Category Archives: Environments

A Whale of a Tale

Finished Bella

During January the children learned about cold climates and worked with the story “A Whale of a Tale” from Twenty Tellable Tales compiled by Margaret Read MacDonald.  This story originates from the Eskimos.  At the beginning of the month children looked at the globe to see where Eskimos live and then where they live.  Our class talked about weather and animals found in arctic climates.

Teachers told the story using flannelboard figures copied from prints in the book.  Children also learned Chinese vocabulary related to the story.

Flannel Board Figures

A winter painting was created to go along with the story.  Children were given a canvas on which to squirt dots of acrylic paint in cool colors to create a winter background.   

Paint Dots Group

Paint dots Marcus

The paints were then mixed to produce the background for the story figures to be printed onto.

Paint SpotsPainting 2

Misty-Jade and I made stamps from the story figures.  We traced the prints onto foam sheets, drew in the details, and then traced the details with an Exacto knife.

Story Figures 2Story Figures 3



Stamp pads were made using two layers of fabric interfacing cut into circles to fit inside a plastic picnic plate.  The fabric was soaked with water and then white acrylic paint was poured on top and spread out.

Stamp Pad

Set Up

Children stamped the figures onto their winter paintings.  After the paint dried the children applied a coat of Mod Podge diluted with water to the pictures.  Some irridescent glitter was sprinkled over the Mod Podge for snow.


Last week the children retold the story during circle time using their pictures as a guide.   They were all able to include the Chinese vocabulary they had learned.

Finished MaxFinished IzzyFinished Elijah

Here is M’s rendition of the “Whale of a Tale!”

Little Pandas Preschool

Campground Playdays are Here!

We’ve turned our backyard into a campground for the week and have many fun activities planned to celebrate the end of summer.  Today the children sang songs around the campfire and had a blast playing in the tent and sleeping bags!

An African Safari!

The dinosaur wheelbarrow playscape the children created a few weeks ago was transformed yesterday into an African safari!   The kids loved it!   This is a great activity to engage children in pretend play, practice social interactions and promote language development.  For more info about the importance of pretend play in your child’s life click on this link:  The Importance of Pretend Play |

Our Very Own Tide Pools!

Today we made our own tide pools!  Authentic Oregon beach sand was put into one of the pools and tropical aquarium gravel was put in the other.  A variety of real shells, coral, and plastic sea life were added to the pools for the kids to examine and play with.  The activity generated much conversation about the children’s real life beach experiences.  The tide pools are a great extension of our sand and water unit.

Rainforest Magic

The children and teachers just completed a month learning about tropical rain forests. They began the month making a mural that stretched across the gym wall and then also learned about the water cycle. The rest of the month was spent learning about the different animals that inhabit the rain forest. We watched videos of many animals and discovered some we hadn’t seen before including the capybara, the kinkajou, and the boto (pink river dolphin). The children also painted a beautiful picture of an okapi. The kids made butterflies, birds, flowers and snakes. Some of these can be seen in the rain forest created in the gym. The month ended with a week long rain stick project.

Yueying taught the children Chinese vocabulary that corresponded with the theme and a poem about a monkey.

Arctic Environments

This month the preschool children are learning all about arctic environments. Yueying is teaching the children a Chinese poem about penguins. They’ve also had a great time playing the penguin game and trying to prevent their penguins from falling off the iceberg. Last week the children watched videos about whales, polar bears and arctic foxes and then made their own whales.

Desert Animals

The children have learned about several desert animals this month. During the past week they made Jack Rabbit ears, bats and snakes. While working on these projects the children are practicing fine motor skills such as coloring, drawing, and learning to use scissors. After each project was completed they played in the gym and pretended to be the animal they had made.

Coyote & the Beautiful Dream

On Monday the children listened to The Beautiful Dream, a Navajo story about Coyote, Skunk and Porcupine. They found a piece of meat and were undecided about which of them should get to eat it. After one solution didn’t work Porcupine suggests they all take a nap and whoever had the most beautiful dream should get to eat the meat. Porcupine outsmarts them and eats the meat while the other two are sleeping. After listening to the story the children put on masks and pretended to be Coyote.


Adobe House

Yesterday the children read a book about the differences in desert environments during the day and the night. They also learned that people who live in deserts often build adobe houses. After looking at pictures and participating in a discussion about the desert the kids painted an adobe house to play in.

Desert Theme

The preschool class began learning about deserts yesterday. They read a pop-up book about many different desert creatures, looked at animals on the bulletin board and learned some new Chinese vocabulary. Today they painted a Saguaro Cactus with green paint mixed with salt. When the paint dries the cactuses should have a prickly texture. The cactuses will be hung in our classroom where other animals will join them.