Our new year resolutions in preschool

Understanding the concept of time is still very much a challenge for preschoolers.  So getting the children to understand the term “resolution” then dictate a “new year resolution” is an even bigger challenge…

Each day, we introduce our calendar and weather board.  I do not expect my students to grasp all the concepts that go along with time but I like to familiarize them with the different terms such as the days of the week, the months of the year, and so on.  Right up until we left for winter break, my students have called every single month so far “September.”  I am not sure why they are stuck on September but every time I ask them “What month of the year is it?”  All the children shout, “September!”

I was trying to describe what a resolution is. I told the children that it is something we would like to start doing or something we would like to change about ourselves in the future.  For the most part, the children didn’t really care about making a resolution. But they did like making a party hat!

Personally, I almost never make resolutions. So why I even asked my students to make one is beyond me.  But it did get me to thinking that for future reference we should start learning about setting simple, short-term goals and achieving those goals. Clearly, making a resolution for the new year was a little over their heads and not all that meaningful to them. But, of course, I asked anyway – just to see what kind of answers they might come up with…

I got answers such as…

  • Sit in Nana’s hot tub in the spring.
  • Go swimming in the pool in the summer.
  • Have a pinata birthday party.
  • Exercise with my aunt.

The children did use words like “summer, spring, fall” which tells me that the seasons are meaningful to them and that they relate seasons to the concept of time.  When a concept is meaningful to young children, they will apply that concept in a way that is meaningful to them.  I think the four seasons have meaning because the children can experience each season through the changes of clothing, weather, activities, and so forth. But the change in time, day, or year is a very abstract concept.  So we may continue to talk about the days, months, and even the new year ahead but it will only be when the children are developmentally ready that they will begin to find the concept of time meaningful.

 

By | December 27th, 2011|Categories: New Years|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Counting down to New Year’s Day in preschool

New Year CountdownWe spent a little time having fun with New Year’s Day before school was out for the holidays.  We started with a little math by counting down from the number 10!

Each of the children were given their own set of numbers (1 – 10) to organize on their felt boards. Together we found the number 10 and went backwards all the way to the number 1…

And then we shouted “Happy New Year!”

The children then glued their numbers on a sheet of construction paper. I didn’t give any specific instructions as to how to glue the numbers so each child made their own decision as to how they wanted to glue them.  Some of the children chose to glue them in the count-down order…

And others preferred to go with a collage of numbers…

We also made Happy New Year handprint cupcakes….

The children chose what color they wanted each “candle” to be on their Happy New Year cupcakes…

Then the children used their fingers to add a flame to all 10 candles on their countdown cupcake…

One of my students informed me that his cupcakes were actually turkeys 🙂

Well, I guess we made a countdown turkey then! I wonder how turkeys say “Happy New Year?”

By | December 26th, 2011|Categories: Mathematics, New Years|Tags: , |2 Comments

The “After Christmas Tree” book and activity for preschool

This is one of my absolute favorite books to read after Christmas. It is called the “The After-Christmas Tree” by Linda Wagner Tyler.

This is a book about what to do with the Christmas tree after all the decorations are down. The children keep the spirit of giving alive by decorating the tree with items to feed the birds and other animals that live outdoors.

Once you read the book, your students can make birdseed ornaments and garlands of nuts and cranberries to take outside and hang on a tree in your yard or play ground.

Links to grow on…

Here are some birdseed ornaments or feeders that your students can make as a follow-up to this book…

Cookies for the Birds by Greening Sam and Avery

Presents for our woodland friends by Rockabye Butterfly

“Frozen Birdseed” by Almost Unschoolers

Milk Bottle Bird feeder” by Nurture Store

Christmas for the Birds” by Silly Eagle Books

Pine Cone Bird Feeder” by The Amazing Mess

Biscuit Bird Feeders” by Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Binoculars” by Crafty Crafted

For a little something else to do, try this little After-Christmas Tree craft….

What you will need:

  • 1 part glue and 1 part brown paint mixed together
  • Green construction paper strips cut into varied lengths
  • Bird seed
  • Paper to put it all on

What you will do:

Start by letting the child paint the brown paint and glue mixture on the paper in the form of a tree (or a big blob will do:)

Next, add the green paper strips on top of the brown paint and glue mixture…

Then drip some more glue on top of the paper strips and any where else desired…

Now it is time to add some birdseed to the glue.  I didn’t have any birdseed on hand and so like all good preschool teachers learn how to do – I improvised. I used a Salad Topper mix 🙂

This salad topper has been sitting in my cabinet and since I rarely cook – it hasn’t ever been opened. So I found a good use for it! I thought it looks kind of like birdseed don’t you? But it smells better and it is edible too!

Once the glue dries, just shake off the “bird seed” that didn’t stick and you have your very own After-Christmas tree!

Want to see more ideas for this book – Check out this post by “A Place Called Kindergarten!”

By | December 31st, 2010|Categories: Children's Books, Holiday Ideas, New Years|Tags: , , , |8 Comments