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

Holiday window tracing

One of the things I love about the holiday season are all the symbols of the holidays. We spent time tracing many different holiday symbols with the help of the lighting from our big windows…

Holiday Window Tracing by Teach Preschool

Around the classroom, we have lots of windows which is wonderful for letting in natural light but it also means we don’t have much wall space. So to use the windows as part of our learning environment, we created a set of holiday symbols by printing simple shapes on sheets of overhead projector film…

Holiday Window Tracing by Teach Preschool

Another wonderful aspect of holiday symbols is that you can make many of them with the use of very basic shapes like squares, triangles, stars, and rectangles which gives us lots of opportunities to recognize and talk about the basic shapes that work together to form each of our holiday symbols…

Holiday Window Tracing by Teach Preschool

The shapes were taped up to our windows for the children to stop by throughout the day and trace. We set out thin paper and markers for the children to use as they wished…

Holiday Window Tracing by Teach Preschool

The children were invited to explore the tracing process in several ways. One way was to simply trace a shape and another way was to overlap the shapes as they tried tracing to see what the result might be…

Holiday Window Tracing by Teach Preschool

The children were welcomed to tape their paper over the drawings but most of the children preferred to hold their paper with one hand while tracing with another which can be very challenging to do…

Holiday Window Tracing by Teach Preschool

For those who wished to paint their tracings, we set out watercolor paints for the children to use…

Holiday Window Tracing by Teach Preschool

Some of the children decided to give the water paints a go while others were satisfied just with the tracing process…

Holiday Window Tracing by Teach Preschool

Of course, window tracings can be done all throughout the school year and do not have to be just holiday shapes so don’t get stuck on the idea that this idea should be only a holiday idea. Any kind of simple shapes you tape up into a window will be interesting to the children…

Holiday Window Tracing by Teach Preschool

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By | December 5th, 2013|Categories: Christmas, Holiday Ideas|Tags: , , , , , |3 Comments

Turkey toss drawings

This is a fun game to invite young children to explore the drawing process and today, we tossed the dice to inspire some rather unique turkey drawings…

Tossing up Turkeys: A simple drawing game by Teach Preschool

The children started by drawing a circle on their paper for a turkey body…

Tossing up Turkeys: A simple drawing game by Teach Preschool

Once they had their version of a turkey body on the paper then the children tossed the dice to find out what color or kind of feather they should add to their turkey…

Tossing up Turkeys: A simple drawing game by Teach Preschool

Some of the children tossed up squiggly lines to draw while others tossed up feathers to draw…

Pie day 160

As you can see, the children weren’t all that worried about drawing a typical turkey. Instead, they focused on drawing the lines and shapes they saw on the wooden dice any way they wished…

Tossing up Turkeys: A simple drawing game by Teach Preschool

Each drawing was beautiful in its own way…

Tossing up Turkeys: A simple drawing game by Teach Preschool

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By | November 26th, 2013|Categories: Thanksgiving|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Exploring all kinds of shapes with salt box drawing

Each week, we explore the process of writing in our salt boxes or salt trays. To keep my students interested in the salt box writing process, I like to change up the tools we use to write with or the trays we write in or even change the materials from salt to sand or anything else I can come up with.  To promote time with shape recognition and drawing, I transferred our salt into boxes that come in different shapes….

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

I always tend to use a rectangular tray or box for my salt box writing but after a recent exploration on circles,  it occurred to me that we could use a round tray to extend our discussion on circles and to promote the process of drawing circles. I poured the salt from my other trays into our circular tray and then invited my students to draw up some circles…

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

With every salt box shape we explore, I also set out the name of the shape on the table just as a way to connect the children to the shape word as they draw in the salt tray or boxes…

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

I have been collecting boxes in different shapes to use for different games or collections of things we can explore with different shapes. The boxes I have collected are too big for salt box drawing but I noticed that the lids to each box would be perfect for the process…

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

As soon as my students walked into the classroom, they stopped by the table to draw in the salt shape boxes before heading over to take off their coats and lady bug hats…

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

As the children explored drawing in the different shaped boxes, I would drop by the table and invite them to draw all around the edge of their chosen shape or just talk about how the oval is long and narrow or the star has lots of corners…

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

The boxes naturally invited the children to notice the shape and draw the shape but some of my students preferred just choosing their favorite shape and drawing a picture of their own…

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

A fun and simple way to promote shape recognition, shape drawing, and conversations about the different shapes that we had spread out on our table…

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Writing in Salt by Teach Preschool

Upper and Lower Case Salt Box Writing by Teach Preschool

Hidden Shapes in the Salt Tray by Learning 4  Kids

By | October 20th, 2013|Categories: Around the Classroom, Creative Art|Tags: , , , , |9 Comments

I can see: drawing the five senses

The little guy on each piece of paper is missing his senses. Well, at least four out of five senses are missing and so my students were invited to add some of the missing senses…

Drawing the five senses by Teach Preschool

After reading “My Five Senses” by Aliki and talking with the children about their five senses, I explained to the children how all that this little guy had was eyeballs which means he can see but he can’t hear, taste, feel, or smell…

Drawing the five senses by Teach Preschool

My students did a remarkable job helping their googly eyed friend get back all of his senses. To prepare for this activity, I had already hot-glued a set of eyeballs on each child’s paper so they would stay firmly in place. It would be up to the children to do the rest any way they wished…

Drawing the five senses by Teach Preschool

The funny thing about this process is that it doesn’t matter how a child will complete the picture, it still looks like a person with those googly eyeballs – well most of the time. We did have an alien or two thrown into the mix…

Drawing the five senses by Teach Preschool

Some of my students grasped the concept of drawing the missing body parts so the little person would have all five senses a little more readily than others but I absolutely loved seeing every drawing as it was being completed…

Drawing the five senses by Teach Preschool

This was one of our very first drawings of our new school year…

Drawing the five senses by Teach Preschool

The children’s drawings were so wonderful that I decided they should also be our first display on the wall in my classroom…

Drawing the five senses by Teach Preschool

Now my classroom is really starting to look like preschool has begun!

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By | September 19th, 2013|Categories: Around the Classroom, Creative Art|Tags: , |8 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

Exploring numbers with lines and dots

This month the Virtual Book Club for Kids is exploring the books written by Bill Martin Jr. and I selected to share  the spunky book titled “Chicka Chicka 1 2 3” along with our exploration of making our own dot-to-dots with you today…

Exploring Lines and Dots along with the book "Chicka Chicka 123" [Teach Preschool]

I wasn’t totally sure my students would enjoy the reading of “Chicka Chicka 123” because when I read it on my own, it seemed a little bit on the long side for a group of three to fives to sit through but I was wrong about that. My students loved hearing the rhyme and even enjoyed the plot of the book…

Exploring Lines and Dots along with the book "Chicka Chicka 123" [Teach Preschool]

In the book, all the numbers find a place in the tree except number zero but not to worry, by the end of the book zero lands exactly where he wishes to go…

Exploring Lines and Dots along with the book "Chicka Chicka 123" [Teach Preschool]

You will notice that there are lots of dots throughout the brightly illustrated pages of Martin’s book and so I thought it might be fun for my students to explore numbers by making their own dot-to-dots using dot stickers with numbers written on the dots…

Exploring Lines and Dots along with the book "Chicka Chicka 123" [Teach Preschool]

The children were given lots of room to explore the process any way they wished. Some of my students spent a very long time working those dot stickers off of the sheet and then organizing them on their papers…

Exploring Lines and Dots along with the book "Chicka Chicka 123" [Teach Preschool]

Each child spent time focusing on what interested them the most. Some just wanted to put sticker dots all over their paper. Others added the lines with the crayons. And others preferred our chalk-board version of dot-to-dots…

Exploring Lines and Dots along with the book "Chicka Chicka 123" [Teach Preschool]

I demonstrated the concept of drawing lines from one dot to another dot by following the numbers earlier in the day and then left the dots on the board for the children to try connecting the dots as well…

Exploring Lines and Dots along with the book "Chicka Chicka 123" [Teach Preschool]

We explored numbers in all kinds of ways throughout the day as part of our celebration of the book “Chicka Chicka 1 2 3” but I especially love how this process invited my students to explore the drawing of lines and in some cases, even their own dots…

Exploring Lines and Dots along with the book "Chicka Chicka 123" [Teach Preschool]

Available on Amazon

About the Virtual Book Club for Kids

Each month a new author is introduced and participating bloggers will share fun ideas to go along with their chosen book from that author.  See the linky at the bottom of this post to check out what my fellow bloggers have to share with you on our current author. The Virtual Book Club for Kids is sponsored by The Educator’s Spin On It and Toddler Approved.

Virtual Book Club for Kids

Participating Members…

Toddler ApprovedThe Educators’ Spin On It – Rainy Day Mum – 3 Dinosaurs – Learn~Play~ImagineCrafty Moms ShareReading ConfettiInspiration LaboratoriesMom to 2 Posh Lil DivasKids Yoga StoriesEnchanted Homeschooling Mom – Ready-Set-ReadBoy Mama Teacher MamaPlayDrMomFantastic Fun and LearningGrowing Book by Book – Royal BalooThe Outlaw Mom® BlogKitchen Counter ChroniclesTeach PreschoolMama SmilesCoffe Cups and CrayonsJuggling With KidsHere Comes the Girls

Virtual Book Club for Kids 2013-2014 Calendar

Virtual Book Club for Kids Authors for 2013-2014

See the linky below for more books and more authors. If you are viewing this post by email, you will need to come to the post to see the linky.

By | September 14th, 2013|Categories: Children's Books|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Drawing and story telling with a purple crayon

While I read the classic tale of  “Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson to my students, I invited them to draw and tell me their own purple crayon story… 

Drawing with Harold and a purple crayon by Teach Preschool

(Be sure to click here if you are having trouble viewing the photos in your email)

I have several versions of “Harold and the Purple Crayon” and I went ahead and shared two of my versions with the children. While I read our first version of the book, the children were given a crayon and a clipboard to draw their own stories…

Story telling and drawings with a purple crayon

Some of the children drew while I was telling the story while others waited until the story was finished before they began to draw. It was interesting observing what the children preferred to do…

Story telling and drawings with a purple crayon

As the children completed their drawings with a purple crayon, I invited those who would like to share their drawings or tell a story about their drawings with us to come up and share…

Story telling and drawings with a purple crayon

Although many of our drawings often looked like long lines going off in different directions, each line still found its way to tell us a story…

Story telling and drawings with a purple crayon

As part of our center time, the children were invited to complete a drawing that I had started on the wall while reading our second version of “Harold and the Purple Crayon.”…

Story telling and drawings with a purple crayon

I pretty much drew the same simple lines Harold had followed in the book only I purposely left out some of the lines so the children could either choose to add them or add their own ideas to our purple drawings on the wall…

Story telling and drawings with a purple crayon

Throughout the morning, the children could stop by anytime they wished and add to our purple drawing but I didn’t get a photo of the drawing in action today but here is a look at the drawing behind the boys playing…

Story telling and drawings with a purple crayon

And a little look at the drawing with the books laying nearby…

Story telling and drawings with a purple crayon

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Puffy paint sunflowers

Puffy paint can be used to make almost any kind of drawing or collage and we enjoy bringing out the puffy paint every so often for the children to explore…

Puffy paint sunflowers by Teach Preschool

On this occasion, we were talking about sunshine and sunflowers and used the puffy paint as a way to invite the children to make their own sunflowers…

Puffy paint sunflowers by Teach Preschool

Anytime we use puffy paint, we must first mix up a new batch because this type of puffy paint doesn’t stay good for very long. To make puffy paint we simply mix…

  • 1 Cup of Flour
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 tsp salt
  • Food Color
  • Water

for each color of paint we want to make and then we pour each color it its own plastic squeeze bottle (purchased in the kitchen section at Walmart)…

Puffy paint sunflowers by Teach Preschool

Although you can use puffy paint on heavy construction paper, the best canvas for a flour-based puffy paint is a piece of white cardboard so you can move the painted canvas from one location to the other more easily…

Puffy paint sunflowers by Teach Preschool

The squeeze bottles make the puffy paint come out in nice lines so the children can use the paint for drawing different shapes and designs. Mrs. Courtney demonstrated how to use the puffy paint to draw a sunflower for our pre-k students and then invited the children to give the process a try on their own…

Puffy paint sunflowers by Teach Preschool

Once each child completed a puffy paint sunflower (or other), then we put the piece of cardboard into the microwave any where from 30 to 60 seconds depending on how much puffy paint the child used on the canvas. The microwave quickly cooks the flour paint so that it dries out and stays puffy on the canvas…

Puffy paint sunflowers by Teach Preschool

Drawing with puffy paint invites the children to use the muscles in their hands to squeeze the bottles along with their self-regulating skills to regulate how hard to squeeze in order to make lines versus puddles on their canvas…

Puffy paint sunflowers by Teach Preschool

Eye-hand coordination is also being promoted as the children guide the squeeze bottles and the flow of puffy paint to draw their sunflowers…

Puffy paint sunflowers by Teach Preschool

The children spent quite some time creating their sunflowers and most of the children chose to make more than one. We sent most of the puffy paint sunflowers home and kept some of the extras to decorate our room for a few days….

Puffy paint sunflowers by Teach Preschool

As already mentioned, puffy paint could be used to draw any kind of shape or design and my pre-k students really enjoy the challenge of drawing something specific (including their names) by the end of the school year…

Puffy paint sunflowers by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Wonderful watermelons

The sweet smell along with the beautiful pink and green color makes a watermelon an especially inviting fruit to taste, create, and hold. We spent some time on our last day of preschool doing just that – exploring and creating watermelons…

Wonderful Watermelons by Teach Preschool

We began our short study of a watermelon by reading the book The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli…

Wonderful Watermelons by Teach Preschool

This is a super silly book about what might happen if you swallow a watermelon seed. If you don’t mind a little burping, then you will think this book is quite funny. My kids thought it was super funny but it did raise the question as to whether or not you should swallow a watermelon seed. In the end, we decided that it probably wasn’t a good idea to swallow a watermelon seed but that if you do, the watermelon seed isn’t going to really grow inside you…

Wonderful Watermelons by Teach Preschool

After reading our story, we passed around a real watermelon and talked about its shape and weight…

Wonderful Watermelons by Teach Preschool

And then we cut our whole watermelon in half to see what it looked like inside and drew some pictures of watermelon on our white board…

Wonderful Watermelons by Teach Preschool

Then the children tasted some watermelon for snack time and made their own watermelons from paper napkins…

Wonderful Watermelons by Teach Preschool

To make their paper watermelons, the children started by drawing an outline of their watermelon shape with a pencil…

Wonderful Watermelons by Teach Preschool

Then the children brushed watered down glue on top of their drawings…

Wonderful Watermelons by Teach Preschool

And then begin tearing their pink and green napkins into small pieces and adding the pieces to the glue to fill in their drawings…

Wonderful Watermelons by Teach Preschool

The children found if they opened up their napkins before tearing that it would be much easier to tear the paper…

Wonderful Watermelons by Teach Preschool

Every paper watermelon turned out beautifully…

Wonderful Watermelons by Teach Preschool

Wonderful Watermelons by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Simple watermelon sun catchers by Teach Preschool

Watermelon Exploration in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Watermelon Song and Painting by Teach Preschool