Monday, September 12, 2016

Apple Week

We're back! Last week was our first week officially homeschooling. We've jumped up a notch from our Toddler Tuesday school days. This week our book of choice was "Apple Farmer Annie" By Monica Wellington. This happens to be one of our favorite fall books. It has vibrant pictures with adorable details, such as places where you can count apples, see the many varieties of apples, the lifecycle of an apple and so forth. It's not on the BFIAR book list, but it was a good and familiar book which made it a good jumping off point.
The base for our sensory bin this week was GF oatmeal and cinnamon sticks. This was by far one of the most loved sensory bins we've done yet. There was a lot of oatmeal rain and burying the little apples. I did have to keep an extra close watch on Badger with those bright, shiny ,chokeable apples; but it was worth it. They were both excited and ready to play productively for about a half hour every day with the bin.
Here are the art activities that we managed to make last week. Most are self explanatory, but the red blobs were supposed to be apple prints.. They didn't turn out well, but we had fun and Panda is proud of them; that's what counts. I did have a few more crafts but we didn't get around to them. We were going to stamp our arms in brown paint and make an apple orchard. Then use our finger prints to make green leaves or red apples. I also wanted to make a "stain glass" apple using tissue paper and clear contact paper, but I misplaced my tissue paper.
Our salt tray was so lovely and scented with cinnamon... But this did not go so well. I think I pushed a bit to far. Panda loved the tray and making shapes, so we scaled back and practiced shapes and handwriting readiness skills. We will still focus on letter recognition,but we wont be writing any letters for a little while. He just isn't ready.
We had more luck with this activity. I drew a Dot to Dot 'A' and Panda traced over it with chalk. Then I had him trace over it again with a q-tip and water. There are two sides to this slate (it belonged to Bear when he was a boy), so we were able to practise 'A' four times in one sitting.
I found this idea on Pinterest. Panda really enjoyed this activity. The red apple is actually GF play dough. There are "seeds" (black beans), "stems" (twigs), plastic worms, and leaves from a real apple tree in this wonderful invitation to play. We also used the tray to dissect an apple and put skin, stem, seeds, core, and flesh all in the different compartments while talking about the parts of an apple and taste testing different varieties. I don't have a picture, but we also baked a few batches of apple muffins, apple crisp and had cider as special treats this past week.
For math we counted and sorted apples with these Attribute Apples. I love them. There are three different sizes and colors. Some apples have leaves, and some have worms. These are one mighty teaching aid to have on hand. Both boys loved just holding them. In this picture we went bobbing for apples. Panda used the tongs and Badger used his hands. 
This was a simple color sorting activity that both boys enjoyed.
Our song for the week was "Way Up High in an Apple Tree". We liked the song  so much that we might keep it for our opening circle time song.
This was a simple game I found on Pinterest. It was supposed to be a memory matching game but Panda isn't ready for that. Instead we took turns flipping the caps over to see who could find the most apples. Turn taking is going to be a big social skill we will be working on.
We finished the week with the Apple Star story. I want to do a puppet show each week, but I kept this week simple by just telling the story and sloooowly cutting the apples up. Panda was entranced and thrilled to pieces when I showed him the stars in the centers. We were also supposed to have a field trip to the apple orchard, but they aren't open yet for the season. All in all I think our first week went rather well. What have you been up to? Stay tuned,  I will be bringing back Toddler Tuesday. Staring Baby Badger!
Shine on,
P.S. I would have posted links to the Pinterest items, but I'm not on my normal computer and am having Pinterest difficulties. I'm sorry about that.


  1. How fun! I can't believe Panda is tracing letters... See, noth are boys culd rub off on eachother sometimes. LOL! I'm glad you are back in the swong of things an look forward to seeing ll the cool stuff you'll be doing. xo

    1. He actually had a hard time with the salt tray. I will have to send you some things his OT has worked on with him. I bet your Little Man would love some of it. Shine.