There's been a few times recently that I have started making dinner, thinking I had an ingredient in the pantry, just to find out that I had already used it. There's also been times that I thought we needed something, bought it, came home and found out that I already had it. Last week, for the first time, I made myself a pantry inventory sheet that I can add to, or take away from as we buy or use an item. I am hoping this will help me to avoid the above mentioned scenerios in the future. I have seen this idea on several homemaking blogs. It is a simple system as long as I remember to update it.
This week, the girls are working on the letter Ii. In addition to academics, we also strive to teach our children life skills, so our first activity this week was to take inventory!
Lessons learned with this activity:
Homemaking Skills: Be aware of what you have.
Math Skills: guesstimating, tallying, counting by 5's, graphing, comparing greater than and less than
We started the lesson by sitting down and talking about the reasons why you would want to take an inventory of an item. We talked about the benefits of knowing what we have so that we can use that item or if it isn't in use, we can get rid of it. We talked about knowing if we have a real need for something then we will know to purchase it. Knowing what we have or don't have to work with will also be beneficial when the girls get older and we start talking about budgeting!
Next, I brought out a laundry basket filled with some of the girls' toys. We talked about how many items they thought were in the basket (guesstimating).
Next, I gave Arin a sheet of paper which was labeled with four sections: books, cars, dolls, stuffed animals. This was Arin's first introduction to tally marks, so before I let her loose with the activity, I taught her the concept. Then, one-by-one, she pulled out a toy and made a tally mark in the correct section. I did remind her a few times that once she had four marks, the fifth would cross over the first four. She seemed to grasp the concept quickly, though I am not sure at her young age that she pulled the whole inventory idea together!
Since we are working on counting by fives, I had her practice that a little with the tally marks that made groups of fives.
Now, the inventory process was complete, but I decided to have her take this a few steps further. We took the information that she had gathered and put it into graph form. Arin counted up the tally marks and colored the correct number of squares in each section of the graph. This was review work for her, since she's been graphing in her math book for a few weeks now, but I thought it was good for her to see the process of going from real objects to a graph. On the first section, she thought she'd make a pattern with the colors (she did this on her own), but she quickly grew tired of that idea and colored the next three sections one color each.
one other time.