21
May

Bear Wants More

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One of Hunter’s favorite books is Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson.  We had a lot of fun reading it almost every day and doing bear activities during the winter. Since spring is here, I thought it would be fun to do some activities to go along with the book Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson.

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Hailey usually wants to join us for our activities, so if she is all done with her work I let her have some fun with us too.  She read Bear Wants More to Hunter many times.

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We got out our cave we made during the winter that had the hibernating bear in it and Hunter woke him up for spring time.

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Since new grass grows in the spring, Hunter played in some grass seed.

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The bear ate some grass in the story, so Hunter planted some grass.

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Hunter cut some grass and practiced his cutting skills.

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Hunter ate fish and berries, just like the bear.  He was roaring in this picture since he was getting ready to eat like a bear.

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At the end of Bear Wants More the animals decorated for a spring party.  Hailey and Hunter made some daisies to decorate for our own party.  We used cupcake liners and they painted the middle of them yellow.

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Hunter helped me to make a honey cake for our party.

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We hung up some more daisy decorations.

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The completed daisies that Hailey and Hunter made, and Hailey all ready to eat her yummy piece of honey cake.

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Hunter ready to eat his honey cake.

This book was so much fun!  We had a great time together doing these activities.

19
May

Homeschool Legacy Review

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We love unit studies here at Our Crafts N Things!  They are definitely my favorite way to teach.  It can be hard to try to pull everything together, so when I find a unit study that someone has already put together for me I get pretty excited!

Homeschool Legacy Review

We were given the chance to review a unit study from Homeschool Legacy.  I looked over all of the history unit studies and science unit studies available and had a really hard time deciding!  I finally ending up picking Weather on the Move.  Weather on the Move is a 67 page, 7 week unit study all about weather that can be used for grades 2-12.  Some of the units at Homeschool Legacy have a shorter duration and some have a longer one.  The units can be purchased as a digital copy or a physical paperback.  I usually prefer to have an actual physical copy, but this time I wanted the digital copy.  There are links that you can click on, so having it right on my laptop was definitely convenient.  There were some pages that needed to be printed, but only a few, so I didn’t have to use much ink.

Homeschool Legacy Review

Weather on the Move is considered a “once-a-week unit study.”  The idea is that 4 days out of the week you do your usual homeschool lessons and activities, and a small part of the unit study, such as reading from a book.  You pick one day out of the week to eliminate your usual daily work and focus on your unit study.  Of course, since it’s homeschooling, you do what works for you. If it works better for you to break up the unit study and do a little each day during the week, that will work too.

The Weather on the Move unit study focused on a different topic related to weather each week.  The topics include: meteorology, the sun, the atmosphere, the water cycle, frozen precipitation, clouds, and extreme weather.  Each week there is a book list you can pick from at the library to go along with your topic.  There are plenty of books to pick from and even our small library had many of the books I wanted to use.  There is also a list of supplies you will need each week.  Many of the supplies were things we already had, but I did have to purchase a few inexpensive items.  Finally, there are activities suggested for the topic.  There are ideas to use for devotions, math, science, history, language arts, arts and crafts, field trips, and even family movie nights.  There is no shortage of ideas and they are all very easy to do.

So, how did we use Weather on the Move?

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First, Hailey prepared her weather journal by making a cover for it.

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The first week we focused on meteorology, and Hailey did some research about Aristotle.

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One of the arts and crafts projects was to build a terrarium.

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Hailey was able to follow the directions and get everything set up all by herself.

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It turned out very nice- and it is still doing very well several weeks later.

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Hailey did some experimenting with an “old fashioned” thermometer.  Everything is digital now, so she was pretty impressed with being able to watch the temperature go up and down.

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We did an experiment to help her understand the water cycle and what causes rain.

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Hailey made a rain gauge and has been very excited every time is rains ever since she made it :-)  She loves measuring to see how much rain we got.

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We made a cloud identification guide.  We printed pictures of the different cloud types and then glued the names and descriptions of the clouds onto the back of the pictures.

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Hailey took her guide outside each day and identified the kind of clouds she saw.

The activities I shared are just a small portion of the activities and ideas that come with Weather on the Move.  There are so many fun learning activities in this unit.  Both of us learned so much!  I felt like all of the activities and projects had a purpose.  There wasn’t anything in the unit that we didn’t learn from.  This unit study was definitely one of my all time favorites!  I very highly recommend Weather on the Move.  There are some history unit studies from Homeschool Legacy that will coordinate very nicely with what we are studying next year and I am planning to purchase those units when the time comes.

Hailey’s opinion of Weather on the Move: “I liked all of the projects and activities we got to do.  I liked making my own weather journal.  I really liked all of it, it was a lot of fun!”

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Homeschool Legacy Review
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14
May

S is for Smiling Sunrise: A Book Review

Filed in Preschool, Review

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I was given the book S is for Smiling Sunrise from WordsBright to review.  S is for Smiling Sunrise is a hardcover book written by Vick Wadhwa.  The author is a dad who was feeling bored with the typical toddler ABC books, so he decided to write an ABC book that is much different than the ABC books parents are used to seeing.  Rather than seeing things like A is for apple and B is for ball, you’ll find A is for artwork and B is for butterflies.

Smiling Sunrise Review

S is for Smiling Sunrise is geared for children in pre-k through third grade.  There are pre-k teaching tips available for parents as well as tips for teaching kindergarten through third grade.  In addition there is a free mp3 alphabet song available as well, that goes along with the rhyming book.

How did we use S is for Smiling Sunrise?

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First up we listened to the song and Hunter danced along.

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Then we read the book.

Right now one of the things we are focusing on in preschool is Hunter learning the letters of his name.  He can spell his name, but he does not actually recognize the letters.  So, I thought it would be fun to focus on each letter in his name and do a little activity to go along with the book.

In the book the letter “H is for heart.”  There is a cute little rhyme to go along with it.

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I pulled out our stethoscope and we listened to our hearts.  Hunter didn’t really like how the stethoscope felt in his ears, but he did think it was pretty neat to be able to hear his heartbeat.

Next up, “U is for universe.”  I would probably never think to use universe when teaching the letter U to a preschooler, but it was a great new vocabulary word for him.

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Then we made a universe- we used a spray bottle to spray watered down white paint onto black paper for stars.  Then Hunter painted some planets and glued them on.  It was a great way to introduce the idea of our universe.

“N is for nature” was next.

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Hunter wasn’t feeling particularly cooperative when we did letter N, so Hailey helped me out.  I gave her a piece of contact paper and she took it outside and put things on it that reminded her of nature.

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N is for nature collage.

I think that “T is for tasty” was a definite favorite!

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I blindfolded Hunter and Hailey and then fed them some different snack foods to see if they could guess what I was giving them.  We talked about which were healthy choices and which were not.  Then they had to blindfold me and have me do a little taste test :-)

“E is for evening” was a hard concept for Hunter to understand.  While I still don’t think he understands it, it was still good to introduce him to the concept.

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I put pink and yellow paint on a piece of paper and let him paint a sunset.

“R is for rainbow” was last.

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I put the colors of the rainbow onto a piece of paper and gave Hunter some different items to use to paint with.  He had a lot of fun with his rainbow.

S is for Smiling Sunrise was a fun addition to our preschool for the last few weeks.  It was fun to think about the ABCs and teaching the ABCs using different words than I would normally think of.  I think it’s a good fit for working on letter recognition for the younger kids and for introducing new vocabulary and concepts for the older kids.

Learn more about author Vick Wadhwa on Facebook.

Wordsbright Review
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11
May

Flowers for Mother’s Day

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Hailey and Hunter made these cute flowers for Mother’s Day.  (Hailey made Harper’s too.)

First they painted Popsicle sticks.  We broke the sticks in half and glued them onto the back of the pictures using a hot glue gun.

We put clothes pins all the way around a tuna fish can and they painted those too.

I put a round piece of floral foam into the tuna cans, to stick the flowers into so that they would stand up.

Hailey added some buttons for decorations to hers.

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Hailey

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Hunter

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Harper

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