Winter Fun Plans

I am not going all out for winter like I did for Christmas, but I have been browsing around a bit to gather some special ideas to make the snowy season fun for my children.  There won’t be any fancy lesson plans or anything, so I thought I would share a few places I have found some great ideas online so far.  I am going to minimize how much I print/laminate to keep things simple, since we really need to be focused on our main curriculum starting next week.  I do plan to add a few fun winter activities in throughout the season!

Here are my favorite finds for WINTER FUN, including a few of my own so I don’t forget that I already have stuff!  It’s amazing how I can forget my own stuff from year to year!

Confessions of a Homeschooler’s letter S unit features snowmen!image

 

Spell Out Loud has an awesome Snowman Trinity Squidoo Lens filled with great ideas…image

 

Totally Tots did a winter theme last year and has blog posts featuring all sorts of fun winter ideas.

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I have a Winter Fun Tot Pack

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Do you have fun winter themed ideas for tots, preschoolers or young elementary aged children on your blog/website?  If so, please leave a link in a comment below!

Winter Wonders is Complete!

If you missed my first post about Download n Go, you can read it here

Pac Man finally completed his Winter Wonders Download n Go unit!  It took us a lot longer than it should have, I actually think they all will. I am glad I didn’t order the full year all at once!  It has taken me even longer to write this update post (he actually finished WW a few weeks ago, I am just now getting around to sharing)

My thoughts after completing an entire unit…

  • Pac Man loved it!  He loved the layout, the various activities, and the things we learned about.  I was right in thinking that this type of thing would be perfect for him, it was!
  • Other than preparing the notebook ahead of time (which was a bit time consuming), there was little for me to do as we worked through it.  Getting the links opened up on the computer each morning was the biggest thing.
  • Speaking of links…we enjoyed the many You Tube videos, however…watch out for the ads that display on the sidebars before you launch the site in front of your child.  Most of the ads are harmless, but I did get one that popped up that bothered me.  Thankfully Pac Man wasn’t sitting with me (I open all of the links for the day in tabs before school so we can just click on the tabs as we work through the book).
  • Some days were more in depth than others, we ended up not doing 1 day at a time, just working through on our own timeline.  I still liked it divided into the 5 days though, it helped me see where we were in the study.
  • We did most, but not all, of the pages and lapbooking items included.  You could easily skip the entire lapbooking portion of this and still have fun and learn a ton.
  • Overall Pac Man reviewed many things and learned many new things.  We loved learning about the Iditarod, different animals, and the history of hot chocolate!  There were many learning opportunities presented that I would have never thought of on my own.  I loved how diverse it was, so did Pac.
  • My final thoughts at this point…definitely glad I ordered these.  They do take much more time than I realized, but that’s ok-we’ll just spread out the activities more.  I am really excited to learn new things right along with him!!!

We did not enjoy the Valentine’s unit as much-it was too much about LOVE for his taste ;-). His favorite was making thumbprint hearts…as many as his age 7 1/2.  He thought it was hilarious that he made half of a heart ;-).IMG_0532

We are currently working on the Amelia Earhart unit and both loving it!  it is very in depth so far and the first day of activities took us a whole week to complete!  Today we learned how an airplane flies and I learned something new right along with him, I Love that about homeschooling-I am so much smarter than I ever was before!

Tot School

~Krash is currently 44 months old~

Learning Toys

I only managed to snap one photo of the many learning toys Krash played with this past week! Here he is playing with his Brainy Baby 3 piece animal puzzles, yes sitting in the Bumbo…isn’t that where your 3 1/2 year old sits? IMG_9800

 

Theme

In honor of our winter theme, I put together a fun basket of “snow” for Krash to dig through and find all of the ABCs for his puzzle. {thanks Tot Play for the idea!}IMG_9785

My well-planned activity soon turned into a fun “snowball” fight. There was “snow” all over and stuck in the rug afterward…lovely.IMG_9792

We played a counting game, using a snowman board with 10 circles on it. He drew a card {same as we used last week}, then had to count out that many colored chips on the card {again thanks Tot Play for the idea}IMG_9806

A few non-action shots, both items from our Winter Tot Pack. The first is the Snowflakes in Shapes mini book, although I left the pages separate as I introduced it to K.IMG_0195This sheet is the blank page I provided with the snowman set. I am working with K on identifying lowercase letters so I wrote them on the blank grid and had him find them with his colored chips. You can see through those chips so it was cool, he can put it right on top of the letter and still see it. IMG_0192

 

 

Post SubTitles ABC

We are almost done! Yy is for yellow, and I made it very simple 😉 I found yellow smiley sticker and let him go at it. We then glued the Y to yellow paper!IMG_9897

He played with his various letter Y items in the basket, here he is matching the magnetic Y to our Alphabet poster (got ours at Dollar Tree, but here’s a neat set online)…IMG_9902

We haven’t been using Leapfrog Letter Factory as much, so I brought it back out for K this past week. Lil Ladybug sat in on it too ;-).IMG_9867

 

Tiny Tot SchoolLadybug is almost 9 1/2 months old now and is very interested in what we are doing. I have been intentionally sitting her in with us and giving her items to explore that she otherwise wouldn’t have. The main goal in exposing Ladybug at this young age is mostly to different textures, sounds, and other sensory experiences. Cause and effect is a big thing too, as she learns what happens when she does things.

She loved playing with the cotton balls…IMG_9786

I piled all of our bean bags on her lap just to see what she would do. She had fun for a long time, feeling them, throwing them around and yelling with them! IMG_9825

She wasn’t too fond of the abacus. I sat with her while she explored how it felt and it seemed to freak her out a little bit! IMG_9875

She loved the musical instruments and sat and explored these two for quite awhile! IMG_9882

 

Life School

A little “war”…IMG_9804A little Wii {teamwork at it’s finest-rock climbing on Outdoor Challenge} IMG_9889Some friendly competition… IMG_9894

 


Moms Favorite

Snuggling with Daddy watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs {a current FAVORITE around here}.IMG_0187

 

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Raising Rock Stars ~ Snowflakes

We began our evening with Daddy reading The Tiny Snowflake to the kids.  Ladybug was really into the story and was grabbing at the book the whole time!  Thankfully Krash had heard the story before because he wasn’t having any of it.  It was an evening of discipline training for him-he was a bit out of control (which led to me feeling way out of control by the time all was said and done).  😉IMG_9760

The purpose of our time was to emphasize that God made snowflakes just like he made people and that we are special to God and also very unique.  We used an awesome lesson from Danielle’s Place to illustrate what it feels like to be blown around just like a snowflake and to know that God is always with us no matter where we may blow. 

 

After the story and the lesson I surprised Krash with a special mini book made in honor of the book, The Tiny SnowflakeSnowflakes are Special2He really enjoyed the last page! 😉Winter33

 

After the book, we moved on to a snowflake matching activity I made.  I made a simple colored version for K and a black and white version for Pac Man.  Pac happily completed his and K gave us a bit of attitude which you can see clearly displayed on his lovely face below. IMG_9764

 

Finally we moved on to our craft, which was a poem also found on Danielle’s Place.  We made our own snowflakes to glue to the poem.IMG_9773

I helped Krash with his, and he loved it!IMG_9771

He loved cutting up the sample snowflake even more though.IMG_9775

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I must admit, when this evening was over I was so thankful.  Krash was a handful to say the least.  Even Ladybug was out of sorts and spent her time “yelling” loudly.  She was mostly happy, just way louder than she normally is!!  I had spent much of Sunday planning for our evening (as I usually do), and I found myself feeling very discouraged.  My husband was great and he built me up and gave me wonderful words of encouragement.  I also reflected, prayed, and remembered that even if the kids hate the activities, or it seems a waste of time, what we are really doing is Raising Rock Stars! The simple routine of doing this every Sunday night speaks volumes into their little hearts.  It’s not about the lesson, it’s not about the crafts, it’s about Mommy and Daddy showing the kiddos that God comes first and HE deserves family time focused on HIM.  So, after much prayer and reflection, I realized that even though the night seemed like a failure to me, it was a success to HIM and that’s what matters most!

Resources used this week:

Visit the Raising Rock Stars Webpage to download your own notebook pages and to see links to previous Rock Stars posts!

Tot School ~ Winter!

~Krash is currently 44 months old~

Learning Toys/Trays

We finally had a pretty normal school week! Krash got a “new” desk for school! This was Pac Man’s little desk (it is from Ikea), he has had it since he was 3. It used to be upstairs and then it dawned on me that K really needed his own work space so I moved it downstairs! IMG_9220

We worked on drawing people… IMG_9226

He played a lot with his peg set, I gave him some colored straws to match up to the correct peg holes. He really liked this! IMG_9262

Got him a new shape/color puzzle form the dollar section at Target (last week)… IMG_9002

He played several days with his Automoblox… IMG_9104

He did all of these, this is the first time he has completed these-usually he complains! IMG_9134

 


Theme ~ Winter

We had fun doing some various winter activities. I was inspired from Jolanthe’s post on Totally Tots to read The Mitten and do some activities with Krash. He really liked reenacting the story by putting each animal into the mitten(links for the patterns are on TT)…IMG_9159 He dot-painted this M is for Mitten sheet…IMG_9127

I made him a snowman board with different shaped buttons to put on the snowman. We took turns closing our eyes and putting different amounts and shapes on. He had to count them for me, tell me the color and the shape. (This will be a part of the new Winter Tot Pack coming soon!).IMG_9231

We used Erica’s great snowman number cards for counting and number id practice. One day we just lined them up one at a time, counting one further each time we laid a new one down. IMG_9135

Then one day we played with just 1-5 and did various physical activities with them. Here he is going to get the number I called out to him.IMG_9233This is the first time I ever asked him to do pre-writing practice and he did GREAT, I was blown away! We will certainly be doing more of this! We used Erica’s cards (laminated them to do again and again).IMG_9139

 

 

 

 

Life {FUN} School

Krash is quite the little Daddy to Ladybug’s baby doll! IMG_9089

Ladybug also got this adorable stroller walker and Krash really likes it! IMG_9092

Krash helped me sort Ladybug’s cloth wipesIMG_9071

 


Mommy’s Favorites

This is how K looked a majority of the week. He wore it all day, slept in it, and even wore it out to dinner with Daddy on Friday night. 😉 He said he needed to wear it because he “needed to save all the peoples.”IMG_9172

Swamp Smoothie Face 😉 IMG_9154