Farm Vocabulary Game for Any Language

I’ve been teaching my children a little Hindi.  Pumpkin 1 is hopefully starting Hindi classes in the fall so I need to step up my game.  I came up with this fun way to learn numbers and farm animal names in any language.

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There’s two ways to play.  There’s a cooperative version, which is great when your kids are still little and get upset about winning and losing.  And there’s a competitive version for those kids who thrive on competition.  The game can be played in any language, provided you know the vocabulary to teach your kids.

The animals have escaped and are all around the farm.  You need to go around the board and collect them back.  The dice and counting spaces is a great way to instil numbers in your chosen language.  The animals must be “called” in order to collect them.  In the cooperative version you must work together to get the animals back to the barn before the sun sets.  Whenever you roll a 3 or 6 the sun moves a square on the number strip.  In the competitive version for up to 4 players, there are multiple animals tokens.  A player must collect one of each and get back to the barn before the others.

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The PDF includes a game board printable, animal tokens, a sun token, a number strip in English, Devanagari, Urdu, Hebrew, Japanese, Thai and Tamil as well as a blank strip. The download also includes instructions for both versions of the game.

Download, print, laminate, add a dice and playing pieces and you’re ready to have loads of fun!

You can purchase your PDF copy at my etsy store:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/463826647/language-learning-game-farm-animals?ref=shop_home_active_1

Free Sight Word Board Game Printable

I’ve been trying to find some ways to make learning sight words more fun and came up with this game.  I must say it’s quite fun.  I used a board game template from here and added to it.  This game teaches sight words along with counting and turn taking.  IMG_1452

What you need:
Board game printed and laminated :Sight word board game
Box to use as the “treasure chest”
Glass gems
Dice
Playing pieces, we used Lego men
Cards with sight words written on them.  (I purchased blank playing cards from Amazon)

How to play:
The object of the game is to collect the most gems by saying the secret password to open the treasure chest.
Put the gems in the chest and the cards face down.  The first person puts their player on the first square and draws a card and reads it.  If they read it correctly they can open the chest and take out one gem.  If they read it incorrectly it goes back in the pile and they don’t get a gem.  They keep the correctly read card beside them.  The next person repeats this processes.  After everyone is on the first square the first person rolls the dice and moves the number of spaces indicated.  They then draw a card and read the magic word to collect a gem.  (Make sure everyone sees the card being read to check that it’s read correctly and to help the others learn the word).
If a player lands on a star they may take 2 gems if they read the magic word correctly.  If the player lands on a lightening bolt they may take a card from another player and read it and steal one of their gems.  If a player lands on a crossed circle then they miss their turn and do not get to pick up a card.  When a player lands at the finish they may pick one final card and collect one final gem.  After everyone has reached the finished the gems are counted and the one with the most wins.

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Follow me on pinterest for more sight word ideas.

Paper Moveable Alphabet

After a child has worked with the wooden moveable alphabet, the child is introduced to a moveable alphabet made from paper or thin plastic with the lower case on one side and the upper case on the back.  This alphabet has about 25 of each letter so that they can begin to write sentences.  Usually two colours of this alphabet are given so that phonograms can be isolated in a different colour when learning them.  I’ve also seen some green phongram moveable “alphabets” with the main phonograms given in order that the child has all the sounds available.

Pumpkin 1 isn’t quite ready for this alphabet but I figured I’d better start making it.  I wanted it in cursive and so far I’ve only found ready made print ones available for purchase and I wanted to save a little money doing my own.  I found a PDF online and purchased it but I discovered that it couldn’t be printed back to front.  One had to print the lower-case and upper-case on separate sheets.  This would mean twice the amount of cutting and then sticking them together for laminating.  Cutting and laminating and then re-cutting 25 of each letter for two alphabets is a lot of cutting.  I didn’t want to have to add to that.  So I created my own version to print and designed it to be printed front to back.  Because I found my printer doesn’t print exactly the same depending on how it draws in the paper, I put lines on only one side for cutting, with no lines on the back so there was no worry if it printed off a little; it wouldn’t be noticeable.

I made them the right size to fit into this container sold on Amazon.  (click photo for link)

Now I’ve begun the task of printing and cutting and laminating.  It’s going to take a while.  I’ve done about 7 of each letter of the black alphabet and 4 of each phonogram.  I don’t think I need 25 of the phonograms.  I purchased a smaller container for the phonograms but they wouldn’t all fit so I put a few in the black alphabet container.


My printed alphabet PDF is available for purchase on my Etsy store.  It comes with 4 sets of alphabets in black, red, green and blue and a green set of phonograms.

A tip for those printing and laminating their own.  Put a dab of glue stick on the back to keep the pieces in place in the laminating sheet.  After it goes through the laminator the glue won’t be visible or ruin the print in anyway.

DIY “Sandpaper” Letters

To this point I haven’t bought the sandpaper phonograms.  The sandpaper letters didn’t get much use here so I haven’t wanted to spend the money.  I recently saw someone make their own sandpaper letters out of sticky backed felt and thought that was a great idea so I decided to make my own phonograms.

I purchased sticky backed felt from Amazon.  Then I created a template of the letters.  My template is available here: phonogram cards

I printed the template off and cut it out.  Then I traced it backwards onto the back of the felt and cut it out (don’t forget to do it backwards, I forgot the first time and had a backwards th).  I took card stock and laminated it to use as the base.  You could also use poster board.  Then I peeled the back off and stuck it on and voilà!  So simple.  You could make all your sandpaper letters this way though it is time consuming.  Right now I’m making my phonograms a few at a time.

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Months of the Year; Sun and Earth

I put this together for Pumpkin 1 to practice reading and to learn the order of the months of the year.  While she’s at the learning stage she can match the Earth slips to the words on the Sun.  This makes it more of an absorbent mind activity.  Later, when she’s familiar with it, she can flip the Sun over and put the slips around without the control.  I added a peg person to put on the month that we are in.  It can further be used to explain the movement of the Earth around the Sun and how that creates our season and months.

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You can download a PDF of this activity here: sun months  The sun is printed on yellow construction paper or you could use yellow card stock.

What We’ve Been Up To.

Pumpkin 2 is growing up fast.  Not only is he potty trained day and night, he no longer sucks his thumbs (thanks to some applications of juice from our Aloe Vera plant) and he no longer has a nap.  The no nap has meant huge changes to our daily schedule and including him in “school time” now.  It has also meant a lot of changes for me to figure out how to work with both of them but, it has been going better than I expected.  It’s also had benefits as the day can be more relaxed since we don’t have to make sure nap time is on time.  Yesterday he preferred to dump the shapes from the pattern pictures everywhere and to make the coloured peg people crash into each other, but he is also having periods of work too.  Here’s him sorting Plant and Animal Cards.

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We’ve been doing music as a group activity.  We match bells and then work on rhythms.  Rhythm is way too advanced for Pumpkin 2 but it’s something he wants to be a part of.  They really like this drum I got from Amazon.  Pumpkin 1 has been resistant to learning rhythm but she needs to for her piano lessons so the drum was a great motivation.  We did have a good talk about how to treat the drum (I could just see Pumpkin 2 trying to stand on it) and it’s kept up high to only be used with me.

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Pumpkin 1 is working on linear counting.  She got bored with the Golden beads so I thought it best to take a break and work on something new.  It worked because she was interested in them again the other day.  I also found out that you don’t have to do subtraction with them before multiplication and since she wasn’t keen on subtraction, multiplication will probably be the next step.

These are the Teens boards I printed off and laminated from Montessori Print Shop.  I put some velcro on them because I think it makes it more fun and eliminates the frustration of accidentally shifting the cards.

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We’ve been learning about Vertebrates and the types of Vertebrates and I got a skeleton of a pigeon on huge discount from Affordable Montessori.  The kids were fascinated.  Pumpkin 1 is holding a laser light I was using to point out the spine or Vertebrate.  I thought they’d be scared of it but I guess they haven’t been exposed to the idea of skeleton’s being scary.  Pumpkin 1 as been asking a lot of questions about the body and so I plan to do a unit study on the body soon.

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Here she is sorting out the Types of Vertebrates cards I made.

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I also got these from Amazon and the kids love them.  They’re quite fun and were cheaper than X-Rays of bones.

Pumpkin 2 is my cuddly boy.  He’ll sit on my lap for hours if he could.  It’s funny because he can be so full of energy, literally bouncing off the walls (yes literally, he loves to crash into them and fall on the floor) but he’ll sit so nicely on my lap and just look at a book or play with cars or watch his sister.  I try to soak it up as much as I can because I know it’s not going to last forever, but I also need to get things done.  It’s such a difficult choice, snuggle him a little more, or get to the list of things I need to do.  I usually pick snuggle.

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Our Solar System, with a Printable

Pumpkin 1 has been fascinated learning about our solar system.  She has decided she wants to be an astronaut and go to Mars.  She tells the daycare kids, “I’m going to go to Mars one day”.

I have been learning so much about the Solar System that I didn’t know.  Like that there are at least 5 dwarf planets including one between Mars and Jupiter called Ceres.  And that Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are made up of a gas and have no solid surface.  I got this book from Amazon and it’s amazing.  It’s perfect for Kindergarten age and is full of colourful pictures.

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We also have this solar system from Discovery Toys.

It’s great to show how the planets go around the sun but I wish the planets turned around too and a moon going around earth would be awesome.  The planetarium part is disappointing.  We used to have a planetarium as a child and I loved it (though it was my brother’s).  I’ve been hunting for an affordable one for my kids.  I decided to go with this one because it’s affordable and has ok reviews.  We should get it in the mail soon and I’ll review it for you.

I wanted 3 part cards that had all planet on them but I couldn’t find any so I made my own.  That took a lot of work but I’m very happy with the results.

(The blanket on the carpet is to protect it from accidents from Pumpkin 2, who is pretty much toilet trained except when he’s too involved in playing.  I can just pick it up and throw it in the wash and the carpet is safe).

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It has the 8 large planets and 5 dwarf planets as well as the major moons.  Pumpkin’s favourite moon is Callisto because it looks sparkly.  There is also the 3 types of galaxies, other items in space such as 2 asteroids, comets, stars and meteoroids and nebulas (they’re so beautiful I had to include 3).  Each card as some info on the back.

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You can download the cards for your own use below.

Solar System Cards cursiveSolar System 3 part cards

Solar System Cards printSolar System 3 part cards print

When you print them out print the planet pictures first (the odd number pages) and then print the information on the back (the even number pages).  These can be your control cards.  Then you can print off a second set of the picture cards and cut the labels off along the line.

The Solar System chart is from here:

http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2013/11/27/why-there-are-and-should-be-eight-planets-in-the-solar-system/

Image credit: NASA's The Space Place, via http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/ice-dwarf/.

I also printed off the symbols for the planets.  Astronauts need to know that too of course!

I just printed them off from the below site and cut them out.

 

Planet Astronomical Symbols

Though I try to avoid screen time, space is just something you have to see.  To see objects floating in space and see what life is like on the International Space Station, is just not something that photos can do justice too.  Pumpkin 1 loves to watch videos of life on the ISS.  Chris Hadfield, who is a Canadian, has some excellent ones.

 

Pumpkin also liked watching the female astronaut wash her hair in space.

 

I’m really glad Pumpkin 1 lives in this generation.  50 years ago being an astronaut wouldn’t have been open to her being a girl.  Now she can dream big space dreams.

Hebrew Lunar Calendar

Our family follows the Hebrew Lunar calendar for religious holiday dates.  I wanted to start teaching Pumpkin 1 the Lunar calendar so I put together this.

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The pocket chart is this one from Amazon.  The pictures below is for that week’s Parsha reading from Chabad.org 

I made my own cards to use in it.  We start a new month on conjunction but the great things about this calendar is you can set it up any way you want.  You can download the cards for your own calendar through the link.

Hebrew lunar calander

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It’s hung with removable Command hooks.
Pumpkin 1 is always asking what phase the moon is in now.  We check the moon out the window at bedtime.  I’d love to get this one day.  It automatically syncs with the moon outside!

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But of course nothing beats the real thing!