Monday, May 9, 2016

Nursery Rhymes

Nursery Rhymes are one of my all time favorite things to teach preschoolers about. There are just so many fun activities and art projects to do. Also, kids love nursery rhymes because they are short and easy to learn repeat.  I have assigned myself this theme every year that I can.

For our starter activity we looked for Miss Muffet's spiders. I found this super cute idea at Preschool Education:Nursery Rhyme Activities. Basically, have two large, one filled with oatmeal. Then you hide a few small spiders in the dry oatmeal. I used Halloween ring spiders that I had on hand. Have the children spoon through the oatmeal and find the spiders. As they find them they transfer them to the empty bowl. I've done this for multiple years and all of the preschool kids have loved it. We let them each take turns. This is a great activity for hand to eye coordination.

We made Hickory Dickory Dock clocks. I have done this before. You can see here: Nursery Rhymes

I have the shapes precut, and then give the kids a bowl full of foam sticker numbers. I put the clock on the table for reference, Their clocks are not usually symmetrical, and often have some upside down numbers, but that's okay. They are just learning concepts of telling time, just recognizing  numbers is a great start for 3s.

For movement time we played Jack Be Nimble
We made simple "candles" with empty toilet paper tubes, a precut flame, and a rectangle in the color of their choice. Wrap the colored rectangle around the tube and tape or glue. Then glue or tape the flame inside the tube, Then  we would say the rhyme, but insert the child's name, 
"Mr. A. be nimble
Mr. A. be quick
Mr. A jumped over the candlestick.
The kids love jumping over in different ways, and showing off their skills. This is a great coordination activity. My boys played with their candles for days after. 

For snack of course we made muffins. I usually prefer not to use box mixes of anything, but box mixes are much quicker, and I wanted to utilize my time so we had time for all the activities planned. I had all ingredients ready to pour in, and let each child add one thing. While mixing we sang,
"Oh do you know the Muffin Man
the muffin man
the muffin man
Oh do you know the Muffin Man who lives on Drury Lane?"
While the muffins cooked we did another activity and had fresh muffins when they came out.  
(I absolutely love my silicone muffin liners. The muffins almost always come out cleanly and they are reusable as well.)

For music time we made Little Boy Blue horns. These required some help, but are super simple. Give each child an empty toilet paper tube to decorate however they would like, crayons, markers, stickers, etc. Then have a square of wax paper slightly larger than the toilet paper tube end. Secure the wax paper with a rubber band. Use the horns like a kazoo, and of course make sure to call the cows and sheep back home.

We did some Humpty Dumpty art and then a fun Humpty Dumpty activity. We talked about why Humpty Dumpty could not be put back together. Some of the kids guessed that they could put him back together. So I had each child sit on a stool with an egg. As we sang Humpty Dumpty the child waited for the cue of "fall" and dropped their egg into the pan. Then I had them look at the shell and see if they could put it back together. Some tried, but then realized that it was not possible. But how they loved this. Don't all kids love making messes, and getting to do so with mom/teacher permission is even better. There was very little mess on the sheet, it almost all made it into the pan.

We also made some Humpty Dumpty art. We just used plain white paper plates and construction paper strips for arms and legs. They attempted to accordian fold the limbs, but that is tricky for 3-4 year olds. We attached the legs with brads, so that they had some movement. I let them draw on a face. They were super proud of their work.

I had many more activities planned for this lesson, but the other girls in our class were sick and ended up not coming. Miss A. (my cousin's daughter) was being babysat at my house that week, so we added her in.  But I prepared less and kept it light and easy. But please check out my other lesson on Nursery Rhymes for more ideas and better photos. :)