Some of the items that I’ve reviewed with the children recently and the reading I’ve been doing recently for homeschool encouragement have made me long to go back to doing unit study with my children in a way that is designed to make all of our learning feel so much more fun.
We started with some work with Noah for all four children, worked through an American Revolution Unit Study with the bigger kids, and I’ve finally hit my stride again by working through some activities with the book Mouse Paint with the little kids. In fact, this work was so much fun that even though the learning activities are mostly Pre-K/Kindergarten, my older kids wanted to participate just for the fun value of many of the activities we did.
For the base of this unit study, we started with the Ivy Kids Mouse Paint kit. I did a review recently (not for the blog) of this kit, and I love the high-quality play-based materials so much that I ordered a subscription to help me create the core of the preschoolers’ literature and math play.
One of the activities from the Ivy Kids kit that we did was to play “Hide the Mouse.” With the game, we would mix up the mice on the board and Monkey and Owlet would have to put them in the right places again so that they were camouflaged from the cat. This was a little “easy” for Monkey but perfect for Owlet’s skill level.
After playing the game the way it was written a few times, we altered it a little bit. We took the mice and hid them throughout the house, then we sent the “cat” through the house to find the mice and put them in the right places on the board. Even the big kids wanted to hide the mice and have a turn being a cat.
Since the whole point of Mouse Paint is to learn which colors mix into what, the next couple of activities we did were to help us to learn/reinforce the color mixing that we learned from the book. First, we did some mess free color mixing. I took three bottles of primary colored paint and had each child choose two colors to put into a bag and mix. I blogged a little more about it here.
While we were mixing colors, we also painted with our colors. This mouse template was in my Ivy Kids box, but I’ve seen others online. We used ours to make a display on large construction paper of the mouse colors.
The little kids worked some on their letter “M.” They sorted uppercase and lowercase “m” and glued them onto this worksheet that I got from 123 Homeschool 4 Me’s free printable pack.
We also used model magic to make our own clay mice. The whiskers and tail details are made from black pipe cleaners.
Another type of mice that the bigger children were interested in making were origami mice. Because they find traditional origami a little frustrating, we used Follow-the-Directions: Easy Origami. I bought it a couple of years ago in one of those $1 Scholastic sales that they have, and it’s been a very useful book for us.
Our Ivy Kids box also came with a pamphlet about blending colors, color paddles and some glossy cardstock pictures that they were able to match the paddles up with. The children also loved putting the paddles up to their eyes to be their “detective glass” with colors for pretend play.
We once again turned to the 123 Homeschool 4 Me mouse paint pack to work on dotting our letter M. The children love using dot markers to dot letters and stuff, so I’m always looking for these type of pages for them to play with.
Our Ivy Kids box also included some patterning activities with colored circle chips and pattern strips. There was also an I Spy card that we gave each other clues with and used the colored circle chips to cover the I Spy card.
I also grabbed a little from the Homeschool Share Mouse Paint printable with some different sized mice and different colored brushes. We used big paper to match them up and then the children created their own artwork to collage with these printables.
There were a few other games and things in our Ivy Kids box, but that’s really the bulk of what we did for our study. There are some great resources out there, but it was the Ivy Kids kit that really set our unit study apart this time around.