Oceans Resource Wrap-Up

I wanted to give a completed resource list for our play school unit on beaches and the ocean. We’re using Hubbard’s Cupboard free 2’s curriculum as a jumping off point, but as you’ll see, we added and adjusted a bit. Please go to the original curriculum for math, art, and theme activities because this unit at least I didn’t get creative. Maybe next time!

Bible:

  • Creation from the Jesus Storybook Bible
  • Genesis 1 from NASB
  • Counting and talking about the days of creation

Hymn and Verse songs:

  • My God is So Big (change “valleys” to “oceans” in the 2nd verse)
  • Genesis 1:1 (See Hubbard’s Cupboard, it’s from their list)

Fiction:

  • Beach Feet by Kiyomie Konagaya
  • Sea, Sand, and Me by Patricia Hubbell (the girls’ favorite!)
  • Sand in my Shoes by Wendy Kesselman

Non-Fiction:

  • Looking Closely Along the Shore by Frank Serafini
  • A Swim through the Sea by Kristin Joy Pratt
  • Habitat Survival: Oceans by Claire Llewellyn
  • On the Seashore by Anna Milbourn (reads like a picture book – good intro to nonfiction)

Movies

  • Eye Witness: Seashore
  • Reading Rainbow: Dive to the Coral Reefs
  • Bob the Builder at the Seashore

We’ve gotten a ton of use out of our sensory bin, which is made to look like a beach. It has a bed of cheap cornmeal, a sprinkle of gold glitter, 2 shovels (one for each toddler), a few shells, and a few beach toys. They LOVE running the cornmeal through their hands. And then, of course, throwing it in the air to be pixie dust… I love the way kids think!

8 2013 012

Another big hit was singing and playing “This is the way we go to the beach.” If you couldn’t guess, it’s to the tune of “Here we go round the mulberry bush.” The curriculum has a list of different verses you can add; I usually just made some up. We ran to the beach, jumped to the beach, spun in a circle to the beach, marched to the beach, swam at the beach… you get the idea. Fantastic energy burner!

Next week starts the Camping unit. The curriculum only has you making one sensory bin a month, so the kids will continue playing beach – unless I get bored and make something different! I just picked up a bagful of books from the library. Tonight I’m planning to pre-read everything to get it sorted and remake the basket. I love having the theme basket out first thing in the morning when the other kids arrive! It’s just so inviting to dive right in to our exploring.

8 2013 009

Getting Started Playing School

Now that Grace is two, I’ve been wanting to add just a little bit of structure to our days. It’s a looooong day with a bored 2 year old if I don’t have *some* kind of a plan. That plan, however, is really loose. I most identify with a Charlotte Mason educational philosophy, which looks a lot like unschooling in the younger ages. Lots of playing outside. Lots of reading worthwhile books.

I’m using a lovely curriculum called Hubbard’s Cupboard as a “jumping off” point. It’s lovely as is if you’re looking for something print-and-go and a great inspiration curriculum if you’re looking to add more yourself. I’m using Joyful Hearts, their 2 year old program.

My changes: They plan 2 lesson days a week; I’m leaving Grace’s theme basket available to her whenever she wants to play or read from it. They have a Bible theme but no particular lesson; we’re incorporating reading from the Jesus Storybook Bible and other places. I’m having to adapt some of the books based on what I can find at my library, plus adding in non-fiction books. I grabbed a couple theme-based videos at the library, too – we’re not big TV watchers, but some days I need her to focus alone while I get something done (like make lunch!). I’m also adding a hymn for each theme since Grace LOVES music!

The first theme is Beaches and the Ocean, for 2 weeks. Grace and her 2 friends that I watch are really loving it! Today I’ll show you our sensory activities. I’ll post our complete resource list next week when we wrap up the theme. There’s a couple books I’m still hoping to get from the library, plus a couple that I got I doubt we’ll actually use. I want an accurate list for my records.

8 2013 009

Our seashore theme basket: books, a movie, a tin full of real shells, and the Melissa and Doug ocean-themed instrument set

8 2013 006

Tropical drink mix flavored play dough plus shells to press

 

8 2013 008

Beach sensory tub: cornmeal, gold glitter, sea shells, shovels, and a set of pouring toys

8 2013 012

They loved it! Playing on our beach towel outside

I’m really enjoying playing school. It’s just enough structure without being academic. I didn’t do the math activities this week but will probably add them in as we go. I’m using the planning sheet more as inspiration and less as a rule book – mixing, matching, and adapting as I go. The next theme is camping and I’m super excited – that’s our new hobby of the summer, so Grace will really connect!