Adventures of the Non-Creative Mom

July 20, 2012

Practicing vocabulary using hangman

Filed under: Learning,Outdoor Activities — by dsuzuki @ 10:20 pm
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I’ve been working with my daughter on reading and recognizing sight words.  She gets easily frustrated so I’ve been struggling to find ways to keep her interested in practicing.  With the weather being so nice and the kids wanting to be outside all the time I decided to try a simple game based off of hangman.

I started off with 3 and 4 letter words and she did great.  I didn’t actually limit her guesses and just let her guess as many times as she needed and then she figured out the word I was thinking of.

Then she decided she wanted to think of a word and let me guess.  I was impressed that she was actually able to think of a word, figure out how many letters were in it and then fill them in as I guessed.

Since she was enjoying the activity so much we also worked out some of the combination sounds we have been working on in our reading.

I would love to hear any other suggestions for making learning to recognize words fun.


July 16, 2012

Sea Shapes by Suse MacDonald & an art project

Filed under: Arts and Crafts,Books,Learning — by dsuzuki @ 10:01 pm
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Sea Shapes by Suse MacDonald
This is a great book for introducing shapes in a fun way.  It takes each shape and transforms it into some fun picture in the sea from dolphins to starfish and many more.  My two year old liked flipping through it and naming all the shapes and trying to name all the creatures that were in the book.

While my two and four year olds were flipping through the pictures again I grabbed a few pieces of construction paper (which I snagged at a back to school sale since we tend to go through them quickly) and started cutting out several of each shape.  Luckily we have this shape sorter so I used each of the blocks to trace each shape since I have no artistic talent whatsoever.  It was a little late to start an art project so I saved them for the next day.

While my son was napping my four year old had a lot of fun using the shapes to make her own sea pictures.  First we used stick glue…


Shapes 2

I somehow missed taking a picture of the final outcome but she used the “leaf” shapes to make the fish’s tail.

Then later we used more of the shapes and some paint to make our own ocean.  I loved watching what she would come up with to create using the shapes and she painted waves, waterfalls and caves.

Painting shapes

Sea Paint

The other fun thing was blending paints together and working on what colors do you have to mix to make new colors.  We used a lot of blues, greens and white to make the ocean and then some yellow and orange for other items.  She amazed me how many of the color blends she’s remembered.

Final shape paint

My daughter had a blast creating fish, divers, water falls, etc. Sea Shapes is definitely a great book to brainstorm about such ideas.


July 1, 2012

Listen To My Trumpet! by Mo Willems

Filed under: Books — by dsuzuki @ 9:19 pm
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Listen To My Trumpet! by Mo Willems

I was down in Anaheim attending the annual librarians association conference last week and one of the publishers had this book for sale.  Our family are huge Elephant and Piggie fans so I knew I had to get it.  If you have not started this series you really must!  My four year old (almost 5!) goes crazy over it and my 2 yr old also loves reading these books.

In this book Piggie is excited that she’s got a new trumpet and wants to play it for Gerald.  Unfortunately the sounds coming out of the trumpet definitely aren’t music.  The kids were bursting out laughing as we read each page of “br-ip! fr-ip! gr-ark!” and so on as Gerald is knocked off his chair with each new note.  In the end with Piggie excitedly waiting to hear what Gerald thinks, Gerald must come up with a way to tell Piggie that it just wasn’t musical.  In the end Piggie explains that she wasn’t trying to make music, she was trying to speak elephant!  The story ends with Gerald helping Piggie perfect her “accent” and the kids immediately wanted me to read it again.

Be forewarned there is no real dignified way to read this book. LOL. You might feel a little silly but that’s part of what made me laugh as well.  Even funnier is when you have visitors who don’t have kids and they get drafted into reading it and watching their expression as they make their way through all of the noises.

This is a great book and would top my list of the Elephant and Gerald books along with Can I Play Too? and Pigs Make Me Sneeze!