Monday, January 27, 2014

Paper Plate Letterboxes - Valentine's Day Activity

We try to encourage closeness between our girls every day, in lots of little ways. With Valentine's Day approaching we made these very simple letter boxes for their bedroom doors, they were fun to make and they are both excited to write and leave notes for each other over the coming weeks.
Both Bubble and Squeak are also secretly working on a special Valentine's Day card for each other to post the night before, it's beautiful to watch them both working industriously on their 'surprises'.

* paper plates
* textas
* stapler
* string
* scissors
* hole punch (optional)

We used large sized paper plates but you can use any size.

 Using a marker we drew the top of our heart on our plate in a 'V' shape.

Then we cut the V section from the plate to create a rounded heart shape.

We used the cut piece as a template to mark out the outline for our other plates.

Bubble easily cut her own plates but Squeak is still finding fine motor activities challenging so I helped her cut hers using a hand over hand method.

Once you have cut your two plates face them towards each other (to create a pocket) and then carefully staple around the edges to hold your letter box together.
Bubble (6) could do this herself, but I did Squeak's (4) for her. You are the best judge of whether or not your child can safely use a stapler or not.

Using a hole punch we made a hole on either side at the top. If you don't have a hole punch a skewer or sharp pencil will do the job too.

We tied some string through the holes so our letter boxes could hang on the girls bedroom doors.

The girls both decorated their letter boxes ready for their secret notes.

I set up a writing station on top of their library book table where they could make special notes for each other.
I included shaped notepaper, colourful gel pens, stickers and stamps.
All great for making pretty letters and for developing fine motor skills at the same time.
Bubble and Squeak have already been writing each other little notes and drawing pictures for one another, I'll be leaving little surprises in there for them as well from time to time.
 A fun craft activity and a lovely way to encourage communication.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Kickboard Sight Words

It is hot hot hot here at the moment. Our girls have been alternating their time between the backyard paddling pool and sprawling in front of the lounge room fan.
The weekend was particularly hot (47'c, yikes!) so I thought I'd try out some fun and sneakily educational activities for us to do in the water while we kept cool.
This game was the most popular with both Bubble and Squeak, Squeak in particular wanted to play it over and over again which was a great thing to watch  as she usually tires of letter games pretty quickly!


* paddling pool
(you could do this activity in the bath, a pool, a large container of water or a sink too)

* kick board
(you can use anything that floats - esky lid, lid from a large plastic container, pool toy etc...)

* foam alphabet
(if you don't have foam letters you could also use bottle lids with letters written on them, laminated letter cards, cut up a sponge into squares and use permanent marker to write letters on the pieces - use anything that floats!)

* sight word cards

I grabbed our foam letters from our bath toy stash and used some sight word cards of Bubbles from last year. We also used tongs to add some fine motor exercise for Squeak who needs to work on her hand strength.

 We threw the foam letters into the pool and the girls swirled them around and around to mix them all up.

I gave them a kick board each and put a sight word card at the top of the board.

The girls then splashed around finding their letters and sounding out the words.

Squeak, who ordinarily tires quickly of these sorts of activities, enjoyed it so much she went through all 20 word cards in our deck.

Using tongs added a bit of extra fine motor exercise.