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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Edible Igloos

Last year we made igloos using sugar cubes. You can see the post and directions here. They were pretty cool, but I decided to change it up a little bit this year and make igloos we could eat. This worked out so well and it was so easy for the kids.

Normally, we have a pretty healthy snack every day, but I can safely say that this snack was as far away from healthy as you can get. Mini cakes covered in icing covered in marshmallows. Can we say sugar anyone? To try to offset the insane amount of sweets, we had an extra long recess after this fun project. 

I started by baking cake mix into small glass bowls. I didn't use cupcakes because I wanted them to be a little bit bigger. I had the students work in pairs to make their igloo and we needed a little more room to work. You could easily use cupcakes and have the kids work individually. (These bowls held about a cup of batter.)

After I baked each one, I leveled the top with a knife and then flipped the cupcake upside down onto the plate to get a tapered look. 

To frost the cupcakes, I sniped a very small corner off of a sandwich baggie. You need to make sure to use the press to close kind and not the fold over because you don't want any extra folds at the bottom. I filled the baggies with icing and tied it with a rubber-band. The rubber-band prevents the icing from going up into the top of the bag when you squeeze it. This ended up being very helpful for the little ones. 

In class, the kids frosted and covered their mini cakes with marshmallows.They added a 2 X 4 tunnel for the door.

Then we cut it in half and ate it! It was a very successful and very yummy project.

As a side note, we read an awesome Goldilocks story to go with this project. The bears are polar bears who live in an igloo. The pictures are beautiful and the story is a fun twist to the traditional fairy tale. It is titled The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ice Cream Math

Ice cream is an essential part of our letter I curriculum. One of these years, we are going to make it during class. Maybe next year. : ) We did some ice cream math during our centers time using this picture I made. 

The kids rolled a 10 sided die and then colored the number they rolled. You could also use cards numbered 0-9 and have them pick a card. If you wanted to step it up a notch, you could take out 0 & 1 and add the numbers 10, 11, & 12. Then you could have them roll two regular dice and add the numbers together. Pretty easy and the kids were very engaged. 

I also made our ice cream song helps a little more fun and easy to use. (If you are wondering, what ice cream song? See this post here for more details.) I added felt cones to each vanilla ice cream top and then sewed a criss-cross design on the cone in a contrasting brown. (Man, I need a new camera. The design shows up a lot better in person ; )

As a side note, I teach the music time for the kids at our church and I was thinking this might be fun to use there too. I would put a song on the back of each ice cream cone and let them choose the cone to see what song we are going to sing. Just a thought!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

H is for Half

 We read my most favorite book this week. It is The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey and Don Wood

After we read the book, we talked about what half means. Then the kids got a bag of "food," drew a line down the middle, and cut it in half so they could share it just like the little mouse. 



H is for Hide

Every year on letter H day we play hide and seek throughout my house. At the beginning of this year, the kids asked me if we were going to play it again. We have so much fun! And there is an added bonus that I have to make sure that all the nooks and crannys around the house are cleaned out and vacuumed. ; ) If I didn't feel morally obligated to teach the kids, we might just play it the whole day!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lars the Polar Bear

 Since we have been studying the North Pole this month, we have read a few of the many stories about Lars the polar bear.  (Author - Hans de Beer)

And since Lars likes to go on so many adventures and visit new places, he decided to come visit us for the month of January. Each day he hides in a new place around the classroom and the kids have a lot of fun trying to find him.
It's so much fun to be a preschooler!

H is for hat!

We had hat day at school last week. We wore our favorite hat to school

and made a hat pictograph. Each hat picture was colored in a special way to say something about that person. 


The kids followed the directions and we hung our completed pictures up on the wall. 

Here's the hat that I drew for the project.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

North Pole Animal Wheel

The place we are visiting in January is the North Pole. (This year our theme is "Oh the Places We'll Go") We started our study of the north pole by looking at the different animals that live there and we read the book, The Very Bouncy Bear by Jack Tickle. It is a pop up book about animals that live in the arctic. It includes penguins and I had to explain to the kids that even though they are in the book, penguins do not live in the north pole.

For our activity, we made an animal wheel for animals that live in the north pole.The kid cut out the top and the bottom circles. They colored the animals on the bottom circle. They tore up cotton balls and glued "snow" on the top circle. Then we connected them with a brad so that the bottom circle spins and shows some of the different animals that live there. 

Here's What You Need:
  • Card stock
  • Cotton balls
  • Brads
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Crayons
Here's What You Do:
  1. Copy and print out the two wheels onto card stock. (The wheel with all the animals is the bottom wheel.)
  2. Cut out each wheel including the pie slice on the top wheel.
  3. Color the wheel with all the animals on it.
  4. Tear apart and glue cotton balls onto the top wheel for snow.
  5. Stack the wheels together and use a brad to fasten them so the bottom wheel turns.

E is for Emotions!

E is for emotions! We read this amazing book about emotions, Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods that Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis. We talked about different emotions that we can feel. 
We discussed how our emotions are normal and it is okay to feel different ways. We talked about how sometimes we feel frustrated or angry and that is okay as long as we express our feelings in an appropriate way.

For our activity we made emotion balls. They are pretty much stress balls, but hopefully our little preschoolers aren't feeling too much stress so we changed it to be an emotion ball. When they are feeling overly excited and need to calm down or when they are feeling angry or when they are feeling worried, they can take their ball and squeeze it. 

Each child drew a face on theirs using a permanent marker to make it more fun. The faces do rub off as they are handled, but that's okay because it just means we can have fun and keep drawing all different kinds of faces on our ball. 

 To make one, you put play dough into a balloon and tie it in a knot. This is a great way to use up play dough that is getting a little dry and old. Then use permanent markers to draw on a face.