Mastering the use of scissors can be a tricky affair, but one which will lead to an incredible sense of accomplishment. When teaching your child to use scissors, make sure your child knows the following: 1) how to hold the scissors when cutting (thumb in the small hole, fingers in the larger hole) 2) ALWAYS keep scissors pointed away from the body 3) how to hold scissors when walking (hold the blades closed and facing floor with hand wrapped around the blades) ... and most importantly . . .what/where your child is allowed to cut! We teach cutting on a straight line first, then a curved line, and then zig-zags. After that, your child will be ready for more complex lines and shapes. When first beginning, it is best to draw the lines for your child or use one of the resources below.
A fun way to practice matching quantity and symbol is by using ‘clip cards’. Each card has a number of items on it, and three choices of the correct numeral. Your child will clip a clothes peg on the correct numeral. Or, your child can practice sequencing numerals in their correct order. You can print the resources provided, or use them for inspiration! If your child has mastered the numerals and quantities from 1 – 9, then try the cards for 10 – 20. If your child is just beginning to work with numerals, stick to the simpler cards (1 – 5).
There are some wonderful picture books about bees. These lovely stories not only address children’s fears about bees, but also provide important information about this valuable insect. One such book is Bee by Patricia Hegarty. It is beautiful peek-through picture book that follows a bee on its journey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqJ3RGp-3sw If you are lucky enough to have a copy of this book, hurray! Otherwise, be sure to order it from your library when you can. Another favourite story is Please, Please the Bees by Gerald Kelley. In this story, a bear learns the perils of taking his friends, the bees, for granted. He learns how to provide just the right environment for them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XFQNGJmLEk
And, last but not least, there is a lovely story involving two perspectives- one, of a young girl afraid of bees, and the other of a young bee afraid of humans! Jam and Honey, by Melita Morales tells this story lovingly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cw7kaoCh9og
You and your child could use these stories as a springboard to study the life cycle of a bee, draw a bee and label its parts or learn about the role it plays in producing the flowers we love to look at and the fruit we love to eat.
On your walks with your child, spend some time smelling the different flowers that are out there. Lilacs are particularly fragrant, as are many of the lilies. If you have the opportunity, you can bring home some of these flowers, and then play a guessing game with your child. Place a blindfold over their eyes and hold one flower for them to smell. Have your child try to guess what flower it is. Then, it can be your turn!
You can also make bottles for a ‘smelling’ game. For this activity, you’ll need 6 to 8 small bottles/jars, 6 to 8 cotton balls and 3 or 4 oils or spices that have distinct scents. The containers you use should ideally be all identical. In each bottle, place a cotton ball that has a spice or oil on it. You will make 3 or 4 pairs of bottles. Mark the bottoms of each matching scent with an identifying mark. Great scents to use for this game would be cinnamon, peppermint, vinegar, fresh crushed rosemary, vanilla or sesame oil. To play the game, mix your jars up and have your child try and match containers with the same scent. Start with only 2 scents (4 jars) and work your way up.
Dandelions are one sure sign of spring. Use a fork and yellow paint to create dandelions. Add the green stem, and you’re done. It’s an easy art project, with stunning results. It works best if you use watercolour or cardstock paper.