Saturday, September 19, 2015

Letter E

The Letter E



(Just a side note, I focused on each letter taught for two days. Uppercase the first day, and lowercase the second day, so that is why there is sometimes lots of activities for each letter. Feel free to pick and choose according to your child's attention span.)

As our beginning filler activity we had an egg match. I just used some of my scrapbook paper and cut some eggs, and then I cut them in half with different edges. I did not use decorative edged scissors, because I think those are more difficult for three year olds to match. I just cut some wavy, jagged, bumpy, zig zag, etc. 
 


To introduce our letter of the week I made E eggs.
I found the idea at Preschool Express. Basically find small items that start with E and place them into Easter eggs. I let the children take turns choosing an egg. They got to open it, tell us what it was, and what letter it started with. If you cannot find many e objects, just print or draw pictures.

For a tactile E we glued well washed egg shells onto a construction paper E. 


We also made E's out of popsicle sticks and glued them onto construction paper.

We made E pictures to put in envelopes. I printed an upper and lower case E on paper, and then printed the picture strip from First School. I let the kids cut and color them, and then we placed them in an envelope. I told them they could mail them to a grandparent or friend. 




We made Elmo! 
I found an online coloring page of Elmo and printed and cut it out. Then traced it onto red paper. I then cut out the eyes, pupils, noses, and mouths in their colors. I let the kids glue them together how they wanted with a picture for reference if that wanted. And then had them tear red paper to make Elmo look furry. Tearing paper is great for small motor skills. Some kids made their Elmos very furry, some less furry. But they turned out adorable! 
 

 I found some cute E songs at Preschool Education
This has been my preschoolers favorite for years!

An elephant went out to play
On a spider web one day
He (she) was having so much fun
He (she) invited another one 
Come on (name)

For movement we had an egg toss. We placed an empty (another E word!) egg carton on the floor and had the kids toss the empty easter eggs into it. 

We also had E exercises. I wrote different exercises on slips of paper, such as run across the room, or 5 jumping jacks, nothing too complicated or tricky (jumping jacks are tricky for kids, but so entertaining to watch them try to figure it out!), and let them take turns choosing and then they all did the exercises. (I cannot find where I got this idea from)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Letter C

The Letter C




It is great to have a filler activity while you are waiting for all your students to arrive. Our filler activity for C was "cookie cutter match". 
I traced cookie cutters onto blank file folders. Trace with a bold line marker. I had one for each child, and each folder had 6-8 cookies traced on it. Then I placed all cookie cutters in the middle of the table and they had to find their matches. If they finish quickly, have them trade and match again. 



To introduce our letter of the week and its sound I made a "C box". We used a shoe box, but you could use a bag, box, bowl, whatever works. I had my boys help me find things that started with that letter, little toys or household items: cat, car, camera, can, card, candle, corn, carrot, comb, cookies, cotton, etc. I let each child have a turn to choose one item, tell the class what it is, and then we emphasize the sound, "cuh, cuh car", etc. Sometimes you need to specify that this is just for the game, that they don't get to take the toys home. ha ha!


For art we painted with cream, shaving cream. 
I got a cheap bottle (about .50-.75 at walmart, etc) and sprayed a small pile in front of each child, and let them have at it.  I asked them to draw Cs in the cream. They loved it. I think they could have played in cream for the whole two hours had I let them. My table was very clean after. After they made a few Cs, they were free to make whatever cream art they wanted. 




We also made Chocolate Chip Cookie C's.
 I cut letter Cs out of manila construction paper, and made a cookie look to it with bumps. Then I gave them hole punch holes in chocolate brown. They got to glue the chips onto their cookie C's. Some glued a lot of chips, some hardly any. This was a great activity for small motor skills.


We also did "cloud art". (Idea found at EverythingPreschool). We talked about how you can see fun shapes and objects in clouds.  Then I squirted white paint into a folded paper, and squished it. Then we opened it to see what it was inside, and named what it was. I wrote it on the papers for the parents to see their child's imagination at work. 

We did a little cleaning too. Don't you just love when kids are at the age that they love to clean? I used some of our extra brown hole punches and let them vacuum with a smaller vacuum we have. They each needed a turn, so I needed a lot of things for them to vacuum. 



We did a little white glove test too.


I made a letter C file folder game with C cookies. 



To play as a group I printed onto card stock and cut out. The "cookies" were placed in a toy cookie jar, and I let the children take turns removing one cookie and finding its match on the folder. I focused only on the hard C sound for my game. These are my hand drawn pictures, so some of them aren't very pretty. Please feel free to print them and use for yourself. I also found a cookie jar outline online and enlarged to a full page. I printed two of each cookie and made it a matching game, gluing one of each cookie onto the cookie jars. 



I love the printables at First-School. They have them for letters, numbers, themes, etc. They have coloring pages, booklets, worksheets, etc. I used the C items for their letter C page, and printed an outline of an upper and lower case C. I had the kids cut out the 5 items (pretty easy, straight lines) and glue them onto their Cs.







  And then we just did some simple cutting fun. Kids from 3-5 are usually thrilled that they finally get to use scissors. Give them some papers and let them cut away. You can have them glue all their scraps on a large letter C after, or just let them cut things into smithereens. I do try to stress how scissors are only for paper, and to always check with mom or dad before cutting anything. 


For snacks we had:
cookies, carrots, cucumbers

and 
crackers, Cap'n Crunch (Peanut Butter, always check for allergies) and carrots



For our letter C movements we had our large letter C on the floor in painters tape. 
On our C we moved like cars, cats, pretended to pick and eat carrots, crawled, copied, and so on. 


For music we sang C is for Cookie by Cookie Monster and also did the chant, "Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar."

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

All About Me

First we did some tactile names. Kids at this age usually love seeing their name, or if they don't recognize it yet, it is a great time to start learning it. I printed their names on card stock and made it an outline. Then I gave them all kinds of things to glue on to their name; sequins, pasta, popsicle sticks, foam stickers, etc. I don't have any photos, since that would show their names.


We made All About Me books. I modified ours a bit from this, but we found the idea here at http://www.preschooleducation.com/


We also played "Hide the Child". (Idea found here). We had one child leave the room. Then you have another child sit in the center of the room and cover them with a blanket. Then bring the first child back into the room and guess who is under the blanket. Even with only four students, the kids love this game. They all want a turn to go out, and a turn to be under the blanket. It seems so simple, but they could have kept playing for a long time. 


We played "Roll the Ball" - name game. We found this game at Preschool Express. She has wonderful ideas for all things preschool!


For our art projects we made very cute train "I can" pages. We read The Little Engine that Could. Then I found a train shape and cut it out. I let them glue it on, along with steam clouds. Inside the cloud I wrote, "I think I can ______" and we talked about things that are hard to do that they could work on. One of my little guys said he could "clean his own room". 

I also love doing a preschool time capsule. I printed some questions and asked the kids, and then kept it until the last day and filled it in again to see how their answers had changed. Things like, favorite food, show, thing to do, friends, etc. We also weighed and measured them.


Letter A


Look at my cute boys! This photo is over two years old now, but this was their first day of preschool. One of the awesome things about preschool at home, is that it doesnt require shoes. One less thing for this momma to find. Shoes always seem to be lost around here. :)





I try to have letter art. So I will cut out the letter of the week out of construction paper, and then decorate it with something that starts with that letter. For A we did it a little bit different. I traced their arms on brown paper for the trunk of a tree (or you can dip in paint) and then I had precut tree top shapes in green. I then provided letter A stamps (you can glue foam letters onto a milk cap to make a stamp if you don't have some) and we stamped red As onto our apple trees. (I really thought I had a photo of it, but cannot seem to find it yet)

We had some fun snacks. The first day we had apples and apple juice. 


The second day we had ants on a log (celery) and ants on a raft (graham cracker). I have found many kids do not like raisins (one of my twins included), plus raisins are very big ants. Chocolate sprinkles are just right for ants. We adhered with peanut butter, because I knew none of my class had peanut allergies. You could use frosting, sunflower butter, etc. 


Yum!

Music and Movement are so important for preschoolers. I can get them to do table work so much easier when we have movement and music in between things. I always make the letter of week in tape on my floor. We did uppercase A on Tuesday, and lowercase a on Thursday. We always have "A movement" and you can tell from the photo below, they were moving! I just pick things that start with A, "move like an ant" "pretend you are picking apples", etc.




For music we sang 
5 Monkeys swinging in a tree
Teasing Mr. Alligator
Can't catch me, can't catch me
(Quietly) Along comes Mr. Alligator quiet as can be
(loudly) SNAPPED that monkey right out of that tree
(countdown to zero alligators)


My kids all LOVE that poem/song

We ended with reading fun letter A books. I often just read things from our home, but going to the library is always great for exposure to new authors and fun books.

Some we read were Arthur by Marc Brown
Imogene's Antlers by David Small




Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pet Rocks

My kids love rocks, as a kid I loved rocks. We have run rocks through the washing machine, stubbed toes on them, compiled them, etc. Last week while my daughter was at school my son was gathering his rocks. Thankfully they usually let me put them on the deck in the back. I decided after we picked up his sister we would make pet rocks.

We live close to a few fields, which are prime for rocks (who am I kidding, our yard is prime rock hunting, but its more fun not in your yard!). The weather was nice, a bit breezy, but warm. We scouted out all kinds of rocks, and my pockets and their hands were loaded. Came home, put on the paint shirts and got out the acrylic paints. The kids were busy for at least an hour.




This is a simple little craft, and this post is old, old old. I started in six years ago! How fun to see my not so little kids (ten and twelve now) when they were much smaller! But I recently did the same project with my twins! (Though I cannot find the photos). 


Handy Dandy Notebook Bag

I just realized I never posted these. Unfortunately I did not take good step by step photos. These bags went along with my twins Halloween costumes when they were almost 2 (Blue and Steve)

I got the idea from Utah County Mom. She has great instructions. I used a full sheet of green for each side.
And a thick yellow strip in the middle (I think mine was about 3 inches, but I wish I would have done it wider, it was sort of hard to get candy in there). I made a handle out of more green felt.

Basically you glue the green sides onto the thick yellow strip (which makes it thinner in the end). And then hot glue the handle on.

I found a Thinking Chair photo from Google and printed it out, and traced the outline onto felt. (I may even have had my sweet artist daughter) free hand it, I cannot remember!). I know I had my daughter make the "clue".

Then I hot glued the clue on one side of the bag, and the thinking chair on the other.

The spiral notebook part was trickier. I had wanted to do a coil like you see on the foam visors, but I could not find any of the visors. I was able to find some plastic slinky like coils in the party section of a store, and used those. I hot glued it onto the top of the bag, but it kept folding in on itself so you could not see the coil. To make it stiffer I hot-glued a pencil along the top of the bag, through the spiral. It didn't look awesome, but  it wasn't terrible either.

Then to make the giant green crayon! This was a pain too! In the end, I rolled up a green craft foam sheet cut to size. Then we made a smaller piece of black rolled up to make the end of the crayon. Then I rolled some to make a point and glued it onto it. (That piece was almost a circle with a slit before gluing). And of course we added dark green craft foam strips. Then glued it into the spiral. That was the tricky part, making it thin enough to fit in there. It took a few runs, even with measuring!

But a year and a half later the bags are still in good repair and have received their fair share of play. :) And they went quite nicely with their costumes!



You can find a few more Blue's Clue's things here. There are some things I have done for Blue's Clues Birthday parties. :) And there is also my simple Steve shirt as well.