What could be more fun than playing in water on a hot summer day? Making music AND playing in water! I came across a video at Child’s Play Music and just had to try this with our children. We’re only on day two, but the activity is so open ended that I’m sure it will be out for the rest of the summer!
We began by rounding up all the colored plastic items we use for our light unit and put those in water tubs with some utensils including chopsticks and wooden spoons to use as strikers. The colors in the bright morning sun were beautiful and attracted the kids to the table.
The children began exploring sounds by pouring water from different heights to hear loud and soft sounds as well as fast and slow sounds. They also learned about high and low sounds. They experimented making sounds with containers both above and below water. Comparisons were also made with filled and empty containers. Differences between metal, plastic, and wood sounds were also discovered.
Metal objects including pan lids and several sizes of mixing bowls were added to the table this morning. The children loved the sounds from the mixing bowls!
I’m sure the children will make more discoveries about sound and water throughout the summer as we add other objects to the water center.
Little Pandas Preschool
Posted in Music, Preschool Concepts, Problem Solving Skills, Science, Sensory, Uncategorized, Water
Tagged child care, childcare, children, daycare, early childhood education, eduction, kids, preschool, preschool activities, preschool concepts, science, sensory, water
The preschool class is learning to read and write Chinese characters. We’re beginning with numbers and then will progress to other simple characters. A variety of methods are being used to facilitate learning.
The Montessori 3 part card method is being use to introduce the characters. Children are shown a whole card with a picture and the Chinese character beneath the picture. The whole cards are placed on the table and then matched with the corresponding pictures and characters.
The iPad is being used as a tactile method to facilitate writing. Our Chinese teacher shows children the correct order in which to write the characters. Children then practice writing and can do the activity as many times as they want since the sheet can be erased and reused. Children’s work can then be shared with parents through email.
After completing the Montessori 3 part cards and the iPad exercises children are ready to write the characters on paper worksheets.
Little Pandas Preschool
Posted in Chinese, Cultural Literacy, Fine Motor Skills, Math, Multi-Cultural, Preschool Concepts, Problem Solving Skills, Reading, Sensory, Technology, Writing
Tagged child care, childcare, children, Chinese, daycare, early childhood education, education, foreign language, ipad, kids, preschool, preschool concepts, reading, sensory, technology, writing
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.
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.
The paints were then mixed to produce the background for the story figures to be printed onto.
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.
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.
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.
Here is M’s rendition of the “Whale of a Tale!”
Little Pandas Preschool
Posted in Art, Chinese, Color, Cultural Literacy, Environments, Literature, Multi-Cultural, Paint, Self Expression
Tagged art, child care, childcare, children, Chinese, color, daycare, early childhood education, education, foreign language, kids, painting, preschool, preschool activities, preschool concepts, school, sensory, sensory experiences, snow
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.
Teachers cut the handprints out of the clay and then baked them for a couple hours before setting the prints out to dry.
It’s important that each child do as much of their own work as possible, so the toddlers painted their hands red.
The preschool class painted Santa’s hat.
The beard was painted white, and then a teacher added the facial details.
The children and teachers are very pleased with the finished ornaments.
Little Pandas Preschool
Posted in Art, Christmas, Fine Motor Skills, Holidays, Paint, Sensory, Uncategorized
Tagged art, child care, childcare, children, Christmas, daycare, early childhood education, education, kids, painting, playdough, preschool, preschool activities, school, sensory, sensory experiences
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.
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?
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.
Gao Laoshi has started introducing some simple Chinese characters to the children. They’re beginning to write numbers.
Christmas shaped erasers have been set out at the math center for children to work on one-to-one correspondence.
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.
A basket of clear and different shades of blue stones have been set out at the light table for children to build with.
Finger painting on foil was a new experience for all the kids. They enjoyed seeing the shiny foil through the paint.
Little Pandas Preschool
Posted in Art, Centers, Chinese, Christmas, Fine Motor Skills, Holidays, Light Table, Math, Paint, Preschool Concepts, Problem Solving Skills, Reading, Sensory, Writing
Tagged art, child care, childcare, children, Chinese, Christmas, color, daycare, early childhood education, education, foreign language, kids, painting, preschool, preschool activities, preschool concepts, reading, school, sensory, sensory experiences, snow, writing
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
Posted in Fine Motor Skills, Imagination, Light Table, Math, Preschool Concepts, Problem Solving Skills, Science, Sensory, Teamwork
Tagged childcare, children, early childhood education, ECE, education, homeschool, light table. math, preschool, science, sensory, teamwork
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.