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Monday, November 30, 2009

15 Games Preschool Children Can Play Online: Guest Post

(photo courtesy Microsoft Clipart)

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We did here--although they are always over so quickly.

A while back Ms. Karen Schweitzer wrote a great guest post about 15 places for a preschool teacher to find free resources and classroom activities online. I hope her post was helpful to you. She has put together another post for online games for preschoolers. We all know how grown-up those little ones feel "working" the computer. I hope you find these enjoyable.

15 Games Preschool Children Can Play Online

Games are a great way to engage preschoolers in the learning process. They also provide a wonderful opportunity for parents who want to connect and have fun with their children. There are many different sites that provide free online games for preschoolers. Here are 15 sites to explore in your spare time:

Fisher-Price - Fisher-Price has a wide assortment of free preschool games and learning activities that can be played online. The site also offers games for infants and toddlers.

Nick Jr. - Nick Jr. provides many online games with characters like Dora the Explorer, Diego, Olivia, Max, Ruby, and the Backyardigans. Themed games (art, adventure, puzzles, matching, music, and stories) are also available.

Sesame Street - Sesame Street has an amazing selection of games featuring all of Sesame Street's best characters. The site also offers game for toddlers and videos for kids of all ages.

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - This ad-free PBS site is a great place for preschoolers to play games online. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood offers several fun games, including the popular Build a Neighborhood and Make a Story.

Thomas and Friends - Preschoolers can play matching games, puzzle games, and railway games on this Thomas the Train site. Other site offerings include videos and printable activities.

Playhouse Disney - Playhouse Disney was created specifically for preschoolers and other small children. Kids who visit the site can watch TV episodes and play free online games that incorporate their favorite Disney characters.

KOL Jr. - KOL Jr. offers number games, shape games, color games, letter games, and many other fun games for preschoolers. The site also provides audio stories that children can listen to online.

Funschool - Preschoolers can learn their ABC's, study math, and begin reading using the games on Funschool. Other site offerings include interactive animations and printable coloring pages.

Orisinal - Orisinal offers colorful, musical games that almost any preschooler would enjoy playing. For the most part, emphasis is on fun versus learning, but some of the games could definitely be considered educational.

Building Blocks - This Building Blocks for a Healthy Future site features matching games, puzzles, music games, and many other online activities designed specifically for preschoolers. - provides fun and creative games for kids of all ages. The site can also be used to make printable cards and certificates.

Mother Goose - This site offers free online games with Mother Goose characters like Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater and the cow that jumped over the moon. Some of the games are educational and others are built purely for enjoyment.

Gamequarium Junior - The Gamequarium Junior site provides hundreds of online games and coloring pages for young children. Games are rated by other users so that you can find the best options for your preschooler.

Kids Front - Preschoolers can learn and have fun at the same time when they play the online games from Kids Front. The games teach players about coloring, drawing, reading, math, animals, history, and much more.

Preschool Activity Box - Preschool Activity Box focuses on early learning and pre-kindergarten preparation. Many of the learning games, crafts, and activities that can be found on this site are printable, but there are some games that can be played with preschoolers online as well.

Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the Guide to Business School. She also writes about online classes for

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Keen on Green

I know, it's a corny title, but I was looking for a rhyme.

We did the color green at school last week and of course we had lots of fun with it!

Our color book pages consisted of painting an evergreen tree and giving a frog green spots. For the evergreen painting I thought it would be fun to paint with pieces of evergreen trees. I went out and collected some pieces of a Blue Spruce, a White Pine, and two others I don't know the names of. One branch had long needles, but they were much more coarse then a White Pine. The other tree had some nice branches. This is actually the branch used most. It was softer and was able to paint better.

I showed the children what they would be painting and said they could use whatever tree piece they would like. I passed around the different pieces so that they could feel them. The Blue Spruce was met with lots of complaints--"OUCH, it's picky!"

During painting time we found that the Blue Spruce was too difficult to paint with. The White Pine ended up like a wet noodle and wasn't too fun. The long, coarse needle tree didn't cover enough for them. So the winner was tree number four. It covered the best and was easy to work with. I must say, though you had to use a whole hand type of "brushing," so it was messy.

The second page was just to put some green dots on a frog and color him. I had the green circle stickers which they used.

Here are our pages:

Some other fun green events: I had our green rice out from last St. Patrick's Day, this was fun, but, of course, rice is everywhere.

Secondly, we talked about blue and yellow making green when mixed together. To help demonstrate this first I had given everyone color windows to show them. The next day I had brought in blue and yellow ice cubes. We put them in the water table and watched them melt during the day and make green water. The AM class watched but did not touch. The PM class was a little more adventurous and played in here a little more--ooo cold hands.

After our break we will do the color white and then make the cover. Almost time for the books to go home!

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Indian Corn

I've been playing around with ideas for Indian corn that children could make to decorate a table or a wall. I thought I came up with a cute idea, but after I made it, Mrs. T. wanted to know what I wanted to do with "this palm tree." I'll let you decide.

You will need:

a toilet paper roll, or paper towel roll
fall colored construction paper, cut into strips
lots of glue
tissue paper

For my corn I used a paper towel roll, but if you would like to make smaller corn, you can use a toilet paper roll. The first step is to take one end of the roll and staple it into a triangle, or arrow head shape.

Next give the children thin strips of colored paper and let them cut them into squares, to represent the corn. I put this in a bin.

Now the messy part. Let the children paint the tube with lots of glue, it has to be really covered. If you look, you can see I actually squirted glue all over my tube, then I rubbed it around with my fingers. Whatever works best for you.

Now roll the tub in the bin with all the square pieces to cover it totally. I added some glue here and there after the first couple rolls for places that got missed.

Finally, it's time for the husk part. I used a large piece of tissue paper, I think it should have been smaller. Grab the tissue paper in the center and fold it all upward. Now let the children rip some strips, but don't tear them completely off.

Put glue inside the unstapled end of the tube and shove the tissue paper in.

You can make a few and lay them in the center of the table for a centerpiece, or combine them together and hang them. I pushed a pipe cleaner through the tube to use as a "hanger."

Good luck I hope these directions are clear. Hopefully the pictures will help.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Talkin' Turkey

Thanksgiving is next week, so of course we concentrated on those great turkeys this week. The picture above is from this year's interactive November bulletin board. The children did a great job.

We did two turkeys this week. The wonderful and ever fascinating(to little ones), handprint turkey. The children all got to watercolor two of these turkeys on Tuesday. We had some pretty wet turkeys when they were done. It's a good thing they had a couple of days to dry so they could go home this week.

Our other turkey had to do with things the children were thankful for. I had a cute new book to read to the children at the beginning of the class. I thought it would be helpful to show the children all the wonderful things in their world that they should be thankful for. The book is called, "Thanks for Thanksgiving," by Julie Markes, illustrated by Doris Barrette.

The thankful turkey was made with simple shape; circles, and triangles. After the children put all the pieces together they told me something they were thankful for. What a difference between the two classes. With the AM class you had to watch out for that "parrot" response, the response that are all the same. The PM class was a little more insightful, all unique ideas.

We now have a week to get everything together for Christmas! Did I really say that?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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