Friday, January 20, 2012

Bringing Outside In!

The weather outside is frightful....

Yep, it's just too darn cold to take the kids out in this midwest winter so we decided to bring the snow inside!


The girls used measuring cups to experiment with the snow but you could use plastic cups, shovels, small buckets, mini containers, the list is endless.  For my 21 month old the experience was all about feeling the snow, touching it with gloves and without gloves, and dumping it in and out.


For my 3 year old she also enjoyed the process of simply "playing" with the snow but for added stimulation I included these nifty little magnify glasses in her tray. She was able to put the snow in them and look through to see the magnified individual snowflakes. A great way to introduce the word magnify . We also talked about the word observe as I asked her what she observed in the magnify glass.


For more added fun I also gave the girls a spray bottle with red food coloring mixed with water. They had fun making the snow red!



Who says you have to freeze to enjoy the snow!!!
Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fun With Name Bags

Here's a way to incorporate letters and spelling in a fun relatable way for your child!

Materials needed: -Paper towel/toilet paper rolls
                               -Sandwich bags
                               -3x5 (or smaller) pictures of each family member and/or friends
                               -Thick black marker

I started off by cutting the paper towel rolls into about 2 inch circles.  I then wrote one letter on each circle spelling the name of each member.


Mallory helped put each picture in a bag. (Great one to one correspondence activity as well!) To start we included our immediate family and grandparents. Obviously you can do it any way you'd like and add pets, schoolmates, friends etc.



I chose to include uppercase letters only because it tends to be easier for younger children to learn uppercase first but there's different theories on this so again tailor it to your child's level and certainly for older children it makes sense to include both lowercase and uppercase.


The was a big hit and Mallory had fun spelling each family member's name. She would ask me what letter comes next and I showed her how the letters go from left to right.



*I am a firm believer that young children learn to write by being exposed to lots of FUN hands on writing experiences that are meaningful to their lives.  An example of this occurred during our little activity.

While we were putting together the family word bags Mallory saw that I was writing words on the tubes and wanted to do it as well! She wanted to model the writing she saw me doing and her writing had a purpose!  So much more powerful than sitting down with a worksheet!

She said "Mommy I'm making M's!"


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Story Extension Activity with a Leo Lionni Book

PTM Storyboard 2 Up VerticalHello and Happy New Year!!  I am so excited to begin the new year with some fresh and abundant ideas for this blog!  Thank you for coming along for the ride.  And as always, I love to hear from you so any feedback is appreciated!

When I taught preschool I absolutely loved story extension activities.  Story extension activities really can be anything you do to extend the book of choice such as art projects, acting out the story, making a book about the story, etc. the list really is endless. I plan to include many posts of my favorite story extension activities in the near future.

Really there is nothing like seeing a book come to life through a child's eyes based on a project you did together!  It's such a great way to celebrate the joy of GOOD books!

Today we read Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni.  On a side note Leo Lionni is a fabulous children's author and illustrator with some great gems under his belt.


The book is about color mixing- when little blue hugs little yellow they turn into little greens.

After we read the book I gave the girls a zip lock baggie with squirts of blue paint and yellow paint.


We talked about the book and I asked my 3 year old to recall what happened when little blue and little yellow hugged? "They made green!" I asked her how we could make green? She looked at her paint in the baggie and said "With the blue and yellow."

And away we went! Both girls loved squishing the paint around in the bag!! Fun and simple story extension that even ties in some science with color mixing!