Category Archives: Imagination

Magnetic Tiles at the Light Table

Bella’s Structure

Preschool has started, and I have so many ideas to share with the kids this year.  Our theme for the year is “All About Me and My World!”  This year’s big project will be an interactive iPad book created by the kids and teachers.  More will be posted about that in another post.  During September the kids are learning about themselves and their families.  Gao, Laoshi, our Chinese teacher has been using the wooden doll house and the panda family to give children vocabulary about their families and homes.  I wanted to take pictures of the doll house furniture for the iPad book, but found many of the pieces missing or broken.  So, I went to the store to get some new furniture.  Unfortunately the store only had plastic furniture.  However, the store had these magnetic tiles in clear colors that would be perfect for the light table.  I could’t resist them!

The tiles were introduced to the children Monday morning during center time.  They were a BIG hit, and the kids loved them!  It was amazing to watch the children explore and build with the tiles and to hear all the language being used to describe their constructions.  Children were building houses, towers, pizzas, and just putting pieces together like a puzzle.  One boy was creating birds and making them fly.  Not on the light table, but still he was using his imagination.

In addition to language skills the tiles have the potential to teach science and geometry concepts.  The kids were learning to build using trial and error and making hypothesis of what will and won’t work as they created.  There was also a lot of team work happening.  I may have to purchase some more tiles to create more elaborate structures.

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

The Kids Went Fishing!

The children are having a great time as our campground playdays continue.  Yesterday they played with beachballs, had a bar-b-q lunch, and then painted with “mustard and ketchup.”

As always the tent is a big hit!


The children squirted “ketchup” and “mustard” onto a grill to make prints prints on paper. 


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 |

Wheelbarrow Playscape

Kerry painted our wheelbarrow blue to match the boat and then the children created a miniature playscape in it.

They filled the wheelbarrow with soil,

put in some plants,

and then topped it with bark chip.

They finished the project by adding a couple rocks and then played with dinosaurs and insects in the new space. Their new playscape is portable so when interest wanes we can move it to another location and put a different set of animals in it.

Dinosaur Feet!

The children have discovered that dinosaur feet are huge! They learned that a Tyrannosaurus foot is about 4 feet long and 2 feet wide. Next the children traced their own feet and cut them out to compare them with the Tyrannosaurus foot. They also tried to see how many steps a Tyrannosaurus could take walking across our gym and then counted their own steps. The discussion also led to how tall the dinosaur might be. Some guessed it could be as tall as our gym.

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.