Thursday, February 6, 2014

H is for Horse (Farm Week 3)

This was our final week of farm themes.  I put together a small sensory bin for Ezekiel for our horse theme.  It ended up looking a bit empty because I didn't have quite enough coconut, but shredded coconut isn't available in packages here.  I usually buy a dried coconut or two in the store and then have to shred it myself.  I usually discard the outer skin-like layer, but it seemed perfect to dye that and use it, so that is what I used for the base, and I couldn't bring myself to shred a ton more for it.  
 Ezekiel didn't seem to mind at all and jumped in with his bin to play.

I used some of the local "chocolate brown" food coloring to make some playdough for the bin, and it turned into this disgusting greenish brown color that I can't imagine being appetizing for any type of food!  But, for our play bin, it worked just fine and didn't seem to bother Zeke at all.  In fact, he thought I had tried to make it green just for him since that is his favorite color!

Isaiah had playdough in one of his bins to use for letter practice this week, but I forget too often how much he just enjoys playing with it, so I let him just play for awhile.
 On another day, he used his playdough to make a horse.

 Zeke really wants to do "big kid" stuff a lot of times for school, and if Isaiah is doing something, he wants in on it, which is ironic since Isaiah usually wants in on whatever "Tot School" stuff I have for Zeke!  As soon as Zeke saw Isaiah cutting, he wanted to pull out his scissors and cut.  He doesn't really do much cutting of actual lines or objects yet but is content with making fringe around whatever paper he is given.

 We have a phonetic alphabet song that goes with our curriculum, and my friend Lizzy made a little printable so that we'd have an image for each letter's object.  I don't do the song very often since Isaiah already knows all of his letters and sounds, but Zeke actually frequently requests to pull out our (broken) finger pointer and sing the song.

One of the activities for Isaiah's work was a few farm animals to cut out, glue onto popsicle sticks to make stick puppets, and then sing Old MacDonald.  Isaiah happily colored and cut them and sang the song once, but they weren't something he wanted to use again, so I put them in Zeke's bin, and he would request to sing "E-O-E-O" almost every single day.  Here, I pulled up a version of the song on youtube, and on his own, he would hold up the stick puppet of the animal they were singing.  He was very focused on it!

One of the activities I had been so excited to try with Ezekiel during our farm unit was from this post at Hands on as We Grow.  I didn't end up getting it ready until part-way through our third (and final) week, and we had to adjust some to fit what we had, but it was fun.  We had a couple tractors but no wagons, so we built a couple of wagons out of legos and attached them with some twisty-ties.  I also didn't have enough jars with lids (though Zeke would have really liked taking lids off and putting them on), so I decided to just label some of the toilet paper tubes I had stored up and set them out to be our grain "silos."  I had a large green felt mat, so I set it all up like this for Zeke to find when he came to the school room.  (Those are black beans set out for to "harvest.")

Ezekiel is getting really good at counting out loud, but he still gets impatient with one-to-one correspondence to count objects.  He did a few times of counting with me to put in the silos, but they just didn't look "full," so he wanted to just dump beans into the silos.

It did frustrate him a little as the tubes would get full, and then if he pushed them a bit while filling, the beans would spill out the bottom, so he decided to pick it up and block the bottom with his hand while he filled it.

 Then, he decided to try stacking them...

 And, he wanted me to hold them together in a stack while he dumped beans in the stack and watched them go to the bottom.

Finally, he would scoop some into his silo and dump them into the wagon.  It's really fun to see his little mind work and explore and play with things in a way I never think of.

 Of course, big brother could hardly contain himself to jump in on the fun, so after he finished some of his work (and Zeke had had some time and space to explore), he jumped in with his tractor and lego wagon, and they had some fun playing together.

For our painting activity this week, the intent was just to listen to our classical song from the curriculum and paint abstract lines to match the feeling and movement of the song.  Sometimes there are activities that bring out the very distinct differences in my boys' personalities in a way that just kind of makes me laugh.

  Zeke jumped right in and was thrilled to just paint all over the paper and turn the water different colors (usually getting to brown) with his paints.

Isaiah, on the other hand, insisted on having a pencil to draw the farm animals he wanted in his picture in exact detail before he would even pick up his paint brush.  I kept trying to encourage him to just paint, but he had a very specific vision for a project he wanted to make, and he needed it to be just right!

They are quite the pair, my boys!  It is really fun to get to see all of the ways they are learning and growing and exploring!


  1. It is such fun to watch their personalities come out as they learn. It is wonderful to share in the process.