselves, although they asked mommy to "finish" it (i.e. fix it by cutting off any extra). They both turned out really cute, and Faith's really looks like Bob.

We spent Saturday morning and early afternoon browsing at the mall. Another thing we did this weekend was have a BEST friends sleep over. Abby's good friend Saoirse (who is like another sister to Faith and Lily) came over Saturday afternoon, went to church with us and spent the night. Abby told me it was a B activity. :)
Watching a movie during the BFF sleepover.
Faith, Lily, Saoirse and Abby
We ended our B week by learning to braid.

There are so many more things I thought of that I wanted to do with the kids, but there is only so much time! If you are doing a B week or B day, there are plenty of fun activities to do with buttons, bubbles, babies, blocks, bugs (I had several bug-related things I had planned on doing). If you need ideas, let me know! I've got a bunch!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

B Week ~ Day 4

Another busy day for our family! It seems to be the theme lately.

Today both Abby and Faith practiced writing their Bs. (Faith in printing and Abby in cursive.) I completely forgot to pick up inexpensive shaving cream at Target today so Lily could practice as well. I will try to do that before this week is up. It will be good for her to do all the letters this way. (Of course if she uses the shaving cream, her sisters will insist they get to use it, too. They all love playing with shaving cream!)

We also went to the library and picked out books. The girls have a tendency to gravitate toward the "favorite characters" section, as is evident by the books they are holding in this picture. I try to get them to branch out a bit, but they know what they like!
This afternoon, we traded an art project for outside play in bathing suits (we got a new Slip and Slide, and with the unbearable heat, who could say no?)

Keeping with our theme of incorporating B foods every day, we had broccoli as well as bread and butter with our dinner.

Caleb loves broccoli, so he was glad it is B week!
The girls made birthday cards for their Papa (whose birthday is next week) for an after-dinner activity.
The girls got to use birthday stamps tonight, so they were excited.

Storytime tonight included the Berenstain Bears (a family favorite), and in both books we read, the girls looked for the letter B.

Nothing we did today was mind-blowing or very creative, but it's proof that even when you have many things that need to be done or you just are really busy, you can still focus on a letter or a theme of some sort. I will be going back to work in a few weeks, so I am hoping that I'll be able to still do letters of the week in this manner. Tomorrow Faith has a test in the morning and we have to clean the house because my in laws are coming over. So, we'll see how many B activities we can squeeze in. Luckily the girls are home this weekend, so we may extend our B week through the weekend and start C on Monday.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

B Week~Day 3

Today was supposed to be a breeze; I had things set up for the morning before I went to bed. I woke up at 5:30 because the fan in my room stopped running. Yep. Power out again. As we waited and watched a big truck come and remove tree branches from our power line, the kids did some of their B activities before we headed over to Grandma and Papa's house for some air conditioning and running water.
While waiting for breakfast this morning, Faith did her Bob Tomato sheet, a dot-to-dot.

Faith and Lily also made Bs out of beans. (When they were done, Faith asked if she could eat one. Not sure what she thought that dried kidney bean actually was. . . )

Faith also worked on her B book today. She had a book in the shape of a B, and she looked through old magazines to cut out pictures of things that started with B (such as a baby, broccoli, a bug, basket of berries. . . ) Not only was it a good activity for letter and sound recognition, it was also great small motor work. Faith's doing really well with how she holds and uses scissors. And while she writes, colors and draws with her right hand, she cuts with her left.

This afternoon we went to the beauty salon and the kids and I all got beautified. Honestly, if this hadn't been on our agenda for this week, we probably would've played beauty salon. My girls love when I curl their hair with the curling iron or straighten it with the flat iron or something else out of the ordinary pony tails, braids and bows. 
Lily getting her first real haircut, thanks to our good friend Karen at Karen's Hair Design.
While we were at the salon, the girls built with Bristle Blocks (I so wish we had these at home!). Faith actually made a baby out of the blocks!
The girls go to their dad's for dinner on Wednesday night, but I still kept up the theme and sauted some fresh beans for dinner. This has been a very busy week, but the girls are having a good time. Tomorrow we work on writing Bs. If we had some shaving cream, I'd have them write Bs in shaving cream. . . May have to get some before tomorrow afternoon! We'll also be going to the library to pick out new books. B is such a great letter for doing a lot of regular things!