Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cats Week for Preschoolers - Part 1

I love cats. Always have and always will. My kids are also big cat lovers, especially my daughter. As I write this, she is happily cuddling a dozen plush cats in needless to say, when Cat Week arrived, she was very excited! We had a "pets" topic last year and she liked it but I felt that choosing only one pet would allow us to do more than touch the surface this time so I picked kitties. Below, you will find a few activities enjoyed by my 4 year old.

Practical Life - Using a Medicine Dropper
The poor kitty cats are sick. Each needs some medication added to their bowl of milk. Each card in front of each cat indicates how many dropper-ful needs to be added to each bowl. By the way, instead of using milk, I simply put some diluted white paint in each bowl and the fluid medication was simply water. 

Art: Painting a cat
This was simple and fun. I didn't feel like painting a lot of toilet paper rolls to show my daughter how to make her own step-by-step as you would see in a Montessori school so I simply did it along with her. First, we painted the tube black. Once dried, we added the white dots (we used Q-tips) and stripes. Then came the pink paint for the nose and mouth and finally the black dots for the pupils. I chose to bend the top a bit to illustrate ears but my daughter decided not to. Her cat was scared by fireworks she said and thus was crying and had his ears bent backwards. :) I first saw this on Pinterest (and they looked much more professional but hey, I never said I was an artist! :))

Holding a pencil is not hard for my daughter and she loves to imitate her big brother when he writes so to fulfill her desire, I always try to have a packet for her to write on. For this theme, I picked up a free copy of 1+1+1=1's printable pack. It contained lots of pages but I chose only the relevant ones of course. The cute cards you saw above with the numbers also came from the pack!

Math: 1:1 correspondence
This concept is fun to me but seems a bit stale/boring for my preschooler. I guess she gets it and is ready to move on to more novel stuff...Anyway, each cat needed a bell toy. I had just enough cats for the quantity of bells of course.

How many cats? A stamping activity
Cute paw stamps? Check! Pictures with lots of cats? Check! Kids love using stamps and since my daughter was the only one using these cards, I thought it'd be fun to stamp the quantity of cats in each picture instead of using clothespins or objects. The paw stampers are from Oriental Trading Co. and they were already in our stash as we gave them away as birthday favors. I made the cards myself and they ranged from 1 to 8. My daughter can easily count that far but reading numbers above 5 is still challenging so this proved a bit difficult for her.

Language - Feed the make who made this letter sound
We've been working a lot on letter sounds lately and using the Sandpaper Letters almost daily. We've worked our way from s,m,a,t, to c,r,i,p, and finally have arrived at b,f,o,g. As a way to review their sounds, I try to make little games and activities. Here, I found a picture of a yawning cat and wrote a different letter on each tongue. I pre-cut little felt circles and called them cat treats. When my daughter heard me say a letter sound, she'd find the cat and feed it a snack. She loved the concept! 

Picture Story - Talking about a Picture
Although any cat picture could work, I wanted to use one where my daughter appeared. The photograph is actually old so she didn't remember much about where and when it was taken. Not a bad thing. She eventually found the answer through my questions anyway. My goal here was to see what she could tell me about the picture. Who was there? What were they doing? Where could they be? Was it winter? How can we tell? What happened after the picture was taken? Did the cat go away? Why was the cat at the playground anyway? And so on.

Math : Ordinal Numbers
Using a few of her plushes, I organized a "contest" and prepared ribbons for  1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Quite demanding in the contest department but my daughter loved the ribbons! We had a cat race where I made them slide on the floor to see who got the farthest, we had a jumping contest which involved throwing the plushes, and so on.

Booklet: Parts of a cat
Somehow, my kids are not really fond of coloring. Even coloring small body parts of a cat seemed like a mighty chore. My daughter still managed to finish her cat booklet though. Included were the head, body, tail, whiskers, eyes, nose, ears, paws, etc.

Adding Whiskers
Directly from Kidssoup in their freebie section was this sheet I've used with Adrian before. The worksheet is quite simple: read the number and add that amount of whiskers. It was tough. My daughter, although she can count far cannot necessarily read numbers that high. So she drew whiskers and added more or erased a few after counting.

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