Tag Archives: imaginative play

ppdnativeamericans

Preschool Playdate: Native American Day

Play date: November 10, 2016
Theme inspired by the USA recognition of Native American Month

— 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: homes of different tribes http://www.native-languages.org/houses.htm
— Storytime
— Unsquiggle activity
— Poem/Song before we break for Centers
— Centers | Free play
— Closing

STORY TIME
My favorite thing about these two books is that they point out to the reader that there was no “discovery” of “America”.  There was already a vibrant, rich and long-standing cultural traditions alive and well when Europeans landed on these shores.  One of the books has a great map that shows the regions in the United States and how the cultural traditions developed to suit their climate.

The other book has images that are better suited for adaptation for toddlers. By that I mean that it is easier for me to make up an abbreviated version of the page to suit their attention span!

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LITERACY CENTER
I adapted THIS idea from the Heidi Songs blog .

Since we were not focusing on Thanksgiving this year, I decided to use an image of a buffalo since that animal played such an integral part of Plains Indian culture.  The letters on the plate are the first letters of names of the children who attended playdate this day.  I have found that associating the letter with a person they know really helps them to remember the letter name other times, so I wanted to use letters that were familiar to them from our weekly circle time.

Get your own “Bison Clip Art” to adapt it any way you like for your group.

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MATH CENTER
As it turns out, we had a blue box from Costco that was just the right size for the sweet peas to sit in and play “going fishing”.  The fish are numbered, so there are lots of ways to play as they “caught” fish:

Level 1: Count how many fish they caught – there were up to 20 that could be snagged with the magnetic fishing poles.
Level 2: Separate the fish into groups – they are numbered 1-5, so potentially five different groups to make
Level 3: Add up the numbers on the back of the fish.  This makes the game challenging for the older children since the total sum could reach 50.

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DISCOVERY TABLE
Weaving was a skill used across the country to create everything from baskets to blankets.  I thought that the sweet peas would enjoy trying it.  To make it easier for little hands, I used shoelaces.  They have a nice tip for chubby fingers to grab on to, and they are a little slicker than yarn.  The slickness makes it easier to pass the string up and over since it’s not snagging on itself like yarn does.

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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
One of the art forms that our toddlers could attempt is drawing their own totem pole.  These were illustrated in the book I shared with the group.  HERE is the pattern that we shared on the craft table.  I also printed out THIS inspiration picture.  I asked the sweet peas to think about which animal they liked or related to, and they came up with their own totem pole creations.

This craft can be taken a step further by cutting out the finished drawing and pasting it to an empty paper towel tube so that it can be free-standing.  Since we are out of the habit of using paper towels, I could only share this idea with the parents for them to do at home.

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IMAGINATIVE PLAY
Very organically, our children transformed our schoolroom into their own Indian Village.  They created a longhouse out of some pillows we have in our bedroom.  They also used blankets to create other home structures.  They had their fishing area set up complete with boat storage.  Other things they incorporated into their playtime: left-over buffalo plates without letters on them, and “eggs” from our kitchen play area.

Charger set up a hunt for buffalo by setting up buffalo plates around the house.  He had the kiddos throw a bean bag at the plates to knock them over (clever little man also had them count their yield!).  Someone else was tasked with fishing.  And then they grabbed the eggs from the “prairie chicken nests” and brought everything back to our craft table to make a feast.

It also let us talk about sustainability.  The Native American tradition is one of living in harmony with the environment, taking only what was needed and leaving the rest alone.  We could have the conversation about how many buffalo a group of six would need, and how practically every single piece of meat, bone and tissue was put to use.  We took out one of the “First Americans” books again and read that page in detail.

It was really neat to see the sweet peas enjoy the elements of the different activities in their own way.  Watching them assimilate the lessons through play once again validated why this kind of time to be creative and play is so important for children.

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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.  Playtime was definitely the crowd favorite today, as was the fishing game.

To close out our time together we sing 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.

Thank you for checking out our Native American Playdate.  We have one more to share with you this season.  Today we are doing Children’s Day in honor of the Universal Children’s Day on November 20th….all the details will be up in next week’s post.

One more thing in case you are interested…Here are some Thanksgiving ideas to share with your Sweet Pea at home. Check out this link:
http://www.pre-kpages.com/thanksgiving/

ppdkingtut

Preschool Playdate: King Tut Day

Play date: November 3, 3016
Theme: King Tut Day – celebrated on November 4th, the anniversary of the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt

FYI:  All links are informational only. I do not make any revenue from any content in this post…simply sharing for you to enjoy and recreate this play date at home for your sweet peas!

Most of the materials for this playdate are from the “Geography Jumper: Egypt” packet created by Wise Little Owls
Get your packet here: https://goo.gl/uPIOI7

The packet costs $6.00 – well worth it for 53 printable pages.  There are lots of activities to print and enjoy with your Sweet Peas!

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I printed out the full-color Cover Page (pictured above), the “Fact Sheet”, the “Country Poster” and the “Flag Poster” to laminate and display in our classroom.  They were all bright, welcoming our guests to the day’s theme and hanging in the background to set the scene for our play date.

— 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: Showed pictures from a “Step into Reading” book called “Tut’s Mummy: Lost…and Found“, plus used the Ancient Egypt TOOB figures to introduce the day’s topic
— Storytime
— Poem/Song before we break for Centers: Alice the Camel
— Centers | Free play
— Closing

STORY TIME
The Geography Jumper included a handy little informational book about Egypt which included a map of the country, where it was located in Africa and the world, a picture of the flag, topography (desert and the Nile River), and some of Egypt’s ancient history (Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, mummy, sarcophagus, hieroglyphs). To tie in with education, it also talked about how long the required schooling was for Egyptian children (8 years).

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POEM/SONG
Alice the Camel
https://youtu.be/9sN_RqxXGMw

 

LITERACY CENTER
There were two activities in this center, both from the Geography Jumper packet.  One was vocabulary cards and the second was an emergent reader book.

Vocabulary Cards
Level 1: review cards for vocabulary retention
Level 2: Sort the cards into “geography” and “history” sets
Level 3: alphabetize the cards

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Emergent Reader
This book reinforced all the vocabulary introduced in the “All About Egypt” book and the vocabulary cards.  It is in black and white so the student could color it as well as read it.  Every page starts with “Do you see” and then includes the vocabulary word that corresponds to the picture on the page.

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MATH CENTER
This center was one of my own creation, using clip art from Classroom Clipart, a free on-line resource.  I printed 6 camel images and mounted them onto card-stock paper.  The center also included foam numbers and counting sticks.

Level 1: Count the camels out loud
Level 2: Count the camels and match the correct foam number
Level 3: Place out a foam number and have the child place the correct number of camel cards on the table
Level 4: Add in the counting sticks to Level 1-2-3 activities
Level 5: Introduce the concept of odd and even

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Using the counting sticks to introduce the concept of 5 tally counting

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Odd numbers have a middle

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Even numbers have equal sets

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Another way to visually demonstrate odd and even numbers: odd numbers have one left over, even numbers are always matched.

DISCOVERY TABLE
We hid the TOOB figures in sand and had the Sweet Peas play archeologist to unearth the treasure.

The pyramids and the sphinx we left out of the sand to give a clue on where to dig.  Again, these figures could be sorted into the items discovered in King Tut’s tomb and other Egyptian figures.

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IMAGINATIVE PLAY
I had our children bring out their Lego building blocks. They actually had a couple of Egyptian-ish mini-figures, and then we picked out the 2x building blocks for the Sweet Peas to play around with and build their own pyramids and palm trees.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of this activity!! I will see if they can get the parts out again soon and I will add some pictures.

ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
This idea was also from the Geography Jumper packet by Wise Little Owls.  The packet included a pattern to trace plus the instructions to create this cute little mummies.

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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.  Making the mummy and digging in the sand were the two popular activities today. We also sang one more round of “Alice the Camel” since every one had so much fun singing the song the first time around!

We close with a good-bye poem and then 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.

Today, each guest took home an enrichment packet of four print outs from the Geography Jumper.  We gave everyone the following worksheets to take home and enjoy later.

  • “Glue the Pictures” – outline of the country of Egypt plus four pictures.  Three of them are from the images used in the “All about Egypt” book.  The activity is for the child to cut and paste the three “Egypt” images into the Egypt outline.
  • “Let’s Travel” – shows a world map with a highlighted Egypt.  The child finds where they live in the world and draws a line from their area on the map to the country of Egypt.
  • “Egyptian Flag” – coloring page in black+white for the child to complete
  • “Puppets” – coloring and cut-out page in black+white
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Finished puppets glued to oversize popsicle sticks

Thanks for checking out our King Tut play date!! Check back with us next week when we share all our activities and centers for our “Native American” theme that we are going to do today.

 

ppdteddybears

Preschool Playdate: Teddy Bears

Play date: October 13, 2016
Theme inspired by Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day

— 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: This week we did a Teddy Bear “Show and Tell”
— Storytime: Bear on a Bike by Stella Blackstone
— Unsquiggle activity “Teddy Bear” Rhyme
— Poem/Song before we break for Centers “Teddy Bear” Counting
— Centers | Free play
— Closing

STORY TIME
I fell in love with Stella Blackstone’s books the very first time we ever checked them out from the library. As you can see this copy is well-loved…and it was great to share her wonderful rhymes and bright illustrations with our Sweet Pea friends.

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Image source: “Come and Share Our” on Blogspot

Image found on Totally Tots on Blogspot

Image found on Totally Tots on Blogspot – click on image for their source and a clear printable page.

LITERACY CENTER
Here is our “T” sound box ~ I chose to use all hard “t” sounds and avoid the confusion of the “th” combination.  The sweet peas had a turtle, truck, triceratops, twig, train, train track, tomato, trooper, turmeric, and tuna fish.

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MATH CENTER
I combined two ideas – the cute bear image came from the Nuttin But Preschool blog and a color match set from Lakeshore Learning. I tossed all the items into a basket, put the plates on the table, and had the sweet peas match by color.  For more advanced sweet peas, you could also sort all these into categories: crayons, foods, animals, and balls.

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DISCOVERY TABLE
This idea came from Preschool Plan-It – berry tasting!!  We chose different berries from the grocery store that bears would forage for in the wild.  It allowed for lots of opportunity for discussion: where do the berries grow? How do the bears reach the berries? How does their fur protect them from the berries that grow on spiny branches? Which berries grow on spiny branches?
With more time, we totally could have printed up pictures of all the plants/vines/bushes that these berries grown on and do a little biology lesson as well as a sensory lesson –  my favorite ways to teach!!

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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
This project was inspired by Cutting Tiny Bites.

Shaving cream paint is always a big hit with our crowd!! We make our “paint” by mixing the shaving cream with school glue (half cream, half glue, enough paint or food coloring to make the desired color for the project).  The finished craft has a puffy, smooth texture that the Sweet Peas like to run their fingers over when it’s dry.

I used my Creative Memories Circle Punch for the ears and eyes, and we free-cut the snout and nose.  Because there is school glue in the paint, the sweet peas just had to push the pieces into place – nothing extra required.  In order to do the snout, we dipped the back of the nose into the paint and had the sweet peas place them where they wanted them.  Then they drew the mouth, and lastly they put them on the plate.

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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

ppdkindness

Preschool Playdate: Kindness

Play date: October 6, 2016
Theme: Kindness (in honor of World Smile Day on October 7, 2016)

— 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: what are actions that show kindness?
— Storytime: Knuffle Bunny
— Unsquiggle activity: Kindness Spider Web
— Poem/Song before we break for Centers: The More We Get Together
— Centers | Free play
— Closing

Kindness Spider Web Game from BrightHubEducation.com:

“Have your group sit in a circle on the floor. Take a large ball of yarn and give the end of the yarn to the first child. Have this child roll the ball to another child and say one nice thing to that child. Then, this child rolls the ball of yarn to the next child and gives praise.

Now, make sure all children hold onto the yarn when it comes to them. After the game is finished, show the children how they are entwined in a spider web of yarn – everyone is connected to one another and has shown kindness.”

STORY TIME
Mo Willems is one of our favorite authors. This series is set in Brooklyn, NY, one of the Burroughs in one of our favorite cities.
This is the story of a preschool-age Trixie learning and her favorite bunny toy. It lends itself well to the theme of kindness and what kind actions are, as opposed to unkind. Both are evident through the course of the story.

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LITERACY CENTER
“K” sound box – the “K” sounds in our box were kangaroo, key, killer whale, kitty, and koala. The other items were thrown is as decoys so the children could say yes or no to the beginning sounds and decide whether or not they went in the sound box.
I really debated using the “killer” whale since our theme was “kindness” last week. Thankfully the kiddos (and parents!) gave me a pass and none of them voiced an objection.

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This was an activity for the older children from Enchanted Learning. The older siblings of the preschoolers enjoyed this reading/match activity, and the preschoolers just like writing with the dry-erase markers even if they can’t read.

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MATH CENTER
There were lots of different ways to play at this center last week…
Level 1: Identify the numbers and put them in order using the cards, foam numbers or magnet numbers.
Level 2: Match the cards ~ numbered cards to picture cards or cards to number manipulatives
Level 3: Memory game ~ turn the cards over and have the children find the matching cards.

These are cards that I printed with pictures from the Internet. I specifically chose images that represented children of different ages and skin tones. I feel as if normalizing variety in shape, size and color is part of teaching kindness.

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DISCOVERY TABLE
This was another activity that leant itself to the idea, “we are all the same and we are all different”. Some of the children put their thumbprints on our card, so they could see everyone has finger prints. Then we could point out how although each print is different, every human can benefit from kindness.

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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
We took paper chain dolls to the next level with markers and stickers. Although each doll was the same shape, the children had the opportunity to personalize each cut-out. The lesson here was, “we are all the same and we are all different”.

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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.

Come back next week to see the “Teddy Bear” Playdate we are having today in honor of Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day.  We are modifying it to “Take Your Teddy Bear to Playdate Day”.

See you next Thursday!  Thanks for stopping by. :)

PPDcamping

Preschool Playdate: Camping

THEME: Camping – because our house was a mess and we needed to play outside
Play date: May 12, 2016

— 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: what do you do when you go camping? what do we take?
— Storytime

STORY TIME
I read the Sweet Peas the Spanish version of “Clifford Takes a Trip” by Norman Bridwell.  It afforded the opportunity for lots of conversation…the tent, fire safety, and how to interact with wildlife!!

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LITERACY CENTER
Skipped this today – we ended up with two math stations! And I also wanted to leave lots of space for imaginative play.

 

MATH CENTER
We brought back the clothesline numbers…because usually there are no washing machines when camping!! The kiddos had fun with the clothespins – and being outside, the “shirts” were flapping in the breeze. We could talk about how the wind helps clothes to dry when we hang it out to dry.

Charger created our second station – he made a game out of numbered tents…and remembered that we went up to six…and he made matching number cards – you can see it in the picture of the camp-out play stations below.

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DISCOVERY TABLE
This week we incorporated sensory play and imaginative play.  We used water beads and plastic fish for one station, and then set up three different “camp-out” stations around the front yard for the children to explore.

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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
This was a craft inspired by our 18-inch dolls. The arts & crafts books created by Mattel for these dolls encourage children to get creative and make their own accessories. In that spirit, I thought of a cute camping craft that would be easy, and without incorporating the real sugar in marshmallows!! So we made these “marshmallow” treats to play with around our “campfire” and then we sang one of my favorite songs from Girl Scouts, “Make New Friends”.

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To make marshmallow sticks: colored a basic popsicle stick with brown marker, glued on a cotton ball, and then “roasted” it in our pretend campfire (reusing a prop from our Thanksgiving play!).

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Craft is great for child’s play, or for 18-inch dolls!!

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.  The big winners today were the sensory water beads and the roasting marshmallows craft.

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

PPDwinter

Preschool Playdate: Winter

Theme: Winter
Playdate: December 3, 2015

— 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: I had a bucket full of winter clothes that we pulled out for the children to explore, and we talked about the characteristics of the winter season.
— Storytime: Secrets of Winter
— Poem/Song before we break for Centers: Snowman song

Today’s songs and center ideas were from The Mailbox Superbook

 

STORY TIME
You can see my review for today’s book HERE.  All the kiddos enjoyed this creative look through the forest during wintertime.

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If you would like to order your own copy of this fantastic book, you can order one HERE.  Orders placed by December 10, 2015 will arrive for holiday gifting at the end of the month.

LITERACY CENTER
This was a print center today.  It also offered a fun opportunity for the children to explore negative space.  We put out different circle shapes for the children to create a snowy winter scene complete with a snowman. Along with the white chalk for the snow, I also put out wax crayons that show up well on the dark paper.

Level 1: Free expression with the chalk

Level 2: Parents hold the circle and the child traces

Level 3: The child holds the shape and traces the figure onto the paper

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MATH CENTER
This is a favorite from when our children were learning numbers.  This printable is also from The Mailbox Superbook.  We added the numbers for more reinforcement of the written number and 1-to-1 correspondence.

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DISCOVERY CENTER
We have accumulated various winter outerwear through the years.  We put all of it out for the children to try on.  The first part of the center was a gross motor skill: shoveling the “snow” (cotton balls) into the bucket while they were dressed in the winter clothing.

After all the children finished the centers, we had an indoor snowball fight.  I had bought the larger snowballs from Hallmark a couple of years ago, and we added all the cotton balls to the center of the floor.  The kids were split into two groups and they had fun tossing the “snow” back and forth.

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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
We kept this one simple since our group has so many different ages.  We used the doily, glue, and silver glitter.  The original idea called for gluing different craft items onto a doily, spraying the whole creation with glue, and then covering the whole craft with glitter.

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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.

Today’s favorite activity was definitely the indoor snowball fight!!

 

PPDcookies

Preschool Playdate: Cookies

Playdate:  October 29, 2015
Theme: In honor of National Cookie Month

— 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: we pulled out a book from our library, “Things People Do”, that showed all the different working parts of a bakery and ingredients used in baking.

— Storytime: “The Clever Baker”, a story from Scotland from The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book.

— Unsquiggle activity: went along with our story this time! Four groups acted out different parts of the story

— Poem/Song before we break for Centers: Patty Cake, Patty Cake Baker’s Man was planned – so excited to get into centers we skipped this!!

 

STORY TIME
Discussion time: The book on the left is Thing People Do by Anne Civardi and Stphen Cartwright. We opened up to the bakery page and talked about the things the children saw in the pictures.  Night Owl also thought to bring in one of his castle books from Usborne Publishing to show what a bakery looked like in medival times. It was neat to show the kids that the ingredients are pretty much the same, as is the process of baking.  

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Story time: We read “The Clever Baker – A Story from Scotland” from The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book by Bob Hartma and Krisztina Kállai Nagy.  In the back of the book are suggestions for group storytelling, so I applied them to our group. We divided the group into four parts: noisy bakers, dogs, cats, and babies. As their parts were read out in the story, the group made their sound – it was such a fun storytime this week!!

LITERACY CENTER
The cookie letters are from Kidsparkz.com.  I looked up 3-letter words and picked a couple of pairs that started and ended with the same letters and changed vowels.

Note: I am really trying to emphasize those vowel sounds this season for our pre-readers!!  You can check back to see how our last few themes have incorporated the vowel concept.

Level 1: Match the letter pictures and identify sounds: A, C, P, T, U

Level 2: Match the letter pictures to the word cards

Level 3: Match letters to words and then have the child sound out the word.

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MATH CENTER
This was a perfect opportunity to pull out one of our Lakeshore Learning games that our Sweet Peas have enjoyed for years!

Level 1: Roll and match the cookies to the number on the die

Level 2: Keep score! And add up the cookies on the plate until you get up to or past number 10.

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DISCOVERY TABLE
We did the first activity before we started storytime. Each of the children received a card as they arrived (activity cards from Kidsparkz.com). As we talked about the ingredients or the equipment used to make bread, the child would come pick the item that matched their card.

We filled three old medicine jars with spices for the children to smell: cinnamon, clover, and nutmeg.  I had thought of letting the children mix them into the playdough as they played…and then got busy with the Sweet Peas doing centers and forgot about pulling them out of the tray and moving them to the play center.

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During playtime the children played with the equipment and play dough to “bake” their own cookies. Our “oven” is a banker’s box with the lid adjusted to be an opening door.  It served as our supply holder for the first activity, and then as the “oven” during play time.

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Our third “discovery” activity was meant to be a take-home…it kind of worked that way! Each family brought their favorite cookies to share.  The children were meant to take a goody bag home for treats in the car so the sugar high would be away from playdate….little hands snuck into the “cookie jar” though, and there was snacking at playdate as well :)

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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
I created a simple “cookie sheet” using shapes in a Word document, then printed them out to use as our art paper for today’s printing activity.  Using watered down tempra paint and lids in different shapes and sizes, the Sweet Peas dipped into the paint and printed cookies on their cookie sheets.  We invited to decorate them at home once the paint dried.  You can see that Otter drew designs around her cookies instead of on them. It always warms my heart to see the Sweet Peas make an art project their own with their unique interpretation of the guidelines.

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As I was poking around the internet to find cookie images, I also found THIS website with a fun cookie craft.  If we had more time, I definitely would like to do this.  I think we are going to save it for our year-end celebration when we have more time for play.

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 stay and play until the music teacher for our older Sweet Peas arrives.

I hope you and your Sweet Peas have lots of fun if you are inspired to have your own COOKIE DAY.  Have a great week!

PPDfiresafety

Preschool Playdate: Fire Safety

Playdate: Fire Safety
October 8, 2015

I chose this theme in honor of Fire Safety Week last week.  I learned something new while prepping, which is always an added bonus.  Scroll down to the end of the post for my “aha” moment.

— 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: Started out by creating a chart of the things they children already knew about fire. We also talked about the different places we see fire, and what to do when we see matches or lighters: don’t touch, and alert your parents or another adult
— Storytime: Golden Book
— Unsquiggle activity: We did some exercises to be in shape like fire fighters
— Poem/Song before we break for Centers: 9-1-1 song

From The Mailbox Songs & Fingerplays book

Help Is On The Way!
“Three Blind Mice

9-1-1, 9-1-1 –
Help’s on the way, help’s on the way
When I need help, I know what to do.
I dial this number for me and for you.
It calls the police and the firehouse too.
It’s 9-1-1.

Jessica Matthews
Footprints, Vernon, NJ

 

The ideas for all of today’s activities came from Preschool Plan It

PPD Fire Safety Circle Time, PPD Fire Safety Literacy, and PPD Fire Safety Math are the printables I created for today’s playdate. You are welcome to download and print for your non-commercial home use. They are not professional by any stretch of the imagination :)

STORY TIME: Golden Book

The Fire Engine Book

 

LITERACY CENTER

Level 1: Phonics of the word “FIRE” along with the introduction of the “Magic E” that makes the “I” say it’s name.

Level 2: Children fill in the coloring page

Level 3: Children trace the letters and numbers to create their own “Fire 911” sign.

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MATH CENTER

Hat and Boot Match

Level 1: Parent orders the numbers and the dots and shows the child the one-to-one correspondence.

Level 2: Parent orders the numbers or the dots, and the child matches the other.

Level 3: Child orders and matches the sets of cards on their own.

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DISCOVERY TABLE

Activity 1: We put out some helmets, a costume jacket, and some other red clothes to let the children dress up as firefighters.

Activity 2: Mixing colors – red and yellow make orange, and all three are the color of flames. Children could simply mix the colors, or they could write letters or numbers in the paint without getting dirty!! This was a wonderful activity for the children that like paint and do not like to get their hands dirty.

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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take

We precut red squares and rectangles, used the scraps of white card stock, and punched out circles in black and white. We placed everything on the ground with glue and a toy fire truck to let the Sweet Peas decide how they wanted to make their fire truck craft.

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CLOSING ACTIVITY:

Children mentioned one thing they learned about fire safety. I also pulled out our parachute to teach the children that they need to crawl out a burning house to stay below the rising smoke.

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 stay and play until the music teacher for our older Sweet Peas arrives.

Tune in next week to see all the fun at our Pumpkin Playdate!

P.S. My “aha” moment: When I was reading the Preschool Plan It page on fire safety activities, the teacher talked about how it is even more important to acclimate an anxious child to the sound of the fire alarm in your home or school.  The best way to figure out who can handle the noise and who is going to freak out: let them experience the fire alarm when it’s not an emergency.  She said that an anxious child is more likely to be the one to hide in the event of a fire drill, or even worse, during a real fire.  By talking them through it and literally holding their hand during a drill, you start to build their confidence and courage in the event that the fire alarm signals for the “real deal”.  Today’s playdate was also a great reminder for our own family to review and practice our fire safety plan – I hope it will be a good reminder for you, too.

Preschool Playdate: Truck Day

We have several little boys that attend our playdates.  I thought it would be fun to incorporate a theme that really spoke to them.  It was equal opportunity play: the little girls enjoyed this playdate as much as the boys!

Our day started as usual:

— 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
— Storytime
— Unsquiggle activity
— Poem/Song before we break for Centers

STORYTIME
TRUCKS by .The fact we have been collecting toys for ten years proved helpful in bringing this book to life.  For every vehicle pictured in the book, we had an example for the Sweet Peas to experience with their eyes and their hands.  Otter and Charger enjoyed taking turns passing them around to our guests.

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LITERACY
Inspired by an idea in The Mailbox SuperBook to use a plane and a cloud to talk about position words, I worked with an idea to make that activity fit Truck Day.  I found line drawings of a dump truck and boulders online, added eyes to the truck to animate it a little, and printed out a list of direction and position words for parents to use with their Sweet Peas as they did this activity.  You can read the instructions in the photo.  I added the section about switching roles with your Sweet Pea because I find that our own kiddos have so much fun being in the teacher role.  Added bonus: on top of their enjoyment, it reinforces the concept they just learned!

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MATH
This was an activity of my own creation.  I wanted to incorporate play with the trucks, so I came up with a shape sorting station.  I used Microsoft Word to create pages of shapes; then we laminated them and cut them out.

The Sweet Peas would take a handful of shapes out of the bucket, sort them with their parents, and then put them in the truck and deliver them to the right station.  Puma and I taped up extra shapes onto the front of our Name Ledge with the idea of making them look like buildings along a city skyline.  I don’t know if the Sweet Peas made that connection; whether they did or not, we had fun creating this math activity to fit our theme.

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DISCOVERY
A variation on the always popular Sink/Float activity.  This time, we used plastic boats and all manner of wheeled vehicles to see which ones would sink or float.

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ARTS&CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
This was an activity out of The Mailbox SuperBook that I have been wanting to do since Puma was a preschooler.  For whatever reason (mostly because I couldn’t justify the mess!) it took designating a Truck Day to make it happen.  The kiddos used different color paints and textures on the wheels to “drive” an artwork onto their paper.

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IMAGINATIVE PLAY
This play station incorporated lots of different ideas: literacy in sign identification, math in counting and sorting, and lots of play and imagination as the Sweet Peas laid out the road way, used the “car wash” and learned how to cooperate with their peers so that they could all play with the city scene together.  It was such a big hit that we kept bringing out the “City Box” in subsequent play dates.

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WW: May Days

What a fun theme to tie in our Mother’s Day Tea Party. It was so much fun to pull this event together. We got to spend the afternoon visiting with one of our alumni families.

The theme here was supposed to be breastfeeding today – moved everything over to  the SPB Blog so we could showcase the Tea Party here.  Head over there to see beautiful mamas and babies normalizing breastfeeding.

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Otter and Charger doing some reading together – not tea party, just something we did in May :)

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Step 1: Set out the Tea Party for the Sweet Peas – metal cups and saucers to really drink out of, and play cupcakes to do imaginative play with between courses.

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Favors for all the mamas – bud vases with a red rose, personalized with their names in the theme of pink and green.

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Final table setting – serving ware, homemade yummy lemonades and orange-mint water infusion, table accents built with mama gifts, and all thing Sweet Pea safe in the front!

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Otter taking in the Tea Party table – she was beyond excited and ready to get into everything before guests arrived!!

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Favor table: trying to use pink+green theme for containers: butterfly blow-outs, rubber duckies, bubbles, finger puppets, flower rings and moustache rings.

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Sweet Pea – Table for 2

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Photo area props and picnic tables with imaginative play stations: 1) Make your own cupcake 2) Tea party cups and desserts

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First course: Tea sandwiches: Salmon-Cucumber-Dill, Egg-Mayo, and Cucumber-Dill. The fresh dill from our herb garden made these sandwiches pop with flavor!

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Second course: Scones: homemade gluten-free basic, homemade gluten-free peach, and cranberry-orange from Whole Foods. Although I tried to channel Mrs. Padmore, I felt like my scones ended up more first-season Daisy in appearance. My critics loved the flavor and they disappeared! Served with butter, clotted cream, and organic strawberry jam. I am now officially addicted to clotted cream.

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Third course: Sweets – these beauties are from Gluten-Free Creations Bakery. Oh My Yum.

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Third course: Sweets – we served a double chocolate chip cake and the GF cupcakes. Sweet finish to a sweet afternoon!

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Our guests for our first Sweet Pea Tea! On the table were a couple more crafts for our toddler guests – make your own hat and make your own jewelry. This Sweet Pea was a little young to partake – he sure did enjoy the cheese and strawberries, though!!

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Otter trying her hand at making her own cupcakes for imaginative play. We had some left over pipe cleaners with pom poms glued on the ends from the play cupcakes we made – Otter and Charger had fun playing with those.

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Picture time – Otter wanted everyone to wear hats – except her, of course!

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Puma has a turn with the hat!

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Sweet Pea and Puma

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Otter strikes a fairy pose

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Tea Party after-party – those after-parties always have their own stories!!

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Otter set her own private table – on the taller table you can see another mama-favor. Packets of Sweet Pea Seeds tied into their place setting napkin. The packet claimed these to be good container seeds…we need to plant ours – will see what happens!!

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Oh the joy of being two – everything is awesome!

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Otter has accomplished her mission – hats for everyone! We set up a little tea party on the picnic table and got to do what I had hoped – spread a little magic and marvel into the day. Otter had fun serving us tea from the carafe, clinking tea cups, and we all had a laugh as we tried to drink with our pinkies in the air!