Sunday, February 21, 2016

O is for. . . Ocean and Octopus

Cristi from Through the Calm and Through the Storm and Meg from Adventures with Jude are hosting this great weekly party called Blogging Through the Alphabet. All are welcome to join in, just make sure to keep your posts family-friendly. I am determined to stay faithful this time around. I might not always post on the same day of the week, but I have every intention to post something each week. Unfortunately, I completely forgot last week as I wasn't feeling well. So, I am playing catch up.

Here is how I decided my "theme" for this round of Blogging Through the Alphabet. As I was going through old blog posts recently, I noticed I have some neat ideas for activities and crafts that I did with in the past. Unfortunately, I always included them in my weekly wrap up posts or more recently in Poppins Book Nook posts, so they sort of got buried. I can't really share them as individual activities or create pinnable images to promote them and share my ideas, which is why I started this blog in the first place (to share my ideas with others who work with children). So, I am going to make new posts for these ideas.

I have found there is a huge benefit in this strategy. I am remembering  ideas that I had forgotten, which means I can now do these activities with the younger children. I will be sharing the old pictures and possibly sharing new pictures of the younger children participating.

Three years ago, we were at the same point as we are now in our My Father's World curriculum. We were learning about the letter O and Octopuses. Here is a look at the fun activities we did.

O is for. . . Ocean and Octopus

We started our unit with a fun O Muffin Tin.

Even Harold had one. 

We had made an Octopus poem activity back in 2010 and Harold and Hannah really enjoyed it now.

The girls painted the bottom blue to represent the ocean. Then I cut out a "body" and some tentacles and glued them on. I attached Velcro to the body and the back of the tentacles so they could attach them as we said the poem. 

 We read the poem and attached the tentacle.

It's so sweet to look back and see Hannah joining in, while now she is the one doing Kindergarten.

Of course, the girls thought it looked like a spider. And they were right. I realized as I was doing it this past week that the tentacles should be facing up.

 We also made hand octopuses as suggested in the MFW teacher manual. They traced their four fingers, then moved them over and traced them again to make 8, then they drew on a body and cut it out. 

I decided these would be added to an Ocean mural we would complete during this unit.

I also made them an Ocean dessert with Blue Jello, goldfish crackers and bananas for shark fins. 

When we were doing our O lessons in 2010, I also found this cute fine motor skills idea. 

I drew my own octopus and added little circles for the octopus's suction cups or suckers. I placed it on a shoe box lid tray with a small cup of Cheerios. The girls were to match the cereal to the o's on the octopus. 

 This year I just made some photo copies of the original one and let the children use it for an activity. This time they got to color their own and glue on the Cheerios.

(Or eat some Cheerios, as the case may be.)

We continued working on our mural during the 2 weeks we did the O unit. We dyed some shell pasta to add to the ocean floor. 

Here is what you need for dyeing pasta.

Zippy bags, rubbing alcohol, food coloring, pasta and wax paper. 

You add the noodles to the zippy bag with 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol and 5 drops of food coloring. Then shake the pasta around until it is covered sufficiently and soaked in.

Pour the pasta onto the wax paper and let dry.

Once the pasta was dry we added some to our murals. We glued salt on the bottom to represent the sand, then we glued some shells on. We did have a problem with the sand and shells falling off and needing a bit more glue. 

We also added 3 things of coral, 4 fish, and 6 seahorses. I wanted to add something different for each number up through 8 (for the octopus) but just couldn't think of what else to add on. I did have the older girls put 2 seahorses on each bit of coral for a bit of an early division/multiplication lesson.

This was the second fishy meal for the unit. 

And I found this cute sidewalk chalk for them to use.

And this is my attempt at Octopus Pancakes. Need to work on this a bit more. 

 For our Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen time we had made this Octopus in the Ocean Pudding Pie. 

I found white chocolate flavored pudding that was white when made, instead of vanilla which comes out yellow. I was then able to dye it blue for the water. The graham cracker crust was to represent the ocean floor. Unfortunately it fell and broke, so I had to piece it back together. The octopus was made with an apple, bananas and mini chocolate chips. 

 One problem with waiting so long to post about a unit is that I forget which books we enjoyed. There are some really cute Octopus books out there, both fiction picture books and non fiction books. We learned a lot about octopuses this year.

One thing I had wanted to do, but didn't get to, was to make a Ocean Sensory Bin. Though we didn't make one, I have several pinned in my Ideas for MFW K: Octopus/Ocean board. Here is the link to that board (as I can't find a way to embed them like I used to).

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