Friday, 3 August 2012

Life Cycle of a Frog Sensory Play

 We came upon a frog life cycle set in our local toy library, and, since  Alicia loves frogs,  I thought why not introduce frog life cycles to her. I've read a few blog posts about Montessori-inspired life cycle activities and here is what we created. One piece was missing from the set (a tadpole without legs) so we made it out of brown playdough. We used craft eyes to represent frog spawns and also some green marbles.

Frog theme is very popular with Alicia and we ended up creating a few different activities.

Playdough pond

 I made some blue and green playdough and we got started on the pond. Alicia rolled out playdough on the tray, made some holes for the spawns (there was need to make holes actually, it was totally Alicia's idea :)).

Then we put in some green marbles into the holes to represent the spawns. 

Then we put toy frogs and tadpoles on our pond (life cycle set and also some toy frogs I got from party shop) and made a green hill for the big frog (bath toy). The frog and the hill is from the story that Alicia remembered when we started to build the pond. This story makes Alicia laugh and it was her idea to include it in our play. (In the story a frog (actually, an old toad) sits on a hill and knitting socks while tadpoles are happily swimming in the water, then she yells "Bed time!" and tadpoles are asking if they could play a little longer.)

Alicia liked the pond, so we made it again the other night with some variations. Here she put frogs to sleep :)

Life Cycle of a Frog Sensory Box

We also made this frog sensory box (rice colored in blue, paper lillypad,  leaves from fake flower garland, frogs' food (flies, spiders, grasshoppers and dragon flies), glass marbles and rocks, toys frogs).

Alicia was discovering things inside sensory box for a few days, and, of course, her foot had to get into the rice eventually - lol :)

Discovering the differences: "This tadpole has 4 legs and a tail!" I'm impressed with her observation skills.

Then we set frogs around a "table" to have dinner. Alicia didn't like the idea of frogs eating spiders, mosquitoes and other living things for dinner and suggested we  give them yogurt instead :)

Some other day we made Vodyanoy puppet - a Russian male mermaid character that lives in a swamp. Alicia loves Russian cartoon that has him as one of the characters and the song he sings (here is the link to that song on YouTube). 

Life Cycle of a Frog Sequencing Cards

I made Life Cycle of the Frog sequencing cards (in Russian)  using some images I found on the web. I've also found and printed some ready-made cards and puzzles. 

We looked at some pictures of frogs in the books about animals (Alicia loves looking up animals in encyclopedia).  

Matching sequencing cards with frogs from Life Cycle set. Of course she the other toy froggies had to sit on cards too :)

Pre-reading/ sight reading

Like in most our games, I wrote some words for Alicia to learn (in Russian). Here she's "reading" (she can recognize some words and spell out most of the letters in them).

Frog Craft

I cut the pieces out and get Alicia to put them together (with little help). Then she wanted to do some paper cutting herself.

This frog we made out of paper plate. Alicia painted the plate, then arms and legs and I helped her to put it together.

Waterbeads Frog Pond

We put together another fake frog pond, it is very simple: waterbeads, some river rocks and water!

 Alicia loved "swimming" the frogs and then drying them with a tea towel.

Frogs lining up to wait for their turn for swimming - lol :)

Drawing a tadpole. Alicia is not much into drawing (let alone writing) so we get very excited when we see her drawing something.

Feeding rice to frogs ("Frog like to eat rice, Mama, NOT spiders and flies!" - lol )

Frogs and wooden blocks play

Alicia loves to build with this natural wood set. Here she build a table for frogs and seated frogs on "stools" around it for "tea".

On some other day she built this:

Frogs are having coloured raindrops for lunch. Vodyanoy is laving lunch with bigger frogs - his friends :)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Garden Sensory Bin

I made this garden sensory bin for Alicia. It was easy to make as I found so many toy and craft garden creatures in dollar shops (ladybugs, butterflies, frogs, lizards, spiders, flies, centipedes, dragonflies, grasshoppers, etc.). I used green coloured rice for filling which represents grass, some fabric leaves and flowers, fake rocks, green pompoms, mini garden bucket and spade, toy toadstool mushroom and coloured glass stones. This play box turned out quite colourful.

Alicia loves treasure hunt games so she loved to discover the creatures that were in the box.  Frogs are her favourites, so she started with them. 

A: "This frog has black legs. Why?" (Good observation!)
Me: "Hm ... I don't know ... we need to google it". (Later on we googled it together to find out that frogs with black legs and bright colours are poisonous and the colours are there to warn predators). 

Then she wanted to put all her "findings" on the trays (she loves playing with them). 

Interesting ladybugs arrangement here: mama ladybug (big), papa (a smaller one - lol) and their babies!

Discovering more things. She loved green sparkly pompoms and called them "koluchki" in Russian (English translation would be something like "spikes").

Then we counted everything we found and also did some writing/reading activities (in Russian). I wrote  words on a laminated strip of paper (leftovers from various cards we make) with a permanent marker while she was watching and get her to name the letters. Then I read out loud the word I wrote and get her to match it with the object it represents.

Next on our plan is to create some activities on each on garden creatures to get Alicia familiar with their life.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Hand-washing dolls' clothes - practical life skills.

We borrowed Lego doll set from toy library, It is an awesome set with 4 big dolls hat come with clothes and linen. The only problem, the clothes was a bit too filthy to play with.

So I asked Alicia whether she wanted to wash dolls' clothes by herself. She got excited with the idea and started to put it into the washing machine (she loves helping me with doing  laundry)  However there was not enough dirty clothes for the load at the moment, so I suggested we wash them by hand in the basin. Alicia got excited: we did some treasure hunt activities in soapy water before and she liked it.

 We begun with soaking dirty dolls' clothes in the soapy water. She actually enjoyed playing with wet clothes and finding pieces of clothes among the detergent bubbles: "Look mama, I found a dress and it is so wet and soapy! Is it clean yet?"

Then we rinsed the clothes in the laundry sink. It was quite entertaining for A to fish out pieces of clothes from the water and squeeze the water out.

Then we put it out to dry - great peg activity here. 

Alicia liked playing with pegs so much so next day she decided to make pegs "grass" with no linen at all :)