Tag Archives: play date

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 :)

ppdhats

Preschool Playdate: Hat Day

We are back with “sneak peaks” into our daily activities!  One of our favorite days of the week is Thursday, when we host Preschool Playdates for our alumni families.

Our first playdate for the 2016-2017 school year fell on the celebration of “Hat Day” on September 15th. We had lots of fun exploring around hats and the letter “H”.

STORY TIME
Harry’s Hats, by Ann Tompert, illustrations Marcelo Elizalde
I picked this book because of it’s obvious tie-in to our theme. I also like it because it helps teach the days of the week.  We follow the main character, Harry, through a week where he wears different hats and enjoys different activities.

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LITERACY CENTER
This week we kept it simple.  I put out mini-whiteboards and dry erase markers so that the Sweet Peas could explore writing.

We also had this “H” sound box for the children to play with different toys that either showed the letter H or started with the letter H.  The items included: handbag, hair bows, headband, and horses. Other great “h” words: house, hippo, hydrant – we didn’t have small toys to represent those!

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MATH CENTER + IMAGINATIVE PLAY
We used hats for imaginative play, counting, and sorting

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ARTS+CRAFTS
Craft hat and magnet play!

We upcycled some oversize coloring pages the kiddos had outgrown, then we folded the colored papers into hats! They enjoyed wearing the points in front and on the side.
You can also use the letters to teach sounds and upper case and lower case, as well as reinforcing the theme.

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paperhatInstructions from http://www.hittyprintmini.julieoldcrow.com/camp/camp2005.htm

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: Fall Fun!!

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.

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

PPDhavealaugh

Preschool Playdate: Have A Laugh Day

Play date: April 14, 2016
Inspiration: “International Moment of Laughter Day” Read about it HERE

This theme took a little creativity – once I latched onto the idea that clowns make most of us laugh, planning got a little easier.

— 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 kinds of things make us laugh? Why is laughing good for us? What is the difference between laughing with someone, and laughing at someone?
— Storytime: The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt (author) + Oliver Jeffers (illustrator)
— Unsquiggle activity
— Poem/Song before we break for Centers

No time for our unsquiggle or poem since the Sweet Peas sat enthralled and listened to the whole story!!!

As a preparation for this day, we invited each of the children to prepare a joke to share with their friends.  Here are some of the ones the children shared:

From Zootopia:
What do you call a three-humped camel? Pregnant.

From Home:
Knock know.  Who’s there? Mooo. Moo who? Mooo. The interrupting cow.
(The teller interrupts the listener during these words)

One of Charger’s inventions:
What did the bat take on his trip? His bat-pack.

One of Puma’s inventions:
Why doesn’t the lollipop have any friends? Because he’s a sucker.

STORY TIME
My sister, who is an eighth grade English teacher in NYC, painstakingly selects each of us a new book every Christmas. This book and it’s sequel, The Day the Crayons Came home, are not loved just by Otter, for whom they were intended, but the whole family!  If you haven’t read them yet, please check them out.

I chose this book because it is a Laugh Out Loud funny book – the parents were laughing right along with the children when I read it. Funny voices may or may not make it even funnier.

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LITERACY CENTER
I had two printables for the sweet peas to enjoy at this station. One was a pre-writing activity to have them practice making different kinds of lines and move their hands across the page. We set this out with some dry-erase markers and it’s always a big hit.

The other activity was a word family sorting activity.  Both of the activities are from THIS free circus printable pack via homeschoolcreations.com.

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Level 1: Parent reads the words out loud and has child identify the matching rhymes.

Level 2: Child reads the words and sorts the rhyming words into the correct group.

MATH CENTER
I had two activities for this center as well.  The first one is a counting activity for the parent/child to enjoy together.  The other activity was a puzzle the children could complete by ordering the numbers across the top of the image. I intended to add in the number words before I laminated…and I forgot. Oops.

IMG_5828Print your own worksheet HERE from first-school.ws

IMG_5829Puzzle is from THIS free  circus printable pack via homeschoolcreations.com

DISCOVERY TABLE
Years of dance classes have yielded one clown costume plus several others that were close enough.  The sweet peas got to play dress-up and be silly!
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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Playtime exploration
Today’s craft activity was an opportunity for the sweet peas to get a little gross and fine motor skills practice as they explored their creativity. I printed THESE play dough playmats from the Picklebums blog, and set up four stations complete with a playmat, modeling clay, and some crafting staples: beads, feathers, wiggle eyes…and here is what happened:
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The Make+Take activity was a clown coloring page this week – print your own HERE from first-school.ws

 

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.

Join us next Thursday when we share all the activities we do today in celebration of Earth Day.  Find some good ideas HERE since Earth Day is tomorrow :)

PPDbuttons

Preschool Playdate: Buttons

Preschool Playdate: October 22, 2015
Inspiration: Count Your Buttons 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: Shared five different articles of clothing and the different kinds of buttons they had. Talked about how once upon a time, the kind of buttons someone wore could tell you about their lifestyle or place of origin.
— Storytime: Corduroy

STORY TIME
Of course we had to share  Corduroy by Don Freeman, the story of the little bear with the lost button!!Corduroy

LITERACY CENTER
My intention was to reinforce vowel sounds, along with using words that start with “B” like “button”.  B and G lent themselves well to this little activity, so I created little word cards with the idea that the Sweet Peas would use the buttons to cover the letters, working fine motor skills as well as reinforcing vowels and phonics.

I tried this activity on two days…I had my doubts about the image for “big”. Rightly so – many of the non-reading Sweet Peas said “dog” when they saw that card. For the littles it ended up being more of a word identification game.  Only my elementary school kiddos were interested in forming the letters out of buttons on the word cards.

The most fun at this center for our preschool guests was playing with the buttons. Everyone played in the button box. Very few played with the cards as I had envisioned.

I think on it’s own this center might work. The biggest attraction was the Arts & Crafts center, so the Literacy and Math centers fell by the wayside this particular day.

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MATH CENTER
This was a button sorting bonanza. I had originally designed these activities for our Sweet Peas’ “Busy Books”.  One card was designed to sort by color, the other size, and the third was a “free play”. There were six different outlines so the child could follow through with their own idea of how to sort.

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DISCOVERY TABLE
Buttoning buttons!
Another activity was taken directly from the Busy Books I made. In order to have enough for all the children that attend, I made enough of these for all the Sweet Peas to be able to play at once if that’s how the group moved. I sewed a big button on to one end of the ribbon; on the other side I sewed to a square piece of felt that would act as the “stopper” for the other felt squares being buttoned on to the ribbon.

Level 1: Motor skill development as children “button” the fabric and then slide it down the ribbon.

Level 2: Patterning – the children could create a pattern with the felt shapes as they buttoned the fabric onto the ribbon.

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The other center was playing with the different kinds of buttons found on clothing: plastic, wood, metal, shell, and fancy :) I left the clothes out that we introduced at the beginning of the playdate so that the Sweet Peas could take a closer look at the buttons and try to button and unbutton the clothing.

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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
This was an adaptation of a “Love Bug” Valentine’s Day Craft. I called these “Cute as a Button” Bugs.  This was  the big hit for the day!

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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.  Otherwise, the kiddos and parents that don’t have to leave stay and play until the music teacher for our older Sweet Peas arrives.

 

PPDPumpkinds

Preschool Playdate: Pumpkins

We enjoyed all these activities on October 15, 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: Showed the word “pumpkin” written on the word card, and also passed around the basket of pumpkins for the children to explore

— Storytime

— Poem/Song before we break for Centers: “5 Little Pumpkins” fingerplay

STORY TIME
Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington

Sweet little story of growing a pumpkin from seed to sprout to flower, and then watching it grow into a large pumpkin.

LITERACY CENTER
Letter Guessing Game inspired by a The Mailbox Superbook activity – I spelled out the word “pumpkin” in uppercase and lowercase letters, and then also selected uppercase and lowercase magnets to match.  

Level 1/2: Parents pull out the letters, name them for the children and tell the phonic sound (child repeats), and then either place them in order under the tag, or have the children place them in the right spot.

Level 2: Child reaches into the bag, feels the letter, and then guesses what they think it is.  Then they pull it out to check their guess, and place it in the correct order to spell out, “pumpkin”.

Sweet Pea Families Pumpkin Playdate: Literacy Center

Sweet Pea Families Pumpkin Playdate: Literacy Center

MATH CENTER
This idea is from Preschool Plan It – see the original instructions HERE

You can download the printable I made for your own personal use – it’s not pretty or professional, just an easy file you can print on your own to make your own manipulatives: PPD Pumpkins Math Center.  I left the front blank with only the letter on the leaf; the back had the letter leaf and pumpkin seed stencils on the back.

The instructions were to put the pumpkins and some pumpkin seeds on the table and see what the children would do.  Here are some ideas for ways to lead the children:

Level 1: Have the children identify the numbers and put them in order

Level 2: Practice one-to-one correspondence by having the children place pumpkin seeds on the stenciled shapes

Level 3: Start introducing the concept of even and odd numbers. I purposely stenciled the pumpkin seeds in columns so that the children could get a visual understanding of what makes a number “even”, and what makes it “odd”.

Sweet Pea Families Pumpkin Playdate: Math Center

Sweet Pea Families Pumpkin Playdate: Math Center

 

DISCOVERY TABLE
I picked up some gourds and mini-pumpkins from Trader Joe’s.  We picked them to represent some of the different colors aside from orange, and also with texture in mind.  The children could look at them and/or feel them to decide if they were “smooth” or “bumpy”. You might make this extra-sensory by blindfolding the children and then having them sort.

The other part of today’s discovery was for the children to taste pumpkin-flavored foods.  I found a gluten-free pancake mix at Trader Joe’s, picked up a box of their pumpkin snack bars, and I also added some sprouted pumpkin seeds that we buy at Costco.  I also offered some of the shelled seeds that were from the bag that we used for math – they were toasted with oil and salt; also from Trader Joe’s.

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Sweet Pea Families Pumpkin Playdate: Discovery Center

Sweet Pea Families Pumpkin Playdate: Discovery Center

Sweet Pea Families Pumpkin Playdate: Discovery Center

ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
This idea is inspired by Preschool Plan It – see the original instructions HERE 

The idea from Preschool Plan It was to do the handprint pumpkin, and the stem with a finger. I didn’t want two different colors of paint to wash off, so I pulled out our green and brown ink pads.  I started by printing a heart shaped leaf using the thumb pad and green ink. Next, I dipped the whole thumb in the brown ink. Lastly, I brushed orange paint on the child’s knuckles of a clenched hand, and then printed those onto the paper.

Sweet Pea Families Pumpkin Playdate: Arts & Crafts

Sweet Pea Families Pumpkin Playdate: Arts & Crafts

Plus, one more activity with play dough…making pumpkins with faces (suggested by Preschool Plan It and executed with THIS play dough recipe)

Sweet Pea Families Pumpkin Playdate

Sweet Pea Families Pumpkin Playdate

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 goodbye 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 for a little while so we can catch up and talk attachment parenting.

 

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.

PPDfallleaves

Preschool Playdate: Fall Leaves

This theme was inspired by the First Day of Fall on 9/23/15…playdate held on 9/24/15

— 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 – Colorful Leaves
— Unsquiggle activity: Vowel Song
— Storytime: A Leaf Blew In
— Poem/Song before we break for Centers: Otter made up a little song about falling leaves to the tune of “London Bridge” – awesome!!

The leaf and the acorn patterns seen in the centers are from The MailBox Superbook.

STORY TIME
We started the morning by reading the highlights out of the book, Colorful Leaves, by Maria Fleming. It introduced basic biology concepts and vocabulary: photosynthesis, cholorphyll, buds, veins, roots.

We used castanets to make the sound of leaves blowing slowly, and then increased speed as the wind blew harder, and then back down to slow again as the wind passed.

After that, we read When the Leaf Blew In, by Steve Metzger.  I invited the children to make the animal sounds as we read through the barnyard adventure.

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LITERACY CENTER
Two activities here~
Pre-writing: offered a pile of construction paper leaves and acorns for the Sweet Peas to write or draw on.
Phonics: Vowel identification and matching, along with sounding out the letters.

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MATH CENTER
Reprising an activity from our Johnny Appleseed Day, I pulled out the apple number cards I had made. 1: they have leaves on them, 2: apples are harvested in the fall :)

Level 1: Count the apples

Level 2: Order the numbers on the back of the cards

Level 3: Play a “memory” match game with two sets of cards, and then order the numbers.

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DISCOVERY TABLE
Activity 1: Acorn hunt!! The leaves were purchased at our local Tuesday Morning store. We filled our tub with the leaves and the acorn cut-outs.  The children had to rake through the leaves to find 10 happy acorns.

Activity 2: Play dough in red, orange, and yellow today! Pounding or rolling the dough in order to use the cookie cutters, or they could press the leaves and acorns into the dough to make impressions.

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ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
One of the topics in the Colorful Leaves book pointed out how leaves come in many different shapes.  These are some of the different shapes that I collected outside our home.  The children got to arrange them as they wanted to and then make a leaf rubbing to take home.

I saved all the leaves and pressed them between two boards and under a pile of cookbooks after the playdate.  The plan is to let them dry out and have the children observe the changes at the next session.

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