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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cleaning House-

Provide different household items and props for children to pretend play like they are cleaning the house. Items that could be used include: a vacuum cleaner, dusting cloths, sponges, mops, brooms, empty spray bottles, buckets, aprons, bandannas tide up for a cleaning hat, squeegee etc.

Household Tracings

Provide several different small household items (spatula, spoon, phone, book, comb, hanger, etc) for children to trace with crayons or pencils on paper. They can also use scissors to cut out their tracings.

Graham Cracker Home

Give each child a graham cracker (house), triangle-cut pieces of cheese (roof) and raisins (windows, doors, bricks, etc) for snack. They can be encouraged to build their house and then eat it.

Home Building Observation

If possible, visit a local construction site. Talk about the role of a construction worker in building homes and other types of community buildings and stores in your city, town or neighborhood.

Nail Pound

Let children pound nails into soft pine wood scraps or styrofoam at a work bench with an ADULTS SUPERVISION. Talk about the process it takes to build a home.

Home Graph

Make a graph out of either or both of the following:
Ask your children what kind of home they live in.
Ask your children what their favorite place in their home is.

Homes Fingerplay

Here is a nest for a robin.
(hold hands open)
Here is a hive for a bee.
(close hands together)
Here is a hole for a bunny.
(make a circle with hands)
Here is a home for me.
(point all around you)

After the finglerplay, you can read a book and/or talk about what types of homes different animals have.

Sand Home Building

Add wet sand to the sensory table. Provide different containers (empty cans, plastic containers, buckets, milk cartons, shaped blocks, etc.) for children to build different kinds of homes and buildings that have seen or that they can invent.

Homes Journal Page

Read a book about different types of homes then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "What is special to you about your home?" Record the children's responses and let them draw a picture to go along with their response.

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Building Materials

Provide building materials (wood, brick, canvas, tar paper, shingles, etc.) and magnifying glasses in an area where children can observe and examine the materials. Encourage discussions about why the different materials would be good to use for building different types of houses or parts of the house.

Rooms of You Home

Bring in items from several different rooms of your house. Make boxes with labels for different rooms (kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, garage, living room, etc.). Ask your children where each household item would go and let your children sort which items go in where.

Homes in Common

Talk to your children about how different people live in different types of homes. Then ask them what they think all homes have in common. Some ideas are kitchens, love, bedrooms, water, etc.

Homes Lesson Plan

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Colors Sensory Ideas

Place any of the following (from the sensory recipes page) in the sensory table for the kids to explore: play dough (provide red, yellow & blue to mix colors), goop, silly putty, white slime & markers, mold with baker’s clay or white clay and paint when hardened.

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Colorful Art

Let the children do any of these activities with a variety of colors: easel painting with tempera paint, finger painting, yarn and glue designs on construction paper, color spin art painting, paint blots (fold paper in half, squirt paint one one side, fold, press, unfold), water color over crayon drawings, glue & glitter.

Purple Cow

Combine equal parts of grape juice and milk, along with some ice cubes (6 per 1/2 gallon or milk) in a blender, blend for one minute, serve and enjoy.
This is a childhood favorite of mine, but we used ice cream instead of milk, which is also VERY yummy!

Paint Store Play

Provide paintbrushes, buckets, paint sample books, paint rollers, pans, paint caps, smocks or paint clothes, drop cloths, cash register, play money, pads of paper, etc. Children can pretend play like they are painting a house or selling paint supplies at a paint store.

Color March

Tape *colored shapes to the floor, march, hop, tip toe, etc. around the colors to music.

*I got some free paint sample from the hardware store and used them for this activity, as well as several other colors activities.

Colors in Our World

Go to any of the following places to learn about how important colors are in our world and how they are used differently in nature and by people: a green house, an art store, or a paint store.

Math in Colors

Do any of the following activities: sort different colored shapes, make patterns with colored beads on string/yarn, set out different color bags (kids find and sort things by colors by placing them in the blue bag, etc), make a color patterned paper chain, use colored paint samples to play memory or match

Finding Colors

Finding Colors (Tune: Muffin Man)

Oh can you find the color____, the color____, the color____?
Oh can you find the color____ somewhere in the room?

Let the children each find the color and repeat the song several times using other colors: yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, green, brown, black, white, gray, etc.

Colored Science

Make any of the following (from the sensory recipe page) to explore colors: colored *soap crayons (use in the sink when dry), rainbow stew (provide different colors for the children to explore mixing colors with)

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Favorite Colors

Ask every child what their favorite color is and make a chart of favorite colors, display in the classroom.

Paper Towel Dip

Fold paper towel several times in half, dip in red water & then yellow water, open the towel carefully and allow it to dry, orange designs will appear on the towel. Talk about how red and yellow mix to make the color orange.

Colorful Snack

Serve different fruits for snack, include all the colors of the rainbow. Children can help prepare it.

Colors Journal Page

Read a book about colors then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "Why do we need colors?" Record the children's responses and let them draw a picture to go along with their response.

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Color Hunt

Go on a color hunt around a classroom, home, neighborhood, park, store, etc.

Colored Ribbon Dance

Let the children dance with colored ribbons (dowels & crepe paper) to different types of music.

Colors Lesson Plan

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Visiting a Hat Shop

Visit a hat store or shop. You can look at the different varieties of hats (shape, size, color, style, etc), and talk about or ask about what different uses the hats have.
We really lucked out on our field trip. I found a neat little hat shop, where this man custom makes hats for people. There were lots of styles and shapes he could make. This is an old art that is dieing out, but this man is still practicing. It was so interesting and neat for the adults and the kids. We all learned a lot about hats!

He uses this tool to measure the size and shape of someone's head, so that the hat he makes for them fits them perfectly.

Starting the hat shaping process.

The hat on the right is the base that he starts from and the hat on the left is the finished product.

At the shop. What a fun and interesting trip we had!

“Weather” or Not to Wear a Hat

Discuss the different kinds of hats that are worn in different types of weather (hot, cold, sunny, rainy, windy, snowy,..). Ask questions, such as “What parts of our body does a hat keep warm?”, “How does a hat keep us cool?” “What type of hat would we wear in the rain?”

Caps For Sale Dramatization

Read the story "Caps For Sale" with your children. Act out the story with different hats that you provide,follow one child, the others throw their caps down when the main actor throws his cap on the floor all of the other children do the same and then they pick them up as a class).

"Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!"

"You monkeys, you, you give me back my caps!"
"Tsk, tsk, tsk!"

Hat Bean Bag Toss

Lay several large hats on the floor upside-down. Encourage the children to stand about two feet from the hats and try to throw bean bags in the hats.

Hat Textures

Provide several different types of hats and wigs for the children to explore. Encourage them to feel the different textures and to describe how differently they feel when they wear them on their heads.

Custom Fit Hat

Place three pieces of newspaper around a child's head. Wrap masking tape above the child's ears three times, roll the newspaper up tightly to form the brim of the hat. Children can decorate their hats (paint, buttons, macaroni, feathers, glitter, etc). When they dry, the kids will have a fitted hat.

Three Cornered Hat

My hat it has three corners (point to head, hold up three fingers). Three corners has my hat (hold up three fingers, point to head). And had it not three corners (hold up three fingers). It would not be my hat (shake head, point to head).

Hat Muffins

Heat oven- 400° & grease muffin tins. Beat 1 egg. Stir in 3/4 c. milk, 1/2 c. vegetable oil, 1 Tbs grated orange peel, 1 c. cranberry halves. Stir in 2 c. flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 3 Tbs baking powder & 1 tsp salt all at once. Stir until moist. Fill cups very full, for a big top . Bake 20 minutes. Eat upside-down as hats.

Hat Store

Provide cash register, pretend money, purses, wallets, checkbooks, etc., and a variety of hat boxes and hats (firefighter hats, bonnets, top hats, hard hats, baby hats, graduation caps, cowboy hats, helmets, wigs, etc.) for the children to pretend play buying and selling in a hat store.

Hat Seriation and Grouping

Collect a variety of hats. The children can arrange them from smallest to largest and largest to smallest. Also, they can classify hats by the colors and uses.

Hats Journal Page

Talk about and explore the different materials that hats can be made out of. Provide magnifying glasses for the children to take a closer look at the materials and at the construction of the hat It might be fun to let the children try sewing with a needle and thread on some felt, with adult assistance.
Click on the image to view and/or print.

Hat Materials

Talk about and explore the different materials that hats can be made out of. Provide magnifying glasses for the children to take a closer look at the materials and at the construction of the hat. It might be fun to let the children try sewing with a needle and thread on some felt, with adult assistance.

Hats Lesson Plan

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Exploring Pumpkins

Carve pumpkins and explore the inside and outside of the pumpkin pointing out the different parts (stem, seeds, pulp, skin, meat, ribs, etc).

Pumpkin History

Read a book or talk about the history and uses of the pumpkin. Discuss how people compete to grow big pumpkins. The largest pumpkin ever grown was from seeds of the Dill's Atlantic Giant variety. It was 1,458 lbs. and grown by Bruce Whittier from Henniker, NH.

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

Salt seeds, spread on a cookie sheet and bake 45 min. at 300°.

Five Little Pumpkins

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate, (hold hands up)
The first one said "oh my its getting late," (hands on cheeks)
The second one said "there's a chill in the air," (hug self)
The third one said "but we don't care," (shrug)
The fourth one said "we're ready for some fun," (jump)
The fifth one said "lets run, run, run," (run in place)
So woo went the wind, and out went the lights, (wave hands and clap)
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight (sit down).

Pumpkin Patch Trip

Visit a Pumpkin Patch and let the children observe how pumpkins grow and the many shapes and sizes of pumpkins there are. If possible, let each child pick out and purchase a pumpkin.

Pumpkin Muffins

1 package yellow cake mix
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.

Mix ingredients together and scoop into a greased muffin tin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350°.

Pumpkin Face

Take a paper plate and color a face on it with crayons. Paint over it with orange paint. Once it's dry, hang it with green yarn.

Pumpkin Puzzle

Clean out a real pumpkin and then cut various shapes out of the pumpkin to make a real pumpkin puzzle. Let the children explore taking the pumpkin apart and putting it back together again.

Pumpkin Toss

Take a few pumpkins, varying in size, and line them up. Give the kids some sort of ring that will fit over each pumpkin; such as a hula hoop, an embroidery hoop, or metal rings. Have the children take turns trying to toss the hoops over the pumpkins.

Pumpkins Sensory

Place in the sensory table: pumpkin seeds & measuring cups, insides of the pumpkin or straw and small rakes.

Pumpkins Journal Page

Read a book about pumpkins then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "If you had a pumpkin, what would you do with it?" Record the children's responses and let them draw a picture to go along with their response.
Click on the image to view and/or print.

Pretending Pumpkins

Create a pumpkin patch in your dramatic play area. Set out pumpkins (real or artificial), hay, wagons, etc. You can also create a store area where children can pretend to by the pumpkins they picked out from the pumpkin patch play area.

Pumpkin Seed Count

Make paper or plastic pumpkins with different numbers on them. Have the kids count pumpkin seeds and place them on the pumpkin with the correct number on it.

Pumpkins Lesson Plan

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

We're Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo!

Visit a local zoo or a community reserve park (an area where wild animals are caged in a natural environment). Observe and discuss the different animals there. Read or paraphrase the information given about the animals at the zoo or park. Call or ask about getting a guided tour for a kids group.

Animals That Live Over in the Zoo

(Sing to the Tune: “Muffin Man”)

Do you know the kangaroo, the kangaroo, the kangaroo?
Oh, do you know the kangaroo that lives over in the zoo?

(Let the kids come up with some other zoo animals to sing about. Other verses could include: monkey, elephant, giraffe, lion, turtle, bear, snake, alligator, tiger, etc.)

Born or Hatched?

Sort pictures of birds, snakes, lizards, dinosaurs, puppies, kittens, mice, horses, etc. into two bags or boxes, one labeled with a picture of an egg that says "Hatched" and one with a picture of a baby that says "Born".

Clipart of animals were found at http://www.learningpage.com/

Paper Plate Lion

Give the children paper plates, crayons, markers, scissors, yellow and brown yarn, and scissors to create a create a lion face (the yarn can be glued on to look like a mane).

Elephant Masks

Give the kids a large paper plate, have them cut a hole in the middle. Let them stuff a leg of a pair of nylons with newspaper or packing peanuts. Pull the opened end through the hole in the paper plate and knot it. They can color/paint the plate. You could use elastic to hold the mask on.

Zebra Painting

Let the children marble paint with black paint on white construction paper. Place a piece of black construction paper in a pan or box. Dip a marble in white paint and let the children roll the marble around the paper by moving and tilting the pan/box. Dip the marble in the paint whenever necessary. When the children finish they will have a fun striped zebra painting.

Our Zoo

The children can pretend to be animals in the zoo. Provide large appliance boxes that have slits cut into them to resemble cages; fur coats, blankets and/or zoo animal costumes; food pails or troughs.

Banana Butter

Mash 3 small ripe bananas with a fork.
Mix in 3/4 cup peanut butter.
Add 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp shredded coconut and 1/2 cup raisins.
Blend well, serve on bread, crackers or fruit.
While you are making it, talk about the different foods that zoo animals eat (bananas, peanuts, etc.).

Helpful Animals

Discuss how some animals can be helpful to humans. Examples: camels are used as transportation in some countries, elephants are often used to pull things, dogs can be used as seeing-eye dogs or sled dogs, goats can give milk to drink, etc. Ask the children to come up with some ideas as well.

Zoo Animals Journal Page

Read a book about zoo animals then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "How would you feel if you were an animal at the zoo? Why?" Record the children's responses and let them draw a picture to go along with their response.

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Playing With Animals

Place plastic zoo animals in the sensory table with sand, grass, hay, wood shavings, dirt, water, or a combination of some. You can encourage the children to build little habitats for each animal.

Walk Like the Animals

This game is played like “Simon Says:
“The zookeeper says to walk like a giraffe”. The children can walk as they believe each animal would. Repeat using different animals (monkey, elephant, lion, turtle, bear, snake, alligator, tiger, etc.). Let each child take a turn leading the game.

Animal Habitat Sort

Sort animals by habitat. Use photos/pictures of habitats such as ocean, desert, jungle, savannah, etc. Use plastic zoo animals or pictures of them and have students sort them to their correct home. It might help to have a animal habitat picture book on hand for the children to reference.
The following attachments were found at http://www.learningpage.com