Friday, May 30, 2014


Honey Pot is 4 years old.
Little M&M is 26 months old.


We borrowed numerous books from the library on caterpillars and butterflies. They varied from simple board books (for Little M&M) to more complex (for Honey Pot). 

Butterfly Matching

The Dollar Tree had a large page of butterfly stickers. Honey Pot used many of them while making cards for her pen pals, but we had some left over. I used a few to create this matching worksheet, and slipped it into a page protector so she could use a dry erase crayon.

Butterfly Trails - Prewriting Practice

I used more butterfly stickers to create some tracing lines for Honey Pot on the other side.

Learning about the Life Cycle

There are so many flashcards and worksheets out there just explaining the life cycle, but I wanted something a little more hands-on. I came across this wheel from Lakeshore Learning and thought it was just perfect. I printed out the template, and Honey Pot wrote her name on the front.

Then we colored in the pictures.

And I assembled the wheel, using a brad from my scrapbooking stash.

We talked about the life cycle of a butterfly as she turned the wheel. She really seemed to grasp the concept of the cycle (as she did so well with the water cycle during our rain unit).

Pattern Block Puzzles

I printed off two puzzles from PreKinders for Honey Pot.

Magnetic Pom Pom Caterpillars - Counting Practice

Peaceful Parenting had a nice idea using pom poms to help toddlers learn to count. I created a template in PSE and slipped it into a page protector onto which Little M&M could place magnetic pom poms.

Right-click for your own printable:

Butterfly Color Matching

Although I feel confident that Little M&M knows his colors, it is still important to review them and this activity provided fine motor practice for him as well. I printed this coloring page off the internet and colored just the middles. Then I taped it to the wall with a piece of contact paper, sticky side up, taped over it.

I set out a plate of sequins in the coordinating colors, and he got to work!

This is a big commitment for a little guy, so we kept it out and returned to it throughout the week until it was complete.


I came across this build-a-butterfly idea from Little Family Fun, and then extended it a little bit. First I cut various shapes out of foam, for the kids to build butterflies and decorate the wings with shapes.

Then I set them out near the glass doors, with a cup of water and two paintbrushes. Instead of just building butterflies on the table or floor, the kids were able to paint with water and stick them up on the window. They had a BLAST with this activity!

Sometimes they just liked painting with water.

And sometimes they painted the window, then created beautiful butterflies!

Just look at how cute they look!

Butterfly Symmetry Painting

I found this fun idea from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas. I printed a butterfly template onto cardstock, covered one side with parchment, and asked the kids to paint the side that was showing.

Then we removed the parchment, folded the paper over...

And revealed our symmetry! This was Honey Pot's first time hearing the word, and so we discussed what it meant and I think she has grasped the idea well.

Once they were dry, I cut the butterflies out and hung them up. Coincidentally, I hung them right near the caterpillars the kids painted with balloons last summer!

Symmetry Chalk Drawings

We continued our lesson on symmetry with some chalk drawings. I drew half a butterfly on the driveway, and Honey Pot tried to finish them. For Little M&M, it became a nice lesson on recognizing shapes too.

Butterfly Pretend Play

Pretend play is always a favorite around here. I found these headbands at the Dollar Tree weeks ago and had to pick them up in anticipation of butterfly week. The kids had such fun!

Butterfly Garden - Field Trip

What butterfly unit would be complete without a trip to the local butterfly exhibit? It's so incredible being in a room full of butterflies. And it was an amazing experience for the kids.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Camping Unit!

Honey Pot is 4 years old.
Little M&M is 2 years old.


We did several activities in the week leading up to the kids' first camping trip. First, we borrowed the following books from the library.

Tong Transfer

I picked up a new set of kid tongs at Target and wanted to include them in our unit this week. Thinking about our upcoming s'mores treat, I decided to have Honey Pot transfer marshmallows. She was only too happy to oblige, because she knew she'd get to taste one when she was done!


There were so many wonderful printables to suit our theme this week. First up, we nabbed some prewriting practice and pattern completion from Homeschool Creations for Honey Pot:

Next, I printed a few printables from 2 Teaching Mommies' Camping Unit and Forest Unit. Some more prewriting:

...shadow matching, for both Little M&M and Honey Pot:

...these fun animal track puzzles, for both kids:

I gave Little M&M two pieces that fit together, just so he could do one puzzle at a time as well as work on animal recognition. He knows all of these forest creatures!

Honey Pot was able to complete the puzzles when all pieces were in front of her at once.

...and then some Which is Different worksheets for Honey Pot:

And finally, I printed this I-Spy game from 1+1+1=1. Originally it had words describing what to search for. But Honey Pot can't read yet, so I just revised the page for her using pictures instead.

Campfire Chalk Activity

I drew a campfire on the driveway with sidewalk chalk, and talked to the kids a little bit about campfire safety. For example, a safe distance to stand away from it and what to do if your clothing catches fire. We also talked about how water can put the fire out. So the kids tried to put the fire out with their squirt bottles.

When spraying didn't work, they just dumped their water bottles over it completely. We had to refill a couple of times to put the chalk fire out all the way. But they loved this!

Then Honey Pot demonstrated how to Stop, Drop and Roll.

...a few times. I'm glad she has mastered the material!

Nature Journals

I recently started a nature journal with Honey Pot, something I'd been itching to do for a while! She continued her journal with some camping activities. First, a couple of sticker stories! She put a few stickers on a page, and I transcribed the story she told about them.

Sticker story #2:

Then we used one more sticker, and I asked her to draw the forest around this moose.

She did a few trees before she wanted to move on.

Flashlight Star Search

Next we did a hunt for numbers. I wrote down numbers onto star sticky notes, and placed them around a room. Now that she can count by tens to 100, I felt she needed to learn how to recognize the numbers in between! So there was one number from each of the tens (i.e. 21, 32, 43, etc.).

Then I flipped off the light and invited Honey Pot to go star-gazing with me, in search of these numbers.

In order to figure out the numbers each time, she had to count to 100 by tens. Next time I think we'll bring in a list of these numbers so she doesn't have to recite them all. Definitely glad we're working on this!

Campfire Craft

For our last pre-camping activity we did a campfire craft. First some scissor practice, as Honey Pot cut her own strips of red, orange and yellow construction paper.

Then she glued some sticks onto a piece of black constructions paper, which I had glued to a piece of cardboard for stability.

More pattern practice! We placed the flames in this order: yellow, orange, orange, red.

Then she added some star stickers, because it was nighttime!

Add a marshmallow on a stick, for s'mores! Awesome!

Activities While Camping

Of course camping doesn't need to have structured activities. The kids stay entertained with hiking, fishing, throwing stones into the stream, playing on the playground, driving their toy trucks around the rough terrain, running around like name a few. But I wanted to make sure they didn't get bored. So I offered a few tricks too.
  • Glowsticks or mini flashlights at night
  • Using a bucket and shovel to collect rocks, pinecones, sticks, etc. and then count them up
  • Tree-rubbings in their nature journals
  • Making observations and hypotheses about the holes in the leaves (was it the very hungry caterpillar?)
  • Homemade playdough to play with outside using natural materials
  • Card games (Go Fish, Old Maid, and our newest storytelling game called Tell Tale)

 Nature Journal, revisited

We did one final entry in Honey Pot's nature journal to wrap up our camping unit. I printed out a fun template from KidSparkz and glued it into her journal. Then I invited her to color it in and draw a picture of her favorite part of our camping trip. She's not very keen on coloring, but I sure love her picture of a campfire and roasted marshmallow!

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