I’m going to be honest, I originally planned to do sharks every day this week, Monday – Friday. However yesterday I woke up with a banging headache, and a bit of an attitude problem, so I completely and utterly avoided any school work with the kids at all. Here’s the good news, everyone survived! These are weird weird days my friends, no one really knows how to act in a pandemic, but the one thing I do know, is that nothing is going to happen if you choose to take a day to just do nothing. (If in 12 years Yale reject William because he only did 4, not 5 days of shark activities, in his pandemic homeschool, I’ll come back here and update that I was wrong.)
Happy to report that that today I woke up in a much more chipper mood. We only have another week-ish with J before he has to leave again, so I’m sleeping in where I can, and enjoying all the perks of having two grown ups in the building. I am a creature of habit, right now I’m in the “happy you’re here stage”. It’s stage one of my four stage cycle. A few days before he has to deploy I like to fully throw myself into “everything about you irritates me, you’re so messy, please leave”. This is stage two. I am argumentative, bitter, like to repeatedly mention how once he retires I’m taking 20 years to disappear whenever and how his job is systematically ruining my opportunities to watch as much Law and Order as I would like. This stage lasts until exactly 4 minutes after he’s gone. At this point I start my regular anal power organize of everything. I feel all empowered and busy and on top of it. This is the time I start DIY projects, diets, new life mantras. I am strong, I am confident, I don’t need my husband, in fact I’m better off alone, getting all this bizznizzz done. Sadly stage 3, the stage I could actually take over the world, lasts less than 2 days. This may explain exactly why there are so many unfinished DIY projects all over this house, and why every resolution I’ve ever made lies in tatters. Then it’s onto stage 4, where I regret every single part of stages 2 and 3, and just miss him terribly and start counting down until he’s back again and stage one can start. But enough about me and I’m frankly insane schedule of behaviors…. shark crafts that’s why we’re here.
Today the craft was cute little cut and stick shark in the ocean. I’d originally seen the idea here, but had too adapt it slightly because even when we’re not in a pandemic, I don’t have spare newspaper lying around the house. I wish I did though, in my dream world I get the Times delivered every morning, and I read it, with coffee, alone. Then mull world events whilst eating a croissant or something. Instead I actually get my world news from alerts on my Apple Watch, which is too teeny to read properly, whilst picking Fritos off the floor that my children have scattered.
To extend the activity a little, we each added our own fact at the bottom, mainly to let the kids practice writing, but also because I find it amusing seeing my husband’s handwriting in comparison to pre schoolers. I did traceable dotted lines for Ted to follow. All in all the whole activity didn’t take too long, but we all loved doing it. Its very self explanatory, but to make it as easy as possible I stayed one step ahead of the kids and J so that they could copy each step after I’d done it. This sort of modeling works well with littles. You could also pre cut the pieces for them if you had less time, or don’t trust them with their own scissors!
For the craft you will need
- Card stock or paper in two different shades of blue, white, black and gray.
- Google-y eyes or marker to draw eyes on
- Glue stick
- marker to write a fact about sharks on the waves
I set up two different activities for William and Teddy today for our learning time. I originally had had the idea of printing out tons of little sharks and having the boys fish for them, with some ELA component attached. HOWEVER: ever night after I read the the boys in bed William demands to hear the plan for the next day. I briefly mulled over what I was thinking. Said goodnight, went on my merry way to make a cup of tea, eat a sleeve of chips ahoy, and watch 90 day Fiancé. I was just settling down to. riveting hour of pure incredulousness that USCIS mad eye jump through hoops none of these people have to goo through, when I hear sobs. William is obviously in bed, in tears, because he loves sharks and simply cannot allow us to fish for paper ones. Apparently 100,000,000lbs of shark meat is harvested every year (his fact not mine, I should check on this) and we would be adding to the issue. Because I wanted to get back to scam brides and green cards I promised him we’d fish for something else.
So…. I hastily made a page of fish from a free clip art picture I found online. I printed 8 to a page and printed about 80 total. Then I cut them all out, colored them in whilst watching TV, and laminated them (and assorted chips ahoy crumbs) before bed. I wish I could figure out how to link the page I made here, but that it belong my meager technological abilities. If you want to give this activity a go, shoot me an email and I’ll send you a copy.
For William I made a synonym fishing activity. I took a large piece of paper and wrote 20 synonyms on it that I though he may not know off hand. I then used an expo marker to write their matching word onto the laminated fish. Because they are laminated they basically become reusable. Next time I want to use the fish I can just write something new on them. I displayed the fish around the edge of the paper, and Will used his magnet shark to fish the appropriate word out of the “ocean” and placed it next to its pair. It was a very successful activity. I loved the fishing element for the fine motor skill component.
Teddy had a similar activity. The basic concept of fishing using the magnet shark was the same. As a side note, to make the magnet shark I just colored in a shark, cut it out and laminated it. Then I added it to a string like. rod, and taped on of our magnates to its nose. The magnate stuck out slightly behind the picture of the shark. If you have smaller magnets those would work too, but we had to just make do with what we had. To make the fish attach to the magnet I slid a paperclip onto the end ion each one. You can pull them off afterwards so the fish can be used for a different non magnetic activity if needs be.
Teddy is reading the purple Oxford Reading Tree books at the moment. I’ll most likely do a post all about the series because I honestly couldn’t love them more. It’s probably a cultural thing, but the day I discovered I was pregnant, I imagined using Biff Chip and Kipper to teach my child to read. America isn’t going to change my mind that they’re the very best early reader option out there. I copied 20 of the highest frequency words he’s been seeing onto fish. Then I sat with him and said a word. He repeated it back to me, sounded out for the beginning letter, then started searching for the word. It took us a while, but he didn’t get bored at all, he really loved it. I’ll definitely be repeating it a lot this summer.
As tomorrow is Friday I’m trying to come up with some larger scale shark ideas to leave our shark week with a bang. Maybe a megladon or something. You know me, it’ll be last minute.
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