Category Archives: Gross Motor

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

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

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


The next science unit the children will explore is movement and motion.  While the children study these concepts Gloria is introducing Chinese transportation vocabulary.  Kerry has been playing with the children daily and helping them to build a multitude of layouts.  He has encouraged the kids to use problem solving skills as well as teamwork to accomplish this task.  The end result is a great layout in which to play that wholly engages the children.

The trains are a part of our new updated block center which will continually be added to throughout the year.  We took an inventory of what we had and then put ads on Craigslist to find more Brio trains and accessories.  I’m sure there will be a great layout around the children’s Christmas tree this year!

I would encourage parents to look at this inspiring blog to get ideas for playing with your children at home.  Wooden Track Mind




Little Pandas Preschool

Autumn Moon Festival

The children are celebrating Autumn Moon Festival at preschool this week! Yesterday began with Gloria telling the Chinese story about Chang er, the Moon Lady, and the Jade Rabbit.  

After circle time the kids made lanterns to hang in the gym and the toddler classrooms.  

During free time the children chose from a variety of centers to work at including the language arts center.  The language arts center offers six activities to promote language development.  Today pictures depicting the Autumn Moon Festival were available for the children to color.  The pictures are inserted into plexiglass sign holders and then the children color them with washable Crayola window markers.  Children colored pictures of the Moon Lady, the Jade Rabbit, and moon cakes.

The children feasted on moon cakes at afternoon snack.  After snack they had a fabulous time dancing with kite spinners to music.  

Be sure to take your kids outside to look at the moon and see if they can find the Moon Lady and the Jade Rabbit!

Little Pandas Preschool

Life Size Board Games

On Tuesday the kids played a life sized version of Candyland! Our gym was made into a giant gameboard with construction paper spaces. Stuffed animals were used for markers. Each space had an animal or color printed on it corresponding to the Chinese vocabulary the children are learning. The children used a huge foam die for moving along the gameboard. After rolling the die and moving the required number of spaces the children were then asked to name the animal or color they had landed on in Chinese. A correct answer was rewarded with a second turn. While the normal sized version of the game is fun, the life sized version has some additional benefits. The children were involved in physical activity and able to move around freely while playing the game. There was also more cooperative work happening. The children liked the huge die and all wanted to help count the dots on it and make sure everyone moved their stuffed animal the correct number of spaces.


Campground Playday at Daycare

Today the preschoolers finished their unit study about Oregon. We set up a campground in the gym where they played for the entire day. Children paddled in the canoe on the lake, sang songs around the campfire, and napped in sleeping bags. The toddlers joined us in our celebration for the morning. One even asked if the blue mat was real water! Later in the afternoon we made s’mores at the kitchen gas stove.