Category Archives: Balls

Quadrilla Marble Run

I had been trying to find an affordable marble run for our ball unit and finally found a couple on Craigslist.  The kids are absolutely fascinated by it.

Everyday Kerry helps the children to build different marble runs.  The Quadrilla sets have the potential to build a variety of different runs, however, they’re not as stable as I would have liked.  While building the sets the children are also learning to be aware of their surroundings and their bodies.  That’s a huge task for a preschooler.  

The first day the kids watched Kerry build a run and then took turns dropping the marbles in the top slot.  

As the week progressed different runs were built.  As the kids get more experience and learn to be careful around the runs we will get to build bigger and more complicated structures.  There are many videos on Youtube featuring Quadrilla and other runs including some homemade ones.  

Little Pandas Preschool

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Highlights of our Ball Unit

The children have learned a tremendous amount while studying balls.  A foundation has been laid for measuring and graphing skills which will continue to be used throughout the year as we explore more science topics.  In addition to academic skills the kids just had fun.  Popping balls on the parachute is always a hit with the kids.

Gross motor skills are developed while playing a variety of ball games.

Making melon balls was a lot of work, but fun.  

Little Pandas Preschool

Circumference

The children learned how to measure the size of a ball and explored the concept of circumference.

They discussed different options for measuring their balls and tried them out.

Blue painter’s tape was used to measure the balls.

They removed the tape and laid it out on the table.

One inch tiles were used to measure the tape and find the circumference.  

Little Pandas Preschool

Painting with Balls!

Today the children painted with balls.  This is a very messy and great sensory activity.  Some of the kids held back as they weren’t sure about getting their hands in the paint.

We started with a blank slate made from several sheets of butcher paper taped together.

The balls were dipped into paint.

The children rolled their balls across the paper to create a wonderful painting!

Little Pandas Preschool

Our Ball Unit

Our movement and motion unit began with a study of balls.  During the past two weeks the children have explored balls and how they move.  They’ve talked about and practiced bouncing, rolling, throwing, catching, and kicking balls.

The rolling balls activity also presented the children with the opportunity to practice the measuring skills they had learned previously.  Each child rolled his ball and then measured how far it went.

After measuring the distance their balls traveled the kids could then compare which balls went the farthest.  That lead to further discussion about why some balls rolled farther than others.

A variety of balls are available for the kids to play with.  This also helped the children to see that different balls have varying purposes such as kicking or throwing.

Little Pandas Preschool

A Morning at Preschool Post #1

Our new school year is well underway and the kids as well as the teachers are having fun doing all the activities.   A typical day begins with free play while the kids wait for their friends to arrive. At 9:00 they participate in circle time which includes music and Chinese activities.  After circle time the children may choose to work at a variety of centers the teachers have prepared for them. Each center has three to six activities to choose from.

On this morning most of the children opted to work at the language arts center.   V. is working on a Zoo Phonics activity where he is filling in the “b” outline with playdough.

Next V. chose to practice writing “b” with Crayola window markers on a plexiglass sign holder.  The boat worksheet is inserted inside the sign holder.  This year the Zoo Phonics curriculum is being integrated with our science themes. We’ve been working on measurement and exploring balls, so the children have been learning all about the letters b and m with Bubba Bear and Missy Mouse.

These gel bags were featured in the toddler activities post a couple days ago.  The gel bags are fun for all ages and help children to develop the fine motor skills needed to learn handwriting.  

The teachers rotate through the centers and help the children as needed.  With the exception of the Zoo Phonics activities Gloria encourages the children to learn Chinese vocabulary while completing tasks.

Children love sensory activities.  A. is playing with the rubber bands that were set out as part of our movement and motion unit. The teachers started several rubber band balls for the children to add to.  As the balls grow bigger the children will play with them and compare them with the other balls they’ve explored.  As we move farther along in our movement study the children may also discover other attributes of the rubber bands.

Sand is the absolute ultimate sensory activity!  The children can’t get enough of it.  The sand table helps children to develop many skills including math, language, and social interactions.  Currently the sand table is equipped with many measuring utensils to compliment our measurement unit.  Through their play the children are learning about volume and comparing the different units of measurement.

In the past we’ve always used authentic Oregon beach sand in the sensory table, but I discovered colored sand over the summer.   I love color and can’t wait to try out the purple sand.  Although I’m sure if the kids choose the color we might have to buy pink!

The children are very busy at preschool and this is only part of what was accomplished on this particular morning.  The next post will include the rest of the morning’s activities.

Little Pandas Preschool

Ping Pong Ball Sculptures

During the last two days the children have been building ping pong ball sculptures in the art center.  

Tacky glue was used to hold the structures together.

V’s tower defies gravity!  Well, maybe the glue helped a bit.  But it was a quite a challenge to stack the balls on top of each other.

The sculptures were left to dry overnight and then painted the next day.  The kids added glitter to their creations.

The finished products are awesome!

Little Pandas Preschool

Graphing our Ball Collection

The children began bringing balls from home to add to our collection.  Each morning during circle time the children get to tell the class all about their ball. This is a great opportunity for the kids to develop language, speaking, and listening skills.

After circle time the children gathered all the red balls in the gym and talked about their characteristics.  

The children counted an equal amount of red squares to glue onto the color graph which they helped make the day before.

The process was repeated for the blue balls.

The preschoolers will continue to work on this graph for the rest of the week along with other planned activities.  In addition to the math and science skills being developed the children are also learning to count and recognize colors in Chinese!

Little Pandas Preschool

Balls, Balls, and More Balls!

This week the preschoolers began the movement and motion unit study by looking at balls.  During circle time they had a discussion about things that move and determined balls fit in that category.  As the conversation progressed the children talked about different attributes of balls and how they might move.  

After much discussion the children gathered all the balls in the gym to play.

The children are bringing balls from home to add to our collection at school. Over the next few weeks the children will graph the balls by their color, size, texture, and type.  

The children helped to draw the first graph that will be used to gather data about the colors of the balls in our collection.  Helping to draw the graph allows the children to practice the skills that were learned when the class studied measurement. 

Little Pandas Preschool