Thursday, 29 October 2015

Jack-o-lantern emotions - FREE printable

Last October was all about skeletons (this topic is still on and off) but this year E. has found her new favourite Halloween character: the Jack-o-lantern.


Jack-o-lantern Feelings


I made this printable with 6 kinds of different emotions:
  • happy
  • sad
  • angry
  • surprised
  • cheeky
  • scared
You can find this printable at the end of this blog post.

matching the words
I've also made word cards to it in the end, but the picture above shows these little pieces of felt (scrap) and the feelings written on them (with a permanent marker)


What you can do with these cards:


matching the faces
  1. Match the picture and the words
  2. Match the faces/emotions which are the same
  3. Play a memory game with 2 sets
  4. Place one set face down on the table. The players choose a card and don't show it to anyone, then make a face expressing that feeling. The other players need to find out what feeling it is.
  5. (With bigger kids) Place one set face down on the table. The first player picks up a card and says I feel this when... and need to finish the sentence
  6. Identify body parts on the face (eyes, eye brows, nose, mouth)
  7. Identify shapes on the faces (This mouth is an oval, The eyes are circles. Can you show me a crescent mouth? What shape is this nose?)
So here is the printable. I hope you'll find it useful:


Jack-o-lantern faces with shapes

Everything centres around pumpkins and Jack-o-lanterns. It seems a never ending story. However, we could revise some shape vocabulary while making Jack-o-lanterns.


If you want to prepare this activity you just need:

  • thicker orange felt (or card board - the felt gives another interesting feel of it)
  • black construction paper or cardboard or more felt (for the shapes)
  • green construction paper (for the leaves)
  • brown cardboard (for the stem)
  • hot glue gun (or other glue)
  • scissors
Preparation:

  1.  Draw and cut out the pumpkins from the orange felt (I didn't use a template, just drew 3 similar pumpkin shapes on the felt - I used a dark orange marker - then I cut along the lines)
  2. Out of the brown cardboard (which was actually an old postal box) I cut out 3 stems.
  3. I couldn't find green construction paper at home so I used some scrap wrapping paper to cut out the leaves.
  4. I glued the stem and the leaf on the back side of the orange felt pumpkin 
  5. I printed shapes for the eyes, nose and mouths for our Jack-o-lanterns. (Click on the link to find the printable) I copied the picture above in a word document and made it size A4. After having printed it (I can't print on construction paper) I attached it to black construction paper and cut them out (it takes a while but it's worth the trouble)
  6. I placed everything in a big envelope and presented to my sweetheart.


Of course, she needed to wear her Jack-o-lantern costume
While she was placing the shapes, she named them. We also matched the same shapes. And talked about feelings expressed by certain mouth forms. (Another post is coming on emotions and pumpkins)


We did this activity again... and again... and again...








Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Conker games



Whenever we go somewhere we MUST collect something. My pockets are full of stones, acorns, berries and conkers, just to mention a few. One day we visited Margaret-island (a small island on the River Danube, Budapest) and managed to collect tons of different fruit of various trees and bushes. 

Rose hips. conkers, sycamore "rotors", pine cones, acorns, London plane seed balls, wild pear, seed pods of China tree

So during E.'s nap time I put together this tray of all kinds of fruits and a magnifying glass. As soon as she discovered the tray she eagerly examined their texture, the surface and the inside of the fruits.


We collected a full bag of conkers and pine cones, half of which we took to E.'s kindergarten. The other half of cones we'll use for decoration and Christmas ornaments (see a later post) and the conkers we've used to play games with.

Counting conkers




I put the conkers in a woven basket and placed the number cards on the table. E. needed to put the right number of conkers below the cards.

When we played this game we'd just returned home from the nursery and changed languages. You can hear in this video how she is mixing English and Hungarian, and also, me asking back "Sorry?" all the time in a silly way ;)


video


I've found a super-cute squirrel grid game on prekinders.com and although we didn't have enough acorns or walnuts that squirrels love eating, we used our conkers as manipulatives for this game.


How does the game go?

E., Daddy and myself played so I printed 3 copies of the squirrel grid (of 20 squirrel) and put LOADS of conkers in a bowl. You'll need a game die. Of course, the youngest starts the game, throws the game die and identifies the number on it. The player then needs to place the same number of conkers on the grid. We take turns and the winner is who finishes the grid first. (You can play it as an addition game with 2 dice if your child is older. If he/she is younger, you can use a special die with only 1-2-3 on it)

I'll be the winner, not you Daddy.
Mind you! Conkers are slightly toxic, so it's better to know that just a very few animals can eat it (like deer), but people and squirrels never.


 Name written in conkers


I prepared my daughter's name, each letter on a different piece of paper. First, she put the letters in the right order, then following the lines of the letters, she placed the conkers along the lines.


 Krokotak conker mushrooms

What you need:

  • conkers
  • acorns
  • play dough
Not as good-looking as the original idea, but they represent our family: E. mushroom, Daddy mushroom and Mommy mushroom. (from right to left) 




Last year we did some conker threading after making a whole on the conkers with the help of a screwdriver. If you haven't had enough of conkers, check it out.



What do you play with what you collect at autumn time? Share with me in the comments.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Laminated leaves

I need to share another autumn fun. As soon as I saw it on pinterest I fell in love with it. Laminated leaves. I found the laminated leaves idea there; just click on the link to get to the original idea.


First, I pressed the leaves a little. They were not totally dry when I laminated them so they kept some of their flexibility during lamination. I didn't add magnets as it was suggested, maybe next year we'll do this activity again and display them on the fridge.


Then we did some of the activities the Teaching Mama recommended. (On that site you can find tons of great ideas to entertain and educate you kids of all ages. I can highly recommend to follow it.)



  1. Colour sorting


    We only had yellow brown and green leaves, unfortunately I couldn't find red or orange ones at that time. Later on I added some more to the collection. (there is on orangey leaf you can find totally separated on the left side)
  2. Arranging leaves by size



  3. Matching similar leaves



  4. Making leaf faces with googly eyes and pop-pom noses (I drew the mouths E. did the rest)



  5. Making leaf people (revising major body parts like arms, legs, upper body and feet)


    You can see here the nice new orange and red leaves we found in the park. The big middle figure is Daddy, because "He's soooo big".

  6. Using the laminated leaves as rubbing plates
I didn't manage to take photos of this activity, but you can use the laminated leaves under a sheet of paper and use a pencil or crayon to rub on the sheet. The veins and edges of leaves will come through really nicely. Or you can check it out on the link above where the idea comes from.



If you liked this activity you can find more autumn leaves projects (click on the picture):



Or you can check out my Autumn pinterest board for more ideas.


Painting leaves - four autumn activities with leaves



As autumn has arrived we started to collect leaves every time we went somewhere. We were talking about the gorgeous colours of autumn leaves like orange, yellow, brown or red. We also observe the different shapes like circular, heart-shaped, hand-shaped as well as their edges (smooth, wavy, toothed).

I checked this image from the net to make sure I do not say anything silly.



Leaf rubbing gave us the chance to have a look at the veins:




Leaf prints

Then we had painting fun. E. chose the colours (I tried to direct her to the autumn colours with little success) and we painted the backside of the leaves and made prints. At first, we used too much paint, but then we could observe the beautiful prints the veins and the edges gave out.

First try

Second try with less paint

Another painting activity- outine of leaves:

I pressed some leaves and stuck them on a white sheet of paper with the help of small pieces of Cello-tape. Then we painted the leaves over creating an outline. This was a hit with E.





And finally a counting game with leaves:

I drew these bare trees for E. It can serve as a simple counting activity. Your child needs to stick as many leaves on the tree as the number shows.

I've prepared printable trees you can download at the end of this post.

As simple counting is not a challenge for E. any more I thought skip counting would raise her interest much more. And I was right. 


Although it was a little too long an activity, she managed to finish it after my encouragement and help with the gluing. 

Gluing

Adding the leaves

creating a leaf face with the glue

Mommy, this leaf is ill

There are not enough branches for 8 leaves, Mommy

Placing the magnetic numbers - finished!

First, I pressed all the leaves. It's easier to work with them. Then I presented, showed and explained what to do with instructions like these:
  • Hold your paper down with one hand and rub with the other hand. 
  • Let's mix 2 colours.
  • Paint the backside of the leaf, like this.
  • You can add more glue this time because this leaf is big.

Finally, we displayed everything on our living room doors. E. shows her pieces of artwork to whoever comes to us.

And here on this link you can download the bare trees with numbers:




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