Posts Tagged 'kindergartener'

This year’s summer schedule…

Well, that was quite the hiatus.  I have no reason to give for it except that I just wasn’t feeling like blogging.  Oh well.  But now its summer, and I am planning all sorts of things for my young ladies and for my garden and yard and I feel like sharing, including new summer art playdates starting next week.  First off, I am committing myself to a summer schedule of sorts by sharing it with you.  I know you’ll all keep me on track. 😉

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Here is our schedule for summer mornings.  The times are really just for this first few weeks when we have swimming lessons and things to get to, but they have actually not been a problem as my children are very early risers.  The first two things are pretty self-explanatory, although I should point out that we do watch Curious George while eating breakfast and I get my shower in then.  The homework list is for Clara’s benefit only, although Nancy does do some “homework” in for form of alphabet, math, and tracing worksheets.  Clara has been working out of the Evan-Moor Skill Sharpener workbooks in spelling and writing, math, and reading.  This is her favorite part of her homework and I highly recommend these.  Then she writes in her journal (we have the classic primary composition book from Lakeshore Learning so she can draw a picture with her writing).  We’re working on two sentences per journal entry right now (and what constitutes a sentence).  Finally, she has to read three books to me aloud through shared reading.  She really like the Bob Books and Biscuit Books.  When all that is done, they both earn a piece of candy. Woo hoo!  We also are keeping a long-term chart that will last most of the summer and when that is full, they get to do something super exciting, like go to an amusement park (or whatever they pick).

Then, after all of that, they get to do a chore!  But this has actually been really painless.  The girls helped me build a fun chart in the shape of a house using “craft board” (wood that you can buy at the craft store when they don’t have exactly what you were looking for in the first place), acrylic paint, and clothespins.
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Here is the finished product. I give each girl a chore each day to complete. We’ve been spending this week “learning” how to do them correctly, but I am hopeful that things will be more independent soon. When they have done each one correctly, they earn a quarter for their piggy bank. I figure that if I make them use their own money for treats, ice cream, and toys they want at the store, I’m not actually spending any MORE than usual and I’m getting help around the house from them!
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So, we’re working on this schedule every morning. Its been four days, and while I am exhausted by it, it is happening and I feel good that by the time it is 9:00 in the morning, we have learned something, read something, cleaned up the house, and are ready for the day. Then we can go do something fun, like swimming and playing at the playground and being kids. Because I is summer after all.

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Valentine rainbow, easy valentine box, and our new favorite place for art

How’s that for a title?!  I have so much to talk about that I haven’t gotten to this month as we’ve been out of town.  First, earlier this month I went to Target and they had  a ton of valentine’s day art supplies in the dollar bins and I stocked up, put them all in a shoebox, and then promptly forgot about them.  Enter coughing five year old with a fever and no energy.  I put out the box of supplies and the girls went at them for over an hour.  Nancy loved the stickers and glitter glue.  Clara loved the foam flowers and markers.  A good time was had by all– even when sick.

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Next, we went to the best place EVER a couple of weekends ago.  Its in NE Portland and its called Art ala Carte.  It is essentially a space for kids to create whatever art they want to and parents don’t have to clean up the mess.  They have all kinds of art supplies.  In fact, if you can think of it, they have it.  My girls loved it.  And oh, the glitter.  Nancy had a ball with the glitter.  For like an hour.  And I didn’t have to clean up any of it!  That’s her above glittering a record.   Clara built a “house,” painted it, and even found a My Little Pony to live in the house before moving on to like three other projects.  By the end, the trunk of my car was full of wet art projects to take home.  It was a great rainy Sunday afternoon activity.   With a family membership, it is really quite affordable, too.
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Finally, we made a valentine’s day rainbow based on this beautiful post from No Time For Flashcards. I simply put contact paper sticky side out on the wall (this is harder than it sounds and an extra pair of adult hands are helpful) and drew a rainbow outline on the contact paper with markers. Then, I used a heart punch to punch rainbow colors of hearts out of my wallpaper sample book. Then, I invited the kids to sort the hearts onto the sticky rainbow. It turned out beautifully! I love walking up my stirs and seeing it on the landing every day.
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Thanksgiving Art

Clara and most of her friends don’t have school this week, due to conferences and Thanksgiving, so I decided that a little art play date was in order.  It was a bit of a logistical puzzle to figure out where to put all of the activities in the house, but we had a fun time.  We did three art activities: thankful turkeys, leaf and bean collages, and leaf placemats.  I’m planning on a Christmas Art playdate over winter break as well.

Thankful Turkeys

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I got this idea from Pinterest (here) and loved how easy they were and how bright the feathers were using paint samples.  I cut brown foam circles, and orange foam beaks, then hole punched the paint samples and put out googlie eyes, glue, brads, and markers.  I think that these were the kindergartener’s favorite project and they especially seemed to like writing their own things they were thankful for.
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Leaf Mandalas/Collages
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I loved this idea because it was just so pretty, but it seems that in a playdate situation, the patterning involved in this was a bit too hard for everyone to concentrate on. Despite that, this was the toddler’s favorite craft because it involved spreading glue all over and then sticking things to it. Most of the toddlers created more than one.

I glued paper leaves from Dollar Tree to cardstock to set up, then set out glue and paint brushes and a pan full of beans (left over from our halloween sensory bin!). Then I let the kids go for it.
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Leaf Placemats
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This was a super easy craft to set up and for the kids to do. I set out pressed leaves, contact paper, construction paper, and googlie eyes. Most of the kids made leaf people on their placemats, although I didn’t really think through how putting plates on top of googlie eyes would work.
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