Gardening is a very important Practical Life skill to develop. This week, plant a pot of potatoes! You don’t need garden space. You just need a very large pot, and a space outside to put it. For this activity you will need: one or two potatoes, a very large pot that has drainage holes, and potting soil or a peat moss/garden soil mix. Although gardeners recommend seed potatoes that can be purchased from a gardening store, you can also use one or two potatoes you have in the fridge for eating. You may use small, whole potatoes, or potato portions. Just make sure that your portions contain at least one ‘eye’ or indentation (where the roots will form). Place 10 cm of soil in the bottom of your pot. Then, place your potato segments or small, whole potatoes on top of the soil. On top of the potatoes, add 10 cm more soil. Making sure you have a drain pan under the pot, give the potatoes a good water. Now, put your pot in an area where it will get lots of sun. It’s best if you can put the pot outside. As the potatoes grow, you’ll need to add more soil to encourage lots of potatoes to grow. At the end of the summer, you can tip over the pot (on a tarp) and harvest your potatoes!
Video on growing potatoes: https://youtu.be/2637Ga0YUgM
Article on growing potatoes with children: https://torontobotanicalgarden.ca/news/growing-potatoes-in-containers-is-kids-play/
Looking at butterflies is the perfect way to teach the concept of symmetry. Download 2 sets of the free printable cards below. Keep one set of cards intact. You’ll use them as a control. With the second set of the cards, cut each card in half vertically, through the entire body of the butterfly. Then, mix up the cards and see if your child is able to match both halves of the butterfly. You can use this activity to show how one half of the butterfly is exactly the same as the other half. To start with, we suggest you only use 3 or 4 of the pictures, and use butterflies that look VERY different from each other. That will lead to the best success. Then, you and your child can explore where else symmetry can be found (humans, other animals, etc.).
Printable butterfly cards: https://www.prekinders.com/butterfly-matching-game-bug-visual-discrimination/
Butterfly Memory game cards: http://printstationary.net/school/memory/butterflyCard_index.php
Matching numeral and quantity game: https://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2020/05/number-matching-activity.html
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle, is a classic springtime story. Children LOVE this story because it is predictable, visually enticing and easy to remember. If you have this book on hand, pull it out and read it with your child. If your child is already familiar with this story, have them ‘read’ it to you. Remember, memorizing a story builds solid pre-reading skills in your child. You can also download the sequence cards and see if your child can retell the story by placing the sequence cards in the right order. Older children can create their very own Hungry Caterpillar story. All they will need are some sheets of blank paper either cut in half or quarters, a pencil to draw with and crayons/markers/colouring pencils. Your child can be the illustrator and you can write the words for them if they need help. Make sure to make a front and back cover. You might even want to sew it together, like a real book!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Read Aloud: https://youtu.be/btFCtMhF3iI
The Very Hungry Caterpillar animated film: https://youtu.be/75NQK-Sm1YY
Free printable sequence cards: https://www.dltk-teach.com/books/hungrycaterpillar/sequencing.htm
Paint Chip Colour Grading
For this activity, you’ll be introducing your child to different tints of a colour. The easiest way to do this at home is to visit your local hardware store. Choose 4 or 5 paint chip cards (get duplicates for each card) and take them home. Choose primary and secondary colours only. Cut one paint chip card into its separate colour chips and leave its duplicate intact as a control. Have your child place the colour in order (bottom to top), from darkest to lightest. It’s best to start out with one of the primary colours and then add another colour as your child gets comfortable with this process. When your child can sort all the primary coloured chips, add the secondary ones! This is a wonderful time to teach the vocabulary of colours: primary, secondary, tint, shade.
Coffee Filter Butterflies
Since your child is learning all about butterflies, why not help them make some lovely butterflies to hang on your window to welcome spring? For this activity, you’ll need: coffee filters, markers and pipe cleaners.
Video on making coffee filter butterflies: https://youtu.be/4SwzId86GeA
Another video on making butterflies: https://youtu.be/1foT7GYBXp0
https://adventuresinfamilyhood.com/20-virtual-field-trips-to-take-with-your-kids.html – Here is another virtual field trip site to check out. You will find links to art museums, zoos, aquariums and some famous sites around the world.
https://www.abcya.com/ – This website offers a wide variety of free educational games for Pre-K through grade 6 children