Never make a promise you can’t keep?

So every week the kids at school get to choose library books to bring home with them.   Yesterday, we finally had a moment to devote our storytime routine to these new selections.

tadpoleThey are always different and great but one particular book stood out to me, simply because it opened from top to bottom and not left to right.

It tells about a love between a tadpole and a caterpillar, in which a promise is made for them to never change.  But alas, the tadpole will change and begins doing so, daily.  He sprouts legs, arms and then ultimately loses its tail.

The caterpillar is repeatedly disappointed, as well as, brokenhearted.  She chooses to abandon the one who has deceived her by failing to keep his promise to never change.  During this farewell she disappears into her cocoon.

Once she has reemerged (now a beautiful butterfly of course) she realizes that she wants to give her tadpole another chance because she misses him so and was perhaps hasty in her decision to have ever let him go.

When she flies over to the nearest frog to ask if they’ve seen her tadpole, she’s swallowed up whole!  This frog (formerly her beloved tadpole) was completely unaware of her own lovely metamorphosis.  Both of these creatures had become unrecognizable to each other and now only the frog remains, left to sit and wonder just longing for her return.

frogHis love is gone forever and he will never know why.

Although I expected each of them to change accordingly (despite their foolish promises) I was not expecting the frog to devour the butterfly, at all.  But I suppose that’s just your typical day in the life of an insect eater, I guess.

My child on the other hand was more than amused, not yet able to grasp the fact that in addition to the nature lesson being told, there was a profound message in there about life, love and loss.

Every now and again we find ourselves touched by the poignancy inside of a children’s book, such as The Tadpole’s promise.

It’s a pretty special book, in my book.

 

 

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Busy with business cards

While going through a file box I came across a stack of something that needed another purpose.

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And so, my old business cards have been colored, counted and cut.  We’ve used them to play memory games and arranged them to form different shapes.  They’ve been converted into small flash cards, a mini pennant garland and tools for setting the table.

Future activity ideas will include writing practice (one card per each letter that can be shuffled later for the child to spell their own name) as well as to count how many.  I also thought to save all the colorful dots left over from all the hole-punching for easy table confetti to decorate our next birthday party.

As they’re made out of sturdy card stock, the possibilities are endless.

Spanish Sight Words

So, I’ve been meaning to include Spanish sight words on our wall but wasn’t yet decided on how to make them stand out in their own way.  (Our English sight words are part of a fun set of flash cards we purchased and love to work with as shown below.)

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Then, I came across a display of high frequency Spanish words on an educational website.  It was also the perfect solution for making great use of all our extra construction paper scraps!  Conveniently, my trusted masking tape roll also doubled as the stencil for the right-sized circles, too.

19875316_815328531968647_536176068206993481_nI’ve already envisioned another slide show for the future but until then, I simply made a list on Google Sheets you can find here that contains the visible words on the image shared on Facebook by Rockalingua.

It’s a wonderful page to follow by the way, for your Spanish learning!

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Source:  https://www.facebook.com/Rockalingua/photos/a.268690703268324.1073741832.246130445524350/937361609734560/?type=3&theater

 

 

My Favorite Things – ABC Flash Cards

Over the years, I’ve put together several early learning presentations.  I’d play them on our old computer or connect a cable to the television to view on a larger screen.  Nowadays you don’t need a wire and with Screen Mirroring, all you need is Internet access and your smart phone will do.

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(Kids get a kick out of being able to play the presentations while I use my pointer for emphasis.)

Here’s just another set of ABC flash card slides thanks to MS PowerPoint (which you can then import into Google Slides for sharing as I have done.)

These slides are supposed to be a focus on our favorite things but with preschoolers, it’s more like the first things that came to mind.  Then there was an issue with K.  For no apparent reason, my suggestions for Kiss, Karate, Kite, Kangaroo or Knight were a fail while Ketchup was unanimous.  Then there’s the case of the bitter X.  Not many new or easy choices for this letter with little ones, am I right?  But hey, we do enjoy our Xylophone and X-Rays always remind us of Dem Bones.  And, no need to wait for Halloween to begin doing The Skeleton Dance!

Play around with the software if you’re interested and come up with your own flash card favorites.  Our next project is photos of actual family members (Aunt, Brother, Cousin, Dad, Grandma, Dad, etc.) and if you have any pets, you should include them too!

Hope you enjoy our ABC Favorite Things Slide Show you can view here!

Note:

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that yes, the very mention of My Favorite Things always brings me me back to The Sound of Music.

Pineapple Day!

Turns out that June is just loaded with a variety of themes: Flag Day, Father’s Day, first day of Summer and in sweet succession, wait for it… a day for the Pineapple.

Yes and yum!

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Admittedly, I didn’t know all that much about pineapples except that they’re readily available in tropical places and how wonderful they taste (by the way here’s a smoothie recipe and another with Piña Coladas for us (aka Bacardi.)

But, back to the kids.  So, with a little bit of research I was able to piece together a slide show to include some simple facts, images and even a recipe for us to enjoy (thanks social media!)  By the way, these early learning presentations are so much fun to create and share with fellow parents and caregivers!

Maybe while you’re reading this you’re stuck in a waiting area with a child who’s starting to become impatient.  If so, you should be able to distract the little fellow or princess by bringing up the fact that there’s such a thing as Pineapple Day.  Then, view our slide show found here (that also contains printable coloring page for later, if they’re interested.)

If you didn’t have anything prepared for tomorrow, enjoy this lesson theme too!

Puzzle Piece Flash Card Fun

19366258_1695850104049980_3213347774118269053_nWe have quite a few puzzles by Melissa and Doug around and the younger ones are still trying to put the right pieces in the right place.  Once a child has mastered the task however, they move on and get creative by incorporating the pieces into other forms of play, which is great!

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With this in mind, I thought of another option by printing the names of each piece as cards that we can remove from the deck, one at time.

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Mommy Scribble

If the child is able to read the word they see, they can go ahead and put the correlating piece in the appropriate place on the puzzle.  If not, we set them aside to go over them again later.

Some of the words are more familiar (as they’ve seen them before in our standard flash cards) such as “cow” but “excavator” not so much.  It’s all good.  They’ll get there, eventually!

This is a great way for us to continue working with the same puzzles we already have, but on another level as a new experience.  Maybe you have some of these in your toy chest too.  Our puzzles cover some of the animals found on the farm and jungle, sea creatures, as well as, vehicles for transportation and construction sites.

If you’d like to print the sheets we used for this puzzle piece sight word game, you can find them here.

Hope you like this activity idea and enjoy!

 

 

Thunder, Lightning.

It’s not just the little ones that want to run under the covers during a thunderstorm.  It’s pretty scary for everybody, even when you’re indoors.

Trying your best to calm a child through one isn’t always easy and even more difficult if you also happen to lose power which can happen sometimes.

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Photo Image Source:  https://aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/16700/why-is-the-cumulonimbus-cloud-formation-so-dangerous

We’re always talking about the weather, but it was time to go beyond the temperature and what to carry with us when its raining.  Mainly because I wasn’t able to explain this intimidating force of nature to myself, much less a child.  I think we all know at the very least, that it’s dangerous to be outside at the time.

I knew thunder was loud and frightening, but does it always follow that flash of lightning?   Thankfully, the Weather Wiz Kids had us covered, like an umbrella.   You’ll find the answer to the question under Thunderstorms along with the causes, patterns and helpful safety tips.  We also learned a new math game we can play during the next storm to find out how far away it is from us.

Also, try saying cumulonimbus clouds really fast? Soft Schools has more facts about them.  Ever heard of Upward Lightning?  Find it in this list of 10 Natural Phenomena You Have To See To Believe.

When the lights finally came back on, we played How’s the Weather? by Super Simple Songs.

Later, when I needed a push to face the dishes that were on hold during the outage, I knew just what I wanted to listen to during Mom Me Time about thunder, lightning.