Category Archives: Holidays

Santa Handprints

8 finished hands

The children made Santa handprint ornaments to give to their parents for Christmas.  While searching the internet for gift ideas I came across two that we combined to make the finished product.  One site offered to make the Santas professionally from clay using a child’s handprint.  Then I found a recipe on Pinterest that uses cornstarch and baking soda to make a clay that looks like porcelain when it’s finished.  The clay was used to make beautiful Christmas ornaments, so I thought it would be perfect for the children’s gifts.

It took about two weeks to complete the project.  There was a lot of trial and error making the clay just right so that it wouldn’t crack while baking.  A few of the ornaments had to be made a couple times.  The teachers made the clay and then helped the children to press their hands into it.

1 kid print vivian

1 kid print ellie1 kid print izzy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teachers cut the handprints out of the clay and then baked them for a couple hours before setting the prints out to dry.

2 unbaked handprint3 unbaked cutting out4 unbaked cut out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s important that each child do as much of their own work as possible, so the toddlers painted their hands red.

5 painting tod seneca 25 painting tod owen 15 painting tod madelena 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The preschool class painted Santa’s hat.

6 painting red bella 16 painting red max 1

The beard was painted white, and then a teacher added the facial details.

7 painting white marcus 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The children and teachers are very pleased with the finished ornaments.

Little Pandas Preschool

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December Activities

sensory tub

December has just begun and we’re all very busy!  The children have completed many activities already and there are so many more to do before Christmas vacation begins.

sensory group 2

 

 

 

 

 

The winter sensory tub (inspired by Teach Preschool) has been a big hit with all the children.  Even the adults can’t keep their hands out of it!  A tub was filled with plastic frosty snow.  Penguins and an iceberg from a game we have were added to the snow along with clear and blue acrylic ice cubes.  Some wood scoops and a couple wire Christmas ornaments were added.  The blue confetti snowflakes add some cool color to the tub.  We’ve had a couple incidents where the children have thrown the snow up to watch it fall, but who wouldn’t be tempted to do that?

pompom elijah 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The children continue to learn Chinese with Gao Laoshi and are beginning to learn to count to 20.  A couple felt Christmas trees were attached to the wall and velcroed pom poms  were set out in a dish.  This activity helps children to practice counting as well as learn Chinese color vocabulary.

chinese writing elijah 1

 

 

 

 

 

Gao Laoshi has started introducing some simple Chinese characters to the children.  They’re beginning to write numbers.

counting marcus 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas shaped erasers have been set out at the math center for children to work on one-to-one correspondence.

popsicles max 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colored craft sticks were also set out at the math table.  Velcro dots were attached to the ends on both sides so that the children can build geometric shapes  with them.

stones group 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A basket of clear and different shades of blue stones have been set out at the light table for children to build with.

fingerpaint groupfingerpaint seneca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finger painting on foil was a new experience for all the kids.  They enjoyed seeing the shiny foil through the paint.

Little Pandas Preschool

Chinese Thanksgiving Vocabulary

During November the preschoolers  have been learning food related vocabulary with Gao, Laoshi.  Today they made a movie to show their parents.  The children were absolutely thrilled seeing themselves on video tape.

Here are some of the words the class learned this past month:

  • ji dan – eggs
  • ji tui – chicken drumstick
  • mian bao – bread
  • xiang jiao – banana
  • yu – fish
  • niu pai – beef
  • niu nai – milk
  • bing gan – crackers

Enjoy the video!

Little Pandas Preschool

Fall Votive Candle Holders

Many fall activities are happening in the preschool class.  Last week the children made beautiful votive candle holders for their families to use at Thanksgiving.  

Ball canning jars were painted with Mod Podge that was slightly thinned with some water.  This makes it easier for the children to paint the glue onto the jars.

The teachers cut leaves out of tissue paper in fall colors then the Children put them onto the jars.

Mod Podge was painted over the leaves.

I  love E’s focus and concentration.

Other fall activities include playing with pumpkin pie play dough, a turkey color matching activity at the light table, counting mini pumpkins while learning one t0 one correspondence, and learning Chinese food vocabulary with Gao Laoshi.  This week the preschool class will make pumpkin pies to share with their baby home friends and teachers.

Little Pandas Preschool

Halloween Silhouette Painting

Our preschool class made Halloween silhouette paintings last week.  The inspiration for this project can be found at That Artist Woman’s site.  Gail has many great ideas for elementary school art, many of which can be made doable with preschoolers.  This project took a week to complete.  A small piece was completed each day giving preschoolers ample time to do each step of the project well and not be overwhelmed with completing the entire project in one sitting.

We used water color paper that was taped to the table with blue painter’s tape to form a frame around the pictures.   The children used yellow and orange tempera paint cakes to paint the bottom third of the paper.

Red was added next.

Blue was added to the top of the paper.   The tempera paint cakes work like water colors and allow the colors to mix.  This was the first time I tried the paint cakes and love them!  I found a school supply store in Canada that carries 28 colors!  This is going to be my next purchase for the preschool.

The next day a contact paper mask was place over the top 3/4 of the picture.  The children painted the bottom 1/4 of the picture black.

Misty-Jade created black Halloween cut-outs for the children to paste over their paintings.   The pictures were then framed and put up on our new bulletin board.

 

This picture reminds me of the cyclone in the Wizard of Oz.

 

 

This was the first experience this group had using the tempera paint cakes.  Some of the children figured out how to make their paintings brighter by using less water and getting more paint onto the brush.

Little Pandas Preschool

Parent Christmas Gifts

Both the toddler and preschool classes made family snowman wall hangings for their parent’s Christmas gifts.  The family names have been edited out of the photo.  I found this idea at that artist woman: Family Snowman Portraits.  Gail did this project with second graders, but I thought we could try it with our preschoolers.  It took two weeks for all the kids to finish the project, but it was really worth the effort!

Blue and white acrylic paint was mixed to get the perfect blue sky color.  The children painted the entire 11″ x 14″ canvas (purchased at Michael’s) blue.

A contact paper mask was placed over the blue allowing the children to paint the snow at the bottom of the canvas.

The teachers cut circles out of foam purchased at the fabric store and then the children created a snowman for each member of their family.

Construction paper clothing was added to each snowman.  Family names were added to the canvas and then covered with a clear coat of Mod Podge.  Some glitter was sprinkled over the wet clear coat to add some sparkle.   I really loved the way this project turned out and will do it again in a few years with another group of preschoolers.

 

Pumpkin Pie Playdough!

Amber and I made pumpkin pie playdough for the kids.  We added cloves, ginger and cinnamon to the dough and some orange food coloring.   The result was absolutely wonderful and smelled delicious.  The kids loved it and had a difficult time leaving the center to let friends have turns with it!

They loved rolling out the dough and pretending to cook.

Pie tins were filled.

The dough had to be rolled again once it was put into the tins.

After the pie was finished it was time to share the desert!  We’ll have to make real pumpkin pies next week before Thanksgiving.

The playdough recipe we used is one of the best we have ever found and have been using it for years.  It’s very easy and quick to make.  It would be a great project for parents to do with kids at home.

Cream of Tartar Playdough

  • 1 cups flour
  • 1 cups water 
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • food coloring
  • flavorings (0ptional)
Place all ingredients in a large pan.  Cook slowly on medium-high heat and stir until the playdough thickens.  Remove the playdough from the pan and knead on floured surface until it’s no longer sticky.  Playdough can be stored in a plastic bag.

2011 Halloween Party

Here are some pics of our Halloween party. Enjoy!

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Glow in the Dark Pumpkins

The kids went outside on a warm fall day to paint pumpkins with acrylic glow in the dark paint.

The children could choose from pink, yellow, orange, or green paint.

The goal was to cover the pumpkins completely with a thick coat of paint.

After the pumpkins dried the children played with them at the light table.  

The children were fascinated with pumpkins glowing in the dark.

 

 

Halloween Zoo Phonics with Magnetic Letters

This is our second year using the Zoo Phonics curriculum.  The kids love it and learn the lower case letters and their sounds fairly quickly.  This year we’re learning letters associated with our science themes and other activities the children are working on. We started the school year in September with “m” for measurement and “b” for ball.  During October the focus has been on “h” for Halloween and “p” for pumpkin.  

I printed Halloween word strips accompanied by a picture onto magnetic sheets. Enough letters for each word were also created. The children were all given a cookie sheet and each chose the Halloween word he or she wanted to work on. Their task was to match the order of the letters on the word strip to form the word.  All of the children were very successful and proud of their work.

This activity is great for continual review of letters we learned in the past and also helps children to recognize that letters are used to create words.

Little Pandas Preschool