Easter and Spring Favourites

It is that time of the year; spring! The snow is a mushy mess, everything is dirty but the promise of a summer of beautiful prairie sun filled days, is just around the corner.

We love spring and every year there are some activities that are inevitable.

We clean the outdoor toys:

Sneaky poductive water play

We make birds nests:

We plan the garden (including the fairy garden):

We play with Easter knick-knacks!

We grow seedlings:

peat-pots

Maybe try an April fools trick?

We do a cute craft such as these wee fluffy chicks:

wee-fluffy-chicks

How are you celebrating this spring and Easter season?

 

Early Reading Language Resources we Love!

Rose is in kindergarten half time and her reading and writing is developing in leaps and bounds. She is reading sight words and simple readers but her confidence is low. When she is not in kindergarten she wants activities to complete with Granny. These are a mixture of independent tasks and those which will need Granny help!

Matching Upper and Lower Case Letters

This is a great activity Daisy enjoyed at the same age. Correct letter formation is important to know at an early age to ensure a student’s kinaesthetic (movement) memory commits to well formed letters. It is more difficult to unlearn an incorrect method.

Identifying Initial Sounds with Alphabet Objects

Alphabet Objects

With 3 objects for each letter sound, sorting these objects requires phonics skills.

 

Making words with Word Building Pebbles

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Letter pebbles are great for the visual and tactile reminder of letter formation and their sounds. As Rose lifts the pebbles she makes the letter sound and places in order to make a word.

Playing with Word Families

This post involves Daisy making cvc words from a game and dice.

Using Letter Tracing Stamps

Tracing letter stamps

We all know writing goes hand in hand with reading. Read about how Rose uses letter stamps here.

Using Build-A-Sentence Cubes 

/build-a-sentence-cubes

With six colour coded sentence structures and  a related high frequency word on all six sides, there are lots of sentence options with these cubes.

Writing Sentences with Sentence Strips

Writing Sentences

This paper is fabulous for disccussing letter formation as we did here.

The invitation

The colour recognition of “dirt, grass and sky” adds an extra step, helping a student remember the letter structure.

Playing Spot It! Basic English.
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As well as reinforcing sight word recognition, this game is just pure fun!

Of course one of the main activities Rose does is READING!

 

 

Painting Snow

Painting-Snow

Snow is abundant at the moment, presenting the perfect canvas. It was a little chilly so we brought the snow into the warmth.

The invitation:

Painting Snow

The Aqua Flo Brush Set is only $3.75 and seemed like the ideal way to paint snow (and I really wanted to try them!).

I corresponded the watercolour paint inside to the handle colour to make choice easier for the boys but the colour actually corresponds to brush side.

Painting Snow

A gentle touch was needed otherwise the paint flowed quickly.

Painting Snow

The boys had greater sucess due to their inability to squeeze hard! A look of pure joy that seems to say “Look what I can do!”:

Painting Snow

Concentration! Theo was very proud to show his mama his art when she arrived.

Painting Snow

A word of warning: Ikea smocks are not waterproof if they have been washed. We will be getting washable smocks from Quality Classrooms and will let you know how they do.

Tell tale sign of Rose concentrating is the tongue out.

Painting Snow

Daisy as usual had a plan and executed it methodically.

Painting Snow

She was a little disappointed in the ‘black’ areas due to too much paint being applied. Less is more is definitely the trick with the watercolour paint. The paint did get on hands but washed off easily with soap.

Painting Snow

The Aqua Flo Brush Set is available in a set of 3, 12 or a classroom set of 36. 

Assorted Aqua Flo Brush Set

The watercolour paint is now available in metallic, and glitter. We used Washable Watercolour Magic. 

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Give snow painting a try, it is a lot of fun and a great way to celebrate our wonderful winter!

 

 

Testing Watercolour Pencils

I enjoyed using watercolour pencils as a child and loved that moment when you added water and your art turned into a painting. As with many things the memories from childhood are a little betraying. While teaching an art class recently, I was disappointed by the watercolour pencils I tried with my students. They seemed grainy and not very vibrant.

Watercolour Pencils (24)

I was then challenged to try out different brands to see if the brand I had tried were weak or if my memory was failing me.

watercolour-pencils

The four brands were:

  • Prang
  • Crayola
  • Lyra
  • Sargent Art

The girls got straight down to “work”!

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We used a printed colouring sheet and dived it into four sections. We took care to use the allocated brand of watercolour pencil in the correct section.

Comments included:

  • Prang- soft and makes chips or dust, kinda crumbly, it is hard to colour lightly
  • Crayola- it has a hard lead, you have to press down hard
  • Lyra- doesn’t erase easily, I like it best because it doesn’t dust
  • Sargent Art- it has a hard lead, it takes too long to cover

These comments were shared while colouring. We did try to erase them all. Lyra was the most difficult to erase, while the rest were more successful. As you can see from the photo we were on a rough surface, not dissimilar to a school desk I imagine.

The excitement of adding water was quite the thrill!

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The wonderful no spill water pot saved the day.

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The girls enjoyed watching the colours blend together as they used paintbrushes and water. They did need to wash their brush off after each colour change but the results were beautiful.

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Our favourites in terms of blending power as you added water, were probably the Crayola and Lyra with the Prang and Sargent Art coming close behind.

Yes, apparently my memory has failed me. While the watercolour pencils did what they needed to I was thinking more of these I think….

Watercolour Crayons

I guess I will have to try them next!

Paper Circle Popz Christmas Activities

I like themes, I can’t help it. It is possibly either the teacher in me or the organized part of my brain but seeing a theme carried out through a project makes me happy!

Paper-Circle-Popz-Christmas

Fred and his friend have been busy making Christmas crafts. A simple wreath with Paper Circle Popz  glued on looks great. Here we are discussing the need to NOT eat the glue stick.

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Theo selects his circles and sticks. The selection was challenging and distracting. He preferred to play with and organise the circles! They are such beautiful colours.

Paper Circle Popz

We will continue the wreath tomorrow.

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The finished product ready to hang on the wall.  (Fred had help!):

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For cards, the boys had a limited colour palette.
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Lines, circles and “Joy” stamps finished the cards.
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Rose also completed cards for her classmates with this design. The lines and circles are perfect exercises to build fine motor skills to improve handwriting. She will finish by writing her name on the inside.

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The boys will wrap their penguin footprint ornament and wreath up today, ready for Christmas.

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I may add some Paper Circle Popz to the gift wrapping… yes I do like a theme!

Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Eric Carle

Eric Carle is truly inspiring and a staple in many kindergarten classrooms. Brown Bear, Brown Bear is one of Fred’s favourite books at the moment. Rose also loves that fact that she can read (recite) it with no effort.

Earlier in the week we stuck paper and coloured Black Sheep. Yes, the art opportunities are limited but the two boys I am working with are learning what to do with glue sticks and paper cut outs!

Black sheep,, black sheep

For Goldfish the following day, I had prepared the cut outs so the boys were to assemble the fish. This gave us opportunities to talk about the body, tail, fins, and eye.

Using a glue stick

The scales were added with oil pastels, with great big movements by Fred who is 19 months and with more care and a steady hand by his friend who is 2 years and 2 months.

Adding colour

Rose and Daisy enjoy supervising, although they may have been better with their own creations to avoid the temptation to add to the boys work. Daisy insisted she write “To: Mommy” as per a request!

Goldfish, Goldfish, what do you see?

Fred did have help to stick, his contribution was to push the paper into place with one finger!

This assembling and sticking and adding colour is as much for the boys as it is for me to build their crafting skills. Understanding not to eat the glue stick is a skill!

We will be continuing our work on Brown Bear, Brown Bear and will then move on to other Eric Carle books.

His books have been popular for the flowers too. For Rose’s third birthday a Hungry Caterpillar theme was requested. We had a Hungry Caterpillar cake, ate hungry caterpillars favourite food, smashed a butterfly pinata and took home caterpillar treats!

See more Eric Carle inspiration on our Pinterest board here and happy crafting!