We'll Be Back Soon!

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My apologies for anyone anticipating more Thanksgiving activities.  Our family has taken a little break from learning time.  (Just one week.)  It's the first vacation we've had since... I don't know when.  I was feeling a little burned out.  The kiddos were sick.  We needed to do some major rearranging in the house.  Our learning time schedule has needed some changes and additions, as I have now taken over speech, occupational, and physical therapies for the kiddos.  Plus, we've had several specialist appointments for all of the kiddos resulting in referrals and more appointments. Lucky us!  No need to worry though. We're back in full swing this week and will have new activities posted by next week.

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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The First Thanksgiving Week 2: Pilgrims

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My apologies for not sharing activities last week.  The week ended up going a little differently than I had anticipated.  All three older kiddos had specialist appointments which required a little travel.  Sunshine celebrated her second birthday.  Daddy's work schedule changed yet again, which added for some fun and interesting changes in our routine.  Lastly, Lily outgrew her nap.  Amazingly, we were able to fit in a lot of learning time, but it wasn't always in the way I usually plan.  One day we even took a field trip.  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera.

This week we're studying the Pilgrims.  I had all of these fabulous thoughts of creating amazing and original activities, but plans don't always materialize.  I've learned the theme of Pilgrims is a challenging one, best taught through the reading of fabulous books, with a few added activities.  Mind you, our shelves are still full.  I found some amazing free printables out there!

Language:
Salt Tray Lower Case Letters
 This activity has been on the shelves for several weeks now with a rotation of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and numbers.  I'm hoping that this will be the last week.  Bulldozer is becoming quite proficient at writing all of his letters and numbers in the sand.  It has been such an added bonus that Bulldozer LOVES this activity and chooses it every day.  He has really needed the practice.

Source:  The free lowercase letter cards can be found at Homeschool Creations.

P is for Pilgrim Identification Activity
 Dinomite and Princess mix up their b's and d's, and p's and q's on a regular basis.  I was super excited to find this activity, as it will help them with their identification of the correct letters in a fun way.

Source:  I found this free printable at Crystal & Co.

Pilgrim Irregular Plural Matching
 This is a continuation of our Indian Irregular Plural Matching activity last week.

Source:  I found this free printable at Speech Room News.

Pilgrims Sentence Scramble
 I fell in love with this activity when I found it.  I had been looking for a great sequencing activity for Bulldozer, as he struggles with that.  I also wanted to find a history activity, as I had none on our shelves.  We're reading a lot of books this week as part of our history and culture study but I was looking for more.

This activity ties everything I needed into one activity and more!  I'm not using it exactly the way its creator intended, but it's working out fabulously for us.

There are five sets of cards. Each set has a different picture on it.  Within each set are six word cards. One must arrange the six cards to create a sentence describing a Pilgrim event.  A worksheet is provided for children to write the sentences once they create them.  I've decided to use the worksheet as a control to help the kiddos form their sentences, and to help them sequence the five sentences/events.  To make the activity even greater, I decided to add in the Montessori black triangles for Dinomite.  He's been studying nouns during his morning work for over a week now.  Once he has all five sentences put together he'll place triangles above all of the nouns.  I'm so excited about this activity!

Source: I found this fabulous free printable at Teachers pay Teachers.  I made the triangles out of construction paper, but am considering upgrading to felt shapes as we do further work on sentence structure.

Math:
Roll & Mark the Pilgrim Boy or Girl
 I love the option of a girl or boy with this activity.  All of the kiddos were thrilled.  The kiddos will roll the dice, add the numbers, and place a marker on the answer. When they've placed markers on all of the numbers, they'll be done.  I'm loving dice activities, as Bulldozer does so well with them!

Source: I found these free printables at A Cupcake for the Teacher.

Greater Than/Less Than Thanksgiving Activity
One of our goals for the month is to master greater than/less than problems.  Dinomite does quite well with them.  This will be the first time I introduce them to Bulldozer and Princess.  I'm hoping they'll grasp the concept without too many struggles.
 I found these cute Thanksgiving printables to use.  Inside the bag are numbers they select for the problem.  The Montessori beads are there as a control, in case needed, when deciding which number is bigger.  The final step will be to write down the problem on the record sheet, so we're able to keep track of how many problems each kiddo answers, and to practice our number writing.

Source:  The free Thanksgiving printables with numbers can be found at Royal Baloo.

History/Geography:
Pilgrim and Indian Sort
 Now that we've studied Indians and Pilgrims, I wanted to see how well the kiddos did at sorting out attire of each group.  Plus, I really wanted to sneak in a cutting activity.  It's been a while.  Under the sheet with the cut outs is a sorting sheet where the kiddos will glue their pictures.

Source: I found this free printable at 2 Teaching Mommies.

Science:
Fruit Matching Game
 We continue our study of the food groups this week with fruits and vegetables.  I love this printable because there are so many different fruits to match and identify.  I find myself having to use the control, which means I'm learning too.  That's always a great thing!

Source: I found this free printable at The Helpful Garden.

Vegetable Matching Game
 We've used this game before as part of our Easter Unit.  It's always fun to bring out activities from the past.  The kiddos love it, as they feel confident knowing how great they'll do, before they even start.

Source:  I found this free printable at The Helpful Garden.

Art:
Splatter Masterpiece
Our artist of the month is Jackson Pollock.  In case you don't know who he is, just open your Olivia book (the original), and you'll remember.  This week we'll be making our own masterpieces, using the same method he does, perhaps just a little modified.  I made sure to water down the paints to help with the splattering.
Pilgrim Hat Table Decoration
This activity I did come up with all on my own, purely by accident.  (I literally almost ran into the pots at the craft store while looking for ideas.)  But I must say, it turned out beautifully. The best part is that it's SUPER easy for little ones!

The first step is to turn the pot upside down to look like a pilgrim hat.  Paint the pot black to the ridge.  Below the ridge (where the belt is), paint brown.  Once all is dry, which if using the correct paint shown above, will take less than 5 minutes, paint a yellow buckle on your brown belt.  I used glittery black card stock for the rim of the hat, however plain black would look great too.  You can glue the rim onto your pot, but thanks to our adhesive allergy boy, we won't be able to do so. Perhaps we'll stick some surprise treats inside the hat for kiddos to find while they're waiting for their food to be put on their plates and cooled.  I'm super excited to use these for name cards at our Thanksgiving dinner table. All I have to do is insert a stick in the hole at the top of the hat, with a little card attached.  They'll look adorable!

Pilgrim Color By Number Pages
 We haven't had a coloring activity on the shelves in a very long time. I thought this might be fun as we learn about the clothes the Pilgrims wore.  The color by number aspect of the activity makes it so the kiddos have to use the right colors.

Source:  I found these free printables at Activity Village.

Music:
We're studying the works of Aaron Copeland this month. The kiddos are having so much fun listening to his music, drawing pictures, etc.  They also continue to participate in their church music program.

Physical Education:
We continue to participate in our family exercise program.

Practical Life/Sensorial
Thanksgiving Do A Dot Activity
 The kiddos will use the tweezers to place pom poms on the printables. I provided different colored pom poms to provide variety in their pictures.

Source: I found these free printables at Crystal & Co.

Native American/Indian & Pilgrim Sensory Bin 
 This is the same sensory bin from last week with the addition of all of our Indian corn kernels and Pilgrim minifigures.  It was a huge hit last week. I can only imagine how excited they'll be this week with new characters.

Source: I created this sensory bin.

Clothespin Color Matching
 I have seen this activity everywhere, but have never had it on our shelves. I decided this week to give it a try.  Instead of painting the sticks and clothespin or gluing pretty paper to them, I just used marker to color. It may not look as pretty, but it's fast and doesn't take forever.

And that's our week!  Next week we'll spend more time focusing on the Thanksgiving meal, tables manners, and take advantage of all those turkey activities being shown around.

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Thanksgiving Activities for Tots

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Please forgive my absence in the blogging world this past week, and for my absence in the tot world this past month.  It's amazing how little time I have some weeks, compared to others.  This past week, we traveled to specialist appointments for Dinomite, Bulldozer, and Princess.  Another day Sunshine celebrated her 2nd birthday.  Then there's been the change in Daddy's schedule that has us all turned around backwards in our routines.  Life's adventures can be so much fun sometimes.

We'res still moving forward though. Days where we're unable to actually sit down in our classroom, we do other things like visit historical sites (I forgot to bring the camera) and spend significant amounts of time outside discovering the world around us.

Over the past week, just as Sunshine turned 2, she's decided she no longer needs naps.  I'd started feeling like I needed to prepare for this to come in the near future, but I was definitely not prepared for it this week.  Dinomite took naps until he went to preschool at 4 years old.  Bulldozer never took naps.  Princess took naps until she was almost 3.  Every kiddo is so different.

The stopping of naps couldn't have occurred at a more inconvenient time, as Daddy's work schedule switched from evenings to days.  I'm home with all four kiddos by myself three out of five weekdays.  This hasn't and wouldn't be a problem, as we usually do learning time activities while Sunshine takes her nap, but now that she's going to be awake and with us... I panicked.  I cried.  I sulked.  And finally, I decided to figure out how to make this all work.  Once again, it's not that I can't handle taking care of my four kiddos.  I've taken them all on vacation for a week by myself with no problems.  However, when it comes to their instruction and learning...  Their special needs can be A LOT of work.  Dinomite and Princess are at the point where they can select their trays from the shelves and work independently.  Bulldozer however, needs a one-to-one with him 95% of the time.  When only one parent is home, they're with Bulldozer.  Add Sunshine to the mix...  Sunshine is the sweetest little girl in the world, but when it come to special needs, I fear she may be worse than any of my other kiddos, especially behaviorally.  She most resembles Bulldozer, except that she screams A LOT and has the worst temper of any of my other kiddos individually and combined.  Then there's the fact that she's only two years old.  At this point in time, Dinomite and Bulldozer are my main educational focuses, as they are in first grade and kindergarten.  Princess is so far ahead of where she's supposed to be at, I have no worries with her.

I've contemplated and prayed a lot about how to make learning time work effectively with Sunshine participating.  Finally, after pleading for inspiration for quite some time, I finally feel like I've gotten somewhere.  I feel like we need to move ALL of our learning time activities to the morning, rather than some in the afternoon. Perhaps Bulldozer will be more focused and can tend to activities on his own.  Perhaps Sunshine will be more calm and self directed, as she rarely ever plays on her own.  I'm not quite sure, but that's what I keep feeling, so I'm trying to go with it.  However, that means a complete change in routine, wake up time, etc.

I'm trying to also figure out how to make our learning time room work for Sunshine. She's usually not allowed in there because she just makes a mess of everything on the shelves.  I'm tempted to get another set of shelves, just for her, as the other three kiddos share their work and shelves.  Dinomite and Bulldozer are only 17 months apart.  Bulldozer and Princess are only 11 months apart.  Sadly, Sunshine didn't come to us until much later, there being almost 2 1/2 years between Princess and her.  For now I've dedicated a corner of the room to Sunshine, with all activities on the floor.  I've also thought about getting a throw rug to fit in her corner.  We'll see.

Here are Sunshine's activities for the week:

Thanksgiving Sensory Bin with Emphasis on the Letter P
I had fun with this sensory bin. I thought about adding a few more items, like pigs that the Pilgrim's brought over etc., but I worried it would be too overwhelming for Sunshine.  She's not the biggest fan of sensory bins. She won't put her hand in them, unless there's an object she'd like to pull out.  In this bin there are three letter Ps, and then three sets of match up cards and objects.  I like to try to create some type of educational activity within the sensory bin for her, to keep her interest and increase vocabulary, as she still struggles with her speech.

This sensory bin includes, rice, popcorn kernels, Indian Corn, black beans, wheat berries, pasta, letters, cards, and objects.  I made sure that if Sunshine decided to eat any or all of the objects, they were either too big to fit in her mouth or they were edible.  She craves oral stimulation, which usually leads to putting everything in her mouth.

Source: The cards used in this sensory bin can be found as part of a free Thanksgiving Packet at Homeschool Creations.

Pilgrim Coloring Page
Sunshine loves to color, except for when she decides she doesn't.  Usually she screams and cries, begging to color, as she sees her siblings doing. Then, the minute I give her paper and crayons, she decides she wants nothing to do with it.  Her older siblings have a similar coloring page on their shelve this week. I'm hoping eventually she'd decide to go for it and actually color.

Source: I found this free coloring page, along with one of a Pilgrim Boy at Activity Village.

Pumpkin Dot Tweezing Activity
I went back and forth with this activity, trying to decide if I wanted to use an orange dot marker, beads, play dough balls, or pom poms.  In the end I decided on pom poms.  Sunshine has tasted these before and decided she wasn't a fan.  I worried that if I had to tend to Bulldozer or any of the other kiddos for a minute, I'd end up with orange dot marker all over the carpet, walls, and her clothes. Either that or she'd decide to suck the ink out of the of the marker.  Bulldozer was notorious for that at this age.  And beads...  There's always the choking hazard.  Play dough ended up being used for other activities.

I'm guessing Sunshine won't choose to use the tweezers, but I'm sure she'll enjoy putting the pom poms on the pumpkin.  And maybe, just maybe, she'll attempt using the tweezers by the end of the week.

Source: This free pumpkin printable can be found at Crystal & Co., along with many other Thanksgiving themed pages.

Pumpkin Spice Play Dough Activity
If you haven't noticed, our color of the week is orange.  Sunshine really struggles with fine motor skills, especially when it comes to using her fingers properly.  I just happened to have orange popsicle sticks on hand along with very large noodles that could easily fit over the sticks.  This is sure to be a hit!  It smells so good too.

Spooning Indian Corn Kernels
The kiddos had a blast tweezing corn kernels last week. They've been fabulous to have around and use for other activities such as this.  I love all the rich fall colors.  They're so beautiful.

Sunshine struggles with feeding herself.  Every meal, she ends up using her hands to eat, as she becomes extremely frustrated with utensils.  Sunshine and frustration don't mix.  I thought this might be a fun skill to practice when we're not eating.  I selected a spoon that most resembles the size of her spoon.  The corn kernels are small enough for practice, but large enough for when she dumps then all over the floor and needs to pick them up.  (It's actually a fabulous fine motor activity in itself.)  I provided her with two bowls, just for fun and to increase the possibility of her deciding to practice pouring.

Gourd Fill & Spill
Sunshine is obsessed with putting items in and out of containers, especially when there's a lid involved.  I can just see her now putting all of the gourds in the pitcher, putting the top on, taking the top off, pouring them back into the bin, and starting all over again.  I love the simplicity of entertainment when kiddos are this age.

Throwing Practice with the Color Orange
It's always fun to incorporate some type of gross motor activity on the shelves.  Here I have a small waste basket, and three objects of varying textures, shapes, and weight.  There are no set instructions for this activity, as Sunshine will most likely have her own agenda.  I'm sure she'll amaze me with all of the many functions she'll come up with for these four objects.

Play Dough Fork Practice
Once again I'm using my favorite pumpkin spice play dough for this activity.  Sunshine struggles just as much using a fork, as she does a spoon.  I'm hoping this activity might help her understand the whole "stick" process.  Sunshine will be asked to "stick" the play dough in the bowl, using the fork and transfer it to the plate. She'll need to use her fingers to take the play dough off the fork, but that's okay for this activity.

And there's our week!  I'm really hoping it goes well.  I won't hide it, I'm super nervous about how all this is going to go.  Wish me luck, and if you're the praying type, I could use as many as you're willing to offer.  My plan is to be back next week with my second installment of Thanksgiving Tot School Activities.
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Simple, Kid Friendly, Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Countdown

Every year we have a Christmas Countdown, with bags filled with toys and candy. This year we're adding Random Acts of Christmas Kindness that everyone in the family can help with, including our youngest children.

Our simple, kid friendly, Random Acts of Christmas Countdown is for everyone and only requires about $10 for materials that you may not have on hand.  There is no worrying about spending money you might not have.

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness for famlies
This post contains affiliate links.

Our Simple, Kid Friendly, Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Countdown


1.  Hold the door for someone.
2.  Write and decorate a surprise driveway/lawn message for a friend or neighbor, using chalk if there is no snow, and colored water sprays if there is snow.
3.  Clean up someone's front yard, or shovel for them if there is snow.
4.  Make treats and thank you notes for local firemen and deliver.
5.  Make treats and thank you notes for local policemen and deliver.
6.  Write a note or draw a picture for a friend telling them or showing them why they are special and send it.
7.  Make treats and card(s) for local librarian(s).  Deliver.
8.  Make a meal for a family in need.  Deliver it.
9.  Sort through and donate gently used, unwanted toys to a local charity organization or a family in need.
10.  Call a cousin, aunt, uncle, or grandparent to say hello and tell them that you love them.
11.  Make treats and card for mail person and leave it for them to pick up when they deliver mail.
12.  Go on a scavenger hunt in your home for loose change.  Take it and deliver it to a Salvation Army bell ringer.
13.  Mail a letter to a soldier or veteran.
14.  Smile at and give a compliment to someone you don't know.
15.  Let someone go before you in line at the store or other place.
16.  Pray for someone specific you know in need, during every prayer of the day.
17.  Donate gently used, unwanted books to a local doctor's office.
18.  Pick up someone else's toys for him/her and put them away.
19.  Arrange a play date/babysitting opportunity for someone, so another set of parents can spend some time by themselves.
20.  Donate gently used, unwanted clothes to a local charity organization or someone in need.
21.  Make and/or write a Thank You card for someone who has helped you.  Send it.
22.  Donate gently used, unwanted shoes to a local charity organization or someone in need.
23.  Make treats and thank you notes for local pharmacy workers and deliver.
24.  Make a BIG (clearly visible) thank you note for your local garbage collectors for the next time they come.  If you can catch them when they come, hand deliver treats to them.


Our Random Acts of Christmas went so well this year we're excited to continue this new tradition next year.  We'd love to have you join us!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the posts below.
Family Focused Random Acts of Christmas Kindness

Christmas Activities and Free Printables

Family Christmas Traditions
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The First Thanksgiving Week 1: Native Americans/Indians & South America

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In all my studying of this subject over the last week, as I've prepared activities, I still have yet to figure out the proper term to use when speaking about Native Americans or Indians or American Indians or...  Teaching the kiddos political correctness is sometimes more than I bargain for.  So, in an effort not to offend, I will teach them all of the different names. If they are ever in the presence of one of these people, they can ask, which name the person prefers.

I'm super excited about this month's activities.  Spending a month learning about all of the aspects of Thanksgiving sounds divine, especially as the study postpones the Christmas rush and hype just a little bit longer.  I want my kiddos to develop a respect for Thanksgiving.  Yes it's nice to share what we're thankful for and prepare a large meal, but it's also so important to understand the history of the Americas, not just the settlers who came to claim a new world, but those who were already here living and cultivating the land.

The theme of this week's activities is Native Americans/Indians.  This week's activities also include a study of South America, as we did not go in depth on the subject last month.  Later in the month we will study North America. I find it fitting to study both American continents this month, as the Native American/Indian history encompasses both.

Here's what we're doing:

Language:
Group 3 Letter Salt Tray
I can't believe we're on our third set of letters this month.  Bulldozer and Princess are doing so well with them!

Just like all the other letter cards before, these free cards can be found at Homeschool Creations.

South America Countries & Flags Match Up
 I had attempted to create this activity last month, however there were some errors in it.  Then, well, the kiddos never touched it.  I'm hoping this week they'll respond better to it as it relates to other activities on the shelves.
 Source: I created these cards. For your free copy, click HERE.  If you notice any other errors in them, please don't hesitate to leave a comment. I want correct any mistakes as soon as possible.

South America Syllable Cards
 The idea to create syllable cards for countries in South America came after Bulldozer did such a fabulous job with our last syllable activity.  I thought it might be a fantastic way to help the kiddos learn to pronounce the names of the countries, as some of them are quite difficult.
I did not include countries or islands with two names or two words, but the rest are here.

Source: I created these cards. For your free copy, click HERE.

Indian Irregular Plural Matching
 I loved this activity when I saw it.  Bulldozer has stopped receiving services through the school district.  There were many reasons, but ultimately it came down to the fact that we felt he needed services that met his social engagement opportunities, not just his academic performance goals.  It is now my responsibility to provide him with therapy.  This activity was specifically designed to be a speech oriented activity. Since Bulldozer requires one to one help with all of his activities during learning time, I'm excited to have the opportunity to test this one out with him.
Source:  These cards are part of a free printable (that includes pilgrims too) I found at Speech Room News.

I am super excited about all of the books I've ordered from our local library to read this week.  At this point in time, I'm unable to give a review on any of the books, but can give the titles and authors, as reading will be a very big part of learning about the Native Americans/Indians.

1.  How the Stars Fell Into the Sky: A Navajo Legend, by Jerrie Oughton
2.  If You Lived with the Indians of the Northwest Coast, by Anne Kamma
3.  If You Lived with the Cherokees, by Peter Roop
4.  Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest, by Gerald McDermott
5.  Anansi the Spider:  A Tale from the Ashanti, by Gerald McDermott
6.  Arrow to the Sun:  A Pueblo Indian Tale, by Gerald McDermott
7.  If You Lived with the Sioux Indians, by Ann McGovern
8.  Grandmother's Dreamcatcher, by Becky Ray McCain
9.  If You Lived with the Iroquois, by Ellen Levine

Math:
Odd & Even Rain Forest Frogs
This is pretty much the same activity we did last week with Halloween themed counters.  I wanted to have the activity on the shelves one more week so the concept will hit home.

Source:  I created the cards for this activity.  For your free copy, click HERE.

Indian Chief Addition
This week, like all weeks, we have an addition activity on the shelves.  However this time, instead of individual counters (I was going to use feathers), I decided to pull out or Montessori beads.  My thought behind this was that Bulldozer struggles so much with the multi-step process of reading the problem, counting out objects for both numbers, then counting them all together...etc, that he never can finish the activity.  He knows his bead bars well.  He doesn't hesitate in selecting the correct bar for the correct number, which then only leaves the step of counting all of the beads together to find his answer.  I'm hoping for more success from him this way.

Source:  I created these cards. For your free copy, click HERE.

Native American Stick Game
I loved this game idea when I saw it.  In all honesty, I'm not sure how legitimate it is in regards to being an actual Native American game, but true or not, it's been a great learning activity.  The kiddos are practicing taking turns, sequencing, and so much more.  It's quite easy to make too.

Source: I found this activity at Play On Words.  I did make one minor adjustment to the number 0 sequence, just because my kiddos ended up with a pattern and that wasn't shown on any of the original numbers.

Geography/Culture:
South America Puzzle
To put even more emphasis on our South America study, I created a puzzle using crayons and laminated card stock.  It's not as fancy as the wooden puzzles, but it works.  I'm sure the kiddos will love it.

Source:  I found the free map at Geography for Kids.  Then, I altered it just a little to work for what I needed, including the addition of county names on the map.

Coloring Countries of South America
Some kiddos like puzzles, and some kiddos like coloring. To cover all my bases, I included both activities.  The colors I've selected for each country match those on a Montessori map. They look much lighter because I used crayon.

Source: Once again, I used the map at Geography for Kids, with just a little altering.

Native American Homes
I loved this activity when I saw it mentioned at Living Montessori Now.  This activity fit perfectly with my desire to teach my children about the diversity of Native Americans/Indians.

Source: These free cards are offered at Montessori for Everyone.

Famous Landmarks of South America
I admit, before preparing this week's activities, I knew very little about South America.  I speak Spanish and lived with a roommate from Argentina who spoke English as well as I spoke Spanish at the time.  (We switched off days speaking each language so we both could learn each other's native tongue.)  I remember the delicious food she would prepare for us when it was her turn, but that was about it.  Most of my knowledge of that culture comes from Central America as my husband lived in Mexico for two years and my best friend lived in Guatamala for two years and then served in the Peace Corp in Central America.

When I researched the landmarks for this activity, I immediately fell in love with the land. If only the political stability of these countries wasn't so fragile and it was safer to be there.  I would love to take my family there to visit, especially Dinomite who lives for animals and wants to become an animal expert working in the rain forest.  Perhaps someday...
Source:  I created these landmark cards. For your free copy, click HERE.

Science:
Grain Matching Activity
This month we're studying the different food groups.  I specifically selected grains this week because South America is known for its production of specific grains, and because the Native Americans/Indians are known for their use of grains.

In this activity the kiddos have six different grains (or grain relations) to identify:  quinoa, rice, potato, corn, wheat, and oats.  The first step of the activity is to identify the grain with the word cards. The second step of the activity is to identify the plant it comes from.  The last step of the activity is to identify foods that are made with each grain.

I did not include cold cereal, because it can be made with all grains.  There are some exceptions, especially for those with dietary restrictions. An example of this includes bread in the wheat category. For those that live gluten free or wheat free, this may be placed in another category.  Bulldozer is allergic to oats.  Thankfully it is not a contact allergy and only ingestion is a trigger, allowing us to have the grain available for him to identify.
Source: I created this activity. For your free copy of cards, click HERE.

Animals of South America
This activity does not include all animals from South America.  I'm very disappointed that I couldn't find a llama or something of the like to include. However, the activity does include many rain forest animals (along with others), all of which are in South America. The kiddos will match up the animals to the cards.

Source: I created this activity. For you free copy of the cards, click HERE.

Art:
Dream Catcher Craft
String is not shown in picture.
Bad dreams are quite a big deal in this house right now.  I figured it would be fun to make our own dream catchers and learn the story behind them.  Then, just maybe, I can have my bed back to myself. Lol.  I was worried that paper plates might not be strong enough to withstand the kiddos' hands when frustrated, so I opted to use heavy cardboard.  I then poked holes in it.

The kiddos will first paint the cardboard. Second they will use string to create the dream catcher. Third they will attach strings to the bottom where they will string beads and tie feathers to finish.

Music:
Piano Piece 3
The kiddos are moving along with their piano lessons. Bulldozer is learning by watching me play, rather than reading the notes.  Princess and Dinomite are doing very well reading the notes. Now they just need to improve their rhythm.

Native American Instruments
We have an extended family relative, Music Man, who has a very large collection of different ethnic instruments, some of which are Native American.  He was very kind to lend us the the three instruments above for the week.  The kiddos have been having a blast with them.

Physical Education:  We continue using our Fun Family Physical Fitness Activities.


Practical Life/Sensorial:
Native American Sensory Bin
The unit would not be the same without a sensory bin to go along with it.  The picture above does not show all the contents, but it's the start of a very fun time.

Contents we've included are:  corn kernels, both plain and from the Indian Corn activity below, wheat grains, quinoa, rice, black beans, teal colored pony beads, Native American Figures (very hard to see in the picture), and some feathers, which the kiddos decided to remove.  I'm hoping to build on the bin each week, if it works out, as we learn more about the First Thanksgiving.

Tweezing Indian Corn
I wasn't sure how much the kiddos would like this activity, but I was very mistaken in my thoughts. It has been quite a favorite on the shelves. Each kiddos has their own piece of corn so there are no fights.

Source: I know I saw this activity somewhere, but I neglected to pin it. My sincere apologies for not siting the source.

Native American Weaving
It's common knowledge that Native Americans are known for their beautiful weaving and crafting. I decided it would be a great time to bring out our first weaving activity.  I had wanted to choose Native American designed ribbon, but ran out of time.  I'm hoping the kiddos will gain the courage to try the activity as they appear completely intimidated by it.

South American Fruit Taste Testing
We are blessed to have some wonderful grocery stores around here that sell tropical fruits from South America.  This week, as each fruit ripens we'll be taste testing them to see which ones we like best.  The kiddos are very intrigued by the fruits. I'm hoping this means they'll try them. I must say, the smells in our learning time room are quite different from normal. Lol.

And that's our week!  Next week we will be focusing on Pilgrims and perhaps continue with our South America study if needed.  If not, we'll possibly add some of our first North America activities to the shelves.
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