Gift box chalkboard writing game

As I mentioned in my previous post, we have been having fun with gift boxes around the classroom and that includes our chalkboard easel too…

Gift box chalkboard game by Teach Preschool

To put a little holiday spirit into our chalkboard easel and to promote a little bit of writing or drawing, I taped a few small gift boxes and lids to our chalkboard easel. I only taped the top edge of each open box or lid to the board using clear packing tape…

Gift box chalkboard game by Teach Preschool

At first, the children simply drew around the boxes but then I showed them how they could also draw surprises underneath the boxes by lifting up the bottom of the box, drawing their picture or letter or design then covering it back up by putting the box back down over it…

Gift box chalkboard game by Teach Preschool

The tape held up really well but I was prepared for a box to be pulled completely off the board.  By the end of the day, I only had to tape one box back onto the board…

Gift box chalkboard game by Teach Preschool

For most of the day, I just left the children to play or explore the chalkboard gift box writing game on their own…

Gift box chalkboard game by Teach Preschool

But on occasion, I would stop by and play with a child. I would model writing a letter, number, name or shape under a box and the children would lift it up to see if they could guess what I had written or drawn. This often inspired the children to draw their own name, letter, number, or shape….

Gift box chalkboard game by Teach Preschool

A super simple set-up with lots of room for open ended drawing and writing. Any size box will do. I just used what I had on hand but I think a larger box might help the children “feel” like they have more space to write or draw so I will try that in the future…

Gift box chalkboard game by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

By | December 9th, 2013|Categories: Christmas, Games, Holiday Ideas|Tags: , , , , , , , |4 Comments

DIY chalk box

I don’t know if you have ever tried chalkboard paint but I happened to pick up some a short while ago and I must tell you that once you get some chalkboard paint, it is hard not to get carried away with DIY chalkboard paint projects…

DIY Chalk Boxes by Teach Preschool

One of my projects included making a set of chalk boxes. To make a chalk box, I gathered up some left-over sturdy gift boxes I had from last Christmas (I always stock up on them when they go on sale), a box of white chalk, and my Valspar chalkboard spray paint (purchased at Lowes)…

DIY Chalk Boxes by Teach Preschool

I sprayed the outside of each box, both tops and bottoms, with the chalkboard paint and let them dry overnight. Then the next day, I put the boxes back together and added the filling back into the boxes along with one piece of chalk inside each box…

DIY Chalk Boxes by Teach Preschool

In my class, we had been talking about and using chalk quite a bit lately so I made a chalk box for each child to serve as a token reminder of our discussions and activities involving chalk…

DIY Chalk Boxes by Teach Preschool

Before the children opened their chalk boxes at school, I had them guess what they thought might be inside their little black boxes. Some of the children easily guessed that the boxes had chalk in them while others were not so sure what was inside…

DIY Chalk Boxes by Teach Preschool

The children took a few minutes to explore their chalk boxes by drawing shapes on the chalkboard side of the box…

DIY Chalk Boxes by Teach Preschool

The children used the box fiberfill as an eraser to erase their chalk drawings…

DIY Chalk Boxes by Teach Preschool

In my future chalk box making excursion, I will consider using just a bit larger boxes so the children have just a little more space for drawing but my students loved their boxes and were super excited to get to keep one of their very own…

DIY Chalk Boxes by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

 

By | September 14th, 2013|Categories: DIY|Tags: , , , , , |5 Comments

Under construction with our DIY fix-it box

I have a collection of toy hammers, nails, and other plastic tools that I have accumulated over the past several years and  my grandson has recently found a big interest in playing with them.  To give us a place to store all the tools and to give my grandson a different way of playing with them while indoors, I was inspired to create a DIY fix-it box!

DIY Fix it Box by Teach Preschool

To make the DIY fix-it box, I recycled an old box by spray painting it first then cutting different sized holes for play. I think I may add a few more holes before it is all said and done, but for now, my grandson has enjoyed the box as is…

Fix it box

This is a very sturdy box so when my grandson crawls across the top or pounds the box with the hammer, it holds up pretty well but of course, any time you use a box there will eventually be some wear and tear…

DIY Fix it Box by Teach Preschool

I put holes in the box for the nails and screws to fit in and added rubber bands just for a different twist on using the box…

DIY Fix it Box by Teach Preschool

My grandson likes to pull all the nails out and push them back in or drop the plastic wood pieces through the hole in the end of the box…

DIY Fix it Box by Teach Preschool

When my grandson discovered he could open the box, he found the inside of the box to be just as interesting (if not more) as the outside of the box…

DIY Fix it Box by Teach Preschool

Inside the box were more tools, a calculator, paper, clipboard, and crayons to invite additional kinds of play…

DIY Fix it Box by Teach Preschool

And then there is the natural desire to climb inside the box to check things out…

DIY Fix it Box by Teach Preschool

The fix-it box will eventually make its way to my discovery center in my classroom but for now it is undergoing seriously play testing…

DIY Fix it Box by Teach Preschool

Here is a little collage of the fix-it box in action…

DIY Fix it Box by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

By | July 26th, 2013|Categories: DIY|Tags: , , , , , |10 Comments

How to make a simply amazing maze for play

Over the next few days, we want to share with you some of the fun ideas we have been exploring with mazes. But before we do, let’s start with a simple tutorial on how to make an amazing maze for play…

Simply amazing mazes for play by Teach Preschool

To make this amazing maze, you will need a large shallow box, some milkshake straws, and a glue gun.  Milkshake straws are a little bigger and stronger than regular straws and can be purchased online through Amazon or I also found some at Staples office supply and at Meijer’s department store.

Simply amazing mazes for play by Teach Preschool

To make the maze, cut your straws into different lengths and then position them where you think they should go on inside the box. You may wish to pencil in an outline of your maze before gluing down the straws so that you are sure your pattern of straws will end the way you hope they will. However, Mrs. Courtney just used her best judgement while making our maze and we were quite happy with the results…

Simply amazing mazes for play by Teach Preschool

Use a hot glue gun to hold the straws in place inside your box…

Simply amazing mazes for play by Teach Preschool

Press and hold each straw on the hot glue for a few seconds then move onto the next straw until you have all your straws firmly glued inside the box…

Simply amazing mazes for play by Teach Preschool

Once you have all your straws glued down, then it is time to play! Check back tomorrow and we will share with you how our entire class explored some amazing play with our cardboard box maze…

Simply amazing mazes for play by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Lego Mazes by De Tout Et De Rien (Everything and Nothing)

Straw Box Lid Maze by Chasing Cheerios

Pipe Cleaner Mazes by Teach Preschool

By | March 2nd, 2013|Categories: DIY|Tags: , , , , , , |5 Comments

Reading David McPhail and fun with fixing

The bloggers of the Virtual Book Club are celebrating the works of David McPhail this month and my class enjoyed the simple and sweet book titled “Fix-It” then spent the rest of our morning having fun with fixing…

Fun with Fixing by Teach Preschool

“Fix-It” by David McPhail is about a little bear that wants to watch television only to discover that the television is broken. Little bear is very upset and while the “fix-it” bear tries to fix the television, mamma bear and papa bear try to keep little bear distracted…

Fun with Fixing by Teach Preschool

Nothing that mamma and papa bear do to make baby bear happy works until she sits down with mamma bear to read a good book…

Fun with Fixing by Teach Preschool

We used this book as our springboard into exploring different things we can fix and the tools we use to fix them.  In my story box, I had a hammer, screwdriver, tape, glue, and a sewing kit.  I took out each item, one at a time, and asked the children if they could think of different things each item could fix…

Fun with Fixing by Teach Preschool

After our brief discussion on our tools to fix things, the children found several things around the classroom that needed to be fixed as well including a whole set of boxes that were left in the block center along with all our tools and some tape…

Fun with Fixing by Teach Preschool

The children worked together to fix the boxes so the boxes could hold stuff again. Some of the children focused on taping the flaps of the boxes closed…

Fun with Fixing by Teach Preschool

While others preferred to use the tools to try and “fix” the boxes…

Fun with Fixing by Teach Preschool

Some of our tools even made it over to the table. Looks like these little puzzles needed a little fixing too!

Fun with Fixing by Teach Preschool

Be sure to check out my next Fix-It post coming later this week and see the linky below for more ideas for activities to go with the books of David McPhail brought to you by my fellow virtual book club members…

Available on Amazon

 

Up and coming authors that will be shared in the Virtual Book Club include the following…

  • February 18th-Dr. Seuss
  • March 18th-Julia Donaldson
  • April 15th-David Shannon
  • May 20th-Leo Lionni
  • June 17th-Gail Gibbons
  • July 15th- Jez Alborough
  • August 19th-Donald Crews

VirtualBookClub

To see more ideas from the other participating Virtual Book Club just check out the linky below! Remember, if you are viewing this post by email or in a RSS Reader, you may need to click on the title of this post to view the linky from the blog post…

Participating Bloggers

Toddler ApprovedMom to 2 Posh Lil DivasRainy Day MumReading ConfettiInspiration LaboratoriesPlay Dr. MomMommy and Me Book ClubKitchen Counter ChroniclesTwo Big Two LittleCreative Connections for KidsThe Golden GleamJuggling with KidsTaming the GoblinCrafty Moms ShareReady Set Read 2 MeFamiglia and SeoulThe Good Long RoadThe Educator’s Spin On ItImagination Soup3 DinosaursRoyal BalooBeing A ConsciousParentNo Twiddle TwaddleCrayon FrecklesThe Pleasantest ThingAdventures in Reading with KidsSmile, Play, LearnCreekside LearningOur Feminist Playschool, and Teach Preschool!

David McPhail Virtual Book Club Linky

There are a few rules for this blog hop that we ask you to follow, so make sure to read them:
  1. Link up only posts inspired by David McPhail that share children’s book inspired crafts, activities, recipes, etc. Any other posts will be deleted.
  2. Visit other blog posts on the linky and comment on or share the ones you love!
  3. Add our Virtual Book Club button to your post if you’d like.

By | January 21st, 2013|Categories: Children's Books|Tags: , , , , , |3 Comments

Stack the box relay race

When I introduce the relay process to my students, I actually begin with a modified relay race that has all the elements of a relay but without the stress of making it a win or lose proposition…

The main goal of this type of relay race is to teach the children the very basics of a relay.  The children were to take their first empty box across the driveway, set it down on the line then go back and get their second empty box and set it on top of their first box and then stop…

This may seem very simple but for young children, I find that if you introduce them to a relay race in small doses they will enjoy it more.  We did not focus on finishing first or fastest – instead we just focused on finishing…

Everyone ran with all their heart and did a great job on finishing the relay race…

And once we had ran through the planned relay race a few times, the children finished out our outdoor play time kicking the boxes all around the play area…

 

Available on Amazon

By | September 30th, 2012|Categories: Outdoor Play|Tags: , , |2 Comments

All you need is a box

We spent quite a bit of time exploring different ways you can use a box in our classroom.  Of course, if you haven’t read the book “Not a Box” by Antoinette Portis then you might not understand that any box you may have around is really not a box…

“Not a Box” by Antoinette Portis is a simply illustrated book about using one’s imagination to consider what else a box could be…

I started collecting boxes all throughout the summer so I had put together a nice assortment of empty boxes before school started this year to share with the children…

After reading our story, I had each child go and select 2 boxes (I had saved way more than I really needed) and then we did a little imagining of our own to decide what could be done or made if we put all of our boxes together…

We worked together to build a tall tower. This was no easy task because we had to figure out which boxes were largest to smallest as the tower got higher and higher and we had to make sure our boxes were balanced well so they wouldn’t fall over…

Our tower got so high that we had to bring over the step ladder to try and reach the very top of our tower…

In fact, our tower got so high that no one could reach the very top except Mrs. Courtney.  She even had to use the step ladder too!…

We also discovered a box just might be a bridge to walk across…

Or a box might just be a chair you can sit on…

Or a box might just be a footstool you can stand on…

Or a box might just be a brick you can build castles with…

The children explored all the empty boxes during our center time and then we took them all outside to play a simple relay game…

Which I will share in my next post!  Now, what else could we build with all of these boxes?

Available on Amazon

Link to “Sitting in My Box” is a Kindle edition

Links to Grow on

A Story in a Box

The Little Box Carpenter 

Pizza Box Games

Turn a box into toddler fun

My plan was to decorate this box and make it really cool like this one here.

But as much as I liked the idea of making a cool oven

Wy  had other plans.

Wy was all about the play!

In and Out went Wy

And

Open and Shut went the “doors”

Since the doors were what Wy loved most…

we cut a few doors and windows out.

And played a little peek-a-boo!

While Wy climbed in and out of the box, I began to decorate the outside…

And then Wy began to undecorate!

So the box remained just a box for Wy to play with.

“knock-knock” is any body home?


What value was this play experience?

  • Large Motor: Crawling

  • Fine Motor: Opening and shutting the doors

  • Communication Skills: “Peek-a-boo” and “Is anybody home?”

  • Vocabulary: In – Out, Open-Shut, knock-knock


  • Imagination: A box can be a house, an oven, a cave, or a place to hide.
By | July 11th, 2010|Categories: motor skills, Physical Development, The Value of Play|Tags: , , |7 Comments