## Saturday, October 31, 2015

Mavi didn’t like math.  When he was around 5yrs old, he would rather read books than work with math.  He’s excuse would always be “I’m tired” or “it’s difficult”.  I can truly understand him though. I didn’t enjoy math when I was younger.  Until I stepped into secondary school and discovered why we need math.

So instead of forcing him to solve arithmetic problems and giving him number activities, I exposed him to real life problems so he can appreciate math.  I made him understand WHY WE NEED TO LEARN NUMBERS AND MATH.  We would go to the groceries and count our items all together, doing addition and subtraction in between.  Of course, he’s not aware we’re doing math, all he knows is that he’s helping Mommy do some groceries.  At home, I secretly incorporate addition and subtraction by counting his missing pens, his toys and how many books he has read.

He loves the real life math! He can’t stand arithmetic problems but he enjoys real life problems.  So what I did was create a bunch of colorful cards for us to work on, making sure there’s pictures (and we mostly use counters as well) to make it attractive.  In the problems, I used his friends’ name so he’ll like it, and of course he finds it funny!  He kept asking for more, more questions as he liked solving the problems.    And that was the game changer.

Through these problem solving cards, he was able to appreciate math, and could now understand why he needs to practice arithmetic.  He loves to solve math problems these days  on his own and still loves solving problems.

So I created these problem solving cards for Pre-K students.  It contains:

• 1 step problem solving for addition and subtraction
• 12 unique questions for addition within 10 (with pictures)
• 12 unique questions for subtraction within 10 (with pictures)
• 12 fill-in questions for addition to let the parents change the numbers for more practice (for advanced students, based on the questions with pictures).  You can use counters for this.
• 12 fill-in questions for subtraction to let the parents change the numbers for more practice (for advanced students, based on the questions with pictures).  You can use counters for this.

Mavi worked on these cards when he was 5-6yrs old.  Though this is intended for 5-6yrs old children, older or younger kids can still use the cards as a practice material. Hope you like it and find it useful like we do.  Thanks!

## Friday, October 30, 2015

On how we used this learning material, click here or the image below.  Enjoy!

## Wednesday, October 28, 2015

We are continuing on our study of animal identification and learning more about their characteristics.  After watching Deadly 60 series of Steve Backshall, we discovered that you can also identify animals by the tracks they make!   So we used our favourite Schleich animal figures to test this.  We randomly dipped the animals in the black paint and freely made tracks. Vito’s helping as well!

The tracks and trails an animal leaves can tell us the type of animals it is and whether it was walking or running, and you can also tell if it was by itself or with a group of other animals.

Footprints of animals are very tricky to identify unlike that of humans! But by thorough investigation, you can tell if the animal is hoofed or with paws or toes.  To learn about the footprints of these animals, one must have a proper observation for these unique characteristics.

Animal tracks to note:

• Did the animals walk on 2 or 4 feet?
• Does the animal left a large or small track?
• Was it walking or running?
• Was it just one animal or followed by another?

Using our printable and the actual tracks, Mavi grouped the animals according to the characteristics of their footprints:

• Raccoon and bear have 4 toes front and 5 toes rear, they have claws.
• Dog, fox and wolf have 4 toes front, 5 toes rear and produces an egg shaped track
• Lion, lynx produces a round track with claws, 4 toes front and 5 toes rear
• Deer, elk have heart shaped tracks and has 4 toes front and 5 toes rear

And the highlight of this lesson is for them to see how their footprints look like!

Materials Used:

Thank you for taking time to read this post!  You might as well visit our Zoo Animal Tracks post for another activity that involves playdough. It’s a not as messy as black paint

Don’t forget to PIN for later!

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Learning About Caves from Natural Beach Living
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## Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I love nuts! We’ve got plenty around the house, thus I decided to come up with activities for Vito since he’s been seeing them around the house and loves to play with my walnuts.

Letter N Object Basket.  Reinforce literacy, letter ‘n’ symbol and phonics,  vocabulary, and verbal skills.  In the basket we have: nine, upper and lowercase N/n, necktie, DIY sandpaper ‘n’, nuts.

Hammering Peanuts.  This is a practical life activity that develops hand and eye coordination, and develop those hand and arm muscles.  I first set it up in a tray, but the peanuts were slipping so I had to put cling film to hold them. Vito loves physical activities so he enjoyed this. The only drawback is that the hammer that we used were so tiny

Letter N Craft.  I always make sure to include crafts in our weekly activities.  My main goal here is for Vito to practice his manual dexterity like squeezing the glue, picking up small objects or pencils.  Now that he’s familiar with glue, I gave him a glue with small opening for him to squeeze it.

Here he is applying peanut shells on the letter N. Improves pincer grasp through picking up small objects.  Note to parents: always supervise your children when dealing with small objects.

Color Green. I’m introducing letter green this week.  I gathered a few objects from his toys and place them all in a basket.

And we painted green in an A3 paper.  Working with one color a week works for him.

When they dried up, we place them on the wall for everyday viewing.

Nut Matching. For visual discrimination (difference in objects), widen vocabulary and concentration.

Counting Walnuts.  Builds early number and counting skills.

Forming Shapes using Nuts.  Teaches shapes, fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination. This is Vito’s idea!  I made a circle using the walnuts then he took the circle puzzle and place it in the middle, matching them together. Brilliant!  We practice some more by drawing shapes on a piece of paper and he would trace the line using the peanut shells to form the shape. He enjoyed it!

And that’s about it! And what I happened to the nuts? I’m still consuming them LOL.

And you might as well PIN this post for future reference.

## Saturday, October 24, 2015

Mavi and I got the chance to work on some experiments last weekend due to bad weather.  First we started off with a simple test of which substance dissolves in water.

## Objectives:

• Discovering which substance dissolves in water
• Why the said substance dissolves faster in water

## Materials needed:

• salt, sugar, flour, chalk powder
• 4 bottles of water
• teaspoon
• stirrer

## Procedure:

Findings:
1. Salt and sugar easily dissolved in water after stirring.  They have grainy texture and are crystalline thus making it more soluble in water.
2. Flour and chalk powder partially dissolved, most of the powdered portion resided at the bottom of the bottles.  They have powdery and dry texture, thus making it hard to dissolve in water.
FOR OLDER KIDS
Now, for older children who can grasp complex explanation… I prepared a visual and hands-on demonstration for Mavi to understand how the substance are more soluble, partially soluble and insoluble.  Make sure though that when you try to discuss this with your kids, he/she is already familiar with the elements in the periodic table and can understand what “attraction” means, similar to the concept of magnetism.  The link I provided is the one where I introduced the Periodic Table to Mavi in a fun and interesting way.

Anyway, here’s how the chemicals of the substance interact to water when mixed.

SOLUBLE SUBSTANCE
I used plasticine to demonstrate the chemical composition of salt and water to Mavi.
Salt is composed of: sodium (Na+) in green  and chloride (Cl-) in purple.
Water is made up of H2O, hydrogen (H+) in white and oxygen (O-) in red.
When mixed with water, the salt molecules are easily “attracted” to the water molecules.   It’s like the positive and negative attraction in magnetism (polarity).  Thus, sodium (Na+) is attracted to oxygen (O-), while chloride (Cl-) is heavily attracted to the two positively charged hydrogen (H+).
Because of the strong attraction between molecules in the two substances, salt is easily dissolved in water.

PARTIALLY SOLUBLE
For partially soluble substances, the molecules that made up the flour or chalk have weak attractions with the molecules of the water.  Thus some have dissolved but most of it didn’t and the result are the residues found at the bottom of the bottles.

INSOLUBLE SUBSTANCE
For insoluble substances (don’t dissolve in water) like oil, the molecular contents are NOT attracted to water.  This means they do not mix with water and if you combine them, you will definitely see the separation.

Though some advanced students can explain that this is because oil is a non-polar substance and can only be dissolved with another non-polar substance, the way I explained it to Mavi is that oil molecules are just so heavy that water molecules can’t “bond” with it.

This was a fantastic activity for both Mavi and I.  More experiments coming up!
And you might as well PIN this for reference. Thank you!

## Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Mavi can’t get enough of these facts cards from my Nutshell Geography series! He wants us to play this when in the car, or when we're walking home.  I would ask him a questions based on the facts and he’s going to tell me the continent or the country it’s connected to.  We developed a scheme of giving him 3 clues (mostly letters from the answers) and I am PROBIHIBITED to give the answer. It’s amazing how both Mavi and I enjoyed it.  So happy that we found a new way to use these cards!

These cards are from:

## Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I love unplanned activities.  Mavi would always resort to this activity whenever he’s bored on Fridays (swimming lessons were moved to Saturdays).  I like that he can do this activity independently, while learning the important characters of animals that belong in each group.

I believe that it is important for the child to have a clear and defined idea of the classes in the animal kingdom and its division.  What’s important to me is to have him gain the knowledge through this activity rather than reading and memorizing the difference in the books.

## Monday, October 19, 2015

Vito is 23 months old.

After, the zoo, farm animals and parts of the body, I decided to do a fruit unit for this little boy as he loves to name fruits whenever we are in the supermarket.  I like to come up with themed activities as it helps the child to expand their knowledge of certain objects and occasions, practice communication skills and improve their vocabulary.

Beginning Sounds. We’re using Hape Lowercase Puzzle.

Apple Prints. Color recognition and sensorial activity.

Bagging Fruits. A practical life activity that develops hand/eye coordination, concentration plus helping Mommy tidy up!  We’re using Learning Resources Fruit Counters.

Matching Real Objects with Pictures. Developing early discrimination skills (difference between objects), hand/eye coordination and concentration.  I made the fruit cards and you can get a copy from here or here.

Fruit Color Sorting using a Tong. Improving fine motor skills, pincer grasp, concentration and color recognition.

I love this tong from Ikea

As of the moment, our color sorting activity involves two colors, but I introduce one (new) color at a time.

He’s seriously concentrating.  Goodness!

Slicing a Banana. I was with him the whole time he’s doing this, reason why I don’t have an actual photo of the activity.  Another great practical life activity to introduce to kids.  This is an introductory activity of actual “slicing”, though we’ve done a lot of this using playdough.  He still has difficulty coordinating his hands.  We’ll get there though… need to practice more

And that’s about it! Thanks once again for taking time to read through the post.  Don’t forget to PIN this for your reference.

Check me out on Pinterest for more toddler and themed activities.