STEAM · story · topic · writing


Who doesn’t love to build sandcastles? Here are some great sandcastle books

Super Sandcastle Saturday by Stuart J. Murphy (read by Stuart J. Murphy) -this story works on measurement

How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk -this story talks about taking a problem and breaking it down into specific steps

Now let’s watch SciShow Kids explain how to build a perfect sandcastle.

Now, if you live near a place that has sand, go build your own sandcastle.

Don’t have sand nearby? No problem!! Build a castle out of blocks, rocks, Lego blocks, or other items you have at home.

When you finish your castle, measure your castle. You can use standard and/or non-standard forms of measurement. The draw a picture of your castle and include the measurements in your drawing. After, write a story about what is happening in your castle. Who lives there? What adventures occur inside?

STEAM · story · teaching thoughts · writing


On your spring walk yesterday, did you see any birds? I know there are a lot of birds back in my yard. One bird that has come back from their winter migration is the robin. Robins are often considered a sign of spring’s return. Let’s listen to the story Robin, Songbirds of Spring by Mia Posada. Now, lets see some video about robins while we learn a bit more at FreeSchool’s All About Robins.

I hope you learned a little more about robins.

If today is a nice day where you live, go outside and count how many robins you can find. Or watch from a window. Maybe even put out bits of fruits for the robins to eat.

Maybe you want to do a loose parts project and build your own nest? Think about the items that a bird has access to and use those to construct your own nest. Can you manipulate the twigs, grasses and other natural items to form into a fit and sturdy nest?

Later when you go back inside, draw a picture of one of the robin activities you did outside.

Why do we encourage loose parts projects? Loose parts can be any materials that do not have to be used in a specific way. These can include natural items you find outside, building blocks (including Lego), bottle caps, chenille stems, clothes pins, paper clips, paper, and the list goes on and on and on. Ok… but why? Loose part play provides your child with open ended materials and an idea (the idea isn’t necessary) and then encourages them to use their imagination and creativity to manipulate the materials for play, crafts, creations and so much more. It gives the children the freedom to be open and think of items in different ways.

family activity · letter of the day · STEAM · story

Letter of the day- Gg

I spent a while today trying to decide on a Gg topic. I thought about goop, geometry and finally decided to get you outside in the garden! Children love to get outside and play in dirt, so why not teach them to garden. Here is a link to items that can be planted from the scraps in your kitchen. When I lived in Florida, we grew pineapples from the tops of pineapples all the time, it takes 2 years to get a new one, but my sons always enjoyed the process. After watching this time lapse on growing a tomato plant from a tomato slice, I want to go do it myself. Oh and one other huge benefit of getting children out in the garden… they love to taste the foods they grew, and fresh from the garden tastes so much better now.

Jack Hartmann Gg song

Printing Gg

Capital G- start like a capital C, keep going up a bit more, go in, go out

lowercase g- start like a lowercase c. go up just past the curve, go downnn past the c and then curve to the left

Today’s activities: Garden!

Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn

Up in the Garden, Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner

How Does a Seed Become a Plant from SciShow Kids

pothos plant rooting

Plant a real plant… flower, fruit, vegetable… your choice. Here is a picture of a plant I am growing from a pothos plant. This is a cutting from a pothos plant that is growing very happily in my son’s room. Many plants you can put into water and they will reroot itself. Another great plant for this is spider plants. Have your child measure the plant’s growth and record it in a log.

Some items you can try growing at home: beans, grass seeds, sunflower seeds– not roasted, pumpkins

loose parts flower

Loose parts plants. Have your child use loose parts to create a flower or other kind of plants. Loose parts can be pretty much anything outside (rocks, sticks, grass etc) or inside (pipe cleaners, Lego, bottle caps, bread tags, toothpicks, anything else that you find around). The concept of loose parts is to take random items and use them in an unconventional, or different way, to create a specific item or whatever your child imagines on his/her own.

sunflowers planted by leftover bird seeds

Take a walk around your home or neighborhood and look at all the different types of plants. Look in your fridge and find various fruits and vegetables that are different types of plants. Can you eat a whole plant? Yes! roots- carrots, stem- celery, leaves- lettuce/spinach, flower- broccoli/cauliflower, seeds- peas/corn.

Hope you enjoy getting out into the garden with your kiddo.

game · letter work · STEAM · word work

word work Wednesday- lowercase letter practice

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I strongly believe in the importance of children recognizing, writing and matching the sound to lowercase letters. You can read about this here. Playing games with the alphabet makes it more enjoyable and helps your child build fluency.

Children need to be able to quickly recognize the letter by name and sound. Just as later on it is important for children to master sight words, phonemic blending and vocabulary in order to read fluently, they also need to master letter recognition and phoneme matching. So, this means keep playing games with those letters until your child is able to confidently and quickly name the letter and the sound it makes!

Here are a few fun games.

This first game can be played indoors or out…

It’s raining letters!

Create a collection of letters (magnetic letters, letter cards, flash cards, post it notes… doesn’t matter). Put all the letters in a bunch, when I play this in the classroom we use magnetic letter and I put them on a plate. Now toss all the letters up into the air and let them fall down. Now find the letters. In the classroom we do this by having each child pick a few and then we put the letters into alphabetical order. At home, you could call out a letter name and have your child go find that letter. If you have multiple children, or are playing yourself, you could have the children find as many letters as they can, but they can only keep the letter if they know the letter’s name.

Chalk Alphabet Fun

chalk letters

Want to get outside and use some chalk? This is a great medium to practice letter writing. Have your child write his/her name. Pick 3-5 letters and have him/her write the capital and lowercase letters. Play hopscotch, but put letters instead of numbers. Create an alphabet caterpillar. So many fun ways to play with letter writing and chalk

If you do not want the letters to sat on your walk… play another game. Give your child a paint brush and water, a hose or even a squirt gun. Ok now tell them a letter and have them squirt the letter until it is gone!

rock alphabet letters

Here is one more fun outside alphabet activity. Have your child recreate the letters using natural object. They could use rocks, sticks, grass, or any other items they find outside. This is part of loose parts learning. In the loose parts learning philosophy, you provide children with bits of this and that and let them create their own expression. This can be done with natural items, Lego blocks, bottle caps, pipe cleaners, or any other item that can be used in a variety of ways. Loose parts is open ended and allows your child to use their imagination to show what they know.

And just in case you are stuck inside with rain or need your child to plug in for a bit… here is a fun bubble alphabet game.