Saturday, April 30, 2011

Planting Center

Last week we finally got our planting done. We plant flowers every year, but this year we are a little late. As I write this, our class only has 6 more classes until we end our year. Unbelievable isn't it? It's amazing that our time together is almost over :(.

For our planting this year I bought the "pots" that you can plant right in the ground. I thought they would be more "earthy."

I set up a table with potting soil, planters, seeds, and water. Each child came to the table put some dirt in their cup, added seeds and water, then we put them in the windowsill. I actually did the planting on Tuesday and by Thursday all of the children had sprouts! I was amazed.

I would love to have a space where we could plant at school at watch our creations grow, but we don't have any room for that. Also, since our year is so short, I wonder if we would have time to see our plants come to fruition.

Well, planting seeds in the dirt is almost as much fun.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you all have a blessed holiday and enjoy family and friends.

We enjoyed our Easter celebration at school on Thursday. We made our paper plate bunnies, and best of all, the Easter Bunny visited us and hid our eggs outside. Then while we looked for eggs, that tricky bunny filled our baskets with good things. Thanks Easter Bunny!

We ended the day playing with our "egg" balloons. They have such a good time. I turn on some fun music, give everyone a balloon, and fun ensues.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Eggs and Baskets

The last couple of classes we have been busily preparing for Easter. The children have been putting together Easter baskets in hopes the Easter Bunny will visit and fill them with lots of fun. The three-year-old class made some white bunny baskets, while the Pre-K class made some colorful bunny baskets.

Yesterday we colored eggs in our class. The children love this. I have found that many children don't experience this as often as they used to. We used the wax crayon to make marks on the eggs before we colored them--amazement all around when the eggs came out of the colors and you could see the markings.

The room stunk a bit like vinegar all day, but we had a great time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Embracing the Rain

Since we have been inundated with rain lately, I thought instead of griping about it, maybe I would help the children to have fun with it. When we were talking about the rain one of the children said that, "the sun must be sad," since he hasn't been out in a while. So, on Tuesday we participated in some activities that would help us "enjoy rain."

What did we have going on? First I had the water table out with sponges, squeezies, and squirters. They had a ball--good thing we had towels on hand.

Next, I had watercolor paints and spring pictures. We haven't done watercolor trays a lot this year, but they did very well with wetting their brushes and dipping them in the paints. The children created some beautiful masterpieces.

Our craft was a handprint shaped umbrella. I think these turn out cute.

Finally, and most important, the children got to play in the mud. Yes, mud. Now, of course, it wasn't as messy as it could have been. We didn't actually go outside and stomp in the mud. I made some mud with dirt and water in a big bin. Then we added some toys (I would have loved to have worms, but didn't have time to get them). The children wore smocks to play in the mud too so that they didn't go home too much of a mess.

We read one of my favorite books today too, "Big Sarah's Little Boots," by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark. I think this book is so adorable. It's about a little girl that just loves her yellow boots. One day she wakes up and finds that her boots don't fit any more. She does everything she can to get those boots to fit, but boots don't grow do they?

We finished up the day by playing a game where we threw bean bags in a big umbrella. What a great rainy day!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Chicken or the Egg?

Today I combined out two present themes. We are still discussing spring and all it's wonders, but of course, Easter is right around the corner. We made our "chick in an egg". To add that Easter flair I had eggs in different colors so they looked like Easter eggs.

To begin our day we finally got to take our "spring" walk outside to look for the signs of spring. We found daffodils, hyacinths, violets, buds on the trees, and robins. We were freezing, but spring is there!

I also had added some eggs to our green rice bin. We had egg shakers all around.

I didn't get to make these eggs last year--somehow time got away from me, but they are always a big hit with the children. When they open the egg and see the little chick looking at them they are all smiles.

For the project you will need:

an egg pattern
a chick pattern
paper fastener

I had run the egg pattern and the chicken pattern off on some construction paper. I actually cut the chicken pattern out and the children cut out the egg pattern. The eggs a bit tricky so that's why I cut the chick out. Children proficient with scissors can cut both patterns out.

After the egg is cut out I have the children draw a face on the chick, place glue on his "belly," then glue him to the back of the bottom of the egg. If you have any feathers around, I'm sure the chick would look cute with those on too.

I then put the paper fastener in so that the egg will open and shut. Ta-da, smiles all around.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Simply Bags--Summer Tote Bags

I recently received a wonderful embroidered beach tote. This is a great tote bag for the summer. I have to say I am extremely excited about the fact that this is the first item I have with my blog's name embroidered on it. I don't know why, it just made the blog seem special.

The color of the bag is beautiful. I received the Beach Duffle bag in Flamingo Rose with Kiwi thread embroidery. It is lovely. The bag is well made and large enough to hold quite a few items. The shoulder strap even includes a little pocket to put my cell phone. I can imagine that this bag is going to get quite a few comments.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring Sensory Overload

As hard as I try to fill our hearts and minds with the smells and sounds of spring, mother nature tries just as hard to keep winter tops on the list.

Today is a day I look forward to every year at school. During our spring unit we take a trip to a place called Ott's Exotic Plants. This is a greenhouse/nursery beyond compare. They have some of the most GORGEOUS plants and flowers ever seen--at least by me. The atmosphere is always one of an overload of smells, beautiful colors, and elaborate creations.

So you can imagine how excited I was that today was the day. Well, we get to school and it's a bit gray--nothing too bad. When it's time to leave--Oh my gosh! It's like a tornado out there. The winds are gusting, the rain is horizontal, and it's freezing.

Really!!?? I thought. (Imagine here a big scowl, lip out, foot stamping, maybe even tears--temper tantrum on the way--and that's ME!) I'm just kidding.

Well we still had our trip, it's mostly indoors anyway. And yes, it was beautiful. The flowers were gorgeous, the smells were fantastic, the waterfall and "jungle room" magnificent. The only thing really missing was the sun shining through those big windows and to feel the warmth on our faces.

Hopefully this trip will bring spring to our hearts, minds, and area.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Field of Flowers

I thought with spring fast approaching it might be fun to brighten up our room with a field of flowers. This activity was a two day activity and one that will stay with us--not go home. I always have to stress to the children that what we are making is going to stay in the room. They so much enjoy showing their parents their wonderful creations, it's hard for their masterpieces to stay with me.

To create our field of flowers we spent one day finger painting with beautiful spring colors. With some of the children you can see the therapeutic aspects of finger painting kick in as they create their work of art. Some of them just seem so calm and peaceful as they swirl those colors around on the paper.

Before we got to cutting out flowers, I took a large piece of paper and laid it on the table. The children pressed their hands in a green stamp pad and we made leaves and stems to attach our colorful flowers.

After the finger paintings dried it was time for the flowers. I had made some flower patterns from some tag board. The children decided what flowers they wanted to trace and cut out. Most of them did very good with the tracing I was impressed. The cutting out of the pattern was a little bit more difficult. I tried to make easy shapes, but I may have overestimated. I told them to just cut the flower out as best as they could, but some are pretty adamant that it is perfect.

When the children had finished cutting out their patterns they went over to our "field" and glued their flowers anywhere they liked. When everyone was finished we hung our work of art on the wall to admire it. They were very proud. It is really quite pretty.