Julia 8 years Feed

🌐Earth Day Inspired 📚Books

🌐Earth Day is always celebrated on April 22. Although we pay tribute to this National Holiday by educating our children on the importance of conservation and caring for our environment, there is still so much that can be done in terms of reducing pollution, making sure we all live in harmony with every living creature and conserving our valuable resources. Below are some of the 🌐 Earth Day favorite 📚 books we enjoy reading. I hope you can utilize these books not just for this Holiday, but for the entire year, teaching children how to appreciate, respect and cherish our planet Earth.

The three books that have touched our hearts deeply are by Schim Schimmel, who is an internationally renowned professional artist/author with a great love of art as well as the environment. His artwork and books have been lovingly embraced world-wide for their beauty and environmental message.

In The Family of Earth Book (buy here), through surrealistic acrylic paintings of leopards, penguins, hippos, and gorillas, each in their appropriate landscape (or floating in space with the moon and stars and planet Earth hovering nearby), Schimmel expresses his beliefs about planetary interdependence of all of Earth's creatures. "The earth may look different to each of us, but we share only one earth." Lions live in a world of grassy plains. To dolphins, the world is water. Lush green trees make up gorillas' world. And yet, all these animals share the same world. 

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Flowing rivers, quiet ponds, and muddy banks are the only world hippo knows. We all live in our own worlds.

Schimmel describes his paintings as environmental visionary surrealism and hopes to change the way readers see the world. The text attempts to describe the perspectives experienced by a variety of animals. For example, snow leopards don't see the same environment as dolphins."Leopards do not swim with dolphins. They have never seen a penguin." Gorillas call the forest home, while lions live on grassy plains. The point of the narrative is that although all of the creatures live in different habitats, they all inhabit the same planet. 

DSC_0012"We share the canyons and the oceans. We share the same sky."

 

However, perhaps Schimmel's most famous book is Dear Children Of The Earth (buy here) which is a remarkable letter from Mother Earth asking for help from children everywhere. She (Mother Earth) writes to express her love for each and every child and asks for their love and appreciation in return.

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In her own words, and with all of her heart, Mother Earth swaddles children with love and entrusts them with her protection. She explains that we are all one big family~ her children: that we have to take care of our "brothers and sisters" who are not necessarily our kin but are indeed all living creatures. Mother Earth also asks to help keep our "home" clean.
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The message in Dear Children Of The Earth book is so simple and yet so moving! Through Schimmel's "eco-surreal" artwork, the book suggests the interdependence of all of Earth's creatures, asking for unity, humanity, peace, and respect - what a great message to celebrate the Earth Day!


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Lastly, Children Of The Earth...Remember book (by here) is a tender lesson on sharing and protecting the Earth, enhanced with Schimmel's stunning artwork.

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And all of these animals are children of this world. For this world is their Mother. And we call this world Mother Earth. The animals are not alone on Mother Earth. These are people living there, too. Billions of people. More people than all the twinkling stars in the night sky. And all of these people are the children of Mother Earth, too. So, the animals and the people and Mother Earth are all one big family.  

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We also enjoyed reading Help The Environment Series (on the right), which includes five books: Caring for Nature, Cleaning Up Litter, Reusing & Recycling, Saving Energy, and Saving Water.

Reusing and Recycling book (buy here) shows children simple, hands-on ways to reuse and recycle while explaining why it’s a good idea. Simple text and engaging photos of children and their families taking small conservation actions in their homes, classrooms, and communities make big conservation ideas accessible to beginning readers. “When we reuse boxes, we do not waste boxes. We help the environment.” 

Caring for Nature book (buy here) introduces very young children to the concept of caring for the environment in an attractive and accessible way. Based on children's real-life experiences, the books focus on things children can do to help the environment and keep the world around us clean. In this book, children learn what nature is, what lives in nature, and ways they can care for nature.

In Saving Water book (buy here), children will discover concrete ways to save water — and learn why it is important. “A hose uses lots of water. We save water when we use a watering can instead of a hose.

In Cleaning Up Litter book (buy here), children will discover simple ways to clean up the world — “Sometimes there are no trash cans. When we take litter with us, we clean up the world.


In Saving Energy book (buy here), children will learn ways to save energy. “We use energy to make cars work. When we walk or take the bus, we save energy.

Finally, Earth Day (Rookie Read-About Holidays) book in the middle (buy here) is very simple, straightforward book with controlled vocabulary, and a text of fewer than 400 words. The book also includes pronunciation guides to less familiar words.

Read here a post about another inspiring book that we love  I Cherish Planet Earth Book📘 with a Matching Game.

Also, see here the 🌐Earth Day 2017 Activities Roundup.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

♻️Recycled 📦 Cardboard 🔢Numbers & Counters ✋🏻Tactile 📽DIY✂️

This recycled DIY from cardboard will help your child learn the shape of the number by hands-on making numbers from pipe cleaners. Then, through the sense of touch, the child will reinforce numeral vs quantity association by counting pom poms, thus developing sensorially tactile understanding of quantitative measure of number, which is an otherwise abstract mathematical concept.

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What you will need:

  • recycled cardboard cut into squares
  • pipe cleaners
  • pom poms
  • and a glue gun.

DSC_0072Julia first makes a number from a pipe cleaner.

DSC_0072She then glues a corresponding number of color-matching pom-poms to the cardboard.

DSC_0105Offer your child to trace each number and count pom poms.DSC_0095Triggering child's tactile senses enriches the learning experience.Behind the scenes video of how Julia made these tactile number boards. 


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 Also, take this opportunity to talk about odd and even numbers. See a detailed lesson with the video on Odd/Even presentation here in a post ❤️Valentines Odd & Even • Montessori 🔢Math 101 🎥 Series 🎇.

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Sensorial exploration is extremely important during the child's first six years of life. Dr. Maria Montessoi described the First Plane of Development (birth to 6 yrs) as a period of the Absorbent Mind which is characterized by "young child's behavior of quickly and effortlessly assimilating the sensorial stimuli of his or her environment, including information from the senses, language, culture, and the development of concepts." The child is self-observed, has a self-centered viewpoint, is focused primarily on the sensorial exploration of a factual world. Materials are prepared mainly for individual use by a child. Dr. Montessori believed that this power is unique to the first plane and that it fades as the child approached the age of six. So, triggering sensorial exploration during the first six years of life proves to be most beneficial to child's development. Read more here in a post "Dr. Maria Montessori's Planes (Stages) of Development."


DSC_0105A child three to six years of age has a conscious absorbent mind.  “It is as if the child, having absorbed the world by an unconscious kind of intelligence, now ‘lays his hands’ to it.”   Now it is the hand, as a ‘prehensile organ of the mind,’ not just the senses, which move the child through a period of constructive ‘perfectionment’ – refining the acquisitions already made." ~  explained Dr. Montessori.

Below are our DIY numbers up close.

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Dr. Montessori also defined a psychological state she termed  "normalization" (in children from three to six years old) which arises from concentration and focus on activity which serves the child’s developmental needs, and is characterized by the ability to concentrate as well as "spontaneous discipline, continuous and happy work, social sentiments of help and sympathy for others... A child who concentrates is immensely happy." ~ Dr. Montessori observed.

 DSC_0105 So, by creating a prepared environment full of tactile stimuli, triggering the child sensorially, we hope to offer the child a rich learning environment and instill a lifelong love of learning. 

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For more on DIY materials and activities, see here ✂️DIY, Crafts & Materials.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

DIY ♻️ Recycled ✂️Materials for Homeschool

Montessori materials can be 💰costly,  so I love finding an alternative. Below I will show you some of the DIYs I have created to substitute some of the materials you would generally purchase. 

DIY Color Matching + Fine Motor Pegging

 This DIY resembles matching Montessori Color Tablets ~ similar to Color Box 2 ~ a traditional Sensorial material introduced to toddlers starting at 2 ½ years old. 

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With this activity, besides simply matching color samples from your local hardware store, offer your child to practice fine motor skills by matching colored clothespins and also graduating pegs in order from smallest to largest or vice versa. And if you have plain wooden pegs, just color them either with Sharpies (what we used) or use tempera stick paints which are awesome too!

IMG_1020To learn more about Montessori 🌈Color Boxes, read here a detailed post with presentations on boxes one through three on my blog Montessori Color Box 1, 2 & 3 (Color tablets).


DIY Montessori Sandpaper Numbers:

Sandpaper Numbers are also easy to make at home.
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What you will need:

  • green cardstock to resemble the traditional Montessori Sandpaper Numbers
  • sandpaper from your local hardware store,
  • scissors (children are also using a paper cutter for more precision)
  • and glue.

 Having your child make or help you make these DIY Sandpaper NUmbers will only ignite the excitement, promoting interest and engagement.

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By sensorily feeling the number, the child is able to perceive the symbol through senses other than just visual. For more on Sandpaper Numbers, see here 🖐️Sandpaper 🔢 Numbers (Montessori 🔢 Math 101 🎥 Series 🎇 Curriculum).


 ♻️RECYCLED ✂️ DIY PUZZLES
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Do you have an old magazine? Recycled old books? Expired calendars? How about turning them into homemade DIY puzzles!

DSC_0221-2Cut out a picture, laminate it (if you don't have a laminating machine iron works great too) and cut it in as many pieces as you think your child can handle. For smaller children, just cut a picture in half; for older in quarters or even eighths. 


DSC_0221-2And why not turn this ♻️RECYCLED ✂️DIY puzzle into a 🐋matching animals game! 

  IMG_1146See here DIY 🍂Fall Inspired Puzzle.

I am using a double-sided 🍂Fall picture I found in a catalog. With this type of DIY puzzle, you can adjust 📈📉the level of difficulty based on your child's age. With smaller children, 📉choose a bright image with many objects and cut in fewer pieces (2 or 4 squares) or simply cut the picture vertically, for easier assembly. 📈With older children, the smaller the pieces, the harder it will be to assemble the puzzle😉so cut it accordingly to your child's level.


♻️DIY TIC TAC TOE

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Do your children play tic tac toe? It's a 🤗fun game and an easy ♻️✂️DIY if you have 💦water bottle caps and 🍡ice pop sticks (any craft sticks will do), and a glue gun.

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♻️DIY 🍡Pop-Sticks, Pegs & Dot Stickers 🔴 ➕🔵 Addition Activity

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This is a super easy and fun ♻️ math 🔢 ➕addition DIY where I ✍🏻️wrote ➕equations on 🍡pop-sticks, and as a control of error, a child can flip that same 🍡 and confirm the answer by counting the 🔴🔵dot-stickers. See here a 🎥video of Adrian solving all the ➕equations as well as how to make this ♻️DIY in a video post ♻️DIY 🍡Pop-Sticks, Pegs & Dot Stickers 🔴 ➕🔵 Addition Activity (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson).


 DIY ♻️Paper Towel Roll 🔤Alphabet Matching Activity

DSC_0109I wrote with a Sharpie upper and lower case alphabet letters on dot stickers, making sure that lower and upper of the same letter were color-matching. 

IMG_1149Since lower case letters are more prevalent, I had Adrian match lower to upper case letters which were sporadically arranged on a paper towel roll. He would simply stick the lower case on top of the upper case.  For some introductory language lessons, see here our Letter Series post. To learn about Montessori Phonetical Sets of Presenting Alphabet letters,  (see here) Set 1:     First set: c  m  a  t  . For early reading, see here "Montessori CVC Picture Word cards with wooden Clothespins (💗Pink Series 🎥 Early Reading)."   Also, see here "Montessori 💗 Pink Series  "e" sound (Language 101 🎥 Series 🎇 Curriculum)."


 ♻️DIY Montessori🍡Popsicles Spindle Box
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In a Montessori Math curriculum, at around two years of age, after introducing Number Rods and Sandpaper Numbers you would introduce Spindle Box (buy here), which teaches a child the difference between the numeral (a 🔢 number/symbol written on a wooden box's slot) and quantity (substance, like when a child is holding actual spindles in his/her hands). The box has numerals zero to nine written on separate slots, and a child concretely learns that one is not a much, while nine is a lot! See here a detailed post "Spindle Box & Sandpaper 🔢Numbers Extensions (Montessori Math)."
DSC_0237Montessori Spindle Box is also an easy DIY activity using any compartments (like utensils organizer), and anything substantial representing quantity a child can hold with the whole hand such as pens, crayons and why not 🍡 popsicle sticks. (Montessori materials need Not be 💸expensive.)


 DIY ♻️Recycled 📦 Cardboard 🔢Numbers & Counters ✋🏻Tactile DIY  DSC_0097

First, the child learns the shape of the number by making it from a pipe cleaner, then through the sense of ✋🏻touch, the child reinforces numeral vs quantity association by counting pom poms.

For more DIYs, see here ✂️DIY, Crafts & Materials.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

Pipe Cleaner ❤️️Heart ✏️Pencil Topper Valentine's Gift

Are you looking for a simple and inexpensive ❤️️ Valentine's Class gift? Julia needs to make 38 class gifts this year, and this super quick and easy Heart Pencil Topper DIY is a perfect fine-motor craft, which will keep those little fingers busy and classmates happy!  These Heart Pencil Toppers would also be great as last-minute Valentine’s Gifts to friends or as party favors! 

DSC_0038What you need: pencils and red pipe cleaners. 
DSC_0038Make a ❤️️ heart shape from a pipe cleaner.

DSC_0038Wrap a ❤️️ heart pipe cleaner over the top of the pencil. 

DSC_0045-2Vola! A simple yet practical Class Gift! 

Please note, that these toppers will stay on, but if mingled with, they may fall off. The solution? Glue them to stay put! 

A note on fine-motor stimulation: Children engage in a variety of fine motor activities such as drawing, tracing, cutting, bead threading, and writing from a very young age. By the age of four, they are expected to be able to write few letters, such as those in the child’s name, and cut with scissors in a straight line. By the time they turn five, a child’s fine motor skills are expected to progress to the point where s/he is able to accurately write all 26 letters, the 10 number symbols, and child's full name with all letters in the proper order as well as cut straight lines and simple curves. By the age of six, children are expected to be able to tie their own shoes, cut out complicated shapes and color “within the lines.” What we can do to meet those expectations is to create a sufficiently stimulating prepared environment where the child will be able to exercise those fine motor skills while carrying on the love of learning, and we can do so by setting up activities that spike an interest, such as themed activities, holiday-inspired activities, and unit studies, amongst the few. 

DSC_0066Read here a post about Classroom Valentine's Gifts (Julia made last year).

DSC_0003-2Julia & Adrian's feet Art Projects, along with 36 Classroom Valentine's Gifts last year.

Hearts from BeadsFor more on pipe cleaner DIY, see here Valentine's Inspired ❤️Hearts Pipe Cleaner Beading Craft.

For more on Valentine-Inspired activities, see here ❤️Valentine's Inspired Activities for Kids.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

🎄Christmas 🎅🏻 Inspired Holiday 📚Books

Below are 📚books we have been enjoying reading during the 🎄Christmas 🎅🏻 Holidays.

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Books by Lori Evert (left column):

  • The Reindeer Wish (buy here),
  • The Christmas Wish (buy here), 
  • The Brave Littel Puppy (buy here).

Rudolph series by Robert May (middle column):

  • Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer 📚 book (Part I) (buy here); see a📎 link to a blog post 👇below or here,
  • Rudolph Shines Again (Part II) (buy here).

 Books by Jan Brett (right column):

  • Home for Christmas (buy here),
  • The Hat book (buy here); see a📎 link to a blog post 👇below or here,
  • The Mitten Book  - absolute Winter favorite! (buy here); see a📎 link to a blog post 👇below or here.


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More 🎄Holidays Inspired 📚Books (left to right, top to bottom):

  • Little 💙Blue Truck's 🎄Christmas (buy here); see a📎 link to a blog post 👇below or here,
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Lift-the-Tab (buy here); see a📎 link to a blog post 👇below or here,
  • Reindolphins: A Christmas Tale (buy here),
  • How to Catch an Elf (buy here),
  • PAW Patrol: The Night Before Christmas (buy here) - Adrian loves all the flaps and Paw Patrol are his currently favorite characters!
  • Polar Express 30th Anniversary Edition (buy here).

 

DSC_0168Do you 🎉celebrate The ❄️Winter solstice — also known as Yule, Midwinter, the Shortest 🌅Day of the Year and the Longest 🌌Night! This holiday, (which lands usually on December 21st) is a great opportunity to bring out a 🌏globe and a 🔦flashlight and discuss the sun, the seasons, the tilt of the 🌏 Earth and so much more!  

🌬Winter 🌅 Solstice Books:

  • The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice book (buy here) has lots of fun activities you can do with your kiddo such as determining the positioning of the ☀️ on the 🌅horizon by measuring a shadow, 🖍sketching the positioning of the sun ☀️ by using a compass and more;
  • The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice (buy here) is a wonderful collection of stories honoring the winter solstice, but for an older child - 8 yo and up.

  

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These are 🔍 some of our favorite❄️Winter books:

  • Ice Is Nice!: All About the North and South Poles, Cat in the Hat's Learning Library (buy here),
  • Winter, First Step Nonfiction (buy here),
  • Winter Wonderland, Picture the Seasons (buy here) is an amazing book written by Winter with humorous text and gorgeous photography,
  • The Secret Life of a Snowflake book (buy here); read a post about it here
  • Merry Christmas, Squirrels! (buy here).

  DSC_0183 More Holiday 📚Books:

  • Red and Lulu (buy here) is a great story about two red cardinal birds and a Rockefeller Center Tree in Manhattan;
  • The Nutcracker Ballet (buy here),
  • Our American Holidays: Their Meaning and Spirit (buy here).

DSC_0180Julia has been playing a part in a Nutcracker ballet for the past two years, and these Glass Ballet Slipper ornament (buy here) now decorate our tree.


Below are 📎 links to posts when we brought 📚books to life with small world invitations to read.

DSC_0074See here "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer 📚•🎅🏻 Holiday 📖 Reading ✨Collection."

DSC_0185See here Rudolph's Lift -The-Flap book inspired "Skip Counting by 2️⃣" Math Activity. 

DSC_0174Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Lift-the-Tab (buy here).

DSC_0316See here "The Mitten Book ❄️ Winter Favorite 📖Reading 📚Collection."

 

DSC_0018See here "The Hat Book  ❄️ Winter 📖 Reading Collection."

DSC_0133See here "Little 💙Blue Truck's 🎄Christmas • A Holiday 💎Gem 📚Book."

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DSC_0166 The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving (buy here) which we read on St. Nicholas Day. Read a post about this holiday here "St. 🎅🏻 Nicholas Day 🎁Custom of 👞Shoes."

What Holiday 📚books are your favorite?

See here the roundup of activities we have done in the month of December "🎄Christmas Inspired Unit Study."

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW