We are extending our spring theme with a focus on bugs and life cycles this week. Kealan is 4.5 and Elyse is 3. I am not homeschooling, nor have i ever been a teacher so im still fumbling my way around how to make our extra learning work for our family. Im mirroring the UK early years learning objectives but as most activities overlap it can be hard to decide where they fall but this is my general outline for the next two weeks. To be honest im likely to add lots more to it as i go. Also, im holding off a little on the being independent section of the PSED as i am hoping to focus on this over the summer holidays and put in place a more Montessori approach to this area.
So here goes with what we got up to this week. We set up a wormery. They both enjoyed spooning in the soil and layers of blue sand but only Kealan was willing to hold a worm. We got them from a fishing supplies shop and some of them were huge and very active. They were able to leap from our hands with astonishing force.
Sorting challenges – first elyse sorted the bugs into their colours and then by type. We talked about each one as she worked and their features.
Bugs jigsaws, bug threading and Very Hungry Caterpillar stones that elyse put in sequence as i read the story.
Sorting – simple sorting of bugs and not bugs. I thought they may have hesitated with the frog, lizard and scorpion but the both got them all right.
I found this set of sponges with flowers, leaves and bugs and Elyse enjoyed making this weeks big picture. We have done a few of these recently and i hope to make it a weekly activity. There’s something about the scale of it that seems to make it much more appealing to them. (Also, i use rolls of wallpaper backing paper from Poundland so its very cheap.)
Bug playdough – originally i had thought we would make bugs from the playdough and add the chopped up pipe cleaner ass legs and googly eyes but in fact they both started by making small worlds for the plastic bugs. Then we made imprints using our sorting bugs and they turned out brilliantly.
We had a Very Hungry Caterpillar day with pictures to colour, VHC stamps, worksheets and the feeding canister i made last year. Our table top pocket chart are new and this was Kealans first go at sentence sorting. He did it easily and i was very pleased as he usually struggles with this type of visual task.
Bee tray – i made the bees from plastic eggs and cuts holes out to push through pipettes. Kealan and Elyse were able to fly their bees to the flowers (flower shaped wooden bowls) and suck up the nectar (water and yellow food colouring) and then transfer it to the hive honeycomb cells (ice cub trays). Again Kealan diligently filled each one without help and once Elyse got the hang of the pipette she managed to complete hers too. In fact, i was told off for trying to tidy it away and she returned to it for another go. This time she squirted the nectar into the hive (bubblewrap covered with brown amazon packing paper).`
I printed four life cycles (frog, butterfly, ladybird and bee) in different styles (photos, illustrations and ones to colour) and elyse painted paper plates and glued down the pictures).
This weeks trip was to Seaforde Butterfly Farm and Gardens. We had a lovely afternoon and kealan held a few of the butterflies, Elyse wasnt so keen. They both loved the peacocks that roamed around freely and the hedged maze was a wonderful activity – it was also surprising in that it was my forgetful child, Kealan, that remembered the whole way back out.
Some other activities – we set up this bug restaurant tray in the garden but it was a total flop in our seemingly bug free garden. The only visitor we had was one very large crow! And a simple butterfly decorating task. Elyse also chose to decorate herself and stuck jewels all over her face.
Finally we managed to grow some grass, the last try hadn’t worked out, and both kids loved giving it a hair cut.
Im actually managing to grow things! Kealan and Elyse both enjoy using the spray bottles to water our sunflowers, tomato, mint, pepper and strawberry plants and our beans are now sprouting up after we transferred them from their bags into pots. We are still hoping that their sunflowers will make it to their heights but i have decided we will only measure one which was sent home from Kealans school.
Simple outdoor fun – painting the fence with water and drawing round their outlines with chalk.
A water wall has been firmly on my to do list for a while now and i finally got it done. The only issue is that as you are relying on gravity to make the wall work so it is very high for them. Im going to have to build some kind of platform for them to stand on but for now the garden bench is working ok.
So that was our week. If you want to see our previous spring weeks here are the links:- Spring Week 1 – seeds and tadpoles, Spring Week 2 – flowers and sunshineSpring Week 2 – flowers and sunshine. And next week we will be continuing with bug theme. Thanks for reading, i really appreciate any likes or comments so please do. x