Tuesday, 11 June 2013

4 ways to learn with Caterpillars



Miss M has been learning about caterpillars and butterflies at her 3yo Kindy.
Her interest in this topic has been a big part of our day to day life at home so I thought I would take some time to share some of the things we have been up to.
Here are some of the ways we've used caterpillars to support learning through play!
Following the numbers on the above picture!
1. Tissue Paper Hungry Caterpillars
Learning Areas/ Opportunities:
Creative, Language
This book was a big part of the learning done at Kindy and was often reread at home.
We made pictures of the Very Hungry Caterpillar using tissue paper. The finished product is very effective.
To extend on this draw or glue on tissue paper food that the Hungry Caterpillar indulged in during the story.
We also used a soft toy Hungry Caterpillar to retell and role play the story.
2. Recycled Egg Carton Caterpillars
Learning Areas/ Opportunities:
Creative, Language, colours

Getting Creative

This was excellent little activity that was open ended enough to totally engage both ages of my children. Paint, collage or do both to create unique and individual caterpillar friends. Both children had a ball decorating their caterpillars, talking about the colours they were using and what their caterpillars name could be.
After they were decorated we used our new caterpillar friends to sing songs and finger rhymes. Such as,
  • How does a caterpillar go? Dear me does anybody know? How does a caterpillar go on a juicy leaf the whole day through?
  • Roly Poly Caterpillar into a corner crept. Spun a blanket around himself and for a long time slept. Roly Poly Caterpillar wakened by and by. Found himself with beautiful wings, changed into a butterfly.

3. Caterpillar Puzzles
Learning Areas/ Opportunities:
Maths, Spelling

I made this caterpillar using laminated green card. Each segment of the body is separate and has a space for writing letters or numbers for children to put in order, like a puzzle.
To start with I used Miss M's name then moved onto other familiar words. Older children could do this with spelling or sight words.
You could bring in numeracy by using numbers and getting children to create number lines with the caterpillars body.

Here's a number caterpillar Miss M made with limited assistance. Use numbers to suit the ability of your child. If your child is younger you could still do this focusing on colours.

4. Caterpillar healthy fruit snack
Learning Areas/ Opportunities:
Healthy Eating, social and emotional

What's more fun and inviting than creating yummy snacks.
Children can help prepare this delicious apple and pear caterpillar and then enjoy eating it! Use this opportunity to reinforce healthy choices and why fruit is good for our bodies! Encourage children to work together and share their healthy snack.


Play and Learn

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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Make your own Tape Measure!

Children need plenty of hands on experiences to develop an understanding of measurement and what it involves. Measuring is finding out 'how much' of a particular unit of measure something is. It involves an understanding of the attribute to be measured (in this circumstance length or height), knowledge of how to measure the attribute and a good understanding of number.
To introduce the concept of measurement using indirect (non standard) measure to Miss M (3yrs) I decided to start with length.
(other attributes of measurement are area, volume, mass and time)
Measuring with indirect units or non standard units of measure means measuring things with blocks, straws, hands and feet etc. As long as the units used to measure are the same size.
Direct measure or standard means measuring with direct units such as centimetres, inches etc, and using rulers and tape measures.
Making their own tape measure offers up such wonderful opportunities to practice the concept of measurement, comparing sizes and other math skills such as counting and ordering.

At a recent follow up Paediatrician appointment we discovered Miss M was
exactly 1metre tall!!
So we decided to make her tape measure to her height of 1metre. This added the extra bonus of her being able to use her tape measure to find objects that where taller, shorter and the same height as herself! You do not need to make your tape measure to any set length, it can be random.
Suitable Ages: 3yrs plus
Learning Opportunities
  1. Practice and extend on understanding of measurement using indirect measure
  2. Develop and extend on understanding of Length and height
  3. Develop and extend on new vocabulary- length, height, measure, tall, taller, shorter, same
  4. Develop and extend on math skills of counting and comparing

You will need
A long strip of card to desired length
paint for printing
object to be used as unit of measure on the tape measure
(hand or foot prints work well but other objects can be used also)

We used Miss M's hand prints as hey they were easily available and such a real life object. You could use foot prints or stamped shape prints such as stars etc.

When making the prints be careful to make sure each print starts where the one before finishes so there's even spaces and the 'measure' is more correct!

We had made our strip of card to 1metre, Miss M's height and we counted out her hand prints as we did them.
She is 9 (of her) hand prints tall!! Which means much more to her than 1metre!
We are in the midst of moving H man out of the nursery and doing up his room in preparation for the newest member of the family so there has been plenty of measuring furniture and spaces to see if it will fit.
Miss M got straight into measuring much of the furniture in our house.
She discovered many objects that were 'taller' or 'bigger' than her.
She was thrilled to find this chest of drawers was 'the same height' as her!
She was able to group objects into categories of 'taller', 'shorter' and 'the same'.
She got plenty of counting practice!!

It was fun to measure the 'height' of her toys!


Her little brother too!!
The opportunities are endless!
Play, experimenting and measuring with her tape measure still continues!!
Play and Learn

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