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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ant Thumbprints

We are studying gardens and the bugs that live there this month. One bug we talked about were ants. We made ant thumbprints to discuss the different parts of an ant and how many legs they have. 

T is for texture

 I thought I had lost these pictures, but I found them so I figured this is better late than never right?! We made these during letter T week and also as an Easter activity.They are foam eggs with different textured materials on them. This activity would work with any shape, you could even do the letter T or F for feel.

Each egg was a sticky backed foam paper. We peeled off the sticky part to attach our textures:

Hard beads.

Soft pom poms. (These didn't stick very well, so we had to use glue.Next time I think I will use yard for soft.)

Bumpy shredded paper. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

R is for Ribbon Dancing & Rubberband Rectangles

 For a tutorial on how to make your own ribbon dancing sticks, click here. 

These rubberband rectangles were more of a process than an end. It was so funny to watch the kids show their project to their parents and to watch the parent faces with either a look of confusion or feigned admiration while thinking, um what is that? The kids had a fun time turning their project into something fun, like a table for their barbies or a wrestling ring for their action figures or a pen for their animals. 

Anyway, I was more concerned about the building process than I was what it looked like in the end. I wanted the kids to have a chance trying their hand at using a hammer in a safe way. But, we were also working on geometry concepts as we talked about how many sides and corners a rectangle has as well as comparing the length of the sides. 

We tried using golf tees and also using large headed nails. The nails worked better, but in the end, all of the corners started to lean a little. Next time, I am going to try to find a really soft wood and use nails so that it doesn't lean. Anyone out there a carpenter and has a suggestion for a good soft wood? 

Want to make one?

Here's What You Need:
  • Thick styrofoam or thick, soft wood (I found styrofoam sheets at my local hardware store, Ace.) 
  • Small hammer
  • Golf tees or large nails
  • rubber bands
Here's What You Do:
  1. Cut the wood or stryofoam into rectangles
  2. Discuss how many corners and sides a rectangle has. Compare the length of the sides. Compare the difference between a  square and a rectangle. 
  3. Mark the corners with the kids leaving about a 1/2 inch edge on both sides 
  4. Nail the tees or nails into the marks
  5. Connect the nails with the rubber bands to create the sides of your rectangle. 


Saturday, April 21, 2012

P is for Popcorn & Puzzles

T is for . . .

 . . . turtles.

. . . triangles.

. . . tracing.

P is for Pizza

English muffin pizzas got a big thumbs up during letter P week.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cleaning with Kids

 I had the fun opportunity to guest post at an amazing blog today- http://www.askannamoseley.com/Ask Anna is a great website that offers tried and true tips for cleaning and organizing your house. My post today was about fun ways to clean up with kids. It offers different methods and games you can play while cleaning up to help your kids focus and have fun at the same time. If you are interested, check it out here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thank you!

Thank you, thank you to Brayden's mom for bringing in some baby chicks for us to see. It was fun to see the live version after all our bird projects this month. She shared an awesome book about how chickens grow and develop. Then she showed the class their family's new chicks. (I'm sorry I couldn't get more pictures, but my camera battery was on it's last bit of juice and I was lucky to get any at all.)

The kids really enjoyed it and thank you again! You are amazing!

U is for Up!

 U week is one of my favorite weeks because we get to work on the concept of up! Funny enough, my daughter and I watched the movie Up! last week and I think maybe my subconscious was working on me or something because I had balloons on the brain.

We have been talking about gardens this month and between that and Easter, birds were a natural part of our discussion. We had already talked about baby birds and nests when we made our bobble head birds and nests a couple of weeks ago. So, we just continued that discussion with up! (You know because birds fly up and stuff.)

 Anyway, we made these helium filled balloon birds that actually do fly up in the sky. We did it slightly differently this year because I just made simple beaks instead of the crazy, but very cool looking ones we used last year.

Birdy friends saying goodbye at pick up.

Out the door with our new found friend.

 As always, the kids loved their balloon birds and it was fun to watch them pull them around the classroom having such a good time. If you want a full tutorial, you can check it out here. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bobble Head Chicks & Nests

  These are some quirky little chicks that we made for Easter. You use egg cartons and wire to make these fun little friends that bobble their head whenever they move.  My daughter and I made one to test out the directions. When we were done I kind of didn't know what I thought, but then I saw that little head wobble and it brought a big smile to our faces.

Before we made our chicks and nests, we talked about baby animals being born in the spring and discussed how birds use lots of different materials to make nests for their chicks.  

Here is our chicky nesting outside in our homemade nest. 

Here is a picture of the head tilting so you can kind of see what makes the bobble bob. 

To go along with our bobble head chicks, we made them nests to roost in until they learn to fly.

With my older class, I assembled most of the chick and the kids added eyes and feathers. It took a while to make 9 of those cuties so I decided to simplify with the younger class.** The kids made the nests for their birds and I provided them with these cute little toy chicks to inhabit their nest. 

**Making this with one or two kids isn't a big deal, but doing it on a large scale was a little more tricky. I wouldn't suggest doing this with more than two or three kids at a time unless the kids are older. 

Want to make your own chick or nest? 

Bobble Head Chick

Here's What You Need:

2 cardboard egg carton cups
card stock
googly eyes
24 mm gauge craft wire (It has to be this gauge to make the bobble work correctly)

Here's What You Do:
  1. Cut one of the egg carton cups so it sits flat.
  2. Cut the second cup to a height of about 3/4 inch. 
  3. Paint the cups and let them dry.
  4. Cut out feet and beak from card stock and glue or tape them inside the cups. Glue the eyes on. 
  5. Wrap 6 inches of wire around a pen. 
  6. Use a push pin to make a hole in  the top of the larger cup.
  7. Insert a full circle of wire into the hole and tape to the top of the cup.
  8. Tape another circle of coil into the top of the smaller cup. 
  9. Glue on feathers.
Homemade Bird Nests

Here's What You Need:

brown paper bag
straw, yarn, leaves, twigs or other things to add to your nest

Here's What You Do:
  1. Roll the paper bag inside itself and keep rolling down until you reach the bottom. Squish and squeeze the sides until the bag resembles a nest shape.
  2. Glue on yarn, twigs, sticks, straw, etc to make your nest soft for your new chick. 

Ideas were originally found from Family Fun magazine. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

3 Little Pigs Puppet Show

 Kids and puppet theaters are something that should mix often. Watching a puppet show put on by 4 year olds is so awesome. If you haven't seen one, it should be the next thing you put on your bucket list. So much cuteness!  You can see by our audience pictures that it makes for some fun times. 

We have this fun puppet theater that is pretty easy to make and is adjustable to fit into different door frames or walk ways. The post with the information on the step by step is here.

This year we also made our own paper bag pig puppets (lots of letter p's in that project) We used the template from http://www.first-school.ws

After the kids had some fun, I asked some of the moms to come in and help me do a puppet show for the kids. We did a funny version of the 3 Little Pigs. It is so much fun to listen to their laughter and to hear them calling out to the characters during the show. One of these days I am going to get someone to record it for me because I want to see their faces. 

Marble Painting

   P is for paint and M is for marble. This activity was originally scheduled for letter m week, but we had so many other things going on that week that we did it during letter P week instead. It worked out because p is for paint. This is a fun and easy painting project that is relatively mess free. How often can you say that about a painting project? 

Here's What You Need:
A box lid or shallow container like a baking pan 
tempera paint

Here's What You Do:
  1. Tape the paper down inside of your container.
  2. Dot your paint around the paper. (Small dots work better.)
  3. Put 4-6 marbles into your container and tilt your lid at different angles so that the marbles roll around.  
  4. Take out your marbles and let your project dry. Then take out your new masterpiece.