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Friday, January 29, 2010

Visiting Pets

Attend a pet show, visit a veterinarians office, pet store or pet groomer.
Observe, touch and listen to the different types of animals that people adopt as pets. If you go to a pet store, make sure to browse through the section of different types of pet foods.

Pet Skin or Fur

If possible, when the children are on the field trip, have them touch and compare the different feel of the skin or fur of different pet animals. Help them describe how they feel (soft, fuzzy, scaly, slimy, etc).

Pet Food Identification

Take a small amount of different kinds of pet food (dog, cat, bird, fish, rabbit food) and place it into Ziploc baggies Let your children take turns looking at and feeling each baggies. Talk about what kind of pet would eat each food. When identified, write the name of the animal & place a picture on the bag.

Pets Home Match

Get shapes of Pets and Shapes of their Homes (birdhouse, doghouse, aquarium, cage, etc.) Then have the children match the animals with their homes. You can use the worksheet below for the activity. Even my 2 1/2 year old was able to match the pets to their homes.

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Move Like an Animal (Chant)

(Do animal movements as you chant the rhyme)
We’ll hop, hop, hop like a bunny.
And run, run, run like a dog.
We’ll walk, walk, walk like a kitten.
And jump, jump, jump like a frog.
We’ll swim, swim, swim like a goldfish.
And fly, fly, fly like a bird.
We’ll sit right down and fold our hands and not say a single word!


Provide a large cardboard box for the children to make a doghouse. They can cut holes, paint, and decorate it. When it is dry, the doghouse can be brought into the dramatic play area inside or be put in the outdoor play area for the children to pretend play with.


Provide props for the children to pretend to be veterinarians- lab coats, stethoscopes, gloves, masking tape (for band-aids), splints, empty pill bottles, ace bandages, pretend thermometers, fake dog bones, clip board, leashes & collars, stuffed animals, etc.

Animal Cookies

Mix together in a bowl:
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar,
1 cup butter,
1 egg,
1 tsp vanilla
& 1/2 tsp almond extract.
Then add:
2 1/2 cups flour,
1 tsp baking soda,
& 1 tsp cream of tartar.
Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Roll to 1/2” thick, cut into animals shapes.
Bake at 375° fro 7-10 min on greased cookie sheet.

Trainer Says

Before beginning this game, read a book or talk about pet trainers and pet shows, etc. Play "Trainer Says" just like "Simon Says." Some good commands are sit, stand, jump, play dead, roll over, lay down, etc.
For more information on how to play "Simon Says", see the following link:

Pets Journal Page

Read a book about pets then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "What type of pet would you enjoy adopting and taking care of?" 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.

Pet Sounds

Talk about the different sound the pet animals make. If possible, let the children hear the sounds (live or recorded) and then try to mimic the pet sounds together.

Dog Bone Prints

Take real dog bones and let the children dip them into any color paint they want and print them on paper.

Pets Lesson Plan

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nursery Rhymes

Sing, say or read several nursery rhymes together. Give the kids a chance to sing or say them by themselves too. You can also say them as the children participate in each of the corresponding activities.

Click on the any of the images above to view and/or print.

Twinkling Moon & Star Mobile

Provide star and moon shapes, glitter, glue, yarn and paper plates for the kids to make & hang mobiles. Use the paper plate as the top base, punch holes in it for the yarn to tie to. After the stars and moons are decorated and dried, punch a hole in each of them and hang them on the yarn from the plate.

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Kitten Mitten Match

Provide several pairs of mittens for the children to mix up and match together.
Click on the image to view and/or print.

Jack’s Candlestick Jump

Use an unlit candle or make a candlestick out of a paper towel tube with tissue paper for the flame. Teach the kids the rhyme. Then recite it for each child, replacing Jack with their name. Let them jump over the candlestick.

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Miss Muffet’s Curds

Warm up 2 cups of whole milk and add 1 tsp of vinegar. Stir as curds (milk solids) separate from whey (liquid). Strain curds, gently press with paper towel. Sprinkle with salt, refrigerate and eat as cottage cheese. You could also flavor it (cinnamon, orange, vanilla, pb, etc), stir it & eat it warm on crackers.
Click on the image to view and/or print.

Pat-A-Cake Bakery

Display the rhyme and set up a bakery for children to pretend play. Props could include: hats, aprons, cookie cutters, baking pans, rolling pins, mixers, spoons, bowls, play bakery food, baskets, signs, play dough can be used as bakery dough at a table, etc.
Click on the image to view and/or print.

Candle Making

Invite someone to visit and demonstrate how to make candles, or take a field trip to a craft center so the children can watch candles being made.
Click on the image to view and/or print.

Hey Diddle Dish and Spoon Setting

Use attached place setting (laminated). Let the children match silverware and dishes to the pictures on the outline in preparation for a snack or meal. After practicing, let them try setting the table without the pictures.
Click on and of the images above to view and/or print.

Mary’s Little Lamb

Have the children paint a hand print on a piece of construction paper. When the paint is dry, let them cover the palm with cotton balls. Turn the hand print upside down, add eyes on thumbs,etc. Now they have their own little lambs.
Click on the image to view and/or print.

1, 2, Buckle My Shoe with props

Collect props (buckling shoe, door- be near one, sticks, picture or toy hen), use them to say or sing the rhyme "1, 2, Buckle My Shoe" together. It's a good rhyme to practice counting.

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Nursery Rhymes Journal Page

Read a book about nursery rhymes then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "If you could be a character from a nursery rhyme, who would you be? 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.

Jack & Jill’s

Add water, pails and scoopers to the sensory table for the children to explore. Display and say the rhyme together too.
Click on the image to view and/or print.

Hickory Dickory Dock Clock

Draw and cut out a large clock from cardboard or use a real clock. Move the hands of the clock and see if the children can identify the numeral. If the children are older, you can explain how the short hand helps to tell us what hour it is. Let them have a turn moving the hands.
Click on the image to view and/or print.

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Tasters

Provide a variety of pumpkin foods (muffins, pie, seeds, pumpkin cooked like squash, etc) for the children to have a pumpkin tasting party. Be sure to display and say the rhyme together.
Click on the image to view and/or print.

Nursery Rhymes Lesson Plan

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fruits and Vegetables Chant

Chant the following words together while showing the children the chart below:

The foods we like to eat that grows on vines & bushes & trees
Are vegetables and fruits, my friends, like cherries, grapes and peas.
Apples and oranges and peaches are fruits, and so are tangerines.
Lettuce and carrots are vegetables, like squash and beans.
Click on the image to view and/or print.

Washing Fruits and Vegetables

Let the children wash fruits and vegetables to prepare for snack and cooking. Some items that may be helpful: colander, vegetable scrub brush, paper towels or cloth dish towels, etc. They would also enjoy peeling anything needed with adult assistance.

Tasting Fruits and Vegetables

Provide a wide variety of different fruits and vegetables for the children to taste test. They can prepare the food with supervision by washing, cutting, and cooking (if needed). You could also have the children leave some of the cut food raw and cook some. Compare different food, and compare the same cooked & raw.

Carrot Sprouting Experiment

Cut off the top of a carrot and place it in a shallow dish of water. Let the children observe what happens from day to day. Given time, the top of the carrot should sprout. Provide children with magnifying glasses for observation, as well as books that talk about sprouting.

A Rainbow of Fruits and Vegeables

Using the plate and the food cards below, have the children fill their plates with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.
You could also use the cards to make a favorites graph. Have the children each pick their favorite vegetables & fruits (i.e. top 5) and display the cards on a chart with their names.

Click on and of the images above to view and/or print.

Grocery Visit

Visit the produce department of a grocery store for a field trip. Ask them to show the children how the food is delivered. Explore all of the different types of fruit and vegetables. Look at the different kinds, colors, sizes and shapes. Talk about how important it is to eat lots of fruits and vegetables each day.
When we went on a field trip once, to Alberstons, they even let the children sample some of the produce. We were able to schedule that particular field trip through the Field Trip Factory: http://www.fieldtripfactory.com/tripTakers/preSchool.aspx

Produce Play

Set up a the dramatic play area to be a grocery store (produce section), or a farmer's market or stand. Use any of the following props: plastic or wooden fruits and vegetables, cash registers, baskets, bags, play money, empty spray bottles (water the produce), etc.

Vegetable Vitamins

Explain how our bodies need essential vitamins and minerals, and we get a lot of these from different fruits and vegetables. We need several servings fruits and vegetables each day and it is good to get a wide variety. Explore different produce nutrients.

Click on the images above to view and/or print.

Fruity Playdough

Provide different colors of playdough for the children to mold fruits and vegetables out of. You can also add some flavoring to the recipe to add a scent, as well as color (lemon smelling yellow playdough etc)

Play Dough
2 cups flour
2 cups water
food coloring
1 cup salt
4 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 Tablespoons oil
Combine all ingredients (add coloring with water). Mix until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring and scraping the side and bottom constantly. When stiff, scrape out of pan, knead until smooth.

Fruits and Vegetables Journal Page

Read a book about fruits and vegetables then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "What are your favorite fruits and vegetables?" 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.

Hot Potato

Have the kids sit in a circle. Give one person a potato. Play lively music and let the children pass around the circle. When the music stops, the child with the potato stands up and says the name of a fruit or vegetable. Encourage each to say a name of one that hasn’t been said yet.

Fruits and Vegetables in Pieces

Introduce the concepts of whole and parts by cutting whole fruits (apples, etc) and vegetables in halves, thirds, quarters.

Fruits and Vegetables Lesson Plan

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gingerbread Families

Make some healthy gingerbread cookies shaped as people with the children. After they are baked and cooled, the children group them as families. The can also be a part of your family day celebration.

Here are some recipe ideas (I haven't tried these recipes, but I often use these recipe websites):