For the past three weeks, we have been using "birds" as our learning theme. This was a theme that I had really been looking forward to, but to be quite honest, I have been slacking in my enthusiasm in our learning activities lately. Blame it on the heat, blame it on busyness...I'm not sure what's up. But despite all of that, we have still been having fun.
Fingerplays and Songs
I usually start our Circle Time with this little rhyme to get Buddy to sit on the floor...
I can reach high up to the sky
I can bend low to touch my toes
I can turn my body around and around
And sit quietly on the ground
This week, Little Man decided to join us and showed us that he can also "bend low to touch his toes"...
We have also been enjoying some of the bird fingerplays and songs from SurLaLune Storytime. I made some little felt birds to go with the "Five Feathered Birds" rhyme and we used them along with the rhyme to practice counting.
Our memory verse for our bird theme was Psalm 17:8b. We leaned it by listening to Songs for Saplings Track #21 called "Under". I told Buddy that just as as a mother bird hides her babies under her wings to protect them, we can pray for God's protection over us.
Here are some bird themed books I chose in addition to our regular favorites...
A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza
(We LOVED this book. If you know of adoptive parents, this would be an EXCELLENT gift!)
Flip, Flap, Fly! by Phyllis Root
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
All About Birds!
I have shared with you our little "bird haven" outside our sunporch. We have a regular bird feeder and a bird bath, and just added a hummingbird feeder. After a week, all of the "nectar" was gone, although I never saw a hummingbird. It could have just evaporated in the heat...not sure.
Here is the view from outside...
And here is the inside view where we like to sit and watch the birds...
A lot of birds come to visit our bird bath. I thought it would be fun for Buddy and myself to learn the names of the birds that are our regulars. I didn't really want to spend the money for a field guide, so I made some bird identification cards. I simply searched online for a list of popular backyard birds for our state, and then used Google Image Search to find a picture of each bird. Using Microsoft Word, I put a picture of each bird, along with it's name, to make 4 cards per page. After printing, I had them laminated and cut. I then punched holes in the upper corner and put them on a ring for easy use.
We have already identified the American Robin, Mourning Dove, Cardinal, and Brown Thrasher. It has been a lot of fun!
I didn't really feel like fooling with cookie cutters that day so we just used a muffin tin.
I cut an opening in a milk jug and hung it up in the tree above our bird feeder.
I don't know if the birds are enjoying them, but the squirrels sure are. Oh well, they need to eat to!
After baking, I let Buddy "wash" the dishes. He loves to play at the sink, and I find it best if I just step away and let him do his thing. That way I'm not getting onto him the whole time about making a mess. It's just water after-all.
I found a great yard sale of a very crafty lady who was selling a big bag full of paint stamps, sponges, wire brushes, etc. I sat them all out and just let Buddy explore all of the different textures.
Buddy has really enjoyed painting with watercolors more. The other day he asked me to paint something for him and I said something about not being able to draw the object. He told me that painting isn't drawing, but that I am supposed to push the paint around with the brush. Spoken like a true painter!
We have a chalkboard in our playroom and with each theme, I usually draw a picture of whatever it is that we are learning about. Obviously, I am no artist, but Buddy always enjoys the "surprise" of what will be on the board. Little Man is starting to show some interest in drawing as well.
I saw this cute craft on Whatever, and knew that Buddy would enjoy it. I made a few changes, making a pocket nest with construction paper rather than painting one. His favorite part was cutting the raffia and stuffing it in the nest. I am still finding strands of it on my kitchen floor.
On Our Shelves
I never did a post to show you the items I added to our shelves this month, so I will just include them in here.
I found this great (and FREE) bird matching activity at Montessori Print Shop.
And I found these AWESOME Eric Carle games (links here and here) at a yard sale. I think I only payed $1 each and they were brand new. Buddy LOVES them!
We have had several opportunities to go swimming so far this Summer which we LOVE. Other than that, we have been have fun chillin' in our own backyard trying to beat the heat with the water hose and popsicles.
My husband is a youth pastor so we have a very busy month of summer camps and a mission trip coming up, so we will most likely be taking a break from planned learning activities and just have fun learning through play, discovery, and exploration.
Have a great weekend!