Land, Air, & Water Vehicles

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This week marks the last week of our vehicle unit.  Hooray for me!  The boys will be sad though I'm sure.  To wrap our unit up we focused on the difference between land, air, and water vehicles.  This way we could include any and all vehicles we've not talked about during the month so far.

Language:
Vehicle Spelling
I loved these letter print outs and decided to create words with one copy so the kids could match up the letters, if they weren't ready to spell the words themselves.  If they were ready to spell the words themselves, I loved that the letters had pictures on them, so they knew what letters to use for each word.

Source:  I found these printables at Homeschool Creations.

Vehicle Reading
Dinomite is doing so well with his reading, I decided to put a reading activity on the shelves.  He did so well with it!  I love having access to our local public library system!

Math:
Vehicle Patterns
All of the kids are fabulous at finishing a pattern that's already established, so I decided to go a step further and have them create their own patterns from the start.  I found the vehicle erasers at our local dollar store.  They all did a fabulous job!

Science:
Land, Air & Water Vehicle Sorting
I loved the visual concept of this activity when I saw it.  The kiddos liked it too, especially when sorting their vehicles between the three jars.  I had a blast making the vehicle cards.  There were at least six in each category.

Sources:  I found this idea at Montessori Moments.  The vehicle cards were made by me.  At this point, I do not know how to give the link to my pdf file through my blog.  If you are interested in the printables, please feel free to e-mail me at renaemarienae@gmail.com, with the specific activity cards you're requesting and I will send them to you as an attachment in my e-mail response.  If you'd like to share with me just how I make the printables available on my blog, I'd really appreciate it!

Geography:
Coloring & Labeling Continents
Source:  I found the map at Crayola.  The continent cards are part of another activity I found at Walk Beside Me.

Practical Life:
Land, Air, & Water Vehicle Sewing Cards
Source: I found these cards at our local dollar store.

Vehicle Silly Band Tweezer Activity
This activity appeared trickier than it looked, which I loved.  The boys LOVED pulling out vehicle silly bands one by one, trying to figure out what shape they were, before transferring them into the other container.

Source:  This idea came from Counting Coconuts.

All of these activities were on our shelves simultaneously with some of our Easter activities.  Next month, in honor of Earth Day we'll be learning all about the Earth around us specifically focusing on the Creation, pollution, recycling, and endangered species. I'm super excited!

Easter Activities

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I enjoy Easter time very much, almost as much as Christmas.  In all honestly, the time of year is as hectic as Christmas.  We have three birthdays in the family within 7 days of Easter.  Then Bulldozer and Princess' food allergies make it so Easter baskets and eggs are full of toys, not candy.  The only difference is that unlike Santa, whom they absolutely adore, my kids are petrified of the Easter Bunny.  They request that he not come to our house, but instead that Mommy and Daddy fill their Easter baskets.  I consider myself one lucky mother in that regard.

Since they are afraid of the Easter bunny, we tend to take the focus off of that character and read stories about other bunnies like Peter Rabbit and Runaway Bunny.  Many of our learning time activities focused around one of these two bunnies.  We've had Easter activities on our shelves for two weeks.  I've put the activities in order by subject.  However, we spent one week focusing on the story of the Runaway Bunny and the second week on The Tale of Peter Rabbit & The Tale of Benjamin Button.  Hopefully the post isn't too confusing.

Language:
The ABC Bunny Alphabet
Bulldozer has decided he likes writing, or tracing I should say, so I'm trying to incorporate at least one activity a week that is just tracing letters or numbers.  He's doing such a great job!

Source:  I found these printables at Homeschool Creations.

Gardening Sight Words
This activity went along with the story, The Tale of Peter Rabbit.  There are many tools and garden references in the story, so I figured it was quite appropriate.

Source:  I found these at Homeschool Creations.

Word Ending Sounds
Princess LOVED this activity and used it every day!  I'm not sure what she enjoyed so much about it, but by day three, she could do it perfectly with no help!
Each of the egg contents was separated out by what letter the object word ended with.

Source:  I was inspired by an idea I saw at Pre K Pages.

The Runaway Bunny Sight Words
These words were great to have around as we focused on the story of The Runaway Bunny.  I probably would have used more of the packet of printables than I did, however my kiddos have mastered most of them.

Source:  I found this printable as part of a packet at Homeschool Creations.

The Runaway Bunny Sequencing Activity
This was a FABULOUS activity!  I LOVED it!  The kids were asked to put in sequence, all of the things the little bunny was going to become, in order from 1st to 8th.  I loved how the activity included not just the written numbers, but the spellings of each number too.  I included the book on the tray, so they could look the answers up if they couldn't remember them.  To my surprise, Dinomite had the order memorized by the second reading of the book.

Source:  I found this printable as part of a packet at Homeschool Creations.

Egg Sight Word Activity
This was another activity Princess practiced every day.  I'm not sure she gets the concept of reading words, but she loved spelling words out.  Dinomite did this activity once. I was pleased to learn that he knew all of his sight words but 5 in the activity.

Source:  I found this idea at Pre K Pages.

Math:
Addition Wheels
In need of another math activity, and wanting to give Dinomite a little more practice with his addition facts, I switched out beads and pipe cleaners for beautiful pink and purple flowered beads I found at the dollar store in town.  The kiddos do great putting a bead on the inside number, and then counting out the same number of the same color bead below, then selecting an outside number and counting out those beads with the second color to find the answer to the problem.  Princess is now trying to write the math problems all by herself!

Source:  I found the addition wheel printables at Montessori for Everyone.

Counting/Add & Even Numbers
A couple weeks ago we worked on odd and even numbers. Dinomite really liked it, but didn't quite have it all down, so I figured we'd reintroduce them.  If Bulldozer and Princess don't want to find out if the numbers are odd or even, by pairing up the counting seeds, then they can just put the cards in order from 1-20.

Source:  I found these printables at Homeschool Creations.

Jelly Bean Sorting & Graphing
This activity was loved by all, including Mommy and Daddy. Each kiddo did it every day last week.   They loved sorting out the jelly beans (although our package came with no blue), and then did a fabulous job graphing them.  I'm not sure if the little ones realized what they were doing, but they could do the activity independently with no problems.

Source:  I found these printables at Empowering Little Learners.

Science:
Vegetable Match Up
This activity went along with our Peter Rabbit theme.  I've gotta say, there were some vegetables I didn't know from these cards.  I was very thankful for the written guide as I was teaching the kids.  Dinomite loved this activity!

Source:  I found this game at The Helpful Garden.

Coloring Easter Eggs
Now that Bulldozer has grown out of his egg allergy, I decided to have them decorate eggs for the first time. However, I knew that the odor of the vinegar was going to really bother them, so we used Kool-aide instead.  The colors varied throughout the week.  I loved adding the tongs into the activity to help them with their scissor skills.  Remembering that crayons could add some extra fun, I threw them in too.  The kiddos are having a blast!

Source:  I found the Kool-aid recipe and directions at Hey! Jen Renee.

Practical Life/Sensorial/Other:
Peter Rabbit's Coat Buttons
All of the kids really struggle with their dressing skills, so I wanted to start incorporating those things into our activities.  Seeing as Peter Rabbit's coat was blue, I decided to bring out Bulldozer's blue sweater from when he was a baby, to have the kids practice on.  Hopefully it will go well.  (It just came out on the shelves today.)

Matching Egg Sounds
This is a repeat of an activity we did last year, which I'm sure is an idea on many internet sites, but I did think if it myself.  There are five pairs of eggs with different seeds in them.  The kiddos shake the eggs to find the matching pairs. Once they think they've found a match, they can open up the eggs and see.  Be careful to only fill the eggs up a little bit, so when the kiddos open them, the seeds don't fly everywhere.

Carrot Peeling
I thought of this activity myself, although I'm sure many have thought of it before me.  I was a little worried about the sharp edge of the peeler, until Bulldozer selected the activity first thing and did FABULOUS with it!  I was super excited, as I now know my kids can help peel carrots and other vegetables in the kitchen!

Bunny Tower
When I saw this activity I knew Bulldozer and Dinomite would love it, and they did.  The first day brought tears from Bulldozer, but then after practicing he eventually built the entire tower.  That kid is so determined!
Dinomite built the entire tower too..

Source: I found this idea at Strong Start.  I found the game at our local Wegman's.

Easter Tree Decorating
I purchased this Easter tree a couple of months ago, when I saw it at our local dollar store.  I thought it would be a perfect practical life activity. The kids really struggled at Christmas time to hang ornaments on the tree.  This would give them great practice and really encourage them to use their pincher grasp.
The activity was a huge it!

Jelly Bean Transfer
We started out using tongs at the beginning of the week, but switched to spooning after Bulldozer broke the tongs by accident.  They are getting really good at these type of activities.  It's going to be time to move on to something else soon.

Source:  I found this idea at Carrots Are Orange.

And there you have it!  We've had a lot of fun preparing for the Easter holiday!

Racing Vehicles

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We are now finishing our third week of vehicle themed studies.  I've gotta say, I'm ready to switch gears, BUT the boys are LOVING this unit.  Princess is enjoying herself too, as I've been adding St. Patrick's Day and Easter activities every week.  Our Easter activities will be posted soon!  Next week is our last week, focusing on land, air, and water vehicles in a more generic sense.  Here's what we did this week-

Language
Disney Cars Shape Sight Words
I've been really working hard to teach the kids their basic sight words of numbers, colors, shapes, etc.  This week we focused on shapes.  All three kiddos loved the Cars printables I found.

Source:  I found this as part of a printable packet at 1+1+1=1.

 M is for Monster Truck (& Mud)
Bringing back our "mud" play dough from a couple weeks ago, the kids made upper case and lower case M's.  I did not realize how difficult this was going to be for them.  There will definitely be more of these  activities to come!

Source:  I found this cute printable at 1+1+1=1.  It was part of a Monster Trucks printable packet.

Math
Racing Race Cars
Oh My Goodness!!!  This was by far THE FAVORITE activity of the week.  So much that there were almost daily arguments.  Our Montessori classroom is still in the works. I don't have enough sets of shelves yet for every subject area. Instead I have a set of black shelves on one side of the room, and four lower shelves of 2 bookshelves on the other side of the room.  (The upper shelves I use for storage.)  To help with Bulldozer's stemming issues, related to his autism, I divide the activities up into 2 categories.  The kids call them the "work" shelves and the "fun" shelves.  The activities more geared towards math, language, and geography are usually located on the black shelves or the "work" shelves.  The other "fun" shelves usually hold our science, practical life, art, music, and sensorial activities.  For the first half of learning time, the kids have to choose activities from the black shelves.  The second half of learning time the kids choose activities from the other shelves.  I know this may not be typical, but Bulldozer would not do anything else if he had full access to the other "fun" shelves the entire time.

So, the Racing Race Cars activity was at first on the black shelves.  They were matching colors, numbers, and well... that's it.  But, that was NOT it for them.  Every time someone was using this game, everyone was glued to it.  Which car would win?  Who's ahead now?  It went on and on.  After three days, the activity was moved to the "fun" shelves, to ensure that the kiddos would choose other "work" activities.  Needless to say this tray was a BIG hit! I found the little markers at our local dollar store. They're actually tiny stamps, but none of the kids knew that. :)

Oh, I almost forgot to share how we played the game.  Each number 1-6 was represented by one of the colored race car. The kiddos rolled the die to find out what car moved ahead one space. If the die read 6, then car number 6 moved space.  This could be a group activity or an individual activity.  The kiddos kept rolling the die until one car made it to the finish line.  Dinomite always loved seeing who came in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th too.

Source: I found this activity at Mama Jenn.

 Monster Truck Numbers 1-20
I was really surprised that Bulldozer selected this activity every day of the week.  He's not one to practice writing, but he definitely did this week.  Perhaps it was the monster trucks on the page, I don't know.  He did a fabulous job tracing numbers that could be traced, and even wrote in a few of his own. Way to go Bulldozer!

Source: This printable came as part of a packet at 1+1+1=1.

 Numbers to 9,999
I still do not have my golden bead sets of 100 and 1000, but I couldn't resist introducing the kids to the decimal system as they have been trying to invent their own really big numbers for a few weeks now.  They just seemed ready.  And boy was Dinomite ready!
He loved this activity this week, except for the setting up and picking up parts.  We took turns making numbers back and forth, as he identified each and every one.  It was so much fun!  Bulldozer even joined in once or twice.

Source:  I found these number print outs at Montessori Print Shop.

Science 
Let's Build a Car!
Dinomite is really big into LEGOS right now, especially LEGO City sets.  He received a few new kits for his birthday, one being a My First Lego kit.  It just so happened it was a car kit.  I couldn't resist adding it to our shelves so that all three kiddos could build their own race cars.  The activity was very well received!

Racing Predictions vs. Winners
Dinomite also received a Hot Wheels Racing Ramp for his birthday.  Of course I had to incorporate that!  The ramp is set up for 4 cars.  I selected 4 different colors.  Before the cars raced down the ramp, the kiddos wrote down the number race it was on their recording sheet, and then colored in the prediction square with the color of the car they thought might win the race.  After the race was finished, they colored in the winner square with the color of the car who won.  It was fun to see how excited they would get if their predictions were right.
Everyone did this activity at least twice! I would say it was second favorite of the week!

Practical Life
Monster Truck Wash

I had originally thought of bringing out our "mud" play dough again and have the kids build a monster truck race track, BUT, they came up with the idea first and did that all of Sunday afternoon, so they had enough.  Instead, after listening to the boys complain about the play dough stuck in their monster trucks, I created a monster truck washing station.  One bowl had soapy water for them to wash the monster truck, using the tooth brush provided, while the other bowl had clean water in it to rinse.  I also provided a dish towel.  The kids enjoyed the activity but really struggled with using the tooth brush to wash.  It looks like we're going to need to incorporate more hand strengthening activities.  Yippee!

And that was our week.  Yet another fun one!

Emergency Vehicles

My boys love vehicles, especially emergency vehicles.  Using their love of vehicles has been a great way to teach fire safety, first aid, and other very important safety concepts.  All of the kiddos have loved our Emergency Vehicles Unit.
Emergency Vehicles Unit with Free Printables
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Here's what was on our shelves!

Police Themed 3 Part Cards
Police themed 3 part cards.
The kiddos matched up the three part cards, learning basic police vocabulary.  They have thoroughly enjoyed this process!

Source:  The printable for this activity can be found at Home School Creations.

Firemen Safety 3 Part Cards
Fireman safety 3 part cards.
The kiddos matched up the 3 part cards learning fire safety vocabulary.  

Source:  The printable for this activity can be found at Home School Creations.

Fire Truck Number Match Up
Fire Truck Number Match Up
The kiddos matched the number fire truck to the correct garage.  This was a great way to practice identifying written numbers and such a cute printable.

Source:  The printable for this activity can be found at Making Learning Fun.

Number Puzzles
Number Puzzles
Once again, we were practicing number identification in this activity.  We've also added the sequencing component.  The kiddos put the numbers in order to create a fire and police themed picture.

Sources: The fire safety and police themed printables for this activity can be found at Homeschool Creations.

My Fire Safety Book
An inside look at Fire Safety Social Story Printable
We review fire safety at least once a year in our home.  I created this book to help the kiddos understand the basics of what to do in case of a fire.  A special thanks to friends in a local fire department who helped me put this together.  It was quite an emotional process, thinking about the "what ifs."
The book included a page where the kids wrote their full name, phone number, address, and number to call in case of an emergency.

Source: I created this book. For your free copy, click HERE.  Cut outs are not included in the printable.

Emergency Vehicle Operations
Emergency Vehicle Operations
There are very few times I'm thankful that my boys have as many little vehicles as they do, but this was one of those times.  Included in this bin were police cars, a S.W.A.T. team vehicle, an armored police tank, police helicopters, sheriff cars, ambulances, fire trucks, a rescue boat...  You name it. We had it!

In the little red cup located in the corner of the bin were signs and symbols for the hospital, police station, ambulance dispatch, fire station, camp grounds, bank, and symbols representing boating and a fire.

The kids laid out the signs on the floor, establishing where each location was, and then played A LONG time, acting out scenarios with their vehicles.  I loved that they were learning signs and symbols and identifying emergency vehicles they might see all at the same time!

EMT Station
EMT Station
This activity focuses ambulances and medical emergencies.  I put together a basket full of medical supplies that were allergy friendly for Bulldozer and used one of Sunshine's baby dolls as a patient.

In my basket I included three different sizes of gauze rolls, several gauze pads, an oxygen mask (Sunshine's nebulizer mask), medical gloves, a bendable splint, a medicine syringe (The kids used it as a "shot".) and one of Bulldozer's practice epi-pens. After all, with him in the family, that's definitely a medical device that might be used in the ambulance.

Little did I know how much ALL three kiddos would LOVE this activity.  Each one used it in different ways, but made sure to use all of the items in the basket, either on themselves, or on their patient.
EMT Station practice complete.
Princess' Patient

This activity incorporated so many learning experiences.

  • Practical Life Skills: The kids would wrap their patient's extremities and then unwrap them. 
  • Science: They'd come up with scenarios about what had happened to their patient.
  • Compassion: The kiddos would talk their patient through the procedures.  


Police Station Fingerprinting
Police Station Finger Painting
I thought the kiddos would have a lot of fun with a finger printing station.  Not only could they go through the motion, but they could examine what their finger prints looked like.

We only ran into one little glitch with this activity.  My stamp pad was brand new and had lots of ink.  So, instead of going from the ink pad to the paper, the kids first stamped their finger on a towel and then onto the paper.  That way they could see the lines.
Police Station Finger Prints
Some of the kiddos' finger prints.
Dinomite really enjoyed studying his prints through the magnifying glass and talking about how each one varied from the others.

Source: The finger print printable can be found at a NY State Assembly website.

Fire Finger Painting
Fire finger painting tray set up.
We've been focusing our art lessons on mixing colors lately.  In this activity we practiced making orange with red and yellow.  Since it was our emergency vehicles unit, and we were learning about fire safety, why not have fun making fire with finger paint!

It took the kiddos a little time to get used to having paint on their fingers, but once they did, they went all out!  These are my favorite flames from the week!
Fire finger painting sample.
Dinomite's Fire
Our last adventure of the week was a field trip to the ambulance garage in our city.  One of our friends is an EMT and gave the kiddos a private tour!  It was fabulous!
Tour of ambulance.
If you enjoyed this post and are looking for other vehicle activities, be sure to visit the posts below:
Airplane Unit with Free Printables

Boat Activities for Tots & Preschoolers with Free Printables

To view all of our transportation activities and free printables, please visit the page below!
Transportation Activities and Free Printables

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