Friday, October 25, 2013

Healthy Bodies

Following up our Safety unit with Healthy Bodies was a great transition.  We went from keeping ourselves safe, to keeping our bodies healthy. With only 3 days in this unit, though, I feel we barely scratched the surface!

Dramatic Play
We played in a doctor's office, complete with tools like real (and pretend) stethoscopes, bandages, medicine bottles, medicine dispensers used as shots, and other tools to check ears, eyes, and reflexes.

For some reason, that's my only picture, but you can check out last year's here for an idea.

My favorite part was, like last year, they'd sit and patiently wait in the "waiting room" for their turn. Our doctors were great at diagnosing too (and I recently learned they know the word diagnosis thanks to Doc McStuffins; I hadn't heard of her last year). We wrote our diagnosis in our notebooks for writing practice, and got a lot of good reading done about the human body too.
On Day 3, we changed a little to add dentist items, and the kids played a mixture of both doctor and dentist.

We decorated faces. Some added the hair and eyes in correct spots, but most just explored with the items and made great collages.
We also painted with people-shaped sponge stamps. They asked for eyes, so I got the googly eyes back out and they ended up covering their paintings.
I loved this project because I watched 2 kids over there (who usually don't do art) playing together for 30 minutes. It's what preschool art is about....the process, not the product. They started with people and added 2 eyes (they were the ones who requested it). I was in the reading center reading to a few kids and watched these 2 transform their pictures into all different creations with the paint, stamps, and eyes. They were laughing and talking as they described the silly things they were making. Another reason I love open-ended art. I provide the supplies, and they put their imaginations and language to work.

We built and played with Mega Blocks and cars, just because they're a favorite.

Small Manipulatives
We did a community helpers and a Doc McStuffins puzzle.
We played with the community helpers sorting we game we had done in small group last week.
Played DocMcStuffins memory.

Large Group
Day 1 we read The Amazing Human Body and talked about it. Seriously, that took the whole 15 minutes. It wasn't meant to, but we had great questions and discussion. We talked about our hearts and lungs and exercising. We found and flexed our muscles. We found our bones and skulls and blood vessels. What a fun day of discovery and vocabulary!

Day 2 we learned about germs and how they travel and enter our body. We watched a short clip from Sid the Science Kid that helped them visualize how a germ can travel from one person or thing to another, and then how washing it down the sink got rid of it. One kid sat there with his hands in front of him, totally disgusted, then got up to wash his hands once we were done. All the kids requested some sanitizer too. We then learned our new songs.
tune "Happy and You Know It"
When you go to the bathroom, wash your hands,
When you go to the bathroom, wash your hands,
When you go to the bathroom, then you need to wash your hands,
When you go to the bathroom, wash your hands.

When you need to sneeze or cough, wash your hands,
When you need to sneeze or cough, wash your hands,
When you need to sneeze or cough, then you need to wash your hands,
When you need to sneeze or cough, wash your hands!

We also sang another verse about sneezing or coughing into your elbows to not get the germs on our hands.

Day 3 we learned about keeping our teeth clean. We read a book called Going to the Dentist. We then practiced brushing teeth with our giant teeth and toothbrush. Each kid got a turn to brush, following the directions on our poster. Then I lined them up shoulder to shoulder to be the teeth, and I used a giant piece of floss to floss between them and get all the plaque out.
We has started an experiment on Tuesday, and checked on it Thursday. We had 2 boiled eggs and put one in Coke and one in water for 2 days. We compared the differences after, and talked about the effects that unhealthy food and drinks can have on our teeth. We were able to brush off some of the brown stains and talked about why it's important to brush.
We also sang the Raffi song, Brush Your Teeth.
When you wake up in the morning and it's quarter to 1, and you want to have a little fun,
You brush your teeth, ch ch ch ch, ch ch ch ch ch, you brush your teeth, ch ch ch ch, ch ch ch ch ch
...quarter to 2, and you want to find, something to do,
...quarter to 3, and your mind starts humming, tweedle dee dee,
...quarter to 4, and you think you hear a knock on the door,
...quarter to 5, and you just can't wait to come alive!

Small Groups
Week 1 we only had 1 day, so we did 2 10-minute small groups.
In one, our volunteer grandma helped the kids cut straight lines, and it was no easy task! They had 2 lines to cut on a picture with the outside and inside of the body. It was great practice for them, and lots of work.
In my group, we wrote in our journals about ways to stay safe (reviewing last week).

Week 2, we learned about healthy foods and exercise.
Our mom volunteers helped the kids sort (sneaking in some math skills) our play food into healthy and unhealthy foods. Then they drew their favorite healthy foods in their journals.
I talked to the kids about exercising. We read From Head to Toe by Eric Carle to get our bodies moving like the animals. Then I showed them a healthy bodies app on the ipad and we looked at the heart and lungs. We could make the person "run" and watched their heart beat faster and lungs go faster. Then we did some exercising to get our hearts and breathing to go fast. It was a lot of fun!

We had to eat healthy all week, so we tried some fun things.
We tasted 4 different types of apples, then picked our favorites to color and add to our fall tree. We learned about apples growing in the fall too.
We made egg salad. They each got to peel their own boiled egg (which was tedious and time-consuming, but a good fine motor skill) then we mixed them with mayo and a little salt and pepper for our salad. They devoured it on crackers.
I don't remember the third snack, but I think it was just crackers and juice that we ate, and then also got the rare treat of watching a video during snack. Dr. Rabbit taught us about sweets and soda causing plaque, and how to fight the plaque with flossing and brushing.
You can go to Colgate's website here for more videos and games to help teach your children about dental hygiene. I know this lesson helped me be better with my own daughter (we weren't flossing and often only brushed at night, but we're doing much better!). I also printed off a chart from here, a smaller version of the classroom one I have, that shows her all the parts of her teeth we need to brush.

Congrats to all your kids who finished their homework and teeth brushing chart. They were thrilled to earn their toothbrush prize! (although 1 did ask what the real prize was :)

We wrapped up the unit with a journal entry on their favorite way to stay healthy. Most said eat strawberries. At least they learned 1 good thing!

Whew! In 3 days we covered body parts and functions, nutrition, exercise, oral health, dr and dentist visits, and germs. Hope they caught onto something here!

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Field Trip
We started out Safety week with a field trip to the fire station. Thanks to all you you who came! The kids had a great time. We started with a video about fire safety that talked about having a plan to get out of your house in case of a fire. The fire fighter also taught us about not playing with fire and matches to stay safe, and we practiced Stop Drop and Roll and calling 911 in an emergency. Then we got to tour the Fire Station! Most kids liked it, and others were nervous. It can be a scary thing, and fires can be scary to kids, but I think it helps to meet the firefighters and see that they're nice and there to help you. Especially when they show the kids what they look like in their full gear, they're showing the kids that if they come to help them dressed that way, they can trust them. Some kids took a turn to drive the truck and hold the hose. We also got fire hats they all thought were cool! We ate snack at the park and played a few minutes on the Fire Station playground too. Back at school, the kids got some free play time before we did small groups.

Dramatic Play
We played Fire Station all week. I had more fire fighter coats this year and that made it a lot of fun! They had lots of fun dressing up and playing firefighters all week, and I think it was great to go to the fire station first so they could see what they do.
I even made oxygen tanks by spray painting pop bottles yellow.

The second week, after they had learned and practiced calling 911 and being dispatchers, their play really expanded with them using the phones to call and giving an address to the firefighters. There were pictures of houses on the wall in the block area with numbers, and they were good at giving those numbers as their address. Learning math and life skills in play!


The block area had a doll house the first week, with dolls and some firefighters. My firefighters were about half the size of the dolls, but they didn't seem to mind! They had some great make believe play!

The second week we had out the car mat and cars. Both were a great extension of the fire station, as the kids used them together to put out fires in the doll house and in the buildings on the car mat.

We played play dough.
We made collages with glue and a variety of different things to glue on our papers.
We made fall leaves for our tree. We did marble painting, by rolling marbles in paint, then dropping them in large cans with our papers inside. We shook the cans to spread the paint, then took our papers out when they were ready. Once they dried, I cut out the fall leaf shape and added them to our classroom tree.

I somehow forgot to get a pic of the finished tree!

We also finger painted. I tried this recipe, but it didn't turn out great. It kinda dried to a gelatin consistency. I added more water and stirred more and it worked, but it was lumpy. The kids still enjoyed it and it was a great sensory experience (like our gelatin molds), but I don't think I'll use it again.

Small Manips
We did 2 different fire fighter floor puzzles.
We played a community helpers game and did a community helpers floor puzzle.

We had wheat in the sensory table, and added the firefighters to it the second week.
We also had out balls and other toys.
The kids are loving the swing set and spend most of the time swinging and sliding!

Besides the regular snack rotations, we made traffic lights for snack one day. The kids spread their frosting on their graham crackers, then added skittles to make it a traffic light.


We learned 2 new songs, one about fire trucks one about calling 911.

Hurry, hurry, drive that fire truck,
Hurry, hurry, drive that fire truck,
Hurry, hurry, drive that fire truck,
Other verses:
Hurry, hurry, turn that corner
climb the ladder
squirt the hoses
Slowly, slowly, back to the fire house

911 (tune of Bingo)
There is a number you can call when you need someone's help.
You call 911, you call 911, you call 911 when you need someone's help!

Large Group
Day 1 was the field trip.
Day 2 we had eaten our traffic lights for snack, and learned more about them in large group. We read about traffic safety, then played Red Light Green Light.
Day 3 we read about Playground Safety, and did a safety experiment on our playground. We took 2 apples outside. We made predictions about what would happen if we dropped them on the grass and cement. Then we did it. The one dropped on grass had nothing happen to it. The one that I dropped on the cement broke open and juice came out, which they immediately connected to being blood if it was them that fell. We talked about the safest place to run on our playground, and they knew it was the grass because if they fell, the wouldn't cut their knee open and bleed.
Day 4 we read a Sesame Street safety book and wrote in our journals how we can stay safe.

Small Group
I taught the kids about calling 911. We practiced using real phones, and one child got to be the dispatcher while another called to report an emergency. We also talked about what emergencies are that we would need to call 911, and times when we shouldn't. As with most lessons this week, I emphasized with the kids that they are small enough there should always be an adult or baby sitter watching them who would know what to do in an emergency and they could count on them to know if they needed to call 911.

Our mom volunteers read an interactive safety book to the kids that posed different situations, and the kids got to pick the safest answer. They pushed the button to see if their answer was right. I was so glad to have small groups to get to use this book, since they love having turns to push the buttons and that's hard to do in large group!

Week 2, I read the kids a book about strangers and we talked about "stranger danger." Hopefully you read my other blog post about Strangers with links to great articles on how to talk to our kids about this topic. We talked about the situations in the book and what would be safe (like not wandering off from our parents and finding a "safe" stranger like a mom with kids or a cashier or police officer if we did get lost).

Our mom volunteers played a community helpers game with the kids, and also helped them place ambulance cards with numbers 1-10 in order.