Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tot School ~ Ocean

~Lovebug is currently 23 months old~
Tot School

We continued our ocean-themed summer schedule this past week.

I put together another ocean sensory box for the kids, which they really liked.

We took a field trip to a nearby beach to see tide pools. We spent a few hours exploring and had a wonderful time.

We even saw a school of dolphins swimming by (you can see a dorsal fin on the picture below)...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Preschool ~ Ocean Part II

We haven't quite started with our "official" school year around here, but we are beginning to ease our way into it. We started our Sonlight curriculum two weeks ago and love it. It takes us only about 20-30 minutes to complete the Read-Alouds (we are doing P4/5). The kids love to read first thing in the morning (and again before naps and bed), so that's what we have been doing, and it's been working great. Smiley tends to wake up before his sister, so I've been trying to read the longer texts (without pictures) to him while the little one is still asleep. She doesn't quite have the attention span yet to listen to a story without pictures ;) So far, we haven't done any additional activities to go with our Sonlight reading, but we will likely start this  at some point...

The rest of our week was spent enjoying the rest of the summer and continuing to focus on our ocean theme. We learned about Tide Pools and the animals that can typically be found in them. We used books and a resource from Homeschool Share. I plan on using several other ideas from the Hello Ocean Lapbook as well.

We took a field trip to see a Tide Pool at a Nature Preserve just a few miles from us... The little hike down to the beach was just breath taking. Down by the beach, we had a blast wading through the tide pools and finding mussels, shells, sea crabs, crabs, lobsters, and algae :)

Other ocean-themed activities this week included an updated sensory box. It is very similar to last week's box, but I added sea animals that the kids loved playing with...

Tot School

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tot School ~ Ocean Theme

~ Our little lovebug is currently 22 months old~
Tot School
We were on vacation for the past three weeks and therefore had a very relaxed learning time; nonetheless, learning style happened :)
I made an ocean-themed sensory box for the kids, which included fuzzy pom poms (to represent the water), sea shells, fish and shell table scatter (from Target), and sea critter finger puppets.

The kids loved it :)

On another day, we sorted the table scatter (blue sea shells and orange fish).
and filled pom poms in a baby bottle...
We spent a few days down in San Diego and got to visit Sea World, which was a hug hit with both kids. They loved touching some of the smaller sea animals (sea stars, sea urchins, snails etc.).

we saw Beluga Whales!
and Polar Bears!
We also were very fortunate that my family invited us to spend a week in Maui, Hawaii with them. We rented a house directly by the beach and had the BEST TIME!!

One day, we took a trip on a submarine and saw a lot of sea life :)
Of course, the majority of our time was spent at the beach!

A little tot school activity in Hawaii... (little glass pebbles that were used in candle holders outside)
Our cutie all dressed up, ready to go out to dinner :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Preschool ~ Ocean

Tot School

My family has been visiting us from Switzerland for the past 3 weeks, so our weeks have been all about quality family time and fun :) Here are some of the things we have been up to. Due to the beach locations of our trips, we started our ocean theme hands-on.

I prepared an ocean sensory box for the kids, which they loved... It included plastic fish and shells (table decoration) that I got from Target. Lots of fuzzy pom poms to represent the water. Lots of real sea shells. And ocean-themed finger puppets...

Smiley loved to put the littlest pom poms into sea shells and to get them back out with tweezers...

He also loved filling up his schoolbus (pretending it was gas) and driving it around the living room (there were lots of emergencies involved to, hence the fire truck!).
Any play involving the schoolbus was probably his favorite and occurred repeatedly :)
We then spent a few days down in San Diego, and of course, had to go to Sea World! What a great addition to our ocean theme!! One of our favorite parts was to be able to touch different sea animals!!

Last week was spent in a house in Maui, Hawaii!! A generous gift from my parents. We had the most wonderful time!

Our house was right at the beach. It was the perfect set-up with two young kids (and 5 adults).
Due to the time difference, the kids woke up very early and we were able to play in the waves while watching the sun go up :)

One morning, we took a submarine trip to more closely see al the sea life, including sea turtles and an octopus!

On another day, we went to look at a sugar mill and learned the process from sugar cane to raw sugar. The kids even got a little sample ;)
Of course, the majority of the time was just spent having fun at the beach, such as building sand castles with my mom.