Tag Archives: craft foam

Timmy Triangle – Shaping Up Kindergarten

Last week Bella (5), Seth (3) and Noah (6-Down syndrome) all started homeschool Kindergarten.  This is year two of kindergarten for Noah, and I’m happy to report academically he is much more ready for typical kindergarten work than he was at this time last year.

We’ve decided to try Weaver Interlock for our curriculum.  It’s designed for preschoolers and kindergarteners;  directions are given for modifying activities up or down depending on your child’s readiness.  How perfect is that for our family!  Even more perfect is the fact that I picked this rather pricey curriculum up for $2 at the thrift store several years ago.  Let’s hear it for homeschoolers who believe in passing along their used curriculum!!!  (And actually, I don’t believe this was even used – it looked brand new when I bought it.)

So last week was a busy week, but we had a blast.  Triangles were one of the things we learned about, and on day 1 of triangles, we made these cute little fellows:

DSC09224 I predicted this would be a busy work craft with little value, but I was wrong.  The kids were very focused on these triangles once they had their eyes stuck on and listened attentively as I pointed out the three sides, points and angles.

This was a quick craft.  One thing I learned at AWANAS last year was that there is no shame in pre-cutting and prepping projects for children.  If the point of a craft is more important than the skills practiced from start to finish, go ahead and do some of the work yourself before hand.  I had already cut the triangles before the craft, so all my little ones did was glue on the stick and the eyes.  Nobody lost interest, and I didn’t lose my mind.  That’s the mark of a successful activity around here.

I am liking the Interlock curriculum, but I am surprised by how thorough the lesson plans are.  As I glanced over it in preparation, I thought we’d whiz through the different activities in 15 minutes.  So I was having a great time on Pinterest looking for ways to supplement the material.  Turns out I’m going to have to find another excuse for stalking Pinterest.

Hmmmmm.  I’ve picked up machine embroidery again – now that would be a fun Pinterest board search!

Onward ho!

Not Writing? No Problem? Alphabet Skills for Prewriters

Is your little one ready to learn the alphabet but has no interest in writing?

No problem.

Consider this:

How many unique shapes would you need to form all the capital letters of the alphabet?

Here’s your hint:

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Betcha didn’t know you can make all 26 capital letters with just 4 basic lines (you’ll have to use some twice).

For example, the letter A:  Two long lines, one short line in between.

B:  One long line, two big curves.

C:  One big curve.

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And on and on.

Using these free letter puzzle printables I found on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/pin/234961305529990688/), I was able to print out the templates and letter patterns for all 26 uppercase letters.  You’ll find the original post with printables here:  http://tiredneedsleep.blogspot.com/2009/10/build-letter-templates.html.

I made my templates with craft foam – I just love the feel of the stuff, and it cuts so nicely.  Tagboard works well too.

All three of my Littles (Noah – 6 with Down syndrome, Bella 4 and Seth 3) all went right to work on this and continue to love this activity.

If you’re familiar with Handwriting Without Tears, they use a similar process for pre-writers.  It’s developmentally sound – a tactile, kinesthetic activity that requires recognizing shapes and working to form alphabet letters.  This kind of activity engages the brain in a way where letter formation and motor planning are happening even though there is no pen and paper in sight.  In other words, this is a great way to start down the Yellow Brick Road on the way to writing.

And as we say in the Land of Oz Homeschool, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home!