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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Restaurant Array

Set up the dramatic play area like a restaurant. You could include the following ideas: table, pretend utensils and dishes, place setting place mats, restaurant signs & menus (see below), tablecloths, napkins, pretend food, cash register, play money, pretend kitchen with cooking props, etc.
Click on the images to view and/or print.

Here is our hostess and waiter....

...and our chef...

...and cashier.

Pasta Necklaces

Before class dye rigatoni or macaroni pasta different colors using a mixture of rubbing alcohol and food coloring. Then tape one side of a piece of yarn to the table and let your children thread the pasta through it in any design or pattern they would like to.

Pop Like Popcorn

Have the children act out what it would be like to be a popcorn kernel, being heated and bursting open. You could play some music and have everyone randomly “pop” repeatedly to the end of the song.

Searching Spices

Explain how spices are used to make foods taste differently. Explore several different spices with a magnifying glass or microscope to discover the different properties. Talk about how some are crystals (salt, sugar, etc), leaves, powder, flakes, etc. Talk about the different smells/tastes and what different foods the spices are used in. You can even compare the different amounts of spices needed to season things (potency).

Menu Math

Talk about how restaurants use menus to communicate what types of food and dishes you can order and how much they cost. Show them some sample menus from different restaurants. Point out where the prices are listed. Help them identify the numbers on the menus and which are greater/lesser.

Restaurants Journal

Read a book about restaurant then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "What type of restaurants do you enjoy eating at?" 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.

On Top of Spaghetti

On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed.
It rolled off the table and onto the floor, and then my poor meatball rolled right out the door.
It rolled in the garden and under a bush , and now my poor meatball is nothing but mush.
So next time you eat spaghetti all covered with cheese
Protect your poor meatball, In case of a sneeze.
(Tune- On Top of Old Smokey)

Snack Service

Have the children take turns throughout the week doing various snack jobs (taking orders, preparing snack, serving snack, cleaning up). Snack ideas throughout the week could include: popcorn, cube cut pieces of cheese, sliced fruit, muffins, cream cheese spread on crackers or bagels, etc.

Taking Snack Orders

Plain air-popped popcorn is one of our favorite snacks.

It's easy, fun, quick, inexpensive and healthy.

Serving the snack

Feeling Food

Fill the sensory table with any kind of dried food (rice, pasta, beans, wheat, corn meal, oats, etc) and different cooking utensils and tools (measuring cups and spoons, ladles, spoons, spatulas, rubber scrapers, whisks, etc.).

Restaurant Tour

Take a field trip to a restaurant. Make sure the kids get to see and learn about the different parts of the restaurant (waiting area, tables, kitchen, cashiers, etc.), learn about the different jobs at a restaurant (host/hostess, waiter/waitress, chef, cook, cashier, manager, etc), and get to see a menu and food.

We visited McCormick and Schmick's Seafood Restaurant.

We got to see and touch lots of different types of seafood.

We also tour all of the different parts of the kitchen, storage, office and eating areas.

The chefs hats that they gave the kids were a big hit.

It was a lot of fun!

Restaurant Responsilbilities

Talk about the different jobs there are at a restaurant (host/hostess, waiter/waitress, chef, cook, cashier, manager, customer, etc) and how each job is important for the restaurant to work. Take turns acting out the different jobs. The kids can use this practice to enhance their dramatic play experience.

Pasta or Bean Tracing

Have your children glue dried pasta shapes or beans around a picture they have made to create a frame. They could also trace their name or a shape with glued on pasta shapes or beans.

Restaurants Lesson Plan

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rain Sticks

Materials you will need: rice, paper towel or toilet paper rolls, a thumb tack, toothpicks, scissors, tape and markers, paint or crayons (we used glitter glue).

Help children poke holes into paper towel roll with a thumb tack.

Push several toothpicks through the holes (you might want to glue both ends, we didn't).

Cut off any ends of the toothpicks sticking out.

Next tape one end of the roll closed.

Add rice and tape the other end.

Kids can decorate their sticks with paint, crayons, markers, glitter, etc.

The sound seemed to be the best when we added more toothpicks and less rice. Have fun!

Cloud Cookies

Oven °275 F (135 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Whip 4 egg whites, 1 pinch salt & 1/4 tsp cream of tartar to soft peak. Sprinkle in 1 1/3 cups sugar slowly, whip to stiff peaks. Fold in 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake for 35 minutes. Turn oven off and let sit until cool.

Weather Reporter

Take a field trip to a news station to visit the weather reporter. Ask to tour the equipment, listen to what the reporter does and watch him give a weather report. It might be fun to bring in a recorded weather report to show the children before or after the field trip.

Rain Is Falling All Around

Rain is falling all around,
on the housetops, on the ground.
Rain is falling on my nose,
on my head and hands and toes.

Water Play

In a sensory table add water, scoops, cups, spoons, eye droppers, etc. The children can explore and discuss the water with their friends.
If it is rainy and wet let the kids take the sensory toys outside too play with and explore the rain and puddles.

Rainy Day Pretend Play

Set out rainwear (coats, hats, boots, etc) along with the rainsticks the kids made, and paper puddles. The children can then pretend play in the rain by dressing up, making rain sound and splashing in pretend puddles.
My kids enjoyed jumping and splashing on our pretend puddle (mini trampoline).

Measuring Evaporation

Using a ruler, mark a clear cup or jar with measurement marks and number them. Fill the cup with water and place it on a window ledge. Each day the children can observe and record (with help) the level of water in the cup. Read books and talk about evaporation, clouds & rain.

Rain Journal

Read a book about rain then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "What do you like about rain? What do you dislike about rain?" 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.

Make a Rainbow

In bright sunlight, submerge a mirror at an angle in a pan of water. The mirror will reflect the sunlight and the water will separate the colors in the sunlight. Catch the rainbow on a white poster board. The kids can then color the rainbow.
Idea taken from "I Have A Song For You- Activity Book" by Janeen Brady

Puddle Jumping

Using pretend puddles made from blue paper laid out on the floor, play a puddle jumping game. Play music while the children jump around the puddles. When the music stops, the children need to quickly find a puddle to jump in and freeze. Repeat several times.
You could also go out and jump in real puddles. It's cold, messy and a LOT of fun!!!

Rain Affecting Climates

Find a book about different climates (desert, rainforest, etc). Look at the pictures together and have a discussion about how much rain affects a climate (the vegetation, the animals that live there, the lifestyle of the people who live there, etc). Talk about how the amount of rainfall affects your climate.

Wax Paper Rainbows

Help the children cut out a folder sheet of wax paper into a bow (a rainbow shape). Provide colored crayon shavings for the children to sprinkle on one of their pieces of wax paper. They can place the other sheet on top. With adult help, place a towel underneath and on top of the sheets of wax paper. With a warm iron press on top of the towel to melt the two sheets together. When the rainbow is cooled It can be hung from a window with a string.
This was a lot of fun and looked really cool, but I stained my ironing board cover a little bit, so make sure you have something under and on top of the wax paper so that the crayon melting doesn't leak onto your iron or ironing board.

Rain Lesson Plan

We get a LOT of rain here. So it was easy, natural and fun to learn more about rain.

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Frosted Pictures

Mix 1 part epsom slat to 1 part boiling water and let the mixture cool. Have the children make a crayon drawing on paper. The mixture can be brushed over the picture and crystals will form as it dries. Let the children observe the crystals forming.
This turned out even better than I expected it to. It doesn't take very much solution to cover the paper.

Edible Snowballs or Snowpeople

Chop 2 cups of raisins and 2 cups of bananas in a blender, transfer to bowl, refrigerate until cold enough to be handled. Kids can roll it into balls, then roll into some shredded coconut. They can be eaten as balls or stacked by threes and attached with toothpicks for people.

Winter Field Trips

Visit an ice skating rink to observe the ice and watch how it is cleaned.

Go on a trip to a sledding hill, after it snows. Bring sleds and warm snow clothes to go sledding and play in the snow.

Ice-skating Palace

Make a masking tape border on a carpeted floor. Give each child 2 pieces of was paper to fasten to their feet, with a rubber bands around their ankles. Let the children “ice skate” while you play instrumental music for them to skate to.

Snow Shoveling or Freeze

Snow Shoveling- Provide child size shovels for the children to shovel the snow, or help shovel the walkway.
Freeze- Play some music while the children dance, walk in a circle, hop, skip, gallop, slide, etc., when the music stops, all the children should freeze what they are doing.

Winter Journal

Read a book about winter then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "What do you like to do outside in the winter? What do you like to do inside in the winter?" Record the children's responses and let them draw a picture to go along with their response.

I thought it would be helpful to see a journal page example. So here is one that my son did about winter. I also like him to practice writing his name on each journal page, with or without help. On this particular journal page, he had quite a bit to say, so he drew the picture on the back.

Winter Walk

Go on a winter walk and have the children watch & listen for signs & sounds of winter. Signs: cold, ice, daylight shorter, darkness earlier, most trees are bare except evergreens, people wear warmer clothes, people shoveling snow or playing in it. Sounds: boots crunching, rain splashing, wind howling.

Snowflake Shapes

Read the book “Snowflake Bentley” by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and talk about how each snowflake is unique with different shapes and designs. Make paper snowflakes. Take paper squares, fold in half, then thirds, then half again. Cut designs and shapes in it. Then carefully unfold and hand them up.