Friday, February 26, 2010

Super Summer Seashore Safari-the scuba gear

You may have seen the scuba gear before in our room. The scuba gear doubles as air tanks for our fire fighter dress up play and does triple duty in our up and coming unit on the universe as an astronaut rocket booster pack, of course. Cheap, easy and a fun thing to add to your dress up box.

For each scuba tank you will need-
2-clean and dry plastic 2 liter soda bottles or juice bottles
Duct tape (colored if you are feeling really artsy)
Xacto knife, sharp scissors
Material scraps cut or torn in about two inch strips or wide ribbon

This craft is for your child to use but for ADULTS ONLY to create. Tape the two bottles together like you see in the photo. I go around the bottles twice to secure them tightly. Tape around the bottles at the top and bottom. Next, cut two slits on each bottle at the top and bottom about three inches apart from each other. Cut the slits into a small rectangular 'button hole'. The photo gives a pretty good idea where to make the slits (it's not for a grade so it's okay). Put a safety pin on the end of the material/ribbon and drop down through one of the slits and pull through the second slit. Repeat for the other side. Have your child try on the scuba tank to get a good fit. The ribbon should create a strap that fits but is loose enough for a child to take on and off on their own. Tie a knot securely in the material/ribbon. Pull the ribbon so the knot is on the inside of the tank.

After the adult portion of the craft is finished, your child may want to decorate and personalize the scuba tank. Put shredded paper, tissue paper, or old gift bag stuffing inside the two bottles and put the bottle cap back on and super glue (an adult job). Use sharpie markers to color and get out all those stickers from the office supply store and have at it!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Super Summer Seashore Safari-the Seashore

I recently had a friend tell me that I teach preschool so I can legitimately do wild and crazy things. I plead the fifth. It's my job. I love it. So it is with the MCP annual Super Summer Seashore Safari. Lots of wild and crazy fun.

What do you get when you take long empty wrapping paper tubes and green tissue paper? Add some imagination and it is the beach, of course. I stuck these in the remnants of the cereal box fort but have also just slit an a X in a large mailing box and stuck in the palm trees.

We added a golf umbrella, two small suitcases, seashells, leis, a lawn chair, scuba gear, cameras, phones and lots of other miscellaneous beach items.

For most of our 'dress up' play, we use several things over and over. We have two small suitcases, several old cell phones and 35 mm cameras, the kitchen table and chairs, preschool magnifying glasses, preschool binoculars and a computer keyboard. You might want to consider a 'dress up' box for home. Dress up does not mean dresses. Our dramatic play area is an important part of our curriculum. It promotes imagination and creativity, encourages cooperative play, works on and increases vocabulary skills plus much more.

If your kids have cabin fever some beach play may be a temporary cure. Add a little Beach Boys music (hey, maybe they can play at the next Super Bowl) and dance, dance, dance.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Winter Olympics-the medals

Go for the gold! We have been recording the number of gold, silver and bronze medals Team USA has won. After we tally the individual medals, we count the total number of medals won by Team USA. This is a super easy idea for you to do at home with your child.

At the beginning of the week, I wrote "In the Olympics, I would like to_______" on chart paper. Each child told me their Olympic sport. We recorded them, counted and tallied the number of athletes in each sport (we have been using the word 'athlete' a lot). Let me tell you-speed skating and snowboarding are hands down the favorites.

Our classroom on Friday was filled with Olympic fun. We made our torches and ran through the hallway with the Olympic theme playing in the background.

Each child was awarded a gold medal for their chosen winter sport (available at Dollar General in party goods). Each child stepped up to the podium (a vocabulary word introduced), was awarded a medal, held the flag, had their picture taken by the 'media' and listened to the Star Spangled Banner play. All we needed was Bob Costas and Al Michaels voice overs.

The Olympics are a wonderful reminder of the promise and hope of world peace. Enjoy the final week of the Winter Olympics with your children and your family.

Winter Olympics-the Olympic Torch

Credit for this idea goes to one of our TTH parents who emailed me this idea for our students to each create an Olympic torch. Thanks MJ!

You will need a paper plate, a paper towel tube, markers, stickers, tape and orange, yellow and red tissue paper.

Fold the paper plate in half. In the center of the plate, make several snips so you will be able to insert the paper towel tube.

Have your child color the tube and the paper plate. Add stickers. We like lots and lots of stickers at preschool. Go to the office or school supply section and buy those little colored dots, stars and rectangles. These are great for preschoolers. We also gave each child a United States flag sticker and a mailing label with 'Team USA-Winter Olympics-February 2010-Vancouver'.

Push the paper towel tube through the paper plate and tape down. Add small pieces of red, yellow and orange tissue paper at the end of the tube. Keep lit until the closing ceremony.

Olympic torch treat-use an ice cream sugar cone and fill with lemon, orange and raspberry sherbet. Add red, yellow, and orange sprinkles for an Olympic closing ceremony treat!

Go USA!!!

Winter Olympics

Our MWF classes have been chanting, "USA! USA! USA!" this week. I love love love the Olympics and always look forward to the year I can include the Olympics in our lessons. Here are some of the things we have talked about-
where Canada is located*the Canadian flag*the winter sports and photos*the Olympic torch is lit and stays lit during the Olympic games*athletes and how they train, practice and eat healthy every day*athletes come from all over the world to the Olympics*each country has a different flag and different song* identified the Olympic flag*printed the Olympic flag with tempera paint and used circle shapes to print with the Olympic flag colors. And that's not all...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Go, Dog. Go!

Our TTH class is having some fun with Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman. I read the book to the children and then the girls made the girl dog and well you guessed it-the boys made the boy dog. I read the book a second time and when I said up, down, under, in or out the children had to follow those directions. They stretched up and down, went in and out of the fort, under the table and around and around the tables. Good times.

Tomorrow we are going to talk about how you take care of your dog or pet. We are also going to make "Puppy Chow". The book is also on YouTube for viewing. Seriously. It is. Check it out at

Puppy Chow

8 cups Rice Chex, Corn Chex or Crispix cereal
Melt 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter and 12 ounce bag chocolate chips in the microwave. Mix with cereal. Tossing to coat. Add powdered sugar (enough to coat). Let cool.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Punch and Judy

The children have been really enjoying our puppet theater. If you would like to see performances at home and do not want to buy and store a puppet theater, try these ideas.

Open up two legs on a card table. Put the card table on the floor with the two legs of the table on the floor for support.

Have your child go behind a large chair or couch to put on a show.

Buy a heavy duty spring rod and put inside a door frame. Drape a sheet or tablecloth over the spring rod and if necessary use safety pins to hold in place.
Ta-dah! A theater!

There are LOTS AND LOTS of resources on the web to buy or make your own puppets. You can create puppets with socks, paper bags, old gloves, paper plates and much more. Also, Oriental Trading seems to have a lot of inexpensive puppets.

There are also lots and lots of DIY plans on the web for those who would like to build a puppet theater including puppet theaters made out of PVC pipe.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Brush Your Teeth

The MWF classes have been talking about our teeth and the care of our teeth. On Friday, I began an experiment with the children. We put five hard boiled eggs in five different liquids. The liquids were water, white vinegar, milk, orange juice and soda (like regular Pepsi or Coke). You could also include Kool-aid, Gatorade, tea or coffee. I introduced the word 'predict'. We predicted what would happen to the eggs in the liquids and recorded their predictions on paper.

I put the milk glass in the refrigerator, left the others on the table and went home for the weekend.

Yesterday we removed the eggs from the glasses. I introduced the word 'observe'. We observed each egg and recorded our observations on paper. We also discussed which liquids were good and bad for our teeth. Science experiments have a definite WOW factor with preschoolers and this was no exception. This is a super easy experiment for you to do at home with your children. Want more science? Go to and search science.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Play with Your Food

We will be working in pairs with the large Sweethearts during the month of February. The children know not to eat the candy that we play with at school. Buy a bag and have your child count out ten hearts, sort them into colors and make a pattern. Count the hearts after you sort them and use words like greatest, most, least and fewest. Put the hearts in a pile and roll a die and count out the hearts. Learning is fun when you can play with your food.