Friday, July 26, 2013

Pirate Letter Hunt and Egg Carton Pirate Ship

Monkey J loves his letters and we often do letter searches like this one:

Because I haven't had the word "pirate" spelled out as much around the house I normally do during theme weeks, I left the word front and center on the wall and then placed letters, including the ones needed to spell "pirate" in random order:

It took Monkey J no time at all to find the correct letters to spell pirate!

We then placed the letters on a blue poster board and I let him decorate it with some fun stickers:

This is typically a project I would do during the beginning of our theme week to introduce the theme and help with word recognition, but we've been a bit thrown off this week with our beach trip coming up on Saturday.

We also squeezed in a craft.  You will need:

  • Brown paint
  • Egg Carton
  • Scissors
  • White paper
  • Toothpicks
  • Markers
You will first paint the egg carton brown.  You can do single egg cartons for smaller ships, which I did for Monkey A, but Monkey J wanted a bigger ship:

I then made flags using toothpicks and white paper.  Monkey J directed me with which color stripes he wanted the flags to be.  You then simply poke the toothpick flags into the carton:

And you've got yourself a pirate ship!

Ooops, just missing the Captain ;)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pirate Handprint Place-Mat

We made some fun pirate hand-prints today:

Painting the thumb and lower palm red, the center palm white, and the fingers brown, our handprint looked like this:

After letting dry, I used a black Sharpie to draw lines across the red "hat" and drew an eye, eyepatch, and a mouth:

Together with Monkey J we came up with pirate words.  I then covered the papers in clear contact paper so that we can use them as place-mats when we go to the beach on Saturday.

So much fun!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pirate Math: Counting and Number Recognition

This morning Monkey J had some fun with pirate math:

I lined up his pirates with some coins underneath them.  He had to count how many coins each pirate had:

And then match the pirates with the numbers I had placed on the counter.  I included a bunch of numbers to make it a bit more difficult:

It was a fun time and we spoke like pirates the entire time!  When we were done with the exercise, Monkey J placed all of the coins in the treasure chest.  He took them one at a time from each pirate and would subtract one coin each time, saying, "3 coins, minus 1, leaves this pirate with 2 coins".  An impromptu subtraction lesson!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pirate Week: Digging for Treasure

Monkey J ran outside super excited when I told him we were going to dig for treasure!

I took our gold coins, our flags, some shells, and some pirates and put them in our makeshift sandbox:

I left some coins on top and buried a whole bunch...

Collecting his booty:

While Monkey J counted his coins:

Monkey A collected all of the pirate flags:

And would then stick them back in the sand; a great fine motor skill practice:

An easy set-up for a fun-filled afternoon!  P.S.  I am just not a fan of sandboxes.  Maybe a real sandbox would be less work, but I find them to be so messy and then you have to cover them because of animals and/or if it rains.  Seems like a lot of trouble!  What are your thoughts on sandboxes?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pirate Week: Sensory Bin

Ahoy me mateys!  And shiver me timbers!  It's pirate week!

As always, I start the week off with a sensory bin.  I think it's a great way to introduce the theme to our monkeys:

I had ordered these pirates, coins, and pirate flags through

And I admit I had a fun time setting up the bin :)  For the base, I used cloud dust.  Cloud dust is super easy to make:  4 cups flour, 1/2 cup baby oil...for this bin, I ended up using about 12 cups flour!

Here was the set-up for the monkeys:  I also bought the pirate hats, treasure chests, and treasure maps online.  If you are interested in a particular product, please let me know and I'll happily send you the link!

Monkey J immediately grabbed a treasure map and we played treasure hunt all morning long.  We would alternate who hid the treasure and we would give each other clues to find the treasure.  This was a great language practice for Monkey J who at first gave me clues of "It's in my room" and gradually evolved to "the treasure is hidden in the place where you put your water at night" :)

Meanwhile Monkey A proved there is absolutely no wrong way to play with a sensory bin:

Stay tuned for more of our Pirate Week fun!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Carbon Dioxide Red Balloon!

Today we had our good friend come over to our house.  She used to watch Monkey J back when I was still working part-time and they have a very special bond to this day!  She came over with some fun science experiments and one was perfect for red week since Monkey J chose a red balloon!  

You will need:

-Baking Soda
-An empty water or soda bottle

Pour some vinegar into the empty water bottle and then funnel some baking soda into a deflated balloon:

Place the opening of the balloon completely covering the water bottle and slowly lift the balloon allowing the baking soda to mix with the vinegar:

Which in turn causes the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar to occur which yields Carbon Dioxide:

It is really neat to explain to the differences between solid, liquid, and gas.  Thank you Lauren for such a fun science experiment!

For those interested (I sure was!) here's the chemical reaction:

NaHCO3 (aq) + CH3COOH (aq) ----> CO2 (g) + H2O (l) + CH3COONa (aq)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

No Bake Playdough

Over the weekend we brought out our homemade playdough only to find that our red playdough had dried out (we made it almost 2 years ago -wow!)  Monkey J wanted some red playdough for red week, so we did a quick no-bake option.  You need:

1/4 cup salt
1 cup of flour:

And 1/4 cup water (you may need to adjust the water in order to get the right consistency):

Stir it all together (Note: it helps to mix the two ingredients first and then add the water.  Monkey J was a bit too excited and mixed the water with the salt.  It works, but it was harder to stir)

After some stirring, start kneading it with your hands:

Add some food coloring for color:

Work the color through the dough:

Add more food coloring if necessary or add some Kool-aid like we did for some delicious smelling playdough!

Of course Monkey J wanted to make a snake right away :)

Note:  This no-bake playdough is a one-time use, but the simplicity of it along with the kids being able to make it essentially all by themselves means it's an activity we'll repeat!