Sep 15, 2008

D is for Donkeys

This week in Totschool, we were supposed to be learning about donkeys. This was to go along with the story of Balaam. However, there is not a lot of stuff out there, especially when it comes to books, about donkeys for small children. So we kind of expanded our theme to include farm animals in general. The kids didn't mind.

We started with scissor practice. I found these awesome scissors at the Dollar Tree. They have a little plastic guard that you can flip up that keeps the scissors open. So the kids only have to squeeze to get the scissors to cut. With these, Alex and Daniel were able to cut up a strip of paper pretty much independently. It was fun. I did not give Abbie a pair.

Then I gave them paper donkeys to play with. Abbie loved them. She hugged one totally to death. The boys matched them by color.

I gave the boys magna-doodles to draw on. We talked about triangles, and attempted to draw a couple. Then Abbie appeared with aqua-doodle. She was not about to be left out! She has already figured out that if she runs out of water, she just has to suck on the pen a little, and it magically works!

We had donkey races. This was a big hit with everyone. We had these races over and over and over. They didn't even care who won!

They played with the alphabet and number puzzles.

I was impressed at how much better they were at these puzzles than just a few weeks ago.

They painted donkeys with brown paint.

They each had their own technique. Daniel is a dauber. He put spots of paint in carefully determined places all over his paper.

Alex is a swiper. He painted great swatches of donkey with globs of paint.

Abbie insisted on using the wrong end of her paint-brush. Kaytie and I tried to get her to turn it around, which is why she ended up with brown paint on her forehead. :)

We played a donkey game. They rolled their dice, helped me count, and moved their donkeys around the board. And waited patiently (or at least worked on it) for their turn.

After they were done, the big kids played. They moved around the board, and whenever they landed on a donkey, they got to choose one of the big paper donkeys. When they ran out of donkeys, they counted up how many they had. And of course, as so often happens with them, they wound up with the exact same amount!
Then I hid paper donkeys around the bedroom for them to find.

You notice Abbie is considering using her "phone-a-friend" life line.

The "phone-a-friend" was apparently less than helpful...

I let them paint their Bible story with water paints.

Daniel had issues using too much water and not enough paint. We had to let his paper drip for awhile before I could even hang it up.

I let Abbie keep her paci, in an attempt to keep her from drinking the water... but she just dipped her paci in the water for extra flavor.

They put together a little puzzle where you match the Mommy farm animal to the baby. The boys did this easily. Abbie just hyperventilated over the baby animals.

They drew on wipe-off books.

And one day, I pulled out my stash of farm animals, their stash of farm animals, Lego's, wooden blocks, tractors, and the doll house people and turned them loose. Most of these toys, they have access to whenever they want, but there is something about me combining them together and putting them on the table that draws them in for a lengthy session of fun play. Then, of course, over the next few days, they will pull the toys out again and again to recreate the fun.

Abbie was still interested in her "phone-a-friend" option.

I've heard of a cell phone, but a cow phone?

And finally, a bit of dress-up. A pirate with a real sense of style.

For more Totschool posts, check out Carissa's blog at 1+1+1=1


Simplicity said...

You are sooooo inspiring!

When Carrie and William were little, we did lots of fun preschool things. Now that they are older and are doing 7th and 5th grade here at home, I find that I'm not so good at getting preschool fun in. Your blog reminds me to have some fun learning time with Joshua.

Thank you!

Tiffany said...

Looks like a fun week! I'll have to keep my eye out for those scissors.

melanie said...

There are so many great ideas in this post!!

I love the phone a friend too!


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