E is for elbow in preschool

I have already shared how we integrate the letter of the week with a tactile experience but I wanted to take a minute to elaborate on what we did for the letter E. Trying to find something that the children could glue on the letter E that started with the sound of the letter E was a challenge. We could have went with eggshells but with so many allergies, we opted for elbow macaroni :-) [...]

We are writing on the walls in preschool

In this classroom the children are literally writing on the walls! The bottom half of the wall is painted in chalk board paint around two whole walls of the classroom. Each of the children who have decided to write on the walls have a piece of chalk in one hand and an eraser in the other hand. They erase as fast as they draw. It is obvious that erasing is a very important part of [...]

Pumpkin patch play in preschool

All it takes is a little imagination and suddenly you have your very own preschool pumpkin patch! The children explored the pumpkin patch with a few orange pom-poms and green construction paper. The children used clothespins to pick the pumpkins from their patch and then put them in their basket! I thought it was interesting how the children used the clothespins as tweezers by squeezing pumpkins with the handle end of the clothespin. When I [...]

Play dough nature printing in preschool

Today is National Play-Doh day! Shara Lawrence Wiess of Early Childhood News and Resources is great about remembering special or unique holidays and this one of them - be sure to see all her ideas here! I was trying to come up with something different to do with play-dough and my brother suggested that I try some nature printing. I didn't have any play-dough on hand so I borrowed a recipe from Polwig and made [...]

Helping young children solve puzzles in preschool

I can't remember who taught me this little technique for teaching preschoolers how to manage a puzzle but it is a technique I have used for many years with much success. When a very young child takes a puzzle and dumps all the pieces out, chances are he or she will have a little trouble figuring out where to put the pieces back. Before the child moves from simple board puzzles to more complex jigsaw [...]

Promoting independence at naptime in preschool

In my years of classroom experience, I have found that the more I encourage children to take care of their own property the more responsive and cooperative they become. Naptime is an example of how children can be taught to take pride in doing something well and then enjoy the results. Naptime begins in this classroom by having each child get their blankets out of their own cubby. The cots are already placed on the [...]

Tools to promote fine motor skills in preschool

This may just look like an empty blue ice tray but if you stop and think about how it can be used to promote fine motor skills or sorting skills, the ideas are limitless. By adding a basket of small, plastic objects - this ice tray becomes a tool for both play and developing new skills. Today, the children are simply focused on putting pieces of fruit in the tray. No instructions are given. Instead, [...]

Using lids to play with a purpose in preschool

I have been collecting small lids from milk jugs and juice jugs. I don't really have a lot but I keep the ones I have saved in a small plastic pickle jar that I saved as well. To the untrained eye, these lids look like... well they just look like lids. But what I see is an opportunity to invite Wy to play with a purpose. I set the jar filled with lids on the [...]

A brief look at developmental domains in early childhood education

The early childhood years are filled with staggering growth and development. There are four main areas of development that occur all at the same time: Physical development: In the first years of growth young children are physically developing at a rapid pace. There is both large motor (crawling, walking, running) and fine motor development (eye-hand coordination, cutting, writing, weaving) happening all at once. Social development: Understanding how to communicate, share, make friends, and get along [...]

Centers in the preschool classroom

When children enter this classroom, they will discover plenty of things to do and the freedom to explore because each center in this classroom was designed just for them.  At this table the children are creating paintings with the dot painters. At the block center, a couple of boys have decided to pull out the legos. As they play with the legos, they also communicate with each other and discover how to cooperate and collaborate. [...]