Sunday, October 21, 2012

G is for Ghost

Mom School, third week of October

Monthly Focus: Features of Halloween 
Weekly Theme: Ghost
Letter: G
Number: 13
Shape: Oval 
Color: Black and White

Letter Tracing with Ghost Poop

Materials used:
  • black construction paper
  • silver marker
  • mini marshmallows
Gee, is that ghost poop on my G?  Hopefully no one gets hung up on the name of this - it's all in fun.  Our first activity this week was to trace the letter G using ghost poop, which during the other eleven months of the year is referred to as marshmallows.  To create the letter template, using a silver marker on black construction paper, I wrote a capital and lowercase G, as well as drew a ghost.  3YO Purple took to this activity just fine, and even volunteered to "clean up" after.

Ghost Writing

Materials used:
  • colored construction paper
  • glass pie pan
  • salt
  • glitter
3YO Purple truly loves purple, so the more I can incorporate the color into our activities, the happier she is.  Here the color isn't necessary, but adds to the fun.  We placed colored construction paper beneath a glass pie pan, and then added enough salt to the pan to cover the bottom of it.  A sprinkle of glitter was, again, just for fun.  I then invited Purple to use her finger to draw the letter G.  Pictured here is her first go - pretty good!  I didn't think of it at the time, but I should have then offered her a pencil to write with as well.

Gallon Ghosts

Materials used:
  • empty and clean gallon jug
  • white kitchen trash bag
  • permanent markers
I saw this idea on Crafty Journal and copied it outright.  I placed a dollar store plastic tablecloth on the kitchen table, and then set both my 3YO and my 1YO free with the permanent markers.  Scary!  Both girls enjoyed marking up the head of their ghost.  Above is Blue's work, though I did fill in the black eyes and mouth for effect.

Purple was quite pleased with her ghost, so much so that she would not let me hang it up, but preferred to hang out with it that day, as though it were a doll or stuffed animal.  I guess it was a friendly ghost.

Yes, I digitally dressed Purple.  She is in the clothing optional phase.

GHOSTS IN THE HOUSE! Book and Activity

Materials to use:
So we didn't end up doing this activity, although I had planned it and we had read this book several times previously.  I first discovered this book on No Time for Flash Cards's list of 21 Picture Books About Strong Girls.  The book describes what happens when this girl moves into a house haunted by ghosts.  Our follow up activity would have been a challenge to my girls to figure out one or more ways to use a sheet, besides making a bed (like that would happen).  However, just before I was going to share this with the girls, Hubs decided to build a Cave of Darkness, using couches, cushions and blankets.  

The Cave of Darkness
I figured the girls would likely have used the sheets in a similar fashion, so I saved this activity for another time, but that time never came.  At least not yet.

How to Grow a Ghost, Story and Treat

Materials used:
  • chocolate chips
  • chocolate pudding (I used my fave recipe, Thick Chocolate Pudding)
  • Oreo cookies
  • whipped topping (the canned type)
I had a lot of fun with this activity.  I searched online for "ghost snack" ideas, and came across a picture on Go Graham Go! of a dollop of whipped cream, decorated with chocolate chip eyes, on top of a bowl of pudding.  I wanted to make a treat for all my girls, so I needed to tweak it so there was something about it that each would eat (not everyone likes pudding, not everyone likes topping, etc.).  To involve everyone in the process, since they wouldn't all be eating the entire finished product, I created a story.

Here it goes:

To grow a ghost, start with three ghost seeds.
(Add three chocolate chips to a small bowl)

Next add a dollop of mud.
(Drop a scoop of pudding on top of the chips)

Create a magical mix of black and white dirt.
(Place Oreos in a plastic bag and pulverize.  A rolling pin works great.)
Sprinkle the special dirt on top of the mud.
(Sprinkle the crushed Oreos on top)
(At this point it got a little intense for Purple and Pink. They asked if we were making a real ghost or just pretend.)
Count to 13.  1, 2, 3,...
(At 13 I grabbed the can of whipped topping I had hidden behind the counter, and sprayed a ghostly mound on top of the pudding creation, and then dropped on three chocolate chips to form the face)


Grouping Ghosts Game

Materials used:
  • facial tissue
  • black marker
  • uppercase and lowercase G stickers
  • paper clips
  • magnet
To provide Purple with practice recognizing uppercase and lowercase G, I invented this game of sorting.  I pulled apart a tissue into singly ply layers, twisted a layer to create a ghost-like head and body, and then fastened it with a paper clip.  With a marker I drew on a ghost face, and then attached a G sticker.  I created thirteen of these, so as to also practice our counting to 13.

I created a wand by sandwiching a craft stick between two strong round magnets, but really any magnet could be used.  I handed the box full of ghosts and the wand to Purple, with the instructions to catch each ghost, and sort them into their group by whether their letter was uppercase or lowercase.

There was plenty of help on hand, but Purple completed the challenge on her own.  The other girls took turns as well.

G-H-O-S-T Bingo Game

Materials used:
A few months ago I bought a Bingo Game .  We've already used it for a couple of birthday parties, as well as the occasional casual game.  This time we used it for a numbers learning activity.

I created customized Bingo cards to match our focus on the number 13 (and those 12 numbers before it, too).  I re-titled the game as G-H-O-S-T, and used the following table to  convert a few existing Bingo cards to match the numbers we would use in G-H-O-S-T.  I also referred to this table as I pulled and called the Bingo balls.  Yes, it is a tad complicated, but mainly in creating the Bingo cards.  

The top right cell shows that "B" is called out as "G",
"14" is called out as "4", and so on
across the columns and rows.
Playing the game was easy, and the game helped Purple practice her numbers, as well as worked her fine motor skills in placing those stickers within the boxes on the card.  And, as a bonus, Purple was the first among her sisters to reach G-H-O-S-T.

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