Playdate: May 7, 2015
This playdate was inspired by a book that I wanted to read to the Sweet Peas, and I ended up going a different direction when it was storytime!
— Welcome song in English (emphasizes printed name recognition as Sweet Peas find their card in a line-up and place it on our Name Ledge)
— Welcome song in Spanish (reinforces names as Sweet Peas sing to their peers)
— Discussion of theme
— Unsquiggle activity
— Poem/Song before we break for Centers
Our unsquiggle activity this day was also part discovery/physical education/personal expression/confidence building. I incorporated the hand-kites to help those who were a little shy to at least move something in rhythm to the music they were hearing.
First, I created a playlist of different genres of music, alternating between upbeat and more solemn. We got to talk about the different countries the music and/or composer was from, as well as the different world cultures as we found the countries on the globe. We invited each child to dance down the pink line – it was great to see their creativity and imagination.
STORY TIME + MATH CENTER + MAKE&TAKE
I ended up using a book I had printed back when Puma was a preschooler as our story. It let me demonstrate the math activity/play home craft I came up with for the day. You can find the book from Enchanted Learning HERE; the ducks are free clip art from the internet printed on card stock; numbers are from a foam number pack (you can probably find them at your nearest craft or big-box store).
Charger, who was 5 at the time, did this all his own. He cut out the ducks, glued a popsicle stick to the back of the duck, and affixed the foam numbers to his ducks. I cut a slit in the paper plates for each of the ducks…this lets the children practice number recognition and ordering.
How we used it all together: Start the song/rhyme with a plate full of ducks. As you count down the numbers, you pull out the duck from it’s slot. This give the children a visual of what amount is left, as well as the written numbers as they are pulling them out.
This was one of my favorite name activities of all time. Again, the images are clip art that I found on the internet. I will do a better job of keeping track of links for next year to save readers who want to repeat these activites some time.
First, I printed out all the music notes, and then I programed them with the letters of all the children’s names – I used silver marker for a little extra pop! In a pinch, you could use any light-colored crayon or colored pencil. Next, I cut them out, and placed the right letters in an envelope with their name on it. The child had to pull out their letter notes, order them, and glue them to the stave paper I had printed for them. Once they finished, I played their “composition” for them on the piano. Some of them actually had some catchy little tunes!! Or if like Puma, they did everything on one note, I played it for them in the rhythm of the notes. Either way, you can ask the child if they could copy what they heard with claps or with singing.
This allows for the introduction of vocabulary, as well as the exploration of the different instruments, how they are played, and how they sound. Some different words to use: percussion, loud, soft, raspy, ringing, clanging, metallic; as well as the names of all of the instruments: drum, xylophone, bells, maracas, tambourines, triangles.
ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
Along with the duck craft, we also had the Sweet Peas bring a shoe-box so that we could make a rubber-band guitar. HERE are some instructions for a simple version of this craft. We made it even simpler, as you can see:
We finish our Preschool Playdate with a sharing time: each child that wants to share gets to say what (s)he enjoyed the most about the morning. We close with a good-bye song where children are welcome to give hugs. It helps to set a formal end to the time together so that parents have a clear reason to insist that it’s time to go if they have somewhere to be afterwards. Otherwise, the kiddos and parents that don’t have to leave will stay and play until the music teacher for our older Sweet Peas arrives.