Animals We See Outside Graph.

Now that it’s summer I have been trying to find fun outdoor activities to keep up on our preschool lessons. To make sure my oldest is fully ready for Kindergarten. We’ve been keeping up with our reading lessons, daily. We also try to count to 100 most days. Besides counting to 100 my husband and I find ways to sneak in counting and simple addition activities. I’ve been focused on pre reading and reading skills that math got lost in the shuffle of it all therefore I’ve been trying to be more proactive in fitting it in much more often.

Again; being summer I’ve been trying to find a way to bring our lessons outside as we breath in the fresh air and soak in nature. My youngest enjoys watching birds, squirrels, and bunnies. Luckily for her our backyard is full of tall trees and is the perfect place to look for small critters. I figured a way to keep both my daughters more excited about nature I’d make something I could laminate and take outside with us to mark off what we see.

I laminated the Animal Tracking Sheet to use again and again.

My daughter pointed out the lady bug on the chart and asked why a lady bug? I told her it just represented bugs in general she reluctantly accepted that fact. My daughters have short attention spans, therefore I only did 10 boxes to mark because I figured after they spotted the first several bugs they would be over looking for bugs. Bugs are abundant in our backyard if they pay attention they could find 100’s in seconds if they wanted, again I just kept it at a broad spectrum and told her we can look for any specific bugs we want. For example if she wanted to look only for spiders we could do that.

After filling out the chart and coming back inside for the day my daughters and I sit down and we talk about our data. I have my oldest count how many boxes she marked in each category. She had found 0 bunnies and 0 frogs, so I asked her which animals were spotted the same amount of times. Then I asked what animal was spotted the most times, the least? I made a graph to go along with the chart to fill out and see the data in a more visual way.

My oldest daughters graph filled out.
The graph I filled out to explain how graphs work to her.

I work best myself if I have a visual aid to remind me of everything I need to explain to a child that is learning basic information. I made a demonstration graph to keep me on track to talk about the key points of a graph to my daughter as we did our graphing activity. Also for her reference in the future.

I laminated the reference graph so it would last longer.

I laminated my sheets for durability, instead of wasting laminated pouches or if you don’t have a laminator reusable dry erase pockets are a perfect solution. The other items above are helpful visual aids when it comes to counting and or math skills. (I am a participant in Amazon affiliates and any qualifying purchases made through Amazon links above I earn commission on at no extra cost to you.)

Preschool toy store scene. I want to buy a ______ at the toy store.

I recently ran out of ink for the printer, my daughter kept asking if I had ink yet because she had a request. Naturally when my husband came home after work with ink my daughter immediately informed me of her request. She wanted a store, and people with masks, because of course masks are mandatory. She said the masks were the most important. This is what I made.

After my daughter and I colored, I laminated, and she cut out the pieces.

I chose a simple sentence “I want to buy a ________ at the toy store,” to fit in a little reading with play time. I’ve been trying to get my daughter to really focus in and learn to read number words. I decided to use this as an opportunity to casually throw that concept in. Originally the people each had a number one, two, three, and four. My daughter cut out all the pieces herself except for the person with the word two, which means my intentions fell short. She got in a short scissor practice so not a total loss.

I chose to refrain from using color because it saves on color ink and currently I’m still out of that because black and white was the only in stock. Also it gives us a chance to sit down together as we color and talk about the picture. I can ask her to read the sentence and look at the words with their corresponding images.

I’ve been making people with shapes recently because it gives me more opportunities to plug in shapes with my youngest daughter. Who will grab anything my oldest is playing with.

Besides the toy scene I made a printable to go along with it. A simple circle the correct number. It looks like this.

I apologize for the crumby state of the images, I had forgotten to take a picture before giving the sheets to my oldest, when my youngest was wide awake and ready to snatch anything. I could have reprinted, or taken a picture from my computer, I figure that’s real life though. I’m just a mom trying to educate my children all awhile dealing with the chaos that comes with it.

Printable isn’t in color, pictures taken after my daughter and I colored the pages.

I always laminate the scene and people to make it durable and last more than one use. (I am a participant in the Amazon affiliates program and any qualifying purchases purchased through links above I may earn a commission from.)

Farm scene from an earlier post. I see a __ on the farm.

Click here if you want to check out the “I see a _____ on the farm.” post.

Playground scene from an earlier post. I see a __ at the playground.

Click here if you want to check out the “I see _____ at the playground.” post.

Number Puzzles…

My oldest daughter is at the age in which I’m trying to incorporate as much reading into her daily routine as possible. Without resulting in her stomping off because in her words “it’s not learning time.” Although as her mother I feel at her age everything can be a learning experience.

She loves puzzles, when she’s in the mood that is. Therefore I made her a hedgehog themed number puzzle. Incorporating the numbers 1-12. I wanted to make sure by the time she started kindergarten she could at least recognize the words for beginning numbers.

I made the number puzzles in two versions, the basic version in which she had to match the numeral number symbol with the correct number of hedgehogs to boost her confidence and encourage her to continue. Whenever something is challenging she’s ready to move on, in which I explain to her we know nothing until we learn it. Not knowing something isn’t a reason to be discouraged with yourself. The message hasn’t quite set in yet, I figure eventually it will. Anyways I made the easier version to keep her interested because she’s able to recognize the numeral numbers, and the second version is to help her learn to read the written word of a number. Version two is about matching the number hedgehogs with the corresponding number word.

Hedgehog number puzzle, free printable towards bottom of page 🙂

In order to make the hedgehog puzzles I printed them out on basic paper and laminated them for durability. You could use card stock whichever works best for you. After cut them out along the lines, and enjoy 🙂

“Ten Little Ladybugs” by Melanie Gerth, is a great book to use to help incorporate reading recognition when it comes to numbers. It’s a fun way to count along, and it shows the numbers both in written text and the symbol. It’s another tool my husband and I try to throw in to get my daughter to read and recognize numbers. When she was younger she loved counting the ladybugs on each page, every page until the end of the book. She would also touch each ladybug and tell me their corresponding color. (I am a part of amazon affiliates and may receive a commission from purchase through link above.)

(please remember all printable items found on learning-with-nana-hedgehog are intended for personal use only.)