Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Time Environment: Construction Paper Flowers

This is a fun thing that I try to do throughout the year.

We like to hang seasonal based decorations from the doorways of the playroom.
It is a simple, if not time-consuming project.
This particular project has more for the Mama than the kids to prepare and do, but it is well worth the time, because it really lends to the kids being aware of the seasons and connects them with nature.

Some how or another I never got the snowflakes up, so we still had dried leaves hanging up, until we finished this project!

Construction paper of various colors
Markers & crayons
Two thumbtacks per doorway

We started off by talking about, and looking through, pictures of some of our nature finding walks last spring and summer. We talked about which were our favorite colors and where we would go first this year when things started to pop up.

I let Sophia pick most of the colors, but Roscoe wanted to pick one and I let him. He is often overwhelmed by all the discussion and choices, so I try to have age appropriate toys out in a separate area for him to go back and forth between us and his own independent play.

This particular day he was rocking the drums and the glockenspiel. I think he has a good ear. Sometimes he plays and it feel like my eardrums just might be cracking..... but more often he will play a soft and beautiful little tune or melody. He is pretty little to play this way, I think.. but of course I LOVE it!! : )

Anyway, after they picked out the colors I let them color with crayons and markers whatever they wanted on both sides of the paper.

That's it for the munchkins for a little bit. I then made a flower stencil on a piece of cereal box.

{Have I mentioned that I save everything? My husband thinks I am going to have serious issues when I get older... like crazy cat hoarder woman crazy... I think not.. but I do HATE waste... so I try to re-use as many things as I can!}

I traced four flowers onto every paper.
Next I made a circle stencil and made two smallish yellow circles for each flower.

I tried to have Sophia help me glue.. but it became a mess because although it was non-toxic glue... I still didn't want Roscoe eating it... so use your own discretion there! : P

Once you glue the centers onto the flowers, you just have to hang them from your"clothesline"across the doorway.

There you go... instant(sort of) addition to the seasonal environment that your kids helped make. I know my kids LOVE seeing their own stuff up on the walls... or hanging from them! : )

And onto another note about how I can't throw anything away... whenever we make things that get cut out from construction paper, I save all the scraps in a big Ziploc bag. When I have some extra time, I will go through and cut the scraps into various size and shaped confetti. This confetti is perfect for little people to use in various projects...such as filling in shapes for shape recognition), large letters for letter recognition, and so forth. If you are feeling particularly patient it is also great to let the kids practice cutting with scissors, which is good for hand eye coordination and also a stepping stone for learning to write. They can get a whole mess of scrap paper and cut over a shoe box. I find this one a little difficult because Roscoe wants to be able to use the scissors REALLY badly.. but he doesn't quite have the coordination to do it... so to save my sanity I usually do it myself! : )

Well, that's it for now. I am headed into a time where I might not be able to post for a little while, but I hope to come and throw something up as often as I can. So keep checking in! : )

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Story Time: The Icky Sticky Anteater

This is the first of what I am hoping will be a weekly installment.

My kids LOVE it when I read them books.
This particular book was read to my kiddos 12 times today (and sadly I am not exaggerating).
I am going to record myself reading these books, so that I can show it to the kids every once in awhile instead of reading it AGAIN!!
I won't use them all the time, but honestly after about 5 times how into can you really get? : )

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Letter A -Weekly Themed Activities

Our first letter of the week will be : A

I have put a large letter A on (our horribly ugly, I know) dining room floor, which also happens to be the kids play room(we eat in the kitchen!) with masking tape. The kids noticed it right away, and it is big enough that they can walk inside of it, as well as trace it with their fingers. We talk about it often, and although Sophia doesn't recognize the letter yet, I think that it is a fun way to expose her to one particular letter. And Roscoe makes sounds as he walks around it too! : )

I'm not really sure how I will end up formatting these ideas right now. Please bear with me as I figure this out! : )


The Ants Go Marching -lyrics


Apple Printing(Art)
Apple Tree-
take picture of tree right now.
what month is it?
what will the tree look like next month?


How many seeds are inside the apple?(while prepping for printing)
Shape bocks- copy cat

Large Motor:

Sailor Song(demo coming!)
Follow the Leader
Bicycle Journey across the City

Small Motor:

Coloring with crayons and markers
Practicing with scissors(Sophia only!)
Tracing Spirals, with fingers


Apple printing

Book of the week:

The Icky Sticky Anteater


Applesauce- make applesauce with wee ones


Construction Paper Flowers, decorated by the bambinos, honging in entry/doorways.

Background theme: SPRING!!!!

ok, I will have to come back and go into more detail at a later post.
I think that I need to get some sleep! ; )

WELCOME! An introduction to my new blog


This is a new venture for me in blogland, headed in a different direction, from my other blog.

The point of this blog is to have an arena to share and get feedback on preschool ideas for my kids.

I have a three year old and a one year old at home with me, during the day. There is also a 14 year old who was the original "test subject" to my goofy ways. She's turning out pretty good so far, so I figured that even though we are at home, as opposed to the daycare situation my eldest daughter and I were in, now would be a good time to pull out the old memory files.

My plan at the onset of this is to publish my weekly lesson plans here. Now when I say lesson plan, I mean that in a fairly loose idea of the word. I have created a template for myself, but I am not quite sure how to put it up on my blog just yet... I'm working on learning some new things. The basic idea of having a lesson plan for me is to have a pool of ideas relating to a certain theme for a week, at a time. I will have no set time to do any of them, but would like to achieve most if not all of the activities with in a week's time period. I'd like to cover all the bases. I think having a checklist of sorts will help me to focus on areas that I might not automatically explore with the kids.

the categories involved will be :

  1. a letter of the week

  2. a book(or two) of the week

  3. songs

  4. gross motor activities

  5. small motor activities

  6. science

  7. math

  8. art

I know from working as a preschool teacher that I will usually be able to cover several categories with just one activity, but by having several ideas for each to choose from I will hopefully end up with a balanced set of learning activities.

Since this blog is only in it's very beginning stages, please bear with me. I am going to have to learn things along the way!

I welcome any comments, ideas, or thoughts, on not only my ideas, but any that you might want to share as well!

I hope that this works out, the way I see it in my head!

Welcome! and please come back again! : )