Saturday, March 24, 2018

4 Seasons

This post will be a little different, because it's easier to share what we did each day and how it pertained to that season, than it would be to post the different centers, like I usually do. Each day, we studied 1 of the 4 seasons. Here's what we did!

Fall

Dramatic Play: Pumpkin patch, apple tree, leaf raking


Blocks: 4 Seasons floor puzzle


Art: Fall-colored papers and fall foam stickers


Small Manipulatives: fall pattern cards


Writing: Scented twistables crayons

Large Group: we read about the 4 seasons and sang Round and Round the Seasons Go, and Leaves are Falling

Samll Group: My group played a game calling "Raking Rhymes" and practiced rhyming words, from here. The other group independently made contact paper leaf pictures.

Winter

Dramatic Play: Hot chocolate stand and snowball throwing


Blocks: ABC trains


Art: shaving cream and bears


Small Manipulatives: Snowman counting buttons, snowman building on the magnet board



Outside: It's March and snowed today, perfect for our theme! So we played in the snow and colored it with colored water squirters.

Large Group: we read A Snowy Day, then made snow pictures. We painted white with glitter on a blue paper, then added some Elmer's glue and Epsom salt on top to make it sparkly.

Small Group:
My group played snowflake racing. I had foam snowflakes spread on the ground with numbers 1-10 on them. I'd say a number, and they'd run to it.
The independent group was working on counting, and had to line up snowman cards in order 1-10, then count that many "snowballs" (cottonballs) by each one.

Spring

Dramatic Play: planting flowers in the sensory table


Blocks: ABC Easter eggs. Each eggs had the capital and lowercase letters, and had an item beginning with that letter inside.


Art: Spring sponge painting


Small Manipulatives: Spring ABC cards and flat marbles from here, Easter bunny and flowers on magnet board



Writing: Easter stickers


Large Group: we read the ABCs of Spring, then went outside searching for signs of Spring.

Small Group: we split into 3 activities, and rotated. One made popcorn blossoms for our tree, another made bird nests for our tree, and the third played a counting game by counting "eggs" into nests with numbers, from here.

Summer

Dramatic Play: a summer beach, with ocean animals and sand with shells. I think 90% of the kids played here the WHOLE time.






Blocks: ABC blocks

Art: marble painting. We've done it in trays this year, where they roll the marbles. Today, we put the papers in old oatmeal containers for them to roll and shake the marbles around. Messy and fun!


Small Manipulatives: horse clothespin matching


Large Group: we read An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell, then made lacing suns. They used a yellow paper plate with holes punched around it, and a yellow piece of yarn tied to it. They could lace around the sides, or across the middle for a cool design, or both.

As they finished their suns, they made a 4 Seasons book. They had to practice cutting a circle, then place the season picture on the right page. Then they got to draw their favorite season.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Weather

Dramatic Play

We played Meteorologist. The kids could move the different weather pictures around the map, and also change the daily weather. They loved lumping all the pictures together to make the biggest storm they could.
The "camera" was the biggest hit, and they'd wait in line for turns to "record." There were often kids waiting at the camera, begging others to come do the weather so they could film them. They had a great time.


 
Blocks

Car rug and cars

Duplo Legos

Art

Clouds-blue paper, cotton balls, glue


Mop painting with cut up mop pieces. It was a fun new sensory experience.


Coffee filter rainbows with color water and squirters


Spin Art
 
Small Manipulatives

Word and line tracing with dry erase markers


Books on tape, Little Cloud, by Eric Carle


Weather patterns


Lacing beads

Weather bears, sorting clothes


Many of these printables are from totschooling.

Snack

Painted rainbow toast

The kids each made their own. We use brightly colored milk in primary colors, and they lightly brush it onto their bread with pastry brushes. They want to soak it, so I do it one on one with them in play time to help them do just a little so they don't get soggy bread. They loved watching the colors mix to make secondary colors too!

Outside

It's back to winter! We played with color squirt bottles outside on most days with snow.

Large Group

We're learning Dr. Jean's weather song. We've already been singing it daily along with our weather, so we've got the spelling of Sunny down just right, so it's been good to learn the ones we rarely sing, like Rainy and Snowy.

Day 1, we read a book called Weather, then made patterns with weather cards.

Day 2, we read Magic School Bus Weathers the Storm then made rain. We put shaving cream on top of water in mason jars, then used droppers to drop colored water on it. When the "clouds" got heavy enough from the water, it began to "rain" into their jars. They LOVED this!! They poured in water until they had goopy messes, and had a lot of fun.


Day 3, after reading, we talked about what to wear in different weather. I had a variety of snow and rain boots, coats, rain jackets, swim suits, sun hats, sunglasses, umbrellas, short, tank tops, etc. Each child got a turn to dress up and the others got to guess which weather they were dressing up for. I was pleasantly surprised at how entertained they were by such a simple activity.

Day 4, we read about tornadoes, then made a tornado in a bottle. We added sequins and glitter to be able to see it lift and spin things around too.

Small Group

My group: rolled my weather dice and graphed our results
Independent group: wrote in their journals

My group: R is for rainbow page
Independent group: weather and clothing matching bears

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Dr Seuss

Nothing beats Dr. Seuss week! The kids love it, and I love it, there are so many fun books to read and things to do. It's so hard to narrow down which books to choose.


Dramatic Play

We just played house because we hadn't in awhile. It's not necessarily themed, but they didn't seem to mind, and just enjoyed playing.

Blocks

Mega blocks

Stuffed pets


Art

Baking soda and colored vinegar. This is a favorite sensory experience. I only have 6 spots at the table, but the kids were so good at sharing since they all wanted a turn. The kids who didn't have a chair were able to stand a still get a turn to share a tray so they could play too. After all the colored vinegar was gone, I sent them off the play, dumped out the trays, and refilled them. The ones who had to stand got chairs first, then others joined and they got to do it again. This is such a cheap and easy, and fun, experience! They strengthen their small motor skills with the droppers, explore cause and effect with the baking soda and vinegar reaction, and mix colors.


 
Glitter and glue. The ONE day a year we'll do glitter, and now it's done! Sorry your child's backpack is still covered in it. It never leaves, but they love it and I had pictures drying on every spare space in the room.


Oobleck, with the book Bartholomew and the Oobleck. It's just cornstarch and water, which makes a non-newtonian goop. It's a solid if you're applying pressure, and a liquid if you let it go. It's super fun to play in! And for kids who have hated slime, they loved this.



Small Manipulatives

Horton the elephant cards with "trunk" links


Bristle blocks


Pom pom sorting with tweezers


I replaced the pocket charts with an alphabet chart for the rest of the year, so they can practice their letters and beginning sounds.


Writing

Dr Seuss stickers

Dr Seuss stamps



Snack

green eggs and ham, of course!

Outside

The snow is back (boo!) but the kids have loved it. I've made colored water in recycled bottles each day and they love painting the snow!



Large Group

We learned the word "illustrator" this week, and reviewed "author" too, since Dr Seuss and Jen Brett are bother authors and illustrators. We also learned about the unique things in Dr. Seuss's books, like rhyming, and his silly made up characters and pictures.

Day 1, we read Horton Hatches the Egg, then played a rhyming game. Each child had a card with a word, and they had to find the other child with a word that rhymed. We played it several times. They are great rhymers!

Day 2, we read Cat in the Hat and talked about patterns, like the red and white pattern on his hat, then they made hats by coloring a pattern.

Day 3, we read Horton Hears a Who and sorted our "clovers" or pom pom balls by color and size. They had to lift them with tweezers for added fine motor skills.

Small Group

I read "My Many Multi-colored Days," and one group made a picture together. I had different colored paints with people sponge stamps in them, and they worked as a group to make a big mural.

The other group did a fishing activity after reading "1 Fish 2 Fish Red Fish Blue Fish."  After fishing for magnetic fish, they put them in order, 1-10.