At play with mittens like the Three Little Kittens

As mentioned in the previous post, we read the wonderful book “The Three Little Kittens” by Paul Galdone. In this book the kittens do everything in their mittens which leads to missing mittens and soiled mittens and gets mama a little upset. We continued to build on the story of the Three Little Kittens through our play with mittens…

Mitten Play by Teach Preschool

As already shared in the previous post, we soiled our mittens just like the Three Little Kittens by exploring a little mitten painting…

At play with mittens by Teach Preschool

In the book, the three little kittens also wash their mittens and hang them out to dry so we “washed” our mittens and hung them out to dry too…

Mitten Play by Teach Preschool

Hanging up mittens with clothespins is great fine motor skill practice. We tied a very long piece of thin rope across our classroom to allow plenty of space for lots of mittens…

At play with mittens by Teach Preschool

Mitten hanging was another fun way to build on our story of The Three Little Kittens – now we can have some pie!

At play with mittens by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Retelling of “The Mitten” book by Teach Preschool

Mitten Art by the Seeds Network

Painted Mitten Snack by StrongStart

Let’s get moving with a DIY action cube!

Preschoolers need to move and love to move so whenever I get the chance, I try to whip up some new games to get us moving! Here is a DIY action cube that helps to get us up and moving anytime we needed a little boost…

Get up and move with action cubes by Teach Preschool

To make an action cube, I used a square gift box. The cube is filled with newspaper to give it a little bit of weight and then taped firmly closed with clear packing tape…

Get up and move with action cubes by Teach Preschool

Once the cube is made, then it is time to add some action.  Action words, arrows, pictures, or symbols can be added to the action cubes.  You can make an entire set or invite your students to make their own action cubes for play…

Get up and move with action cubes by Teach Preschool

Once you have an action cube whipped up it is time to get up and move. For our action word cube, I simply introduced each word on the cube and invited the children to give the cube a toss, see which side of the cube lands on top, and then do that action…

Get up and move with action cubes by Teach Preschool

For our pre-k students, just putting the word on the cube and then applying action helps them to connect the word to the action. They quickly start to recognize each word and if they aren’t sure, they will ask for a reminder or help each other figure it out…

Get up and move with action cubes by Teach Preschool

For our action cubes with arrows on them, we move in the direction the arrow is pointing. We like to take this cube outdoors and see where it takes us…

Get up and move with action cubes by Teach Preschool

Get up and move with action cubes by Teach Preschool

Super fun way to get your preschoolers up and moving!

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

The color game by Teach Preschool

Get up and move dice game by Growing A Jeweled Rose

Physical activity cube by Little Family Fun

By | February 17th, 2013|Categories: DIY, Language Arts, Large Motor Skills|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Painting with mittens

A fun way to change up the painting process is by offering different materials to paint with.  We changed up  the painting experience and invited the children to explore the process of painting with mittens…

Painting with mittens by Teach Preschool

Before we began painting with mittens, we gathered together for morning circle and read “The Three Little Kittens” by Paul Galdone. This book features the classical folktale of the three little kittens who have lost their mittens, complete with beautiful illustrations and wonderful words that rhyme. It is a simple to read version of the tale and our class loved it…

Mitten painting by Teach Preschool

We then played a fun mitten matching game…

Mitten painting by Teach Preschool

In this game, each child chose one mitten from the collection of mittens we had spread out on the floor and placed the mitten on one hand. When the music played, the children went around the classroom looking for who might have on their matching mitten.  We played several rounds of our mitten matching game, and as we played, the children got the hang of it and became more invested and excited to find their matching mitten…

Mitten painting by Teach Preschool

Next we moved on to our centers.  Mitten painting was offered at the art table.  For this simple and fun activity, a variety of paint was set out along with paper plates, mittens, and large sheets of paper…

Painting with mittens by Teach Preschool

The children put the mittens on their hands and then chose which colors of paint they wanted to use. They squeezed their paint out onto the paper plates and then pushed their mitten into the paint.  A few children chose to squeeze the paint directly onto their mittens…

Painting with mittens by Teach Preschool

When pressed onto the paper, the mittens left a perfect print (most of the time)…

Painting with mittens by Teach Preschool

Of course, some children didn’t stop at just leaving prints.  Some children wanted to cover their whole paper.  So they stamped away until their whole paper was covered.  The mittens left a beautiful texture in the paint…

Painting with mittens by Teach Preschool

Who knew that mittens could be used to make such interesting prints?

Painting with mittens by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon


 Links to grow on

Planning marvelous mitten activities by Teach Preschool

Felt board mitten math by Teach Preschool

Salt watercolor mitten art by Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

 

By | February 16th, 2013|Categories: Children's Books|Tags: , , , , , |8 Comments

Catch a falling snowflake

Have you ever taken the time to truly examine a snowflake?  That’s exactly what we did when we tried to catch a falling snowflake in preschool, only things didn’t go exactly as planned…

Catch a falling snowflake

A few weeks ago we were fortunate enough to have  a nice, light snowfall while we were in class.  It was a very cold blustery day.  Despite the temperature, we went outside for just a few minutes to play in the new fallen snow.  We got our coats on…

Catch a falling snowflake by Teach Preschool

Deborah gave each child a black piece of construction paper to catch some snowflakes that were lightly falling…

Catch a falling snowflake by Teach Preschool

Each child was able to catch just a few snowflakes on their papers.  Needless to say, the children were less than impressed with this activity and quickly abandoned their pieces of paper to go off exploring in the snow…

Catch a falling snowflake by Teach Preschool

After about ten minutes, the children were ready to come inside.  So, they all came in and took off their coats and got seated on the carpet for our next activity.  Once the children were all seated and ready to begin, our eyes were drawn outside.  This is what we saw…

Catch a falling snowflake by Teach Preschool

The snow was coming down in big, beautiful flakes in blizzard-like fashion.  So, we retrieved our black pieces of paper that had long since been discarded and ran back outside, without putting our jackets back on…

Catch a falling snowflake by Teach Preschool

We did this all very quickly, knowing it wouldn’t take long to cover our papers with the rapidly falling snow…

Catch a falling snowflake by Teach Preschool

Once we had those beautiful flakes on our paper, we ran back inside to examine them up close, knowing they wouldn’t last long…

Catch a falling snowflake by Teach Preschool

A few children continued to run outside, collecting as many snowflakes as they could.  For a few short minutes, our classroom was full of controlled chaos as the children excitedly ran in and out trying to catch the snowflakes then examine them in the warmth of our classroom…

Catch a falling snowflake by Teach Preschool

Sometimes the most memorable and meaningful lessons can come up when you least expect…

Catch a falling snowflake by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to grown on:

Painting the snow by Happy Hooligans

Winter Wonderland: Snowman in a bag by Teach Preschool 

Snow scientists at play by Teach Preschool

By | February 15th, 2013|Categories: Snow|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

Lining up colored craft sticks

Earlier in the week, I shared some of our line up activities. Lining up colored craft sticks was one of my favorites…

Lining up colored craft sticks by Teach Preschool

I had previously told you about our class reading and enjoying “The Line Up Book” by Marisabino Russo. This is a fun book about a little boy who lines up all of his toys from his bedroom to the kitchen on his way to lunch. Along the way, his mother calls for him over and over. Each time, he says, “Just a minute.”   After reading our story, we brought out a large box of colored craft sticks for a math activity.  Each child was given ten craft sticks…

Lining up colored craft sticks by Teach Preschool

The children began this activity by counting their craft sticks. Once it was determined that all children had ten, Deborah and I asked them if they could make a square out of four craft sticks…

Lining up colored craft sticks by Teach Preschool

Once they had all made their squares, we asked the children if they could make a triangle with three craft sticks.  A few children figured out that they could place their triangle on top of their square to make a house…

Lining up colored craft sticks by Teach Preschool

Deborah and I asked them to make a few more shapes, before encouraging them to create something unique on their own…

Lining up colored craft sticks by Teach Preschool

The children made some really unique creations…

Lining up colored craft sticks by Teach Preschool

When the children were finished building their craft stick creations, we asked them if they would like to line up their craft sticks on the floor, similar to how the little boy in our story had lined up his toys.  They enthusiastically accepted this challenge…

Lining up colored craft sticks by Teach Preschool

A few children decided to line up their craft sticks on our three types of lines that were taped on the carpet…

Lining up colored craft sticks by Teach Preschool

The children were clearly enjoying this activity!  They loved seeing how far they could line up their craft sticks and they also enjoyed playing the role of the young boy in our book.  Deborah, acting as the mother in the book, asked the children over and over if they were almost finished. The children would all emphatically reply, “JUST A MINUTE…”

They couldn’t have possibly had more fun…

Lining up colored craft sticks by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to grow on:

Building shapes by A, Bee, C, Preschool
Exploring craft sticks by Teach Preschool
DIY magnetic craft sticks by Teach Preschool

By | February 14th, 2013|Categories: Mathematics|Tags: , , , , , , |1 Comment

Creating art with lines

By offering interesting materials, our children can create some very unique art, all the while exploring the concept of lines…

Creating art with lines by Teach Preschool

To extend our study of lines into our art experience, Deborah taped two paint brushes together and egg cartons were filled with a variety of paint colors.  It’s important to note that the paintbrushes were taped together near the tip of the handles.  This allows room for the two brushes to separate so that they may be dipped into two different paint colors at the same time…

Creating art with lines by Teach Preschool

This set-up created an interesting invitation to paint.  The children were very curious about why the paintbrushes were taped together, until they saw the potential to make lines with them…

Creating art with lines by Teach Preschool

The pieces of artwork that were created were magnificent, to say the least.  Each child explored this process in their own unique way…

Creating art with lines by Teach Preschool

Some children focused on creating lines:  straight lines, wavy lines, horizontal lines, vertical lines…

Creating art with lines by Teach Preschool

While others explored the process of color mixing both in the egg carton paint tray and on their paper…

Catch a Snowflake, paper clips, lines, craft sticks. coat 102

This little guy found dots to be more interesting than lines…

Creating art with lines by Teach Preschool

And this child felt that it was important for his lines to cover his entire paper.  And what beautiful lines they are…

Creating art with lines by Teach Preschool

We also carried this activity over to our smaller table…

Creating Art with Lines by Teach Preschool

On this table, we provided 2-3 crayons that had been taped together and paper…

Creating art with lines by Teach Preschool

For me, the difference in how the children used the materials was thought-provoking.  While most children focused on creating lines with the paintbrushes, the crayons were mainly used for drawing circles.  Using interesting materials provides unique experiences and the opportunity to create some lovely works of art…

Creating art with lines by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to grow on: 

L is for lines by Teach Preschool

Lining up craft sticks by Teach Preschool 

Preschoolers painting stripes with painters tape by Kids Activities Blog

 

L is for lines

Learning about the sound of the letter L was a fun experience as we played games on lines taped to the carpet and traced lines on the light table…

L is for lines by Teach Preschool

The children arrived at preschool one morning to find lines taped to our carpet.  They were instantly intrigued.  “What are these for?” they asked.  Deborah told them that they were lines.   This opened up a discussion about how many lines there were and what types of lines there were.  One child pointed out that she uses lines when writing her name.  Children are so wise…

L is for lines by Teach Preschool

We began our day by reading The Line Up Book” by Marisabina Russo.  This is a fun little story about a boy who lines up toys all the way from his bedroom to the kitchen.  All the while, his mother is calling for him to come and eat his lunch.  Over and over she calls him and over and over he says, “Just a minute!”   The kids really enjoyed this book…

L is for lines by Teach Preschool

After reading our book, Deborah invited the children to stand up and play a game on our tape lines.  First, she asked them to line up and play follow the leader as they walked up down the lines on the carpet…

L is for lines by Teach Preschool

After the game of follow the leader was complete, the children moved to the outer edges of the lines.  Deborah then called out the children’s names individually and asked them to jump, walk, or hop over a wavy line, zig-zag, or straight line.  This was a fun way to explore lines while integrating some large motor play and increasing vocabulary of the different kinds of lines.  Be sure to remove your tape immediately after the children leave so that a sticky residue isn’t left on your carpet…

L is for lines by Teach Preschool

Next, we moved on to our centers.  At our light table, I drew lines on transparency paper for the children to trace.  I drew lines going both horizontally and vertically. We have a roll of paper that goes over the light table and transparencies for the children to trace on…

L is for lines by Teach Preschool

Tracing lines on the light table promotes hand-eye coordination, as well as pre-writing skills.  The light table was a popular place to be for tracing lines…

L is for lines by Teach Preschool

Deborah and I discovered that the children really loved all of the line activities that we prepared.  Stay tuned in for the next few days for more great ideas about how we integrated our study of lines all throughout the classroom…

L is for lines by Teach Preschool

A special thank you to the reader who suggested we purchase this book for our class. We loved it!

Available on Amazon

Links to grown on:

Alphabet maze learning activity by Hands On As We Grow

Making lines in preschool by Teach Preschool

Developing large motor skills by playing on the line by Teach Preschool

A multipurpose interactive bulletin board

No matter how large or small a classroom is, there is always a new way to make the more out of your space.  My indoor classroom is relatively small and so it is important to use each area of our classroom to its maximum potential without it becoming cluttered or congested.  Today, I want to share with you our multipurpose interactive bulletin board…

Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

We have lots of large wonderful windows in our classroom which I love but this also means we only have limited amount of wall space.  I use the wall space wisely so to offer as much as I can to the children while still keeping our environment attractive.  On one wall we have what I refer to as our name or snack board doubled with our directions board.

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

At the bottom of the board, there is a line of pockets and each pocket has a child’s name on it.  We use this for the children to pull out their names throughout the day.  Each morning the children remove their name from their pocket and put it on our classroom attendance chart…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

On some days, the children put their names back in the pockets after they have eaten snack and on other days, the children put their names back into the pockets before they go home.  It all depends on the day…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

The top of the board is called our Directions Board.  It takes exactly 4 sheets of large construction paper to cover the top half of the board. I tape four sheets of construction paper together and create different sets of “directions” for the children to follow depending on the day and the activity planned for the table directly below the board.  Currently the board has our heart display which was shared last week on the blog…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

However, when we need the top of the board for a different display, we simply staple a new display right over the top of the heart display then take the new display down when we are done. Like the classroom map below, we only needed it up for an hour of our day…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

The reason I call the top of our board a directions board is because we have been working with the children on learning to “read” and follow simple directions by creating displays to add to the board.  The children are getting very good at following the directions on the board.  The processes that accompany the directions are open ended but there are always steps that can be given on the directions board to help the children understand what the process is all about…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

For the board above, we were working on drawing lines with a ruler.  The children made snowflakes but their snowflakes didn’t (and wasn’t expected) to turn out exactly like the one on the board. Since was our first time using the directions board, I did choose to show the complete process so the children understood how to read the directions and what the process looked like from beginning to end. It is important to note that the focus of the board is about reading and following directions – not controlling their freedom to explore.  If the children head off into a direction that wasn’t on the board – we go with it.  The children are given all the space they need to interpret the directions in their own way or with their own creative spin during the process..

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

With each new display I made for the Directions Board, I add different elements like numbers to identify steps in the correct order or complete sentences or different objects that illustrate what the directions are.  The children learn to start from the left side of the board and follow the steps to the right side (promoting left to right reading progression) and to look for clues as to what the words might say under or over each word (or sentence) on the board (deductive reasoning or predictable print)…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

During morning circle, we do a brief review of the board. I ask the children to look at the board tell me what they think might be the first thing they are to do. For our students who are almost ready to read, we read the words aloud with them or for them. Those who are not readers, love to think they can read and always tell me what they think the words on the board say and for the most part, they get much of what the board says pretty darn close…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

For me personally, I love the directions board. It helps me think through how to share a process in simple steps and yet keep the process open ended so the children can interpret the process in their own way.  It also makes me prepare more completely for a process, think it through a bit, and make sure it is reasonable for the children to do entirely on their own…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

With each new display, the children are getting better and better at following the directions entirely on their own. The older children follow it easily, the younger children took about two weeks before they even remembered to look up and see that they could follow what was on the board.  I am also getting better at recognizing what to add and what not to add to the board so that it is all about the needs and abilities of the children in my class…

Multi-Purpose Interactive Bulletin Board by Teach Preschool

Using a bulletin board for more than just one purpose can help those of you with smaller classrooms to do something extra for your students.  You just have to think outside the box a bit!

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Bulletin Board Ideas on Pinterest

Taking the Word Wall Beyond the Wall by Teach Preschool

Parent Boards in the Preschool Classroom by Teach Preschool

String art for preschool

We brought some creativity into our recent exploration of  measurement and length by exploring this wonderful process of string art…

String Art by Teach Preschool

For this activity, we set out trays of glue tinted with liquid watercolors from Discount School Supply.  In preparation for this activity, I provided paint brushes, trays, and string.  Each child was given a bowl of various lengths of white string.  This process could easily be replicated with colored yarn and white school glue.  The white glue would dry clear, leaving just the colored yarn to show on the paper…

String Art by Teach Preschool

The children sat down at the table and began dipping their white strings into the colored glue.  They used the paintbrushes to help push their string into the glue and to brush off the excess, if necessary…

String Art by Teach Preschool

We encouraged the children to keep a hold of their string on one end, rather than dipping the entire piece, so that they could still have a clean “handle” to hold onto while manipulating their string.  After their string was all loaded up with the colored glue, the children then arranged the string on their paper…

String Art by Teach Preschool

While exploring this art process, the children noticed the difference in lengths of yarn.  Some of the children preferred using shorter lengths while others preferred the longer lengths…

String Art by Teach Preschool

A few children chose to drag their string across their paper to see what kind of effect it would have as well…

String Art by Teach Preschool

While others chose to add more paint on top of the strings after they put it on the paper…

String Art by Teach Preschool

Regardless of the method chosen, the results were beautifully textured string paintings…

String Art by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to grow on:

DIY simple textured wall art with string! by BluKatKraft

String painting art for preschoolers by Preschool Powol Packets

Y is for yarn in preschool by Teach Preschool

 

 

Measuring and creating with colored spaghetti

We have been continuing our  exploration in exploring length by measuring and creating with colored spaghetti noodles…

Measuring Colored Spaghetti by Teach Preschool

There are many different recipes available on the internet for making colored spaghetti noodles.  When attempting to color the spaghetti at home, it always seems as though I don’t quite have the exact ingredients that the recipes calls for.  As is usually the case when I cook, I decide to improvise.  For my version of colored spaghetti, you will need plain spaghetti noodles; gel food coloring;  oil; and bowls or plastic zipper bags; and rubbing alcohol…

Measuring colored spaghetti by Teach Preschool

Add about a 1/2 cup of oil to a large stockpot filled with water – the oil prevents the noodles from sticking together during the cooking process and during play.  Let the water come to boil and then add plain spaghetti noodles…

Measuring with Spaghetti by Teach Preschool

If you plan to use the noodles for measuring, go ahead and break the noodles into a variety of sizes.  While the noodles are boiling, begin adding the gel food colors to plastic zipper bags.  I read that regular food coloring may not color the noodles evenly but I was also concerned gels would not mix well due to being so thick, so I added a couple of teaspoons of rubbing alcohol to the bottom of the bags.  I squished the gel and the alcohol together until they were mixed well…

Measuring colored spaghetti by Teach Preschool

Once the noodles are fully cooked, strain the water and divide the noodles evenly among your prepared bags of color.  Squish the noodles around in the bags until it appears as though all the noodles are covered with the brilliant gel colors you have chosen. Add more food coloring gel as needed.  Store the colored pasta in the refrigerator until needed.  A few things to note about this process…

  • Adding the alcohol to the noodles makes them inedible, so be sure to consider your children’s needs when making this recipe.  
  • The smell of the rubbing alcohol evaporates off the noodles, so there is no lingering smell while playing with them.
  • I also came across another recipe that called for liquid water color, instead of food coloring.  This too, would make the noodles inedible, but would eliminate the need for the rubbing alcohol.  
  • I made a lot of colored spaghetti – most likely more than I needed for this process to be successful but I was still learning my way around the “how to make colored spaghetti” process…

Measuring colored spaghetti by Teach Preschool

Colored spaghetti noodles are a great sensory activity!  We extended the sensory play into math by providing sorting charts and rulers…

Measuring and creating with colored spaghetti

The colored charts provided the children with the opportunity to sort the spaghetti noodles by color.  Sorting the spaghetti allowed us to talk about size comparisons.  Deborah and I invited the children to share with us which of their noodles was the smallest or biggest, longest or shortest…

Measuring colored spaghetti by Teach Preschool

The rulers provided a very basic introduction into measurement.  The children lined their noodles up at the end of the ruler and stretched their noodles out to see which number it ended closest to on their ruler…

Measuring colored spaghetti by Teach Preschool

Because I had prepared quite a bit of colored spaghetti, we just couldn’t resist the opportunity to explore the noodles in a different manner.  So, Deborah suggested that we use the remaining spaghetti noodles for a little designing…

The rulers provided a very basic introduction into measurement.  We pointed out the

Deborah set out the colored noodles, as well as paper and cups of water.  The pasta may have stuck to the paper without adding water but we went ahead and added water just to create new interest in exploring the pasta.  We invited the children to dip their spaghetti in the water and then create designs on their paper…

Measuring and creating with colored spaghetti

The children were very thoughtful in how they placed their wet colorful noodles onto their paper.  However, when our artwork dried, most of the noodles no longer stuck to our paper, making sure this project wasn’t going to end up going home. However it did give the children a wonderful sensory and a unique measuring process to dig our hands into…

Measuring and creating with colored spaghetti

Available on Amazon

Links to grow on:

Spaghetti sensory play by Teach Preschool

Spaghetti towers by Pre-school Play

I is for inchworm by Everyday Carnival

Discussion on Food for Sensory Play by Teach Preschool