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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Fun

We have been doing some crafts involving pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns in the Pre-K class.

We needed to do the first jack-o-lantern craft so that the children would have a prop for a couple of our Halloween songs during our celebration next week. We needed to make a jack-o-lantern that they could manipulate during the songs. What easier way to do this than with a paper plate?

You will need:

one large paper plate
orange paint
tongue depressor
black paper

The first step in with this craft is to paint the paper plate orange. It then needs to sit for a day to dry.

When the children came back the next day it was time to add the faces. I have to say I think sometimes I expect too much from these little guys. I had put out black paper and scissors and told them they could cut out any shapes for eyes, nose, and mouth. They looked at me like I was speaking a different language.

So, it ended up that I asked them what types of shapes they wanted for eyes and nose; circle, square, diamond, triangle, moon, etc. Then I drew the shape on black paper and they cut it out. I did the same thing with the mouth--they told me what type of mouth, I drew it and they cut it out.

Then they glued on the pieces and we used tacky to attach a tongue depressor to the back of the plate.

Now that he's dry, he can help us with our songs.

The other pumpkin is a Mailbox craft. I actually did this on our back to school night with the parents there because I wasn't sure how they would work out. It is called a pudgy pumpkin because if its 3D aspects.

You will need:

Large piece of orange paper with a pumpkin drawn on it
hole puncher
brown pipe cleaner
2 green leaves

I had drawn the pumpkin on the paper and had the children cut it out. Next we folded the pumpkin in half. The children cut lines, starting at the fold, going toward the edge, but stopping before they reached the edge--the parents helped monitor this.

Then the process was to push the cuts in different directions to give the pumpkin depth. I had a bit of trouble with the cuts staying in place, but we kept it up.

The next step was to punch a hole in the top. The parents tied some green ribbon in the hole and put the pipe cleaner through and twisted it for the stem.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Silly Simple Spiders

Mailbox again to save the day. Actually the Mailbox has helped me throughout this whole Halloween holiday with my Pre-K class.

Today we made some really cute spiders. These spiders are another one of those activities that are not too difficult, but the craft packs a big punch. The kids loved these!

You will need:

one black 6 inch circle
8, 12 inch pieces of black crepe paper
two white circles

Each child gets one black circle. I then gave them two white circles and had them draw some black pupils with a black crayon.

They then glue on the eyes. I had them put lots of glue on the edge of the circle then add the legs--four legs on each side.

I then put on the finishing touches, of course, older children can do this themselves. Cut a slit in the black circle --just to the middle. Put a piece of black yarn through and tape in to the bottom side of the circle.

Overlap the cut area--sort of cone like--and add a piece of tape to finish up the project.

These spiders will bring lots of smiles.

Have fun.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Counting With Pre-K

The Pre-K is very busy this year. Along with learning to write first and last names, and recognizing and writing capital and lowercase letters, they will also be working on recognizing and writing the numerals zero through 10.

As you may have seen the children are making an alphabet book using papers from Scholastic's Cut and Paste activity book. I was looking for something similar with the number books.

I was hoping to find something where along with actually writing and recognizing the numeral, they would be involved with placing the correct amount of "something" to associate the number of items with the actual numeral.

I wasn't' able to find anything I was happy with so I decided to create my own. For each numeral I have a large picture of the numeral--the word, and a place to practice writing. Then on the side is an "activity" for them to do.

So far we have completed zero and one. Zero was pretty easy: we "glued" zero apples in the apples tree. They were pretty good. I thought I could trick them, but they knew they were not going to be gluing any apples in that tree.

For the number 1 the children had to glue, one worm on the apple. I had placed some worms on the table and they had to glue on the correct number of worms--guess what? Another success. They are such a smart group.

Finally for the numbers I am helping them to create a number/numeral number line. I drew the numerals 0-10 on a sentence strip then laminated the strip. We punched holes under each numeral and we are going to add beads to correlate the correct number and numeral--up to number 10. I had originally used yarn to attach the beads, but we may be revamping that by using a pipe cleaner--easier for threading and easier for "tying" the end.

Are you interested in obtaining the number pages? Click here.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Bats

As you may already know, The Mailbox is one of my most favorite resources. I have been getting some new activities for my Pre-K class here.

The first craft I found was really cute--well, aren't they all?

For this craft you need:

9x12 dark blue construction paper
2 black pom poms
black construction paper
moon cut from yellow construction paper
silver stars
googly eyes
glue(I used tacky)

This craft was relatively easy, but it packs a big punch.

Because of the pom poms and having the wings "stand out," I had poured a dish of tacky. I gave each child a piece of blue paper then the two pom poms. The children dipped the pom poms in the tacky and stuck them to the paper.

For the bats wings, the children need two small strips of black paper. The paper then needs to be folded accordion style. If the children are able, allow them to fold the paper. I then had the children dip the "wing in the glue" to cover one whole edge. Glue the wings next to the pom poms.

Finally, let the children glue on the eyes, moon, and add the silver stars. It really is a cute craft.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Wreaths

We made fall wreaths today in our Pre-K class. To make these wreaths I had some fall potpourri left from the bridal shower. Our niece had purchased the potpourri and put it as decoration on tables. After the shower I went around and and collected it because I thought I could use it later, and I was able to.

To make our wreaths we used:

1 small paper plate
fall potpourri

I had cut the center out of the paper plates. Then punched a hole in it and added a piece of yarn to hang our wreaths.

The children then got some tacky and sticks and spread the tacky around what was left of the plate.

Finally, they added the potpourri to finish up the wreath. If you are able, you could make these wreaths with fall items you find on a nature hike.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Letters With Pre-K

The Pre-K class has begun their letter books. We follow the Handwriting Without Tears program for letter recognition and writing. With this program, letters are not taught in order. We begin with letters that are made with lines, and later add letters with curves. One slight addendum to this though, our school does capital and lowercase letters, so sometimes the lowercase letters will have a curve.

Our first letter was the letter L. We begin with making the letter with the sticks. We talked about the sound the letter makes--L; lion; lllllll. We then wrote some words that begin with the letter L. We circled L's in our L poem, and we read an L story from Scholastic's Alpha Tales.

Pre-K class has a specific skill time. During this time we do a paper to include in a "book." I decided to use a book that included writing the letter, but also cutting and pasting. For the Letter L we made a ladybug on a leaf. Each sheet includes adding shapes to finish the picture.

I have the children write the letter, they glue on the shapes, then color. After they become accustomed to writing the letter and the whole routine, and become more proficient with scissors, I will begin having them cut out the shapes needed.

I also wanted to incorporate something in the craft room. On Wednesday I had a lollipop craft on the table. I had a paper with the word lollipop written on it. The children glued down a popsicle stick and rolled some yarn at the top to make a lollipop. The final part of this was to add the L's. I had a tray of letters. They had to pick out the L's and glue them to the paper.

Following letter L we started F. The skill paper for their books was a "frog by a flower." Our sound pattern was--F-fish-ffff. Our craft project was for the children to cut out a fish and glue it to the paper and add a capital and lower case F.

Letter E was next on our plate. We completed an "eagle with an egg.'' When we do our card series--the sound pattern, we make the sound of a short e, so the pattern is--E-egg-short e sound. The project in the craft room was very simple. Their paper had the word envelope on it. The children glued on an envelope and add a capital and lower case E.

With each letter we always read and AlphaTales story corresponding to the letter and we circle the letters in our poems. The poems are on a flip chart from Scholastic, but I don't know what it is offhand. The poems are also actually songs. The chart comes with a CD that plays the corresponding song.

Another activity is to make a word list for each letter. We have been doing pretty well. We usually can come up with about 15 words for each letter.

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