If I Had a Hammer
Last week, we encouraged you to teach your child how to use a hammer by using a wooden mallet or toy hammer. This week, we encourage you to help your child to work with the real thing. If you don’t have a child-sized hammer, you can pick one up at your local hardware store. For this activity, you’ll need a small chunk of leftover lumber (pine works best), nails, coloured elastic bands, a hammer and safety goggles. Teach your child how to hold the nail and pound it into the wood. After your child has pounded at least 2 nails into the wood piece, they can stretch elastic bands between the nails. Although ‘finishing’ nails work easily for stretching the elastic bands, ‘roofing’ nails (or nails with bigger heads) will be easier for your child to hammer. Let the pounding begin!
Explanation of lesson: https://tinkerlab.com/hammering-real-nails/
Add em’ Up
If your child can recognize the numerals 1 – 6 and can count to 12, they are ready to play this dice game. It is a beginning adding activity. For this activity, you’ll need 12 small objects (6 of each kind), two dice (the bigger the better) and a container to roll the dice into. It’s best if you do this activity at the kitchen or dining table. First, you’ll need to teach your child how to count each face of a dice, as the way the dots are arranged can be confusing. To begin, your child will roll one dice into a container. They will then take that number of items from one of the piles and count it out on the table. The dice that has just been rolled will be placed above the items. Next, your child will roll the other dice and count the dots on the top face and gather corresponding items to represent the second dice. Place the second dice to the right of the first, with the corresponding items below (a good idea is if you place the items in a row- easier to count). Then, count all the objects! If you had 2 + 3 on the dice faces, you might have 2 buttons and 3 lego pieces in a row. When you count them all, you’d get 5.
Dice Games for Preschoolers: https://www.themeasuredmom.com/dice-games-for-preschoolers/
Dice Addition Worksheet: https://www.worksheetfun.com/Addition/dot_addition_wfun_1.pdf
Sink or Float?
Since the weather is nice and warm, it’s a great time to begin exploring the properties of water. For this activity, you’ll be helping your child to learn which objects sink, and which objects float. You’ll need a variety of items (some of which will sink, some of which will float). You’ll also need a bowl full of water and a towel. Before your child places an item into the bowl, ask them whether they think it will float or sink. Then, it’s time to check out your guess (hypothesis). Place each object, after drying it, into either the float pile or the sink pile. Throughout this activity, you can introduce vocabulary such as: buoyant/heavy, sink/float, hypothesis. It’s great for your child to have a real experience with these concepts and it enriches their vocabulary!
Fun experiment with Halo oranges: https://tinkerlab.com/buoyancy-for-kids-will-it-sink-or-float/
Sink/Float Video: https://youtu.be/hCoDPhkE1Qc
Hey Water Read Aloud: https://youtu.be/u7XN3k6kcEg
Sink/Float Read Aloud: https://youtu.be/2PpYpS8zFTA
Heavy & Light
One Montessori activity that teaches the discrimination of the sense of touch is the Montessori Baric Tablets. In this activity, a child learns to feel the weight of 3 different kinds of wood and grade the wood pieces as light, medium, heavy. First, the activity is done with eyes open. Then, the child does the activity with eyes closed, in order to focus on the weight of each object. To introduce your child to the baric sense at home, you can replicate the baric tablets at home by getting 3 grades of small wood chunks. One clever way to do this is to ask for flooring samples and cut them into pieces. Or, you can go on a scavenger hunt and select items from around your home. Then, together with your child, use an open palm to ‘weigh’ each object and grade it from lightest to heaviest.
Classic baric exercise explained: https://montessorifromtheheart.com/2017/03/19/baric-tablets-montessori-sensorial-material/
Homemade ‘baric’ tablets: http://montessorimylife.blogspot.com/2014/11/diy-baric-tablets.html
Fabulous String Art
Since your child is now handy with a hammer, why not help them to make some wonderful string art? For this activity, you’ll need a small square of wood, nails and colourful string or yarn. First, you’ll need to make a heart outline with dots. Help your child hammer in a nail on each dot. Then, have your child choose a colour of string and make their design by winding the string around the nails and connecting the nails together with the colourful strands. Start easy, and add more difficult designs as the interest grows. This could be the beginning of a very interesting adventure!
Making a heart-shaped string art: https://thehomesihavemade.com/2018/12/easy-diy-string-art-gift-idea/
String Art video: https://youtu.be/9wqFlv6gFb8
https://www.coolmath4kids.com/math-games – Head to this site to find math games for children grades K-6. Games can be chosen by topic and grade. There are also math lessons, quizzes, manipulatives and brain teaser sections.
http://spatulatta.com/ – Take a visit to this site for recipes to get your child cooking.