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

Ants in the salt tray plus more

Soon I will be introducing my prek students to the use of a salt tray as a tool to promote prewriting skills but to introduce the children to writing in salt, we explored ants in the salt tray…

But before I tell you about our ants in the salt tray, let me back track just a bit to share with you the wonderful book (recommended to us by Mrs. T, one of our grandparents) that we read about ants…

“Hey, Little Ant” by Phillip Hoose, Hannah Hoose, and Debbie Tilley is about an ant that spends the entire book giving reasons why the little boy should not step on him.  Super cute book that leaves the children with the question of what would they do? Would they step on the ant?

After reading “Hey, Little Ant,” we extended the circle time discussion on ants by singing “There’s an Ant Crawling on the Floor” available here and having ants crawl on us during the song…

Then we looked at a few ants on a log….

And took a very quick peak at the life cycle of an ant as we passed the magnifier jars around the circle…

Each of our magnifier jars had one toy in it which represented one stage of the life cycle of an ant inside…

And we had ants on a log for snack time…

And finally we were off to explore our ants in the salt tray….

The children used their fingers to draw ant tunnels in the salt and the tweezers to put the ants in and out of the tunnels or in most cases, just in and out of the salt…

We set out all the materials we had used in during our morning discussion for the children to explore as well…

A simple pre-prewriting experience for the children to explore and, as always, a good work out for those fine motor skills is always an important aspect of preparing young children for the writing process…

But wait – we also drew our own ants on a log too! But I will show you that process in my next post!

Available on Amazon

 

 

Be sure to check out all the Life Cycle Kits!

Links to Grow On

Writing in Salt by Teach Preschool

Ant Art by The Chocolate Muffin Tree

Ants on Anthills by Moments of Mommyhood

Butterfly snack in a baggie

We have been exploring caterpillars and butterflies and to add a little fun to our snack time, I set out butterflies in a baggie for the children to make their own butterfly snack…

Inside each baggie the children found…

Apple slices
Pretzels
Vanilla Wafers

I didn’t originally add the vanilla wafers to the baggies but the children said the butterfly needed a body and decided that a vanilla wafer would do!

Each child arranged their butterfly parts on a paper plate to create a butterfly…

There were more pieces in the baggies then the children actually needed to make a butterfly but since this was our snacktime, the children used what they wanted to make a butterfly and then they ate everything all up!

A simple way to make snack time fun…

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Drinking Nectar from a Cup from The Thoughtful Spot Day Care

Butterfly Life Cycle Bracelets from The Seeds Network

Butterfly Sensory Tub from No Time for Flashcards

Felt Butterflies from All Join In

By | April 29th, 2012|Categories: Snack Time|Tags: , , , |9 Comments

More read it and cook it!

As I have mentioned before, cooking is not one of my special gifts but I do like to cook and especially love to cook with my class. I still have plenty of cooking activities to share with you so here is a new set, along with children’s books, that we tried during this past school year…

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

To go along with the book,“The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear” by Don and Audrey Wood, we made strawberry-banana smoothies…

To make the smoothies, I gave each child a few strawberries and half of a banana to cut up with a plastic knife…

But once the children started cutting up the fruit, I realized that I can’t possibly put their fruit in the blender because they had all handled their own bananas and strawberries and there really was no way to rinse off all the germs…

So I told the children they could just eat up what they had cut up and I would slice up some fruit for our smoothies…

I haven’t ever made smoothies before so I just guessed at how much fruit, ice, and milk I should use in the blender. I added all the ingredients and the children got all excited and shouted loudly when we pushed the button to blend everything all up…

I wasn’t sure which button to push on the blender either. I am not quite sure what the difference between puree, chop, and the other settings are so I just picked one and hoped for the best.  Once the blending was complete, we poured each child a small cup of smoothie to taste…

Most of the children didn’t drink their smoothie. I kind of figured it was because they had already eaten so many bananas and strawberries but after I tasted the smoothie myself, I realized it was because the smoothie tasted like water with seeds in it. It actually looked great but had almost no flavor at all….

A Rainbow of My Own

To go with the book “A Rainbow of My Own” By Don Freeman, we made rainbow toast.  I already blogged about our rainbow toast which you can read about here. But we actually made rainbow toast twice….

The first time we made rainbow toast, I set out small paint brushes and the kids hated it. I was so surprised that they didn’t like painting their bread so I decided that it was because it took too long to really get any color on their bread with small paint brushes….

So the next time we tried it, I set out large paint brushes and they loved it!

 

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

To go with the book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff, we made oatmeal cookies. Do you know how hard it is to make oatmeal cookies?

I used the recipe on the back of the oatmeal container and the children did a great job adding all the different ingredients but when it came to mixing them all together, that was a little tough…

I had one child work and work on trying to get the butter mixed in smoothly with the eggs but in the end, I had to mix that part up…

And when we went to add the dry ingredients, the mixture was so dry and crumbly that I am quite certain we left something out of this recipe but I was too disorganized by that time to know for sure what it was…

So I gave up and just let the kids think they were making oatmeal cookies. The oatmeal cookie mixture never made it into the oven…

Planting a Rainbow

To go along with the book “Planting a Rainbow” by Lois Ehlert, we made rainbow pudding. I had seen several photos of other people making rainbow pudding online and they looked beautiful so I definitely wanted to try this with my class…

I had the children split up into two separate groups and each group did a wonderful job mixing up the pudding…

Once the children had the pudding all mixed up, then we divided it into five bowls and added color to each bowl…

Then each child was given their own plastic cup to go down the line and spoon in each color of pudding to make their own cup of rainbow pudding…

The process went really well but our pudding cups did not look quite as beautiful as the ones I saw online…

Which tells me that either I did something wrong in this process or that the rainbow pudding cups I saw online were definitely not intended to be made by preschoolers…

I know – it kind of looks like a rainbow threw up in the cup but hey – our rainbow pudding cups may have not looked like lovely layers of rainbow pudding but they tasted yummy anyway!

About our cooking

  • Keep in mind that we don’t cook like this every day!
  • We cook up something special about once and sometimes twice a month.
  • We always wash hands before, during, and after cooking and do our very, very best to only touch our own food.
  • When we are not cooking, we eat simple snacks like crackers, cheese, apples, and other food items that really are not that interesting to blog about.

Leave a comment
If you have a favorite cooking activity, please leave a comment below – I would love to read all about it!

Links to grow on…

For more cooking ideas you can see the ones I have saved here on my  Pinterest Snack Board or here on Pinterest Cooking with Kids board too!

Read it and cook it (version one) from Teach Preschool

Check out the Snacks and Stories blog too!

Books on Amazon

And here are links to cookbooks on Amazon that I don’t own…

This post is linked to…..

By | March 21st, 2012|Categories: Children's Books, Cooking|Tags: , , , , |27 Comments

Hot cocoa play day for preschoolers

The days are getting very cold here and a fun way to warm things up is to have a hot cocoa day…

We had a little bit of everything going on around our classroom including some hot cocoa and marshmallow fine motor play…

We also enjoyed our homemade hot cocoa play dough (I put the hot cocoa playdough inside the hot chocolate mix can before the children arrived).  See this recipe for making your own Chocolate Playdough

The children were quite surprised to discover the hot cocoa playdough once they opened the can…

The children explored the hot cocoa playdough by digging it out with our plastic tongs and filling up their paper cups…

We also did a little hot cocoa painting by mixing a little chocolate extract into our brown paint…

The children glued their hot cocoa mugs to a sheet of blue construction paper…

And then the children painted their hot cocoa mugs with the hot cocoa paint…

And of course, the children added a few marshmallow prints dipped in white paint to top it off…

Afterall, every good cup of hot cocoa has to have marshmallows! …

Some of the children used their marshmallows dipped in white paint to try a little color mixing as well…
Our entire classroom smelled like hot cocoa for the day!  We even served up some hot cocoa to drink during our snack time…

A day filled with the wonderful smell of hot cocoa and fine motor marshmallow fun…

It's Playtime at hands on : as we grow

Links to grow on…

Playdough recipes from PreKinders

Hot Cocoa ideas save on Delicious….

By | December 20th, 2011|Categories: Centers|Tags: , , , , , |14 Comments

Making squishy fishy aquariums in preschool

We explored fish a few weeks ago and made squishy fishy aquarium. You can see how to make these sensory gel bags by clicking here.

The children put green and yellow food color in their gel bags because Mrs. Stewart (me) was not thinking very clearly that day. For some reason, I had it in my head that green and yellow make blue.  Have you ever had one of those days?

So instead of blue fishy bags we had a variety of green and yellow fishy bags. I am so glad children don’t really care about the final product as much as the process…

You can’t see the fish in there all that well in these pictures but the children also added foam fish to their gel bags…

I hung all our fishy bags in the window which made them tempting to walk by and feel throughout the day…

The light shining through makes our green and yellow squishy fishy bags quite a beautiful display…

So to make up for my brain lapse on color mixing, I served the children jello aquarium cups instead…

Yum but sweeeeet!

Available on Amazon

Linking up to No Time for Flashcards: Link and Learn

By | October 24th, 2011|Categories: Around the Classroom, Creative Art|Tags: , , |14 Comments

Fun with puffy paint and cupcakes in preschool

For this fun activity, the children started off by mixing up their own cupcake puffy paint icing…

To make their own puffy paint icing, the children mixed together shave cream and glue. I would say to make our puffy paint icing, we added 1 part glue to  4 parts shave cream but honestly – we just threw in shave cream and added glue straight from the bottle. Then we added some food color and mixed it all together…

It really did look like icing so I reminded the children that we can’t eat it! I had them smell it and the children didn’t even try to eat it but just in case, I threw out the extra reminders. Once the children mixed up their puffy paint icing they put their bowls in the center of the table so we could share all the colors…

Next the children fan-folded their paper cupcake holders so they would have lines like real cup cake holders. Then they glued their cupcakes toppers and folded cupcake holders on a large sheet of paper…

Now it was time to add our puffy paint icing. I showed the children how to drop the icing on the cupcakes so it would set up a bit and dry puffy.

some of the children preferred to mix the colors and smear the icing on – either way, it still has a puffy feel when it is all done. And some of the children didn’t quite get the idea that the icing should go on the cupcake, not the holder 🙂

For snack, we got to ice real cupcakes too! And this icing we could eat!

Links to Grow On…

Check out the puffy paint ice cream too!

Cupcake Ice Cream Cone from Dukes and Duchesses

Delicious Plaster of Paris cupcakes from Casa Maria’s Creative Learning Zone

Felt Play Food Cupcakes from GummyLump

Threading Cupcake Holders from House of Baby Piranha

Framed Cupcake Felt Board from Miranda Made

The things we can do in preschool

Today was our very first day in preschool and we started off the year by exploring the things we ‘can’ do in preschool…

During circle time, we passed around the can and each of us took a turn thinking of things we can do in preschool. Most of the children gave the same answer which was –  “I can paint!”:)  I will ask this question again later this week and see if they have any new answers to share…

We spent a big part of our day exploring our environment. There was much to see and much to learn about our new classroom but one thing is for sure, we discovered that we really can paint!

After painting with our cans, the children wanted to know if they could paint with paint brushes too. The children made observations:  “Look, the paint is turning brown!”

We also discovered that we can play in the water table…

And that we can get our own cups and napkins…

And that we can build tall towers…

And that we can make new friends…

And that we can make magnetic robots...

And that we can wiggle our toes…

And that we can cut and color…

And that we can climb up and down really big stairs…

And that we can play fun games…

In preschool, we can do so many things!!

This is going to be a great year!

Preschoolers can serve their own snack

Building independent doers and thinkers is one of the goals of early childhood education. Snack time is a terrific time to let children learn to do things all by themselves.

We always start off by washing our hands!

Setting the table

Have the children get into the practice of washing hands first and while they are washing hands, set out napkins and cups at one end of a table or on a low shelf. Have the children go and get their own napkin and cup then sit at the snack table.

These children have  had lots of practice standing in line and waiting for their turn to pick up a cup and napkin all by themselves.

“Open your napkin big and wide so I can put a (cracker) inside!”

Once the children sit at the table, they open their napkin big and wide and set their cup on the table.  In some classrooms, the children then wait for all of their friends to be seated. The teacher then uses the familiar finger play:

Open-Shut them

Open-Shut them

Open-Shut them and give a little clap!

Open-Shut them

Open-Shut them

Open-Shut them and lay them in your lap!

This gets all the children to quiet down and helps to start off snack at a moderately low noise level. This also allows the teacher to demonstrate any serving skills the children will need to know and to demonstrate talking with each other using a soft conversational tone rather then shouting to be heard.

Self – Serve Snack!

The teacher then sets the snack on the table with the appropriate serving utensils and allows the children to serve their own snack. The children then pass the serving dishes to their neighbor. These children have become extremely proficient in manipulating the various types of serving tools. It takes practice to do this well but it doesn’t take long before the students will amaze you with their abilities.

I can pour all by myself!

The children are also able to pour their own juice. The teachers fill a pitcher only a quarter of the way full so that the pitcher isn’t too heavy for the children to manage. As needed, the teachers refill the pitcher with more juice.  What you don’t see in the photo is the full pitcher of juice sitting on the counter that the teacher uses to refill the student pitchers.

Time to eat up!

Once the children have served themselves, they are allowed to go right on into eating their snack.

Teacher’s role model manners and conversational tone at the snack table!

The teachers then sit with the children to role model good manners at the table and to promote polite conversations between the children. The children are much more successful in having a positive snack time experience when the teachers join them rather then run around the classroom doing other things during snack time.

Once snack time is over, the children throw away their own trash and join the teacher on the carpet for a few minutes of after snack story time and singing.

Check out this fun little snack time song!

Available on Amazon