Tag Archives: literacy

ppdchildrensday

Preschool Playdate: Children’s Day

Playdate: November 17, 2016
Theme: Universal Children’s Day

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— 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: Who are the people in our family?
— Storytime: Two books today!
— Centers | Free play
— Closing

STORY TIME
We used two books this session.
“La familia”
The first one we flipped through and “read” toddler-style…basically that means showing them the pictures, summarizing the text, and asking them what they see in the page.

“World Babies”
This one was perfect for toddlers – simple text, lots of great pictures of babies around the world.  We could look at their hats (refer back to Hat Day), see how they were dressed compared to how we dress in the desert, and then we also looked at the ones we saw being worn in carriers.

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LITERACY CENTER
Some of the families took this home because the sticker station attracted most of the todders’ attention! This is a great “All About Me” pamphlet that I picked up to use with our children – we have so many that it was time to share!

However you find this format, it’s such a great way to capture a snapshot of your child’s interests at the time.  Ideally, I would remember to do this every year; at around the same time would be even better :)

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MATH CENTER
I got this idea from Preschool Plan-It.  It was actually quite opening to go through our ads and put this activity together.  The size and age bias is really clear when you look at print advertisements.  We did our best to represent people of all colors and size in our activity, age was much harder.

The tag sheet by itself served as our introductory tool…we asked all the guests what names they had for the people in their family…what did they call their aunt? uncle? grandparents? Everyone had different “titles” for those people based on their heritage.

For the center, we put out the other pieces and the children had to match the picture to the correct category on the tag board.

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DISCOVERY TABLE
This happened after playdate at the park!! We took out sand toys and bubbles for the children to enjoy at the park.

 

ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
This was a bigger hit than I ever could have imagined.  Leave it to the sweet peas to make it amazing!! The kiddos had such a great time creating “faces” out of the plates, stickers, yarn, and googley eyes that I set out on the floor.

Here are their creations…and the “heart” ears…all the credit goes to a very clever three-year-old!

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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.

This concludes our playdate series for 2016.  Thank you for joining us to see our weekly preschool themes!! You can click back through the archives to see other play ideas we have shared since September, and there are more many themes on the blog if you click under “Toddlers”. As I was typing this, I realized that we are in our third year of hosting playdates for our students! Fun times.  I started keeping track in the Spring of 2014, so I hope that you will find some fun ideas on the blog to share with your Sweet Peas.

We have a fun idea in the works for the blog in 2017…I hope you will check back with us to see our new series that we are preparing for you!!

Blessings,
Krystyna

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. :)

ppdjohnnyappleseed

Preschool Playdate: Johnny Appleseed

Playdate: September 29, 2016
Theme: inspired by Johnny Appleseed’s birthday on September 26th

— 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: “A” sound box
— Centers | Free play
— Closing

This is actually the second time we have done this theme – what’s not to love about apples?! We brought back some of the activities that the children loved last time and added new ones that better fit the age of the children attending last Thursday. Click HERE to see last year’s event.

STORY TIME
This is actually a narrative biography of Johnny Appleseed’s life that is WAY to long for a preschooler to listen to all in one sitting. We broke it up over five days for our big kids!!  However, the book boasts one-page and two-page illustration spreads, so I searched the internet to come up with the high points of his life, made up two sentences to summarize those points, and showed 7 pictures to go along with the summaries.  It all worked out!

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Johnny Appleseed: The Story of a Legend; Written and Illustrated by Will Moses

 

LITERACY CENTER
Fun with magnet letters!

Level 1: Match the letters to the corresponding letter in the word “apple”
Level 2: Sort the letters into Uppercase/Lowercase or sort by specific letter
Level 3: Turn over the “apple” word card and have the child spell out the word; then check for accuracy.

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MATH CENTERS
Number recognition/spatial recall
The apple cards are programmed with numbers and the Spanish words for the numbers. We had two levels of play:
1) jumble one set of cards and put them in order/
2) use two sets and place them apple-side up to play a memory match game.

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Counting
Modifying the “Cookies on a Plate” game from Lakeshore Learning to fit our theme…

Here is “Apples in the Bowl”. Roll the die, count out that number and place the apples in the bowl. The first player to reach the number ten wins.

This game is great for teaching one-to-one correspondence as well as addition; and for older children you could introduce the idea of “greater than” and “less than”.

There is also a sensory interaction with the apple shape and noticing the differences in color. Another level of play would be to sort by color into the separate bowls.

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DISCOVERY TABLE
Tasting apples and apple products!

We showed the different colors of the outer skin, as well as the different tastes of each apple (sweet, sour, tart)

We also did a texture and flavor comparisons between fruit, sauce, and juice.

We always enjoy a good tasting center!!

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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
Fun fact about apples: there is a star hidden in the core!!

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My intention was to use the core to stamp….

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The sweet peas decided to use them as painting implements instead!!

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I love how they adapted to materials at hand to suit themselves and create their own art.

 

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 poem where children are welcome to give hugs; then we sing our closing song and say a final good-bye.  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. The rest of us stay and visit for a few more minutes and watch our Bradley babies enjoy their extended playtime :)

PPDwater

Preschool Playdate: Water Play

Playdate: May 19, 2016
Inspiration: Heat…it’s getting hot in AZ :)

— 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:
Somewhere in the Ocean by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Kenneth J. Spengler
Delightful counting book written in rhyme. Features ocean mother-baby families, and supposedly there are hidden numbers in all the illustrations. I say supposedly because I don’t see them – the sweet peas can find them though.

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Literacy Center:
What’s water day without a little mess?
Since it was the last play date, we went all out with our messiest literacy station do date. The sweet peas could draw letters, names or words in the shaving cream with their fingers or the Popsicle sticks…or simply have a fun sensory experience.

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Math Center:
I incorporated water beads in this station since they were such a hit last week. The bottle caps were in one container, and the water beads in another. The beads could be counted to match the number on the bottle cap, or take it one step farther and sort by color and number. If the sweet pea isn’t ready for 1-1 correspondence, sorting to match the bottle cap and counting how many are going into the cup is a good start.

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Discovery Center:
Keeping it simple with brainbow water beads. Water+beads+containers+toys=
hours of entertainment.

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Arts and Crafts:
Puma and I-Bear made no-cook play dough so that the sweet peas could have a nice take-home from our last playdate of the season. The sweet peas got choose their color(s) and enjoy mixing the color into the plain dough.

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This time we finished with water play just before our goodbye poem and song…it was so much fun to see the kiddos enjoying the water balloons :)

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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.

PPDearthday

Preschool Playdate: Earth Day

Theme: Earth Day
Inspiration: International Celebration of Earth Day on April 22

— 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: why do we need to take care of our planet
— Storytime: I am the Earth

STORY TIME
This book was gifted to our children – what a perfect share for Earth Day! From the I Am Foundation website:
“I Am The Earth: Positive Affirmations for Loving Our Planet is dedicated to our children and future generations, to enable them to become great stewards of this planet. This book builds an awareness of valuing, appreciating, and taking care of our beautiful world. For every I Am The Earth book you order from The I AM Foundation for donation, we plant a tree via The Arbor Day Foundation. ”

Available at http://www.iamfoundation.org/home.html

Available at http://www.iamfoundation.org/home.html

LITERACY CENTER
I found today’s activities on THIS blog – the mama offered several ideas for Earth Day in her free printable pack.

Level 1: for the younger set I printed out tracing pages – they love writing with the dry erase markers!!

Level 2: I printed out the Letter Sound Matching. I wrote in the words in one set, and left the other as it was with the pictures on the left and the letters on the right.

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MATH CENTER
Today’s activity was also printed from THIS same blog as the literacy activities. Since the matching numbers would have taken up a whole page for just five numbers, I used our left-over cardboard from our Arts+Crafts activity to make the matching numbers.

Level 1: Match the number cards

Level 2: Write in the correct numbers

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DISCOVERY TABLE
This was a sensory/math activity. I used leftover green and blue eggs from Easter and split peas to go along with the blue/green earth day theme. This gross motor skills activity was inspired by THIS image.

In addition to the egg match for the numbers, I also pulled out our bumblebee clothespins that we made during our A.A. Milne playdate to have the kiddos talk about the importance of bees to the ecosystem, and have them pick up the flowers with the clothespins to work on fine motor skills.

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The second sensory activity today was planting a bean seed. The kiddos got to pack the dirt, plant their seed, cover it, and then water the seed. We can’t wait to hear how their seeds sprouted this week!!

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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
This was a two-part craft!! As the children arrived, we had them paint their blue earth. Once we broke for centers, we mixed the shaving cream+glue+food coloring concoction we learned to make for our Black History Month playdate and this time, we turned the cream green so that the kiddos could make green land on top of the blue water and create their own planet Earth.

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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.

I hope you and your sweet peas had a fun time celebrating Earth Day! Join us next Thursday when we share our Space Exploration playdate!

 

PPDbutterflies

Preschool Playdate: Butterflies

Playdate: March 31, 2016
Theme inspired by Learn About Butterflies 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
— Storytime
— Unsquiggle activity
— Poem/Song before we break for Centers

STORY TIME
Here is a sweet story that follows a caterpillar through the spring and metamorphosis. It’s a pop-up book with a puffy caterpillar that weaves through the center of the pages…and then a pretty pop-up butterfly on the last page.

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by Susan Hood, Claudine Gévry

 

LITERACY CENTER
I found some images of butterfly gardens on the internet, and then printed up THIS butterfly life cycle. I printed up a list of position and direction words as a reference list for the parents.

My favorite way to use this is to take turns with your sweet pea. You ask them to place one of the figures around the picture, and then have them tell you where to put the figure. It helps teach them the concept of how things relate to one another…read more about that HERE.  I find it an important idea for them to be able to learn things such as reading and math…it’s important to understand how letters and numbers relate to each other according to their position to each other.

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MATH CENTER
I created this center using playing cards from a Hungry Caterpillar Game.

Level 1: Match the number on the card to the number on the reference picture.

Level 2: Start teaching your sweet pea about the days of the week.

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DISCOVERY TABLE
This incorporated two ideas – the line of symmetry and color blending.  The sweet peas put dabs of red and yellow paint on one side of the paper, then folded it in half to transfer the paint.  Where the colors blended, they got to see that red+yellow=orange. I love 2-for-1 activities :)  This one might count as 3-for-1 since it could also be a craft!!

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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
This was the “official” craft activity.  We used water-soluble markers to draw on coffee filters. Then i let the sweet peas drop water on the filter by using water trapped in a straw by air pressure (mini-science lesson built in!).  Once they dried, we attached them to the popsicile stick prepared the night before.  The pipe cleaner is glued on with hot glue; it serves as the body when you twist it at the top, and then turn the ends into the antenna.

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This activity works best with fresh markers that are full of ink. Ours were a little dry and not enough color transferred to the coffee filter – the butterflies were more colorful when I brought out new markers.

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

Next week: check out the activities we enjoyed on April 7th in honor of World Health Day.

PPDspringflowers

Preschool Playdate: Flowers

Playdate: March 24, 2016
Theme: Spring Flowers

— 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: passed around seeds and plants for children to observe
— Storytime: Book from Enchanted Learning.com
— Unsquiggle activity: growing plants

Unsquiggle: after the children got to see the seed, roots growing, first leaves, and flowers, we invite them to act out the growth cycle.  They ball themselves up into little seeds, start shooting roots, then stem, leaves and flowers. A parent or another child can be the sun shining and the water falling from the sky or a watering can.  Whoever is the water can visit each child individually and water them to grow. (Idea from Mailbox Superbook)

STORY TIME
We used a book we made when Puma was a preschooler. It shows all the stages of growing from seed to plant, and you can print your own copy HERE at Enchanted Learning.com.

We passed around these samples for the children to look at and get to experience the live version of what they were seeing on the page.

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LITERACY CENTER
This was a fun activity to put together. I was trying to incorporate uppercase and lowercase letters, and then it occurred to me that each letter could also be a color of the rainbow.  I decided to add a little Spanish into the color identification games.

Level 1: Match the colors

Level 2: Match the letters in the same case (Uppercase to uppercase)

Level 3: Match the letters to the opposite case (Uppercase to lowercase)

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MATH CENTER
This was a number correspondence game. The children would place the correct number of buttons in the corresponding basket. The game could be played with random placement, or with instructions like, “same color”, “same size”, or, “make a pattern”.

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DISCOVERY TABLE
This is a felt activity where children could play with the arrangement of the flower parts and also identify the print words. A parent can ask a younger preschool to turn the letters the correct way. If the child is already sounding out, they could start to read the words.

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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take

This is a print activity.  You could use paint or ink – we opted for paint this time.  I didn’t lay out any “sample” with this activity…simply put out the sponge shapes and plates of color and waited to see what would happen. As you can see, there were lots of ideas on how to make flowers.

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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.

Stop in next week to see all the fun we have exploring caterpillars and butterflies today.