Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Letter Q Activities (ages 3 & 23 months)

Here are our Letter Q Activities for a three year old and a 23 month old: 


Read, Read, Read. I love reading to my kids on a daily basis. I'll usually alternate reading during a meal time, before naps or randomly in the day. I checked out our Letter Q Booklist at the library a week in advance. The picture above were our very favorite books, but you view more great Letter Q books by clicking on the booklist link. 

Read Letter Q Book. We also love to read these Little Letter Books from The Measured Mom. For my three, we focus on the big and little letters at the beginning of each page. My 23 month old especially loves these books! He enjoys looking at the pictures and repeating the words after me on each page. 

Letter Q Songs & Rhymes. This year, I'm putting together an interactive set of songs & rhymes for each letter of the alphabet. Click the link to view our Letter Q Songs & Rhymes. If you're looking for something more simple, take a look at this printable set of songs and rhymes from The Measured Mom.


Writing Practice. Every child is different, but my three loves writing letters! We practiced writing the Letter Q's with "Letters of All Sizes" from The Measured Mom. I printed and slipped ours into a sleeve protector, so my three could erase and write these over again if he wanted. My 23 month old used a marker to scribble over letter Q's I drew on a piece of paper. "Can you color this Q?" 


Craft #1: Tissue Paper Little Quack. My boys have both LOVED "Little Quack" from our Letter Q Booklist. I altered some of the activities this week, including this craft, because they have asked me to read this book every day. I drew a duck on a piece of paper (you can print yours here) and my three was in charge of the glue and tissue paper. He glued on googly eyes and a nose I cut out from an orange foam sheet. My 23 month old glue on a few tissue pieces here and there before he was done. Note: I found six different colors of pre-cut tissue paper at the Dollar Tree, including these yellow squares.

Craft #2: Q is for Quill Writing. After learning the song "Q is for Quill" from our Letter Q Songs & Rhymes, we did a simple quill writing activity. I demonstrated this activity first by dipping the tip of the "pen" (feather - came in a pack from The Dollar Tree) in "ink" (watered down washable paint) and writing a Letter Q on a piece of paper. My three wrote a few letters before this turned into more of a feather painting craft for both boys. ;) 



Craft #3: Q is for Quilt from Free Coloring Pages for Kids. My three loved using glue all by himself and placing fruit loops to make our quilt. He finished a little over half the quilt before asking me to help him finish it. Afterward, he asked to give this to his grandma who loves to quilt. My 23 month old placed a fruit loops few here and there before he was done. He identified the Letter Q and we moved on with our day. I may leave this out for the day to see if he wants to add more.

Color Review - Q is for Quilt. While working on the fruit loop quilt above, we reviewed the colors of the fruit loops and counted that as our color review activity this week.



Math - Little Quack Shapes from Homeschool Creations. Because my boys loved "Little Quack" so much we did this shape review activity. I printed two sets from the link provided. I left one set as is and cut the other set out. My boys would draw a shape, identify the shape and match it. My 23 month old LOVED this activity and requested to do it three times. I love that he was able to identify 5-6 of the shapes on his own. This was simple for my three, but a good review.


Math - Little Quack Number Review from Homeschool Creations & Q-Tip Counting. I added in this "Little Quack" number game, because my boys loved the book so much this week. I taped the top of the numbers onto a cookie sheet and hid little quack under a number. My three would guess a number and my 23 month old would point, while I identified the number. The loved trying to find Little Quack. We did this activity during lunch a few times. Using the same numbers, my boys drew a number and placed the same amount of q-tips through a cheese grater - come to find out our strainer holes were barely too small. My three did this on his own and I helped identify the number and count for my 23 month old.


Sensory Play - Frozen Ice & Shaving Cream Play. My boys loved playing with ice and shaving cream! This is an activity that is easy to put together and creates over an hour of play time. Click the link for a tutorial and more pictures.


Letter Qq Activity #1 - Q-tip Painting from Totschooling. Dip a q-tip in paint and dot the quilt and Letter Qq. So simple and fun.  

Beginning Sounds: Beginning sounds has been one of my goals I've wanted my three to work on this year. He has really picked up on them, so we started a program for very early readers called "Reading the Alphabet" from This Reading Mama. I'm embarrassed to admit we've taken a long break and need to get back on. Click the link to find out more.


Letter Q Science - Queen Elsa's Ice Castle. My boys love the movie "Frozen" and so we did a few Queen Elsa activities this week. My boys loved this activity and we spent a good amount of time exploring with colors, bubbles, and melting castles! You can find a tutorial and read all about it by clicking the link above.



Alphabet as a Whole - Icy Alphabet Hunt. I've always wanted to freeze letters, and I finally had a chance to do it! We've been focusing on "Queen Elsa" this week for Letter Q, which is a great excuse to do frozen activities. My boys really loved finding the letters and finding ways to get the letters out from the ice. Click the link for a tutorial and more pictures.



Name Review - Q-tip Name Erase. We have an Ikea children's table that we use often for our activities, and the surface is similar to a whiteboard. I wrote my three's name with a dry erase marker and he erased it with a q-tip. I wrote various letters on the table for my 23 month old to erase. I was shocked how much they loved this and kept asking me to draw more and more letters for them to erase.


And that's it!

Frozen Shaving Cream Sensory Play


We are working on Letter Q Activities this week and love anything related to "Queen Elsa" from the movie, Frozen. We've already done an Icy Alphabet Hunt and Queen Elsa's Castle - Frozen & Bubbly, which my boys (ages 3 & 23 months) really enjoyed. I love having new and fun things to do with them at home. This activity was very child directed. My boys helped me squirt the shaving cream into the bin and push the ice out from the ice molds. We played for a good hour before it was time to go inside and tub for the night. This idea is from Learn Play Imagine, where you can view more amazing photos.

Supplies:
  • Ice Molds (this set comes with large square and large circle molds, but you can also use a regular ice cube tray)
  • Liquid Water Colors - we used blue and purple
  • Glitter
  • Shaving Cream
  • Large Plastic Container

Directions:

1) Prepare the ice cube trays. Squirt a drop or two of liquid water color into each compartment of your ice mold. Fill the rest with water. Shake glitter onto the top of each compartment. Place in freezer. Note: I placed all the trays on a cookie sheet, so it would be easier to transfer to the freezer.


2) When you're ready to play, fill a large bin with shaving cream. I used two containers of shaving cream from The Dollar Tree. Place the ice cubes in the shaving cream. My boys loved watching the ice pop out from the molds. This was a very child directed activity. I let them do as they please and sat back to enjoy their imaginations. 



My three loved throwing the ice on the ground and watching it break into pieces. Toward the end, he sat in the shaving cream and thought it was so funny he had shaving cream on his toosh. My 23 month old loved grabbing a piece of ice and washing the shaving cream off with a hose. 


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Letter Q Booklist




Here's a list of our few favorite Letter Q Books:

Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood: I love this book, because it teaches all kinds of different ways we can feel. Each emotion is paired with an animal and illustration. Quick as a cricket, slow as a snail, mean as a shark, nice as a bunny, brave as a tiger, shy as a clam, etc. My boys (ages 3 & 1) loved the pictures and simple text.

Little Quack by Lauren Thompson: This was the most requested book to read this week! My boys asked every day for me to read this to them. It's about a mother who invites her children to come paddle on the water with her. One by one each duck jumps into the water, including Little Quack, who is the most timid to go. It's also an early intro into subtracting and addition.

Giggle, Giggle, Quack by Doreen Cronin: My three especially loved this book, because he loves to be tricky like this little duck. The book is about a farmer who needs to leave town, so he puts his brother in charge of the farm. The farmer leaves notes for his brother, but the duck found a pencil and paper and changed the notes around to say things like, "Tuesday night is pizza night. Not the frozen kind. And the hen's don't like anchovies." This book is entertaining.Click, Clack Quackity-Quack by Doreen Cronin: This book goes through each letter of the alphabet and relates it to something on the farm. The letters are all in lowercase, which was great for my three. My one just enjoyed the pictures.The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau: This story is long, but my kids listened a day while they were eating lunch. It's about a kind who is greedy and loves to receives gifts. No matter how many gifts he receives, he never feels like he has enough. He comes across an older woman who makes the most amazing quilts and asks her for one, but she refuses his offer, because these quilts are for the poor. She advises him to give away all he has to get one of the quilts. The illustrations are bright and beautiful.The Queen with Bees in her Hair by Cheryl Harness: This book is also lengthy, so I read it to them a day we were eating lunch. It's about a queen who wants to impress her subjects by putting beautiful flowers in her hair. When the queen went out on her weekly carriage ride, the bees buzz around her head. She orders all the bees to be captured and put across the wall. A similar thing happens the next week, when hummingbirds fly around her head and the birds are sent across the wall. However, when the next Spring comes along the kingdom notices there are no flowers. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Queen Elsa's Castle - Frozen & Bubbly


This was such a great science activity we did as apart of our Letter Q Activities this week! My boys love the movie "Frozen" and were so excited as I pulled out a pan with their very own frozen castle. They got right to work squeezing colors onto their castles with pipettes (great for those fine motor skills) and watching their castles bubble. Look how beautiful those colors are mixed together and bubbling - picture bottom left. Along with bubbling, the castles also melted. Talk about fun, and a must try experiment! Next time, I will hide items inside the castle molds to find. Thank you, Little Bins for Little Hands for this great idea.

Here's what you need:
  • Sand Castle Molds (I found mine at the Dollar Tree)
  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Pipettes
  • Liquid Water Colors - we used blue, green and purple
  • Small plastic cups to hold the colored vinegar
  • Vinegar
  • 9x13 baking dish

Directions:

1) Make the castle molds. Mix baking soda and water in a large bowl. The ratio is 2:1. I had three castle molds and used around 12 cups of baking soda and 6 cups of water. Fill the castle molds to the top with the baking soda/water mixture and carefully place the mold in the freezer. 


2) Once frozen and ready to play, pull the bottom of mold to help the frozen castle come out. I had to run warm water over the outside of the castle mold (NOT the bottom where you can see the baking soda) to release it - this only took 30 seconds or so. Once the frozen castle comes out, place it on a 9x13 baking dish.

3) Fill three small plastic containers with vinegar. Add in desired liquid water color and mix. Place a pipette in one of the plastic containers. I sprinkled on a little bit of glitter, but that's optional.


4) Let your kids explore. The pipettes didn't last long at our house. My boys had more fun dumping the entire cup over the castle. I loved how beautiful the colors were mixed together and bubbling.









4) Toward the end, we decided to dump vinegar all over the top of the half-melted castle. It made the entire bowl bubble and looked so neat! I also had to post a picture of my 23 month old's expression when Elsa would "fall over" in the colored vinegar. 



Letter Q Songs & Rhymes



1) Q is for Quill from The Measured Mom.
  • Have your children practice quill writing (with the bottom of a feather and paint) while singing this song. We went through the song a few times first before writing.
Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

In the old days when they wrote,
They used a quill to write the note.
Dipped it in the ink so dark.
On the paper made a mark

In the old days when they wrote,
They used a quill to write the note.



2) Q is for Quiet from The Measured Mom.
  • Sing this song before reading time. Choose from our Letter Q Booklist.
Tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Hush, shh, quiet please,
Come and gather near.
Find a lap and sit right down,
Reading time is near.


3) Q is for Quarter from Teachers Notebook.
  • Print from link provided. Hold up the different coins while you say the rhymes. Depending on the age of your child, you may wish to only do the quarter rhyme. If you're looking for another activity to do, try these coin rubbings from Kids Matter.
                                          

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Icy Alphabet Hunt



Well, we are working on Letter Q Activities this week and it is HARD thinking of ways to incorporate this letter. We've focused mostly on "Queen" this week, and since we love Queen Elsa who freezes things, a lot of frozen activities are coming your way. Today, I told my boys we were doing a letter review activity, but we were in big trouble because Queen Elsa froze them! My boys (ages 3 & 22 months) were both so excited when I brought out our ice covered letters with salt and warm, colored water to play with. My three said, "Wow! Elsa really froze these letters!"

Supplies:

  • Plastic Letters (I bought ours at the Dollar Tree)
  • Plastic Bowl
  • Play Tools - hammers & screwdrivers
  • Salt
  • Water, mixed with food coloring or liquid watercolors
  • Pipettes or Twisty Droppers
  • Optional: Alphabet Paper (to match the letters - see below)

    Directions:

    1) Fill a bowl with water and plastic letters. Our plastic letters float, so I froze the water in three different levels. The first level is shown below. I added a little water and a few letters into a bowl and popped the bowl in the freezer for a few hours. When the water was frozen, I added the second level. More water and more letters and popped the bowl back in the freezer. And then the third level.


    2) Once your letters are all frozen, remove the bowl from the freezer. The ice from the red bowl came right out when I tipped it upside down, but the pink bowl needed a little help. I held the bowl upside down and ran warm water over the bottom of the bowl until it popped out.

    3) Prepare your play area. I placed a paper towel under the ice mound, so it wouldn't slide around. We added a toy hammer and screwdriver, salt and warm colored water with twisty droppers. Let your child explore in his/her own way. 




    Pictures & Ideas of How to Play:


    My boys started working at the ice with their hammers, but this didn't work quite as planned. Keep the hammers out, because once the ice starts to melt they will come in handy!



    Next, we added ice and squeezed our warm, colored water onto the ice mound. Aren't these pictures beautiful!? Note: It took some time for our ice mounds to melt. Perhaps a little too long. Next time I'll remember that "less is more" and use a smaller bowl, so the letters can come out quicker.



    Once we got the first letter out, my three matched it to our alphabet paper. I helped my 22 month old find the letters and identified them for him. At this point, he thinks every letter is a Q. Haha. I put the paper in a plastic sleeve, since the letters would most likely be wet.



    It took more than salt and warm, colored water to get out letters out, so I filled our pink bowl up with warm/hot water which helped melt the ice the quickest. When our mound of ice came out, it looked like the picture above. I love the science and fun hands on learning in this activity!