Friday, October 29, 2010

"Woo, the Not-So-Scary Ghost"

Did you ever read this story? It's very cute. It's about a little ghost that is weary of scaring people. He gets into a few predicaments before he finds his voice. (It's funny one of the things that happens to him is that he gets hung on a clothesline to dry. The children didn't know where he was. I think I'm one of the few that still hangs my wash.)

Anyway, the Pre-K teacher had the cutest ghost out yesterday and it made me think of this story. I thought the ghost would be a great addition to the story.

To make the ghost you will need:

a white paper bag
arms cut from white paper

He is really easy to put together. The first thing to do is to fray the bottom(or top) of the paper bag. I thought the children could just cut slits, or you will see this ghost has a jagged cut bottom.

Now take a black marker and draw a spooky face. Crumble some newspaper and stuff it into the bag. Put in a few staples so that the newspaper will stay in the bag when it upside down. Finally take two cut out arms and staple them to a crease in the side of the bag.

I thought it would be neat to maybe feed a string in the top and hand the ghost. Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Special Guests

We are very lucky to have a couple of parents in our class that our emergency personnel. They visited us today and brought an ambulance for us to explore. I thank Mr. and Mrs. Long from the bottom of my heart. The children had a great time and I think the experience was invaluable.

The first thing Mr. & Mrs. Long did was to bring in some equipment and show it to the children. But, not only did they show it to them, they allowed them to touch it, hear it, and see it in action. The got to see and feel an oxygen mask, they had their heart rate taken using the machine you clip to a finger, they wore a blood pressure cuff, and they even got to see Mrs. Nodolski hooked up to the heart monitor--sorry no pictures:).

When they were finished with that, Mrs. Long took some time and dressed in all her firefighter gear, including the mask, so that the children could see what a firefighter in full uniform would look and sound like.

Finally we headed outside where an ambulance was waiting. Mr. Long turned the lights on for us. Then the children got to go inside and take a look around. They sat in some seats, saw the bed, played with some gloves, and a really cold ice pack.

I loved how hands on the presentation was. It allowed the children to get up close and personal so that they wouldn't be afraid. I thank them again for taking the time to bring us an enjoyable experience.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Oh, Halloween is Here!"

With Halloween just around the corner we started some activities to get us "in the mood."

Our first project this week is one of my favorite--the children's also. It's our first experience with glitter for the year and they are always so amazed at the results. A few years ago I found these great glitter spider webs over at Creative and Curious Kids. I have been making them ever since. They are so cute and the children are just mesmerized by the webs. We had a lot of fun with this on Tuesday. Here is the link that takes you to how to make them.

On this day we also had some scissor practice. I plan to do an activity this week that involves their using the scissors to cut something out. So, I put out some scraps and scissors so that they could practice with the scissors.

Also, when we had started fall, I had found a chestnut that was completely closed. We set it out to dry to see if we could get the nuts out. It opened this week and we pulled the chestnuts out.

Thursday was trip day. (We didn't do a color this week because of our trip.) We take a "Halloween trip" to a place called Farmer's Daughter in our area. Thank goodness the weather held out for us, we weren't sure at first. It turned out to be a beautiful day. We went on a hayride, through a corn maze, picked a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, had story time, and finally had snack outside. What a great way to spend a day together.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Orange Play Dough (?)

I always like to try and do something the children will really remember or just have fun with. On Thursday I decided for orange week, I would make play dough with them using the recipe I have on the site. I HAVE made this before, but for me sometimes it works, sometimes--oh well.

I really do believe though this was an experience the children will remember. We gathered together on the blue rug, everyone getting close so they could see. Flour goes in, salt goes in, oil goes in; I set the oil down, don't put the lid on to well, and yes, you guessed it, I knocked the oil over onto the blue rug and my pants. AAAHH. What to do now?

So, of course, I just keep going while Mrs. Taylor and our helper bring paper towels, and any other absorbent object.

I add the Kool-Aid, which they thought was great, then the hot water. Now mix until a doughy consistency, right? Not for me, not today. Our helper kept pouring in flour while I kept mixing--no luck. It stayed the consistency of chocolate chip cookie dough and stuck to every finger I had.

I still wanted the children to experience it though, so we traveled together to a table and I just handed out globs of our dough(?) and let the children play with it. They loved it of course, but clean up took a while. I took one child at a time back to the sink and we cleaned them up.

Yes smiles were everywhere. Except, of course, on me as I looked at the big oil stain on the carpet. I tried some Dawn dish detergent and hot water, but I can still see it. Anyone have any secrets for getting an oil stain (vegetable) out of a carpet:)?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fun With Fire Safety

Since we planned a fall nature hike last week, I decided to postpone our fire safety fun until this week. It was actually pretty good because I was able to incorporate our "orange" with it.

The first thing we did on Tuesday was to introduce the smoke alarm and fire extinguisher. I have a smoke detector that I bring to opening with me and ask the children if they know what it is; some do and some don't. Then comes the tricky part. I push the button so that they can hear what the alarm sounds like. Some of them do NOT like this at all, but I feel it's important for them to hear how loud it would sound and what type of sound it makes.

We then talked about what we should do if we hear the smoke detector. Their response, "Get out!" (They're so smart!) This is when we do our fire escape plan. Again, another tricky aspect. I have had a few children over the years actually think we were escaping a real fire and became frightened. I try to make sure they understand what we are doing, but there are usually a few that are still skeptical. Especially when we are traveling through parts of the church we have never been to before--we have lots of ways to escape.

After, our fire escape drills we have a scavenger hunt. We travel through the church complex looking for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. This is fun. They get so excited when they find one.

Our Pre-K teacher also came up with a fun water table activity. She made flames out of foam and taped them in the water table. The children used spray bottles to put the flames out with water.

The activity I did this week incorporated our color orange. I gave the children some paper and put some yellow and red paint on it and let them create some orange flames finger paint style. Then on Thursday we added our shape fire truck.

Gluing on our fire truck was our first experience with something other than a glue stick--sorry mom and dad. I hope their pictures have dried.

I am lucky enough to have a couple of parents from the local fire department in my class this year. They are going to bring an ambulance and fire gear to the school the last week of October. They are also going to allow the children to get up close and personal to it so that they can be comfortable and unafraid--I thank them tremendously.