Fall Corn Sensory Table

The best part about this type of pouring table is to have the kids help rub the corn kernels off the cobs!  The action is great sensory and fine motor stimulation.  It also opens the door for a science lesson.

Best of all, the kids can play in it all they want afterward!  Add some pouring cups or other fun items for the season (some items were added to these tables due to the Halloween season coming up!)

Live webcam is great!

posted in: Science | 0

Whenever you are talking about animasl, see if you can find a live webcam for it!  The children in our class asked about Eagles, and the next day they were given the chance to watch a Bald Eagle sit on her nest of two eggs at a local zoo via a webcam.  You could do this just for fun, or take it a step further and color a picture of what you see.  Check back again each week to see if anything has changed.  Have the children observe, make predictions and draw pictures.  Gather it all into a journal.  This is an easy way to study animals in our environment.

Tops or bottoms: which part of the vegetable plant do we eat?

posted in: Cognitive, Literacy, Science | 0

Spring is here!

During our unit on life cycles, Susan helped the kids make a wonderful connection to a book by asking questions and drawing a picture.

First, read the book: “Tops and Bottoms” by Janet Stevens.  Its about a lazy bear and a busy rabbit who trades half of every crop with the bear.  The bear gets to pick if he wants the “tops or bottoms” of each crop, and the rabbit sneakily choses the plants that will give him the best results.

After reading Susan asked the kids to name some of the vegetables that were shared in the book.  She drew a line to represent the soil level, and would then draw the vegetables as they named them.  We would then ask the children which part of the plant we eat.  It was fun to see them start to understand that sometimes we eat the roots, sometimes the stem, and sometimes the leaves or tops of the vegetable plants.

STEM fun in preschool!

posted in: Cognitive, Science | 0

March is often a month schools celebrate reading-espescially since Dr. Suess has his birthday in March!  We have been enjoying some Dr. Suess books in our class, and as part of that, Susan put the children in groups of 2 or 3, gave them a couple sizes of cups and paper, and gave them the instruction of making a “Cat in the Hat” hat.  We encouraged them to work together to see how tall they could make the hat.  It was very fun to see them work at trying to figure out how to do this.  Soon, one student figured out that placing the paper on the big cup made it possible to place a smaller cup on top.  Great cognitive practice, and a wonderful STEM activity!

 

Community Map made by Preschoolers

posted in: Art/Creative, Cognitive, Science | 0

What made this map so fun for the preschoolers is that they decided exactly how to design it!  Using a large piece of paper-big enough for all the kids to draw on, the teacher takes a marker in hand, and starts at the bottom middle.  “We are making the roads” she says, “Which direction do you want the road to go?”  If you look closely at the picture, you’ll see how the kids really started to have some fun with it!  Up and down, right and left, zigzag, straight, and even traffic circles were asked for!  Once the roads were all connected, the children got to draw all the other features of a community, including people, buildings, plants, vehicles, and even a big fire for the firefighters to put out!

Ice Sensory Table, Idea #6

posted in: Science, Sensory | 0

While learning about the letter, “I’, we did some experiments with ice.  You can do many simple experiments with ice.  We decided to do one on testing how fast ice would melt if you put them in different situations, or placed different materials on them.  But one of our students came up with a different idea, so we went with that.  She wanted to test out how many ice cubes a dry paper towel could hold, verses a wet paper towel.

After doing this fun experiment, and documenting it, we placed ice cubes in the sensory bin, along with shovels and containers for exploring it.  The kids enjoyed it for that one day!

Best building “blocks”

These are amazing!  I was so happy to be introduced to these cool packing peanuts that were saved from the packaging boxes my preschool got from “Insect Lore”.  These starch-based peanuts will stick to each other, to paper, and anything really with only a little water!  We wet a paper-towel and the kids would just tap the packing peanut on the paper towel, and then build away.  They stick instantly, and do not fall apart easily.  For this instance, we asked them to build an “igloo” for the letter “i”, but you can do this with any activity!

 

Colors of Nature

One of my favorite things to do with children is to point out the colors all around them in nature.  A flower is rarely just one color.  A tree trunk is not just brown.  And my favorite are clouds – I love color in the clouds!

For this idea, go on a walk together outside.  Pick a flower or leaf.  (You could even do a rock, if you are studying them).  Bring it into class and have the children paint or color a flower on their own, or trace a template for them to color.  Make sure they add in all the colors to their drawing. Preschoolers often need encouragement to use more than one color.  This will help them see why.  You can use an activity like this for many different units of learning.  Add science facts if you like.

Acorn Study

posted in: Science | 0

I love that school usually starts in the Fall.  There are so many colors and changes in the environment and things to excite every one of your five senses! It’s nice to have an activity always out that the children can explore on their own.  This acorn tray is one such activity.  Place different kinds of acorns that are whole, and some that are in pieces.  Include a magnifying class for a closer look!

Pumpkin or Apple?

posted in: Art/Creative, Cognitive, Science | 0

I’m learning to love Venn Diagrams.  With the fall very much underway, we have done a lot of science and other activities related to apples and pumpkins.  We checked out the inside, the outside, and everything inbetween!  After carving a jack-o-lantern and doing some painting with apple cutouts, we made a venn diagram as a class.  What things about apples and pumpkins are the same?  Which are different?  This final activity of making a venn diagram helped tie all our learning together, and made the kids really think.