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Monday, May 21, 2012

Magic X Painting

Highlighting an oldie but goodie. 

Check out our post here for a painting project we did during letter X week.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day Card

If you are a current mom, skip this post unless you want to ruin the surprise. : )

Are they gone? Okay, good. Here are the cards we made for mother's day this year. 

The outside had this poem on it:

Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprints
On furniture and walls.

But every day I'm growing -
I'll be grown some day
And all those tiny handprints
Will surely fade away.

So here's a little handprint
Just so you can recall
Exactly how my fingers looked
When I was very small.

The inside had this hand print cut out on it. If you fold a paper in half and trace it so that the thumb and first finger are on the fold, it will make this heart shape between the fingers.

We also made a mother's day chocolate bar wrapper cover to cover a large chocolate bar to give to our moms as well. 

Thanks to all you great moms out there. You are the best! Happy Mother's Day!

W is for worm

 We made worm cups during letter w week. 

I love making these because I get to hear things like, 
 "These worms are so yummy!" and "I like dirt!" and "Can I have some more mud please?"

I started by filling some cups with mud (chocolate pudding). Then the kids made dirt (smashed chocolate graham crackers) and poured it on their mud.

Then we put some worms into our dirt (gummy worms) and ate it up!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

W is for . . .

. . . whirlpool

. . . web

We learned how to draw a spider web - start with a small circle, draw larger circles around it, then crisscross through the middle. 

Our younger class got to make these spiders using pipe cleaners, puff balls, and googly eyes. We tried using white glue to put the head on top, but I think hot glue would have been best.

  . . . weather

When I was doing my student teaching, I spent 1/2 the time in the preschool on campus at Brigham Young University. My favorite thing we used to do with the kids was go on campus to survey the college students and ask them questions about the things they liked. 

I decided, why can't we have as much fun surveying each other in class? We did a weather survey in which the kids asked their classmates "what was their favorite weather". We talked about saying "excuse me," asking our question politely, then saying "thank you" after we marked their answer.

I don't know what it is about watching a preschooler walk around with a clip board and asking people questions, but it is awfully cute. Even though we weren't asking big college students, I still think this is one of my favorite things to do. 


V is for Volcano

Making the mountain.

Added the baking soda.

Waiting . . .


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

V is for Veggies

Letter V week is my favorite week of the year! Yes, we make volcanoes, and that is a lot of fun. But, it's my favorite because we have our vegetable taste testing day and I love watching the kiddoes eat veggies! Am I weird for saying that?

Each year we read the book Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens then we have a vegetable taste testing party. Here are the veggies - cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, carrots, and snap peas. (I peel the cucumber and par boil the broccoli and cauliflower.)

The kids graph the results of which vegetables the class likes. Each kid tries one bite, then decides if they like it. I was so proud because even my really picky eaters were willing to try a small bite of each. I know it took a lot of bravery for some of them and they did amazing! 

For my younger class, we made a graph together as a group. 

For my older class, they graphed the information on their own paper. 

It cracks me up because most of the kids will eat the vegetable for me in class and then when they go home, they won't. One of the kids even told his mom that he likes veggies now, but only Miss Laura's. (Big smile.)

Bee Balancers

 Bees are such fascinating creatures. I think my favorite fact about bees is that they communicate by dancing. Has anyone out there seen the movie Finian's Rainbow? (No? You should, its quirky and a lot of fun.) Bees dancing to talk remind me of the girl from that movie. 
My next favorite fact is that the honey they make tastes different depending on which flowers they visited. 

During our study of bees, we made bee balancers. I am sure you are thinking, what? But here's what they look like.

Because of their shape and the weight of the pennies, they balance on the end of your finger without any extra help. It's kind of fun to "fly" them around.

Since we needed pennies for our project, we used our recipe for shinny pennies to make them look extra spiffy. (Scroll down to the end of that post for step by step instructions.)

Anyway, in my search for a great book about bees, I found a goldmine! We read a couple of bug books by Nancy Loewen that were perfect for the younger kids. The bee one we read was Busy Buzzers.

We also read her Garden Wigglers book, they were awesome. I think she is an author that I am going to have to read more of her books!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

R is for Robot


We had a fun time making these toilet paper roll robots for letter R week. Each day when the kids come in, they write their name then answer a question. The question of the day that day was: If you had a robot, what would you make it do for you? The answers were so cute: make cookies, clean, dance, make me a robot . . .  After, we made these fun little guys.

We talked about how robots work and how they are made of parts. We read this adorable book that has gears and other things you can play with on each page.

Then the kids made their own adorable robot. We started by painting our toilet paper rolls the day before. Then the kids drew their "switch board" on a piece of card stock and attached it with mini brads. We added other features like arms, eyes, and an antennae.  The only bummer part was that they didn't move by themselves. : )

Want to make your own?

Here's What You Need:
  • toilet paper roll
  • paint
  • toothpick
  • card stock
  • pipe cleaner
  • hole punch
  • mini brads (optional)
  • foam stickers (optional)
  • mini hole punch (optional)
Here's What You Do:
  1. Paint your toilet paper roll and let dry. (You can do inside and out if you prefer.)
  2. Draw a switch board on a piece of card stock or paint it onto your toilet paper roll.
  3. Attach your switch board to your roll with glue dots (liquid glue doesn't dry fast enough and it won't stay curled around the roll) or with mini brads (it's best to punch the holes first with the mini hole punch)
  4. Attach foam sticker eyes or paint some on.
  5. Draw a mouth.
  6. Punch two holes in the side for the arms. Slide a pipe cleaner through so it sticks out on both sides. Curl the pipe cleaner around a pen or pencil to make the arms stay in place.
  7. Tape a circle cut out to the toothpick then tape it to the inside, top of the roll.

* The original idea for this project was found in a Family Fun magazine.