Wednesday, May 21, 2014

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Are you familiar with the books by Laura Numeroff?  One of my favorites to start the school year off is "If You Take a Mouse to School".

After reading the story, we created some paper mouse faces.  I love how unique and individual the mice are.

Then we did a little math, using chocolate play dough and glass beads.

We tried duplicating the science experiment the mouse did in the book.  We used baking soda and purple tinted vinegar.

In the book, the mouse creates a mouse house with blocks, so we made little pipe cleaner mice (instructions here), and then made them some houses.  

Such fun activities to go along with the story.  I really enjoy tying books into learning experiences.  It really helps bring the books to life for the kids. 

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Day the Pirates came to Preschool

I had a couple kids in my class who loved to play pirates.  I thought it would be a good way to tie in the letter X and have some fun pirate play at the same time.  

I created some pirate ships using boxes and laundry baskets.  I added some fabric flags and painted X's on them.  I attached the flags to the "ships" with small PVC pipes and duct tape. These were a huge hit and the kids sailed the high seas for hours. 

We used our language, small motor and creative skills to create our own pirate treasure maps, where X marks the spot!  We drew our maps with  Sharpies, crumpled them up a bit and painted them with tea, to give them an old weathered looked.

We used a lot of energy to smash balls of aluminum with plastic and wooden hammers to make our own coins, then added our "mark", X, of course!

We manipulated some "pirate play dough" (play dough with coffee grounds in it, recipe below)

We used toothpicks or "mini swords"  with our play dough, for our swashbuckler preschoolers!

We made some pirate hats, cut out two strips and made an X to decorate them.

Finally, we discovered that some pirates had slipped in and left us clues, written on X's to lead us to their treasure!  It was very exciting.  

We followed the X's and found the pirate treasure.

Inside of the treasure box, we found all sorts of "gold"!  Goldfish, Rolo candies, and some pretend gold coins.  There were also some X's included. We split up our booty and ate the Goldfish for snack.

We also read several books about pirates.  Here are a few that I have found.  
(FYI, affiliate links included)

In case you wanted to try making some pirate play dough, here is the recipe.
2 cups flour
1/4 cup salt
1 Tbsp of oil
2 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
1 cup water
1/4 cup of coffee grounds.
Heat it all up in a pan.  When it begins to come together, take out and knead.  You may need to add some more flour, if it's a little sticky.  

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