Tuesday, November 26, 2013

10 Turkey-tivities for Toddlers

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Have fun with a turkey craft and lots of learning this Thanksgiving! I often like to incorporate a craft that Caleb and I can create together and then use that craft to enjoy learning in lots of ways. I hope you have fun with these Turkey Ideas!


1. CREATE A TURKEY CRAFT – Enjoy some craft time with your child. You don’t have to create the same turkey as we did. There are many on the internet to choose from. There’s a link below to one site with directions. I would suggest using different colors of feathers so some of the activities below can be done correctly. It’s also best if you laminate any paper parts before putting the turkey together for durability through the activities.
2. SORTING TURKEY FEATHERS (COLORS) – Make sure one feather on the turkey craft matches the feathers provided, ,so if you have red, yellow, green, blue, orange, and pink feathers, then those should be the same colors on your turkey craft. Provide your child with a small bag of feathers  and let him/her sort them to the matching color on the turkey.
3. SORTING SHAPES TURKEY – Provide your child with a bag of shapes. Your child can sort one shape onto each feather. All the circles will go on one feather. All the squares will go on another feather, etc…

4. TURKEY SOCCER GOAL – Using the paper plate turkey craft above would actually work better than the one we did. I just did a paper turkey and then laminated it. The turkey was a little flimsy for this activity, but we got it to work. Using masking tape**, tape 2 kabob sticks to the bottom of the turkey coming out like legs should-width apart. Make sure the pointy end of the stick is facing down. Stick the pointy ends into the ground but leave enough room where a small ball can roll between the kabob sticks. Stand your child a few feet away and have him or her gently kick the ball through the sticks .

5.  TURKEY CROQUETThis uses the same set-up as above, but instead of having your child kick the ball, have him or her try to hit the ball with a small bat, kid’s golf club, or even just a stick aiming between the sticks.

6.  TURKEY BASKETBALL – Attach your turkey to the inside of a basket/bucket. Provide your child with a small ball and have him or her gently toss the ball into the basket/bucket.

7.  TURKEY POSITIONS – This is a fun activity that works on your child vocabulary.  First, “hide” the turkey in plain site. Have your child look for the turkey. When he or she finds the turkey use your vocabulary to tell where the turkey was, “The turkey was on the table or the turkey was above the chair.” If your child’s vocabulary is already strong, continue to develop it by asking him or her to develop sentences to tell where the turkey was hidden.

8.  TURKEY COUNTING (ONE TO ONE) – Have your child place one block on each feather as he or she counts them. You can have him or her match up number flashcards with each block as well if he or she is at that skill level.

9.  FEEDING TURKEY CORN – This is great for building fine-motor skills. Cut a slit on the turkey’s beak just big enough for a single  corn kernel to fit. You can also attach a plastic baggie to the  back with masking tape to catch the kernels.

10.  WINDY TURKEY – Attach crepe paper to the end of the turkey’s feathers and a craft stick to the bottom of the turkey using masking tape. On a windy day, go outside and have your child hold the turkey up or wavy it around to see the paper fly!
** I encouraged the use of masking tape since we are using the same craft for different activities. This will allow you to put on and take off items as needed. 

Do you have any other fun Turkey activities you would like to share? Feel free to post them in the comments! I'd love to get some ideas for next year!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! 

God Bless your Learning Experiences!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Roadschooling Set-Up

http://rvclassroom.blogspot.com/2013/11/roadschooling-set-up.htmlI realize that I’ve been doing this blog for a little while and I haven’t really explained what roadschooling is, at least to our family, and how we do it. That’s partially because I have been building the airplane as I have been flying it, which leads to the next reason… my set-up just wasn’t ready to share.

Now that we have settled into sunny Florida for the winter and plan to be here for a few months, I was able to set-up a more permanent roadschooling site that I can share with you. It’s still not perfect as it is a work in progress, but it is much more than we had and it is serving us well!

Let me go back a little bit before I begin sharing though and explain our roadschooling situation. My husband, aka The Chicken Whisperer, travels across the country with his sponsors doing events, workshops, and lobbying for the chicken love across the nation. We started traveling about 5 years ago and we would go from hotel to hotel sometimes night to night. As you can imagine, when Caleb came along our single traveling suitcase turned into multiple suitcases, a pack & play, sheets, food bags, toy bags, diaper bags, etc. Not to mention a baby in tow. We would just about fill those luggage carts hotels provide to the top with things hanging off the sides. Picture moving all this stuff into a hotel room for one night and back out the next morning every day for five days or more. Let’s just say, NOT FUN! Every time we saw an RV driving down the road, we would dream about how it would be so nice to just pack our stuff one time and be done. Not to mention, have a place where Caleb could take a nap on site! Finally, this past December we picked out the RV we wanted, saved up our money (we don’t like to buy things on credit), and purchased our very own 24’ Coachman Spirit of America travel trailer. It was the biggest RV we could buy that our current SUV could pull and we didn’t want to buy another vehicle.
At first, as we traveled for Andy’s work, we’d also find a fun spot to stay for vacation when the work was done. Then, we started finding spots to stay longer. We recently just spent 3 months in the north Georgia mountains watching the leaves change colors. Now we are planning to stay in Florida for the next 4 – 5 months over the winter. I don’t miss the cold. Yes, I’m a wimp! We plan to head home to the farm house for spring after some work traveling, so we can plant our garden and experience some homeschool there.
So that is our story of how our journey began. Now, let’s take a look at how I’ve set up our roadschooling through pictures…

Our outside learning environment. I put an extra table cloth on the concrete pad in front of us to learn on. The table next to the camper is hiding 4 storage drawers.

 These 2 storage drawers hold mostly craft and office supplies.

 These 2 storage drawers hold a variety of learning materials. The first bin shown on the left holds the following.
1. Holiday materials - foam shapes, stockings, and Christmas hats.
2. Fine Motor, Sensory materials, and Containers
3. Clipboard, Dry erase boards, mirrors, magnifying glasses, and tweezers

The second bin shown on the right holds the following.
1. Shapes, Numbers, and Letters Activities: I have a variety of activities for each concept. I organized all the games and activities together in gallon ziplock pages. For example, in the letter bag I have Di-cut letters, magnetic letters, letter matching games, flashcards, etc...
2. Manipulatives, Puzzles, and Play Dough
3. Water toys, Balls, Blocks, Chalk, Shape Sorter, Gardening tools etc...

 These boxes stay inside the RV. The tub on the left holds most of the materials I will use for teaching for the week. On the top right, I have a bin that holds all my paper goodies. This isn't my favorite way to store it, but it's what I'm working with right now. On the bottom right, I have a bin of books that I switch out each time I go home, hot glue gun and glue sticks, lamination machine, and teacher idea books.

 Here's a sample activity that we did today. I filled a tub with water, shapes, blocks, Thanksgiving foam shapes, a boat and sponge. I also gave Caleb a muffin pan. He had fun transferring water to the muffin pan and pouring it back in, cleaning the toys with the sponges, and having the turkey go, "nite-nite" by covering him up with "blankets" = shapes. It was fun to watch him play and learn.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know more about our roadschooling journey. If you have any questions or want to share any suggestions from your own experiences, I'd love to see those in the comments! 

Learning Blessings,


Thursday, November 14, 2013

On the Road Again...

I’ve disappeared for a little while because we have been so busy traveling! We left our camp resort in Helen, GA and headed down to Stone Mountain, GA for the Indian Festival. Caleb had a great time seeing the giant tee-pees, traditional Native American dancing, toys, skins, and so much more! Stone Mountain is Caleb’s favorite place because there are so many great activities for him to do that he loves and I love it too because we all have fun as a family spending time together and Caleb (and everyone else) builds gross motor muscles throwing balls, climbing stairs, sliding down slides, climbing on netting high in the sky, not to mention just walking the park. We enjoy the educational movies about rocks and of course the train rides!

We took a drive to Gainsville, GA one day to visit Interactive Neighborhood for Kids (INK). This place is awesome! I used to bring my kindergarteners to INK for a field trip every year! They have different rooms set up for children to freely explore their community with real life size objects! For example, they have a grocery store with carts children can push as they collect their groceries and then take them to the check out stand to be scanned. They also have a post office, doctor’s office, dentist office, diner, courthouse, school, farm, music room, and much more! They also have a real airplane, fire truck, police car, and a large wooden train engine. Not to mention small and large play areas! There was so much to do, Caleb was a bit overwhelmed. We got him to venture out to explore these areas, but he mostly just wanted to play with the wooden train sets.

From Stone Mountain, we left for a day trip up to Nashville, Tennessee as my husband, The Chicken Whisperer®, was presenting a seminar on keeping backyard flocks.

While he was working, we took advantage of the beautiful autumn landscape to explore acorns, find squirrels, different colored leaves and take some great pictures of Caleb and Lily!

Then, we came back to Stone Mountain for a day to enjoy the Christmas festivities. They lit the Christmas tree on top of Stone Mountain, had carolers sing around the park, there were Christmas themed plays presented all around the park, The Polar Express (a shortened version) in 4D was shown at the movie theater, the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth was shared on the sing-a-long train ride, snow angels flew, snow fell, fireworks boomed, and so much more!

Then, we went home to switch out a few things… mainly leaving the winter clothes behind and pulling out the summer clothes, our bikes, and I brought some more schooling materials. Yay!

We arrived at our destination in Lake Placid, Florida late Monday night and spent all day Tuesday and Wednesday setting up, but it was worth it! I love our spot! We are right next to the pool. We have an extra concrete patio right behind us (excellent for sidewalk chalk and riding Caleb’s new tricycle!) My schooling materials are now nicely organized and I can finally share our set up with all of you wondering what it looks like to road school in an RV with limited space!  Keep an eye out for my next blog as I will be sharing all the details soon!

Blessings to you!

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