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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Time to Sleep

No, not me, but I wish. We actually started our hibernation discussions with this great book; "Time to Sleep," by Denise Fleming. I loved it. It helped the children see some other animals that hibernate--other than a bear--and gave small clues as to where. Even though it was giving facts, it was also a good story to read.

Our craft was to make a bear hibernating in his cave. Last year I made a hibernating bear also, it was a bit different. This year I came up with a new idea, but I think I liked last year's craft better.

For this bear you will need:

a toilet paper roll
brown paint
large pom poms (for the bear, black or brown)
small pop poms (for tail)
tongue depressor
"sleeping" eyes

The first part of this project was to paint the toilet paper roll brown. Two things with this step: 1) it is very messy; 2) they don't make toilet paper rolls like they used to. As the paint dried some of the toilet paper rolls actually started to come apart. I had about five that started to unravel. I was able to staple a couple back together, but I had one totally unravel and had to paint that child a new one.

The bear is the second part of this step. Spread tacky all over one end of the tongue depressor. Place two large pom poms on the tacky. Then glue a small pom pom on for the bear's tail. I had cut "sleeping" eyes out of black paper and we glued them to the bear.

Let everything dry and then slip the bear into his "cave." The tongue depressor is long enough so that the bear can slide in and out of his cave. Good luck!

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Playtime Fun

We had a couple of new items out at playtime recently. Mostly I just need to give a big shout-out to Mrs. B. for the wonderful Dora play set. The children just LOVE it, and it's big enough there can be quite a few there at a time.

Mrs. B. donated a Dora the Explorer play set that we thought we would switch out with our dollhouse for a while. Our dollhouse was a bit smaller than this playhouse. And the accessories....I just can't say enough! We all love it. We hear a lot of, "Swiper no swiping."

Another new item I got out is a new item I got from Discount School Supply: Super Lightweight Air-Dry Putty. I can not explain to you how this stuff feels. It's "softer" than play dough and just plain "therapeutic" to play with. Mrs. T and I just sat there squeezing the stuff. It also works great with the cutters and cut-outs. When it got a little stiff from being out too long, Mrs. T. added some drops of water and worked them through--Good to go again. It was a nice change from the play dough and play foam.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Our Fine Feathered Friends

Thursday was "for the birds." Our winter discussions drifted to some of the animals that are still around and how they get food. One little boy was adamant that they all eat fish. Which I guess was my fault because we were talking about penguins eating fish. But, we got back around to how there isn't too much food around for the birds in the winter, so it's great to make a bird feeder and that's what we did.

I have made pine cone bird feeders, bread bird feeders, and even ribbon bird feeders. But my favorite is an idea from our local zoo, the pipe cleaner bird feeder. It's quick, easy, and peanut allergy free. Also the children can make as many as they like.

All you need are some pipe cleaners and cereal. Loop one end of the pipe cleaner, add cereal, loop the other end of the pipe cleaner, and then hang it in a tree. (Make sure you have enough cereal. It's usually one for me, one for them.) This is also good for fine motor development and hand eye coordination. One little boy was so excited about having the birds come over to his house to eat he made five of them.

We always have some kind of coloring out for the children on one of the tables during playtime. I switched it up by adding a cutting and matching bird activity. Not everyone does it, but some of them enjoy cutting these birds out and gluing them in the trees.

Now I just hope the birds visit the little ones soon, or I'm sure I'm going to hear about it:).

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tricky Triangles

Our shape this week was a triangle. We learned about it's three sides and three corners with our cute little song:

I've got three corners and three sides,
See my sides with your eyes.
I've got three corners and three sides,
I'm a triangle.

We tried to find some triangles in the room, but they definitely were not as popular in our classroom as the square.

Cutting out the the triangle went pretty well. There are only about 3 or 4 children in the whole of the classes that are still having trouble with the scissors. We still help some with hand placement, but once they get going they are good. I'm so proud of them.

Our second page of the shape book was to make a kite using two big triangle and some smaller ones for the tail. The trickiest part of this was for them to figure out how to put the two triangles together to make it look like the kite. It's some cute sometimes to sit and watch the wheels turning.

A final triangle activity I tried was to cut out lots of different sizes of triangles. Then we gathered on the floor and I spread them around the rug. I had wanted to see if we could build different things with the triangles. The activity actually turned into a triangle hoarding session. So I had to direct it a little more than I thought I would. We had some boats, some butterflies, houses, and some abstract art. The final activity was to see if we could make a great big skyscraper with the triangles--this was suggested by me.

Off to shape number three, our rectangle.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Snazzy Snowmen

Our snowmen went home this week. Since I had posted the beginning of the project I wanted to let you see the final products.

I had read the story, "All You Need for a Snowman," by Alice Schertle, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee. Then we talked about the different things one could add to make a snowman--arms, eyes, nose, hat, etc.

I had raided the closet and found lots of little items that they could use to finish off their snowmen: pom poms, straw pieces, beads, pipe cleaners, etc. I didn't have actual eyes out, but they asked me if they could use googly eyes so I got some out.

I then gave them some tacky so that the pieces would stick better. We got lots of great creations that I wanted to let you see. One note: When the children used lots of glue, after the glue dried, the Ivory Snow tended to flake off more easily than in other places.

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