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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Princess month part 2

Over the summer, we continued with our home school monthly units, so in June we focused on Princesses & Pirates. It was so much fun to have two themes intertwined with one another, which were both an easy follow up from our fairy tale month. As you know, I base my themes around the sensory bins I want to make, so since we had two themes I created two sensory bins for the kiddos to explore!

Pirate sensory tub:

 Princess sensory tub:
My goal was to make these two tubs as complimentary as possible, yet still incorporating the themes. the bases for the two boxes are beans (top) and rice mixed with confetti (bottom). For the pirate box, I burried change from my wallet in the beans so the kids could dig for buried treasure (like in one of the boxes I picked out for pirate week). 

[This was a HUGE hit, and my daughter ended up digging for buried treasures all summer long. On family vacation in August, my Aunt Brenda videoed Abigail digging for coins on the beach -- too funny!]

Both boxes included jewelry (plastic rings and bracelets) for the kids to find and wear, as well as small figures and toys that represent the different themes. The pirate box included two foam swords I found at the Target dollar spot. I was really excited that one looked like a "knight" sword and one resembled a "pirate" sword. [Side note: With each unit, I purchase one of the DK Eyewitness books that match out theme. This month, the Pirate book was a HUGE hit, especially when the kids were able to match the foam swords to real swords in the book.] One of my daughter's favorite elements from the princess tub, were the 'jewels' scattered throughout the confetti rice. She was able to use her plastic tweezers to dig them out.

Here is a close up of some of the features of the princess tub:

Another element of our classroom, that I update each month to match our theme, is our writing/activity station. When the kids come into class, they can sit down here and work on their first work sheet of the day while I'm getting everything started to begin class. Once their worksheet is finished, they can play with anything from the activity box, as long as they use all the items appropriately (don't use markers on yourself, stickers stay on paper, etc). The kids LOVE this box, and the beg to come in the classroom during non-school time just to explore new items in the box. Here are the goodies from princess/pirate month:

One of my favorite activities we did during June was learning how to fill out invitations & how to use them. During the first week, we talked about princess manners and politeness. During this lessons, we learned about letter writing and invites & thank yous. I had found some Disney Princess bday invites clearanced out a few months back, so I grabbed them up since I had already stated planning this unit. We talked about why we 'invite' people to parties/events, and we also talked about wording: To, From, Time, Date, Place, etc. I let the kids fill out sample invites, and we worked on spelling and hand writing. 

They had so much practicing all their new skills! Of course they both got really excited about their upcoming birthday parties - okay, by upcoming I mean 8 & 10 months away, but still. It was a fun, quick introduction to written manners. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures in Princess & Pirate month!! Stay tuned for our ocean unit!! I'll give you a hint... we use LOTS of sand (; 


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