Saturday, June 5, 2010

Maps and Directions...and Dancing

This week was supposed to be maps and directions week. We did about one day of it and I realized it was boring. Well, redundant mainly- each activity I had seemed to be about the same thing, so we did one maps thing a day, and one dancing thing each day.

Here's what we did for Maps and Directions:

  • We looked at a globe and a U.S. map, and talked about how we live in a continent, then a country (that has the same goverment) and a state, then a town. My kids already knew the words- United States, Indiana, Avon, Virginia, etc, but weren't sure which was state, town etc. So we discussed where we live and what countries, states and towns our family members live in.
  • We talked about how a map is a drawing of what something looks like from above- but is not always colored in that way (I.e. Indiana is not orange even though it is colored orange on a map)
  • We drew a map of our playroom on butcher paper (See above). This was great for Sophia, to figure out where things were and thing figure out where they would go on the map. A simpler idea would be to have pre cut shapes for the couches, bookshelves, etc, and make a map of your house that they glue.
  • The next day I made a large red X on a notecard, then taped it on the playroom map, and placed a necklace there. The girls had to look at the map and figure out where it was. Then they switched off and hid it for each other.
  • We also read " A Special Birthday Message" by Eric Carle. In the book a boy finds his birthday present by following shape clues around the house. I made our own to lead them to a toy in the bathroom.
  • When we went grocery shopping this week they pushed around the mini carts. I let them go ahead of me and I told them directions- left/right to get them to the right aisles.
  • We did the Hokie Pokie and I made sure they were using the correct side to sing to the song.

Other Ideas we did not do-

  • geogaching
  • treasure hunt in a park
  • measuring distances on a map
  • mapping out routes on old maps from one place to another following roads
  • draw maps and road on driveway
  • Play Hullaballo- it's like a cross between simon says and musical chairs. My kids love it.
  • Make a pretend map of a fantasy town- cut out houses from scrapbook paper, glue in pictures of family members,cut out things you like from magazines. (Disneyland street? Candy and Donut lane?)

Now...onto Dancing!
First, we made dancing ladies from The Toymaker. Check out her site of printables. Tons of things to do with the kiddos. Print and cut and glue!
And we got out this VHS, Baby Ballet, from the library. It was simple and great for my kids ages (3 and 5). The girls knew most of the moves already because it had the same moves as their dance class they just finished.
If you want to do dancing but aren't into ballet, I'd just do some wiggles movies. They're funner anyways.
We also made some dancing ribbons. 3 feet of ribbon, taped or hot glued onto a popsicle stick or dowel rod. 5 minutes of work and then it entertains them for a good while.
Our favorite shapes to make- circle in air, on the ground, rainbow over your head, spinning around you, waves up and down.
We also watched some footage of ballet companies performing Swan Lake and the Nutcracker on youtube. That was the girls favorite part. They wanted the Baby Ballet movie to be "real" ballerinas.
Other ideas-
  • Act out stories through dance, like 3 bears or Cinderella.
  • Go to a dance performance- many dance studios are having end of year recitals.
  • Make up dance moves to go along with animals
  • Do races outside doing dance moves- leaps, on tiptoes, sideways run, etc.
Next week: Ocean Animals!

1 comment:

Shelly Beth said...

Thanks for all the tips and ideas, and answering my last questions. You are right, I have to keep reminding myself that Isabelle will soon be three and she can't do all of these things by herself, so I would have to scale these things down for her. Your dancing activities would be perfect for her because she is "all girl"! BTW, thanks so much for the birthday ideas. Isabelle keeps talking about an "Aurora" cake so that is a must. Other than that, I am doing a really low key family party because we will be out of town on her birthday. I will post results afterwards of what we do. Keep having fun with your family; I enjoy reading your ideas!

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