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Spring is in full swing in April kindergarten 1! This month we'll meet Mother Nature in our stories and learn about how plants grow.
Our Froebel gift to play with for the month of April kindergarten 1 is Froebel gift 7, which has been a favorite! Our set is wooden, but you can also find or make sets out of paper.
It consists of flat wooden shapes with each available in eight different colors. This is different than some pattern block sets that color code each shape to one color.
The shapes in our set are the circle, half circle, square, right angle isosceles triangle (half square), diamond, equilateral triangle (half diamond), scalene triangle (half diamond the other way), and a right angle triangle such that one side is equal to the side of the square and equilateral triangle and the other side is equal to the long side of the scalene triangle.
I introduced this set by asking her to tell me the name of each shape. We ended up with 4 types of triangles, so we looked closer at how they are different and I explained the proper names.
On her own, she started putting them together to make shapes then made pictures like dice and dominoes. I made some square quilt block patterns (9 patch and pinwheel). She copied me then tried doing them with diamonds to see how diamonds are different from squares.
I ordered some quilt books to imitate the block photos. I'm going to make a set of cards which I will have available in my store soon. Free play and experimenting are more important to do first before "make this" suggestions in my opinion. It's also more in the spirit of what Froebel intended for awakening creativity, but extending the shapes on to quilts and bigger projects also seems like a good way to make living math that extends into our life experiences.
Our nature walks this week were still a little chilly, but there were plenty of daffodils, hyacinths, and fruit tree blossoms to observe. We also went to Masonville Cove and sadly observed a lot of litter along the shore. I think there was more than usual because they don't hold clean up days when it's cold.
Right now our nature table has a plant cutting we are trying to root, a pompom bunny, an origami bunny, and an egg decoration a relative gave us. Our reading lesson this week featured the letter E so we decorated our page with Easter egg stamps.
By the way, our Easter was lovely. We spent time with family and attended an egg hunt and services at church. The Easter Bunny brought us another music book to go with our music lessons, and we built a fire to feed the Sugar Sprites the candy from the egg hunt.
In our Waldorf Essentials curriculum, Super Sam is preparing to visit Mother Nature to learn more about the Root Babies.
He was surprised and delighted to meet some flower fairies in the forest! Yes, they are multicultural fairies with different skin tones. I made them from pipe cleaners wrapped with embroidery floss and topped with a wooden bead.
I let my helper choose the colors for each flower fairy's dress and have some input on how they look. I was going to do another layer of skirt for more petals and add some wool hair and bud caps, but she was eager to have them done to play with, so we went with green antennae.
We also played some logic games this week. She learned how to play Tic-Tac-Toe and how to play Connect 4 for real (she'd used it for making patterns since tot school).
I really enjoyed our walks this week. We looked at all of the spring flowers, including tulips, and spotted honeybees on the dandelions. I prefer to leave flowers growing outside, so none of this is on our nature scene, but the views outside of our windows are lovely!
We could have made things for the nature scene, but instead we were busy painting and coloring. For the letter F, we made fingerprint fish and glued felt scraps to a frog.
Super Sam made it to visit Mother Nature. She showed him the Root Babies and he took lots of notes in his journal.
We first saw Mother Nature in a dream last week, where I drew her on paper with block crayons. This time she is a touchable needlefelted doll. The Root Babies are also needlefelt dolls that look a bit like multicultural gingerbread men with small leaves for hair.
We attended an Earth Day event at Eco Adventures in Millersville and had a great time. We petted an alligator, hissing cockroach, and bearded dragon. We also received a baby tree and some flower seeds. It fit right in with what we'd been studying this week!
Our nature walks this week were chilly again. We admired tulips and apple blossoms. We flew our kite some.
We used glitter glue to decorate our letter G page. For free choice crafting, she was really into cutting paper this week. She used the colored computer paper, which she insisted was better than our packs of construction paper, and cut all sorts of squiggly shapes that she taped together.
Going through 20 sheets a day seems wasteful to me, but I have to keep reminding myself it's only a few cents. That's quite a bargain to keep her occupied and learning fine motor skills. I'm hoping more environmental awareness comes later. She does put the scraps in our recycling bin, but it's a lot of scraps!
The painting imitations continued. She has now caught up to me, using the book on a bookstand as she paints. We are talking about making a webpage with her paintings, but we haven't done that yet.
This week Super Sam visited Humus the garden keeper. He helped prepare the ground for the seedlings so they will have a soft garden bed to rest in as they grow.
Humus has dark skin like the rich dark soil he is named after. I used coffee grounds to stain the wood before I dressed him. The seedlings are needlefelted.
I don't think I mentioned that for the past couple of weeks our living room has featured two large boxes with an old computer keyboard on top of one. She set this up herself. It has become a desk, a grocery store checkout, garden store checkout, and most recently a library book checkout. She's also said that she wants to play clothing store, pet store, and restaurant, so we have those listed on our chalkboard in drawings.
This week we attended an Earth Day event and did some crafts. At home we had lots of outside time admiring tulips, dandelions, and apple blossoms. We observed our beehives and played with friends at the playground. We collected some mint leaves for the nature table. We planted more strawberries and decided where we want more tulips next year.
I tried to spark an interest in making some spring decor for the gnome home, but there are no results from that yet. We enjoyed reading some spring Wellie Wishers books. We colored our letter H with highlighters.
Our hero Super Sam was surprised to meet a human girl in the forest. They picked up trash together and went to visit Mother Nature's throne deep in the woods for the Earth Day celebration. The needlefelt root babies are standing around the throne. It's not pictured here, but Sam used a little wooden cart for the trash, and that was the favorite toy later in free play. It will show up in future weeks, too, so I'll try to remember to take a picture.
The role of the human girl was played by a Waldorf doll I made a couple of years ago. Yes, I made her myself! It was a lot of work (luckily I already had a raw fleece cleaned and carded), and I am not making another anytime soon. I have photos I took as I was making her, and I still haven't gotten that up as a webpage yet. Too many interesting projects! I try to take photos and share things as I can.
We took the silkworm eggs out of the refrigerator and will soon begin our annual tradition with that process again.