Discover and explore dinosaur eggs

This week our Discover and Explore team has chosen to share with you simple activities you can do to promote and talk about dinosaurs and fossils. As part of our dinosaur adventures, my students found this very interesting dinosaur nest sitting on the table in our outdoor classroom filled with dinosaur eggs…

Discover and Explore dinosaur eggs by Teach Preschool

Our dinosaur eggs are actually homemade salt dough with dinosaurs hidden inside each egg shape but my students didn’t know that there was a dinosaur hidden inside…

Discover and Explore dinosaur eggs by Teach Preschool

My students only knew was that there were dinosaur eggs sitting in a nest and because of their natural need to touch, my students immediately picked up an egg to take a closer look…

Discover and Explore dinosaur eggs by Teach Preschool

And the questions began. “Are these real eggs?”  “What do we do with them?” “Can we play with them?” and as the questions came, I steered the children towards answering their own questions. “What do you think we should do with them?” “What do you think the eggs are made of?” “Do you believe that these eggs could have something inside them?” and it wasn’t long before the children went to the task of finding out what might be inside their eggs…

Discover and Explore dinosaur eggs by Teach Preschool

The only rule for this table was that each child could only discover and explore one egg so each child would have an egg of their own. But in the end, we had a few eggs left so those who were most interested came back and opened a second egg. As the children pulled apart their eggs, they soon discovered a “baby dinosaur” was inside…

Discover and Explore dinosaur eggs by Teach Preschool

And the children answered their own questions as to what the egg was made of and what was hidden inside and if the eggs were real. After the children opened their eggs, they used the brushes to clean off their baby dinosaurs…

Discover and Explore dinosaur eggs by Teach Preschool

And they used the magnifying glasses to take a closer look at their baby dinosaurs. After all, these dinosaurs were very small…

Discover and Explore dinosaur eggs by Teach Preschool

Then they took their baby dinosaurs off to play in our other centers throughout the day and even got to take them home so they could share their dinosaur stories with mom and dad…

Discover and Explore dinosaur eggs by Teach Preschool

And it just so happened that I had one dinosaur egg left over for this little guy to explore after all the kids went home. My 2 year old grandson found this process just as interesting as the big kids had earlier that day…

Discover and Explore dinosaur eggs by Teach Preschool

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Discover and Explore

Discover and Explore: Dinosaur and Fossil Fun!

Upcoming Themes:

Currently Open – Dinosaurs and Fossil Fun

October 23 – Creating with Natural Materials

October 30 – Science Experiments for Kids

November 6 – Thanksgiving

November 13 – Cooking with Kids

November 20 – Life Skills

Please read the following guidelines for sharing:

  • Share family-friendly posts related to the weekly topic — kids activities, crafts, recipes, nature outings, printables, etc.
  • By linking up, you are giving me permission to share your post including one photo in our weekly feature post and on social media channels.
  • Visit 2-3 other posts that have linked up, find some new ideas & meet new friends!
  • If you’d like, grab a button for your post — we love to share and want to find lots of great activities to highlight for you!

The linky will remain open for one week. Then all five co-hosts will feature activities in a separate post the Friday after the linky closes. All featured posts will be shared on the Discover and Explore Pinterest Board.  (Be sure to follow so you don’t miss any features!)

The Discover & Explore Team

KC Edventures  **  Buggy and Buddy **  Fantastic Fun & Learning **  Twodaloo

and me!



Discover and Explore

Discover and Explore: Dinosaur and Fossil Fun!

Upcoming Themes:

Currently Open – Dinosaurs and Fossil Fun

October 23 – Creating with Natural Materials

October 30 – Science Experiments for Kids

November 6 – Thanksgiving

November 13 – Cooking with Kids

November 20 – Life Skills

Please read the following guidelines for sharing:

  • Share family-friendly posts related to the weekly topic — kids activities, crafts, recipes, nature outings, printables, etc.
  • By linking up, you are giving me permission to share your post including one photo in our weekly feature post and on social media channels.
  • Visit 2-3 other posts that have linked up, find some new ideas & meet new friends!
  • If you’d like, grab a button for your post — we love to share and want to find lots of great activities to highlight for you!

The linky will remain open for one week. Then all five co-hosts will feature activities in a separate post the Friday after the linky closes. All featured posts will be shared on the Discover and Explore Pinterest Board.  (Be sure to follow so you don’t miss any features!)

The Discover & Explore Team

KC Edventures  **  Buggy and Buddy **  Fantastic Fun & Learning **  Twodaloo

and me!



By | October 16th, 2013|Categories: Discover and Explore|Tags: , , , , |5 Comments

Planning for more than just an Easter egg hunt in preschool

We had our Easter egg hunt and party a little early because Spring Break happened to fall this week and we wouldn’t be in school. It was such a beautiful day which helped make our day go perfectly…

As you can see, thanks to many donations of Easter eggs from our parents as well as the plastic eggs I happened to provide,  the children came out quite well in their Easter egg hunt but the hunt itself was only part of our day.  We had an entire day of  fun egg- related activities planned and the grand finale to our day was the Easter egg hunt…

Because the children were going to spend the day anticipating the big hunt, I had to make sure that the activities we did beforehand were hands-on and fun – especially since I knew the children would come to preschool with big expectations and high levels of excitement…

We stayed with our normal routine for the most part throughout the day but I eliminated almost anything from our day that would require the children to have to give me their best concentration. After all, who wants to concentrate on anything all that seriously when there are bright, colorful, candy – filled Easter eggs just waiting outside for the taking…

I specifically chose to read the book, “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Chick!” by Lucille Colandro because it is fun and sparks lots of conversation along the way. The children enjoyed the book and some of them asked me to read it again but we moved on with our day so the children wouldn’t get restless…

After our morning circle, the children were sent off on their way to explore the different Easter or Spring related centers we had made available throughout the classroom. I suppose I could have tried to plan a day with specific games like “pin the cotton ball tail on the bunny” or “bunny rabbit relay races” which can be fun for sure.  But I have found that structured games like this require preschoolers to stand around and do a lot of waiting for their turn. In my own experience, when you are going to have a day where enthusiasm will be high – it is best to keep things as open ended as possible. So we kept the day very free-play focused so the children could direct their energy into what they would enjoy instead of waiting for me to tell them what to do next all day…

We had plastic eggs in the water tubs…

Animal, bug, cupcake, and robot shaped plastic eggs set out with the play dough…

Bright and colorful shredded paper (DIY Easter grass) set out with crayons, glue and paper…

The children used the materials to create Easter grass collages or spring flowers…

I thought this flower turned out quite lovely and demonstrated a great deal of concentration and self-regulation in spite of being so excited about the up and coming Easter Egg Hunt…

And we also had out our pipe cleaner Easter Egg table which I have already shared with you in a previous post…

After a morning of Easter related centers, we cleaned up and had snack. For snack, the children ate Easter shaped cookies with some Easter egg dip…

And then it was time to head outdoors to collect Easter eggs. That very handsome guy out there is my husband – he hid all the eggs for us then came out to help us find the eggs the children had overlooked…

And then the children came back inside and opened everything up. The children loved this part of our day. They sat down together and shared with each other all their amazing finds.  They were allowed to even eat their candy! Yikes!  You might be thinking that this is not a good idea, but I will tell you the children stayed on that carpet for a very long time enjoying their Easter egg finds together…

We were now at the end of our day (remember we are a half day preschool program) so the children picked out what they wanted to take home and piled it into their back packs but we had one more thing to do which was going to require a little concentration…

We still had to share our math bags! I had forgot to tell the parents that we might skip math today so we went ahead and ran through our math bags during our last few minutes of the day…

Good thing we went through the math bags because several of the kids had brought some amazing math tokens like chocolate Easter eggs and clovers! The children always love math but they were just a little silly through the process…

So that was our big day! It was an amazing day to spend with my preschoolers and it was our very last day before Spring Break. If you are planning an Easter egg hunt or party for your classroom, I hope it goes extremely well and everyone has a terrific time!

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By | April 5th, 2012|Categories: Easter, Holiday Ideas|Tags: , , , |6 Comments

Dying pipe cleaner Easter eggs

I wanted my class to have a chance to dye some Easter eggs without having to boil dozens of eggs. So I reused an idea we had already done before only this time, we made Easter eggs…

When the children arrived to preschool, I invited them to join me on the floor to make egg shapes out of white chenille stems (pipe cleaners)…

Everyone dove right in and started bending and twisting their pipe cleaners to make lots of eggs. It took a little practice for some of the children but after a bit, most of the children caught on. Some of our eggs didn’t always look all that “egg-shaped” but fine motor skills were at work throughout the morning…

Once we had a good number of egg shapes to work with, the children put them up on the table and then joined me back to finish our morning circletime routine…

At the end of circletime, we took a quick minute to put a little bit of Easter grass in baggies to prepare them for our egg dying process.  The baggies were our “Easter baskets” to store our completed eggs in later on…

And then some of the children went off to the table to begin the egg-dying process…

I covered a table with a few layers of paper towels and set out three cups of colored water (water with red, blue and yellow food color added). The children dipped their eggs into the colored water and then placed the colored eggs in their Easter baggies…

We had lots of eggs so the children could spend as much time exploring this process as they liked…

Once the children had dyed their eggs and put them in their Easter baggies, they closed up the baggies and put them in their cubbies to take home at the end of the day…

This activity was a great alternative to dying real eggs in the classroom.  The dying process was similar but saved me from having to boil a bunch of real eggs!

 

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By | March 31st, 2012|Categories: Easter, Holiday Ideas|Tags: , , , , , |5 Comments

Easter egg painting

I have shared before how to fill an egg with paint so the children can crack it open to paint but today I want to show you how we did this in my classroom…

To prepare this activity, I filled up a set of plastic Easter eggs with different colors of paint. I also added just a little bit of water to the paint inside each egg.  The eggs were only filled with about 1/4 cup of paint/water mixture…

I also covered a table with a couple of layers of paper towels so the children could just explore the process of cracking open an egg, dumping out the paint on the paper towels, then they used paint brushes to paint a little bit more…

A couple of things to think about if you wish to give this a try…

  1. Make sure you select eggs that the children can actually open on their own.
  2. Make sure you check to see if the plastic eggs have holes in the bottom or not.
  3. You might want to have the children wear paint aprons because sometimes the paint will splatter a little – depending on how the child goes about cracking open the egg.
I found eggs without holes but it was a little tough for the younger children to open them on their own, so I had to get them started and then they took over the process from there…

 

 

Once all the paint filled eggs were cracked open and dumped on the table, the children used paint brushes to paint a little more…

 

The children painted on the paper towels and on the eggs too…

 

The children enjoyed this process from beginning to end. It was a fun exploration in cracking open eggs, finding out what was in the egg, and the painting process….

 

 

And it was quite colorful too!

 

This little guy stayed at the table exploring for quite some time after everyone else had moved on to other things….

 

Links to Grow On
Egg Crack Painting from Crayon Freckles
Get Crackin from Time for Play
Egg Crack Painting from Make, Do, & Friend

 

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By | March 30th, 2012|Categories: Easter|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

Teach Preschool in the news: Save those easter eggs!

This morning, I had a special guest join me for my three minute segment on local Indiana Fox 59 Morning News…

Tristan and his parents joined me at the news studio bright and early this morning to present my newest segment – see video below.  Everyone pitched in to help me get ready…

First I have to set out all the props I will need on this large rolling bar…

Some of the paint spilled out of my eggs on the car ride over, so Tristan’s dad and I wiped them all down and tried to salvage the left over paint…

Once we had everything up and running, Tristan and I did a practice run at “cracking open the eggs”.

Then we had to put on our microphones…

And take our places inside the news studio…

Hello??  – we’re over here on the opposite side of the studio…

And in just a few minutes, Angela came and joined us so we could begin…

Tristan was such a big hit that I don’t think anyone heard a word I had to say! LOL!

I have already asked Tristan and his mom and dad to join me again some time…

 

After we were done, we had to take the microphones back off…

And that was our day! So much fun!  Our three minute segment is below…

For more information on each of the activities I talked about today, just click on the links below…

Water Play and Color Mixing with plastic eggs

Crack Open the Egg and Paint

Egg in the Nest Sorting Game

Make Your Own Colorful Easter Grass

By | April 21st, 2011|Categories: Media|Tags: , , , , , , , |6 Comments

Plastic egg color mixing water play science in preschool

They say to keep your titles short but I couldn’t decide what to call this so I threw in the all the words that describe this activity! This is a fun little activity for exploring water and color mixing. I have written this post with examples of questions that can be asked as the children explore the materials…

Start by putting a few drops of food color in each of your plastic eggs..

Then close the eggs up tight and lay them on their side so the color doesn’t leak out of the holes in the ends of the plastic eggs….

Now that each of your eggs have a few drops of food color, set out several containers filled with water. The water needs to be deep enough to submerse the eggs most (or all) the way under.

Investigate

Choose an egg and submerse it in the water.  Draw the children’s attention to the holes in the ends of the eggs and ask the children what they think will happen if they put the egg into the water.

Explore

Now lift the egg back out of the container and start shaking the water back out. What color is the water now? Why did the water change color? Why is the water coming back out of the egg when you shake it?

Predict

What color do you think will be in the next egg? Why do you think it will be that color? Once the water goes into the tub, how will this change the color of the water in the tub?

I put out several tubs of water with plenty of eggs to mix colors in each tub…

 

Extend

I am sure that the children will want to open the eggs along the way so don’t be surprised by this and don’t let it rattle you. Just go with the flow and invite observations and discussion along the way…

Sink and Float observations – What happens to the eggs when they are open in the water? What happens to the eggs when they are closed in the water? Why do the closed eggs float and the open eggs sink?

What happens if we put lots of water inside some of the eggs and only a little bit of water inside the other eggs?

These are just a few of the questions you can ask to invite language and conversation during the process but the most important thing you can do is just let the children dump, shake, open, close, pour, and explore some more!

Cows Go Moo and Ducks Go Quack tried this too!

Books available on Amazon…

       

Crack open the egg and paint in preschool

 

Kids just love to crack open the egg when doing a cooking activity so I thought we could have a little fun with cracking open plastic eggs too..

Just add a little bit of watered down paint inside the plastic eggs…

If the paint is too thick, it wont drip out very well. You can add liquid starch instead of water to get the paint less runny but not so thick that it is just a big glop…

I prepared watered down colors of paint that matched each of my eggs by mixing the paint in little cups first then just poured the paint inside the eggs… Then I laid the eggs down on their sides and clicked them closed tightly. This way they are all ready to use for the big day…

Did you know that plastic eggs have holes in the ends? I actually never noticed this before until I wanted to give this idea a try. That is why the eggs are laying on their sides – so the paint doesn’t leak out the little holes before I am ready…

Now there are three ways you can paint with these eggs.

  1. Shake the paint through those little holes on your paper and keep changing eggs for new colors.
  2. Crack the eggs open and let the paint ooze out to make a colorful design…

And number 3- After you crack open the eggs, close them back up and throw them into the box to roll around in the paint for a little more color mixing and design fun…

Take your pick or do them all!

Sprinkled plastic egg painting

Cracked and Rolled egg painting

Books available on Amazon…

       

By | April 7th, 2011|Categories: Easter, Painting|Tags: , , , , , |12 Comments

Egg in the nest sorting game

Yesterday I made my own Easter grass and I am using part of the colorful shredded grass to make a sorting game for the kids…

I started by gluing a handful of colorful shredded grass to paper plates. This gives a little bit of a bird nest look but with lots of spring colors…

I will set out the colorful “bird nests” along with a basket of plastic eggs that are the same color for the children to use as a sorting game…

I am thinking that I may even get some smaller paper plates and invite the children to make their own colorful bird nests…

The remaining shredded grass will be used for sensory play along with more plastic eggs and other items for sensory play. The children can mix up all the colors as they wish in the sensory table…

Don’t you just love all the spring colors?

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Links to Grow On

“There’s a Bird on Your Head” from Mommy and Me Bookclub

“Baby Birds” from Preschool Playbook

A Bird Themed Snack from Almost Unschoolers

Lots of Birds and a Tree from The Chocolate Muffin Tree

Paper Tube Binoculars from Almost Unschoolers

Angry Birds and Cardboard Tube Chicks from Crafts by Amanda

By | April 7th, 2011|Categories: Activity Boxes|Tags: , , , , , , , |10 Comments