October 27, 2012

S is for Spiders {and a Giveaway}

Where have I been this month of October you are wondering?

Well, I have had two tummy bugs - really awful!

Both boys have had it too - more of the awful.

Not a great month in the healthy department, but we have all survived and are better. And now, speaking of bugs...

S is for Spiders... and Spooky and Scary and... Sensory box! 

When I saw these plastic glow-in-the dark spiders in the store, I knew a sensory box was to be made - a scary spider sensory box. I dyed some rice with red and blue food colouring, added the spiders and presented it to the boys in the dark - before bedtime - I know, it doesn't sound right? Well thankfully, they loved it. I think the only one who was "scared" was me - I actually jumped (and gave a squeamish yelp) when one of the spiders landed on my hand. Really. Big One's response to the sensory box was "It's brilliant" - to get that reaction from a ten year old is pretty cool I think.

A few days later I took the box out again - in daylight this time. I added some string (pretend web), snakes and the letter "s" from my alphabet set. It was great to see the boys enjoying the box again. I also added tweezers and a magnifying glass. We compared sizes; we counted; we took the string and made "s" shapes - all in all a great activity :). 

Oh yeah, would you like to win a fabulous 26 piece lowercase alphabet (like the one I used here)? This fantastic product is South African born and bred and made by Little People's Products.

If you would like to win, this is what you must do: Please head on over to their website and come back and tell me which product you really like. For a second entry, pop on on over to their Facebook page and "like" them and then come back here and tell me you did. And for a third entry, share this competition on your Facebook page if you have one. Please leave a separate comment for each entry and some contact details. The competition is open world wide and the closing date is Monday the 5th of November. Good luck!

October 13, 2012

O is for Ostrich

Little One has been introduced to the alphabet via the Letterland program at his school this year - a super program that I like very much. I, on the other hand, haven't focused much on alphabet activities at home, but recently decided that we should. Added to that, Big One gets homework every day and Little One also wants to have homework, just like big brother. So I thought I'd prepare some things for him to do in the afternoon while Big One is busy. 

The first letter I chose to focus on was "o" - it's so easy to identify and it's a great first sound. 

Just by the way, here in South Africa we teach lower case letters first and we teach the phonetic sounds (as in "a" is for apple, not ape). 

I chose ostrich as our first "o" activity and we started with identifying the letter using our fantastic magnetic alphabet. (Available from Little People's Products)

I added some ostrich handouts from Carisa's  Tot School Printables @ 1+1+1+1. (If you don't know this site - it's amazing!) 

We did some colour recognition and colouring in.

Little one then cut out each ostrich (Each ostrich is in a square, which makes this a nice cutting activity).  He helped me staple all the little squares together to make a small book - a nice reminder of the activity.  I also added in some maths language, by asking him which picture he wanted in the book first, second, third, etc, as I put the small pages together, before we stapled it. 

I also made a copy of the "shapes" page and asked him to "show me the ostrich in the oval, triangle etc." He used his dot markers for this one. These were very kindly sent to us awhile back by Donette from The Journey. They are a favourite during homework time. These ostriches can also be cut out to make a book... or flash cards.

There are lots more ostrich pages available from 1+1+1=1. 

And a  bottle top ostrich craft...

The boys and I visited the National Geographic website to get some extra information about the ostrich and we watched a You Tube video of an ostrich running - something they do rather well. (We actually ran around like ostriches - using our "wings" to steer and make sharp turns - this got some giggles). And we learned that an ostrich can cover up to 5 metres in a single stride - that got us measuring and estimating - it's about the length of our kitchen!

Little One calls it "fun homework". This must mean I'm doing something right ;). 

Till next time - happy learning :)  

PS. Little One is 4.2 years.
PPS. Sharing this at It's Playtime.

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