We then handed out the alphabet cards with just the letters. Then each child hunted for their specific letters. I was pleased to see them helping each other.
"I found one! It's a hole! Does anyone have an "H"?"
The whole hunt was a success, and the kids had a ball learning.
Later that day we tweaked the game (mostly because we couldn't think of 26 more outdoor items that would fit each letter). This time we used only the alphabet cards and challenged them to find things outside that start with A, B, C, and so on.
That's when I saw them flexing some creative muscle. For instance (totally on his own!), when we got to Q, Aidyn stormed off and said, pseudo-dramatically, "I quit!"
To which the other kids shouted, "He's quiting! Quiting starts with Q!"
I really don't think they'll ever forget that "quit" starts with a Q.
During a quiet part of the day, when Aidyn's pals went out shopping, we sat at the table and played some M&M math. I had printed out an M&M worksheet earlier that day and drew some M&Ms on the back in a one-to-one order to play around with greater than or less than signs.
Before we cracked open two fun size packets of the colorful candy, Aidyn estimated how much of each color were in the bags. We then dumped them out on the table, and, one color at a time, counted them and graphed them.
Along the way, we made observations about how much more this color had than another, which had the most, and which had the least.
After graphing them, Aidyn filled out the greater than or less than signs and made sure to give each one teeth.
Of course, after M&M math, we gobbled them up.
Continuing our learning about explorers (even pint-sized ones), we watched the sequel to An American Tail, entitled Fievel Goes West.
We talked about western exploration at the time, the pursuit for a better life, a new frontier, and the prospect of gold. We also did nothing at all but laugh at Tiger's silly antics.
And finally, later that day, Aidyn and his friend K played with Google Earth. I heard them "go to Mars" and look for aliens before asking if I could zoom in on our neighborhood back on Earth. They played with it at street-level and explored the streets, saying "I recognize that house! There's Mama's favorite restaurant!" etc.
Overall, it was a fun, learning-filled day (and the kids never suspected!)