Posts Tagged ‘Toddler School’

2012 Kickert Olympics

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Over the past couple of weeks we spent a lot of time watching the Olympics as a family.  When we told Mikayla she was going to have her very own Olympics she got really excited!  We spent a week of our "school time" learning about the Olympics, Olympians and London.

The week began by discussing what the Olympics were and where they were going to be held.  Mikayla got to choose five stuffed animals/babies to act as her Olympic athletes.  (Totally got the idea from here and here).  We then got out her map book with flags that the sisters had given her for her birthday and she randomly chose countries for her athletes to be from.  We made tags with the country flags to hang on each athlete.  Here you can see her athletes and a flag we painted to correspond with the country hosting the Olympics (Great Britain/London).

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Doggie – Liberia, Cinderella – Myanmar, Cat in the Hat – Jamaica, Rabbit – Antigua and Giraffe – New Zealand.  As you can see she had quite the variety.  On the day of the Olympics she chose soft baby as her athlete from Swaziland.

After the athletes were chosen and flags distributed we plotted out on the world map where their home countries were.  We then used a string to show how long it was for them to get from their homes to the Olympic games in London.  This was a really neat visual for Mikayla and we spent lots of time talking about how they would get there, how long it would take, who traveled the furthest, etc.

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We also spent time talking about the Olympic rings, torch, and other various Olympic symbols.  I also used some ideas and worksheets from this unit.  We made/painted a paper plate Olympic ring craft, but didn’t get a picture of it.  Then on Sunday we hosted our very own Olympic games.  In addition to the three of us, we had Joe, his mom and Katie all come out to watch and even participate in some of the events.  Below you will find a picture recap of the "Olympic Games". 

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Ben carrying the "Olympic flame".

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Joe and Mikayla waiting for the lighting of the torch.

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Olympic athletes and Mikayla admiring the torch and awaiting the start of the events.  She also marched around the torch with each athlete to the Opening ceremony music before the flame was lit.

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Daddy teaching Mikayla the appropriate way to begin a sprinting race.

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First event – hurdles.  With that form, I think Ben could be a real competitor!

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Runners set…GO!

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Baby jumping hurdles.

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And Mikayla jumping right behind her.  We have a really fun video of this process that I will hopefully post soon!

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Ben and Joe demonstrating how to fence.  It was Ben’s idea to put the athletes in their pants/belts to compete so their hands were free.  Mikayla thought this was extra fun!

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Mikayla fencing with Joe.

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And then again with daddy.

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We had inteded for this to be the long jump, but Mikayla kept calling it the high jump.  Basically she ran up to the stick and then jumped when she reached it, or threw her athletes for their "jump".  I also have a fun video of this that I hope to post soon.

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This was Mikayla’s reaction when I told her that it was time for the marathon race…I think I would have reacted the same way!

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We convinced her marathons were cool by having each of our "spectators" compete in the event!  I took pictures and took some video.

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For basketball she tossed a ball into the basket…clearly she needs some practice with this!

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Shotput – check out that form!

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Discus with a frisbee.  Note the tongue of concentration!

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Medal ceremony.  Doggie won bronze, Giraffe silver and Mikayla won gold! 

Some events did not get captured though.  Those include floor routine (dancing to music), speed walking, and sprint races.  Out of all the events I think her favorite was the hurdles.  She kept going back to them!  It was a great day and I think everyone enjoyed themselves!


Toddler School–Letter Z

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

We have reached the last letter of the alphabet this week!  Mikayla has been so excited to get to this letter and complete her alphabet.  Each week have chosen two of her letter crafts to put in a book for her to enjoy (this was totally Ben’s idea BTW).  She loves getting the book out and looking back at past crafts and after this week it will finally be complete!  Here are a few of our Letter Z activities. 

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Zebra mask – this kid loves some zebras!

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Letter Z Zebra.  Please take note of the exceptionally long mouth this guy has!  Mikayla cut all the stripes out by herself too.

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Making zigzags.  She found a zigzag shaped stick this week and was fascinated by it. 

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Letter Z zipper!

We also did an activity where I wrote various letters in a square and she had to circle only the letter Z’s.  Then she counted them and practiced writing the number.  For this activity we really focused on the gripping of her pencil.  She still gets frustrated with this, but is more and more holding it correctly on her own.  Although she is still switching back and forth between her left and right hands…not sure if this is normal or not.

We also made some delicious zucchini bread this week that we have been enjoying and sharing with others.  Mikayla really enjoyed shredding the zucchini.

Now that we are done with the alphabet we will spend some time focusing on the Olympics and possibly hosting our own Olympic games next weekend.  After that, I am not sure what we will do.  I am thinking maybe spending some time on nursery rhymes and fairy tales since she loves those so much. 

Posted in Parenting |

Toddler School–Letter Y

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

We had a short week studying the letter Y, but I think Mikayla caught on pretty quickly and now loves finding Y’s all over the place!

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She practiced cutting yarn and then ordering it from largest to smallest.

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Then we glued the yarn pieces onto a Letter Y.

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She went on a yellow hunt around the house and found things to make a yellow collage.  She is such a fan of this sort of activity.

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This is a variation of letter hopscotch.  I made boxes on the sidewalk with her chalk and wrote letters inside.  She jumped from box to box reciting the letters.  This is a fun game that could be played with almost anything (colors, numbers, words, sounds, etc).

We also went on a Letter Y hunt to find Y shaped branches and trunks on trees.  She LOVED this!  And continues to find sticks in the shape of a Y everywhere we go.  One day I cut out letter Y’s and put Y themed questions on the back (i.e. Can you tell me where we keep the yogurt?, Can you make a Y with your body?).  I hid them around our living room and she went on a hunt to find them.  We also played a yes/no game where I asked her questions and she made the "y" sound if the answer was yes and the "n" sound if the answer was no.

Next up the Letter Z…our last letter!

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Toddler School–Letter X

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

I had a really hard time with activities for the Letter X.  I wanted to focus mainly on X at the beginning of the words and not the end (although this would have opened up a lot more learning opportunities) because we have been using beginning sounds on all the other letters!  We went back and did some old whole alphabet activities and counting activities in addition to our letter X ones.  Here are the few activities we did.

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She drew an X on the picture that didn’t belong.  She did great with this, even the last one that was two fruits and a vegetable.

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We went on a treasure hunt where X marks the spot.  She was excited to see a bag of marshmallows at the end, but sad when she repeated the hunt later in the day and there was no treasure there!

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We made a number xylophone by putting the numbers in order ad then she wanted to play it using her markers as the mallet.

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Letter X xylophone – she started by putting the colored strips in order from smallest to largest.

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After looking at X-rays from Ben’s cat scan a few years ago we made our own X-rays of our hands using Q-tips, just pretend that they are white and not blue!

We also practiced making X’s everywhere we went!  Next up…Letter Y!

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Toddler School–Letter V

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

We spent this past week learning all about the Letter V.  As we near the end of the alphabet I am realizing that the last few letters are really tricky to come up with creative ideas for!  But alas, we move on and here is what we were up to this past week.

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She sorted fruits and vegetables.  I wasn’t sure how she would do with this because we haven’t spent much time talking about what is a fruit and what is a vegetable, but she did great!

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She painted a paper bag vest with vegetable pieces.

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V is for vegetables!

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Her vet office for the week.  I will post more details on this later!

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V is for vine.  She glued a pink piece of yarn as the vine (we didn’t have any vine colored yarn) and then she matched up numbered leaves up with numbers on a vine.

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Daddy taught her all about what a volcano is and then we made a paper V one.  The lava is miniature v’s.

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Then we went outside and made our own volcano with daddy’s help.  She loved this and so we repeated it several times!

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And of course she had to get her hands involved and touch the lava coming out!

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V is for vase!

I had a vacuuming activity prepared for her where I would lay out several small letters and she would only vacuum up the v’s.  However, she is slightly afraid of the vacuum cleaner and refused to play.  We settled on vacuuming the couches together (although she still wasn’t a fan of touching the vacuum cleaner). 

I also gave Mikayla her first test this week.  We will sometimes practice writing letters, but I haven’t pushed it too much yet because she is still working on pencil grip and hand movement.  Each week I will show her how to write the various letters and if she is interested I will give her some practice time.  So this week, we went to the chalkboard with a package of letter flashcards.  I would draw a card from the pile and she would try to write it on the board.  For each correct letter she wrote she earned a sticker.  She LOVED this game and getting silly stickers all over her body!  We didn’t get to finish though because Sharon stopped by and she became way too distracted.  I think we had like six or seven letters left to write.  I am proud to say that she was able to write about 2/3 of the alphabet correctly.  Not too bad if you ask me!

I am trying to finish up the alphabet before we leave for the US and throw in a mini unit about the Olympics, so next week we will be combining the letters X and Y.  I am not crazy about it, but I also haven’t been able to find enough X and Y activities to fill up an entire week either!  So X and Y it is together.

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Toddler School–Letter U

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

We had a fun week studying the letter U, despite not having very many words that started with U!  Here is a little bit of what we did in the last week.

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I taped a U to the bottom of the table and she colored it "under" the table.  She actually wasn’t as big of a fan of this activity as I thought she would be.

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Umbrella color by number.  She is getting much better at coloring and seems to enjoy it more each day.

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Letter U is for Uncle!  I realize that this doesn’t look like any of her uncles, but you get the picture.  We also spent time talking about who her uncles were and looking at pictures of them.

Letter U 022Umbrella number match.  She drew in raindrops based on the numbers next to her umbrellas.  I had intended for her to decorate the umbrellas, but by the time we go to this activity she was done!

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We made an upside down cake for dinner.  She got a big kick of flipping it upside down to reveal her pineapples.  She even held the mixer by herself for a bit while we were mixing up the ingredients.  I don’t typically like pineapple upside down cake, but this one was pretty tasty!

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Letter U is for umbrella with fingerprint raindrops.  She also underlined all the U’s on a letter page.  (She doesn’t press very hard with her crown so this one is a little hard to see.)

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Number match.  She counted the dots and then clipped the clothespin to the correct number.  I love that this game is so versatile.  You could use it with math facts, pictures/words, colors…the possibilities are endless!

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Capital and lowercase letter match.  I used paper clips with this one to change it up a bit!

Another fun activity we did was play "Uncle May I" like you would "Mother May I".  It was really funny because Mikayla wouldn’t say "Uncle May I?", but instead would ask "Please can I Uncle?".  She had a lot of fun with this! 

We only have four more letters left to complete the alphabet and will move onto the letter V next week!  I plan on doing something with the Olympics when we finish our letters.  If anyone has any good ideas I would love to hear them.

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Posted in Parenting |

Toddler School–Letter S

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

We had a very fun week studying the Letter S!  We still have a few activities to do this week that we will intersperse with our Letter U study!  Here is what we were up to this past week.

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I laid out our owls from a few weeks ago with letters on them and I would call out the letter I wanted her to find.  She would slowly walk over to the letter and "swat" the owls!  She had a lot of fun playing this game.  Could be played with any type of flash cards too.

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We researched starfish and learned a lot about what they look like and how they moved.  Then we made a starfish to hang on the window made from cardstock, cheerios, and suction tabs. 

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Letter S is for Stars.  She put star stickers inside an S and then counted out star stickers to match the numbers in the circles.

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I poured salt in a pan and then she made various letters in the salt.

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Then she decided Mickey and Donald needed to play in the salt too!

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She made a square man by gluing various sizes of squares together.

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Letter S is for slithering snake!

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For our food item this week we made scrambled eggs.  She pretty much did it all by herself.  I helped a little with cracking the eggs, but she did the rest…

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…even scrambling in the pan.  Don’t worry, I was right by her side the whole time!

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S is for straw and sticks!  We used old yogurt cups to make the three little pigs homes.  I used pink binder clips for the pigs and a blue one for the wolf.  She has loved retelling the story of the three little pigs over and over again!

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Here she is retelling the story.

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S is for sick…on Friday she wasn’t feeling well and so instead of having school we watched movies!  She is feeling much better now though.

Since we already did the Letter T at Thanksgiving, we will move on to the Letter U next week!

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Toddler School–Letter R

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

For the last two weeks we focused on the Letter R.  We had some minor interruptions and a massive fort (blankets over our kitchen table) that kept Mikayla busy and occupied so we extended our learning into a second week.

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We started the week by coloring the letter R to look like a rainbow.  I highlighted around different sections of the R and then she colored them in.  She is getting pretty good at staying in the lines. In the last couple of weeks she has started showing more interest in coloring.

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Rock letter match.  I gathered some rocks from around our house and labeled them with the letters of the alphabet.  The she matched them up on her letter puzzle.  She enjoyed this game, so I think we will keep it around for a bit.  I might even make some lower case letters for her to match to the uppercase ones.

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Her pencil grip is getting much better (as long as I help her initially) and she is improving on her fine motor in relation to her pencil strokes.  I was proud of her "R’s" here, especially since she didn’t trace them and wrote them on her own. 

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Rainbow number match.  First she glued on the numbers to the rainbows and then she counted the dots and matched them up.  I only had to help her with a couple of them.  So proud that she is finally starting to recognize her numbers.

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Trash rainbow.  On Friday when Ben was sick we walked around the mission picking up colored trash.  When we got back home we first sorted the trash by color and then I drew out a rainbow outline.  She glued the trash to make a rainbow.  The extra pieces that didn’t match colors were used as the clouds.

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Finished product. 

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As you can tell she was really excited about this project.  As we were walking around picking up trash she would tell everyone that we passed what we were doing.  And she continued to look for colored trash the rest of the day!

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We made it rain on different letters by using a squirt bottle and wearing our rain boots!

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Letter R in the shape of a rabbit.

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Rabbit lunch!  For the record, unlike usual, she ate every single item on her plate!  Incredible!

Other R related activities include:  making a name rocket ship using squares for the letter of her name, watching Ratatouille, having races and practicing running.  All in all it was a fun two weeks or Letter R!  This week we move on to the letter S.

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Toddler School–Letter Q

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

Any other toddler school folks struggle with the letter Q?  We sure did!  I managed to find/come up with a few good ideas, but overall it was a hard one for us.  Here are some of our activities from the week.

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She painted a question mark with Q-tips.  While she was painting we played the question/statement game.  I would say something and she would identify if it was a question or a statement.  Then she gave it a turn.

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We made a Quarterback Q.  We talked about what a quarterback does and what sport they play.

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Muffin tin math.  I used this trick when I was student teaching and pulled it back out for Mikayla this week.  She put corresponding jelly beans in the muffin tin to match the numbers.

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Letter Q queen.  Mikayla insisted she needed a staff (where she got that from I will never know)! 

I had intended to do a quilting activity with her, but we never got to it this week.  I may try and throw it in next week just for fun!  We also played a game where I would call out letters.  If I said Q she would run quick, for any other letter she would run slow!  Another game we played was she rolled the dice and quacked as many times as was rolled.  With the baby here this week, we practiced being quiet a lot!  For our snack this week we made a quiche together.  As usual, Mikayla loved rolling out the dough for the crust and pretty much forgot about the rest of it!

All in all, not a bad week considering it was a difficult letter.  We move onto the letter R next week.  I am thinking along the lines of mostly rainbows and rocks, but we will see!

Posted in Parenting |

Toddler School–Letter O

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

Last week we spent studying the Letter O.  This was a fun letter and Mikayla really enjoyed the games and activities we did.  And in case you missed my last post, Mikayla learned to write her name all by herself this past week!  She is getting so big. 

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We made an owl family out of toilet paper tubes and scrap paper.

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She practiced tracing lines, letters and matching pictures with this handy trick from my friend Lara.  Insert paper or worksheets into a sheet protector and they automatically become reusable when paired with a dry erase marker!

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Owl number match.  The owls had dots that corresponded with the numbers on the tree.  She had to match them up and glue on the correct tree.  This is one of those games where I wish I had access to a laminator so I could laminate and save for future uses.  It is one of the few number games she has actually really gotten into!

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Octopus name match.  Each octopus had the each of her names spelled out on the tentacles.  It just so happened that each of her names had seven letters so it worked out perfect if I added the full name on one tentacle. 

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Here is a close up.  I left the tentacle with the full name intact and cut the tips off the other ones.  Then she glued them on in the correct order to spell her full name.

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Another simple math game.  She stamped dots (or fingerprints really) onto the tentacles of an octopus to correspond with each number.  She loves anything dealing with numbers!

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Owl letter matching game.  The wings had capital and lower case letters on them and the body of the owl had pictures.  She matched them up according to sound.  To help her check her work I wrote the letters on the backs of the owls.  I had intended this game to be a multi-use game, but she insisted on gluing the wings on so the owls could fly!

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We made an O look like an owl, but I forgot to take a picture of it!  We also played an opposite matching game that her Mimi and Poppy sent for her birthday.  And of course we talked about the color orange and had oranges for our snack!  This week we move onto the letter Q, a tricky letter if you ask me!

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