Bright and colorful jelly bean science

After introducing the letter Jj this week, we reinforced our new letter’s sound with some j-j-jelly bean science…

Jelly-bean-science-by-Teach-Preschool

For this activity, each child started with their own cup of assorted jelly beans…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

The children then took their cup of jelly beans and sorted them by colors into our re-purposed fruit tray…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

The children worked together as a team to get all the jelly beans sorted by color into the trays. It is always super cool to watch the kids concentrating on the process, working together, helping each other, and talking to each other as they go along…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

When all of our cups were empty, we were left with a full tray of beautifully sorted jelly beans…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

Along the way, the children were given the opportunity to pick out a few jelly beans from their own cup to taste which gave this process a multi-sensory experience…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

Once the jelly beans were sorted, each child was invited to choose two or three of one color of jelly bean (from the center tray) to put back into their cups…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

Then the children used the pitchers to add water to their of the cups.  And then they stirred the jelly beans around in the water…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

As the children stirred their jelly beans around the water, we asked the question, “What do you think will happen if we leave our jelly beans in the water?”

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

The children suggested that the water might change color, but after a minute or two of stirring, our jelly beans looked the same and for the most part, so did our water except it did have kind of a film starting to show up…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

The children continued to stir and some of the children were beginning to see a slight change in the color of water but we decided to set our cups up on a shelf while we went outside to play and then come back and observe them later…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

As soon as we came back inside the classroom, the children immediately went over to check on their jelly bean cups.  And you know what?  The water did change color and the jelly beans were beginning to turn white…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

We left the jelly beans in our water overnight and by the next day, the beans were completely white and the water went from clear to a new color. We wondered what would happen to the jelly bean if we left it in the water all week. By the way, some of the children added more than one color of jelly bean to their water so in this case, the water turned to kind of a green color…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

Needless to say, this jelly bean science experiment was loads of fun with lots of opportunities to ask “what if” questions.  It was also a great experiment for using all of our senses along the way…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

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By | January 18th, 2014|Categories: Science and Nature|Tags: , , , |8 Comments

Gummy bear science

I love it when I find a new and simple way to explore a scientific process with my students and today I want to share with you our gummy bear science…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

Before I share a description of our  gummy bear science, let me first introduce you to a new book titled, “Candy Experiments,” by Loralee Leavitt. When Loralee offered to send me a copy of her book, I was super excited to check it out…

Candy Experiments by Loralee Leavitt 001

“Candy Experiments” is a wonderful book of simple candy experiments that range from “The Incredible Growing Gummy Worm” to  “Marshmallow Aqua-Squash.”  For each candy experiment, Loralee shares “What you will need,” “What to do,” and   “What is happening” in simple to follow directions. Loralee also provides additional tips along the way and wonderful photos of each process to help you visualize the process before you try it just a bit. You can learn more about this book and purchase a copy for yourself by clicking here: “Candy Experiments” by Loralee Leavitt.

Candy Experiments by Teach Preschool

Our class has already tried three of the experiments in “Candy Science” including “How to Sink a Marshmallow” and the candy cane rainbow shown below. Loralee emailed me and told me about the candy cane rainbow but there is a version of this process in her book using peppermint candies….

Candy Cane Rainbow by Teach Preschool

So now onto gummy bear science which my students loved.  In the “Candy Experiments” book, Loralee used gummy worms for this process but I thought we would try it with gummy bears since we were already on the topic of bears…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

To begin the process, each child filled their clear plastic cup about half way up with water…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

The children selected one gummy bear and dropped it into their cup of water.  The children smelled the water, smelled the bear, and even asked to taste the bear.  I told them if they could wait until after we completed our gummy bear science that I would give them each a gummy bear to taste…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

I asked the children to tell me what they think might happen to the bear if we let it sit in the water for a few days. As the children told me their observations and predictions, Mrs. Courtney quickly jotted their thoughts down on a sheet of paper…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

After making our observations and predictions, the children set their gummy bears aside for the weekend…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

I checked in on the gummy bears all throughout the weekend. I too was curious to know what would happen to them. I didn’t know if they would fall apart, dissolve, or get bigger since I had modified the candy from the book and since we had to leave them over an entire weekend which for us is four whole days…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

When the children came back to school, they immediately went to see what had happened to their gummy bears and we had our follow-up discussion…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

The children wanted to smell their water and some asked to even taste the water. We didn’t taste it but we did smell it and it smelled very sweet…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

I gave each child a new gummy bear so they could compare their bear in the water with one that hadn’t been in the water (and then they got to eat their new gummy bear). The children looked at their gummy bears on the light table and on our regular table…

Gummy bear science by Teach Preschool

We discovered that our gummy bears had bubbles all over them. (The bubbles will go away once you actually touch the gummy bears and put them back into the water – so don’t touch too early!) We also discovered that our red gummy bears had slightly changed the water color but the other colors of gummy bears didn’t noticeably change the water color at all…

Gummy bear science by Teach Preschool

We also discovered that our gummy bears were floating in the water. I dropped a new gummy bear in the water to remind the children how the gummy bears were not floating before…

Classroom Photos 007

We also discovered that our gummy bears had definitely gotten larger. They had grown at least twice the size of the original gummy bear size and they were now almost see-through…

Gummy bear science by Teach Preschool

We wrapped up our gummy bear science by using our hands to feel our gummy bears.  We discovered that our gummy bears were squishy, cold, and they even bounced a bit when we dropped them on the table…

Gummy bear science by Teach Preschool

The children were then invited to squish their gummy bears up if they wanted and then toss them out into the trash…

Gummy bear science by Teach Preschool

I really didn’t mean for this post to go so long but I hope you enjoyed our gummy bear science as much as we did and will be able to give it a try too! Perhaps you would rather use gummy worms. We will be using gummy worms this spring for sure!

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

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This post is being shared on No Time for Flashcards Link & Learn!

By | January 20th, 2013|Categories: Science and Nature|Tags: , , |12 Comments

Best of 2012 Blog Hop!

We are off to a new year but before moving on, my fellow bloggers and I are sharing a quick look back at our best posts of 2012. Each activity shared in this collection of activities was chosen by you, the reader, based on the number of visits each post received. Simply click on the photos within the Top 2012 to view the original post and while you are there, you will want to be sure to book mark each post for your own classroom too!

Top Five Posts 2012 by Teach Preschool

The Cloud Jar

Cloud Jars by Teach Preschool

Rainbow Slime

Rainbow Slime

Water Bead Play

Water Bead Play by Teach Preschool

M&M Paint

M&M Paint by Teach Preschool

DIY Magnetic Board

DIY Magnetic Board by Teach Preschool

Thank you to all the other bloggers sharing their best posts today too!  Take a look at the blog hop linky below…

Best of 2012 From Teach Preschool

52 Brand New ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ angeliquefelix.com – The Magic Of Play ~ At home with Ali
B-Inspired Mama ~ Blog Me Mom ~Boy Mama Teacher Mama ~ Busy Kids = Happy Mom
Carrots Are Orange ~ Caution! Twins at Play ~ Coffee Cups and Crayons ~ Confessions of a Montessori Mom
Craft To Art ~ Creative Family Fun ~ Creative Kid Snacks ~ Creative Learning Fun ~ Creative Playhouse
Creative with Kids ~ Cute and Peculiar ~ De tout et de rien: Activités pour le Préscolaire ~ Dirt And Boogers
Edventures with Kids ~ Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ The Good Long Road ~ Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails
Glittering Muffins ~ Go Kid Yourself ~ Growing A Jeweled Rose ~ hands on : as we grow ~ Here Come the Girls
Home Learning Journey ~ Housing A Forest ~ Mama Smiles ~ In Lieu of Preschool ~ Inspiration Laboratories
Inspired by Family ~ It’s A Long Story ~ JDaniel4’s Mom ~ Kids Creative Chaos ~ Kid World Citizen
Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers ~ Kitchen Counter Chronicles ~ Laughing Kids Learn ~ Learn with Play at home
Lessons Learnt Journal ~ Life At The Zoo ~ Little Artists ~ Living Life Intentionally ~ Living Montessori Now ~ Love, Play, Learn
Loving My Nest ~ Mama Pea Pod ~ mama miss ~ Mamas Like Me ~ Mess For Less ~ Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas ~ Momma’s Fun World
Montessori Tidbits ~ My Buddies and I ~ My Little Bookcase ~ My Nearest and Dearest ~ No Twiddle Twaddle ~ Nurturestore
Octavia and Vicky ~ One Perfect Day ~ ourfeminist{play}school ~ Picklebums ~ Play Activities ~ Playdough to Plato
PlayDrMom ~ playful learners ~ playing with words 365 ~ PragmaticMom ~ Putti’sWorld ~ RainbowsWithinReach
Rainy Day Mum ~ Raising Playful Tots ~ Reading Confetti ~ Red Ted Art ~ Royal Baloo ~ Science Sparks ~ Scribble Doodle and Draw
Small Potatoes ~ Smiling like Sunshine ~ Sun Hats & Wellie Boots ~ Sun Scholars ~ Teach Preschool ~ The Educators’ Spin On It
The Fairy and The Frog ~ The Freckled Homeschooler ~ The Golden Gleam ~ The Imagination Tree ~ The Iowa Farmer’s Wife
The Outlaw Mom Blog ~ The Pleasantest Thing ~ This Reading Mama ~ Toddler Approved ~ Train Up a Child ~ True Aim
Two Big Two Little ~ What Do We Do All Day? ~ Connecting Family and Seoul

Be sure to view the Best of 2012 Blog Hop below! 


Gumball fine motor skill play

I don’t know if you visit the dollar store as much as I do but I am a dollar store addict. Yes, I admit it – I just can’t drive by without one quick stop just to see if there is something I might want to pick up…

I recently picked up a set of gumball machines for my students to explore along with our sound of the letter Gg….

The children found the gumball machines, chopsticks, plastic cups, and gumballs out on the table to explore…

The children spent all morning using their fingers to pop gumballs out of the machine…

And the chopsticks to pick gumballs up and drop them back into the machine or into the clear plastic cups…

As the children explored the gumballs they also spent a good part of the morning just exploring the mechanics of the gumball machines too…

And different ways to get the gumballs to drop from the machine into the cups…

The children loved the gumball machines and I know someone is going to ask me if the children wanted to eat the gumballs.  I don’t know why they didn’t ask me, but they did not ask me if they could eat the gumballs. The children seemed to be more focused on using the gumballs to explore the gumball machines and because we often use items like gumballs for exploration, I think my students just know that they were for play and not for eating…

Available on Amazon

By | November 13th, 2012|Categories: Fine Motor Skills, motor skills|Tags: , , |6 Comments

How to make skittle paint

Yesterday, I shared a little glimpse of the Teach Preschool workshop for teachers. While presenting to the teachers, I demonstrated how to make M&M Paint.  One teacher then asked me if you can use Skittles candy instead. Well, I didn’t know so today, I gave it a try and wanted to share the results of Skittle Paint with you…

Gather your materials

You will need skittles, water, cups, paint brushes, and paper.

The amount of Skittles depends on the amount of paint you want to make.  In this tutorial, I used two regular sized bags of Skittles.  For my class, I would probably use at least one, maybe two, large bags of skittles.

I also used two different flavor of Skittles. The flavor didn’t seem to matter – they all worked the same.

Sort the skittles

I sorted the skittles by color. In my classroom, I would invite my students to sort the skittles – great activity for color sorting, comparing, grouping, counting, estimating, and color recognition…

Then place each of your sorted colors in a dish you can use for painting…

Add Water

Next, add enough water to cover the top of the skittles. Remember, the more water you add, the paler your color will be. For stronger color, add less water…

Now stir or swish the Skittles around in the water. The color will immediately start to come off of the Skittles and change your water to the color of the Skittles…

Now you are ready to paint with the Skittle Paint.  The paint will be like painting with water color paint. It is a very thin paint but slightly sticky to the touch…

The smell of the Skittles starts to fade a bit once the water is added.  But – FYI – if you taste the water, it tastes like very sweet Koolaid. However, once the Skittles start to dissolve in the water , they are not all that tempting to want to drink or eat but the good news is that Skittle Paint is non-toxic…

Because the Skittle Paint is a pretty thin consistency  – I decided it would be fun to try dripping the paint on a paper towel and it worked fabulously…

My niece joined in with me and made her own Skittle Paint designs…

Lots of possibility and fun with Skittle Paint! Now it is your turn to give it a try…

Comparing candies

To compare the difference, M&M paint does seem to be a little thicker, works very well with paint brushes,  and M&M’s do not dissolve completely – only the shell dissolves.

Skittles keep on dissolving as long as you are stirring them or they sit in the water. I only let my Skittles sit for a few minutes before painting with them.

You can view M&M Paint here! 

Both candies are non-toxic but you need to be considerate of any food allergies your students may have before trying either type of paint. 

Super simple and super fun!

Available on Amazon

By | August 21st, 2012|Categories: DIY|Tags: , , , , |14 Comments

Mixing up bright and colorful M&M paint in preschool

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After exploring our M&M book and counting activity, we saved our M&Ms for this next super, super, and I mean super fun color sorting and painting activity…

The children started by sorting all the M&M colors into clear plastic cups…

Because the children worked together as a group, the color sorting went fast. There were lots of M&M’s to sort out…

Once the colors were all sorted, we stopped for a minute to compare which color of M&Ms we had the most of then rearranged the cups from the most full to the least full. We discovered we had lots more blue then we had of any other color. We had to divide our blue M&Ms into two cups…

Then each child chose a color of M&Ms to help prepare our M&M paint…

To make the M&M paint, we added water to the cups of M&Ms.  Only add just enough water to slightly cover the top of the M&Ms

The children then stirred each cup of M&Ms with a paint brush until the water in each cup turned the bright color of the M&Ms. The color continues to brighten or thicken up in the water after a few minutes of stirring…

Then the children began to paint with the colors.  The only rule today was that when the children traded cups of paint colors, the paint brush needed to go with the cup so the colors would stay bright and pretty for our paintings…

The children loved the idea of painting with M&M paint and made beautiful paintings with the M&M paint.  After awhile, we could see that the color of the M&Ms had now changed from being different colors to being all white.  The chocolate candies did not get mushy in the water – it felt like you were running your paint brush through a cup of small pebbles. It was a wonderful experience in color and texture and science and art…

The paint is similar to water color painting, so the water absorbed into the paper very quickly and the painted paper dried very quickly…

The children painted and painted, then asked for more paper and painted some more…

The children took their time with the paint and began by creating beautiful rainbow-like designs with all the colors.  After the children had painted for awhile, Ms. Abby sat down to paint with them (it was just too irresistible to only watch) the children decided that they wanted to make a painting like Ms. Abby’s…

I think this was the first time the children in our class painted scenes rather than just designs and as the children continued to paint, the paint continued to hold its beautiful color and the M&M’s in the cups began to turn from the color white to the color brown…

I wondered if the M&Ms would get mushy, but they never did. The children continued to paint with the colorful water paint and we did not have a problem with the chocolate getting on our brushes. I thought that was quite surprising…

Perhaps since the room was cool or because the water was cool the chocolate didn’t melt as we painted. I even let the M&Ms sit in the water for almost an hour after school was over and the chocolates never melted or got too mushy for painting. If you wanted to mash the chocolates up you would have to reach in and use your hands to pinch or squeeze them…

I can’t express to you what a wonderful activity this was overall. From the counting and sorting we did earlier in the day all the way through to the M&M sorting and painting activity, the children stayed engaged and were loving the process…

Let’s talk about clean up

The M&M paint wiped off easily and cleanly from my table after the children went home for the day. No staining and no heavy scrubbing was necessary.  The paint brushes rinsed out easily and I noticed they were only slightly sticky to the touch from the M&M paint. After almost an hour of use, I was surprised that everything wasn’t sticky – but it wasn’t. The children’s hands were also not sticky from the paint but even if they had gotten sticky, the paint was easy to rinse off of hands too. AND the paper was not sticky to the touch…

To clean the cups, I strained the left-over M&M paint while pouring it down the sink then threw the chocolate candies in the trash.  I didn’t want to fill my sink with the candies. Then I rinsed out the cups with water but then decided just to throw them away. These particular cups tend to crack easily after so much use…

I chose to use clear cups so the children could see through them to look at both the color of the paint as well as the changing color of the candies.  I think the only thing I would change in this entire process is to use taller clear cups so the brushes don’t tip out quite so easily…

I hope you will give this a try and if you do, remember to only add just enough water to slightly cover the amount of M&Ms you have in the cup.  This way the water will be more concentrated with the brilliant colors of the M&Ms…

I can easily say that my class would give this activity a rating of a 10! I know this because as they were leaving I heard, “Mommy, we made M&M paint today!”

I am linking up with The Play Academy and No Time for Flashcards: Link & Learn today!

By | January 20th, 2012|Categories: DIY|Tags: , , , , |37 Comments