I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for more information:

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Magnetic Attraction

Provide magnets, cups, paper clips, rubber bands, toothpicks, pennies, metal nuts, crayons, tinfoil, etc. Have the children predict which items will be attracted by the magnets. Write down their predictions. Then let them experiment with the items and magnets to see which items are attracted by the magnets. Record the results and compare them to their predictions.

Magnets Sort

Provide many different types and shapes of magnets and have the children sort them by their physical properties (shape, size, color, etc.).

We have enjoyed the variety of magnets in our discovery kit from Lakeshore Learning: http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/seo/ca|searchResults~~p|HH222~~.jsp

Magnetic Treasures

Hide some magnetic objects (nuts, bolts, paper clips, etc.) in the sensory table under some sand, rice, or wood shavings, etc. Let the children use magnets to go on a treasure hunt and find the magnetic items.

Magnet Hunt

Have the children go on a hunt for magnets around their home and at school. After the hunt, make a list together of the types of magnets they found and discuss what the different uses are for magnets.

Magnet Painting

Provide trays/bins, paper, paint, magnet wands and magnet balls. Place the paper, a magnetic ball and some paint in the bin/tray and give the children a wand to run underneath the tray which will move their magnet ball through the paint on the paper.

The finished product (dried), along with the magnet tools we used

The Magnet Song

(Sung to the tune:" I'm A Little Teapot")

I'm a little magnet, can't you see.
Some types of metal are attracted to me.
If it is not magnetic you will see.
Because it just won’t stick to me.

Magnetic Walk

Give each child a magnet and go on a magnet walk around the house/school to see what the magnet will stick to. WARNING: stay away from electronics (computers, televisions, calculator, cell phones, cameras, etc.)

Magnet Tag

Have someone be "the magnet" (it) and chase the others. When "the magnet" touches someone, they have to stick together (hold hands) and continue chasing until everyone is stuck together.

Magnets Journal Pages

Read a book about magnets then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "If you were a magnet, what would you want to attract to you?" or “How have you used magnets before?” Record the children's responses and let them draw a picture to go along with their response.

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

Magnetic Food

Talk about how iron is something that we need in our bodies for us to be healthy and then explain that iron is a type of metal that is attracted to magnets. Let the kids run a magnet through Cheerios (or some other type of food with added iron in it) to pick up and see the iron that it is added.

Being Magnets

Have the children pretend like they are the magnets and decide what they can stick to around the room/school and which objects can stick to them.

Magnetism Pass

Provide magnets, water in a plastic cup, wood, paper, cardboard, and cloth; have the kids vote on which materials magnetism will pass through, then experiment; depends on the thickness of material and the strength of the magnet.

Magnets Lesson Plan

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tree Trips

Go on a nature walk in a forest, visit a tree farm, or visit a nursery. Look at and have someone teach about different types of trees and their different parts.

Trip to a tree farm:

Tree Bird Feeders

Spread peanut butter on a pine cone & roll it in bird seed. Hang bird feeders on trees outside that can be viewed from the classroom windows.

Guacamole Dip

1 medium avocado
2 Tablespoons of chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt,
Tablespoons of mayonnaise or salad dressing (like miracle whip)

Peel and cut the avocado into pieces and process at medium speed in a a blender. Add remaining ingredients and Blend. Serve with tortillas or corn chips.

Be sure to read a book or talk about how avocados grow on trees.

Foods that Grow on Trees

(Sing to the tune- The Farmer & the Dell)

Foods that grow on trees,
foods that grow on trees,
let us sing a song about,
foods that grow on trees.

Cherries grow on trees,
cherries grow on trees
pick them red and sweet,
cherries grow on trees.

Pears grow on trees,
pears grow on trees,
pick them sweet & juicy,
pears grow on trees.

Walnuts grow on trees,
walnuts grow on trees,
pick them brown & crunchy,
walnuts grow on trees.

Have the children help you make up other verses about different foods that grow on trees.

All About Trees

Talk about and read books about the different types of trees around the world (which trees grow in different climates), about the difference between deciduous and coniferous trees, and about the tradition and meaning of using evergreen trees for Christmas trees.

Playing Trees

Set up ideas for the dramatic play area:
  • a tree farm (little fake trees lined up, pretend saws, cash register, etc.)
  • a forest (stuffed animals, pictures or posters of trees hung on the wall, blue blanket for a stream, etc.)

construction paper cut out and taped up

we hung a blue sheet for a waterfall

more construction paper cutouts

Tree Nuts

Provide tree nuts in shells and let the children classify and explore them (almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, etc.).

Wood Shavings

Place wood shavings, measuring cups, utensils, colanders, containers, etc. in the sensory table for children to explore. Talk about how we use wood from trees.

Matching Leaves

Collect a few leaves from a variety of trees. The children can sort and match them.

Leaf Wreaths

Glue different leaves on paper plates (cut out the middle of the plate), hang for decorations.

More Tree Songs

If you talk about trees around Christmas time, you can sing either of the following tree songs:

Pretty Tree

(Sung To: This is the Way We Wash Our Clothes)
1. This is the way we look for a tree,
Look for a tree, look for a tree.
This is the way we look for a tree,
Early in December.
2.This is the way we chop the tree,
Chop the tree, chop the tree.
This is the way we chop the tree,
Early in December.
3.This is the way we carry it home,
Carry it home, carry it home.
This is the way we carry it home,
Early in December.
4.This is the way we stand it up,
Stand it up, stand it up.
This is the way we stand it up,
Early in December.
5.This is the way we make it pretty,
Make it pretty, make it pretty.
This is the way we make it pretty,
Early in December.

O Christmas Tree
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
How lovely are your branches!
Your boughs are green in summer's clime
And through the snows of wintertime.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
How lovely are your branches!

Tree Journal Page

Read a book about trees then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "What do you like about trees (fruit, nuts, climbing, shade, pretty, wood, etc)?" 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.

Tree Parts

Talk about the different parts to a tree (leaves, branches, fruit, trunk, roots, etc.) and how different parts of different trees are used for different things (food, wood, shade, etc.).

Tree Seeds

Have the children sort seeds from trees, matching them to labels with names and pictures of the seeds.

Leaf Dancing

Use any classical or instrumental song that could sound like wind, have the children dance to the music acting like leaves in the wind. An alternative is to dance outside with piles of leaves.

Leaf Rubbings

Collect different types of leaves. Place paper over leaves and rub crayons over them to create a leaf image.

Trees Lesson Plan

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Texture Mosaic or Collage

Proved any of the following: seeds, pipe cleaners, fabrics, cotton balls, tin foil, wax paper, denim, springs, feathers, carpet, grass, etc. The children can then use glue to make a texture mosaic or collage on some paper.

Stick Count Song

Point out the sound made from the texture of rhythm sticks. Point out the bumps and grooves and smooth parts that make the different sound. Pass out sticks to each child, chant the stick count song while tapping in beat in the various places chanted about:
When we say one, one, one,
Play on your thumb,
When we say two, two, two,
Play on your shoe,
When we say three, three, three,
Play on your knee,
When we say four, four, four,
Play on the floor,
When we say five, five, five,
You do the jive,
When we say six, six, six,
Put down your sticks.

Clothing Textures

Talk about and/or read a book about the different types of clothing people wear from all over the world. Set out various types of cloth for the children to explore the textures. Provide sewing hoops, needles and thread and help the children learn how to sew on different types of fabric.

Wheat Grinding

Take some whole (unground) wheat kernels, let the children explore the texture before and after grinding the wheat. If possible, grind some coarsely (like cracked wheat) and some fine (like flour) and let them feel the difference.

Squishy & Slimy

Let the children play with oobleck, playdough, slime, etc., exploring the squishy or slimy textures.

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Gritty Painting

Add salt or sand to paint and let the children observe the difference in texture as they paint and after their paintings dry.

Texture Pretend Play Ideas

Set up any of the following in your dramatic play area:
Bakery (baking utensils, bowls, pans, pretend oven, signs, recipes);
Hair Salon (hair tools, chair, mirror, cape);
Fabric Store (racks with different fabrics, measuring tapes, cash register);
Safari (pretend animals, binoculars, play jeep, cameras, safari clothes)

Walking on Textures

Gather several different texture items and let your children walk on them, put on some music and let them dance on the textures too.

Texture Box

Set out a texture box filled with items that have distinct textures for children to explore and describe.

Squishy Balloons

Fill balloons with flour and tie them off. Let the children squish them and explore the texture.

Texture Journal Pages

Read a book about textures then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "What is something that feels funny to you?" or “Why does sand paper feel rough?” Record the children's responses and let them draw a picture to go along with their response.

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

Crunchy or Pureed?

Get a few common snacks (carrots, fruits, etc.) and their baby food equivalents. Let the kids try them and compare their texture and how that affects the taste.

Texture Field Trip Ideas

Ideas to learn about textures on a field trip:
Bakery- textures of the types of bread before and after baking;
Hair Salon-textures of hair (curly, straight, crispy, stiff, soft, wet, dry, etc.);
Fabric Store- fabric textures;
Zoo- talk about and feel different textures of animal coverings

Texture Opposites

You can create a texture board of opposites. Example: smooth fabric and rough sand paper, rock for hard & a cotton ball for soft, etc. Have the children help think of some other things that would be opposites of textures.

Texture Tracing

Provide different trays with salt, flour, cornmeal, etc. for kids to draw in with their fingers and experience the coarse textures.

Crystal Growing

Fill a jar half full with hot water. Stir in salt until no more will dissolve. Hang a thread above the solution, without letting it touch the bottom of the jar. Observe crystals each day with a magnifying glass as they grow. Gently explore the texture of the growing crystals.

Animal Coverings

Explore the textures of different animal coverings (fur, skin, scales, etc.)

Texture Lesson Plan

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

License Plate Match Up

Make up cards with license plates to be used in a matching game. Have your children match the plates by number, state, color, etc.

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

Cinnamon Wheels (Rolls)

Make a bread dough or buy a tube of biscuits from the store to use. Let the children help roll them out flat and then into spirals/wheels and top with cinnamon and sugar. Bake and eat. Delicious!

Here is our favorite recipe to use:

Cinnamon Rolls

•2 cups milk
•1 cup butter
•3/4 cup sugar
•4 eggs
•2 Tbs of yeast
•1 tsp salt
•1 Tbs sugar
•2 Tbs vanilla
•1/2 cup warm water
•1 Tbs lemon extract
•Approximately 8 cups flour

Scald Milk. Combine yeast, water, sugar. Add butter, sugar, salt, eggs and milk (after milk has cooled). Add remaining ingredients. Makes a sticky dough, not stiff. Let rise until double, covered. Punch down. Roll out into a long rectangle. Spread with either a cinnamon mixture (brown sugar, softened butter and cinnamon stirred together) and top with raisins and chopped pecans, or spread it with and orange mixture (white sugar, butter and grated orange peel). Roll up into a spiral. Use string to cut into individual rolls. Place on a greased cookie sheet, cover and let rise until double. Bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes.

Mechanic Shop

Visit a mechanic shop and see the cars lifted up high, maybe watch them rotate the tires or do some other repair.

Wheels Marks

Let the children play with playdough and various types of wheels.

Car Ramps

Make several ramps of different heights for your children to drive toy cars down (blocks and boards work well). Ask them which one makes the cars go faster. See if they can tell you why. If not tell them why.

Washing Cars

Let the children help wash a real car or toy cars. Talk about how we take care of our cars and keep them clean.

Car Tracks

Provide your children with paper and paint, and let them drive their cars in the paint and on the papers. Talk about the wheel tracks.

Car Trip Play

Set up the dramatic play area for the children to pretend they are going on a Car Trip using any of the following props: car (a box or small chairs), map, pretend snacks, guide books, pictures, car games to play, traffic & street signs, etc.

Cars Outside

Outside place bikes and wagons and gas pump (box & hoses) for the kids to drive "cars".

License Plates

Find a book about license plates or pictures of license plates from different countries and/or states. Using a map, show where each license plate is from. Discuss why we use license plates.

Cars Journal Page

Read a book about different types of cars then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "If you built a car, what kind of car would you build?" 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.

Old MacDonald Had a Car

(A Variation from the song- Old MacDonald Had Farm)

Old MacDonald Had a Car
On his car there was a horn
With a beep, beep here
And a beep, beep there
Here a beep, There a beep
Everywhere a beep, beep
Old MacDonald Had a Car

Repeat with any of the following verse ideas:
Old MacDonald Had a Car.....on his car there were some tires... with a spin, spin...
Old MacDonald Had a Car.....on his car there was a steering wheel... with a turn, turn...
Old MacDonald Had a Car.....on his car there was a window... with a up, down...
Old MacDonald Had a Car.....on his car there was a motor... with a vroom, vroom...
Old MacDonald Had a Car.....on his car there were some wipers... with a swish, swish...
Old MacDonald Had a Car.....on his car there was a head light... with a flash, flash...
Old MacDonald Had a Car.....on his car there was a turning signal... with a blink, blink...

License Plates Rubbings

Let the children do crayon rubbings with paper over different license plates.


Invite a Taxi driver to visit and show the different features of a taxi.

Sand & Cars

In the sensory table place sand & cars for the children to explore.

Car Parts Magnified

Provide car parts & magnifying glasses for the children to explore.

Cars Lesson Plan

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ocean Field Trip Ideas

Take a field trip to the aquarium, the beach or go on a boat ride on the ocean. Talk about the water, waves, sand and all the living things in and by the water.

At the Aquarium:

On the Beach:

Finding a sponge on the beach

Finding several creatures during the lowest tide of the year

Exploring tide pools

Watching whales

On a ferry ride, watching boats, waves, water and animals in the ocean:

Exploring Seashells

Place several shells and sand along with a magnifying glass in an area of your classroom. Your children will love getting to see the patterns and makeup of these items.

Little Oceans

The children can make little oceans by placing sand, rocks, shells, plastic ocean animals, etc. with blue salty water in baby food jars. Glue the lids shut to prevent spills.

Slippery Fish

Slippery fish, slippery fish, sliding through the water,
Slippery fish, slippery fish, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It’s been eaten by an …

Octopus, octopus, squiggling in the water
Octopus, octopus, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It’s been eaten by a …

Tuna fish, tuna fish, splashing in the water,
Tuna fish, tuna fish, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It’s been eaten by a …

Great white shark, great white shark, lurking in the water,
Great white shark, great white shark, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It’s been eaten by a …

Humongous whale, humongous whale, spouting in the water,
Humongous whale, humongous whale,
Gulp! … Gulp! … Gulp! … BURP!
Pardon me!

Our favorite version is called “Octopus” by Charlotte Diamond (You can listen to a clip or buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Octopus/dp/B000QMQHIG).
Click on the image to view and/or print.

Searching for Shark Teeth and Seashells

Put several shark teeth or seashells (fake or real) in your sand table. Let your children sift through the sand and find the teeth shells.

Shark Tag

Have one (or several children) be the shark. The rest of your children must try to cross the ocean (a set space that you specify) and not get eaten (tagged) by the shark. If they get caught then they join the shark to try to catch more fish. Keep playing until everyone has a chance to start as the shark.

We all live in a... Submarine

Build a submarine by attaching several boxes and making small doors for your children to go between them. Provide clothing and equipment for them to pretend to scuba dive outside the submarine too.

Daddy's biking clothes, a backpack and some
ski goggles transformed my son into a scuba diver.
It's amazing what the imagination of a child can create!

Seaweed & Fish Tasting

Buy different types of seaweed (health food or ethnic grocery store) and fish for your children to taste a small portion of each type. Encourage them talk about which types they like the most and least.

My Own Ocean

Kids can paint wax paper like the sea (blue & green). Then they can draw and cut out fish to stick on the sea.

Ocean Habitat Experiment

Talk about the different habitats and animals in the ocean, and how some animals live near the top of the ocean in warmer water (fish, etc), others live lower in cooler water (whales, etc). Do a water temperature experiment, to see how the cold water sinks. Fill a large container with warm water. Fill a small bottle with cold water and add some blue food coloring. Cover the mouth of the bottle and lower it sideways into the large container. Let it go and watch as the cold water sinks and stays at the bottom.
You can also create a mural of ocean habitats, using the following printouts from http://www.learningpage.com:

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