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Showing posts from July, 2013

Melting Stars

It has been difficult for me to keep up with posting of late. I have been distracted planning for the upcoming preschool year.  I told myself I had more time then I do and I am feeling the pressure of having everything ready.

I found a great resource for lesson planning early in the summer and was very excited to use the lessons as a base.  They focus on God's word which is important to me.  Lessons here.
Last year was my first year doing preschool.  I started without many resources or research.  I just wanted to get started with something.
Since I began this journey I have found many other moms who do similar things as me and have found many great inspiring ideas!
Towards the end of the school year I was much better at planning, prepping, and conducting lessons but still felt there was room for improvement.
I am proud to say I am where I want to be now with my planning.  Instead of planning once a week for a whole two weeks I plan to have (am on week 9 now) all 28 weeks planned b…

Shapes File Folder Game

7: Shapes



I made the shapes that matched the song (red circle, orange oval, etc.) for the shape monster activity.
I used the same idea for the reading as in previous folder games.
With no other inspiration I just took some construction paper cut it in half and wrote shape instructions that popped in my head.
Like, Draw a big rectangle and two small circles.  I did this with a variety of shape instructions.  Then I drew half of a shape with instructions to finish the picture.

For more file folder games click here!

Letters File Folder Game

 Letters
Inside the folder on the left I wrote the different activities there are for the folder. 
Example: 
MatchDino hangmanFind the missing letterSpelling





Another printable I thought would be perfect for a file folder game from http://www.makinglearningfun.com.   Match the pictures to the beginning sound.   I have a set of alphabet magnets I bring out when this folder is being used for matching uppercase to lowercase letters.  Dino Hangman is more advanced but great for beginning readers and elementary aged kids during summer break.  The dinosaur has every letter on him.  There are 2 dino's one with uppercase one with lowercase.  These are in page protectors so you would play this game with a dry erase marker.  The child guessing would have the Dino with the letters in front of them.  They would 'x' off a letter after guessing and write the letter on the bottom of the page if correct in the correct space given.  The person who knows the word would use another sheet provide…

Gumball File Folder Game

Gumball
There is not a list of activities in this folder because this just one game.
I found this activity on http://www.makinglearningfun.com where there are many other ideas you could make into file folders.  (I have a stack of 'to do' folders I haven't gotten around to making yet.)

I colored the gumball machine, cut it out and glued it to construction paper.  I printed out all the cards, colored them, cut them and glued them to construction paper then placed them in the Ziploc.
I only printed 2 of the graphing sheets.  I currently have 2 kids and don't need more then that but you could print as many as you would like.
I placed them in page protectors.  What is great about that is they are pretty much dry erase.  Washable markers also wipe right off!

To play this game you place all the cards face down in a pile.  The kids take turns pulling a card to see how many and what color of gumball they got.
Play until the cards are gone or determine a way to win.  (Whoever fi…

Math File Folder Game

Math I simply took some scrap paper wrote 'Math' on it and taped it on the folder.  This is how I titled all of the folders. 

Inside the folder on the left I wrote the different activities there are for the folder. 
Example: 
Domino MathAdditionSubstractionEquation Building
For some reason this one was the hardest for me to come up with.   The activities for this one are more interactive for younger children.  They may need help from an adult to start off.  Domino math I found the printable in the picture below (I do not recall where) and made my own domino's to fit out of card stock.  I didn't want to buy a whole set of domino's.  For this activity you pick a domino and place it on the picture.  You write the number of dots on the left side in the place provided below it and the same on the write.  In the = space you write the total number of dots.   This can be done with both addition and subtraction.  I have 2 of the tree worksheets.  On the bottom right of the tre…

Numbers File Folder Game

Numbers
I simply took some scrap paper wrote 'Numbers' on it and taped it on the folder.  This is how I titled all of the folders. 

Inside the folder on the left I wrote the different activities there are for the folder. 
Example: 
MatchingCountingReadingSpanish
After Easter I had these egg shape/number worksheets left in the packets.  I was going to throw them away then realized they would be perfect for number matching and color matching.  I outlined each shape in a different color.  The double of this sheet I outlined the same shapes in different colors then the first sheet so the kids could not just match the number by color and giving me two different matching sets.  Then I made flash cards out of card stock.  I wrote the number on the front and drew the number of circles on the back. Thus giving them number recognition and some counting practice. (Also a cheat if they can't recognize the number they can count the dots.)

I added the reading for numbers 1-20 in this folder…

Animals File Folder Game

Animals





I simply took some scrap paper wrote 'Animals' on it and taped it on the folder.  This is how I titled all of the folders. 

Inside the folder on the left I wrote the different activities there are for the folder. 
Example: 
MatchingCategorizingReadingSpanish
I placed all the magnets in a zip up Ziploc bag and labeled it.  I only had double of one animal page for matching so not all of the animals have a match.  I bought a couple packs of foam stickers at Joanne's on sale last year and used a bunch of those.  Because of the variety of animals I had I had the idea to sort the animals by where they live: Land vs. Water, type: insect vs. animal, how they move: flying vs. walking.  There are many other category's you could go into with this file folder but those are all I have now.  I did the divided multiple pieces of paper up into 9 sections and wrote the English and Spanish name for every animal magnet I have.  I also included some scene photos where the kids could p…

Nutrition File Folder Game

Nutrition
I simply took some scrap paper wrote 'Nutrition' on it and taped it on the folder.  This is how I titled all of the folders. 

Inside the folder on the left I wrote the different activities there are for the folder. 
Example: 

MatchingCategorizingGroupingReadingSpanish

I put all the magnets in a zip open Ziploc bag and labeled it.
I printed out double sheets of the food groups from American Heart Association.
I colored and cut one and left the other for matching.
I cut construction paper in half and labeled the top with one food group for categorizing.  This is great for older kids who have to choose from all the foods and group correctly.
For reading I divided a paper into 9 sections.  On the top I wrote the English name of the food and the bottom the Spanish name.

For more file folder games click here!

Out Of Town Education

I wanted to write a post about our vacation.
There was not a whole lot of time to sit down and do learning activities but my sister and I still did our best to educate our kids in all the fun things we did on vacation.

Water Play! While me and mommy #2 were getting ready to go shopping we needed something to busy the kids.  My sister pulls out this tub of our younger brothers old rubber duck collection and set the kids at a table.  They were enjoying themselves just fine until they wanted each others ducks. >:/ To solve this problem I figured we could give them each their own container to play with and why not add water?
It worked!  They enjoyed having their own space to play.  They older two still played pretend together and traded ducks with good manners.  This idea was mostly to help the younger kids. 
Dinosaur Park At such a fun age all of the kids love dinosaurs and were stoked to go to the dinosaur park.  We saved this trip for last giving them something to look forward to during…

Triangles

Triangles
We used: 


Lego'sGreen cut out trianglesChocolate ChipsStickersPaperPencilTo begin we identified the shape and traced it with marker.  Then we talked other ways to make triangles.  I used some household items to show the kids you can make triangles out of anything!  After a triangle was made the kids would trace it onto their paper. In the end we had a bunch of different sizes of triangles to compare.

Scenic Painting

Scenic Painting We used: 
Watercolors Paint brushesPaperAn area with a scenic view (or whatever you view you have available to you :D)My original plan was for the kids to paint the rain.  I sat them in front of their own windows so they could have peace and space and instructed them to paint the rain during a rain storm.   They were so excited and began painting.  When I came by to check on their masterpieces I realized they were painted exactly what they saw outside.  I thought this was cool.  Not what I envisioned but masterpieces!   All they needed were some water colors and brushes.

No Mess Paint

Wax Paper Painting
We used: 


2 pieces of wax paperpaintpencils, stamps, or other 'tools'First I tore 2 pieces of the same size wax paper from the roll.  Next I drizzled paint in a desired design. We did dots, squiggle lines, circles, and a square.  (I did realize the second time doing this activity that the art looks cooler when the paint is placed closer together.) Once the paint is on the wax paper you place the second piece of wax paper over the top.  Here is the fun part...you use your hands or other tools to mix the paints or make designs in it.  NO MESS!  Once finished I trimmed the excess wax paper from around the edges and taped the pictures on the window.  This ended up looking really cool and revealing more of the designs with the sun shining through. 

Clean Dirt

Clean Dirt We used: 

Baking sodawaterfood coloring (optional)
Mix a little bit of water in with baking soda.  I dripped the water in and then would stir the mix then add more water if needed.   If you add to much water it becomes really runny and does not hold very well.  

To see the tub we used with the dirt click here.

Spring Time Paint

Spring Time Paint
We used: 


Paperpaintspring items such as...flower stemspine conesflowersflower petalssticksgrassSet out the items.  Give the kids paint.  Masterpiece!

Mini Story Boards

Mini Story Boards We used: 
FoamCookie sheetsMagnetsPaperI found the cookie sheets at the dollar store and loved the idea of the kids telling their own stories using movable magnets.   I cut out flowers with the foam (you can cut out any design and use construction paper instead of foam) and little people then stuck a magnet to the back.  I cut out bugs and stuck magnets to the back of those too.    Then I drew little scenes that would inspire a story and put them on the cookie sheet.  One demonstration and their imaginations took off on their own :)

Number 3 Car Track

Number 3 car track
We used: 


PaperMarkersCarsI drew a block number 3 on a large piece of paper with a sharpie.  Then drew multiple small lines in the middle of the block number so it would look like a road.  Decorate how you would like. 


Painting With Cars

Painting with cars
We used: 


Craft paper or many papers taped togetherPaintCarsNot much instruction needed.  I asked what colors he wanted on the paper, gave him the cars, and demonstrated by driving a car through the paint down the paper. 

Explorers Map

Explorers Map
We used: 


Large piece of paperMarkersStampsInk padsStringTapeImaginationThis is one of my favorite crafts.  It really brings out creativity and encourages the kids to work together. 
I put the piece of paper on the floor and simply gave the kids the tool and helped guide them through making the map.  "Which way do you want to go now?" "Where will you stop?" "What will happen there?" For a couple examples.  Once the map was finished we taped one end of the string on the inside and rolled up the map then tied it for hours of fun!

Fuzzy Caterpillar Craft

Fuzzy Caterpillars
We used: 


ClothespinsGluePom PomsGoogly eyes





This was an easy craft perfect for Spring time!  I made the caterpillars to put in my potted plants.  

To make them you squeeze a line of glue along the top of the clothespin. 
Pick 4-5 Pom Pom's to stick to the top of the clothespin. 
Wait for it to dry.
Once dry glue on googly eyes.

Ta-Da! Fuzzy Caterpillar!





Egg Carton E

Egg Carton E We used:  Two egg cartonsConstruction paperMarkerGlueThe kids wrote a capital E on the construction paper for handwriting practice and an outline for the egg carton. 
Then I cut the egg carton straight down the middle.  I did this because it was a little difficult for the kids to cut it.  I left one strip whole and cut the other in half.  Then I cut a piece off the lid to make the middle line of the E. 
Once all the pieces were cut out I had the kids write big E's the whole way down one side and little e's down the other side for more handwriting practice. 
Then we glued them to the correct places on our outline.  






Elephant Faces

Elephant Faces (masks)
We used: 


Three paper platesPaint or markersPaint brushesStaplerScissorsYarnFirst paint the bottom of the paper plate.  While the kids painted I cut the other paper plate in half for the ears. Using the third plate I cut out the textured part of the plate to make the trunks.  
Paint (or color) the rest of the pieces. 
Staple them together to make an elephant.
Cut out small holes for eyes and small holes behind the ears to attach the yarn.

Now that the lesson is over I have the masks hanging in the playroom.  They make a neat decoration.

Elephant Milk Carton

Elephant Milk Carton
We used: 

Empty milk jug2 toilet paper rollsConstruction paperTapeSharpie
I cut the bottom out of the milk jug to represent the mouth. 
I cut ears out of construction paper and taped more construction paper on the top to make the elephant all one color.  I did not have grey paper so I used purple.   I also taped purple paper around the 2 tp rolls.
I folded forward the edge of the ears to give them more of a floppy look, then taped on the toilet paper rolls. 
Then I drew on some eyes. 
I used this craft for a "feed the elephant" game where the kids threw peanuts into the elephants mouth.  
To see the post on this click here.
The tape did not hold up as much as I would have liked and may try some glue to see if it holds better.

Fairy Godchicken

Fairy Godchicken
We used: 

Yarn-any colorGoogly EyesConstruction paperFoamStapplerThis Fairy Godchicken was made for our Enchanted Forest story we are reading with Athena.  
I made a many layered long oval then wound the yarn tightly around the middle of the oval.
I glued on the eyes, cut and glued on the feet, and cut and stapled the wings (from foam) onto the yarn on the back. 

It was a great addition to the story.  Don't forget to get creative and add a wand!

Elephant Trunk Craft

Elephant Trunks
We used: 

Old paper towel or wrapping paper roll (if using wrapping paper roll you may need to cut it in half.) Markers or paintStickersGlitterPresent the roll and encourage children to decorate it as an elephant trunk.  I did not put a limit on colors either letting the kids choose to be whatever color of elephant they wanted. 
You can cut holes in the roll and tie string on it so you can tie it around the child's head. 
This has proven to be a great prop in our elephant songs :).

Forbidden Tree

Fingerprint Tree
We used: 


Ink padPaperFingers

Press fingers onto ink pad and then place on the paper to make a pattern.  In this project we made the forbidden tree, although this could be a free art activity as well. 

The forbidden tree art project went with our Adam and Eve bible lesson.  
To see more on the bible lesson click here.