You can’t have too many carrots!

You can’t have too many carrots unless you are the rabbit in the super sweet and funny picture book “Too Many Carrots” by Katy Hudson.

You Can't Have Too Many Carrots by Teach Preschool

Too Many Carrots” by Katy Hudson is a book about a rabbit who has too many carrots and can’t fit them all in his house. He decides he needs to find a new home for him and his carrots. This book is about friendship, homes, spacial awareness, carrots, animals and the list could go on. It is a beautifully illustrated book with simple text and a great story to read aloud. I posed for the photo below so you could check out the cover of the book…

You Can't Have Too Many Carrots by Teach Preschool

After reading the book, I invited each of my students to “plant” a carrot top to see if a new stem would grow…

You Can't Have Too Many Carrots by Teach Preschool

The children started by pouring a tiny amount of water in the dish…

You Can't Have Too Many Carrots by Teach Preschool

Then simply set the upper part of the root of the carrot in the water stem-side up…

You Can't Have Too Many Carrots by Teach Preschool

This was a process my students could handle easily. They have been pouring water, juice, and other all school year long all by themselves…

You Can't Have Too Many Carrots by Teach Preschool

The stem of the carrots should start to grow in about a week (see diagram below) if I actually did this right. We will soon see what happens!

You Can't Have Too Many Carrots by Teach Preschool

Oh and by the way, you really can’t have too many carrots in preschool. We had carrots everywhere today and still plenty of room for us all!

You Can't Have Too Many Carrots by Teach Preschool

Links to Grow On

A Day of Exploring Carrots by Teach Preschool

Spring Sensory Playtub with Carrots by Nurture Store

Writing, Painting, Printing with Carrots by Nurture Store

By | April 13th, 2016|Categories: Science and Nature, Snack Time|Tags: , , , , |7 Comments

Learning about the skeleton inside of you!

With spring upon us, I was chomping at the bit to start exploring bugs, flowers, gardening – you know – all that springy stuff but my students had a different idea in mind. They wanted to do a Skeleton Day! So smack in the middle of our first week of spring, we stopped to explore the skeletons inside our bodies.

The skeleton inside of you by Teach Preschool

I am quite sure that my students actually wanted to study scary skeletons since several of my students are still talking about Halloween but I took their interest a little different direction instead. After all, it is spring!

 The skeleton inside of you by Teach Preschool

One of the things I have been trying to do is invest more time and planning in ideas that the children come up with. I have always prepared a classroom environment and ideas that I feel my students would truly be interested in and I have had great success in keeping my students engaged and excited about learning. But still, I want to see if I can do even better so I listened to my students request for a skeleton day, well actually they insisted, and said yes to their request. I spent about a week looking for ways to present skeletons to the children then we planned our skeleton day. The morning started off terrific with a mystery skeleton on the math table, hidden beneath a large sheet of black paper, and my students were already loving it!

The skeleton inside of you by Teach Preschool

When we removed the paper, the children found the most beautiful skeleton (that Miss Sascha had made out of Model Magic clay) laying on the table. The bones were kind of fragile so the children were going to have to be gentle with them but I wasn’t worried.  This skeleton was simply for discussion. Later, the children hid all the bones in the sand table for play.

The skeleton inside of you by Teach Preschool

We talked about the different kinds of bones that were on the table. The children made guesses as to which bones were what and did very well with most of their guesses. The head bone was easy but it was actually the most fragile of all the bones we had out.

The skeleton inside of you by Teach Preschool

Then we went down the body of bones. The head, neck, rib cage, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand and fingers. Of course, our bones weren’t exactly anatomically correct but the children got the idea and loved talking about them.  We worked our way down the spine to the hip bone and then, well I am kind of hesitant to say this, the discussion was all about the “penis bone.”

The skeleton inside of you by Teach Preschool

Of course, I corrected the children and told them that this was the tail bone but all my efforts to get them back on track were pretty much over ruled and unheard with all the excitement. At least the children were all comfortable talking in anatomically correct terms.

The skeleton inside of you by Teach Preschool

So I simply redirected their attention by inviting them all to pick up a bone of their choice and then pass it along to a neighbor.

The skeleton inside of you by Teach Preschool

The children were quite fascinated with the bones and after the bones made it around to all the children we were ready to take them downstairs for further play.

The skeleton inside of you by Teach Preschool

In my next post, I will share with you another fun and very simple way we explored the skeletons inside of us.

The skeleton inside of you by Teach Preschool

Have a wonderful day and remember to take care of the skeleton inside of you!

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Links to Grow On

Exploring the inside of our outside by Teach Preschool

We made caterpillars in preschool by Teach Preschool

Tons of Spring Fun on Pinterest

By | April 3rd, 2016|Categories: Science and Nature|Tags: , , |8 Comments

Looking for signs of spring

The weather is finally starting to feel more springlike so we are beginning to talk about and look for the signs of spring around our preschool…

Signs of Spring by Teach Preschool

What are some of the signs of spring? Miss Abby and Miss Lauren asked the first few children who arrived at preschool to help them come up with some signs of spring. The children immediately said that there were bees and flowers…

Signs of Spring by Teach Preschool

As the children continued to arrive to preschool, more signs of spring were drawn on the chart, for later discussion with the whole group, such as a tree, caterpillar, kite, swing set, butterfly, and the ideas continued to flow…

 Signs of Spring by Teach Preschool

Through out the week, the children were invited to keep looking for signs of spring both inside the classroom and outside…

Signs of Spring by Teach Preschool

Inside the classroom, the children found a bouquet of flowers that they could arrange in different sized pots…

Signs of Spring by Teach Preschool

Miss Sascha put together a spring flower center filled with a variety of real and pretend items for the children to arrange and care for their flowers…

Signs of Spring by Teach Preschool

The children also explored spring flowers and sunshine on the flannel board…

Signs of Spring by Teach Preschool

But of course, the best signs of spring were going to be found outside. All we had to do was go outside and find them…

Signs of Spring by Teach Preschool

We found a few signs of spring in the woods such as clovers, moss on the tree trunks and blooms on a few of the trees. But the woods still looked like winter for the most part…

Signs of Spring by Teach Preschool

In the play area, the grass looked a little greener but still not too many other signs of spring…

Signs of Spring by Teach Preschool

So a couple of the children thought that perhaps they could give spring a little bit of help by bringing our bouquet of flowers outside…

Signs of Spring by Teach Preschool

And soon, more children came along to help ‘plant’ the flowers in the mud along our sidewalk…

Signs of Spring by Teach Preschool

And the plants were watered generously all morning long…

Signs of Spring by Teach Preschool

The children were particularly excited about the signs of spring because it was also a sign that it was time for our hibernating bears to wake up! Just a few more days to go…

Signs of Spring by Teach Preschool

By the time you will read this post, our bears will be up so be sure to check back and I will tell you all about our Wake Up Bear day! You do not want to miss it:)

Signs of Spring by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Tucking our Bears in For a Long Winter’s Nap by Teach Preschool

Time to Hibernate by Teach Preschool

Raindrop graphing on the flannel board

The flannel board is such a great teaching tool when you think outside the box a bit. This week, we turned the flannel board into a raindrop measuring graph!

Raindrop Measuring Graph by Teach Preschool

With all the rain this month, it has been a good opportunity to dive into a little rain science and math. The children were each given a small measuring bottle then invited to predict how much rain their cup would get in it if left outside for the morning.

Raindrop Measuring Graph by Teach Preschool

Most of the children predicted that they would get up to the number five line. One parent mentioned that it could be that the children chose four or five because many of the children are now age four and five. I thought that was a pretty good observation.

Raindrop Measuring Graph by Teach Preschool

After their predictions, the children placed their bottles outside in the rain and left them for the school day. Later in the day, the children got their bottles and checked out the actual measurement.

Raindrop Measuring Graph by Teach Preschool

As you can see, there wasn’t quite as much rain in their bottles as they had predicted. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get much rain that day. I think we should do a do-over the next time our weather person says it is going to be another rainy day!

Raindrop Measuring Graph by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

The Rain Jar by Teach Preschool

Painting with the Rain by The Nurture Store

Rainstick in a bottle

Tis the season of lots of rain and with all that rain, we were inspired to make our own rainstick in a bottle…

Rainstick in a bottle by Teach Preschool

Miss Lauren came up with this brilliant and simple idea for the children to make. She wanted the children to explore the weather with all their senses and the rainstick in a bottle invited the children to listen to the ‘rain’ and to look at the ‘rain’ as it flowed through their ‘clouds’.

Rainstick in a bottle by Teach Preschool

I love the rainstick in a bottle because it includes time in sensory play, as well as invites creativity along with further discussion about the weather.

Rainstick in a bottle by Teach Preschool

Miss Lauren saved up plastic bottles for the children to use. I think the bottles were Sparkling Water bottles but I am not for sure. To make the rainstick in a bottle, the children began by filling their bottles with cotton ball clouds. It is better to not pack the bottle full of cotton balls but to fill it lightly so that the rain can trickle down to the bottle of the bottle.

Rainstick in a bottle by Teach Preschool

Once the children added their clouds, they were ready to add the rain. The children could use the funnel to add rain to their bottles or just use their hands and sprinkle the rain right over the rice tub.

Rainstick in a bottle by Teach Preschool

Miss Lauren added colored rice for the rain. She placed the rice in a baggie with blue liquid watercolor then kneaded the bag till all the rice turned the desired color of blue. Then she spread the rice out on a tray and left it to dry overnight.

Rainstick in a bottle by Teach Preschool

As you can see, not every child followed the order that I described above when making their rainsticks in a bottle but it didn’t really matter…

Rainstick in a bottle by Teach Preschool

All that mattered was adding a little of both cotton and rice. We didn’t worry about amounts as the children could test it out to see if they liked the amounts they added to their bottle. If not, just pour some out and start again!

Rainstick in a bottle by Teach Preschool

Once the bottle had the desired amount of clouds and rain, its time to put on the lid and watch the rain flow through the clouds as they turned the bottle slowly up then down…

Rainstick in a bottle by Teach Preschool

Oh, and don’t forget to add your name!

Rainstick in a bottle by Teach Preschool

The rainstick in a bottle center remained open through out the morning so the children would have plenty of time to create their rainstick…

Rainstick in a bottle by Teach Preschool

This was an activity that the children enjoyed exploring and it was fun watching them enjoy the process!

Rainstick in a bottle by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Exploring Raindrops and Clouds by Teach Preschool

Rainy Day Drawing Cube on Preschool Spot!

For more great spring idea see Spring on Pinterest – click here!

By | March 16th, 2016|Categories: Discovery Bottles, DIY, Science and Nature|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

March roars in like a lion: Talking about weather in preschool

The month of March roared in like a lion and has continued to be crazy weather ever since. This crazy weather system gives us the perfect opportunity to talk about the different kinds of weather all month long…

March roars in like a lion: Talking about weather by Teach Preschool

We started our month off by making roaring lions to symbolize the roar of the wind we were hearing, feeling, and seeing outside…

March roars in like a lion: Talking about weather by Teach Preschool

Our Scholastic Magazine was a perfect addition to our weather discussion as well!

March roars in like a lion: Talking about weather by Teach Preschool

We discussed how the weather was sometimes loud and sometimes quiet.

March roars in like a lion: Talking about weather by Teach Preschool

To make our first day of March absolutely outstanding, the weather was all over the map. During our morning circletime, it was very windy, then it started to rain, and then it began to hail! We stopped to watch the hail drop down on the rooftop.

March roars in like a lion: Talking about weather by Teach Preschool

We wanted to take a closer look so we threw on our coats to head outside but by the time we got outside, the hail had stopped. Still, we were able to find lots of hail around the building and we collected some hail for further observation and discussion…

March roars in like a lion: Talking about weather by Teach Preschool

The hail was cold on our hands and it felt like little ice marbles…

March roars in like a lion: Talking about weather by Teach Preschool

We managed to gather a good collection of hail and then we did a little rain walking before heading back inside.

March roars in like a lion: Talking about weather by Teach Preschool

Later in the week, it got even colder and snowed.

March roars in like a lion: Talking about weather by Teach Preschool

And of course we went outside to explore the snow. There was just enough snow on the ground to build a snow deer with stick antlers…

March roars in like a lion: Talking about weather by Teach Preschool

And then last week, it was absolutely beautiful outside! Sunny and warm and once again, we went outside to enjoy the beautiful day. Only this time, we didn’t need our coats on.

March roars in like a lion: Talking about weather by Teach Preschool

Yes, March has definitely come in roaring like a lion. Who knows what the weather will be like next week. I have heard reports that more cold weather is on its way.

March roars in like a lion: Talking about weather by Teach Preschool

Whatever the weather will be, you can bet that we will get outside and explore it!

March roars in like a lion: Talking about weather by Teach Preschool

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Links to Grow on!

Rain Paint by Learn Play Imagine

Clouds in a Jar by Teach Preschool

To see more Ideas for Weather on Pinterest Click here!

By | March 13th, 2016|Categories: Outdoor Play, Science and Nature|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

STEAM : How to make moving noodle robots

School starts back up for me at the very end of August but today, my youngest grandson, age 21/2, and I decided to spend a little time over in the classroom.  I have piles of odds and ends stashed around the classroom that I have collected to use for when school starts back up. One of my collections includes the materials needed to make noodle robots that really do move…

How to Make Moving Noodle Robots

To make a moving noodle robot you will need to collect a few items but first, I want to mention that I am planning to make a set to keep in the classroom so our children can explore the materials in different ways through out the school year.

Materials needed

To make one noodle robot, I used….

  • 1 swimming noodle (cut down to size)
  • 1 AA battery
  • 1 battery operated toothbrush purchased at the Dollar Tree
  • Duct Tape
  • Stickers or markers to decorate your robot however you (or your students) wish.

How to Make Moving Noodle Robots

What to do

The ONLY kind of battery operated toothbrush that I found that works for this is to buy the cheap kid’s $1.00 battery operated toothbrush from the Dollar Tree.

How to Make Moving Noodle Robots

I opened the toothbrush and removed the entire battery case out of the toothbrush.  I saved the toothbrush for a different use in the classroom later on.

How to Make Moving Noodle Robots

I placed one battery inside the battery case and made sure it is working properly by switching the power on. Be sure to keep the battery in place by covering the entire battery (case and all) with duct tape…

How to Make Moving Noodle Robots

I wrapped the case with about two layers of tape so it would fit snuggly (not tight) into the noodle robot…

How to Make Moving Noodle Robots

Go ahead and decorate the noodle with stickers or markers.  One long noodle should be cut down into smaller sizes using a sharp knife. You will want the noodles to be just shorter than the length of the battery case. I made mine look like a robot by using some stickers my grandsons had gotten in their kids-meals at Chic-fil-a. After the noodle is decorated or designed to look the way you (or your students) wish, then just place the battery pack inside the center of the noodle and turn it on…

How to Make Moving Noodle Robots

And now the fun really begins. At least this is where it did for my grandson and I.  My grandson spent the longest time exploring the moving noodle robot.  He began by just learning how to turn the power on and off. Click-click, click-click, buzz-buzz! He did this over and over again and set it on the table on occasion to watch the noodle robot move across the table. As he adjust the battery around, the noodle robot would spin or move differently…

How to Make Moving Noodle Robots

Then my grandson also wanted to take a closer look at the battery pack. He asked if he could take it out and I said “Of Course!”  That’s another reason I covered the pack with layers of duct tape…

My grandson spent the longest time deconstructing and constructing the noodle robot, turning the power on and off, and then letting the robot roam across different surfaces around the room just to see what would happen. He LOVED it and so did I! It was so cool watching my grandson be able to explore the mechanics or workings of the robot all by himself…

How to Make Moving Noodle Robots

I put together this short video of the noodle robot in action!

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By | July 21st, 2015|Categories: Engineering, Science and Nature|Tags: , , , |24 Comments

Exploring letters with leaves

This simple yet lovely idea is from Linda over at Rain or Shine Mamma. The emphasis of Laura’s blog is on learning, creating, and playing in nature. I am thrilled to share her beautiful photographs and this fun idea with you today…

Exploring Letters with Leaves

by Linda of Rain or Shine Mamma

Nature is a wonderful place for learning and this time of the year I like to take advantage of the abundance of leaves that can be found on the ground. My youngest daughter (who is 3) is chomping on the bit to learn the alphabet like her big sister, and since we love spending time outdoors I came up with this simple letter recognition activity using leaves.

Exploring letters with leaves!

Materials:

  • Tote bag for collecting leaves
  • 20-30 leaves
  • Marker

Exploring letters with leaves

How to do it:

  • Find a natural area with trees and start collecting your leaves. Encourage your child to find a variety of species, colors and textures. Learning in nature is typically multidisciplinary, and I always take the opportunity to talk about the color, shape and texture of the leaves. You can also discuss which leaves are OK to pick – do you get them off the trees or only pick the ones that have already fallen on the ground?
  • Use a marker to write letters on the leaves. If your child is just starting out with letter recognition, don’t include the whole alphabet. Choose four or five random letters and repeat them until all the leaves have been used. A logical place to start would be the letters in your child’s name, since those are usually the first ones he or she will begin to recognize.
  • When you’re done writing, put the leaves back in the tote bag and let your child draw a leaf out of the bag, eyes closed. Then have him or her identify the letter on the leaf. My daughter loved the element of surprise, and her hand kept going back in the bag for more!

Exploring Letters with Leaves

Variations for the more advanced learner: Children who are getting interested in writing may want to help print the letters on the leaves, at least my daughter did. Another way to challenge a more advanced learner is to have them put together their name using the leaves along with both upper and lowercase letters.

Enjoy!

Linda McGurk is a U.S. writer and photographer who believes that the best childhood memories are created outside, while jumping in puddles, digging in dirt, catching frogs and climbing trees. She blogs about forest schooling and restoring the connection between children and nature at Rain or Shine Mamma, and hopes to inspire parents and educators to get outside with their children every day, regardless of the weather.

-Rain or Shine Mamma on Facebook

-Rain or Shine Mamma on Pinterest

-Rain or Shine Mamma on Twitter

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By | October 17th, 2014|Categories: Science and Nature|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

The butterfly unit in preschool

Last year, I had a parent give my class one of the best gifts ever. She gave us a butterfly kit. I hadn’t ever had one of these kits before and I was so worried that somehow I would mess it up along the way, but I followed the directions and my class and I were amazed with the process of watching a set of real caterpillars transform into butterflies…

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

Because the process of changing from a caterpillar to a butterfly was going to take time, we visited the topic of caterpillars and butterflies on many different occasions so that we could draw our attention back to what was happening to our caterpillars along the way…

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

The caterpillars start off in a small jar with food and after a week or so the caterpillars crawl to the top of the jar and form their chrysalis on a paper circle that is inside the lid at the top of the jar…

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

While the caterpillars were forming their chrysalis, the children had to handle the jar very carefully and then I carefully removed the paper circle with the chrysalis attached and pinned the paper circle inside our butterfly house and we waited and watched some more…

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

After about 7 to 10 days, our butterflies began to emerge from their chrysalis…

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

The butterflies looked kind of dry and weak at first so we didn’t want to disturb them while they built their strength…

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

Some of our parents stopped by to take a look too…

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

Within a few days, the butterflies were strong and beautiful and fluttering around…

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

And then came the day that we went outside to set out butterflies free…

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

Two butterflies flew away as soon as we opened the top of the butterfly house but the others needed a little prodding…

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

As you can see, this process went over several weeks so during that time I introduced different activities to go along with our study of the butterfly life cycle. We read different books along the way such as “A Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle and “Waiting for Wings” by Lois Ehlert.

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

We also explored the life cycle from caterpillar to butterfly with these felt board pieces I made…

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

I used the felt pieces to walk through the life cycle of caterpillar to butterfly with the children but also brought it the fun of fruits just like Eric Carle did in his book…

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

At the end of our felt story, a butterfly came out of our felt story chrysalis too…

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

I kept our felt butterfly life cycle pieces out for the children to draw their own life-cycles…

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

We had all kinds of artwork, story telling, drawings, and discussions about the life cycle of a butterfly while we waited for our real butterflies to come. I even made the kids the cutest little caterpillar to butterfly snack wraps!

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

Such a fun study and all thanks to the wonderful gift a parent gave to our class!…

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

If you are looking for a butterfly kit of your own, check out Insect Lore.  Keep in mind that weather (extreme hot or cold weather) can affect the delivery of your caterpillars. So if you choose to do this project, build in lots of flexibility for ordering, delivery and time to let your caterpillars grow into butterflies! And when you receive your caterpillars, read the directions carefully! For those of you who have caterpillars that are native in your own environment, perhaps you can collect a few to watch them grow and change. Of course, you will need to read up on what kind of food to have available for them and anything else that might be important to know for this process.

The Butterfly Unit by Teach Preschool

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By | July 20th, 2014|Categories: Flannel Board, Science and Nature|Tags: , , , , |7 Comments

Fun with frozen: making ice grow

I have been noticing lots of fun ideas being shared by my fellow bloggers that are all related to the Walt Disney movie “Frozen.”  I must admit that my grandsons and I have enjoyed watching this movie at home on more that one occasion. So for all you “Frozen” fans out there (and for those of you who just like really cool ice science), here is a fun way to make ice grow just like Elsa does! Well almost – to correctly state this for our young scientists, here is what crystallization means…

Ice Science: Making Ice Grow by Teach Preschool

So I am going to try and explain this but at the end of this post, I will put a video link to where you can learn a little bit more about it and probably understand it better too.  It isn’t all that complicated but it helps to have a little extra information.  First you need to place some unopened bottles of water in your freezer and leave them there for about 2 hours and 45 minutes…

Ice Science: Making Ice Grow by Teach Preschool

You can color the water first if you would like to make colored ice grow. I tried it both ways with the same success. Be sure to seal the bottle closed tightly before placing them in your freezer. Set your bottles flat in the freezer like I have here for best results…

Ice Science: Making Ice Grow by Teach Preschool

After the 2 hours and 45 minutes, your water should still look like water and not be frozen. The photo below is too frozen…

Ice Science: Making Ice Grow by Teach Preschool

Gently take your super icy cold water out of the freezer and handle very gently. Don’t shake, knock, or jar the bottle or your water will now turn into ice before you are ready.  Set out a tub of ice (you need to use a container that will allow for plenty of water overflow so a bigger container might be better than the cup you see here).  Then pour a steady stream of water over the ice and you will see the ice begin to grow. You can do this on one ice cube or a bunch of ice cubes…

Ice Science: Making Ice Grow by Teach Preschool

Keep the stream of water going. Move it around a bit as your ice grows taller and grow more ice around your container. You can create as many ice towers (or castles) as you like until your bottle runs out of water or your container starts to get too full and spill out onto the floor! By keeping the water pouring in one spot, your ice will grow…

Ice Science: Making Ice Grow by Teach Preschool

and grow…

Ice Science: Making Ice Grow by Teach Preschool

And grow!

Ice Science: Making Ice Grow by Teach Preschool

I haven’t tried this with my class yet but it is on my list to do. First we will work on our pouring skills through water play and then we will be ready to give this idea a go! I’ve added a short video of the process  which you can view below…

Now to learn more about this entire process, you will want to view this video below or it can be found here —> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o8moFSHrAQ

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By | July 18th, 2014|Categories: Science and Nature|Tags: , |7 Comments