Saturday, December 31, 2016

I'll Do What I Can

"My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have ---to try to make a difference."
Jimmy Carter
US president

Resolve to do what you can in 2017.
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Childhood Memories

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time." 

 Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What We Watch

We don't have a lot of time to share videos with the children.  Occasionally we do watch a video that supports a lesson or allows us to take a 'field trip' to visit an area of study. Here are a few to share with your child over the holidays.

The White House 2016

A tour of the White House

We love NYC @ MCP!




Live Animal Cams


Outwit, Outlast, Outplay-Christmas Vacation Survival Ideas

Today is the first day of the winter break in our area and already parents are preparing for the inevitable "I'm bored" and Christmas chaos.  This is not a new problem. Bing Crosby sang about the school break in 1951.  You know the line from It's Beginning to Look a  Lot Like Christmas  "and Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again."   It's been a parent problem for decades.

So here are some ideas to  help you survive the holidays and keep the Christmas spirit in your house. Be prepared, gather supplies and enjoy this time with your child.

You either love it or hate it in your house--- Play Dough Recipes

The link on this blog post that goes to the recipe is gone but I'm  sure there is a 'pin' for this soapy dough recipe.

Candy (don't  fight it. Make it a teachable moment))---

The Grinch---

Get out of the house---

New to the area... The PNC Winterfest!

Make pizza.

Fun & Games--- This game can quickly adapted to practice math facts, vocabulary words, letters and more.

Playing cardholder---

Make a snowman kit (easily purchased but what fun is that?)---

Make an I SPY bottle for home or gifts.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Oh, Deer!

Our MWF preK classes know so much about moose, elk and deer.  Here are few things you can discuss with your child:
  • Moose are the largest of the deer family.
  • We do not have moose or elk in our area but a lot of white tailed deer.
  • Moose, elk and deer are mammals.  They are covered with fur.
  • The males have antlers.  The antlers fall off (shed) and the males grow bigger antlers.
  • Moose, elk and deer are herbivores.
  • Males...moose and elk are bulls.  Male deer are bucks.
  • Females...moose and elk are cows.  Female deer are does.
  • Babies...moose and elk are calves.  Baby deer are fawns and have spots when they are young.
  • So many great vocabulary words-mammals, herbivores, shed and more.
We made Rudolph. Lots of teacher directions!

Fun Food Friday was Moose Munch Mix! Moose are herbivores so we had sticks (pretzel sticks), seeds (sunflower and pumpkin seeds), hay and grass (potato sticks), snowballs (yogurt raisins), pine cones (Cheerios) and wild berries (m & m's).  It was a tasty treat!
Other options for Moose Munch Mix---chocolate Cheerios or Cocoa Puffs for pinecones, mini marshmallows for snowballs and Captain Crunch Oops! All Berries, raisins or dried cranberries for wild berries.  You are only limited by your imagination. 

Want to do more?  Read the classic children's book If You Give a Moose a Muffin  by Laura Numeroff and make these easy muffins---

1 box cake mix (chocolate, butter pecan, lemon and spice are all delicious)
1 cup oatmeal (if you want you can pulse in the food processor before adding)
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter (I've used vegetable oil and it worked fine)

Mix cake mix and oatmeal. Add milk, eggs and butter. The batter is really thick. Spoon into a cupcake pan lined with paper cupcake liners. Fill about 1/2 way. Bake at 400* for about 13 minutes. Makes about 18 muffins.

If You Give a Moose a Muffin

Enjoy learning about moose, elk and deer with your child!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Happy Birthday, Wassily!

Today is Wassily Kandinsky's birthday and we will be celebrating in our classroom. We are starting a large group project (more info and pictures soon).   We will not have Masterpiece Monday next week because of our Christmas parties but we have been working on many projects with the influence of the abstract works of Kandinsky.

The children are now very familiar with Kandinsky's paintings.  Before we worked with the acrylics and canvas, we used crayons and copy paper.  The children placed the colors next to each other and then added black lines on top of the color.  We do this activity first so when we work with acrylics and brushes, the canvases do not become a 'muddy mess'.


Next...acrylics and canvas.  First, we paint the canvas placing colors next to each other.
Let dry and then add black lines and circles...
All displayed in the MCP Art Gallery!

This past Monday we used black Sharpies to make lines and circles on white card stock.
The children used lots and lots of color using school markers to cover the black lines.
Finally, we brushed water over the whole piece.
Happy Birthday, dear Wassily! 
Happy Birthday to you!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

m & m math

Ask your child about m & m math!  We sorted, made tally marks, counted, wrote numbers, compared numbers and everyone went home with a small pack of m & m's.  Make math fun with your child and a package of m & m's (or Skittles or cereal or anything you can sort and count!)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Santa's Socks

This activity was added to our Discovery Center last Christmas.  We call it 'Santa's Laundry'.  The children (MWF classes only)  have to match the socks and clothespin the two socks together (small motor skills at work!). The children work on Santa's laundry alone or with a few friends and when the laundry is finished they can press 'the easy button'. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Candy Canes 2016

Our MWF classes have been enjoying some sweet activities with candy canes.  We looked at candy canes and saw how they were the same and different (ask your child).  Candy canes are red & white, have stripes, are sweet, have a pattern, are hard and will break.  Candy canes are sticky and covered in a wrapper.  Candy canes look like the letter 'J' and have a minty smell. The candy canes were not all alike.  Some candy canes were big and some were little.  The patterns were also different.   We also had peppermint sticks and ribbon candy.  Ask your child what they look like.

We made candy cane ornaments (We put the pom poms in a storage bag with a little mint extract, shook them all up and dried them out before gluing)

We added mint extract and glitter to finger paint!  Sweet!
Enjoy the holidays and a candy cane or two with your child!