Going Out! Homelearning fun Learning fun!

S is for… so many things!

September 24, 2013

We love the letter S and had so much fun learning things that start with this letter. First, there were the sensory bins, which I wrote in an earlier post here.

Sensory bin

Sensory farm bin with yellow dhal beans

S is for seeing colours

Then we met the colourful animals from the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. There were so many activities that accompanied our reading of this book! I found tons of free printables from this website, and the kids coloured the animals, coloured by word, traced, and matched the book characters to the real animals.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?Activities

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? Activities

Using the printables, I also modified some tasks and created a Velcro board of this:

Matching the correct picture to the words

Matching the correct picture to the words

And this:

For this task, the adjective (colour) is missing and the kids's gotta match the correct word in the blank

For this, the adjective (colour) is missing and the kids find the correct word to fill in the blank

These activities were created mainly to help Ben learn all the words associated with the animals and colours in the book by sight. Becks could also attempt it correctly after a few tries by sounding the beginning sounds of the colours and matching the words by sight.

We read this book so many times such that Becks could read the book by memory just by looking at the pictures! Here is a picture of her reading it to her littlest brother:

Becks reading to Nat, who incidentally is into pretending to be the animals from the book

Becks reading to Nat, who incidentally is into pretending to be the animals from the book

S is for Sheep

We then moved on to another book, this time involving a whole lot of SHEEP. Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox has got to be Ben’s favourite book. He’s learned by sight all the vocabulary (adjectives) describing the sheep using the word cards I created:

Where is the Green Sheep Word Cards

Word Cards for Where is the Green Sheep?

I got him to search for the specific word card when he sees / hears the word as I read the story out loud. After two rounds, he was able to identify all the words, learn their meanings and understand the concept of opposites. He was able to read the book by sight after two lessons with the story, and as he read, he was able to dramatise pretty well whenever there were exclamation marks, question marks and capitalization. This book by Mem Fox is a really good resource for teaching preschoolers, I tell you. I covered opposites, sight words, colours and punctuation just using this book alone.

I followed up with a drawing activity by printing a picture of a sheep and getting the kids to copy the image and then colouring it. One of the things I learned about teaching children art is to make them copy A LOT (that’s how I started too, as a kid). They learn first by copying, and when that builds their confidence, they can start drawing from memory or with their imagination.

Where is the Green Sheep Drawing Fun

Drawing and colouring sheep

S is for Sticker fun on Suitcases

Last year, AMK Hub was giving out cardboard suitcases as freebies for a certain amount spent at the mall, and since we grocery-shopped at the NTUC there a lot, we managed to redeem two of those pretty yellow cardboard suitcases. So this month, I took them out from the store room and got the kids to personalize these suitcases with stickers, and they had a lot of fun sticking and decorating.

Stickers show off!

Stickers show off!

Suitcases

Personalising their suitcases with stickers

Nat also had some sticker fun in the form of peeling off washi tape:

Washi tape fun

Peeling off tape in some washi tape fun

Peeling stickers is one great exercise for preschoolers to develop finger strength. The repetitive picking and pulling motion helps strengthen the tiny muscles throughout their fingers; these tiny muscles extending from the tips of their fingers to their hand are going to be the ones responsible for helping them write their letters, tie their shoes laces and brush their teeth. Finger strengthening activities like this can help increase their dexterity and coordination.

S is for Sequence 

Becks is now learning to identify numbers and for her math activity, I wrote the numbers 1 to 10 on these colourful cards I got from Popular and had her arrange the numbers in ascending order:

Getting the three-year-old to arrange numbers in ascending order

Getting the three-year-old to arrange numbers in ascending order

We practised several times until she was confident and didn’t have to keep asking me.

For Ben, he learned simple addition with ‘plus 1’. I got the idea from this mom blog: initially we did some counting with our dinosaur counters, and when it got ridiculously tiring to count, I told him to apply common sense – that as long as it’s any number plus one, the answer to the equation will always be the next number in its ascending order. Why, he had so much fun we could go as far as 898+1 soon after that!

Simple addition of 'plus 1': no problem now!

Simple addition of ‘plus 1’: no problem now!

The kids also learned patterns and sequencing using the Three Bear Family Counters and Three Bear Family Pattern Cards I bought from The MindStore. The bears in different sizes and colours were a lot of fun; though at 3 years old, Becks had some difficulty completing the more difficult sequences and started playing Goldilocks instead.

Becks trying to help Ben complete the pattern

Becks trying to help Ben complete the pattern

We also made a little ‘Beginning-Middle-End’ Book using printables from our Hands On Homeschooling curriculum, which had pictures of things growing / developing / moving in sequence. I zapped the printables, cut out the pictures and got Ben and Becks to do the arranging and pasting on their own:

Order the pictures according to beginning, middle, end: how a plant grows and we make a snowman

Putting the pictures in order according to the beginning, middle, end: how a plant grows and how we can make a snowman

Ordering the pictures: how ball travels to the hole

Putting the pictures in order: how the golf ball travels to the hole

S is for Scooping

I didn’t forget the littlest one and this month he did lots of scooping every time the older kids were doing their homelearning. I gave him a scoop, and got him to scoop what I placed in front of him – apples, balls, trinkets, animal figurines, whatever.

He’s a pro scooper now, my Little Nat!

Scooping scooper

Scooping scooper scooped some apples

S is for SEA Aquarium

To round up our learning, we visited the SEA Aquarium and got acquainted with marine life and the fascinating underwater world.

The SEA Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa Photo credit: Fatherkao

The SEA Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa
Photo credit: Fatherkao

And I was wishing that I was scuba-diving instead.

Now that, which incidentally also begins with the letter S, is one of the so many things I must do. How I miss compressed air and being underwater.

Nope, not diving any time yet; but yes Nat, you can spread your hands out and glide with the manta underwater!

Nope, not diving any time yet; but yes Nat, you can spread your hands out and glide with the manta underwater!

Oh the things we have learned with the letter S! We bid it goodbye this September and will be w-w-wandering to a w-w-world where W rules!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Homeschool@sg October 9, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Wow! Love the matching activity! Gonna go that for doll! Thanks for the idea! :)

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