Ocean week 1

Kealan is 4 years and 3 months and Elyse is 2 years and 11 months.  For the next 2 weeks we will be focussing on the ocean.

Set up

An ever evolving space in our house, the playroom (end of our kitchen) is now gradually morphing into a simple preschool layout.  The shelves were filled with our ocean related toys, puzzles, play doh, printables and colouring.  On top will be our science table – for this topic it hold our fish tank, some ocean soft toys, rocks, drift wood and fish bowls containing loose parts – shells, stones, glass beads, plastic ocean animals and natural sponge.  I decorated with an inflatable dolphin and whale, some streamers and i made some jellyfish using shower caps, plastic mixing bowls and unravelled shower loofas.  As usual our topic related books filled the display shelves.

Sensory play

I brought our water table in from outside and filled it with blue glass beads, stones and sea animals.  This was played with all week and the sea creatures were regularly joined by disney princesses.  On sunday i emptied and cleaned the table and filled it with clear and blue water beads.

Crafts

Elyse painted 4 paper plates and i turned them into fish.  I used cardboard to back our display shelves and hope to make many more creatures and some coral over the next week.

We used empty toilet roll tubes and some glitter glue pens to create these lovely anenomes and octopus.

Science

I used our plastic fish bowls, added coloured water and gave Kealan and Elyse turkey basters, pipettes, scoops and sponges to transfer water and mix colours.  They loved this and the activity lasted ages.  We talked about how the pipettes and sponges collect water.  I used the sponge to explain how clouds and rain work.  I then gathered a variety of materials and asked them if they thought the item would float or sink.  They both have a good understanding of this concept.  We remarked how surprising it was that the heavy wooden blocks floated and hubbie explained thats why boats are made from wood (very on topic – i  was impressed).

Printables

I purchased this wonderful printable pack from Gift of Curiosity and after dinner each night we worked through 5 pages for each child.  Kealans been great this week, has showed interest and his pen skills were much better than last week.  As usual, Elyse is very capable but always follows her own agenda.

Trip

We took a trip to Newcastle beach.  With hubbies illness progressing we havent been going far from the house for the last year so this was quite unusual.  We were able to park close to the beach and both Kealan and Elyse had an absolute blast finding shells and rocks to bring home for our sensory play next week.  Elyse also had a very key life experience trying to understand death when the crab she found wouldnt move.  I had told her it was dead but after a while of carrying it around on her spade it became clear she didnt really understand.  She stared at it for a while and then asked why it would never move again.  I tried to explain and she picked it up, looked solemnly at it and then agreed that we would put it into the water.

Other activities

Jigsaws are still a focus area for Kealan, he really struggles with them but made a great effort this week and its been lovely seeing him willing to participate.  We watched Baby Einstein – Neptune which is about the ocean and water and they loved it, these are still a great resources in our house.  Both Kealan and Elyse are starting to play some basic apps on their tablet and, despite the title, Monkey Math was right on topic with its ocean theme.

I really enjoyed the work we did these week especially because Hubbie got involved.  Ive realised how much better i feel about myself when we complete activities and loved how much interest they had in our science experiments.

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