Thursday, 29 March 2012

From Little Acorns

Mini-museum day today. Here they are, off on an acorn hunt to help the forgetful squirrel who had lost all of her acorns around the museum. Moo LOVES the magnifying glasses!

Using a funky little leaf shaped punch to decorate pictures of trees. They also had a go at some sponge painting while they were there and the new staff member fell in love with Moo, so seriously did he take his painting!

Don't you love this photo? Lamb looks like he's in training to be a model or something - just look at that pose!

Both boys had a chance to plant some tree seeds. Though I'm not sure where we're going to put it if Moo's Walnut does grow?

Lamb's apple seedlings would probably be easier to accommodate!

It's erm, a bird feeder. Can't tell can you? But it is, I swear.
Lamb is busy in the background making some leaf bunting.
It was a lovely session at the museum with loads for the kids to do. There was a really nice sensory table set up to do lots of wax rubbings and songs and stories. I'm hoping Lamb will be ready for the older group soon though.
After a busy morning the afternoon was consumed by a speech and language appointment. After almost a year of waiting Lamb has finally reached the top of the waiting list and starts individual speech sounds therapy at the end of April. It would be wonderful if this goes well, but we shall wait and see.
On a less enthusiastic note, the speech therapist has asked me to fill in a form to have Moo referred for speech and language assessment. I'm vaguely upset about this but I'm not sure why.
Moo is very communicative, but his speech is somewhat unclear at times, which I've always put down to him copying his brother's pronunciation. A proper assessment can't do any harm though I suppose.
After all that there wasn't really any time to do anything else! The day slipped by in a whirlwind today.

More Phonics Activities!

Keeping phonics interesting and multisensory is taking quite a lot of brain power on my part!
I was pretty pleased with how this very simple activity held the boys attention.
Rainbow puffs, chocolate sauce and training chopsticks courtesy of Z-Chan...

(add a pinch of sensory exploration...)

... And voila! A novel way to focus on the 'ay' sound in written format.

We got all CRazy with the 'cr' onset. (Ha! Don't groan!) It was a shame the 'cr' cookies were kinda odd as we ran out of butter and substituted with oil, but hey-ho the kids ate them.

At the end of the day I was running out of grand ideas and resorted to a nice simple glitter session to focus on the 'in' sound. Lamb has pretty much got 'in' under his belt (and Moo is just joining in with for the fun of it really) so we didn't need to go over 'in' in too much detail.


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

We're back!

It's been a while since the last post because the boys went to their Nana's for a week besides the sea, which I hope was nice for all of us!
This week though we've been back to it and we've been focusing predominantly on the analytic phonics, which because it's not the government enforced thing is actually quite hard to find information and resources for. Ho-hum.
Because Moo is so little but eager, and because Lamb is a very hands-on gestalt learner, I've been trying to make the introduction to each onset and rime (some of which we're re-covering anyway) as
multi-sensory as I can.

We got mucky outside using the big chalks ...

which was a success I think! Both boys enjoyed it enough not to realise they were doing something entirely educational.

They both really loved cleaning up afterwards as well :)

For the 'ar' rime we did lots of printing with foam letters - which the boys enjoyed doing but just as a note:
 foam letters just aren't great for printing!

Great for getting messy though!
We also sang and acted out a little song (sung to the tune of 'the little green frog'):
'ar', 'ar' went the crow, sitting on the wall,
'ar', 'ar' went the crow one day.
'ar', 'ar' went the crow standing up tall,
he said 'ar', 'ar' as he flew away.
(Yes I know I'm not much of a song writer, LOL! It worked though.)

To practise 'th' sounds we got ourselves outside in the lovely sunshine, and spent a happy hour or so 'painting' onto the tarmac with water.

The bowl ended up pretty muddy, I can tell you! It was very sweet hearing Lamb explain to Moo why the water 'th's were disappearing :-)

Friday, 16 March 2012

Lots of walking

It's been a while since I posted. We've been out and about a lot this week. There's been lots of outside time interspersed with phonics (I'm really pleased with how Lamb is getting on now that we've switched to analytic phonics rather than synthetic phonics). This is the RSPB walk we went on along the river.
Love Moo's face on this picture. He really wasn't sure of himself at the beginning of the walk with all those strangers! Lamb though was in his element - he's a very social creature.

Both boys behaved themselves beautifully. We started off in town and walked all the way out to the nature reserve. They walked about 5 miles and didn't complain once. I couldn't believe how much energy they had!
We saw some Muntjac deer and some Grey Wagtails, but not much else. We had so much fun though, and I learnt quite a lot (even if the boys weren't really listening!). I now know the best place to go watching for the otters and will be doing so at the first opportunity!

Most of the group really took to the kids. I guess it was out of the usual for kids to join them on these walks. Before we left the group leader gave them both some magnifying glasses to take home and showed them how to use them properly. Moo LOVED his and insisted on inspecting every blade of grass there after.

Lamb, independent as ever, was often in the lead.

Here apparently is the best place to see grass snakes sunbathing.

The day before we had covered some of this ground along the river already.
The water is very low at the moment, though I'm not sure if this is normal for this time of the year.

Lamb quietly inspecting the map while I'm trying to watch a Thrush in the bushes.

This was the first day I had let the boys loose with the binoculars. Having just the one pair led to a fair few arguments. I'm not sure how well they were managing to focus the lenses but they were thoroughly enjoying themselves.

It's pretty difficult to separate Moo from his 'explorer books' at the moment, especially when we're out on walks. A naturalist in the making I wonder?

Friday, 9 March 2012

The King of Tiny Things... and other stuff.

Some days are better than others. The last few days have been 'others'. Friday has arrived with a sigh of relief from mummy.
In the haze that has been this week, we've taken walks in the rain and splashed in puddles... enjoyed completely by Moo was Lamb was unsure whether this constituted 'fun' or not.

This week our literacy study has been 'The King of Tiny Things' by Jeanne Willis.
This is a really lovely story about two little girls learning to appreciate creepy crawlies when the King of Tiny Things befriends them.
Moo is making his own version of the story here. We normally do the routine story-sequencing, which was getting a bit boring. It was nice to do it a bit differently for a change.

The King of Tiny Things wears a neat little leafy crown.
And here is Lamb's leafy crown.
This was actually a sneaky math activity. Before the boys could get messy with the glue they first had to sort their leaves into seperate piles and use an identification sheet to find out what kind of leaves they had.

(er, I'm SURE I rotated it this time...)
Once they'd sorted the leaves into piles, next they had to record how many of each kind of leaf they had on a grid and then draw their results onto a bar graph. This one is Lamb's.
We've been doing bar graphs for a while now and Lamb seems to be fairly confident on drawing them up.

Aside from that we've been digging another pond, which was stupidly hard work; planting seeds (Chard and various courgettes) and reading LOTS of story books.
Thank goodness it's the weekend - the house looks like a tip and I'm more than ready for a day off from 'work'!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Outta the mouths of babes...

"Come here Moo-Moo, let's have your hand while we cross this road."

"But Mummy, I'm not Moo-Moo. I'm a Brachiosaurus! Rah!"

Monday, 5 March 2012

Candles and ow...

These word bears are borrowed from a book I loaned from the library. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the book! But anyway, it was a nice simple way to focus on sound-bites. As you can see from the dicky-bow we're still focusing on 'ow' endings. We're taking this whole thing nice and slow because Moo is still so young and Lamb finds these things particularly tricky.

The boys then had to find some words ending in 'ow' through trial and error. Those alphabet cookies came in handy again! Moo isn't really up to this kind of activity yet but try telling him that! There is no way we can have a happy household if Moo isn't allowed to join in with EVERY activity, no matter if it is too advanced for him. Still, it did give him a change to practise letter formation free hand and he's getting pretty impressive. I think he's going to end up with very neat hand writing, just like his daddy!
Lamb struggled with this a little more today than he has previously, but it is Monday ;-)

I, erm, sort of forgot to rotate this pic. Just lean your head over to the right and pretend...
Here are the boys having a go at making candles :-)

The pack we used is pure beeswax, so no nasty chemicals, and there was also no need to melt the wax, which has obvious benefits when working with tiny people.
The pack had a 14 years+ age recommendation on it, but I can't see why.
Both boys managed to follow the verbal instructions they were given. Ok, the candles  may not have looked precisely how they did on the box illustration, but they came out just fine.

Roll it, roll it, roll it.

Squeeze it...


A pretty successful activity I think!

Before we headed off to our soft-play session with little friends, Lamb and Moo had a go at this little game I devised... yeah, you guessed it, it's those 'ow' words again. A prize for collecting as many counters as possible is a good incentive to go over it again though. It was pretty basic - if you can figure out what the word says then you earn yourself a counter to be exchanged for a chocolate flavoured prize at the end.
And there you have it, our day in pictures.