Friday, February 28, 2014

Fruit and Veggie Sorting Activity

I purchased this set  Learning Resources Fruit and Veggies sorting set on Amazon for Baby G. The children have play food but I wanted a set that was designated during our school time. The set comes with 5 little buckets, 5 fruits/ veggies per color and color labels to stick to the buckets. Baby G loves playing with them. We go over the colors and names on a regular basis. 

To extend the use of the fruits and veggies, I created matching cards for each fruit and vegetable. I plan on using these in a variety of ways. The easiest task will be to match 5 fruit of different colors. I will place the mix in a basket and she will place each corresponding fruit/veggie on their card. Once she has mastered this activity, I will make it a bit harder by displaying cards of the same color. She will have to use her critical thinking skills to differentiate the fruit and veggies by shape and characteristics. She will learn one to one correspondence, visual discrimination and use critical thinking skills while having fun at the same time. 
You can download the printables free here 

DIY Color Sorting Box

My 20 month old is a very inquisitive young lady. She's absorbing everything around her and learning very quickly. I attribute this to all of the siblings she has surrounding her teaching her all of the time. I often hear them singing the alphabet song or counting to her during casual play and she absorbing it all like a sponge. We've started teaching her colors and so far she has red , yellow and purple down. To make color recognition a fun hands on experience, I made her a color sorting box made out of 1 piece of foam board, packing tape, hot glue and paint samples.

The first thing I did was take a glue stick and glue the paint samples onto the foam board. After that I laid 2 strips of packing tape across the paint samples to preserve them. Once that was done, I started cutting pieces for the back and the diving walls. I didn't take any exact measurements. I made my cuts from sight. To make cutting the foam board easier, I laid it on top of a cutting board and made long deep cuts until the blade went through. After I made my cuts, I started gluing all of the parts with the hot glue gun and that wat it. It took me about 15 minutes from start to finish. 

I couldn't wait to trest it out and it was a  hit. She had fun dropping the buttons in the colored boxes. I plan on getting a lot of use out of this and it only cost me $1.00 to make! Teaching our children doesn't have to break the bank. All it takes is a little love and ingenuity :-) ~Bless~

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

DIY Color Recognition Activity

I created a color sorting activity about a year ago similar to this except the children used clothespins with the color glued on the back. It  is a great activity which improves color recognition and discrimination and fine motor skills (pincer grasp movement.) My 4 old enjoyed this method, however, my 20 month old wanted to pick the glued colors off of the clothespins so I wanted to created the same type of activity but would stand the test of time and toddlers lol. Instead of using clothepins, I resorted to self adhesive velcro dots which are my go to for  PreK diy projects. You can them at any craft store like Joanns, Michaels or A.C. Moore.

I found a seller on ebay that sells them in bulk so you know i was excited about that. 
I created  a simple table using Open Office. It is software similar to Word and has most if not all of the same functions and it's free. I used the table function and created to columns. I split one side into 4 vertical cells and increased the font. You will have to adjust the size to the kind of samples you will be using. After printing them out, I played around  and managed to created 2 cards on sheet. After printing I cropped the cards removing the excess paper. 
After cutting and cropping all of the cards, I started adding the paint samples. I added a little glue to the backs of the sample just to prevent them from sliding under the laminate sleeves.

I proceeded to cut the matching paint samples and prep them for laminating. 

After laminating, I cut out the matching pieces and and squared off the corners because they tend to be sharp if not clipped.
After prepping all of the pieces, I added the velcro dots to the cards and matching pieces. 
This is the finished product!
I had my 4 1/2 yr old test them out and it proved to be a bit of a challenge for him. He had to pay attention to the variation in color especially when it came to the lighter colors. This is a great low cost activity that promotes critical thinking, color discrimination and fine motor skills.

Friday, February 7, 2014

DIY Tabletop Anchor Chart Stand

I really like to incorporate anchor charts in our home instruction, however, i never got around to purchasing a stand to hang the charts. I usually make them and store them away. As my children have grown, especially my oldest three, I have been able to introduce many concepts to them together especially with our unit studies. I decided to downsize my anchor charts from a standard poster size to about 1/3 of that. I'm able to display any vocabulary words or copywork at the table and they are all able to see and copy together. No more copying multiple sheets or running back and forth to the white board. It was very easy to make and very inexpensive. I went to Home Depot and purchased 1 - 1/2" diameter pvc pipe and 6 - 1/2" attachments. it cost me under $4.00 tax included! The pipe was $3.00 and the attachments were around $0.35 each. I cut the top and side frame pieces at 18 inches. I cut 4 8" pieces for the bottom. I initially cut 2 16" pieces thinking that  the parts would slide through the T attachments but they didn't so I cut them in half. They don't have to be that long.  It was very easy cut. i didn't use any special tools. I used a steak knife and cut around the pipe deep enough to weaken the plastic. I was able to make a clean snap after bending the pipe. I want to make a larger one in the future ut tis one will work perfectly for now.