10 Indoor Activities for Little Ones

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When the weather is not conducive to being able to go outside, what can your little do? Check out thees activities you can do with your toddlers and early preschoolers. Don’t have little ones? I am going to have a series of activities for different ages. Next week will be activities for older preschoolers. 

Little Ones

  • Dress Ups A container of “costumes” is always a big hit. Items to include for boys and girls are things like a: hat, sunglasses, tutu, tie, belt, scarf, boa, jewelry, play fireman hat, and a play construction safety helmet. The thrift store and stores who have cheaper ticket items (such as the Dollar Tree) can help you stock your costume stash for not a lot of expense. Better still, ask other people if they have some items they would like to contribute.
  • Playdoh is an all-time favorite. Put a piece of wax paper on the table to keep the dough from sticking to your table. If you have a biscuit  or cookie cutter, let your child(ren) make shapes. Be sure and let your little one know that they can’t eat their creations!
  • Sugar Cookies Speaking of eating cookies, what about making a big batch of sugar cookie dough and allow them to cut out shapes with you? After they are cooled let them decorate them.
  • Pom pom sort A bag of pom poms of various sizes can be used to create sorting activities. Sort according to size (big, little), color, texture (fuzzy/prickly). You can add cotton balls to the mix as well for more things to sort.
  • Lids and bowls were always a thing my boys loved to play with. For some reason, my boys loved to have them all in a drawer or bin. They loved taking them out, throwing them on the floor, and of course. banging them together. If you have a headache, you may want to do this on a different day!
  • Ball/ Bean Bag Toss Find  a container or laundry basket and something soft to throw for target practice. This is terrific for developing gross motor skills.
  • Obstacle Courses can be created by using tape to walk along as a “balance beam” and  follow in a zig zag or serpentine pattern; you can include a chair to climb up and down on; and pillows to jump onto. The possibilities are endless!
  • Paper Plate Trail. Have colored or paper plates taped down on the carpet and have your chid jump from one to another. Call out a color if they know that. If you are working on numbers, write a large number on the plate and call the number for them to jump onto.
  • A Balloon Bop is a great way for little ones to get moving. How many times can they hit the balloon with their hand before it falls to the ground? How many times with their head? Name a different body part to keep your child interested and reviewing body parts. Calling out the number of times the balloon is hit will help them learn their numbers.
  • Water Station Fill up the kitchen sink and add various containers for your youngster to fill and empty. Plastic items such as cups, cereal bowls, food storage containers and measuring cups and spoons were my boys’ favorites.

Book Lists for Middle School

imagesI am sorry I couldn’t come up with an interesting title for this topic, but being direct works too. :) It’s easy to keep up with reading ahead of your children when they are young readers, but it becomes more difficult as the books get longer. I am posting some lists here for you to be able to determine which ones are appropriate for your student. I don’t like getting caught off guard and trying to find a book while I am at the library. There are thousands to choose from at the library and I wander around pulling books off the shelf, reading the insides of dust covers.  After spending several moments of doing that, I  realize that the book is not suitable for my student and have to begin all over again. Thus, wasting time while I could be doing something else. I hope to save you from the same fate.

Middle School Lists

Suggested Classic List  This particular list has done part of the work for you as it has a description behind each title. don’t be intimidated that it says 8th grade if you are wanting a book for a 4th grader because there are titles that are lower leveled readers.

Good Reads Classic List This list has 83 titles listed and a rating/ review of each book.

Classic Middle School  This list has levels behind them, and I am not sure I agree with all of the placements, but you can determine that for your reader. A blogger has taken this list and written a description for each of the books. For details on specific books Click Here

Have a good week!

~Lisa

 

Homeschool Magazines

stack-of-magazinesTo me, there is just something about reading magazine articles that I find inspiring and invigorating. The articles have proven to be the extra boost that I have needed when I have been “stuck” on a particular issue, whether that was helping a late-blooming reader or helping me raise sons. I would return to articles that I had read in the past and gain new insights or affirmation that I was on the “right track”. Here are several well established magazines or magalogs that have helped me over the years.  Some are free and some cost money, but I have found the money to be well spent!

Homeschooling Today has several free online articles that you can read to see if you would like to subscribe to their publication. This is a quarterly magazine and will be delivered to you in the mail and as a digital subscription. This magazine has articles about parenting, science,  art studies, and special needs, to name a few. Wouldn’t it be nice to get something in the mail that you actually want and is beneficial? ($29.99 yearly)

Practical Homeschooling is published five times a year by Mary Pride, a homeschool veteran and bestselling homeschool author.  Some articles that are listed are ideas for help with teaching when you have a newborn and character studies for preschoolers. ($17.95 yearly)

The Classical Teacher is a Christian Classical Education magalog; a magazine and catalog in one.  It’s free and is published quarterly. While they do discuss and address issues from a Classical perspective, they have excellent articles that will help you homeschool. There is an articles tab up at the top of the page or scroll down to the bottom of the page to see them.

 Schoolhouse Publishing has a magalog that is produced quarterly. This year’s catalog features an article about homeschooling boys, and believe me, Susie Kemmerer knows since she has nine sons! This is primarily a catalog, they do have short articles and helpful book reviews throughout.

Have a great week!

~Lisa

The First Thanksgiving : Reading and Writing

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Here are some reading and writing activities for Thanksgiving. The first activity is a  mini book called  The First Thanksgiving. The book has seven pages which is perfect for young readers. You can also use thees pictures that  summarize the page of information you are reading. There are only six pictures, but the last two pages of the mini book  are similar so there is only one picture to represent both of them. (They are not anything fancy, but it serves the purpose. Feel free to use this idea and get other pictures if you don’t like my selection.) For Thanksgiving pictures, click here-> Thanksgiving Retelling. Cut these out for the activity. Give your student a piece of blank paper and have them write the title, The First Thanksgiving on the top of the page.

After your student reads one page, give him/her a choice of two pictures and choose which one best describes what s/he had read. Glue them on to the First Thanksgiving paper s/he created. Then have him/her write the numeral of the event  in the bottom left-hand corner of the picture. Do this for each page until the book is finished.

After all of the pictures are glued, it is his/her turn to tell you about each of them that s/he had glued onto the paper. Mission accomplished, the retelling of the story is easily done since there is a pictorial representation to refer to when explaining what s/he read.

If you want, you can have your student write out the story on Thanksgiving  themed paper or do one or both of these copywork pages:  Thanksgiving copywork   Thanksgiving copywork2 You can also have your student color the mini book too if you have time.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family,

~Lisa

A Thanksgiving Unit

 

The First Thanksgiving, Jennie Brownscombe

I love this national holiday for several reasons. It’s not too commercialized! It’s a bit hard to sell thankfulness, don’t you think? If so, I would order a case or two of it. I have included a Thankful Wreath for your family to create that we have done throughout the years. I have always been glad and reminded of all of the blessings we have when we have done this craft project.

Another reason I like Thanksgiving is the history regarding why the Pilgrims came to America and I also love to read about Squanto.  He chose to help the race of people who had enslaved him and were responsible (directly or indirectly) for his tribe’s demise. Squanto is one of my heroes! I have included a list of books that I have enjoyed reading to my sons about Squanto and the Pilgrims that I think you will too.

One more reason I like Thanksgiving is because this day focuses on God and the blessings He has given to us. I have included some copywork/dictation pieces for your students to practice their handwriting. Make an extra set and send them to the grandparents as I am sure they would enjoy receiving them.

Would you like to focus on Thanksgiving and do unit study? I have some lapbooks that you can download. I have included two to get you started. Just look over the activities and see which ones you would like to do with your family. I have activities for students all the way from preschool through high school.

Crafts and Art Activities: There are so many ideas that it can be overwhelming. I have only provided you with some we have done as well as a few websites.

Placemats- Make a placemat for each guest that will be attending dinner. Laminate them with contact paper so that the artwork is not destroyed with gravy. Start early on this if you have a large gathering so as not to overwhelm your artists. You can personalize the placemats or make general themes.

Click to enlarge

Thankful Wreath- Using fall colors, trace your children’s hands onto the paper and cut them out. Have each person tell you (if they are little) or write one thing they are thankful on each of the hands. Glue the fingers of one hand on to the palm of another hand. You will need to have several sets as you will want to form a wreath shape from the hands. If you have a larger number of children than you can accommodate for creating a wreath then you can make more or… you can make a wreath with construction paper leaves instead.

Thanksgiving coloring pages. Print off a few to take with you on the long car ride to Grandma if you are traveling.

How about a word find or crossword puzzle? There are several levels of difficulty that are given on this website.

Have you ever seen about.com? I have found them to be an excellent resource for topics we are studying. You are sure to find something on these two pages that you and your children will enjoy pertaining to puzzles and word finds.

Enchanted Learning has a variety of crafts,worksheets, and mini books to create for elementary students.

Here is a crossword puzzle for Bible: Psalms of Thanksgiving . You can use these verses for copywork as well.

Dr. Pat’s On-line Pilgrim Coloring Book are well done and your middle school students would enjoy coloring these.

 

History:

Research the first Thanksgiving.  Ideas about how to use this for school: Have student(s) narrate what they have read; ask comprehension questions about the passage; calculate how many years it was from the time of the first Thanksgiving until George Washington declared  a day of thanks.

Here is another site from Scholastic under the heading of Research Starters that has the history and additional websites to investigate. click here This website can be used for middle- senior high students.

Watch a video from the History Channel about Thanksgiving. (for older students) Accompanying the video are questions to answer.

Read the Mayflower Compact. Middle school students can narrate what they have read and answer questions such as: What was the purpose of the signing of the compact ? Why did all men sign and not women? Junior/senior high students can create their own compact. Consider why it would be important to include when beginning a new colony.  Have them create a model of their colony.

Plimouth Plantation (website with many things to do and see) I would recommend you to go to  Just for Kids, but don’t stop there because there is quite a bit to look at on this website. Older students can use this website to research topics.

Scholastic. com has some fabulous resources that contain videos of the Pilgrim’s and Native American’s villages. There are also activities to accompany your unit. Click on the right hand side for activities, lessons, and worksheets.

Research how and when Thanksgiving became a national holiday.

Books to Read:

Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims by Robert Clyde Bulla  Discuss how Squanto helped the Pilgrims. Squanto reminds me of another man who was ill-treated but turned it around for the good of a nation. His name was Joseph and you can read his story in the bible: Genesis chapters 37-50.  Older students can compare and contrast him to Squanto.

The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh This is a nice read aloud for younger students.

Stories of the Pilgrims by Margaret Pumphrey  This a great book for all ages as a read aloud for younger students and an assigned reader for older students. Older students can pick a few stories to highlight and tell to the family if everyone is not going to be reading it.

The If You series are books that my children and I found to provide details and factual information in an interesting format. Here are two that pertain to Thanksgiving:

If You Were at the First Thanksgiving by Anne Kamma

If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann DeVito

How about including a book report to accompany the reading? Here is a book report form. thanksgiving book reports

Copywork/Dictation:

Students can copy these scripture passages on to a piece of notebook paper. Glue a piece of construction paper to the back to provide a frame. Hang up the masterpieces and memorize this month.

James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

1 Chronicles 16:34
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

Older students: Use any of the documents listed above as a resource  for  copying such as the Mayflower Compact or the declaration of a day of thanks from George Washington.

Here’s a Thankfulness Character Study for your family. Click Here

Lapbooks:

Here is a lapbook for younger students to complete using the book Give Thanks to the Lord: Celebrating Psalm 92 by Karma Wilson. If you can’t find the book you can still use the psalm from your favorite translation.

Another lapbook from homeschool share based upon the book Goody O’Grumpity by Carol Ryrie Brink. Even if you do not use the book that is recommended, you can still use the lapbook ideas.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!