Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring Sensory Bin

I've seen about sensory bins online several times here and there. So when our March MOPS meeting topic was about special needs kids, I thought it would be a fun project for us moms to put together for our kiddos, since they're so great for kids of all types. Not sure about other kids, but mine love it, so much so that I think I might actually put together more themes! Here's our spring sensory bin:

 ~1 inch of dyed rice (there are many dying methods, we used vinegar and green food coloring, because it was fast drying time and we had to prepare so much for the rest of our MOPS group!)
plastic flowers (I got a cheap bouquet from the $ store and cut it apart)
plastic bugs
ladybug buttons (this was extra I added in after MOPS)
1 feather
plastic Easter egg for scooping
magnifying glass
* perfumed spray scent

These are some activity ideas:
1. Put rice in the egg to make a shaker.
2. Use tweezers to put insects inside eggs. (I'm surprised at how well even Carter does with the tweezers!)
3. Bury and find bugs.
4. Use eggs to scoop and pour. (the kids looove this part)
5.  "Plant" flowers in "grass" or eggs filled with "grass"
6. Inspect textures w. magnifying glass (they actually used it more for scooping, but whatev)
7. Does the feather hold rice or does it fall through?
8. Do tweezers pick up rice? If so, count them into eggs.
9. Create your own fun.

Yes, you'll end up with some spilled rice, but my word, each of the kids have had so much fun with this, it's worth it!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Arg!! {Pirates}

We read this book awhile ago and while I had jotted down several supplemental activity ideas, it took awhile to actually sit down follow through with a lesson plan.  I'm really looking forward to having time with the kids home this summer and we can continue through these books!  

So here's Book #4 of the Magic Tree House series. We spent the morning learning about pirates!

Activity 1. We completed a chart, learning about the myths and facts of pirates. I wrote each tidbit on an index card and we taped it to the appropriate column. This introduced the idea that not everything we hear about is actually TRUE. It also introduced the terms "fact" and "myth". The kids were surprised at some of the things that aren't actually true! (Info came from here. Click on picture for a larger view of our cards.)

Activity 2. Using this fun blog we figured out what our pirate names are and made name tags for the morning. And by "made name tags" I mean we wrote it on a label sticker. =)
Eli is "Green Lip Bill"
Hannah is "Cold Tooth Sue"
Carter is "Long Eye Kid"
And I am "Blue Leg Gert"

Activity 3. Then we assembled a little booklet about some of the different kinds of pirate ships. I read the description, and the kids tried to guess which picture matched it. And we glued it into the booklet. (Cut one piece of paper in half the long way and fold over both pieces to make a booklet. DOWNLOAD pirate ship info and pictures here.)

Activity 4. Following this drawing guide we drew our own pirate ships! They actually turned out quite good. The kids were proud and hung them in their rooms.

 I love these little hands at work.
the rainbow looking lines are cannons
Hannah's picture. She just likes to write Eli's name on things.
 Activity 5. We learned about some pirate vocabulary by creating our own crossword puzzle. I added the word list on the side. (Type in this info into this site to create your crossword--it's so surprisingly quick and easy! Like 5 minutes, tops!)