Thursday, May 16, 2013

Digging for Dinosaurs

Our first activity yesterday was another sensory bin. I wanted to do it in our new sand bin but Vada wasn't too fond of the sand, so I thought that I would do it in the rainbow sand that I made a few months ago. She really likes this bin and later this week I may try playing in one of our raised beds that hasn't had anything planted in it yet.

For today's sensory bin I had an archaeologist dinosaur dig in mind. I actually had this sensory bin in mind since the beginning of last month! I told you, I have really been looking forward to letter 'D'!

I brought out a bunch of kitchen utensils that I had bought last summer from a dollar store especially for these occasions. Vada seemed to enjoy using them.

Along with the "dinosaur skeletons" (which I found on Amazon and it was the best $6.58 that I have spent in a long time!), I also added in some "dinosaur fossils" -you know, for authenticity. *wink*wink* I also ordered the fossils from Amazon as well. I do a lot of my shopping through Amazon.

I also threw in some paint brushes to use as our cleaning brushes. Again, I was trying to keep it real. (Never mind the rainbow rice.)

After Vada had her first job as an archaeologist  we took some of the dinosaurs over to one of the desks and got with play-doh we experimented with different impressions that we could make, including the tracks.

While Vada was entertaining herself with this project, I was warming up some Crayola Air Dry Clay. I wanted Vada to help me make one more impression. In a couple of days, when the clay has fully dried, I will bring out the paint and let her paint this "fossil".

We worked on some of the curriculum from Letter of the Week starting with the Do-A-Dot letter 'D' page.

Vada is getting much, much better at getting the sponge tippers into the circles!

Check out how centered she was able to get the dotter below!

Obviously, there is a lot of progress to be made but hey, she is only three years old, so I would say that this is pretty great! And maybe I am being biased (and that's okay) but I happen to admire those who think and in this case, color, outside the box (or circles).

The end of the school year is always busy around our house. My older two girls are public schooled so they have a lot of "end of the year" activities to go to. Therefore, this week has been pretty busy. Yesterday, Vada had OT therapy in the morning which is when we typically do classes because I don't like to not be unavailable to my other girls when they are home from their schooling times. However, yesterday they got out of school early and also had chores to do and I didn't have to prepare dinner because of a family activity at our church so while the older two girls were doing their chores, Vada and I went down to the classroom to do some letter 'D' learning. 

We were in the middle of another craft when Kiliegh came down to tell me that she had finished with her chores and asked if she could help Vada -for a minute. (Literally, her attention span was only that and then she was off doing her own thing again!) 

Together, they started coloring a letter 'D' that Vada and I had just cut out together with her loop scissors.

After coloring seemed to no longer hold Vada's attention we moved on to pasting.

I usually have our classes prepared a week ahead of time now, for crafts such as this one, its not unusual for me to prepare it the night before. I actually had the pieces of construction paper precut and ready for Vada to grab and paste as she was going for this activity (other than the letter 'D'). For now, at her skill level, I felt this was a good way to begin doing a project of this size with her. We will continue to work on cutting more each week and pasting and eventually she will be doing it all on her own.

I would start by putting a piece down, such as a "green triangle" and then ask her to do the next one, after placing a gob of glue down, she would use her pointer and push the triangle into its place. She did the same thing with the googly eyes.

And then after completing her dinosaur picture she proudly walked it over to her I Did That Wall to show me where she wanted me to put it.

We ended our class time with some dino math.

This is an activity that we do at least once a week, usually in theme, this week being dinosaurs. Vada is getting really good at the process and knowing what it is that I want her to do, so today I added an extra step at the end. Everything was the same as usual, I would Say the number, point to the numeral on the dinosaur, count the clips out loud and then hold the card for Vada so that she could take off the clips and place them into the bowl. The final step added was that I would then hand her the dinosaur and she would put it into a new pile, upside down.

We did the process with the new step for the first few cards like it was no big deal and then Vada began getting very upset with me. I thought it was because she wanted to take more than one clip at a time and I am a stickler and make her do one at a time, for now. She was smacking her hands on the desk, raising her voice and over all just mad. My tolerance level with her is something I am pretty proud of (then again, she is just really an easy going child). She doesn't overwhelm me in her "moments" and I am typically able to quickly figure out what she wants when she is unable to vocalize it because I am able to keep my cool and just read her. 

Today it took a couple of minutes for me to figure her wants out but I finally did, it was a moment that told me that I must be doing something right because she was learning. 

She was trying to tell me (or so I assume because once she got this she was content) that she could do all of the steps of this counting activity on her own and without my assistance. I handed her a fully loaded dinosaur and one by one she pulled off the clothes pins and placed them into the bowl and once they were all on the bowl, she flipped the dino upside down and put it into the correct pile. then she signed more! All I did was count out loud while she removed the pins!

What a great way to end our lessons! I am one proud Mama!

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