Who Says You Have To Stay Inside For School Work?

Yesterday I took advantage of the sun and went outside for some art time. One can not let the creativity flow in a boring classroom 🙂

The kids had a blast finger painting and using real flowers

on the playground as inspiration for their:

“Flower Gardens”

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Warning: For preschoolers it is best to get washable paints….less ruined clothes= less frustrated parents 😉

Also please make sure it is non toxic…safety first when kiddos are in question.

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Water Play Time

The weather is picking up…YAY!!!!! So yesterday we had a great time with a kitchen themed water play outside.

There is nothing more fun for toddlers or kids under 6 than a huge bowl of water and toys to get soapy wet 🙂

For this activity you will need any type of container that will hold about 4 cups of water, a few drops of dish soap, any toys that will hold up well to water, and sponges or washcloths if they want to really clean the toys.

Note: This is a supervised activity due to water being involved

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Spending a Fortune in Teaching Materials… Why???

In my life I have not always had a good stable income stream coming through my door, in fact most days were spent wondering how we would get bread or gas money. During those hard times I had to get creative for my kids because sadly preschool was not in the budget for my little family. At the time I had no idea that those struggles and “thinking outside of the box” would help me in my preschool career. Now being a preschool teacher money is still tight but no where near what it was 10 years ago, making my budget stretch now is a lot easier with some tips I picked up along the way…….

DO NOT SPEND A FORTUNE IN SCANDALOUS TEACHING AIDS!!!!

The above statement is my warning for all new preschool teachers or stay at home moms. The kids do not care how extravagant a lesson is, they only remember the lesson itself. So learn how your child(ren) learn best and incorporate anything around your house or the closest dollar store. This year my preschoolers learn best through movement so I use a lot of games to bring that connection between the activity and the child(ren). Here are my two favorite games and GUESS WHAT??? I only spent one dollar for them (which I will explain at the end of my examples).

Count the Sticker Game:

This game does not have the best name and really I do not rock when it comes to naming a game but they are pretty fun regardless of the name factor;) This week I used 8 stickers with small cards each displaying numbers 1-8. Note: the teacher will decide how many stickers to put down and what numbers to lay down as well then ask the child how many stickers there are and find the right number. I started with laying down 4 stickers and underneath the stickers put numbers 4,2,7 down, then I asked the child to count the stickers and find the number 4. If child has some problems finding the number I always point to the number and allow child to hand it to me. This also helps the child to not feel so stressed if they ever struggle with finding the correct number. Remember— you (as an adult) experience stress over new challenges and kids are no different….

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Roll That Dice Game:

This game’s objective is counting in groups and if you are talking about numbers 1-5 then this game is a must have on your lesson plan. Each child will take a turn rolling the dice, whatever side it ends up on the teacher will ask the child to count each dot, after child has counted each dot then the teacher will ask “How many dots are there?” and give the child time to reinforce the number to the pattern of dots they see.

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The only thing I purchased for these games was the dice that I purchased at the dollar store a few weeks ago, the white cards I had in my classroom (but if you need them they also can be purchased at the dollar store) and the stickers were donated by a parent sometime ago. Feel free to change the stickers to anything you have in your home.. at times I used cotton balls, spoons, and sometimes crayons. Also with crayons you can incorporate the colors in the same lesson. For preschoolers killing two birds with one stone is a great time saver…..meaning if I can do two lessons at once and have more time preparing for something else then it is a great day in my classroom.

I hope this helps others who struggle with the everyday challenge of no money for teaching aids. Have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by my preschool blog;)

Science for Preschool (yikes) ?????

Preschoolers need science just as much as older children do. At least once a month I try to give my preschoolers a way to watch something and ask questions such as why is that happening or what happens when I mix things together? These activities really helps preschoolers learn new concepts and start to develop the want of exploration. Now many people will try to make these tasks harder than they need to be….. breathe, relax and stay focused on what you really want them to learn from the activity.

I will be sharing three noncomplicated science activities that I have done with my preschoolers, they were very easy and many of my preschoolers asked the questions that started with why, what, or how. I just let them do the activities, ask the questions, and we talked about what was taking place. Very easy and by the end you can pat your back and walk away feeling like a #1 preschool teacher;)

 

First Activity– Washing/ Polishing Rocks

I found some very dirty rocks in my backyard. Gave the children some towels and bowls of water. The children began dumping the rocks in the water and watching them for a second before using the towel to polish them dry. While this was going on I received questions like why does my scrubbing help the rock shine? Or does the water help the rock stay clean after I dry it? This activity was very enjoyable for all involved…..

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Second Activity– Exploding Color w/ Milk

Supplies for this is a few small bowls of milk, dish liquid soap (Dawn), food coloring, and cotton swabs. I put the bowl of milk in front of each students then gave them each a turn to squeeze a few drops of food coloring in the milk. Then I gave them each a cotton swab that I had dipped into the dish liquid. The chemical reaction made the food coloring look like a firework in the milk. It was a neat reaction to watch plus the kids just looked mesmerized by what took place. The one question I got over and over was how did the milk do that? This was a kids choice activity to do over again;)

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Third Activity– Water transfer using paper towel

Supplies needed for this is two cups, paper towel, water in one cup, and food coloring. This experiment takes a long time to produce results. For many preschoolers they do not want to wait and see they want “do it and see” so I suggest that you put it together as a class then put the experiment out of the way but in view so the kids could go back and forth checking on it. We talked about what will happen while setting it up which gave the kids time to ask their how and why questions. In the end this experiment was not only enjoyed by the kids but they took their parents (at pickup) to show them this “totally awesome” (in their words) experiment. This gave the parents the opportunity to ask the children the why and how questions which allowed the kids to play teacher and explain to the parents what was taking place. Loved this activity because of the parent involvement;)

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