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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Beach Play

Set up a pretend beach for the children to play in. Ideas for props: beach blankets, lawn chairs, towels, buckets, sunglasses, beach balls, sand toys, hats, snorkel & mask, magazines, books, an umbrella, shells, etc.

Foot Painting

Help each child take a turn food painting. They dip their feet in thick tempera paint and make prints by stepping on large pieces of paper, butcher or easel paper. Help them clean up with sponges and buckets of soapy water.

Kulfi (Indian Ice Cream)

1 quart (4 cups) milk
1/2 pint (1 cup) heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pistachio nuts
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 Tbs vanilla
2 drops red food coloring

Combine milk and heavy cream in a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat about 20 minutes, until thick. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into paper cups, half full. Freeze for 1 hour. It should have the same consistency as soft sherbet.

Bubble Solution

Make your own bubble solution by combining the following ingredients:
3/4 cup liquid soap
1/4 cup glycerin (you can find it at a drugstore)
2 quarts of water.

Place the solution in a shallow pan with bubble makers for the children to experiment with. Ideas for bubble makers: straws, funnels, plastic six pack holder, bent wire (check for no sharp edges), etc.

Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?

(Children’s Songbook, 245)
1. Oh, what do you do in the summertime
when all the world is green?
Do you fish i a stream,
or lazily dream
on the banks as the clouds go by?
Is that what you do?
So do I.

2. Oh, what do you do in the summertime
when all the world is green?
Do you swim in a pool,
to keep yourself cool,
or swing in a tree up high?
Is that what you do?
So do I.

3.Oh, what do you do in the summertime
when all the world is green?
Do you march in parades,
or drink lemonades,
or count all the stars in the sky?
Is that what you do?
So do I.

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Sand Shapes and Numbers

Using sand indoors or out, draw shapes and numbers in the sand and have children identify them. They can also try drawing the numerals, using your drawing as a guide.

Going On A Picnic

Go to a local park for a picnic. You can have the children help make the lunches to bring along. Play on the play equipment, if available, and/or bring balls, bubble, kites, bikes, scooters, helmets, etc.

Making Floats

Read a book or talk about summer holidays, parades and examples of some floats that are in them. Have children decorate trikes, scooters and wagons with crepe paper, streamers and balloons for Independence Day or any other summer holiday. Have them parade their floats around the school or neighborhood to celebrate.

Summer Sensory Ideas

Place any of the following in the sensory table: sand with toys or shells, colored sand and funnels, water with toy boats, small rocks and pebble, etc.

Summer Journal Pages

Read a book about summer then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "What do you like to do in the summer?" or “What are some things you want to do this summer?” Record the children's responses and let them draw a picture to go along with their response.

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

Juice Popsicles

Ingredients and Supplies needed:
pineapples juice
grape juice
cranapple juice
popsicle sticks,
small paper cups
Mix any combination of the juices, or just use the flavors individually. Fill paper cups 3/4 full of juice. Place in the freezer. Insert popsicle sticks when the juice begins to freeze a little. When the popsicles are frozen, peel away the cups and enjoy.

Sidewalk Chalk

Place sidewalk chalk outside in containers. Let the children use their imagination to draw things on the sidewalks and other approved surfaces (fences, etc.).

Balloon Racket Ball

Provide rackets or hangers (bent like a diamond with a handle and taped with nylons over the diamond shape), balloons for the children to play balloon racket ball. The purpose is to try to keep the balloon from hitting the ground. Talk about standing away from other people so they don't accidentally hit somebody else with the racket.

Pretend Picnic

Set up a pretend picnic for the children to play with in the dramatic play area. Ideas for props: blanket, basket, pretend food, small cooler, paper plates and cups, napkins, plastic silverware, etc. Talk about how summer is a great time to go on a picnic because of the warm, sunny weather.

Summer Lesson Plan

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sports We Play

Talk to the children about the different types of sports that are participated in and played in the area. Ask them what types of sports they have tried and which ones they enjoy. They can also bring in pictures of themselves participating in a certain sport and you can display them.
If there are any school or professional sports teams in the area, you can talk to them about the sport, facility and spectators.

Boating or Rowing




Water-skiing or wake-boarding




Ice skating

Sports Obstacle Course

Set up a sports obstacle course using different types of sports, games or physical activities. Ideas could include: riding a bike or trike; bouncing, throwing, hitting or kicking a ball; crawling under, through, or over obstacles; running; jumping over; balancing along; pretending to swim or skate; etc.

Sports Balls

Explore several different types of balls with the children: football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, golf, etc. Observe the way the different balls move if you bounce them, throw them, kick them, hit them with a bat, etc. Discuss why each type of ball is used to play different games.

Sport Match

Use the attached document or cut out several pictures of sports balls or equipment as well as athletes from a magazine. Have your children match the balls or equipment with the athlete that plays it.

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

Exploring the Inside of Baseball

Cut off the cover of a baseball and let your children explore the inside of a baseball. You can also do this for soccer and footballs.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Take me out to the ball game.
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some Peanuts and Crackerjack
I don't care if I never get back.
Oh it's root, root, root for the home team.
If they don't win its a shame.
For it's 1, 2, 3 strikes you're out.
At the old ball game.

Sports Visit

Visit a sports stadium or field, a tennis court, a health or fitness club, a swimming pool, or a sports facility at a local high school or college. Learn more about what types of sports are played there and the equipment and facilities used to play them.

Sports Charades

Let the children dramatize various sports without using any noise, just actions (football, baseball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, running, golf, lacrosse, biking, hiking, skating, rowing, swimming, dancing, gymnastics, skiing, etc) while the others guess the sport being portrayed. Let each child have at least one turn acting out a sport.

Cheese Ball

Blend 8 ounces of cream cheese (softened),
1 stick of butter (softened),
2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
& 1/2 package of onion soup mix (such as Lypton's)
or use the following instead of the soup mix package, I found the recipe here:
4 tsp. dry minced onion
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. beef bouillon or 4 cubes
1/8 tsp. celery salt.

Let the children add & mix, then give each one a portion to shape into a ball. The balls can be rolled in nuts & served with crackers or pretzels.

Sports Journal Page

Read a book about different types of sports then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "What types of sports to you enjoy playing? 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.

Sports Pretend

Provide different types of sports uniforms and equipment for the children to dress up and explore: baseball (caps, balls, uniforms, mitts, masks, etc.), football (pads, uniforms, helmets, balls), skiing (boots, ski, warm clothing), empty water bottles, score boards, cameras, etc.

Sport Shoe Sole Rubbings

Collect different types of sports shoes. Let the children put paper over the soles of the shoes and rub on it with crayons. Compare the different patterns made from the different types of shoe sole rubbings.

Sports Lesson Plan

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Our Own Grocery Store

Set up a pretend play grocery store with any of the following: items displaying the prices, sales receipts, a cash register with play money, boxes bags, shopping baskets and/or carts, signs (see attached signs below), etc. Be sure to display a lot of numbers in the store.

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

Numbers and Money

Talk about money & how it is used for trading. Explain that when something is more valued you pay more, less you pay less, etc. Talk about how prices are displayed when you go to a store. Then show different coins & bills, point out the numerals and explain their values.

Our Body Numbers

Measure and weigh the children and then make a height/weight chart in the classroom. Update your chart every few months. Help the children read the numerals that represent their weight and height.

Numbers and Weight

Place a scale with a variety of objects for the children to measure with the scale and note the differences in weight. Point out the numerals and explain what they mean (smaller numbers= lighter, larger numbers= heavier).

Visiting Numbers Around Us

Visit a grocery store, bank, clock shop, etc. Point out the usage of numbers in money, time, etc, and inform the guide that you are learning about numbers so he/she can point them out as well.

We arranged a field trip trough Field Trip Factory (http://www.fieldtripfactory.com/trip-takers/preschool) to our local grocery store. It was super easy to arrange. We had a very imformative and fun trip.

Checking out the meat department

Looking at lobsters

Exploring and learning about the produce

We even got to have a taste of their watermelon

Watching cake decorating in the bakery

Sets of Markers

Make marker sets by binding two colors of markers together with a rubber band. Then let the children explore drawing with the different sets of markers. Point out that the markers are "pairs" of markers.

Numbers in Cooking, Peanut Butter Treats

You can make anything that includes numbers by counting and/or measuring.
Here is a fun suggestion:

Peanut Butter Treats

1/4 c butter
40 marshmallows
1/4 peanut butter
5 c rice crispies
1 c raisins
Melt butter over low heat in a saucepan. Add marshmallows and melt, while stirring. Add peanut butter & stir. Add cereal & raisins & stir. Press mixture into greased pan. Let them cool. Cut into bars before serving.

Hickory Dikcory Doc Numbers

Hickory dickory doc,
The mouse ran up the clock,
The clock struck one
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, doc.

Additional verse ideas: two-mouse said boo, three-mouse went whee, etc.

Use a clock (real or cardboard) to show the different numerals representing the time during the song.

Sorting, Counting & Exploring in Numbers

Let the children explore, sort, count, etc. several different types of small items or manipulatives (beans, buttons, beads, shells, toothpicks, pennies/coins, marbles, paper clips).
BE ALERT FOR CHOKING HAZARDS, especially if there are children under the age of 3-4 years old!!

Numbers Journal Pages

Read a book about numbers and counting then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "What number can you count to?" or “Where can you spy some numbers? Which numbers do you see?” Record the children's responses and let them draw a picture to go along with their response.

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

Following the Number Leader

Play follow the leader (one person is the leader and chooses an action to do, while the others copy their action). In the directions, tell the leader to choose and name the number of times to do somethings (1 jump, 2 hops, 3 leaps, 4 tip toe steps, etc.) Let the children take turns being the number leader.

Telephone Numbers

Prepare a classroom telephone book with children's names and phone numbers. Provide play phones for the children to use to practice dialing their phone number and those of friends, family and even emergency numbers (911).

Temperature and Thermometers

Place a thermometer outside and let the children record the temperature, then bring the thermometer inside and check the difference. Point out the numerals & explain what they mean (colder and warmer).

Numbers Lesson Plan

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Plant & Creature Hunt

Have the children explore the dirt with rakes, hoes, shovels and their hands to find out how many different plants, insects and other creatures they can discover that live in the dirt. Help them keep a special lookout for worms.

Digging in the dirt and mud

Slugs are so fun!

We love worms!

Worm Farms

Place dirt in a glass jar and add worms. Place lettuce, corn or cereal on top of soil. Tape construction paper around the outside of the jar (we used black). Periodically remove the paper temporarily to show the children the tunnels the worms made. Keep soil moist, but not wet.

Inchworm Measuring

Read "Inch by Inch" by Leo Lionni to the children and talk about inchworms and measuring things in inches. Make several different inchworms (inch long pieces) of felt, pipe cleaners, paper, etc. Let the children explore measuring how tall or big things are by inches with the inchworms.
Link to the book online: http://www.amazon.com/Inch-Leo-Lionni/dp/0688132839

Worm Painting

Have children use yarn or plastic worms as their paint brush. Provide paper on paint trays, paint, and smocks. We thought it was fun to use brown paint on green paper.

Worms in Mud

Make chocolate pudding together (see recipe below) and serve with gummy worms.


Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a saucepan, stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Place over medium heat, and stir in milk. Bring to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla. Let cool briefly, and serve warm, or chill in refrigerator until serving.

We hope you have as much fun and enjoy your worms and mud as much as we did! Yummy!