Friday, March 7, 2014

Partner Painting/Friendship Painting

Have you tried partner painting or friendship painting yet?  It is a great way for children to learn about cooperation and team work.  I like to introduce it at the beginning of the year to help the children build connections with each other.  All you need is a couple kiddos, a large sheet of paper and some paint.  You can even join in the fun! 
Painting with their feet is a fun partner activity too.  I would suggest making sure the kids have something to hold on to though.  The paint can get slippery.

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Monday, March 3, 2014

All About Rainbows in Preschool

Rainbows are awesome, magical even.  Kids are fascinated with them, most adults as well.  Here is how we explored rainbows in our preschool class.

I filled empty Gatorade bottles with water and then added watercolor to create "Rainbow Bottles".  The kids had fun putting them in "rainbow" order.
We did the Ivory Soap experiment (you can find it HERE), and used colored water to drip the colors of the rainbow on to the experiment.
Hanging rainbows made with tissue paper strips, half a paper plate and cotton balls.

Blow art (excellent for speech development!) using "rainbow colors"  I love the ways these turned out.  Just be prepared for some "spittle".

Rainbows in Clouds, aka, dripping colored water onto shaving cream and watching the colors come through.  You can find the experiment HERE..

Lastly, after exploring the rainbow in so many ways we created our own Rainbow Books, I got the idea from TEACH PRESCHOOL.

Enjoy the Rainbows!

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Discovering Glue

So many preschool and even kindergarten teachers cringe when the white glue comes out.  They envision puddles of glue, glue seeping onto the tables, onto the floors, scraps of paper floating in pools of glue.  So they grab the glue bottles and say "let me help", "just a dot, not a lot", "I'll do the glue for you".

I have been guilty of saying these exact things in my first year or two of teaching.  That was, until I had my "A-HA" moment.  I asked myself, "what are the children learning by me doing it for them" and "what is the worst that would happen if I let them hold and glue for themselves?"

 So I let go and let them...and they puddled the glue, and it seeped all over the table and floor, and soaked the papers until we could no longer move them. But something else happened.  They had fun. They began to understand that if they used to much glue the project was immovable. Their hands became stronger, their muscles developed, they learned to control the amount of glue they intended to use.  They learned because I provided the materials and let them explore, discover and make mistakes.  Something else happened too.  I learned.  I learned that I do not need to control the materials.  I learned that I do not need to "help" them.  I learned to sit back and give them control over what they created and they learned responsibility.

I understand there are budgets to keep to and it can seem wasteful to let the children puddle the glue in what seems to be a senseless act.  But it isn't senseless.  They are learning, as children do, by doing, by experimenting, by immersing themselves in the experience.  Compared to the experience, glue seems cheap. 


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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bob Books Level 2

Now that my daughter is an official "reader", she reads anything and everything she sees.  We have used the Bob Books for quite some time now.  Did you know you can get them on Kindle?

We received a gift copy of Bob Books set 2 advancing readers  to try out.  My daughter read them all in one sitting, book after book.  She was absorbed and I loved it!! 
What I love about Bob Books are the simple pictures and text.  The simple pictures make it easier to focus on the words and yet, the pictures go along with the text.  I also enjoy the humor in the books. I think the proof is in the fact that my daughter could not stop reading them.  She read to me, her Dad, even her dog.  Thank you Bob Books! 
You can find them all at this
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sight and Word Family Games

Now that my daughter is in Kinder, part of her curriculum  is working on sight words and word families. I am trying to add some engaging, hands on ways for her to practice learning them.  Here are a few of the games I've come up with to help her.

Swat the Word

This game, I simply set out the sight words, I happened to have this set, but you could easily write the words on index cards or such.

I gave my daughter a clean fly swatter.  I keep a couple on hand for painting, balloon tennis, etc. I got these at the Dollar Tree for 2/1.00. Then I call out the word and she "swats" it. 
We took the words away as she swatted. Easy Peasy!
Word Family Flower
I wrote the word families on the edge of the craft sticks, then she matched all the word families,

put a dot of glue in the middle and glued them all together.

She added a little button center,

and voila...a word family flower!
Roll a Sentence
I found these fun word dice at the Dollar Tree and bought 2 packs of them.
I gave each child 3 dice to roll.  Then they either tried to make a sentence or just read the words. This is one of their favorite games to play.  It can get quite silly and that makes it fun!

(looks like my camera needs a little cleaning...sorry about the blurriness, but you get the point, right?)
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pom-Pom Coloring Matching

So this is pretty quick and easy to set up.  I just used an egg crate and some paint.  Just paint the inside of the egg holders various colors to match the pom-poms.  This is great for fine motor, counting, color matching/sorting and problem solving.

You could also add some tweezers or chop sticks for the child to pick up the pom-poms for an added challenge.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pumpkin, Rubber Bands, and Golf Tees

When I saw some really cool Hands on Pumpkin Math, over at Fun A Day, and what her kids did with push pins, rubber bands and a pumpkin, I knew that would be right up our alley! 
I wanted to give the kids the opportunity to use the hammers and golf tees, since it such a great experience in hand/eye coordination and fine motor skill.  So, I put out the pumpkin, rubber bands, golf tees and wooden hammers. 

I did show them how to stretch the rubber bands from on peg to the other, and then they took it from there.

It was a great effort in team work, cooperation and lots of language skills too!  Thank you so much for the inspiration, Fun A Day!  

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