Posted in Preparing for Kindergarten

Getting Reading for Kindergarten

When you register for Kindergarten in our school board (Grand Erie District School Board), one of the items in your package is the calendar “Kindergarten: Ready Set Go!” This is a collaboration of a number of organizations included school boards, heath units, libraries and the Ontario Early Years Centre.  Throughout the calendar there are pages to help parents prepare their children for Kindergarten.

For February the information was on immunization requirements.  My children are up to date on their immunizations but tracking them is a pain.  In this age of electronics I don’t know why I can’t just authorize my family doctor to send the records to the health unit every time they get a new vaccination.  It just seems it would save a lot of time and man power on every end.  But I digress from the reason I am blogging.

In each month there are 2 or 3 books listed.  When Kaitlyn was getting ready for JK we read all the books listed but this year I thought we would do something a little more formal with Eileen.  We are going to be reading all the book in the calendar and sharing the activities we do for each book.  My goal is to do this every Saturday or Sunday but we will see how that schedule goes.  We are starting a bit behind the eight ball.  We didn’t register until February so we missed January (we will try and make those books up later).  It took a few weeks for the February books to come in so we will work on collecting our books earlier but hopefully we are on a roll now.

Our first book was Happy Valentine Day, Curious George by N. Di Angelo.

I realize Valentines Day had already passed but I thought we could read the book anyway.  This is a very cute Valentines Day book, with fold out flaps.  For us that means we keep it well out of Michael’s reach!  For teachable moments, the flaps give a great opportunity for making predictions. In the story George and the man in the yellow had invite the neighbourhood over for Valentines Day.  They  decorate the house, make cookies, and make valentines to exchange.  Like many children George finds a box and is immediate intrigued with the box.  He set to decorating the box to put his valentines in.  This would have been a perfect book to read before Valentines Day and then we could make a box for our Valentines, but I wasn’t going to let that stop us.  Instead we made our own special treasure boxes.

I had my niece and Eileen for the afternoon last Sunday while Kaitlyn was at a birthday party so I thought it would be the perfect time.  We went to the dollar store to find boxes.  I didn’t want to use cardboard so that they would be more sturdy and last longer but you could easily use cardboard boxes.   I also let them each get a package of letter stickers.  I wanted them to practice spelling their names on their boxes but other than that they could decorate them any way they wanted.  First I let them paint the box any colour they wanted.  Of course they both picked pink.  I didn’t have any pink paint but that never stops us – we learned that when you mix red and white together you get pink.

After drying Gramma had come by so she helped the girls spell their names on their boxes.  Then I gave them a wide variety of materials from our craft bins to decorate their boxes.  They mostly picked hearts, jewels and stickers to decorate.  Many stuck on themselves but a few needed to be glued.

They turned out pretty cute – and we could make a connection to the book we had just read. We decorated boxes just like George!

Posted in Craft Thursdays

Saving those Summer Treasures

My girls are collectors.  They love to find and collect treasures, and this multiplies in the summer.  I thought we could make some special boxes for them to store (and contain) their treasures this summer.  I drew inspiration from the awesome site Kiboomu.

This craft started with a trip to the dollar store.  Normally I take the kids with me so they can pick out their craft supplies but I was out without them for a meeting and stopped off on my way home.  They didn’t have exactly the boxes I was looking for but I found something that would work.  They came in many colours but I picked the light yellow ones so that it would be easier for them to paint them whatever colour they wanted.  I also found some cool shells.

The first step was to paint the boxes.  Kaitlyn’s favourite colours right now are orange and red so she painted the ends orange and the sides red.  Eileen decided to use 4 different colours and did an awesome job painting all on her own. For the lid Kaitlyn decided to paint the lower part brown for her sand and then the top blue for the water/sky.  The uneven painting created a great texture and the impression of waves in parts.  After letting them dry overnight we added real sand to the ‘sand’ portions of our lids.

To add the sand they put glue whereever they wanted the sand to stick and then sprinkled sand over top. To decrease the mess I found that working in a large baking dish was handy.  They simply poured the sand over top, then lifed the lid and shock off any excess and I poured the leftovers back in the bucket.  Other than the time when Eileen took a large handful and threw it on the table it was a relatively clean craft.  To finish off they glued on a number of shells and stones and then I added the titles for them.  An easy craft they could both do by themselves and they are now prepared for treasure hunting!