Around the world marble game

We put a little spin into our Earth Day planning with this around the world marble game.

I had a set of clear plates left over from a recent family gathering and thought they would be great for the light table. All I needed to do was to figure out what we could do with them. So I sat and stared at them for a little bit and then went to work making my marble game.

I used permanent markers to color the center of each plate so it looked like the earth. Then added numbers around the edges of the plates to give the children a way to keep score or to compare numbers as they played the game.

To play the game, the children put the marble on the plate and gave the marble a little push to get it spinning around the edge. There are several ways the children could try to make the marble spin. They could tilt the plate or push the marble. Both ways were challenging and required the children to focus on balance, fine motor, and speed of the marble.

I set the game out on the light table but it really could have been set out anywhere in the classroom so don’t get too stuck on the idea that it needs to be a light table activity! Oh, and for those of you who might be wondering – the clear plates came from the Dollar Tree.

Below is a quick video to show you what the marble game looked like in action.

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Fall leaves at the light table

Before school began this year, I finally decided it was time to break down and buy me a new light table. I wanted a table that could stand alone, be large enough for several children to work on at one time, and have good lighting that worked well even during the day time in a classroom with lots of windows….

Fall Leaves at the Light Table by Teach Preschool

After checking around, I finally decided to purchase the light table by Whitney Brothers. So far, I couldn’t be happier! I purchased my light table off of Amazon and all I had to connect was the bottom legs to the light box. It was simple.  I have provided an Amazon link to the table I am using below for those who are interested in learning more…

We have used our light table for lots of different things so far this year and one of our most recent light table explorations was to take a close look at the signs of fall. One of those signs is the changing color of the leaves. Miss Abby collected leaves from around her neighborhood for this process as the leaves on my own property are still all green. But soon the leaves here will change color and we will continue our exploration of the signs of fall outdoors as well as indoors…

Fall Leaves at the Light Table by Teach Preschool

The “windows” that you see the leaves are in are my homemade exploration windows. To make your own exploration windows like ours you will need…

  1. Heavy cardboard (I cut up a white corrugated cardboard science board into small squares that I found at the Dollar Tree. One board makes about 20+ frames and the cardboard also makes great paint or glue canvases for art).
  2. Overhead projector film or some other type of heavy clear plastic that you can cut.
  3. Clear packing tape

I simply cut a frame from the cardboard, then taped a piece of the overhead projector film to the front of the frame and to the back of the frame.  I sealed the leaves in between the sheets of projector film and added tape all the way around the edges to keep the leaves from falling out the sides as the children pick up, turn, or move the observation windows around the table or the classroom…

Fall Leaves at the Light Table by Teach Preschool

The children can handle the observation windows easily and without worry of the windows easily coming apart or tearing. I love them and plan to make more as I have time with a variety of materials for the light table…

Fall Leaves at the Light Table by Teach Preschool

The DIY observation windows would also work well outdoors for looking at leaves in the sunlight…

Fall Leaves at the Light Table by Teach Preschool

On the light table, I set out the leaves, crayons, and thin paper for the children to trace or draw the leaves if they would like.  One child tried leaf rubbing with the crayon and did find a few vein lines pop up. Another decided the veins from the leaf on his rubbing looked like a treasure map and was off to now search for treasure…

Fall Leaves at the Light Table by Teach Preschool

The children came and went from the light table all through out the morning. They spent time observing, talking, drawing, coloring, and feeling the leaves.  We also had leaves set around the classroom that were not inside a window for the children to explore…

Fall Leaves at the Light Table by Teach Preschool

Fall is such an amazing time of year to explore nature through many different ways in the classroom. Light table exploration is just one example of the things we are and will be doing over the next few weeks. I am so glad that we have preschool in the fall. It is such an amazing time of the year!

Fall Leaves at the Light Table by Teach Preschool

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Exploring our world with DIY color scopes

DIY Color Scopes by Teach Preschool

Where possible, we try to integrate different kinds of DIY tools for play into our classroom environment. Our set of color scopes were made by Mrs. Courtney last year and we kept them out for several months of play and exploration…

DIY Color Scopes by Teach Preschool

Mrs. Courtney made the color scopes by covering the end of each paper tube with a color of cellophane and then wrapped the tube with a matching color of duct tape to hold the cellophane in place and protect the tubes from getting torn up. We placed the color scopes in different places like in the windows, on a table, in a basket, and near the light table…

DIY Color Scopes by Teach Preschool

We invited the children to take the color scopes outdoors for play too…

DIY Color Scopes by Teach Preschool

A super simple DIY for the classroom to invite the exploration of color, color mixing, and light…

DIY Color Scopes by Teach Preschool

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Links to Grow on

Color Wheels Game by Thrive 360 Living

Viewing our World through a Colorful Lens by Teach Preschool

Color and Light Collage by An Everyday Story

Five fun ways to teach with tape

Since I shared with you how my students enjoy the exploration of tape in our classroom, I thought I would share with you how I like to use tape in the classroom. For me, tape is a valuable resource so I keep lots of tape on hand for teaching and for promoting play…

Five Fun Ways to Teach with Tape by Teach Preschool

1. On the light table 

I like to use tape on the light table as a way to promote a little different kind of creativity and play and to extend whatever unit we may be talking about. In the photo below, we had read the book The Foolish Tortoise (World of Eric Carle) by Richard Buckley and spent the day exploring turtles

Tape on the Light Table by Teach Preschool

2. On the floor

Creating tape lines on the floor is a simple way to promote balance, jumping, walking and other types of large motor play. For the photo below, we had read the book, The Line Up Book by Marisabina Russo and extended our discussion with all kinds of lines on the floor: straight, curvy, zigzag…

Tape lines on the floor by Teach Preschool

3. On the flannel board

One of my favorite uses of a flannel board is to turn it into a graph by adding a tape lines on the board. This lets me use all those felt pieces in a new way.. In the photo below, we were sorting and graphing feathers by color…

Taped graphs on a flannel board by Teach Preschool

4. On the magnet board

My DIY Magnet board comes in handy for all kinds of play and it serves as a great game table that I can quickly set up anywhere in the classroom and move out of the way as needed. For the photo below, we used the magnetic board for a pompom game…

Tape on the magnetic Board by Teach Preschool

5. On the art table

When our art table isn’t in use with a creative experience, I like to convert our art table into different types of games as well. In the photo below, we are using our art table to invite block sorting by shape and color...

Tape on the Art Table by Teach Preschool

These are just a few ways I like to use tape in the classroom to promote different types of learning opportunities. I am sure you like to use tape in other ways. Leave a comment and share your thoughts. I would love to expand on my use of tape in the classroom!

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Matching upper and lowercase letters on the light table

As part of our letter review, we made a simple alphabet letter matching game for the light table…

Matching upper and lower case letters on the light table by Teach Preschool

As you can see, we’ve been saving bottle caps around here for quite some time.  This games is a perfect way to reuse those lids!

Matching upper and lowercase letters on the light table by Teach Preschool

To begin, you will need 26 small lids and 26 larger lids. We chose to use all white lids for this activity so they would be somewhat transparent on our light table.  Once you have collected all of your lids, write one lowercase letter of the alphabet on each of the small lids and write the uppercase letters on the larger lids…

Matching upper and lowercase letters on the light table by Teach Preschool

To play the game, the children chose an uppercase letter lid and dropped on top of a lowercase letter lid…

Matching upper and lowercase letters on the light table by Teach Preschool

Our students seemed to enjoy this game more when they were playing with a friend. There were lots of letters to hunt and find…

Matching upper and lowercase letters on the light table by Teach Preschool

On this same day, we  happened to have all of the letters displayed on our magnetic board.  This proved to be very helpful for the children who needed a bit of assistance in finding their letter matches.  The children were able to refer to the magnetic board to see what letter pairs went together…

Matching upper and lowercase letters on the light table by Teach Preschool

Reviewing letters on the light table was a great way to use up all of those lids we’ve been saving…

Matching upper and lowercase letters on the light table by Teach Preschool

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Links to grow on:

Alphabet kitchen for toddler play by Teach Preschool

DIY alphabet learning activity by For the Love of Learning

Alphabet rocks–heat embossed by Thrive 360 Living