Spring Flowers Printable and Activities

I’m sooooo glad winter is over.  My goal this summer is to spend as much time outside a day as possible.  As we go for walks around our neighbourhood the kids and I love to check out all the beautiful flowers.  My and Pumpkin 1’s favourites are the Lilacs.  You can smell them before you even see them and there are a ton in our neighbourhood.  It’s almost like a game of Eye Spy to find them.

I don’t know the names of many flowers so I thought it’d be fun to learn with the children.  I made up a set of cards of spring flowers which are available for download from my Etsy store (click image for link).

spring flowers 5

Since my children are too young for 3 part cards what I did was print off and laminate one set and the other set I had them draw pictures of.  For several days I’d give each child a flower picture and we’d glue it onto a piece of paper and they’d draw a picture of the flower.  We talked about the shape of the flower and the colours.  Some children just drew the same flower for every one.  One child I have really surprised me by incorporating all the colours of each flower she drew and the different shapes as her 3 year old ability allowed.  The children loved it.

IMG_0232 IMG_0234 IMG_0240 IMG_0242 IMG_0270

IMG_0272

We also did a cut and paste activity on the needs of a plant from here:

http://www.education.com/worksheet/article/plant-life-cycle-cards/

And learned about the parts of a plant with a sheet from here:

http://www.communication4all.co.uk/http/growth%20and%20plants.htm

I hole punched all their papers and put them into a duo-tang.  The children are always so proud of making books and love to look through theirs.

But the best learning happens when you’re out and about.  Now when we go around the block the children are able to name a few of the plants they see and I am able to give the names of some of the others.  Finding flowers and naming them, observing them, counting their petals, talking about their colours, naming the parts of the plant, the children just absorb knowledge like a sponge this way.  In some ways the printables are for me so that I can be ready to give the right names as needed.  These are things that assist and support learning, they’re not the core of learning.  You can use them for crafts, games, making your own flower reference book, learning to read and many other things, but don’t forget to get out there in nature and learn with the real thing.

Advertisements

Easter Activity

Adorable mini wooden eggs and baskets makes a perfect Easter gift or activity for children.

Six wooden baskets in each color of the rainbow with 3 matching eggs that fit perfectly. A child can sort colors, they can be hidden for an egg hunt or used in imaginative play. Endless possibilities are available with this set.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/223059661/mini-eggs-and-baskets-easter-eggs-and?ref=shop_home_active_1

IMG_9848 IMG_9849 IMG_9853 IMG_9855

Is that really schooling?

Pumpkin 1 has discovered lacing beads and it’s her new thing.  She likes to make Mommy necklaces to wear.  At first she struggled to lace them but now she has it mastered and can do it more quickly.

IMG_8895

IMG_8896

Some might say, “Is that really schooling?” and yes, it is!  Lacing isn’t just a life skill but it helps refine the fine motor skills in preparation for learning to write.  To lace a bead a child has to hold their hands really steady and it also requires coordinating both hands to work together.  Also anything that gets a child concentrating is important for the Normalization of the child.  There are many activities like this, that some would define as just “play” but are actually learning and preparation for further learning.  Trust the child to know what they need to learn and follow their sensitive period.

We purchased the below lacing beads (click image for link).

When purchasing lacing beads you want to make sure that the inside of the bead is smooth so that the lace doesn’t get caught and frustrate the child.  There are lots of other lacing beads out there.  Melissa and Doug has a set, but some of the reviews say that the inside isn’t smooth.  For a younger child you can start off with large hollow pasta noodles and a pipe cleaner.  Another option is the below toy from Hape.

Some people tape the end of the lace so that it’s easier to put through the bead as it’s more rigid.  And don’t forget to tie a knot in the other end.  I found this was the best way to tie the end.  Just a knot or two, the beads still came off with any pressure and upset my daughter after all her hard work.  This kept them on securely.

IMG_8898

Eventually we’ll move on to smaller beads as she refines her fine motor skills.  Since she loves making necklaces so much, we might try these, they’ll be a lot lighter around Mommy’s neck!

Triangle Show and Giveaway

One Montessori material I didn’t purchase as I was going to make it but haven’t gotten around to it (which is why I purchased most of the materials instead of making them, because they’d never get done) is the constructive triangles.  I recently came across an amazing Etsy store called Dominna that has beautiful Montessori inspired hand-made materials .  I just drool over her items.  I am so lucky to get to review the Triangle Show. It’s a great introduction activity to the constructive triangles.

IMG_8389

The one I have is the smaller version and is made up of 18 triangles that you fit together in different patterns on a tray.  It comes with a pamphlet of different designs you can try to recreate or you can make your own design. It’s hand made and amazing quality.  The pieces are so vibrant and smooth and perfectly angled.  It’s a great activity for a child to learn about how shapes can fit together to make other shapes.  It develops logic and fine motor skills.  It’s also a fun way to learn about patterns and leaves room for creativity too.

The triangle show

Developing geometrical puzzle - Big triangle show (for age 3 - 10 )

Two Sided Larger Triangle Show

My 4 year old daycare child really liked to try to recreate the patterns on the pamphlet.   My 2 year old liked to fit the triangles together to make squares, it was like a puzzle to her.  My 6 year old daycare child liked making her own designs.  Pumpkin 1 told me over and over while playing with it, “I yike (like) it Mommy, I yike it.”  Actually as I was writing this post she saw the picture and started talking about how we have it in the playroom and she wanted to play with it.  So we did.

IMG_8415

“I working”

The only negative I could find is that the pieces and the board are very smooth so they shift about easily and it was frustrating for the little ones as they would mess up their patterns.  It wasn’t really a problem with older children who have better fine motor skills.  I’m thinking about lining it with a piece of felt so it won’t happen, however, at the same time, I think that perhaps the very fact that a child has to work carefully and be delicate is good for improving fine motor skills so I might give it more time to decide what I’ll do.  Pumpkin 1 seems to do better with it today.

Dominna has so many beautiful learning materials.  They’re amazing quality and the owner is great to work with.  Shipping does take several weeks as she’s located in Latvia.

Montessori mathematical wooden game - content of numbers (age 4-8 )

And now for the exciting part for you!  I’m offering a $15 discount to her shop to one person.  This $15 can be put towards any purchase at her Etsy store.  To enter you must like my facebook page and then comment under the post about this contest stating what you’d purchase from her shop if you won.  All the names will be put in a draw and the winner will be picked on Sunday to celebrate Purim.  You’ll be notified via a facebook message.  It’s open to everyone everywhere.

wooden puzzle ''colour roads'' (age 3 and up )