Simply Summers

Simplified Chaos


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Halloween Week

We took a break from the Letter of the Week to do some Halloween themed activities.  Cheyenne has yet another cold, so we took it easy this week, but she had fun doing some of the Halloween activities.

I found this cute Halloween Pack from 3 Dinosaurs.  It is huge and we didn’t get to do all of it, but we did get several things done.  This is a huge pack and has tons of fun Halloween activities.  I have just recently discovered this site and I love it.  It has definitely become one of my favorites for finding preschool lessons and activities.  I will be adding a lot of their printables to our weekly lessons. All of the printables this week are from their Halloween pack linked above.

She started out by doing some pre-writing pages from 3 Dinosaurs.

Shadow Matching:  She loved matching the shadows to the pictures and did a really good job.

There are several dot paint pages in this pack so she was in dot paint heaven!!  This is the only one I got a picture of, but she did several.

Cheyenne loves pretend play and is doing it so much more often now.  She loves to be a little mommy and I just couldn’t resist snapping this picture of her putting her babies down for a nap. I love how careful she was and how she took her time covering them up just right and getting them all comfy.  🙂  What a sweet little girl!!  🙂

She is getting more into mazes, so I love finding alphabet mazes for her to do.  She also does some each week that follow a certain letter through the maze to the end.

She’s really good at matching and she did great at this Halloween Matching page.

Number matching puzzles are always a hit and I’m glad this pack had one!  She loves counting the pictures and matching up the number with it.

Then came Halloween night and my little Minnie Mouse was so cute.  You can read about our Halloween fun here.

Clip cards are a huge hit as well.  She loves clipping the clothespins on the letters.  She does such a good job telling me the picture, sounding it out and telling the what letter the word starts with.  I laminated these for better durability like I do most of the printables so they can also be used again.

We had lots of fun this week, despite Cheyenne being sick with another cold. She had a couple of days where she just wasn’t feeling school and didn’t really want to do anything but play.   I don’t force her to do preschool if she doesn’t want to because I want her to enjoy it, not feel like it is a chore.  She really enjoys doing preschool and often times comes to me and asks “Mommy, can we go do some preschool?”  Now how can you turn that down?  So usually I will go ahead and go back to her room and we will work on some stuff for as long as she wants. Sometimes it’s only 5 minutes, other times she will sit down and do several activities over 3o minutes or an hour.

I hope everyone had a great Halloween week!  We’ll be doing Letter E next week and will start working in some Thanksgiving and Fall activities as well.

I love comments, so please let me know what you think or share some of your activities for the upcoming Fall/Thanksgiving season.


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Letter D Week

We just finished up D week (or so) and as usual, Cheyenne loved it!  We are still getting used to our new routine now that she has Mother’s Day Out 2 days a week, but I think it’s working out.

We start off each day with the Pledge of Allegiance.  We’ve been doing that all along and Cheyenne picked it up in less than a week and has been saying it all by herself for a while now.  She tends to leave out the word “indivisible” even though she can say it, she is just so excited to say “with liberty and justice for all” so we’re working on making sure indivisible gets in there.  🙂

After the Pledge of Allegiance, Cheyenne does her day of the week chart and weather chart.  She loves looking outside to see what the weather is.  I don’t have a more current picture, but here’s what they look like.  Cheyenne loves doing these each morning.  These charts are from Confessions of a Homeschooler and you can find them here.

After she does her charts, she sings the alphabet song at least once.  Sometimes she will sing it 2 or 3 times.  This girl loves to sing!!

We started out with scissor skills this week.  Cheyenne was having a hard time getting into it this week, so I started with one of her favorite things..cutting!  She loves cutting paper and is getting really good at following the lines.  Sometimes she will then cut the paper into a bunch of tiny pieces because isn’t it so fun?  This is also from Confessions of a Homeschooler, but I can’t find a place to download it on her page.  It is part of the Letter of the Week Curriculum, though and it will be there if you purchase the curriculum for $10.  It is well worth the money to me, rather than downloading and printing each page individually.  🙂

 Handwriting Practice:  Cheyenne is getting more into writing and loves to get paper and “write” or “write” on her whiteboard or chalboard.  So she is getting practice every week on writing the letter we are working on. I usually have several different pages for her to work on handwriting, but usually have to break them up and we work on one each day because she gets bored with handwriting pretty quickly.

One of her other favorite things is the Letter Hunt Worksheets. I will read the short story to her and then she has to find all of whatever letter we are working on that week.  Since this was D week, she circled all of the Ds that she found.  After that, she ended up tracing D is for Dinosaur at the top of the page.  🙂

These are from Confessions of a Homeschooler and can be found here.

Letter Mazes:  She followed all the letter Ds through the maze to help the duck get to his pond.

This is from 1+1+1=1.    I love her site and use a lot of printables from there as well.  You can find the Alphabet Letter Mazes here.

She worked on some more pre-writing by tracing the lines.  She is getting better at the wavy and pointy lines.  She always does well on the straight lines and circles.  You can find these here.

She did her upper and lower case sorting dinos.  You can find these here.

She loves her dot pages and I usually try to find a couple of different ones for her to do.  This one is from Confessions of a Homeschooler and can be found here.

Her absolute favorite is the Poke Page.  I give her a toothpick and she sits or lays down and pokes along the lines with the toothpick on the carpet. This page can be found here.

Dino Size Sort:  I had her put them from largest to smallest and then I had her put them from smallest to largest.  These can be found here.

One of her other favorites is the Magnet Page. I laminated this page and put it on a cookie sheet and she loves to get her magnet gems I made her and put them on each circle.  This is great practice for fine motor skills.

Dino Puzzles:  I laminated these and then cut them in half in different directions and patterns and had her put them together.  She loves the puzzles!!  You can find these here.

We did Dino Clip cards this week and she enjoyed using the clothespins to clip on each card. This is also great for fine motor skills. I also had her put them in number order as she counted to 10.

She was really enjoying the clothespins so she picked up a string from her beading blocks and started clipping clothespins to it.  More fine motor practice.

I didn’t get around to a D lunch this week, but I did sort of give her a D breakfast.  She wanted toaster streudels so I wrote a D with the icing and she thought that was so neat!

This is another writing practice page I came across last week from 3 Dinosaurs and decided to add to her lessons every week.  It is individual writing pages for each letter of the alphabet. You can find it here.  I laminate most of her work, other than the dot pages and coloring pages so that they can be used again.  Sometimes we will do a page more than once and it’s better than printing out multiple pages.  I also want to have them able to be used again for review throughout the year.

We did so much more this week, but I had left my camera at a friend’s house after our Halloween party and couldn’t get any pictures the next day, but this is a nice round-up of what we did.

Next week, we are going to take a break from the Letter of the Week and go with a fun Halloween theme for our lessons.

 


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Letter C Week(s)

Cheyenne started Mother’s Day Out last week so our C week extended from the week before into last week due to all of the preparations to get ready for Mother’s Day Out.

Cheyenne loves the letter C since that’s what her name starts with!  She had lots of fun this week or two and she is learning so fast.

Cheyenne loves doing preschool and does most of the activities with no fuss or problems.  Every once in a while, she doesn’t want to do something, so I don’t force her, I just put it away to try another time and she’s usually more willing to do it later.  She is very strong willed and sometimes that makes things hard, so I just have to follow her lead.

As always, all of our pages are from Confessions of a Homeschooler, unless otherwise noted.  I purchased her Letter of the Week Curriculum, which in my opinion is worth the $10 price to get everything together for each letter, plus lots of extras.  You can also download each page individually for free if you just want a few certain pages.

One thing she loves is the letter/color matching puzzles from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  You can find it here.

One of her other favorite parts of preschool is dot paints.  I often have to find more dot pages from other sites for her to do too because she loves it so much!!

Here she is doing her letter C Dot paint.

I got this a few months back as a fan freebie from 1+1+1=1 on their Facebook page, but I just checked and when I clicked on it, nothing happened, so it may not be available any more.

I love that she is really getting into writing lately.  She wants to trace words, letters and sometimes she will even go over to her chalk/white board and start writing letters and I’m amazed that most of them she is getting right!  We just started working on writing and tracing and she is doing great!!  🙂

She did some counting by placing the correct number of erasers on each numbered caterpillar.  You can find these here.

She really loved this page.  It’s a little short story and she is supposed to circle each letter C on the page.  This page is from Confessions of a Homeschooler but wasn’t in Letter of the Week curriculm and I have searched the site for this page and can’t find it anywhere, so it may not be available anymore.

Cheyenne loved finding each letter C and circling it. She was so proud of herself!!

We did a Letter C craft and made an Egg Carton Caterpillar!!  She loved this.  She is really getting to where she loves doing crafts so I will be working more of those into our week but those will be posted separately as we do them.

She really loves cutting and will often ask for blank paper just so she can cut it.  She is getting good at holding the paper so she can cut properly and she is also learning to turn the paper and hold it differently as she cuts different directions.

Cheyenne’s C lunch this week wasn’t anything special because I hadn’t been to the store and didn’t have a lot of choices.  But it is amazing how many things start with C when you start looking around.  This week she had her Letter C pb&j sandwich and a cat sandwich, C cheese, chips and a cookie.  Believe it or not, she did eat her entire lunch before she ate her cookie!!

Rolling the die for the dice game. She loves to roll the die and  find that number on the caterpillar.  This can be downloaded here.

I found a pair of tongs that I had gotten for her quite a while back and put away then forgot all about them so I gave her those along with some pom poms in a bowl and had her move them from the bowl to the muffin pan.  I didn’t worry about doing it by color this time.  I just wanted her to get used to using the tongs.  She had a good time doing this and then asked to do it again later.

She loves the letter mazes from 1+1+1=1!!  Here she followed the letter C through the maze to help the kitty get to his bed.

Probably her favorite thing is the poke pages!!  Here she is doing her C poke page.  She loves to get her toothpick and sit or lay on the floor and poke along the lines of the letters.  These are part of the Letter of the Week Curriculum, but I can’t find anywhere on the site where it is available individually.

This week I came across a Letter Hunt from Me & Marie Learning.  We flipped through a couple of magazines and cut out several different letter Cs and Cheyenne has grown really fond of the glue stick so she had a blast gluing on all of the letter Cs. You can find all of Me & Marie’s letter packs here.  Just scroll down to Alphabet Learning Packs and click on the letters you want.  There’s lots of fun pages for each letter and I will definitely be working more of these pages into Cheyenne’s weekly lessons.

A few of the things we found  were her cup, a cd, chicken leg from her play food set, a candle, a coaster, her caterpillar she made just to name a few.

She loves doing her letter collages and this week she did cork painting on the uppercase C.

She put Cheerios on her lowercase c…at least the ones she didn’t eat.   🙂

Cheyenne came up to me one day and said she wanted to do a Halloween craft.  Off-hand, being the non-creative person that I am, I couldn’t think of anything related to Halloween that started with C so we did this cute Footprint Ghost.  She had a blast and it’s such a cute keepsake!!


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C is for Caterpillar Craft

This is C week and we are having a great time with all of our C activities!! Stay tuned this weekend for the recap of our C week.

But until then, I wanted to share our Caterpillar Craft we did today.

Items you will need:

egg carton – (I cut Cheyenne’s into a 3 section caterpillar)

pipe cleaners (we used 2)

2 googly eyes

paints and paintbrush

glue

black marker (to draw the mouth)

 

I started off cutting the egg carton in half and then in half again to make four 3-section caterpillars.  Then I let Cheyenne paint her caterpillar whatever color she wanted.  She chose blue…she is on a blue kick right now.  Anytime she paints, most of what she does is blue.

I did touch up a few spots that were deep crevasses that she couldn’t get, but I think she did a great job!!

Then we took a break and let it dry for a while.

This is the part where Mom is necessary.  Mom, take some scissors or other small pointy object and poke holes on top of the head for the antennae.  Then poke holes along the sides for the legs.  I cut two pieces of pipe cleaner for the antennae about 3 or 4 inches long.  Then I cut another pipe cleaner plus just a tad from another one into 8 pieces about 2 inches long.

I put a little blob of glue where the eyes would go and Cheyenne glued the eyes on.  Then she put the antennae through the holes on the head.  I bent the end that was inside the egg carton a little so they would stay in.  Then I drew a little mouth and nose on the face of her caterpillar.

Then she put the legs through the holes I had poked in the body of the caterpillar.

After I fixed the googly eye that went travelling, I bent the small end of the legs that was inside so they would stay in and I bent the bottom out just a little to look like feet.

I think it turned out pretty cute and she has been carrying it everywhere with her ever since.  They were sitting watching tv together a few minutes ago and when I asked her to put up her toys she had been playing with, she employed the caterpillar to help her.  Such a silly girl!

Let me know if you get a chance to try this!  I would love to see the beautiful creations of your little ones!   🙂


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B Week (or two)

We had to stretch “B Week” into two weeks due to Cheyenne coming down with a nasty cold.  My poor little angel was so snotty and congested and even woke up one day with no voice.  It took a couple of days to come back completely, but she seems to be better now with just a little congestion, but she is definitely back to her old self.  🙂  One thing about this girl is even when she’s sick, she doesn’t act sick.  She still tries to run, jump, play and have fun.  The only time she has ever really acted sick was when she got strep and was running 103-104* fever.

But due to her yucky cold, we took it easy for a few days, and when Sunday came around and she begged me to “go do preschool” I knew she was feeling better and ready to get back into it.

Here’s a recap of some of the things we did over these 2 weeks for “B Week”.

After saying the Pledge of Allegiance and doing our day of the week and weather charts, she started with her Butterfly coloring page.  She’s getting so good at coloring.  She holds the crayon the proper way and does really good at staying in the lines most of the time.

All of our pages here are from Confessions of a Homeschooler’s Letter of the Week curriculum unless otherwise noted.

She did several pre-writing pages and did very well. She is getting so much better at following the lines and she concentrates so hard.

B puzzle…she loves these puzzles! I laminate them and then cut them up into either 6 or 9 pieces and she loves putting them back together.  One thing we love about preschool at home is being able to go to school in our jammies!!

Pre-Writing numbers page.  There are several pre-writing pages in each week’s lessons and she is getting so good at following the lines and tracing the lines, letters and numbers. She did really well on these!

One of her favorites….the Bb Dot Page.  She loves it when I pull these out, because she knows the dot paints are coming out next!!  She loves doing the dot paints.

Upper/lower case sorting….she’s got upper and lower case down pat!!

While it had nothing to do with our B is for Butterfly week, this craft started out to be a tree that was going to be next to our Cut and Paste butterfly craft, but it kinda took a fall turn and Cheyenne put leaves and pumpkins all over and we didn’t have room for the butterfly, so we did it after this.  You can read all about her Fall Scene Craft here.

Here’s the butterfly craft we originally planned to do.  I cut some green construction paper to resemble grass and Cheyenne glued it onto the blue background.  Then I drew a slightly better tree, (since I didn’t put any branches on it) and decided to use Cheyenne’s handprint as the leaves.  It turned out pretty cute. Then Cheyenne glued her butterfly on the paper and was so excited!!

She really loves the Poke pages.  We didn’t get a chance to do the poke page during “A week” but we did this week and Cheyenne loved it! She sat down on the floor with her paper and toothpick and poked the toothpick through the paper on the lines of the upper and lower case B.

Color and upper/lower case matching.  She loves these little puzzles in each week’s lessons.  I just have to say how much I love this little face.  She is finally starting to give me a regular smile when I take her picture instead of the scrunched up face smile.  While the scrunched up face smile is adorable, I’m glad she’s giving me genuine smiles too!

This week, she really enjoyed the magnet page.  I made her some magnet gems, and she totally loved this.  She did this for quite a while and then did some free play with the magnets on the cookie sheet by themselves.

There were a few days when she had her cold that she didn’t seem interested in preschool so I didn’t push it and just tried to get her to relax and take it easy, which, let me tell you is not easy to get a 3 year old to do.  So to sort of stay with the B theme, she played with her blue playdough and made several creations.

We forgot to do her Letter Collage for Letter A so we will have to go back and do that one during review week, but we finished up B week today by doing her B collages.  She put Band-Aids on her upper case B and buttons on her lower case b. She did so well with very little help and had such a good time, she kept saying “More B pages!!” I think she’s really going to like doing her collages every week. We are going to put them all in a notebook and she’ll have an alphabet book as a keepsake.  These collage letters are also from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  The upper case can be found here, and the lower case can be found here.

We ended our “B Week” by having a “B” lunch.  I fixed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches shaped like the letter B, cheese shaped like the letter B and also some bananas.

She loves her “Letter Lunches” at the end of each lesson!!

Despite Cheyenne being sick for a few days, we had a great couple of weeks working on the letter B!

Cheyenne will be starting a Mother’s Day Out program next week so our preschool routine may have to change up a little on the days she goes to that, but I think it will be great!!  🙂


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Magnet Gems…a big hit!!

I’ve seen these on a few of the preschool sites that I follow and thought it was a great idea, so I made some for Cheyenne!!  Enter Magnet Gems!! They are just simply a bag of the colored gems you can get from the dollar store.  They are the ones that are flat on the bottom and rounded on top.  I had some magnetic strips, so I just cut those into little squares and stuck them on the back.

You can also hot glue them, but I just stuck them on for now and if I have a problem with them coming off, I will dig out my hot glue gun and glue them on.

When I went to the dollar store, they were out of the smaller gems, so I got the larger ones and I couldn’t picture the size of the dots on our magnet pages, but it turns out these are a little big. They still work, they are just pretty crowded, so I will be going back or going to another dollar store to get some of the smaller ones.

Here she is working on her Letter B Magnet page from Confessions of a Homeschooler’s Letter of the Week Curriculum.

These can still be used for lots of other things like free play on the cookie sheet, which she loved!   She loves just being able to do her own thing.  This little girl is very strong willed and loves to do things her way!  🙂   We did make some letters and numbers with the gems on the cookie sheet, but I didn’t get any pictures of that.  She liked just moving them around and trying to make things by herself.

Give them a try!! Cheyenne loves them!! 🙂


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Our First Week (and a half) of Preschool – Letter A

Our first week of preschool sort of got extended into this week as well. Since Cheyenne is so used to having free time most of the time when it’s not meal time, nap time, or bedtime, it has been difficult getting in the groove of things and getting her to realize that she needs to listen and follow directions even though she is so excited and asks to “go do preschool” every morning. So we have stretched our A week into this week and we are about done with the Letter A, although we may do a couple more arts and craft activities if we can manage it.

I do have to say that I am extremely proud of her because in just one week, she has learned the Pledge of Allegiance.  I would have her repeat a few words at a time, then I realized she was putting phrases together without my assistance and then the other day, I heard her (while she was supposed to be taking a nap) laying in her bed reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.  I was amazed!!

Here’s a peek at some of what we did this week for Letter A…..

She traced the Letter A.

She cut out some apples for her apple tree craft.  She’s concentrating so hard!  She loves cutting.

She was really excited about her apple puzzle!  She did this in no time!

She glued her apples to her tree and created a beautiful apple tree!

She did some shape matching and did a great job! This girl knows her shapes. We talked about each shape as she matched them up and named a few things that were each shape.

She was so proud of her upper/lowercase matching!

Pre-writing pages went well.  She obviously needs more work, but she did pretty well considering she’s only done it a couple of times.

Size sorting was a breeze!!

I think her favorite part, other than the cutting and gluing, was the dot paints! She loves to do dot paints!

Pattern matching is no problemo!!

For lunch yesterday, I made her an “A” lunch.  She got 2 letter A peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (the A cookie cutter we have is really small), some letter A cheese and since that was all of the A items I had on hand for this impromptu A lunch, she had some pita chips and vanilla yogurt with red sugar sprinkles.  That was really special, because I have never embellished her yogurt before so she thought that was really cool!

Here she is working on a mosaic puzzle that I picked up at Target Dollar Bins a while back for $1.00.  Every time you put it together, it creates a different picture.  She had fun matching up the same colored triangles to make solid squares as well as mixing up the colors to make cool designs. We talked about how each shape is a triangle, and when two triangles are put together, they make a square.  This will definitely be a fun part of preschool that she will want to do over and over again!

Even though our first week was more like a week and a half, we had fun and I think we are starting to get into more of a routine and as we get more comfortable, I will begin adding more things to do, games to play and crafts.

All of the above activities, except for the mosaic puzzle are from Confessions of a Homeschooler’s Letter of the Week Curriculum.

On a personal note:   I am struggling right now as far as sharing our preschool adventure and daily life.  I’m thinking about posting about our week either on the weekend or the following Monday after our week is over. I’ve also entertained the thought of posting about each day’s activities.  If I post weekly about the preschool aspect, then I can post other days about our playdates, extra arts and crafts and any recipes or any other fun or interesting topics I might want to share.

I would love to hear your thoughts or suggestions, so leave me a comment and let me know what you think!


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First Day of Preschool!!

We started preschool this morning and Cheyenne was so excited!

I went back to her room and got everything set up by writing 1st Day of Preschool and the date on the whiteboard.  I also put a small board book on her table titled Grover’s First Day of School.

We are taking it sort of slow this week, to establish a routine slowly.  Cheyenne, like most kids, responds better to a schedule and routine, but she is used to a very basic schedule where other than when she is eating or sleeping, she pretty much has free play.  I know she will adjust in time to a new routine but she doesn’t do well with sudden change.  If she is eased into it, she responds a lot better.

We are using the Letter of the Week curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I really like this curriculum and love that it comes with the lesson plans for each letter which you can use, or you can do it in your own way.  It is a 26 week program full of activities that focus on letter recognition, sounds, number recognition, counting, basic math skills, pre-writing practice, and all the necessary fine-motor skills to prepare for kindergarten.

The first thing we did was say our Pledge of Allegiance. Cheyenne loves saying it and is getting very good at it and can say almost the entire second half by herself.  Then she sang the Alphabet song alone as she insisted she doesn’t need any help and can do it by herself.  You gotta love the 3 year old independence.  🙂

Then she did her Day of the Week chart and Weather chart from the Letter of the Week curriculum.

Then Cheyenne did a little coloring on her A page and I was amazed that she corrected her grip on her own. She is learning to hold her crayon/pen/pencil correctly now and she is really beginning to color well.  She had me color one of the apples and I showed her how to color in the whole apple not leaving any white.  The next one she colored, she kept saying “Oh, I’ve got to get this part, there’s still some white.”  What a cutie!

Then we did our number cards.  I laid them out in a line and called out a number and she would hop to that number.  It was so fun for her and being as she was hopping to each number, got her a little physical activity as well.

Then we took a break for a while to go to a playdate with a couple of our friends at Jumpstreet, our new favorite place.  It is an indoor trampoline park that has a section for ages 7 & under, but now that school is back in, all of the kids were under 5 and it wasn’t crowded at all.  Cheyenne loves this place and for $4.00 all day, can’t be beat for extreme fun for the little ones at an affordable price.

Then it was time to come home for lunch and a nap.

Tomorrow we will do a little more work since we don’t have a playdate, plus we will be trying to make up for Monday being a holiday.

All in all, Cheyenne had a great first day of preschool and I am so excited about this new journey we find ourselves on.