Tot Preschool Week 13: Our Five Senses

Week 13 of our Preschool Program was all about ” Our Five Senses “. This week, the kids and I continued to focus on our writing and counting skills, while also learning about our 5 senses. If you are looking for an easy concept, or theme, to incorporate into your own preschool setting, this is it! This concept can be incorporated into EVERY SINGLE ACTIVITY the kids and I do together. From preparing lunch to cleaning up our trash after a scissor practice session, this theme allows for little ones to stop and recognize their actions, become in-tune with their bodies and surroundings, and really explore this concept on their own. This week was cut short as our baby decided that she was going to arrive a little early!  Meet Roslin Elyse:

We will start back our curriculum blogs on Week 16 ” Leaves and Trees “. Here is what our shortened week together looked like:

Letter Of The Day: Aa – Ee
Shape Of The Week: Oval
Storytime: ” My 5 Senses ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Song

2. Aa – Ee Letter Review / Find The Letter ( This week, we will be reviewing a set of letters each day. We will be starting with Aa and working our way through the alphabet as our week progresses. As usual, I write each letter with the help and guidance of the kids and then they take turns in writing these letters themselves. During this time, we are also talking about the sound each letter makes and what words we can think of that start with each letter.

Along with our Dry Erase Board portion of this activity, we also took a few minutes to hunt down these 5 letters around our room. During our Letterland portion of our day, the kids usually have a “Read The Room” time where they walk around and find specific letters. To save a little time this week, we’ve decided to combine this activity with our letter review time. )

3. Daily ASL ( Since we were fortunate enough to have 3 day weekend, we thought it would be best to open this week with a review day. Rather than introducing a new sign, the kids and I flipped the tables. They each presented me with a sign and I had to tell THEM what the sign signifies. They, of course, loved this change up! Tomorrow we will be introducing our last 2 clothing item signs and, providing our week doesn’t include the arrival of a new baby, we will be starting our signs for colors! )

Concept Activity:

My 5 Senses Discussion with Anchor Chart ( We introduced ” Our 5 Senses ” this morning during our Concept Activity time. Since our shape of the week is an Oval, we created Mr. Oval here to help create a visual for the kids. We also used and read the book ” My 5 Senses ” by Aliki to help us introduce this new concept.)

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Rainbow Card Number Match Up ( Jack and Lyanna worked together to complete 10 rainbows during this ” Rainbow Match Up ” game. )

3. My 5 Sense Match Up Game ( To help familiarize these two with our 5 senses, we found this simple game online from Lakeshore Learning. You can get this free printable here. As always, we printed off our game, laminated it for longevity, and cut our pieces out. Lyanna and Jack then worked together to match each piece with it’s main sense. )

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Finger Painting ( Finger painting is a great way to explore the senses while also have lots of fun, minus the TASTING portion of course! 🙂 )

2. Sensory Bin: Cinnamon and Oatmeal Sensory Bin ( Our Sensory Bin today is all about SMELLING ! Our bin has been created using real oatmeal that has been mixed with bit of ground cinnamon, fake apples, and real cinnamon sticks! For once, the kids smelled fantastic after Outside Time today. )

3. Free Exploration

Free Play / Craft Time: 

Binoculars ( To end our day, the kids and I created a set of binoculars ( Seeing ) together. First, I had the kids color a piece of paper using any media they wanted. They decided to color with our highlighters and set out to create a mini masterpiece. We then used these pictures to wrap two pieces of rolled cardboard ( toilet paper rolls ).

After these two pieces have been tape together, we then added a string to help keep them handy and hang around the neck. )

Letter Of The Day: Ff – Jj
Shape Of The Day: Oval
Storytime: ” Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Song

2. Ff – Jj Letter Review / Find The Letter ( We continued our way through the alphabet this morning and reviewed letters Ff to Jj. Just like yesterday morning, the kids quickly hunted for each of our letters around our room before we moved on to our ASL time. )

3. Daily ASL ( During our ASL time today, the kids and I learned our last two signs for pieces of clothing from our ASL box set. We learned the signs for ” socks ” and ” shoes “, both of which are much needed and used during these new cooler temperature. We have been getting a lot of use and practice with our clothing signs these past two weeks now that we need to dress ourselves in warmer clothing. We are definitely benefited from these real world experiences! )

Concept Activity:

Popping Popcorn Hands On Activity ( In helping to make real, hands on connects with our concept this week, the kids and I had a little fun in the kitchen this morning! If you are looking for a fun and simple project to bring home the concept of the 5 senses, this is THE PERFECT activity to try! All we did was pop a bag of popcorn in the microwave and discuss what happened!

We went through all 5 of our senses and talked about what each was showing and telling us. We talked about what we heard while the popcorn was in the microwave, what we smelled when we opened the bag, what we saw in the bowl, what we tasted when we tried our popcorn, and what we felt as we held each piece. This one was a big hit with Jack and Lyanna and we weren’t even done with the popcorn just yet, this was only Part 1 ! )

Centers:

1. Writing Center: My 5 Senses and Popcorn!  Investigation Books ( We grabbed a small bowl of popcorn and brought it back to our classroom. We needed it to help us write our Popcorn Investigation Books.

We found these super cute, and free, popcorn book printable from I Heart Crafty Things. The kids snacked on the popcorn as we completed each page together. This was also a great way for us to use and review our descriptive words!

After we were done with each page, and our bowl of popcorn, we cut out our pages and stapled everything together. )

2. Reading ( Our Independent Reading Time has become one of our ( my 🙂 ) favorite times each day during centers. The kids usually start out independently “reading” and then slowly come together to read with/ to one another. )

3. Mystery Letters / Independent Writing ( This was an activity that we did each day last week during our Letterland time. Since the kids enjoyed it so much and took it over completely on their own last week, I decided to make this one of our centers for today. )

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are our journal entries for today. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Scissor Practice ( As requested…. )

2. Playdough Creations ( We pulled out the playdough today as a fun activity to do while also discussing our senses. We talked about the smell of the playdough, the lovely blue color we were seeing, what it felt like between our fingers, and so on. As stated earlier, this concept is such an easy one to incorporate into any activity and there are endless opportunities to point out the use of any 5 of our senses. )

3. Sensory Bin: Apple and Cinnamon Sensory Bin

4. Free Exploration

Free Play / Craft Time: 

Hand Prints ( We got a wonderful set of hand prints ( Touch ) from each of the kids today for our End of the Day craft. As I painted their hands, we talked about what they were feeling on their fingers and hands, as well as what they were seeing, hearing, and smelling. We were very clear about NOT tasting the paint! )

 

Letter Of The Day: Kk – Oo
Shape Of The Day: Oval
Storytime: ” I Feel A Foot ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Song

2. Kk – Oo Letter Review / Find The Letter

3. Daily ASL ( Review Day! Tomorrow we will begin to learn the signs for several different colors. How very exciting! )

Concept Activity:

I Can … Pocket Chart Activity ( For our Concept Activity this morning, the kids and I engaged in this pocket chart activity. This activity is essentially child-led and the kids really enjoyed selecting their answers and discussing each photo card. First, I read them the first sentence, ” I can hear “, and then we began to look at our options above. I asked ” Which of these cards shows you something that you can HEAR ? “. We have been talking about our 5 senses, what they are, and so on, but we have also been talking about how we don’t ALWAYS use all 5 at one time. We have also discussed that while we COULD use all 5, sometimes it’s not smart to do so or safe. For example, you can definitely see and hear a bee. You COULD also taste and touch it, but do you REALLY want to? 🙂

We worked through each of our cards together and talked about the other senses we could use for each card. We also discussed what senses we didn’t need to use and what senses we used the most. You can see our results above !  )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. My 5 Senses Picture ( During our Centers time today, the kids completed these ” self-portraits ” by added all of the features needed for using their 5 senses. )

3. Pattern Strips with Counting Bears ( We haven’t used any of our pattern strips in a few weeks, so we brought them out today as a fun activity for the kids to engage in together. )

4. Number Work: Building Our Link Chain ( Yesterday was our 60th day in school, so we just had to build up our link chain to 60! )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: I Spy Bottle Creation and Play ( Before our outside time today, we searched through all of our supplies in our classroom to find little bits and pieces to incorporate into our ” I Spy ” bottles. We found stick pens, buttons, erasers, jewels, tiny wood ladybugs, and so on. Using an empty water bottle, rice, and all of our tiny pieces, we created a wonderful visual game for us to enjoy over and over again.  )

2. Sensory Bin: Cinnamon and Apple Sensory Bin

3. Free Exploration

Free Play / Craft Time: 

Homemade Trail Mix ( To end our day, the kids and I created a tasty trail mix. While we put together our mix, we used our senses to talk about describe the items we were using. Yummy! )

 

 

Our next few weeks will be a bit slower than we have become accustomed to. We will be taking it easy and focusing on unstructured play while we all adjust to a new little one in our home and incorporated into our routines. Next week we will be taking the week to play and for Thanksgiving. The week after that, we will be slowly getting back to our schedule and learning about the various modes of transportation!

Brittany XOXO

 

Tot Preschool Week 12: The Weather

Week 12 of our Preschool Program has been all about the weather! This week we explored and discussed the different weather that we experience each day and throughout the seasons. We expanded our vocabulary, learned about different weather patterns, engaged in cool science activities, and created some wonderful weather themed art pieces. This week was full of learning and new discoveries, but we also continued our  work on our writing skills, counting abilities, and hand and eye coordination. Here is a day by day layout of what our week of weather looked like:

Letter Of The Day: All Letters Reviewed
Shape of the Day: Triangle
Storytime: ” Little Cloud ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Song

2. Mystery Letter Game ( We, once again, changed up our Letterland writing portion of our morning. In order to engage the kids each week and keep things fresh, I try to change up how we do this portion of our Letterland time every single week! This week, the kids will be pulling a mystery letter magnet out of our mystery box.

This will then be the letter that they must write, all on their own, on our dry erase board! We did a test run of this game last week and the kids really seemed to enjoy it. Today, they were even more excited to get busy with their letter writing! )

3. Read The Room ( For our Read The Room activity this week, the kids will be on the hunt for one of the letters that they had to write during our Mystery Letter Game. I have also tasked them with finding our shape of the day, the triangle ! )

4. Daily ASL ( Our ASL time on this Monday was spent as a review time for all of the signs that we have been working on. Tomorrow we will pick back up and learn two new signs. )

Concept Activity:

What Is Weather? Discussion with Anchor Chart ( Our theme this week is all about the weather! We opened this discussion up today by asking about what the kids already know about the weather and having them name a few conditions that they have experienced.

Next, we created this anchor chart together based on our answers and few new pieces of information. We were lucky enough to be experiencing fog this morning, so it was a great discussion starter for us! )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Weather Memory Game ( Since the kids seem to be loving the memory games, I just had to find a weather themed one for them for this week! I wasn’t able to find a free version of a memory game, so I decided just to make my own. I found this set of weather cards that were pretty simple and FREE :). Like several times before, I turned these cards into a memory game by simply printing out two copies and laminating them.

As we were playing the game, I actually came to love my selection of cards even more. Each of the cards has a picture and the name of this weather condition. I hadn’t thought about it before, but this was actually a great way to be exposing the kids to text and this week’s sight words. Each time they flip over the card, they automatically identify the weather condition, but it was an added bonus to watch them try to sound out the word on each card! )

3. Teddy Bear Grab ( We haven’t played this game in months and our teddy bears were getting a bit lonely. For this game, you simply need teddy bear counters, dice, and a bucket for each player.

The kids took turns rolling the dice. The dice would then tell them how many teddy bears they needed in their buckets. Once they had that amount, the kids would dump out their buckets and count again to ensure they were correct in their counting. We played this game a lot when we were still working on numbers 1 to 10, but its’s a bit more complicated now that I am tasking them with counting past 10 🙂 . )

4. Write The Room

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Sunny Day Fork Painting ( For this simple project, all you need is paper to paint on, a plastic fork and cup, yellow paint, and a Sharpie. Simply draw a circle on your paper and let your child use the fork as their paintbrush to create these beautiful rays of sunshine!

Once the paint dries, draw a happy little face in the center of your sun to finish off this painting project! )

2. Playdough Letter Play ( We worked with our playdough a bit today during our Outside Time. Jack and and Lyanna are both able to identify and form all of their letters of the alphabet, but a review activity never hurts, especially when they are other skills being refined in the process. This activity is a great way to help them focus on their fine motor skills without them even realizing it! They are working their hand muscles to pull apart, roll, and set their pieces of playdough in place. )

3. Free Exploration ( The weather forecast is looking like this might be our last day of sunshine and warmer temps for a while. This prompted the kids and I to take advantage of this beautiful day and start our free time with a nice long walk around the neighborhood. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Rainy Day ( What do you do on a rainy day? You may watch TV, or play some indoor games, or you may just stare out your window and watch the rain come down. Today we created this viewpoint! First, using a piece of plain white paper, the kids painted a rainy day using blue paint.

After Jack and Lyanna were all done painting, the finally step was to add our window panels to create our inside view of this rainy day! )

Letter Of The Day: All Letters Reviewed
Shape of the Day: Triangle
Storytime: ” Snow Day ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Song

2. Mystery Letter Game

3. Read The Room

4. Daily ASL ( We continued our ASL adventures today by learning another two signs for different pieces of clothing. We learned the signs for “shirt” and “pants”. As usually, we also took some of this time to do a review of the different signs we have learned over the past 12 weeks. )

Concept Activity:

Describe The Weather Pocket Chart Activity ( For our concept activity this morning, the kids and I talked about what different weather condition looked and felt like. We also discussed what clothing we would need to wear during certain conditions and how these items were necessary in order to keep us healthy and safe. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Counting By 10’s With Link Chain ( You may have seen this activity in Kindergarten classrooms before, but we are changing it up a bit to fit our skill level. Since we have been working so hard on learning how to count by 10s and truly understanding what this means, the kids and I will be engaging in this activity over the next few weeks. We are using our links to create visual representations of numbers. To start this long chain of links, we began at 1 and counted our way to 30. We stopped and noted each 10s that we counted and marked it with a piece of paper.

We will be continuing this chain of links until we get to 100! )

3. Writing Center: My Weather Book ( In our Writing Center today, Jack and Lyanna started their weather books! We found this free printable from Scholastic and have been super excited to finally get to do this with the kids! Each page features a sentence for the kids to complete, as well as space for them to create and draw a matching picture.

We started these books today and was able to complete the first 3 pages. We are hoping to complete these awesome books tomorrow and put them together for our reading pleasure! 🙂 )

4. Number Work ( For our number work today, Jack and Lyanna took turns completing our number line. This quick number activity gets both of the kids excited and focused, but it also provides an opportunity for them to practice writing their numbers, letter recognition, and number order. )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter Matching Sheet and Scissor Practice (  To start our Outside time, the kids completed these Letter Matching Sheet that I created for them. These sheets have become so easy for the two of them and we are so excited to be done with them! We still need work and practice on writing our letters, but letter recognition is a concept we have mastered !

After the kids we done with their letter sheets, they were free to work on their scissor skills. Getting practice in with scissors doesn’t have to be chore and it certainly doesn’t require printing off any kind of worksheets. All you need to help your little ones refine this skill is a pair of training scissors and any sort of paper. We like to use scrap construction paper or old coloring sheets. Today, I used some old pieces of construction paper and drew a few lines for the kids to try and follow.

The kids are improving each and every time we practice and today they did an amazing job with trying to stay on the lines. They were very proud of the themselves! )

2. Doodle Bug Books: What’s The Weather? ( Since we are talking all about weather this week, I thought it would be fun for the kids to do an observational drawing of what our current weather conditions looked like. This was a great way to build up and refine the descriptive speech we have been working on, but it was also a wonderful opportunity for the kids to communicate what type of weather they were seeing.

We brought our chairs out to the front of our home and sat for a while to think of what we wanted to draw and what we wanted to say. These observational drawing tasks have really helped these two open up to actually drawing SOMETHING versus just scribbling on their papers! )

3. Free Exploration

Free Play / Craft Time:

Paper Plate Suns ( This seemed like the best project to do today as we are missing our sunshine! We are experiencing a gloomy, rainy, and cold day, so the kids and I created these suns using orange and yellow tissue paper and paper plates.

The last finally touch to our paper plate suns were the googly eyes. Originally we had not planned on these feature, but Lyanna and Jack insisted their sun’s needed eyes! )

Letter Of The Day: All Letters Reviewed
Shape of the Day: Triangle
Storytime: ” Rain, Rain, Go Away ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Song

2. Mystery Letter Game ( We continued our Mystery Letter Game during Letterland today. The kids love selecting their mystery letter and getting the chance to write it all on their own! I, of course, am right there to help if needed, like this morning with lowercase M. To my surprise, the kids have seemed to manage all on their own for this activity, especially now that they know what is expected of them. They are in complete control of this game, their Letterland lesson, and their success! )

3. Read The Room

4. Daily ASL ( Review Day ! )

Concept Activity:

Match Up Weather Cards ( For our Concept Activity today, the kids recreated our pocket chart match ups from yesterday. I wanted to see how much they remembered from our discussion yesterday, but I also wanted to hear them describe the weather, what it looks and feels like, what they need to wear, and why. I wanted to hear this all in their own words. Jack and Lyanna worked together to match up each of the flash cards with the weather names and conditions cards. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Weather Memory Game ( Game from Monday 🙂  )

3. Write The Room

4. Writing Center: My Weather Book ( We managed to complete our weather books this morning AND assemble them! The kids were very proud of themselves and quickly exchanged books to “read” the others. We’ll be keeping these great reads in our book boxes for the remainder of the week! 🙂 )

5. Free Exploration ( This week, Jack and Lyanna seem to have rekindled their love for our city blocks and all the new cars we recently found. They used their Free Exploration time today to play with these city blocks and animals, re-read the large ” Outer Space ” board book from yesterday, and to put together a few of our floor puzzles. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries the kids made for today! )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Weather Coloring Sheets and Scissor Practice ( The kids were given these cute coloring sheets today in our Art Center to complete. The kids have also requested for us to keep the scissors outside in our Art supplies so that we can continue to have scissor practice each day! I think that’s a wonderful idea 🙂 . )

2. Science Center: Mason Jar Rain Cloud Experiment ( We opened our Science Center today for us to create and observe this super simple visual. To create these rain clouds, we gathered a large cup of water in a clear glass, blue food dye, and shaving cream. We created the “cloud ” on top of the water cup and then slowly added the food dye around the cloud.

Very slowly, the dye seeped through the cloud and create a “rain storm ” ! Jack and Lyanna were very impressed with our visual! )

3. Free Exploration

Letter Of The Day: All Letters Reviewed
Shape of the Day: Triangle
Storytime: ” Can You Say What’s The Weather Today? ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Song

2. Mystery Letter Game

3. Read The Room

Concept Activity:

Weather Video ( We ended our week with the short, but cute, weather song and video! )

4. Daily ASL ( Review Day! )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Puzzles ( Since it is Friday, the kids were given the chance to choose what activities we did during our center time today! These two have been loving our puzzles lately 🙂 ! )

3. Counting By 10’s With Link Chain ( We added a few more sections to our link chain today. We counted all the way to 50, both by 10s and by 1s. Jack and Lyanna are very proud of themselves and the chain we are created and displaying in our classroom. )

4. Write The Room

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Weather Coloring Sheets and Scissors Practice ( We completed our weather coloring sheets today during our outside time, as well as get in some more scissor time. )

2. Free Exploration ( During Free Exploration, Jack and Lyanna created their own sensory bin to play in. The selected our base ( the black beans ) and what other items were going to be in our bin. They selected dinosaurs, cups, toothbrushes, and more ! )

 

COFLH Closed For The Holiday 🙂 

 

Our week has been full of exploration, discoveries, hands on learning, and lots of fun. We did quite a few projects this week to combat the dreary weather and the kids had lots of fun being creative. The next few week are a little up in the air as we are expecting the arrival of Baby #2 any day now. In the event we don’t welcome our newest addition next week, Jack and Lyanna will continue with our regularly planned our week of learning all about our 5 Senses!

Brittany XOXO

Tot Preschool Week 1: Colors

 

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Week 1 of our Tot Preschool program was spent working with colors! We explored the world of colors, refined our fine motor skills, familiarized ourselves with the first 5 letters of the alphabet, built up our math skills, established correct letter formation and pencil grip, and experimented with the color wheel. This post features all of the activities and projects w did throughout our first week together. This week, we learned all about the letters A to E and numbers 1 to 5, as well as learning all about circles, finding them in the world around us, and started our preschool journals. Here is a layout of what our first week together looked like:




Take a quick tour of our classroom in our post ” Our Homeschooling Room “.

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Happy 1st Day of Preschool! We were so excited to start our journey today, we could barely get to sleep last night. Unfortunately, our friend Jack missed our first day of our program because he was sick. Lyanna and I sure missed him today, but we will have to catch him up when he returns! Let’s get started ….

Morning Meeting: Each day begins with a ” Morning Meeting ” where we discuss the date, months in a year, days of the week, and create a visual representation of how many days we have been in school together. We will also discuss and track the weather, introduce the letter of the day, talk about the shape of the week, discuss our schedule and activities for the day, and have a story time featuring a book that relates to the theme of the week.

Letter Of The Day: Aa
Shape Of The Week: Circle
Storytime: My Many Colored Days

Letterland: How I wish we could have the complete Letterland set, but unfortunately it is out of our price range at the moment. If you are unfamiliar with this program, you can read more about it on their website here. We are using elements of this program for our preschool this year. Basically, we are introducing the kids to the characters and the sounds that each letter makes. Today we started with Annie Apple!

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Annie Apple Says …

3. Writing The Letter A  ( After we watched the Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video, we were introduced to Annie Apple and practiced making the A sound. Finally, we practiced writing the letter of the day on a dry erase board )

4. What Starts With Aa Brainstorming Chart ( We created this cute letter chart together and talked about words we know that start with our letter of the day. Activities like this help to reinforce what each letter looks like, the sound each letter makes, and it also helps kids make real world connections. )

Concept Activity: This week is all about COLORS ! While Lyanna and Jack are both very familiar with colors, we thought this would be an easy theme to keep up with for their first week of preschool. We’ll be having fun with colorful activities and projects, while also learning about shades of colors, the color wheel, and other basic art concepts and tools.

1. Introduction To Colors Chart

2. ” I See ” Pocket Chart ( We are using this pocket chart set up to expose the kids to text and get them ” reading ” . We go over each color sentence together and after a line or two, LC was ” reading ” them on her own. She was also pointing out the words ” I ” and ” see ” in other books that she read throughout the day. WIN! )

3. My Colorful Name Coloring Sheet ( This simple project was just a chance for the kids to sit down and do what they do best … color! I made block letter versions of their names on a white sheet of paper and, today, LC used crayons to color her name in various colors. )

Outside Play: Today our outside time was spent between three different centers. Since Jack was missing today, so I had to sub in as a playmate and loved every second of it!

1. Red and Blue Sensory Bin ( We had a ton of fun today in our sensory bin set up as we had TWO different colors to explore. LC loved the color coordinated bins, but loved finding the various objects in both set ups. We ended up playing ” I Spy ” in each of bins ! )

2. Art Center : Letter A Worksheet and Crayons

3. Science Center: Colors In Nature ( In our Science Center, I set up a tray full of various items from nature that feature a wide variety of colors. I put this colorful tray together for the kids, but we are going to be doing this science project again on Friday and we will actually be going on a hunt to find a few of our own items! In this center, LC used her science tools to explore each of the items and we talked about all of the beautiful colors she saw. )

 

Center Explorations:

Free Exploration ( Since today was our first day, I thought it would be best to leave this time frame open for free exploration in the classroom; A chance for the kids to choose and play with whatever they wanted to in the classroom. Since LC was on her own today, I had to sub in as her “student” as she wanted to “teach” me the alphabet and all about the letter A. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Each day we will be ” journaling “. During this time, we will be working on letter and number formation, given a daily “writing” assignment, forming our early math skills, and learning to write our names. We’ve been reading and learning a lot about the benefits of journaling in preschool. Here is a great link to another blogger who uses these journals in her classroom setting. )

In the pictures below, you can see what we did for our very first journal entries. It was SO COOL to see Lyanna get creative and to hear what she was thinking about when I presented her with the drawing prompts. A 3 year old’s mind is so cool!

The first picture shows that each journal has a pocket on the inside of the front cover for a place card with each child’s name. This is intended to be used in the future if they need it, or if they choose to use it in some other way.

The second picture shows the very first page of our journal. The writing, or drawing prompt was very simple. ” Draw whatever you want ” . What is it? Why did you draw that? I thought it would be fun to record, on each page, what their responses are! So Lyanna drew a purple snake and she gave me no reason. ” I just wanted to ” she told me, along with a shoulder shrug…. okay!

The third picture shows our brief practice of writing our name, the letter of the day, and the number of days in school. I don’t expect these kids to be able to write their names, or letters, perfectly in any length of time. I do, however, want them to get exposure, work on their writing skills, improve their pencil grip, and come to recognize their name, letters of the alphabet and numbers. I’ve said it numerous times before: It is never too early to expose children to various academic concepts as long as you have a reasonable level of expectation and in many cases, that level of expectation should be at ZERO.

The final picture shows our Shape of the Week. During our Morning Meeting, we stopped and walked around the room to find our shape, the circle, which was very beneficial when it came time for this drawing prompt. We looked at the picture and I told LC that I wanted her to try and turn this circle into something. I totally expected her to say ” Pizza ! “, but she didn’t. She remembered the first thing she found in the classroom that was a circle, our color wheel!

These journals are going to be such great keepsakes!

Free Play / Craft Time:

Apple Stamping ( For our end of the day craft project, we did some Apple Stamping! It combined all of the concepts we’ve been learning about and working worth today. Stamping projects are incredibly easy to put together for preschoolers and you can do it with just about any object you’d like. We’ve done this type of projects with apples, orange, scrub brushes, potato mashers, sponges, and even plastic bugs! Next, all you need a colorful paint, a piece of paper, and a surface to put your paint on. )

 

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The gang is back together! Jack returned today and we were so excited to get him caught up and on with our learning. Today will be full of more colorful projects and activities, but we will also be learning about another Letterland character and creating our very own heart crayons !

Letter Of The Day: Bb
Shape Of The Week: Circle
Storytime: Little Green Peas

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Bouncing Ben Says …

3. Writing The Letter B ( Our Letter Of The Day for Tuesday was the letter B! We talked about Bouncing Ben and practiced writing the capital and lowercase versions of the letter B. )

4. What Starts With Bb Brainstorming Chart

Concept Activity:

1. Shades Of Colors With Color Rings and ” I See ” Pocket Chart ( We introduced Jack to our color pocket chart sentences and got him “reading” too! Today, using our pocket chart and color rings, we talked about how there are many shades of a given color. While green is green, there are tons of variations of that color, as well as all of the other colors. We took some time to go through our color rings and look at all of the shades of the different colors. Next ,we replaced our single color cards in our pocket chart with a shade card from our rings. The kids had fun comparing their colors, but they also found in really exciting to be “reading” the chart themselves! )

If you are looking to create your own color rings, it is incredibly easy to do! We raided the paint department at our local Walmart and selected TONS of their paint sample cards in various colors and shades. Divide and organize your card based on color and shading, punch a hole in the same spot on each card and use a binder ring to keep them together. You can use you color rings for all kinds of projects and activities, such as the activity discussed above, or you can take your rings with you on a nature walk. You can use your cards to compare the natural colors that you and your children may find along the way!

2. My Colorful Name In Shades ( Yesterday, Lyanna colored her name using whatever colors she wanted to and the end result was a beautiful, colorful name. Today, I had the kids pick out all of ONE color of crayons and colored pencils. Jack went with orange, while Lyanna decided on pink. Here are their beautiful pieces below )

Outside Play:

1. Colorful Sensory Bins in Yellow and Green ( We are seriously loving our color themed sensory bins! )

It was hard for me to tear the kids away from the sensory bins today. I guess LC had way more fun with Jack than she did with just me yesterday. They would switch items from one bin to the next and then help each other “fix it” and put things back in the right bins. They played with the trucks in both bins, played “I Spy”, and even pulled out the letter magnets to organize them on our magnetic boards.

2. Art Center: Letter B Worksheet and Markers ( As we work our way through the alphabet, one of our activities in our outside play area will be to complete these letter “worksheets”. We will color them, paint them, using glitter pens, stickers, and so on. Today, we used markers to color in our letter sheets. )

3. Science Center: Flower Experiment Phase 2 Observational Drawings ( We started our science experiments today! Using our test tubes, we fill them each up with a different color of water ( food dye and water ) and added a single white daisy to each tube. Throughout this week, we will take a few minutes each day during our outside time to examine our flowers, talk about what we see, and do a quick observational drawing. )

The kids were super excited to help set up their experiment! They helped me add water to each tube, while I took charge of adding the food dye. They placed their flowers in each tube and we talked for a bit about what they thought would happen to our flowers and why were doing this project.

Each of the kids took a few minute to draw what they saw after the experiment was all set up and ready to do.  I also took a few minutes to talk to each kid and ask them what it was that they had drawn on their papers. When I asked ” What do you see? ” , they both gave me crazy looks and said ” flowers …. ? “. I think they both may be thinking that I am the one that needs to go to preschool 🙂 .

4. Outside Equipment ( Jump ropes, basketball, bubbles, and a lizard safari. Just about anything the typical bunch of 3 year olds want to do during outside time. )

Center Explorations:

1. Coloring Sorting Train ( Jack is a huge fan of trains, so I knew he would love this activity! First, we went around the room and gathered items of a specific color in our basket. Next, we created some open space for us on the floor and set up our color train. We then sorted each item into it’s correct area on the train. Once all of our items were sorted, we took some time to count how many items were in each of the colored boxes. I made this train from scratch using construction paper and glue, but I am sure you could find a template for one online. I also laminated our train so that we could keep it and use it again in the future for a different activity, or make it an option for the kids to play this game again on their own )

2. Reading ( One of our centers will be our classroom library. During this time, the kids can choose different books they want to look through and “read”. We’ll be practicing the reading concept of ” taking a picture walk ” and hunting for any letters that we know. The kids are free to choose a book from our library or from the basket of books we have gathered that relate to the theme we are focusing on any given week. )

Since this was the first time we would be doing this center, I walked the kids through the process and told them what they should be, or could be, doing during this time. We went on a letter hunt in our books and tried to find our letter of the day, the letter B !

3. City Blocks ( No classroom is complete without a good set of building blocks ! )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made today )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Homemade Heart Crayons ( You may be aware that Creative Outlet For Little Hands also has an Etsy shop that features specialty crayons. Our crayons are made from recycled crayons from our classroom, as well as other classrooms in our area. I have lots of lovely teacher friends that kindly donate their leftover crayons at the end of each school year.

For this project, I just used two 24 count boxes of new crayons. Rather than stealing from the Etsy stash, I decided to have the kids help and watch with every aspect of making homemade crayons. I stripped the paper off of each crayon and cut each into smaller pieces.

The kids picked which colors they wanted and placed them in our rubber heart mold. If you are making these yourself, you’ll need preheat your oven to 285*F, place the mold on a baking sheet and let bake for 20 to 30 minutes ( depending on how full your molds are ).

After our crayons were finished in the oven, we let them cool for about an hour. If you have doing thick crayons, be sure to give them enough time. If you can let them finish cooling for a few hours, or even overnight, that would be best!

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During our Morning Meeting today, the kids started to take more of an interest in our Number Breakdown Chart. We are using the number of days we have been in school as a way to select a number to look at and breakdown in various ways. Today was the number 3. We break this number down by looking at it’s formation, tally marks, a picture representation, the number represented in a tens frame, where the number appears on a number line, and what numbers come before and after it. It is so very cool to see these little ones really starting to understand numbers!

Letter Of The Day: Cc
Shape Of The Week: Circle
Storytime: ” A Color Of His Own ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Clever Cat Says …

3. Writing The Letter C ( We are really loving this part of our day so far. The kids are trying to make the movements and sounds along with the Letterland video, but they are also really enjoying meeting a new character each day and hearing what sound they make. This part of our day is also where we are allowed to use the big kid dry erase markers and board, so that doesn’t hurt either! )

4. What Starts With Cc Brainstorming Chart ( There was some discussion today during this portion of our morning about how the letter C doesn’t always make the same sound at the beginning of words. Especially when followed with an H. We didn’t dive to deep into that, but I did point it out and we practiced the CH sound together. There’s no need to get into digraphs just yet ! )

Concept Activity:

1. Chameleon Changing Colors Video ( After we read ” A Color Of His Own “, we watched this short video. It shows a chameleon simply walking on a stick as it changes into various colors. The kids were hooked and couldn’t take their eyes off of it. We just had to watch it twice ! )

2. My Colorful Name: Create Your Own Puzzle ( Using some lined cardstock, we created our names using different markers in different colors. We then cut our names apart to create our very own name puzzle! )

Outside Play:

1. Colorful Sensory Bins in Orange and Brown

2. Art Center: Letter C Worksheet ( Today is all about the letter C, so we decided to make our C sheets just as colorful as our lovely chameleon friend. We used watercolors to give our letter of the day it’s beautiful new look. )

3. Science Center: Flower Experiment Phase 1 Observational Drawings ( Our flowers are really starting to show their colors ! It is a bit difficult to see in the pictures, but the flowers are showing streaks of color and the kids are starting to be impressed.

For our drawings today, the kids both added more colors to their pictures. Jack asked for some help in drawing the tubes and a flower, so we helped get him going and he finished his awesome picture with some realistic colors! )

4. Bubbles!

Center Explorations:

1. Color Sorting Tubes ( We used our color tubes for another sorting game today. The kids dumped out all of the color tubes, mixed them up, and placed all of the items in the correct color coordinated cups. We talked about which cup had more and which cup had less, what some of the items were, and what letter we thought those items started with. )

2. Reading ( Today during our Reading Time, we searched through books to find the three letters that we have been learning about: A, B, and C. )

3. Alphabet Soup ( The kids have been asking me to play with this box of goodies for a while and we were finally able to do just that today! This set was given to our daughter a year or so ago and we haven’t had that many chances to REALLY use it. There are 26 cans in this set that each feature a specific letter of the alphabet. Each can has several thick cards inside that feature an item, animal, or piece of food that starts with that given letter. It makes for a great gift and we loved using it today!

We pulled out the letter cans for the Letters of the Week we have been working on and the two more still to come this week. The kids looked at the pictures, flipped over the cards to see the text on the back, and we put them back in the correct cans. I tried to trick the kids and put the wrong cards in the wrong cans, but they quickly caught me and corrected me! )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. Their self-portraits were hilarious ! )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Chameleon Color Wheels ( We talked about chameleons a lot today after we watched this super cool video. I found this incredibly easy project for kids on Facebook and thought it would be simple enough to try with the kids to wrap up our 3rd day of preschool!

To make one of these Colorful Chameleon Wheels, you will need 2 paper plates, one bracket, a pencil, watercolors, and an Exacto knife. You could probably just use a pair of scissors to cut out your chameleon shape, but I promise you that an Exacto knife will make it an easier task!

First, the kids each took one paper plate and painted it using their watercolors. You could use whatever kind of paints, markers, or crayons that you wanted, but I find that watercolors give beautiful blended colors. Next, while we waited for the paint to completely dry, I used a pencil to draw an outline of a chameleon on two other paper plates.

I then used the Exacto knife to cut out my chameleon shapes. Once everything was dry and ready to go, I placed the chameleon plate on top of the watercolor plate. I used the Exacto knife one more time to start a tiny hole for the bracket to go through. We secured the bracket and then we were ready to have some fun with our color changing chameleons. Here is a link to the video I watched to learn how to make these colorful chameleon wheels. )

 

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Letter Of The Day: Dd
Shape Of The Week: Circle
Storytime: ” Little Blue and Little Yellow ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Dippy Duck Says …

3. Writing The Letter D ( Look at how awesome these kids are at writing the letter D ! First, we get the correct grip on the dry erase marker and then I hold their hand and guide them in creating their letter of the day. We say the steps out loud ( start at the top and go down, etc. ) and the kids get a huge confidence boost in their writing abilities. Next week, Lyanna and Jack will each get their own dry erase board and marker to practice with, still with guidance of course 🙂 . )

4. What Starts With Dd Brainstorming Chart

Concept Activity:

1. Paint Blending Video ( This video features an artist mixing several different colors of paint together with a blending tool. The video is very calming and the kids loved watching the colors blend together to form a new color. )

2. Paint Mixing Activity ( After we watched our blending video and read the cute story ” Little Blue and Little Yellow “, we did a quick mixing activity ourselves in the classroom.

I added two different colors of paint into a plastic cup. The kids took turns mixing the two colors together with a paintbrush, but first we tried to guess what color we would get. After the new color was created, the kids got to paint a little sample of this new color on a paper plate. Painting in the classroom ?? What ???

It was awesome to see their little faces light up when a new color formed in their cups! Jack was convinced that every color combination was going to give him Orange, so I surprised him by giving him the chance to combine red and yellow! He was SO happy to see that it actually gave him his Orange! )

3. My Colorful Name Activity with Stencils and Colored Pencils ( Our colorful name activity today was a bit of a challenge for my little friends, so we just decided to have some fun with the stencils and create whatever we wanted. Rather than hunting for the letters in their names, we just explored what the stencils could do and used as many colors as we could! With preschoolers, sometimes need to go with the flow and what makes them happy. )

Outside Play:

1. Colorful Sensory Bins in Pink and Green

2. Art Center: Letter D Worksheet

3. Science Center: Flower Experiment Phase 3 Observational Drawings  ( Our third and final day with our colorful flowers science experiment! Throughout these past three days, we have watched as these flowers have absorbed more and of the colored water. The kid’s observational drawings have gotten better and more focused too! Jack drew all of the colored tubes, while LC drew the colored flowers. At this age, activities like “observational drawings” are really just meant to get the kids to focus on a specific item, notice the details, ask questions, and talk about what they notice. These beautifully colored flowers aren’t going to waste now that our science project is over. We will be adding them to our Colors In Nature Tray tomorrow! )

4. Outside Equipment

Center Explorations:

1. Match It! Counting Edition ( These games have truly been worth the money! Lyanna loves to play them even after our school day is done and that makes any mom happy to see! This set goes up to 20, but in this setting, I just have the kids focus on 1 to 10.

As you can see below, they were both pretty proud of themselves to complete their game! We divided up the numbers and the pictures between the two kids and had them work together to match all the pieces together. The kids enjoy this game so much that we took some extra time to play it a few more times before our day was over ! )

2. Reading

3. Links With Number Cards 1 to 5 ( For this activity, we used our Links and a set of number flash cards. We focused our efforts this time on working with numbers 1 to 5. First, we drew a card and then we counted out how many links we needed from the bucket. We connected the links and placed them underneath the matching number card.

Activities like this are great when working with younger children. This activity focuses on recognizing numbers, establishing or improving counting skills, AND it also provides a chance to work on those fine motor skills by getting the kids to connect and disconnect the links. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Our journal entries for today can be seen below. We used dinosaur stickers to line our letter D, practiced pencil grip and letter formation by tracing our letter of the day and our names, and finally, we practiced tracing our Shape of the Week. The kids seem to be enjoying our journal work time and that makes me heart very happy to see ! )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Scrub Brush Painting ( These two would be happy with whatever project I would give them as long as it involved paint! Today, we used scrub brushes to create our masterpieces! The kids have used brushes like this before in the sensory bin, but today they were able to blend and create with it.

You can substitute just about anything with a paintbrush for kids to paint with and scrub brushes are another fun tool to try. They can be bought at your local dollar store and they create really cool textured pieces! )

 

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Letter Of The Day: Ee
Shape Of The Week: Circle
Storytime: ” Mouse Paint ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Eddy Elephant Says …  ( As I have mentioned before, we don’t have the complete Letterland program, but you can find a large amount of it online. We found THIS video featuring Eddy Elephant to watch and sing along with today )

3. Writing The Letter Ee

4. What Starts With Ee Brainstorming Chart

Concept Activity:

1. ” I See ” Pocket Chart with color names ( Our pocket chart activity today was pretty amazing! I got the kids to really question if they were reading or not! We have had the same ” I See ” sentences up all week and we have been practicing them together, as well as pointing out when we see these two words in other books or text. Throughout the week, I have had color cards and paint swatches up here to finish the sentences, but today we changed things up a bit. We swapped out the color cards for the names of each colors. Since each color name was written in it’s color, the kids were given a clue as to what it said when I asked them.

This was seriously the cutest thing! I held up a card and asked ” What color name do you think this is ? ” and they quickly caught on. I acted so surprised and proud at the fact that they were ” reading “. Talk about a confidence boost ! After we went over each individual color, we went back over the entire chart and they “read” each sentence again with me. Best morning ever! )

2. My Colorful Name Free Choice ( I gave the kids colored pencils, markers, and crayons to choose from for our last colorful name project. They obviously decided that the markers were the best choice ! )

Outside Play:

1. Water Sensory Bin ” Exploring Color Theory ” ( Here is another super simple, but very cool project to do with preschoolers. All you need is 3 to 4 bowls, and lots of plastic cups or containers. We filled all of these containers with water, as well as the sensory bin they are sitting in. Next ,we had three bowls feature red, yellow, and blue water.

Using measuring cups, spoons, and droppers, the kids mixed the colors to create new ones in the other cups. They started off by taking a little green and blue and mixing it together in the fourth bowl. This of course gave us green and then rest is history!

2. Art Center: Letter E Worksheet

3. Science Center: Colors In Nature ( See our Colors In Nature Tray below )

4. Outside Equipment

Center Explorations:

Free Exploration ( Since Jack missed our full time for Free Exploration on Monday, I thought I would give them another day to freely play together in the classroom. They pulled out about 50 different things to play with together, but they were happy and playing nicely together. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the final journal entries we made for this week. As you can see, we did one big review of all of the letters and numbers we worked with this week. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Color Mixing With Hand Prints ( This is one of the coolest projects I have done with the kids so far. Since the kids loved the projects and activities where we mixed colors to create new colors, I thought this would be the perfect ending to our week.

First, we painted one hand blue and the other hand yellow. We then made hand prints on their paper. Now for the best part, or so the kids tell me. We took their hands and rubbed them together to create green. How cute is this ? It is incredibly easy to do, especially if you have a large amount of wet wipes, and it helps to instill a concept.

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Our first week of preschool has now concluded and we are already getting ready for our next big adventure. Next week, we will be learning all about shapes, finding these shapes all around us, focusing on another 5 letters in the alphabet, and so much more! We are looking forward to another amazing week of exploring, creating, and being silly 🙂

– Brittany

Click here for the next week of our Tot Preschool program Week 2: Shapes

 

Tot Preschool Week 2: Shapes

 

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Week 2 of our Tot Preschool program was spent working with shapes! We explored the world of shapes, identified them in the world around us, refined our fine motor skills, familiarized ourselves with text, explored more of the alphabet, and continued building our math skills. As we worked our way through this week, we learned a lot and had lots of fun with different activities and projects. This week, we covered letters F-J and numbers 1-10. Here is a layout of what our second week together looked like:




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We started our Monday with a nice walk around the neighborhood. The air was so nice and cool. We’re still enjoying that beautiful sunshine and since it could be raining for the next three days, I thought we should fully take advantage of this weather!

Letter Of The Day: Ff
Shape Of The Week: All
Story Time Book Of The Day: ” The Greedy Triangle ”

Here is a little peek into some of what we cover in our morning meetings!

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

(  The kids jamming to the Letterland Actions and Sounds Video!  )

2. Firefighter Fred Says …

3. Writing The Letter Ff  with Dry Erase Boards ( Giving the kids their own dry erase boards wasn’t as scary, or as messy, as I thought it would be. We took turns with a dry erase marker as I was guiding each of them in their formation of the letter F. On the left blue board is Jack’s work, who did the lowercase F all on his own! On the right red board is Lyanna’s work, who was able to write all on her own with only a small amount of guidance. )

4. What Starts With Ff Brainstorming Chart

Concept Activity:

1. Intro To Shapes Discussion With Chart

2. ” I See A ” Pocket Chart Shape Story Activity ( For our shape themed pocket chart activity, we built on our “reading” skills from last week. I used the same ” I see ” sentence strips, but added an ” a ” to construct a new sentence for us to work with. The activity for today was very simple. We “read” the sentences together and talked about what shapes we were seeing in our shape story. Since last week was all about colors, the kids were quick to point out what colors each of the shapes were ! )

3. How Many Sides ? ( During our pocket chart activity, we talked about each of the shapes we saw. That discussion led us into this next activity where we talked about the characteristics of different shapes and the parts that make up a shape.

We selected several different shapes for this discussion and drew them, one by one, on our chart paper. We labeled our shapes and took turns counting how many sides we saw. I was quickly called out for drawing an oval after we had ALREADY talked about how a circle doesn’t have any sides….. )

Outside Play:

1. Sensory Bin with Shape Buttons with Colorful Rice ( This sensory bin is a perfect example of how simple a sensory activity can be to put together. All we needed was our large shape buttons, colorful rice, and a few tools to explore with!

The kids hunted for buttons and piled up all of their treasures. Activities like these are great for keeping kids busy, but it also gives them a chance to explore a subject area without involving boring worksheets or someone lecturing them. For preschoolers, it’s important to remember that their little bodies need to be moving around and exploring the world around them. The simplicity of this sensory bin activity makes it a great choice for parents or teachers to incorporate into play time as it also provides a chance for kids to still be learning and discovering on their own. )

2. Art Center: Letter F Worksheet and Water Painting ( We completed our letter of the day worksheet by filling in our letters with ” Under The Sea ” stickers. F for Fish ! The use of stickers can actually be a great activity for helping little kids develop and strengthen the muscles in their hands. The same muscles they use for grabbing a writing tool.

During this time in the Art Center, we also enjoyed water painting. This is one of the best projects I have ever found online. All you need is construction paper, water, and a paint brush. This project is virtually mess free, if you don’t mind a little water, and it is also reusable!  The kids dip their paint brushes into their water cups, paint their shapes, and can just walk away when they are done, if they choose. No wipe downs, no smocks, no paint spills, and no need to change the paper out. Simply wait 10 or so minutes, on a warm day or in the sun, and the pieces of paper are ready to water paint again! )

3. Bubbles With Shape Wands ( The kids love playing with our bubble wands, so for this week,  I thought I could incorporate our theme into this activity by creating shape bubble wands out of pipe cleaners and plastic straws.

To create these for yourself, all you need to do is form various shapes using pipe cleaners. Attach another piece of pipe cleaner to your shape to act as a handle. Slide a plastic straw over your pipe cleaner and fold the end of your pipe cleaner handle over to secure your straw in place. At first, I thought the straw handle wasn’t necessary, but quickly realized it was suggested for a reason. The weight of the wet pipe cleaner in the bubble solution will start to make your handle bend. The straw helps to keep your handle straight, so don’t go without!

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Match It! Number Edition ( For this edition, the kids are tasked with matching the number to a picture representation AND the word for the number. While we are working hard to build our writing abilities and recognize letters and words, these little guys aren’t at the point of reading just yet. We worked together to solve the last portion of this matching game. Exposure is the goal here. Just because I know they can’t read the words, doesn’t mean we can’t incorporate that element into our activity. After they matched the numbers to the pictures, which they are pros at, we worked together to go over each word and place it where it needed to go.

The use of the pointer is also a good incentive to keep them involved and engaged in our game 🙂 . )

3. Shape Sorting With Shape Blocks ( The kids were able to explore all of the toys, books, and learning tools in our classroom over the summer. One of their favorite items to pull out was our shape blocks. They loved stacking them, pretending the hexagons were sandwiches, building homes for the animal figurines, and so on. So when I told them that we would be using them today in our activity, I had their attention!

For this activity, we pulled the shapes out of a basket and sorted them with their matching flashcard. Simple enough. This provided an opportunity to talk more about each of the four selected shapes. We talked about the colors, the number of sides, how many points each shape had, and what each shape was called. In this moment, we were also making real world connections, building our vocabulary, and establishing valuable social skills. The kids were also learning how to observe, talk about what they see, and so much more.

I’ve worked with kids for a while now and I’ve come to understand that every opportunity with kids is an opportunity for growth, in various capacities. The goal of a simple shape sorting activity isn’t necessarily to correctly sort the shapes, but to have the kids be hands on in their learning, to make discoveries on their own, and make lasting connections in the concepts we are trying to teach. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Below are our journal entries for today. For lining the letter F, I asked the kids what they would like to do. I got a million answers, but the final one that we could all decide on was to use these stickers again. Whatever works to get those little fingers moving!  )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Shape Necklaces ( To round out our busy first day of shape week, we ended things with a fun project outside. We made shape necklaces! Rather than buying shape themed beads, I decided to try a cheaper route and make my own shape “buttons” using construction paper.

To make these necklaces yourself, you will need construction paper ( in different colors ), a hole puncher, and yarn. Cut out different shapes using your construction paper and use your hole puncher to punch out two holes in each shape. Place all of your shapes in a small basket and let your little ones select their own shapes to string on their pieces of yarn. Tie the two ends of your yarn together and you’re all done ! )

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Our Tuesday was very eventful. We continued learning about shapes, but we also started learning how to handle and use scissors, explored and hunted for the letter G, and even created our own Shape Monsters !

Letter Of The Day: Gg
Shape Of The Week: All
Story Time Book Of The Day: ” The Shape of Things  ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Golden Girl Says…

3. Writing The Letter Gg with Dry Erase Boards

( Jack patiently waiting his turn to write his letters. )

4. What Starts With Gg Brainstorming Chart

After we went over our G chart ( above ), I introduced the kids to a new activity we will be doing each day. After we learn all about the letter G, finish our letter chart, and practice writing it, we will now be ” Reading The Room “. During this activity, the kids will walk around the classroom and try to find both versions of our letter of the day. Today we were hunting for Gg. Here are a few of the Gs we spotted in our classroom!

Concept Activity:

” What Shape Am I ” Pocket Chart Activity ( For this activity, we started with just the sentences on the chart. The shape cards were laid out on the floor in front of the kids so that they could see all of their options. We went over each sentence together and tried to find the matching shape. The first sentence, ” I have 4 equal sides “, was a way for us to talk about what the word equal means and to identify the differences between a square and a rectangle. The kids did amazing with this activity and I loved hearing their reasoning for their answers. )

Outside Play:

1. Playdough Shape Mats ( Like most kids, these two love any opportunity they have to play with playdough! Since all of our outdoor games were cancelled due to the rain, we pulled out the playdough and a few shape mats to play with. Over the summer, I found these shape mats on Pinterest and printed off several copies for us to use. I laminated one set to use for activities such as this one. You can find your own mats here.

The kids pulled and rolled little pieces of playdough to create each shape. Playing with playdough is another great activity for strengthen hand muscles, which directly relates to pencil grip and building up stamina for writing. )

2. Art Center: Letter G Worksheet and Cutting The Shapes ( I don’t know what came over me when I was planning today out. I was brave ( crazy ) enough to have a GLITTER project AND a first time round of SCISSOR practice! For our letter of the day project, we first painted our G sheets with Elmer’s glue. Then the shower of glitter started! Lyanna and Jack actually kept the mess to a minimum, as much as you’d expect to preschoolers to. Look at how great our Gs turned out!

Now on to the scary part of our morning….. for me. No fingers were cut and no hair was trimmed, but it was still a “heart in my throat” 20 minutes. We started our scissor practice with a lecture from me about how careful we need to be with the scissors, how we are suppose to hold them, how we shouldn’t get up with them, and so on. I don’t believe they heard all of what I said as they were pretty excited to start using their new scissors.

First, we started with using plastic scissors from Crayola. There is a three pack you can buy from Michael’s, or Walmart carries them too, that is perfect for situations like these. I say that because they don’t cut…. at all. As an adult, I figured out how to hold them just right to make a small cut, but that definitely  wasn’t going to happen for these kiddos. We used these scissors more for the practice in how to hold the scissors and making the open and close motions.

Next, we moved on to a pair of training scissors made by Fiskars. These scissors have a little switch that makes them open back up on their own, which makes them perfect for little hands! We need lots of work with our scissor skills ( see pictures above, where not a single shape was cut out lol ), but it was a great first experience for both of them!

3. Outside Equipment ( The rain kept us in the inside portion of our outdoor classroom area, so we enjoyed playing with our shape button sensory bin from yesterday. )

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Science Center: Scale With Shape Blocks (

3. Puzzles

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we completed for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Shape Monster Invitation To Create ( For this craft project, I cut out a ton of different shapes using construction paper and stencils. I placed them, along with glue sticks and googly eyes, in the center of our craft table and let the kids get creative! I gave them a short demonstration of how to put together their monster and then they created these awesome, and terrifying, monsters ! )

 

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The rain for today held off long enough for us to have a beautiful morning outside! We enjoyed the sunshine and played a fun game of shape hopscotch in our circle. It was a fantastic way to begin our day! Wednesday was another day full of learning, exploring, and doing fun projects with each other. We still had enough to sneak in a little silly time with “Green Eggs and Ham”.

Letter Of The Day: Hh
Shape Of The Week: All
Story Time Book Of The Day: ” Circus Shapes ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Harry Hat Man Says …

3. Writing The Letter Hh with Dry Erase Boards ( Seriously could not be more proud of the two of them. Look at those Hs ! )

4. What Starts With Hh Brainstorming Chart

5. Read The Room ( This is a new activity we started yesterday. After we talk about the letter of the day, practice writing this letter, and review our Letterland characters, we hop up and roam the room to find our letter of the day. This provides the kids with a chance to be up and stretching their legs, moving their little bodies, AND to be making real world connections to the letter of the day. )

Concept Activity:

Sorting Colorful Shapes Pocket Chart Activity with Dr. Seuss Shape and Color Cards ( Today’s concept activity was very simple and fully hands on for the two of them. I started the first row of flashcards, explained what I needed them to do, and they were off! They worked together to put all of the correct shapes in the same rows. I love hearing the two of them work together to solve problems! )

Outside Play:

1. Feed The Monster Sorting Activity ( Using old boxes, construction paper, tape, and googly eyes, I made these little shape monsters for this sorting activity. The kids worked together to “feed” each monster their requested shape. This was the easiest project to put together and the kids really enjoyed it. They continued to play with it over and over during our time outside, so I think I’ll leave it up and as a option for the remainder of the week ! This activity came in a close second to Shape Hopscotch ( see below ). )

 

2. Art Center: Letter H Worksheet and Shape Sheets with Dot Markers ( For our letter of the day sheets, we used our dot markers to fill in the letter H. Since the kids enjoy using these markers so much, I thought they would love to get to use them for two different projects today.

After we finished our letters, we moved on to our shape sheets. These are the same sheets we used yesterday for our playdough mat activity, only these are the versions not laminated. Again, you can find these shape sheets here. The kids used their dot markers to trace each shape. Later today, when we return to the classroom, we will take a few minutes to practice writing the names of each of the shapes. )

3. Shape Hopscotch ( This was the cutest activity we’ve done so far ! I drew two different versions of a hopscotch board using various shapes that we have been talking about. Lyanna and Jack actually helped me design the boards as they kept yelling out different shapes they wanted me to draw next. Once our boards were created, I tried to show them HOW to play hopscotch. HAHAHAHA! In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I am currently 7 months pregnant. There is only so many times I get to jump up and down before the belly starts to weigh me down and the baby kicks me for waking her up!

The kids got the idea and told me to move it. They both had so much fun and made up their own way of playing and their own rules. The best rule they made was that you had to say the shape that you landed on! What an wonderful way to review 🙂

Center Explorations:

1. Shape Graphing ( We started to learn about graphs today in our centers. I recently found this cute graph sheet that was very basic and ready for early learners. Originally, I had not planned having this in our centers for today, but I thought it might be fun to give it a go and see if they kids could tackle this tool.

To start, I grabbed a handful of shape blocks and placed them in a cup for us to pull from. I guided the kids along for the first round of this game. As I pulled out shapes, I placed them in their designated spot on the graph. Once all of the shapes were in place, we talked about what they kids noticed. We talked about which shape had to most, which had the least, what colors we saw, what shapes we saw and what shapes we didn’t see, and so on.

After our discussion, we used a dry erase marker to write the number of shapes in each row. Lyanna and Jack seemed to really enjoy this game and they both grasped the concept pretty quickly. They went on to play a few rounds themselves.

2. Ring of 1-10 Cards With Dry Erase Markers ( This activity was a bust, in my opinion. While they both were excited to be using a dry erase marker on their own, they didn’t want to do this activity over and over again. Once they practiced writing their numbers, 1 to 10, one time, they were done and ready to move on!

I can totally see how preschoolers would find the activity completely boring and uninteresting, but I had hoped the use of the dry erase markers were keep them in a bit longer to practice writing their numbers again. We moved on to another activity pretty quickly ! )

3. Shape Puzzle Cards ( This activity seemed to be way more exciting and engaging for my guys! While I was planning our Preschool program last summer, I found these cute puzzles through a blog on Pinterest. If you want them for yourself, you can find these adorable, and free, puzzles here from Playdough to Plato. I printed them off, laminated them, cut them, and divided them up by fours into plastic bags. There they have sat just waiting for us to use them today!

These types of puzzles are new for both of the kids, so we’ve been slowly learning how to solve them and put them back together. The colors and smiley faces on each card really helped make this an easy activity for the kids to manage on their own.

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Shape Pizza With Counting Sheet ( I think this project idea has been around since I was in preschool. Since Lyanna has an obsession with pizza and I have come to understand that Jack likes it too, this project was a hit with the two of them! Layer by layer, we built our pizza up together. We talked about what shapes we were using and counted how many of these shapes we were adding to our pizzas.

We used one large octagon as our crust, rectangles for our cheese, circles for pepperoni, triangles for our green peppers, and trapezoids for orange peppers. At the end of the project, we counted each shape one final time and recorded our answers on our sheet of paper.

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Our shape week is almost over! It seems like we have so much more to do, but we are running out of time. Today is another day full of shape themed activities and exploring new items in our classroom.

Letter Of The Day: Ii
Shape Of The Week: All
Story Time Book Of The Day: ” Color Zoo ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Ippy Ink Says …

3. Writing The Letter Ii with Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Ii Brainstorming Chart

5. Read The Room

Concept Activity:

Building The Letter I with Shape Blocks ( Our concept activity today focused on shapes AND the letter of the day. Using our versatile shape blocks, we constructed the letter I in different ways. First, we used a letter Ii print out. The kids selected different shapes to fill in both versions of the letter I.

After about 2 goes, it seemed to be a little too easy for them as. So I changed it up a bit and took away the print out. I challenged the kids to created a capital I on the capital alone. At first I heard lots of ” I can’t ” , ” No Way “, and ” Ugghhh “. I grabbed a few shapes myself and made my own letter I on the floor and it seemed to really help things click for them.

They got straight to work together building their letter I! Lyanna and Jack messed it up and started again several times, but I pretty sure it was just to get to mess it up again and again! )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter I Worksheet and Shape Stamping ( In our Art Center today, we used stickers again to fill in our letter Ii sheets. We used triangle stickers today that feature different letters from the alphabet.

Our morning art project consisted of paint and shape sponges! What fun! The kids selected their own colors of paint and what shape sponges they preferred to use.

I created these shape themed sponges using cheap sponges I purchased at the dollar store. These work best for this type of project as they don’t have a hard or scratchy side to them. Two sponges come in a pack and all you need to do is cut out the shapes you want. They are super easy to clean up once you are done with your painting activity, or you can toss them if you don’t feel like having a large clean up after!

The kids love painting projects so I was happy to let them stamp away and enjoy creating their creations! I have to say that my favorite part of this project was hearing them talk to me about what they were doing. I did this project one at a time, since space is bit limited, while the other child played in the sandbox ( which is Jack’s preferred place to be anyways 🙂 ) or with bubbles. Since I was doing this one on one, I was able to ask questions about their pictures. Their responses were very informative and they seemed like they were telling me everything we’ve talked about these past two weeks. ” I’m doing rectangles. I have 4 of them. See! One, two, three, four… “. Hearing things like that is adorable, but it also tells me that they really are retaining what were are doing. Even if Lyanna seems like she has forgotten everything but her name come dinner time, when her Daddy asks what she learned today :/ )

2. Outside Equipment ( The kids had the option of playing in the sandbox, with the bubble wands, or what the cart of outside equipment. )

Center Explorations:

1. Reading ( For our “reading” time today, I pulled out our large board books for the kids to look through and read with me. These books have been a favorite in our classroom as they are fun to look through and feature lots of cool little items to find.

One of the books is about Outer Space, which is a theme coming up soon for us! The kids have both taken an interest in this subject and ask a million questions as we look over the pictures. )

2. Tens Frame With Counting Chips ( These adorable counting sheets are an activity that we have been learning with since the summer. Here in North Carolina, children start using tens frame within the first few weeks of school. Even though we plan on homeschooling Lyanna, we like the concept of the tens frame, so we’ve been incorporating it into our own curriculum.

Lyanna and Jack work together on each sheet. Jack pulls counts out the ” apples ” and places them in the tree, while Lyanna places the correct numbers of counters in the tens frame. Teamwork!

I found these cute counting sheets on Life Over C’s blog. You can click here to be taken to the page for these sheets and print them off for yourself. Since they advertise them as playdough mats, we laminated our sheets, but as you can see above, they are very versatile. )

3. Shape Pattern Strips with Shape Blocks ( In a few weeks, we will be learning all about patterns. We touched a little on that subject today while also continuing our work with shapes. We used our shape blocks to complete these pattern strips. While the kids worked hard to complete their strip, we talked about what shapes they were using, how they knew what shape to use next, and what colors they were seeing.

I printed these shape pattern strips off this summer, cut and laminated them, and then put them on a ring. It makes it easier to store these strips, but it also helps to make them last and be easy to use for a variety of activities and projects. You can find these pattern strips here.  )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Little Architects ( Rather than ending our day with a craft, we concluded our Thursday with a fun and interactive project! Jack, Lyanna, and I used our wood blocks to create a large castle for our wooden animals. We tested the limits of how high we could get some of our towers and we mixed and matched our colorful blocks with our plain wooden blocks.

The kids were pretty proud of themselves, but their favorite part was the clean up! They got to destroy the castle, knock over the towers, and throw the blocks back in their basket. If only they were this excited EVERY clean up time 🙂 !

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Friday is here! Our week has come and gone so quickly, but I think we are all ready for the long weekend. We have had such a fun week full of different projects, activities, and firsts!

Letter Of The Day: Jj
Shape Of The Week: All
Story Time Book Of The Day: ” TBD ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Jumping Jim Says …

3. Writing The Letter Jj with Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Jj Brainstorming Chart

 

Concept Activity:

Real World Shape Matching Pocket Chart Activity ( For the final concept activity of our shape week, we played this “real shapes” matching game. The kids used our pocket chart and these cards to complete this fun game together. We laid all of the cards out on the floor and, together, Lyanna and Jack placed each of the items in their correct row.

Oddly enough, the kids loved this activity so much that they asked to do it two more times before we could go outside! )

Outside Play:

1. Nature Shape Hunt ( The rain stopped pouring long enough for us to get out of the house and get some fresh air! Worrying that the rain would start again at any moment, we stayed around the outside of our home. While we were walking around our yard, we hunted for different shapes. We found a bunch and the kids were super excited to do so!

The kids got even more excited with each shape they found. They didn’t want to stop hunting, but I convinced them to come back in with a little help from the continuing rain. )

2. Art Center: Letter J Worksheet

3. Outside Equipment ( Since the rain wouldn’t let us pull out all of our toys, we spent the rest of our outside time playing in the sandbox, coloring on the chalkboard, and looking over minerals and gems in the science center. )

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Links with Number Cards 1 to 10 ( Links with Number Cards is an activity that we’ve been doing for several weeks now. However, the more we do it, the more independent the kids become and my role slips back. Lyanna took the lead this time, while Jack was fully responsible for gathering the links that they needed.

Lyanna pulls a number card and places it on the floor, Jack pulls out that many links and they both work together to connect the links. They also count the links again one more time before moving on to make sure that they have the right amount. They are mastering work together and it is so great to see them lean on one another! )

3. Building Letter A-J with Shape Blocks ( The kids actually requested this activity today! I had something else planned for this time period, but they both asked if they could play with the shape blocks again. As a little review for the letters we are have been working on, I pulled out letter placements for letters A-J. The kids worked on letters together and on their own. I know they just wanted to play with the blocks, but this way, they got what they wanted AND we reviewed our letters before moving on to new ones next week! )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

 

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Our second week of preschool is already over! We learned so much this week and the kids are super excited to move on to another week of learning. Next week, we will be learning all about textures, what things can feel like, using descriptive words, focusing on another 4 letters in the alphabet, and so much more! Monday will be a holiday for us as it is Labor Day, so our week will be a day short. We are looking forward to another amazing week of exploring, creating, and being silly 🙂

– Brittany XoXo

Continue in our Preschool Program here Week 3: Textures.

Tot Preschool Week 3: Textures

 

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Week 3 of our Tot Preschool program has been all about textures! We explored how things feel and expanded our vocabulary to learn more descriptive words. We created textured prints, played in colorful sensory bins, made discoveries in our science center, and so much more! We also continued working our way through the alphabet and learned all about the letters K – N and still worked with numbers 1-10. Here is a layout of the activities, projects, and crafts we did throughout our week:




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Closed For Labor Day / Enjoy The Holiday !

 

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After a well deserved 3 day weekend, we are back and ready to learn! Today we started our new theme: Textures! The kids are super excited that they get to touch everything in sight without being told to put it down, stop doing that, and so on. This may be a long week 🙂 !

Letter Of The Day: Kk
Shape Of The Week: Square
Storytime: ” That’s Not My Dinosaur ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Kicking King Says …

3. Writing The Letter Kk with Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Kk Brainstorming Chart

Concept Activity:

” What Is Texture? ” Discussion with Example Tray ( The first picture you see below is a photo of our Texture anchor chart. We began our discussion about textures this morning using this chart. I read off the words to the kids and told them that these are the words we use when we are trying to describe how something feels; ” These words are descriptive words. They describe how something feels. Can you say that big word? Descriptive?. I then went into what Texture means and how we are going to be getting our hands busy this week and exploring different items in our classroom areas and outside!

Below is a close up of our Science Center chart in our inside classroom. For the first time today, I went over this chart with the kids and talked about what exactly we, as little scientists, are suppose to do in this center. We also took a few minutes to fill out our KWL chart for the first time today. After our quick intro this morning, the kids KNEW that Texture was a word that meant how something feels. When I asked the kids what they WANTed to know about texture, they told me that they wanted to know how everything feels and that they wanted to touch and talk about everything in the classroom 😐 …. Like I said, this may be a long week!

This is a picture of our Texture Example Tray. Here, we have collected items from around our room that fit the descriptive words on our tray. Jack, Lyanna, and I walked around our room and found items that fit with the words on our cards.

Next, the kids took a few minutes to look over and touch all of the items we collected. It was really interesting to hear the way the kids were describing the items on the tray. They were using other words than what was on the cards. They were using words that they have heard before. It’s really cool to see them pull experiences from other aspects of their lives and apply them to this, and other situations. Since we will be revisiting our Science Center this afternoon during centers, the kids put our Texture Example Tray on our Science Center table so it would be ready for our next activity. )

Outside Play:

1. Sensory Bins: Exploring Soft and Hard ( For our sensory bins today, the kids explored two different bins featuring two different textures. One of our bins featured soft items such as pom poms and cotton balls, while our other bin contained hard items like dry pasta, wooden blocks, and measuring cups. )

2. Art Center: Letter K Worksheet and Letter K Pasta Creations ( After we finished coloring our Letter K worksheets with our smooth Effortless Art Crayons, we moved on to a fun, but hard, project! We created the letter K using some of our colorful dry pasta noodles. Like many of our projects, this craft was very simple to do and didn’t take up a large amount of our outside time. Using two pieces of construction paper, I drew a large capital K on each for the kids. I then borrowed a bowl full of hand dyed dry pasta from our sensory bin. ( I try and reuse the items and supplies that we have in order to save money, but to also not be wasteful. ) Next, the kids used a bottle of Elmer’s glue to line their letter K, with a little guidance from me! They both took their time putting their pieces of pasta in just the right places and were sure to have them perfectly aligned to their letter K outline! )

3. Shape Hopscotch ( Our shape of the week is the square and since it’s the 11th day of preschool, I thought it would be cool to create another hopscotch game for the kids featuring both of these aspects ! )

4. Science Center ( In our Outdoor Science Center, the kids felt and took apart roses. They talked about the colors they saw, counted how many petals they were pulling off, and so on, but the best part was hearing them use their own words to describe what textures the flowers had. The little leafs were spiky and rough, while the flower petals were smooth and soft. The stems of the flowers seemed hard, but if you bent them enough, they became really soft. I love hands on learning experiments like these ! )

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Shape Graphing With Shape Blocks ( We first played this game last week and the kids loved it, so I changed it up a bit for today. I LET THEM USE DRY ERASE MARKERS … NEAR THE CARPET! After you stack the shapes, there is a spot on underneath the row to right the amount of shapes present. So I lost my mind and let the two of them take turns writing in the amount of shapes for their rows.

The kids like playing this game, even more so now that I incorporated the use of a dry erase marker, but I like it as well! It gives them exposure to graphing, review of their shapes, counting, colors, teamwork, and now it’s giving them another opportunity to practice their pencil grip and number formation. )

3. Science Center: Exploring The Texture Tray and Observational Drawings ( We returned to our Science Center again during centers to do some observational drawings. The kids picked out one of the items they wanted to observe and draw.

They took their selected items off the tray, held them in their hands, felt them, and talked about what their items felt like. After they were done inspecting and feeling, they started to draw their selected item. Once they were finished, I asked what each child what they had drawn and what was the texture of their item. I recorded their answers on their drawings. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we completed for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Sandpaper Art ( For this project, we used pieces of sand paper and crayons. I loved this project for our textured week as there isn’t much prep work or assembly to do. We took a piece of sand paper out of the pack and let the kids get busy creating their masterpiece. If you plan to do this project yourself, don’t expect the crayons you use to make it. Given that you are literally coloring on sandpaper, the crayons get pretty beat up and “sanded” down.

When the kids were finished coloring, I taped their work to a piece of construction paper to give it a cute little border. We all loved how these textured pieces came out! )

 

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We were expecting some bad weather today, but thankfully it didn’t show up until later in the day. We were still able to enjoy a beautiful morning outside while continuing our exploration into Textures!

Letter Of The Day: Ll
Shape Of The Week: Square
Storytime: ” That’s Not My Monster ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Lucy Lamplight Says …

3. Writing The Letter Ll on Dry Erase Boards ( Look at these amazing letter Ls ! )

4. What Starts With Ll Brainstorming Chart

5. Read The Room ( The kids are getting really good at this game. At first, I was getting a solid 2 minutes to gather things for our next activity, but now they are both finding their letters in no time! )

Concept Activity:

” This is … ” Pocket Chart Matching Activity ( For our concept activity today, we matched our descriptive sentence strips to the items on the cards. Together, we went over each sentence and searched through our options. We talked about why a card fits perfectly with our sentence, or in some cases, how an item on a card couldn’t be a match for our sentence ( For example, the book card doesn’t match up with the ” This is soft ” sentence strip. ).

For our last sentence, ” This is … ” with a picture of a bed, I wanted the kids to give me their own descriptive words for this item. I wanted to see how they would describe their own beds, but to also hear what words they would choose to use all on their own! )

Outside Play:

1. Sensory Bins: Exploring Rough and Smooth ( The two sensory bins we had to explore in today featured smooth and rough items. The smooth sensory bin featured moon sand! If you have never played with moon sand before, you are missing out! The sand feels like it has been mixed with baby oil. It is very soft, and smooth. It has the coolest texture to play with! Jack and Lyanna loved playing with this sand and it was hard to pull them away at the end of our outside time.

For the rough sensory bin we used our colored pasta, rocks from our mineral box, and small squares of sandpaper. The winner was the smooth moon sand sensory bin, hands down! )

2. Art Center: Letter L Worksheet with Pom Poms ( In keeping with our textures theme, we completed our Letter of the Day activity by using a textured item. The kids used Pom Poms and Elmer’s glue to fill in their Ls. )

3. Crayon Rubbings Textured Leaf Prints ( How could we have a week all about textures and NOT do a leaf rubbing activity ?! Since we are approaching Fall, our yard is now home to lots of beautiful leaves. We walked around our yard and collected a few leaves for us to use today.

Once we have selected the perfect bunch of leavess for our activity, we set out to make these beautiful leaf rubbings. The colorful crayons we made in our first week of preschool gives us some very cool, blended colors. Jack and Lyanna loved seeing their creations appear before their eyes! )

Center Explorations: 

1. Reading

2. City Blocks Construction with Discussion about Texture, Shapes, and Colors ( The kids used our wooden blocks to create a castle together. While they were building, we talked about the shapes they were seeing, the colors they were using, what textures they were feeling. Once they were done building, we took a minute to write down everything that we had talked about during construction.

I was finally able to test out how great our table works with dry erase marks! While I was setting up our classroom last year, I bought this awesome table for $25 at Walmart. The table and chairs feature dry erase boards and the assembly was a piece of cake! It’s not a set that I think will last us for years and years, but it definitely serves it’s purpose for our preschool set up right now. )

3. Building The Letter Ll ( The kids went a little crazy over this activity! First, we went around our room and found tons of items we could use to build the letter L on our floor. The kids almost cleared the shelves with items they wanted to try and use. We used color tubes, blocks, links, bears, shape blocks, and other manipulatives from around our classroom. For each item, we created a letter L on the carpet together.  )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are our journal entries for today. We even incorporated our sweet leaf rubbings from earlier today! )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Textured Paintings ( The kids LOVE to paint, so I’ve been trying to incorporate at least one painting activity during our week. Today, for our End of the Day craft, we created these super easy textured name pieces. To create this project for yourself, use a hot glue gun to write out names or any other design. Once the glue is cool and dry, the picture is ready to paint! )

 

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Fall is in the air! Our morning outside was amazing and we were tempted to play out there all day. We settled with a picnic lunch and rushing through our afternoon classroom time. After we were finished with all of our work, we were able to get back outside for our End of the Day craft and some extra play time. As of right now, we are expecting Hurricane Irma next week, so we are trying to get in as much sunshine as we can!

Letter Of The Day: Mm
Shape Of The Week: Square
Story Time Book Of The Day: ” Good Morning Baby ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Munching Mike Says …

3. Writing The Letter Mm on  Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Mm Brainstorming Chart

Concept Activity:

Mystery Texture Boxes ( I have been looking forward to this activity ever since I starting planning this curriculum last summer! We saved a few of our Kleenex boxes, as they serve as perfect mystery boxes with an opening just perfect for the size of little hands. In each box, we placed different items that the kids would have to describe.

They both closed their eyes, or just looked up, so that they couldn’t see what was in the box and felt around. The told me what textures they were feeling and then what they thought was in the box.

We wrote our descriptive words down on a note card and pulled out our mystery items. Jack and Lyanna both guessed all of the items correctly before removing them from the box, but the real point of this activity was to get them to DESCRIBE what they were feeling. That can be a tricky thing for a young children to do, even some adults. It was really funny to see them want to peak in their boxes! )

Outside Play:

1. Center: Letter M Worksheet with Finger Painting ( Since the kids love to paint so much, I thought another project like this would be perfect for our textures week. The kids get to paint, but to also engage in feeling a texture that they don’t normally get to = cold, wet paint! Lyanna isn’t that big of a fan of having her hands dirty, especially if that “dirt” is paint. When we do any other painting activity, she likes to keep a wet wipe near by. My husband and I have been trying to break her of this habit for awhile and doing projects like this help get her past it for a time. Jack, on the other hand, was all about playing in the paint. He actually liked do that more than painting his letter M sheet ! )

2. Sensory Bin: Sand Play

3. Science Center: Exploring Textures In Nature ( In our Outdoor Science Center, the kids explored our Textures in Nature Tray. The tray featured all kinds of items with various  textures including flowers, sticks, rocks, green leaves, brown leaves, and leaves from our rose bush. Together, we went through the items in our tray and talked about what they felt like and how they differed from one another.

Science activities like this are wonderful for encouraging children to be hands on in their learning. The kids both used magnifying glasses to inspect the different items. They told me what they were seeing, but also what each of the items felt like. Opportunities like this are great for building up their vocabularies, but it is also an chance for them to build their social skills, have conversations with their peers, and build a solid foundation of understanding about a given topic. Plus it is super cool to watch a little kid learn all on their own! )

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Making The Letter Mm with Washi Tape ( We used washi tape, which is both STICKY and SMOOTH, to create these colorful letter Ms ! This super simple project was a great way for us to be creative, but to also work on our letter recognition and formation, while also focusing on our fine motor skills! The kids selected which tape they wanted to us, tore off little pieces, and placed their tape on their letter M outlines. This project is simple and cheap, but the kids LOVED it and I loved the concepts we were able to focus on! )

3. Links With Number Flash Card 1 – 10 ( This activity is quickly becoming a weekly must for Jack and Lyanna. Today, they switched jobs. Jack was in charge of the cards and double checking the links, while Lyanna was in charge of creating the rows of links. Their teamwork is really what makes this activity effective. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are our journal entries for Thursday. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Textured Hands ( To create this project with your own children, first trace your own hand to cut out and use. A child’s hand is cute and something to cherish, but for this project, you want a larger hand to use :). Decide what textures you want to feature for each finger and gather a representation of that texture. For example, a piece of pasta could represent a HARD or ROUGH texture, while a cotton ball could represent SOFT or FLUFFY.

After you have written all of the desired text and labels on your hand cut outs, place all of your items on a plate for the children to select from. Go over each finger’s texture, one at a time, and have the kids select an item from the plate that matches that texture. Simply use Elmer’s use to attach each item. )

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Friday has arrived! It seems like the shortest weeks feel like the longest :). We wrapped up our Textures theme today with a texture hunt, example tray review, a playdough activity, and a super cool, but easy, end of the day project. Continue scrolling to read about our day!

Letter Of The Day: Nn
Shape Of The Week: Square
Story Time Book Of The Day: ” That’s Not My Pony ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Noisy Nick Says …

3. Writing The Letter Nn with a Dry Erase Board

4. What Starts With Nn Brainstorming Chart

5. Read The Room

Concept Activity:

Texture Hunt ( Armed with a sharpie and a stack of Post-Its, we felt around our room in search of different textures for today’s concept activity. When the kids found something they wanted to label, they came to me for a sticky note with their chosen descriptive word on it. Jack loved finding the smooth, cold objects in the room, while Lyanna was on the hunt for more unusual textures.

By the end of our activity, our classroom was covered in Post-Its. We toured our room and talked about each of the items and we also took a turn to feel and agree or disagree with the label. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter N Worksheet with Crumbled Paper ( This morning, before we started our day, the kids helped me take SMOOTH tissue paper and turn it into ROUGH and CRUMBLED paper bits. It’s always funny to see how much kids love doing a task like this, but it also makes them feel more involved and invested in a project. After our Morning Meeting and classroom time, we started our Outside Time with this Textured Letter N project.

We used a bottle of Elmer’s glue to fill in our letters and the kids filled them up using the crumbled tissue paper. )

2. Playdough Texture Tray ( Playdough is a create medium to use when discussing and exploring textures! For this activity, I gathered different items from our classroom areas that would make really interested prints and textures.

The kids used their playdough tools to roll out their playdough and then selected items from the tray to test out. We found that both styles of pasta we had gave us textures that were ROUGH, while our truck tires gave us a bumpy pattern and feel.

Jack and Lyanna really enjoyed this activity and were excited to see what the items in our tray would produce in our playdough. Their favorites were the toy trucks and the rocks! )

3. Outside Equipment / Free Choice ( In our outdoor classroom, we have their “magnetic boards” for the kids to play with. Really, they are cookie sheets from the dollar store that we have nailed to our walls! In the picture below, the kids are using magnetic letters to write their names. )

Center Explorations:

1. Reading ( While Jack and Lyanna can’t actually read yet, this time has grown into one of our favorite times of the day. The kids will look at books on their own, but then they also do this incredibly sweet thing where they will “read” to each other. They read a book that I have read before and they “read” it to one another by inserting parts that they remember and talking about what they see happening in the pictures. They are using the pictures to tell them the stories and that is a huge step in building up reading skills. Love this ! )

2. Making The Letter Nn ( Since ” Making The Letter L ” was such a hit with the kids on Wednesday, I thought we could revisit that concept today for the letter N. We used some of the same items as before, but we also grabbed some new and interesting ones, such as our Letter Dinosaurs and our dry erase markers. )

3. Match It! Counting Edition ( If you haven’t looked into the Match It! educational game series, I would highly recommend it. The Counting Edition is currently our favorite, but there are plenty of themes to select. From number recognition to beginners spelling, there is surely one that would suite your needs. Here is a link to the Match It! Counting Edition. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are our journal entries for today. )

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And just like that, another week of preschool is over! We have had so much fun this week exploring different textures, growing our vocabulary, creating cool projects, working through the alphabet, and exploring various items in our classrooms. Next week is a wonderful new week full of more adventures and learning experiences. Our theme for Week 4 of our preschool program will be … Patterns ! Click here to be taken to our Tot Preschool Week 4 : Patterns layout!

Brittany XoXo

Tot Preschool Week 4: Patterns

 

Week 4 of our Tot Preschool program has be spent working with and learning all about patterns! We have been completing and identifying patterns, as well as making our own. We have also be learning new words, working with various types of manipulatives, adding new pages to our journals, and building our math skills. As we worked through our pattern week, we have been updating this post with pictures and details from our activities and projects just for you! This week we continued our journey through the alphabet and covered letters O-S and numbers 1- 15. We also started our journey with ASL! Here is a layout of what our 4th week together looked like:




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Letter Of The Day: Oo
Shape Of The Week: Triangle
Story Time Book Of The Day: ” Pete The Cat and His Magic Sunglasses ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Oscar Orange Says …

3. Writing The Letter Oo on Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Oo Brainstorming Chart

5. Read The Room

6. Daily ASL ( Today, we started a new portion in our curriculum. The kids began learning basic sign language ( ASL ) ! Lyanna and I have been teaching ourselves basic ASL since the summer, so now it’s time for us to include it in our curriculum and start teaching Jack! If you are interested in reading more about the benefits of children, even those that can hear, learning ASL, I would recommend you check out this post. We are using the program pictured below for our daily ASL instruction. We found this kit last summer at a teacher’s store and it perfect for this age group!

Today, we started this new journey with two simple phrases, ” Clean Up ” and ” Thank You ” . We picked these two phrases because they can easily be incorporated into our daily routine. )

Concept Activity:

” What Is A Pattern? ” Anchor Chart with Discussion ( Today is Monday, which means it’s our day to start a new weekly theme! We were introduced to our new theme with this lovely anchor chart. We filled in the missing pieces of the patterns together and had a discussion about what we thought patterns were, where we have seen them before, and if we saw any in our classroom. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter O Worksheet in the color Orange

2. Pony Bead Pattern Towers ( For our first activity in the world of patterns, we created our own pattern towers using pony beads, spaghetti, and playdough! For this activity, you are only using the playdough as a base to hold up your “pattern towers”, or pieces of spaghetti. Once your base is in place, take a piece of spaghetti and brake it in half. Insert it into the playdough and you are ready to go in creating pattern towers with your beads.

The kids selected the colors they wanted to use for their pattern towers and created each tower, all on their own. Rather than correcting them, I would ask the child to double check their patterns and to make sure they repeated like they should. The kids were great in correcting themselves and each other! )

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Bear Pattern Cards ( We have really gotten our money’s worth from these bear manipulatives! We’ve been using them for everything from counting games to this adorable pattern activity. I found these super cute teddy bear pattern strips on The Measured Moms blog and have been dying to use them with the kids. You can find the direct link to these FREE strips here. Once i printed them off, I laminated them, cut them into single strips, and placed them on a ring for easy storage.

For this activity, the kids worked together to find the missing piece of their pattern. They worked on one strip at a time and were using those awesome communication skills to tell their partner what they were thinking, using their manners, and occasionally fighting over whose turn it was to get a bear out. The bears are a favorite and they both love using them, so we tend to fight over them.

3. 10s Frame Apple Tree Sheets

4. Free Exploration ( After we are done with all of our structured activities, I like to let the kids explore whatever toys and books they want in our classroom. We are so busy and on the move throughout our day, I wanted to make sure that our schedule gave us plenty of time for them to just be kids and play.

While this time doesn’t have an end goal or is focusing on a specific concept, there is a lot to be said for free play. These opportunities allow children to build their imagination, discover skills and interests, be silly and free, and build relationships with those they are playing with. Each day, after our centers have been completed, the kids get to pick what items THEY want to play with and they get about 20 – 30 minutes to enjoy this time. That may not sound like a lot of time, but we also have free play during our outside time and they get about an hour and a half at the end of the day as well. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made today )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Pattern Worms ( To wrap up our first day in the world of Patterns, we ended our day with a cute and simple pattern project: Pattern Worms! For this craft project, you only need two items. You will need one pipe cleaner for each worm and pony beads. First, you will want to take your pipe cleaners and swirl one of the ends to form your “worm’s head”. This will keep the beads from slipping off this end and, if you’d like, you can even add some googly eyes!

Next, the kids created their own patterns on their worms using the pony beads. Be sure to leave enough room at the end of your worm to swirl the end portion as well. This will keep your beautiful pattern from slipping off this end. )

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Letter Of The Day: Pp
Shape Of The Week: Triangle
Story Time Book Of The Day: ” LMNO Peas ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Peter Puppy Says …

3. Writing The Letter Pp on Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Pp Brainstorming Chart

5. Read The Room ( Since the kids are getting really good, and fast, at finding the letter of the day in our classroom, I have now made the task a little more challenging for them. After they find the letter of the day, I am starting to ask them to find the other letters of the day that we have discussed during a given week. Since today is Tuesday, the kids only had to find one additional letter today. However, this will become more challenging throughout the week as we continue to cover more and more letters! )

6. Daily ASL ( Today, we learned the signs for Yes and No. )

Concept Activity:

Finish The Pattern Pocket Chart Activity ( For our concept activity today, we worked together to create and complete different patterns. I made our colored shape cards for this activity using flash cards and markers. I laid out all of the options on the floor in a piles for the kids and we slowly created our own patterns for another person to solve. This was a great way for us to continue exploring patterns and how they work, but it was also a great review of our colors and shapes from previous weeks! )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter P Worksheet with Dot Markers ( For our Letter of the Day worksheets, we used our colorful dot markers to fill in our letters with an awesome pattern! If you don’t have dot markers in your supply closet, I would highly recommend this purchase. The kids LOVE using them and they are so versatile. We’ll be using them a lot this week, but they are really great to have for any use, especially for this age group. It’s an easy way to let the kids paint, the grip is perfect for kids focusing on building those muscles, and the markers are ALMOST mess free!  )

2. Pom Pom Pattern Sticks ( In keeping with our pattern theme for the week, we worked with these Pom Pom Pattern Sticks today during our outside time. To create this activity, you will need a set of colored pom poms, jumbo popsicle sticks, and markers. Using the markers, I created my own patterns on the sticks, placed all of our supplies in a tray to keep everything easily organized, and we were ready to go.

I placed the tray on our table, between the two kids, and they each picked a pattern stick to begin working on. This is a great activity for children to engage with on their own or it can be played in partners if needed. )

3. Sensory Bin: Letter Hunt With Magnetic Letters ( Using a sensory bin, colored pasta, a magnetic letter set, and a set of alphabet flash cards, we put together this fun game to help us work on letter recognition AND to keep us entertained thanks to the rain.

Starting at the beginning of our alphabet flash cards, we were on the hunt for the letter A. The magnetic letter set that we have features double letters, meaning that EACH child was able to find the letter and be included in our game. Lyanna and Jack seem to really enjoy this game, but I also think this is a great way for them to work on their letter recognition, play a fun game together, AND it also allows for an opportunity to touch on each one of our letters again ( ” What sound does this letter make? “, etc. ) . We’ll definitely be revisiting this game! )

4. Free Exploration

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Shape Pattern Strips ( Yesterday we worked with pattern strips that featured our teddy bear counters. Today we are engaging in an activity with the same theme, but using a different manipulative. When planning this week, I thought that the kids may get tired of using the same manipulative and cards every day, so I printed off a few different options for us.

I found this shape pattern strips here and they are available for free! As usual, I snatched them up, printed them off, laminated them, cut them into strips, and fixed them to a ring. We were able to use our shape blocks to complete our patterns and the kids actually worked amazingly together! It’s weird how that happens when the teddy bears aren’t involved….. The kids worked together to find the missing pattern pieces and then moved to working on their own. They also took in upon themselves to do a shape review with each other. Very cute! )

3. Links With Number Cards 1 to 10

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Pattern Headbands ( As you can see from the pictures below, the kids got a real kick out of their silly headbands. Using strips of white construction paper, our dot markers, and some tape, we created these pattern headbands as a way to show what we know! We laid out two strips for each of the kids and they decided what colors they wanted to use and what they wanted their pattern to look like.

After they were finished creating their patterns, we let our paper sit and dry while we enjoyed the small window of sunshine we were given. After our paint was dry, I used a few pieces of tape to attach our strips of paper and create our headbands. Look at those giddy little smiles ! )

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Letter Of The Day: Qq
Shape Of The Week: Triangle
Story Time Book Of The Day: ” There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Quarrelsome Queen Says … ( While learning about our new Letterland friend today, we learned that Quarrelsome Queen always brings her Umbrella with her. Meaning that each Q word, a U is sure to follow ! )

3. Writing The Letter Qq on Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Qq Brainstorming Chart

5. Read The Room

6. Daily ASL ( As to not overwhelm my little friends, we will be focusing our efforts on learning and using only 4 signs each week. This way, we will become comfortable with using them and incorporating them into our daily routines. For today, and for the rest of the week, we will continue to use and review ” Clean Up ” , ” No “, ” Yes “, and ” Thank You “. )

Concept Activity: 

Patterns Video ( For our Concept Activity today, we watched a super sort patterns video. What was covered in the video could have easily been recreated, but I thought the kids would really like and be engaged by a bright and colorful video. I was, of course, right ! You can see this super short video here. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Painting Our Letter Q Worksheets with Paint and Q-Tips ( Q is for Q-Tips ! We had some fun early this morning and got right into the paint. We simply used a few Q-Tips as paint brushes to add some color to our Letter Q worksheets. Just a little change up, like replacing paint brushes with something different, can turn a simple painting project into a whole other adventure! )

2. Scissor Practice ( Round Two of scissor practice went GREAT! The kids didn’t forget any of our steps or safety tips and they were actually excited to get going. The last time we practiced our scissor work, there was a lot of information for them to listen to and I may have scared them about cutting off a finger 🙂 . This time, the kids were ready and actually better than I thought they would be. Our curriculum sees this activity more and more in the upcoming weeks, so I am so happy to see progress with this skill. )

3. Outside Equipment ( In case I haven’t clarified this activity time before, this is time I have set aside for the kids to free play during our outside time. During this time, the kids are encouraged to find something different they would like to engage in. They can play with our basketballs and net, sidewalk chalk, the sandbox, explore the items in our Science Center, color large coloring sheets on the easel, color on the chalkboard, do puzzles, bubbles, and so on. There are TONS of options for them to choose from and, as I said earlier, I try to get them to explore a new option every day. We do have our favorites though. Jack LOVES the sandbox, while Lyanna is currently happy playing hopscotch. )

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Bear Patterns Cards ( We brought out our pattern bear strips for one of our centers today. Jack and Lyanna worked more independently today with this activity. )

3. Making Our Own Number Flashcards ( The kids were super excited to hear that we were going to be making our own flashcards today! Well… they were more excited to hear the part about them getting to play with ANY kind of stickers they wanted to. Whatever gets them pumped to learn :).

To create our flashcards, I first took large, blank note cards and wrote the numbers 1 to 10 on them. Each child got their own set to work with. Next, we took a trip to our giant sticker drawer where the kids searched for just the right kind of stickers for them to use. Once that super important task was complete, we were able to sit down and get to work on creating our cards. Jack and Lyanna both worked ALMOST independently during this activity. I helped get tricky stickers off of the sheets for them, while also peering in to see if we were correct in our stick count for each card. The kids did a wonderful job with this project and I feel like it was a great way for us to work with number recognition AND representation. Plus, they each get their own special set of flashcards! )

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are our journal entries for Wednesday. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Pattern Necklaces ( For our End of the Day craft, the ends put their knowledge and creativity to use and created their very own pattern necklaces! I am all about kids engaging in projects and getting creative, but I am also a big fan of keeping these projects and crafts on a budget. This project is one of those projects that helps you do just that, while also allow for the kids to refine a skill and focus on a concept.

The “beads” for these pattern necklaces are just plastic straws that have been cut into small portions and divided by color. I bought this pack of straws at Walmart for about $2 and the entire ball of yarn for a $1! This project cost us about $3 and there are still plenty of each to do another project or to be used in different ways.

The act of stringing items on to a string is a great way to focus on fine motor skills, but this activity was also beneficial to us in covering our pattern theme for this week. Plus, the kids got to create this super stylish necklaces! They seem pretty proud of their work :). )

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Letter Of The Day: Rr
Shape Of The Week: Triangle
Story Time Book Of The Day: ” Click Clack Moo ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Red Robot Says …

3. Writing The Letter Rr on Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Rr Brainstorming Chart

5. Read The Room

6. Daily ASL

Concept Activity:

Finish The Pattern Pocket Chart Activity ( We continued to use our pocket chart to create patterns. The kids took turns in selected which shapes they were going to use and helped each other finish their patterns. This is a great activity to keep up and continue using throughout the week! It is a wonderful way for the kids to keep working with and creating patterns, but it also presents a wonderful opportunity for the kids to continue learning how to work with others and build their communication skills. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter R Worksheet

2. Playdough Pattern Towers ( This pattern themed activity was too great to not do it again ! )

3. Sensory Bin: Water Play ( Since the morning temperature is back up and the humidity has slightly returned, I thought the kids would enjoy some water play for the day. With fall getting closer, water sensory bins will have to be put aside until the warm weather returns, so we are getting them in as much as possible until then! )

4. Outside Equipment and Free Play

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Pattern Sheets With Unifex Cubes ( One of our centers today was a pattern building activity using our Unifex Cubes. I found these free blank sheets on Pre-K Pages’ website and you can click here to be taken to them directly.

We used our Unifex cubes and these blank sheets to once again try our hand at creating and working with patterns. The kids opted to work on their own pattern sheets for this activity. )

3. Shape Pattern Strips ( By request, the kids finished our centers time with their Shape Pattern Strips. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are our journal entries for today. We have slowly been learning about tens frames, so we have started to incorporate that concept into our journal work. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Marshmallow Stamp Patterns ( This End of the Day project was a hit with the kids! They thought it was so crazy for us to be painting with marshmallows. We’ve painted with other items before, but MARSHMALLOWS ?!?!

If you can find the giant marshmallows for this project, even better! These fluffy sugary treats act as circular stamps that are perfect for creating patterned pictures like ours. )

 

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Letter Of The Day: Ss
Shape Of The Week: Triangle
Story Time Book Of The Day: ” Click Clack Quack ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Sammie Snake Says …

3. Writing The Letter Ss on Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Ss Brainstorming Chart

5. Read The Room

6. Daily ASL ( Today was our last day with these four ASL cards. We’ll be pulling them out for review in the next upcoming weeks, but we are super excited to be learning four new signs next week! )

Concept Activity:

Make Your Own Pattern Pocket Chart Activity

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter S Worksheet with Dot Markers ( For our last Letter of the Day worksheet this week, I gave Lyanna and Jack the choice of how they wished to add color to their sheets. Dot Markers on and these are our Letter S creations! I can see some patterns in there, too :). )

2. Outside Equipment ( Since today was Friday and the weather was beautiful and warm, I let the kids have lots of free time to play. They played in their water sensory bin, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and we even went on a little walk. Sometimes, especially for this age group, free play is more needed than a structured activity. )

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Free Choice Of Pattern Activities ( Throughout our week we have had the chance to play with and engage in all of these pattern themed activities. For our centers today, I set up these three different activities for the kids to use one more time during our Patterns week. We spent 5 minutes at each center and rotated through them all until we had played at each spot. )

3. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( S is for Stickers! Here are our journal sheets for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Pattern Necklaces with Fruit Loops ( Yum! For our last pattern themed craft, we created these tasty necklaces using Fruit Loops and yarn. To eliminate the sneaking of cereal during our project, I let Jack and Lyanna snack on their Fruit Loops before we got started.

Once they were good and full, we started our putting together our pattern necklaces. Each of the kids created their own patterns on their necklaces. Like many of our projects and activities, this is another one that is simple to put together and has several benefits. All you need is the cereal and string or yarn. The kids get to focus on the pattern theme while creating their necklaces, but the stringing of items is a great way to focus on building their fine motor skills. Be sure to have everyone wash their hands before they get started! )

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Another week is done and in the books! We had a lot of fun exploring patterns this week and have done some pretty fun and unique projects. The kids are constantly looking for and creating patterns, which is very encouraging to see. Next week will be learning about and discussing our Emotions and Feelings. We will be talking about what these emotions look like, how they make us feel, how we react when we feel these ways, and what we can do to change our mood. Be sure to swing by next week to check out all of our new project ideas and activities!

Brittany XOXO


Tot Preschool Week 5: Feelings and Emotions

 

Week 5 of our Tot Preschool program was spent learning all about our feelings and emotions! During our week together we learned about the many things we feel, how these feelings make us to act and look, and the different ways in which we can deal with those tricky feelings that don’t feel so great. We also continued our journey through the alphabet and focused on letters T-X and numbers 1-20! Here are all of the activities, projects, and crafts we did this week:




Letter Of The Day: Tt
Shape Of The Week: Oval
Storytime: “The Pout-Pout Fish

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Talking Tess Says …

3. Writing The Letter Tt on Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Tt Brainstorming Chart

5. Read The Room

6. Daily ASL ( This week we will be learning 4 new signs, as well as reviewing the 4 signs we learned last week. Today we learned and practiced the signs for ” good ” and ” excuse me “. )

Concept Activity:

1. Intro To ” Feelings and Emotions ” ( We began our new theme today: Feelings and Emotions. We talked about the different feelings we have, what makes us feel those ways, and what we look like when we are experiencing these feelings. )

2. ” I Am ” Feelings and Emotions Pocket Chart Activity and Discussion ( We had a very simple pocket chart activity this morning for our Concept Activity. I presented the chart, seen below, to the kids and we went over every sentence together. Our photo cards in our sentences show pictures of children showing different emotions and feelings. This was an exercise to see where the kids were with reading people’s faces and understanding how they may feeling. Jack and Lyanna both did great with this activity even though a few of the emotions were not portrayed as obvious as they should be. The kid they had for ” angry ” did NOT look angry at all and the kids were quick to point that out! )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter T Worksheet

2. Emotions Hopscotch with Prompt Cards ( We created a hopscotch game out in our circle this morning for us to play with and have some fun in the warm sunshine! Rather than using numbers, we placed a different face in the blocks. Each of these faces are portrayed in the stack of cards I made for this activity. Each child would get to pick a card from the pile and whatever face they pulled out, they would have avoid stepping on that square.

We needed some help and hands on guidance, but the kids loved playing this game. We used up almost all of our outside time actually! I found this activity to be a great way to keep within our weekly theme, but to also keep the kids moving and active. This was also a great activity for us to enjoy the beautiful, warm weather that is coming to an end very soon! )

3. Sensory Bin: Water Play ( The last 15 minutes of our outside time was spent at the sensory table playing with our water bin. This was a great way to get the kids to calm down before heading inside, but it also helped them cool off. )

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Writing Center ( Today we opened a new center in our classroom and introduced the kids to all of the elements of this center. During our ” Writing Center ” time, which we will have almost every day, the kids will begin their journey as writers. This center is stocked with pencils, pens, erasers, staplers, notebook paper, blank books, note cards, envelopes, stencils, construction paper, and so much more!

The kids will sometimes have “assignments” to complete while they are in this center or they will be asked to fill out a page in their ” Doodle Bug ” books ( see pictures below ). The point of this center is to give the kids another opportunity to explore different materials, but to also provide another chance for them to work on their pencil grip, get creative, and discover interests or skills they may have. )

Feelings and Emotions Book: The first assignment the kids worked on in our new center was the first page for their ” Feelings and Emotions ” book. The question prompt was ” What makes you happy ? “. We talked about their answers, why these things made them happy, and then the kids got to work on creating their illustration for their answers. These little ones are 3 years old, so I am not expecting them to actually be writing. I am, however, letting them become familiar with the process and allowing them to see me write their words. As I have stated numerous times before, I don’t feel their is a minimum age or skill level you need to wait for in order to show a child a new concept. You just have to have the appropriate expectations.

Doodle Bug Books: These are Lyanna and Jack’s Doodle Bug Books. These mini notebooks are for the kids to use however they wish. They will be given the chance to fill out one page each day, if they choose, and they are allowed to put whatever they wish on this page. They can practice their name, draw animals, write about shapes and numbers, or whatever else their little hearts desire. They were both SUPER excited to get this books and get to work on them! For their first pages, Lyanna drew some turtles, while Jack practiced drawing our shape of the week.

3. Science Center: What Does That Emotion Look Like? ( Our Science Center activity was so much fun today! We used our emotions photo cards as prompts. Using our large mirror, the kids pulled a card and would practice making that emotion in their mirror. This was so much fun for the kids AND myself. We got a chance to be silly with each other, but it was also interesting to see how each of the kids portrayed a given emotion. Jack thought Lyanna was hilarious, as you can see from the picture below! 🙂 )

4. Shape Blocks with Number Cards 1 to 15 ( We changed up our Links and Number Cards center today by using our shape blocks instead. I wanted to create a chance for the kids to review and talk about shapes again without having to add another whole center to our work load. Then the solution presented itself when we were going through all of our materials. Jack was in charge of pulling cards, while Lyanna took care of pulling out the correct number of shapes. Once the shapes were all in a row, they both counted the shapes again to make sure they were all there. )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Paper Plate Pout Pout Fish ( The kids and I read ” The Pout-Pout Fish ” during our Storytime this morning. This is such a cute story and if you have never read it before, I would highly recommend checking it out from your library or you can find a direct link to purchase it above. I won’t spoil the story for you, but the ending features a very happy and smiley pout pout fish! We created this version of our fish for our End of the Day project.

Using thin paper plates, blue and purple paint, googly eyes, and a smile made from black construction paper, we created these adorable fishes! )

Letter Of The Day: Uu
Shape Of The Week: Oval
Storytime: ” My Many Colored Days

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Uppy Umbrella Says …

3. Writing The Letter Uu on Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Uu Brainstorming Chart

5. Read The Room ( During our Read The Room time today, I challenged the kids to find our letter of the day ( U ), but to also look for the letter that started their name! )

6. Daily ASL ( We reviewed our 2 phrases that we learned yesterday, ” good ” and ” excuse me “. After we refreshed our little brains, we then talked about 2 more new phrases, ” sorry ” and ” please “. Sorry and Please actually look very similar to one another. Sorry is signed with a closed fist going in one direction, while Please is signed in the opposite motion with an opened hand. Jack and Lyanna seemed to pick up on this and seem to have it down for now, but the true test will be tomorrow morning when I ask them what these mean again ! 🙂 )

Concept Activity:

Matching Faces with Text Labels Pocket Chart Activity ( This is another activity we did to help familiarize the kids with text. For this pocket chart activity, our emotions prompt cards were spread out over our chart. The matching labels were lined up for us to look at choose from. Going one label at a time, we sounded out the word, the kids demonstrated what that emotion looked like, and then the kids took turns matching this label to the corresponding prompt card.

The kids seemed to have enjoyed this activity, but the best part came later when restarted the chart. They asked if they could do everything themselves, including sounding out and figuring what a word was. It was incredibly cute and encouraging to see these two try and sound out a word! I think we may have a few early readers on our hands ! 🙂 )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter U Worksheet with Finger Painting

2. Sensory Bins: Letter Hunt With Magnetic Letters ( Our sensory bin was set up today for the kids to go on a letter hunt and find letters G – L. )

3. Free Exploration ( We are fortunate enough to be experiencing beautiful weather this week! The kids played with almost every outside item we have today and got every last second out of their play time ! I may have given them another 10 minutes or so …. it’s hard to pull them away when the weather is so nice and they are playing so well together. They’re only little once! )

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Writing Center ( We continued our work on our ” Feelings and Emotions ” books today in our Writing Center. The pages that we worked on today asked the kids ” What makes you angry?  “. )

3. Emotions Memory Matching Game ( In keeping with our theme of the week, I found this cute “Emotions” themed memory game for the kids and I to play together. Lyanna, our daughter, has the best memory I have ever seen. She can remember where she was, who she was with, and who told her she could POSSIBLY get a treat months after it happens. There is NO fooling that child. I have also learned that Jack remembers and shares what he wants to and that is usually when you have mentioned getting a gummy bear or a cookie. It’s amazing how well your memory can be when sugar is involved!

After explaining the rules and playing a few practice rounds, the kids booted me out and played this game over and over together. I will have to be on the look out for more simple memory games like this! You can find this Emotions version here from ABCs to ACTs.  )

4. 10s Frame and Roll Away ( The kids and I work with a 10s frame every morning when we practice breaking down a number. We play other games that incorporate this math tool, so today I thought we could learn a new one!

Using a simple 10s frame grid, counting chips, and a set of dice, we put this game together to help give the kids some more experience with the 10s frame itself, counting, and number recognition. First, the kids take turns at rolling the dice. The number they get is the number of chips they need to add to the 10s frame. They do this aspect together and then check their answers by counting the chips in the frame one more time. This is a very simple, back and forth game, but we think it is just perfect for this age group who is still learning these basic concepts and tools. )

5. Free Exploration ( Tower building 🙂 )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( These is our work in our journals for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Free Painting ( Jack and Lyanna enjoyed some free painting time today during our End of the Day craft time. I love the projects we do, but it’s really interesting to see what these two can create when their craft time is unstructured ! )

 

Letter Of The Day: Vv
Shape Of The Week: Oval
Storytime: ” Glad Monster, Sad Monster ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Vivky Violet Says …

3. Writing The Letter Vv on Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Vv Brainstorming Chart

5. Read The Room

6. Daily ASL ( Today we reviewed the 4 new signs we have been working on for this week: ” Please “, ” Good “, ” Sorry ” , and ” Excuse Me “. )

Concept Activity:

Tricky Emotions Discussion with Chart Part 1 ( For our Concept Activity, we talked about our “tricky emotions”. These are the types of emotions that we often experience that don’t make us feel great and that can sometimes make us do things that we usually wouldn’t do. We talked about these emotions and what they look like, but we also talked about all the ways we could make ourselves feel better and get us back to being happy !

For the first part of this discussion, we talked about ” Sad ” and ” Mad “. As you can in the picture above, their answers were very helpful :). I have to say that I totally agree with their logic in candy making you feel better when you’re sad! )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter V Worksheet

2. Emotional Ovals ( We created these “Emotional Ovals” today while outside. The kids first took their pieces of construction paper and drew different faces on the ovals. We chose to work with Ovals today because that is our shape of the week. The kids practiced drawing faces on numerous ovals and then we cut them out. We then taped our “Emotional Ovals” to a separate piece of construction paper.

While this project seems simple enough, their are concepts and skills covered here. The kids are being given another opportunity to talk about feelings and emotions, what they know, how they feel, and so on. They are also given more time to be creative, work on their scissor cutting skills ( heavily guided here ! ), and to also focus on building up those fine motor skills. )

3. Free Exploration

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Writing Center ( We continued working on our ” Feelings and Emotions ” books today with this cute writing prompt, ” What makes you feel sad ? “. Lyanna said that she feels sad when she has to leave the playground, while Jack said that he feels sad when he is in time out. Since we had discussed earlier how to make ourselves feel better when we feel these tricky emotions, we talked about how we could change things and not feel sad about these things anymore. Lyanna stated that she would just stay at the park…… Jack made a more reasonable solution and said that he just wouldn’t go to time out anymore. Goals! )

3. Science Center: What Does That Emotion Look Like? ( Since the kids, and I, had so much fun with this Science Center activity on Monday, we decided to keep it up and have another day to explore in it. )

2. 10s Frame Apple Tree Sheets ( We pulled out our Apple Tree 10s Frame again today. The kids enjoy this game and they work really well together in solving each page. This is a quick way for us to work on number sequence, recognition, and see representations of the these numbers. When building strong math skills, it is incredibly important to have kids be constantly exposed to these elements and given opportunities to refine and improve their abilities.

We try to incorporate at least one math game or activity each day in our centers time. The kids enjoy the games that we have been playing, but they love creating their own games as well. Quite often Jack and Lyanna will find something around the room and practice counting those items together. It makes me so happy to see them looking for opportunities themselves, but it also makes for a wonderful example of how education CAN be perceived! )

3. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( These are our journal entries for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Apple Stamping ( We ended our day today with a fun Apple Stamping paint project. Like most kids, these two LOVE painting, so we put together this activity to give them another fun way to end our day together! )

Since we had all the supplies out, we did a little prep work for our End of the Day project for Friday too! Without giving the surprise away just yet, we need a few colorful paper plates for our project and we wanted to make sure that we were going to be giving them enough time to dry. Scroll down to Friday to see what these beautiful plates will turn in to!

 

Letter Of The Day: Ww
Shape Of The Week: Oval
Storytime: ” The Way I Feel ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Walter Walrus Says …

3.Writing The Letter Ww on Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Ww Brainstorming Chart

5. Read The Room

6. Daily ASL

Concept Activity:

Tricky Emotions Discussion with Chart Part 2 ( We continued, and finished, our discussion about “Tricky Feelings” this morning. The last emotion we wanted to talk about was ” scared “. Once again, Lyanna and Jack had some great tips to help you if you are feeling scared!

This Concept Activity has really been cool for me to experience, both as a mom and an educator. Too often we adults forget that these little cuties are humans, filled with their own level of knowledge, humor, and experiences. Activities like these allow us a chance to hear what is going on in their little heads, hear back the information they have heard before, and to see how they interpret what we are asking. I absolutely love asking kids questions and having conversations with them as I would an adult. Not only are activities like these great for understanding the thought process of a child, but it’s a great chance for them to also build their social skills in reference to how a conversation and discussions work. It can also help them feel heard and that their opinion and words matter. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter W Worksheet

2. Emotional Shapes

3. Sensory Bin: Free Choice ( The kids were given a free choice today in what type of sensory bin they wanted to play in. A sand bin ALWAYS wins with these two! Unless the other option is a water bin, Lyanna and Jack could play in these sand box every day, all day! )

4. Free Exploration ( We were busy today roaming around our options and playing a little at each! )

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Writing Center ( The kids seem to really enjoy this center so far! It could also just be that it’s still new, but it’s still cool to watch them get excited about ” writing their books “. We worked on this writing prompt today: ” When you feel sad, what makes you feel better? “. Their answers are hilarious, cookies and chicken nuggets, but 100% honest 🙂 . )

3. Match It! Numbers Edition ( Jack and Lyanna have been begging me to play this game again, so we managed to squeeze in a few rounds today, just for them!

The love matching up the cards, but with this edition, the third card is the number name written out. This element is a bit tricky for them, as they aren’t readers just yet, but it did give me a chance to show them how they will soon be sounding out words. Together, we went over each card and used our knowledge of letter sounds to figure out what each card said. Of course after the cards were all in place, they just HAD to take turns with the pointer and leading the counting 🙂 ! )

4. Capital and Lowercase Matching Cards ( We found these alphabet clip cards over the summer and have been patiently waiting to use them. You can find these free cards here from 1+1+1=1. We printed them out, laminated them, and put them on a ring!

Jack and Lyanna split up the pile of cards and worked hard to find the lowercase letter on each. This was a great way for us to review both versions of our letters, but it was also great exercise for our little fingers. The squeezing of the clothespins was a fun way to strengthen our hand muscles, while also working hard to complete each card! )

5. Free Exploration ( Again, finding another reason to need and use the pointer! )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are our journal entries for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Mini Thumbprint Feelings Books ( I saw the idea months ago on Pinterest and thought it was the cutest project for kids, but it was also an adorable keepsake for parents! Using the kids thumbprints, we created different characters that would help us show a different emotion. The kids decided which emotion each of their thumbprints would have. )

These little emotions books turned out so cute! If you like this thumbprint themed project, there are a ton of different project ideas like this out there. Here is a link to over 200 different thumbprint project ideas from a quick Pinterest search. They range from Christmas lights and acorns, to dandelions and animals!

Letter Of The Day: Xx
Shape Of The Week: Oval
Storytime: ” The Feelings Book ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Fix It Max Says …

3. Writing The Letter Xx on Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Xx Brainstorming Chart ( Since the letter X is a bit limited in the words it starts, a few of our examples were where the letter X features in other parts of a word. As you may notice, our letter X sheet also features the letter Y, which we will cover on Monday. )

5. Read The Room

6. Daily ASL ( We practiced, for one last time, these four signs. We’ve been working hard to try and use these signs throughout our days together, as well as the other 4 signs we learned last week. We can’t wait to see what we’ll learn next week. )

Concept Activity:

Emotions Video and Discussion ( For our Concept Activity today, we watched a 5 minute video from Sesame Street. We helped identify different emotions with Murray! I rarely let the kids watch videos or shows during the day, so needless to say, they were THRILLED ! We aren’t against TV or anything, we just try and save that stuff for the end of our day.

After the video, we played our own version of ” Name That Emotion “. These two are incredibly silly in the mornings when they first get together! )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter X Worksheet and Free Draw

  

2. Sensory Bin: Water Play ( Today is the first day of fall, so we are trying to get in as many times as we can in our water sensory bin while the weather is still working with us. Water sensory bins are just perfect for the warmer months as it gives kids something to play in that helps get and keep them cool, but they are also very versatile for having various themes and serving different purposes. During the colder months, we have to use other types of bins and set ups. )

3. Free Exploration

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Writing Center ( For our Writing Center activity today, the kids completed their last page of their Feelings and Emotions book, ” I like to feel … ” .

Once this last page was completed, we gathered all of our other pages for our books that we have been working on throughout the week. The kids helped put their pages in order and we stapled everything together. )

Doodle Bugs ( Here is a picture of the creations Jack and Lyanna made today in their mini Doodle Bugs books. I think it’s fairly obvious what they both had on their minds 🙂 . )

3. Emotions Memory Matching Game

4. Links with Number Cards 10 – 15 ( We built on one of our favorite math games and upped the number cards to 15! The kids worked on creating links to match with their number cards 10 to 15. We practiced counting from 1 to 15, but we also tried our hand at counting 10 and on.

Lyanna and Jack worked very hard, but they still had fun building their link chains together. )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are our last journal entries for this week. We used this day to review and practice all of our letters from the rest of the week. The kids also got a chance to free draw and be creative! )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Emotions Masks ( To wrap up our Feelings and Emotions week, we made these super simple masks to play with. We first painted our paper plates on Wednesday, so we could be sure that they were all dry and ready to go for this project time today.

For today, all we needed to do what cut our plates in half and draw our mouths. Before drawing on our faces, the kids first decided which 2 emotions they wanted their masks to show.

This simple project was quick and easy for us to create, but Jack and Lyanna thought they were the best and funniest project so far ! )

Our Feelings and Emotions week is now over and we are a bit sad! This was such a fun week with the kids and most of our time was spent being silly and playing around. Out of all the activities and projects we did throughout our week, my favorite was our Science Center. The emotions prompt cards and mirror was the simplest Science Center I could out together, but the kids, and myself, had so much fun revisiting this center. We continued our hard work this week with learning how to form our letters, learn new sounds and signs, and continue building our math skills up to the number 20! Next week we will start a new unit all about Community Helpers. This new unit will last for 2 full weeks as there is SO much to learn about the people that help our community! See you back next week 🙂

Brittany XOXO

Check out our next week in our Tot Preschool Program ” Week 6: Community Helpers ( Part 1 )  “.

 


Tot Preschool Week 6: Community Helpers ( PT 1 )

Week 6 of our Tot Preschool program has been all about community helpers! Our first day this week was spent learning about what a community helper is, how they contribute to and help the community they live in. For the rest of the week, each day was dedicated to learning about one type of community helper. The community helper theme will actually be spread throughout this week AND next week of our program! This week, we learned all about police officers, firefighters, postal workers, and dentists. We also continued to build and refine our math skills, enjoyed dramatic play set-ups, wrapped up our single letter units with Y and Z, and engaged in new and challenging activities! Here is the day by day layout of our Week 6 Community Helpers Part 1:




Letter Of The Day: Yy
Shape Of The Week: Diamond
Storytime: ” Richard Scary’s What Do People Do All Day ? ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Yellow Yo-Yo Man Says …

3. Writing The Letter Yy on Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Yy Brainstorming Chart

5. Read The Room ( We are continuing this activity in the mornings. During this time, the kids hunt for the letter of the day in our classroom. Since we are almost through the alphabet, the kids have also been working hard finding the other letters we’ve been learning about. )

6. Daily ASL ( We started our week with these two new signs. After we introduce new signs, we are sure to devote a small amount of time to reviewing the past signs that we have learned. Throughout our day, we incorporate these signs into our conversations as using new knowledge is the best way to remember it. Today we learned ” Come ” and ” Share “. )

Concept Activity:

” What Is A Community Helper ? ” Pocket Chart Activity and Discussion ( This week we begin our 2 week Community Helpers unit. Today we introduced this new theme and discussed what a community help is, what they do, and talked about all of the examples of these helpers. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter Y Worksheet

2. Community Helpers Color and Match Sheet ( During our outside time, the kids and I worked together to color, cut, and match our community helpers for this worksheet.

I’m not a huge fan of cut and paste worksheets as they can often be misused as busy work. However, I do feel that they can be used in a beneficial way, if you are using them sparingly and with hands on guidance and discussion. Here is the link you can use to find the free worksheet that we completed =  printable 🙂 ! )

3. Sensory Bin: Free Choice

4. Free Exploration

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Writing Center: Doodle Bugs ( Jack and Lyanna used their Doodle books to draw pictures about their favorite thing they learned today. )

3. Shape Graphing With Shape Blocks ( We took it easy this Monday by slowly getting back into our math centers. Using our shape blocks and our shape graph sheets, the kids and I worked together to count and graph our shapes.

After we graphed our shapes, the kids took turns writing each shape’s total count. They were both so proud of themselves that they could write their numbers all on their own! This was a great chance for me to point out to them that all the practicing we do with writing our letters and numbers is WHY we can write so wonderfully ! )

4. Alphabet Soup ( We pulled out our Alphabet Soup cans today to give us an opportunity to work on our letter sounds. Their is a soup can designated for each letter of the alphabet. In each soup can there are about 4 to 6 cards with labeled pictures that start with the featured letter of the soup can.

We usually work with 4 cans, or letters, at a time and dump everything out into one pile. The kids then go through the pile and place each card back where it belongs. It’s a quick activity, but it provides the kids with a chance to practice their letter sounds and try to “read” the cards. )

5. City Blocks with Community Helpers Blocks

6. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journals ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Free Choice ( When we have free choice for our craft time, the kids are given a chance to select items from our art supplies to explore with. It can be ANY of our supplies. From paint to glitter, Popsicle sticks to yarn, the kids are free to choice whatever they wish to be creative with!

The kids decided that they wanted to play with our new stamps and colorful stamp pads. We recently bought these alphabet stamps from the craft section at Walmart. We’ve been having a hard time finding reasonably priced stamps for the kids. We got these for under $5! I fully expect the kids to get the stamps messy while exploring and creating with them, so we didn’t want to invest too much into this craft item.  Lyanna and Jack both loved being able to create whatever they chose and being free of guidelines or outcomes! )

Letter Of The Day: Zz
Shape Of The Week: Diamond
Storytime: ” Police Officers ” ( Read this book online from Scholastic )

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Zig-Zag Zebra Says …

3. Writing The Letter Zz on Dry Erase Boards

4. What Starts With Zz Brainstorming Chart

5. Read The Room

6. Daily ASL ( Rather than introducing another set of new signs, today we paused and spent this time reviewing the 10 signs that we have previously learned. We went over each sign to make sure that we were placing our fingers and hands in the correct placements. The point of learning ASL is to give the children this skill, but to also be strengthening our memory AND hand muscles. We need to be sure that we are making the signs appropriately. )

Concept Activity:

1. Police Officer Discussion with Pocket Chart Sentences ( Since today will be spent learning all about police officers, we thought it would be fun for us to engage in a mini reading lesson with the kids. While they can’t necessarily “read” these sentences yet, it’s the process that really matters here. They are seeing that each individual word produces different sounds, practicing their letter sounds by looking at the letter at the beginning of a word, reading left to right, and learning that a sentence ends with a punctuation mark. An activity like this allows children to be learning about print concepts, but to also begin training their brains for future reading. We read all four sentences together a few times, while taking turns at holding the pointer. )

2. Badge Ceremony ( Look at those serious faces! Jack and Lyanna colored their  badges while we talked about what they knew about police officers. HERE is where we found our free badge printables. Once these two were done decorating their badges, I laminated them and glue them to clothespins. The kids got to have their badges AND a whistle for the day! )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter Z Worksheet

2. Red Light, Green Light ( We learned a new game during our outside time today! Since our day was all about police officers, I thought it would be fun to teach the kids how to play ” Red Light, Green Light ” since there are times where our officers have to do just that!

It was a bit challenging at first to hear stop and ACTUALLY STOP, or to hear stop and not run back to the starting line. Eventually we got it and the kids enjoyed playing this game over and over, all while blowing their whistles. My neighbors hate me 🙂

4. Free Exploration

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Writing Center: Doodle Bugs ( The kids are still super excited each day to take a few minutes to doodle in their Doodle Bug books! I believe they are still excited about this part of their day because it’s very unstructured. They are allowed to visit this center whenever they wish during our centers time, they get to draw and creative whatever they wish, and then they get to tell me the story behind their picture. )

3. City Blocks with Community Helpers

4. Roll It, Write It ( We introduced a new game today during centers: Roll It, Write It. For this game, the kids take turns rolling dice, identifying the number, and writing this number in three different ways. While the kids have been working with counting past 10, it’s still important for us to focus on numbers 1 – 10 and explore in this number range.

Since we will soon be using a set of dice for this game, the kids will get a change to begin adding numbers together! For now, we are just using one of the dice from our set. I thought it would be best to slowly ease Lyanna and Jack into just the basics of this game… for now! 🙂 )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journals ( Here are our journal entries for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Police Cars ( We ended our day with a super simple project. Using paper plates, blue crayons, tape, and construction paper, we created these cute police cars! First, the kids colored their paper plates with their blue crayons and then I cut them into the shape of cars.

Next, the kids used tape to attach their two wheels, flashing red light, bright star, and window. Before we sat down to put together this project, I went ahead and cut out all of these pieces. Since the kids are still working on their scissor skills and these pieces are on the smaller side, I cut out and gathered these pieces to help the creative process along and cut down on time. Jack and Lyanna seem pretty thrilled with their hard work! )

Letter Of The Day: Aa to Ee
Shape Of The Week: Diamond
Storytime: ” Firefighter ” ( Read this book online from Scholastic )

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Letterland Review: Annie Apple to Eddy Elephant ( As of yesterday, the kids have been introduced to all of the beginning Letterland characters. There are more to learn, like The Vowel Men, but we will be holding off on those for a while. Rather than just stopping the use of this program, we will slowly be learning a little more each day about the characters we have come to know and reviewing their sounds. Today, we started our review with Annie Apple, Bouncing Ben, Clever Cat, Dippy Duck, and Eddy Elephant. We review what sounds these letters make and we try to think of a word that begins with each sound. Practice makes perfect and phonetics is no different!  )

3. Writing The Letters A-E on Dry Erase Boards ( In order to make sure my little antsy friends don’t get bored with our daily routine and learning time, I thought it would be important to change up how we are practicing our writing our letters. We are no longer just working on one letter at a time, so we are challenging ourselves and practicing all 5 of our letters at once!

First, I write a given letter and the kids “talk me through” that process. THEY tell ME how to create letter. Next, the kids take turns in writing the letter themselves. The kids really enjoyed this writing process as they get to use the dry erase markers more, but this way they also get to use my colorful markers AND the large dry erase board. It’s the little things 🙂 ! )

4. Number Work ( We are taking a few minutes from our morning time to work with our numbers. We are currently working on counting past 20, but we are also working on number recognition as well. )

5. Read The Room ( Now that we have covered each letter of the alphabet, our Read The Room time will now be spent finding at least 3 different letters each day. Combined with our Write The Room time during centers later in the day, the kids are CONSTANTLY telling me when letters they see, what sound that letter makes, and practicing this letter formation in the air. It is really very cool to see them so excited about learning! )

6. Daily ASL ( Today we learned the signs for ” Go ” and ” Dance “. We also spent a few minutes reviewing our other signs. )

Concept Activity:

1. Firefighter Discussion With Pocket Chart Sentences ( Much like our Police Officer pocket chart activity from yesterday, Lyanna and Jack engaged in another reading activity. Our chart for today was about Firefighters. The kids practiced “reading” their sentences by pointing to each word, one at a time, practicing reading from left to right, and stopping when they came to the end of each sentence. )

2. Fire Safety Video For Kids ( We are learning all about what a firefighter does for us and our community, so it was the perfect opportunity for us to talk about fire safety. We watched this video about fire safety and then followed it with a discussion about what we had learned, which you can see below. )

3. Fire Safety Discussion ( We took some time to talk about what the kids saw in their fire safety video. I wanted to touch on a few things that they can most certainly remember and do in the event of an emergency. Below is a picture of our notes from this discussion. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter Matching Sheet ( Since we are no longer working with single letters, I thought it would be helpful to continue focusing on letters during this time, but in a different manner. I made these super simple letter matching sheets for each of the kids. Jack and Lyanna simply have to match the capital versions off letters to the lowercase versions. )

2. 911 Torn Paper Craft  ( For our craft project this morning, the kids and I worked on the 911 sheets. I wanted a project that would help them remember the number they need to call in the event of any type of emergency. For this project we used red and yellow tissue paper, Elmer’s glue, and sheet of paper with a simple 911 outline. )

3. Sensory Bin: Free Choice ( As usual, they chose the sandbox. If I don’t close it down, it is the FIRST thing they run to! )

4. Free Exploration

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Writing Center: Doodle Bugs

3. Firefighter Pom Pom Counting Game with Dice ( For our math center today, we enjoyed this “fire themed” pom pom game. I made our fire mat using construction paper and glue, then I laminated it to preserve it for future use.

For this activity, you will need a fire mat like this one, small red pom poms, and a set of dice. The kids took turns in rolling the dice and placing their pom poms, while the other person would help with counting and making sure that the right number of pom poms were present.

I try to make sure that the kids have to take turns with supplies for our activities like this. I want them to work on sharing, but I also do this to make sure that they are still paying attention even when it’s not their turn. )

4. Write The Room ( Today we introduced ” Write The Room ” . Much like our Read The Room activity in the mornings, the kids search around for any given letter. For this activity, they are going to then be WRITING this letter…. all on their own!  For this center, the kids will each get some paper, a pencil, and a clipboard. They can tour the room and “write” any words, letters, or numbers they come across. This is another great opportunity to expose children to text, but to also get them practicing those writing skills and exploring their environment !

Like many of our new activities, the kids loved it and were very excited to get started. Jack and Lyanna really love to use their clipboards, so I knew I could get them excited just with that aspect. At first there were some tears about having to write their letters all on their own and I heard plenty of ” I can’t “, but once they tried it, they were hooked ! After they are done searching and writing, I sit down with them and ask what they found.  I then use a red marker to show them the correct formation of their letters and we compare the two. )

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journal ( Here are the entries we made for today. The kids each practiced writing their names, as well as their friends name. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Firefighter Paper Plate Hats  ( These hats are super cheesy, but they look so adorable! First, we used our red crayons to completely cover our paper plates. Next, I used a pair of scissors to cut out the center of the plates. Be sure not to completely cut of the center as there needs to be a small portion still attached to create the front piece.

After our “hats” were good to go, we attached a yellow “Fire Department” plaque to the front. I love seeing those smiles! )

Letter Of The Day: Ff to Jj
Shape Of The Week: Diamond
Storytime: ” Delivering Your Mail ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Letterland Review: Firefighter Fred to Jumping Jim ( We continued our review and phonetics practice with our Letterland characters today. We worked with Firefighter Fred, Golden Girl, Harry Hat Man, Impy Ink, and Jumping Jim! )

3. Writing The Letters F-J on Dry Erase Boards

4. Number Work ( We worked hard this morning counting our way to 50! )

5. Read The Room

6. Daily ASL

Concept Activity:

1. Postman Video For Kids ( We are learning all about postal workers today! We opened with a short video about HOW the mail actually works and what role our mailman plays in that process. )

2. Letter Writing ( Once we learned all about how the mail works and what our mailman does for us and our community, we sat down and began to write our own letters! First, we decided who we wanted to write to and then we began our letters.

The kids were very interested in the letter writing process and were getting excited about what our NEXT steps were going to be. They signed their names at the bottom of their pages and were ready to mail out there letters!

The kids folded and placed their letters into a envelope and then we went over how to address their letters. We quickly talked about addresses and all that, but the best part for Jack and Lyanna was the stamps!

We talked about WHY we needed these items on our envelopes. We talked about how the postal workers need to know where they need to take our letters to and if something happened, they would need to know where to send it back to. Still, there focus was all on that stamp and then placing it in our classroom mailbox! )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter Matching Sheet

2. Sandwriting A-Z ( We continued working on our letter formation today during our outside time. One of our activities was Sand Writing! The kids love playing in the sand, so I thought this would be a fun change up for us.

Using our letter flashcards, sand, and a cookie sheet, the kids work on their letter formation by simply using their fingers. Jack and Lyanna took turns on working with each of the letters. The best part was hearing them talk to each other by what they were doing and the encouraging words they exchanged. ” That’s good, Lyanna! ” and ” Wow! You did that! “. )

3. Free Exploration

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

3. Writing The Room ( Today was our second day working with this center and they were SUPER happy to get to it. I heard about it all day! ” When are we going to practice our letters? “, ” Can we use our clipboards now”, ” Look, I found a B! Can I write it? “. I love their excitement for our activities !

I feel like both of the kids are much more confident in their abilities today. When I’m walking around with them, I don’t hear the panic I did yesterday. I hear the kids saying the letters and talking themselves through their formation of that letter. )

4. City Blocks with Community Helpers

5. Free Exploration ( We just HAD to pull out our community helpers floor puzzle this week! )

6. Missing Numbers ( The kids love writing on the dry erase boards and we need to keep working with our numbers in various ways. So this activity seemed perfect for these two!

After drawing several number lines with missing numbers, the kids took turns in completing each number line. This activity helps the kids work on number recognition and sequencing. It also gives them a fun way to work on these two concepts! )

Letter and Number Work:

Journals ( These are the entries we made in our journals today.)

Free Play / Craft Time:

Free Exploration / Letter Writing ( To end our day all about postal workers, we worked took our craft time to write more letters. Originally, I had other plans for our craft time. Since Lyanna and Jack wanted to engage in more letter writing, I took advantage of this situation! This activity is a great way to keep with our theme, while giving them a chance to create, practice their writing, and learn what a postal worker does. )

Letter Of The Day: Kk – Oo
Shape Of The Week: Diamond
Storytime: ” Brush Your Teeth Please ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Letterland Review : Kicking King to Oscar Orange ( We continued our review and phonetics practice with our Letterland characters today. We worked with Kicking King, Lucy Lamplight, Munching Mike, Noisy Nick, and Oscar Orange! )

3. Writing The Letters K-O on Dry Erase Boards

4. Read The Room

5. Daily ASL ( We ended our week of ASL time with reviewing ALL 12 of our signs! Jack and Lyanna are doing so well with these and we are all so proud of each other. )

Concept Activity:

1. Going To The Dentist Video ( Our Friday is all about dentists and what they do for the people in their communities! We began our dentist discussion by watching a short video of a little boy’s first trip to the dentist. We learned what a dentist does during this visit and what you, the patient, can expect. From the video, we also heard some VERY helpful advice and information from the dentist in the video. Both Jack and Lyanna seemed very positive and excited about going to visit the dentist themselves ! )

2. Taking Care Of Our Teeth Discussion With Anchor Chart ( After we finish our video, we created this chart about the different ways we can keep our teeth healthy. Below are the tips the dentist gave us 🙂 . )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter Matching Sheet

2. Sensory Bin: Brushing Fossils ( As you may know, Lyanna and Jack are HUGE fans of the sensory bins when one of them has been turned into a sandbox. Given this love and the fact that we’re learning about dentists and dental care today, I thought they would love this activity.

For this sensory bin activity, we buried our fossil figurines in our sand and gathering all of our brushes and toothbrushes. Once the kids dug up their fossils, they used their toothbrushes to brush those chompers! We had a refresher discussion about WHY we need to brush our teeth and how important it is to keep our teeth healthy and happy. )

 

3. Free Exploration ( Today is Friday and on Fridays, I really to give the kids a break and let them freely explore all of our supplies and toys. They always have time to explore, but I try to give them the most time on Fridays. The weather was perfect today, so we had a nice long and beautiful outside time! )

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Word Wall ( Throughout our weeks together, we collect special words related to our theme. We put these words on Post It notes and collect them on a door in our classroom. At the end of the week, we take all of these Post It notes down and add these words to our official Word Wall. Here is a look at our Word Wall. )

3. Writing The Room ( Look at these two cuties and how proud they are of all their hard work! )

4. Marshmallow Teeth Counting Game ( For this fun math game, all you need is a bag, or two, or small marshmallows, a set of dice, and a piece of pink construction paper turned into a mouth!

The kids had their own cup of marshmallows, for germy reasons, and they used this cup to add “teeth” to the game piece mouth. Each child rolled the dice to see how many teeth they got to add to the mouth. The object of the game is to see who can fill up the mouth with the “teeth” first. Once we were done, the kids really wanted to eat the marshmallows, but since we were playing with them, we decided to toss those and get a cup of new ones to snack on :). It is Friday after all! )

5. Community Helpers Pocket Chart Sentences ( We started our week using this pocket chart and the kids have decided to keep playing with it. Jack and Lyanna hold the helpers cards, while I read the job description sentences. After I read a sentence, they look through the cards to see what helper does that job.

Once all of the pieces were in place, the kids had to take turns with the pointer! )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journals ( Here are our final journal entries we made for this week. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Brush That Tooth! ( To culminate our day all about dentists, we ending it with a super fun painting activity. Using white paint, glitter, a toothbrush, and a tooth outline, we created these beautiful and sparkling teeth! The kids use their toothbrushes to brush their teeth with their “toothpaste “. This simple painting project was a create way to end our day and discussion about dental care. The kids got to creative a beautiful painting, while also getting a bit more practice with their brushing! )

This week we learned a lot about helpers in our communities and how important their jobs are to keeping us healthy, safe, and informed! We also continued our work with letters and numbers. The kids have grown so much as writers in the past 6 weeks. It’s impossible to not be proud of how fair they’ve come. We’re continuing to work hard on our letter formation, but our skills and abilities are there! Next week we continue into Week 2 of Community Helpers. Click here to check out what Week 2 looks like!

Brittany XoXo

 

Tot Preschool Week 7: Community Helpers ( PT 2 )

Week 7 of our Tot Preschool program has continued with our Community Helpers theme and discussion. We have spent our week learning all about what doctors, chefs, construction workers, and farmers do to serve the communities they live in. This week, we have also continued our exploration of the entire alphabet, as well as build and refine our math skills, work on our journals, explore various dramatic play set-ups, and get hands on in the kitchen! Here are the activities, projects, and learning experiences we’ve engaged in this week:




We are back and ready to learn more about community helpers this week! Today we will be learning all about doctors and what they do to help in their communities. I planned this week perfectly as our daughter, Lyanna, goes to see the doctor tomorrow morning. As I have mentioned before, we are expecting baby #2 in November. We are all preparing for this newest arrival by visiting our doctor and getting our flu shots! We’ve been talking it up for a while now and Lyanna seems like shes okay with the idea, but tomorrow morning will be the true test. Hopefully our discussions today will help calm her nerves and get her feeling prepared and ready for tomorrow’s visit!

Letter Of The Day: Pp – Tt
Shape Of The Week: Star
Storytime: ” Pediatricians ” ( Read this book online from Scholastic )

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Writing The Letters Pp to Tt on the Dry Erase Board ( We got right to work this morning and, as you can see, wasted no time in showing how amazing our letter formation has become!

 

Jack and Lyanna both took their time and wrote the letters of the day. They also continued to be excited about getting to use the big kid dry erase markers and board! The best part of my morning was getting to hear the encouraging words each of them had for one another 🙂 . )

3. Read The Room ( The kids were asked to find any of the 5 letters of the day around our classroom. They each found all 5 letters and then began pointing out all of the other letters they were noticing. AGAIN, they asked for their clipboards and pencils to ” Write The Room ” ! )

4. Daily ASL ( We started our ASL for this week learning “Listen” and “Jump”. These two signs are pretty easy and the kids picked them up very quickly. After introducing and practicing these new signs, we took some time to practice the other signs that we have been working on. )

Concept Activity:

1. ” What Does A Doctor Do? ” Video ( We continue learning about community helpers this week and we start by focusing on doctors today. We quickly reviewed what we talked and learned about last week and then moved into these two videos. )

2. Bernstain Bears ” Go To The Doctor “ ( We had a little treat this morning and got to watch TWO videos! The first was rather short and pretty straight to the point, so I thought the kid would enjoy a nice 10 minute cartoon. This Bernstain Bears episode shows the two cubs taking a trip to their doctor for a check up. This video was perfect for explaining what a doctor does and addressing the fears that most children have about going to the doctor. We’ll be engaging in a dramatic play set up later today, so this video sets the stage and gives the kids ideas for what they can do later in this set up. )

3. ” What Does A Doctor Do” Discussion with Notes ( After our little video treat, we took some time to talk about what we know and what learned from the videos about doctors. The kids shared what they learned and saw in the videos, but they also shared what they remembered from their own visits. I heard some crazy stuff, as I am talking to silly 3 year olds, but I tried to pull some truth from it! 🙂

After our discussion, the kids drew a picture of what they think doctors do. Once they were finished with their drawings, I asked them what they drew and recorded their answers on their sheets. I love doing activities like this because it gets the kids to be creative, but with a goal and subject in mind. I also love to record their answers and thoughts because it’s interesting to look back and see what they were thinking when they created their works of art! )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Writing Practice Sheet ( The first thing we do every morning when we step out in to our outdoor classroom is complete a writing practice sheet like the one below. We get to be outside in the nice fresh air and the kids take a moment to focus on writing their letters of the day, their name, and a set of numbers. At first, this activity would take us a while, but now the kids breeze through it and then they are off doing whatever project we have planned.

I’ve said plenty of times before that I am not a fan of worksheets, but I do feel that there has to be some kind of formal handwriting practice for kids. When I was in a classroom, too often did I see children that didn’t know how to correctly write their letters or keep them at a consistent size. For many public schools, as long as they CAN write, it’ll do. I don’t agree with that, so we take small amounts of time each day for some quick handwriting practice, such as the sheet above. The kids don’t mind it and actually look forward to each activity we do together. I refuse to give them worksheets and have them be on their way. This way, we work together, talk about what we are doing, correct anything that needs to be corrected, and move on. This writing time also allows me to see any trouble areas they are having or when we can move on from a particular focus. )

2. Missing Letter Practice Sheet ( I wrote out these simple sheets for the kids this morning. I’ve been trying to give them more opportunities to write their letters on their own, with no guiding lines. For this worksheet, the kids identified the missing version of each letter and did their best to write that letter on the line. Each activity like this makes me see just how far we’ve come in our handwriting abilities. I am so proud of them and they are just as proud of themselves! )

3. Doctor’s Badges ( This afternoon the kids have one center to enjoy: The Doctor’s Office. I’ll be setting up everything for them in our classroom. They will have several patients to take care of, wellness checks to perform, shots to give, and temperatures to take. To make the experience even better, I printed these badges for the kids to wear during this time. While we were outside, I had the kids draw themselves in the picture block on their badges. During nap time today, the badges will be laminated and put together on a lanyard of sorts for them to wear ! I’m very excited to see how this goes 🙂 . )

4. Free Exploration ( During our Free Exploration time today, the kids played with our letter magnets and formed their names. They also found different letters and practiced their phonetic sounds. Love it! )

Center Explorations:

Doctor’s Office Dramatic Play Set-Up ( For our centers today, we devoted our entire time to a dramatic play set up all about going to see the doctor! We turned our classroom into a doctor’s office AND used our table and chairs to make an ambulance for us to transport our patients!

I found all of these FREE printables from The Kids Activities blog. I laminated the doctor exam sheets, eye exam chart, and prescription sheets so that we could keep using them for future play.  Here is the link to these sheets for yourself.

Lyanna and Jack had SO MUCH FUN ! They each took turns being the doctor and taking care of their patients, while the other would pretend to be the ambulance driver. We will definitely be playing with this set up again soon! )

UPDATE: I have been asked to set this doctor’s office up EVERY SINGLE DAY since then ! Dramatic play is an activity that benefits children in many ways. These set ups can help a child explore and grow their imaginations, provide an opportunity to see how the real world operates, find confidence in themselves, grow their social skills, and get hands on learning experience. Here is a article all about the benefits of dramatic play 🙂 .

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

X-Rays ( We finished our day with this super simple craft project. If you want to do a project with your kids, but have a very limited window of time, you might want to check out this one! We made x-rays of our arms using a piece of black construction paper, a white crayon, Elmer’s glue, and cotton swabs.

First, the kids laid their arms and hands flat on the piece of construction paper and I traced them using the white crayon. Next, we draw where are bones need to be using the Elmer’s glue. The kids completed their x-rays by placing their bones ( cotton swabs ) in place. All done! All together, this project took us about 15 minutes to do, from start to finish. )

Letter Of The Day: Uu – Zz
Shape Of The Week: Star
Storytime: ” Pizza Maker ” ( Read this book online from Scholastic )

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Writing The Letters Uu – Zz on the Dry Erase Board

3. Read The Room

4. Daily ASL ( Review Day )

Concept Activity:

” What Does A Chef / Baker Do ? ” Discussion With Pocket Chart Sentences ( Our Tuesday is all about Chefs and Bakers and what these community helpers do for the people around them. We learned that these helpers prepare food and various treats for people that come to eat at restaurants, but they also work with and buy food from local farmers.

We used our pocket chart to display these sentences about the tools a baker, and a chef, use to help them prepare food and treats. We took turns “reading” these sentences, one word at a time, and using our pointer. Last week we used this same set up to read about firefighters and police officers. This activity helps children begin to understand the basics of reading and it is NEVER to early to start that! I have seen these habits and skills transfer over into the kid’s free reading times. The kids will be ” reading ” their books and pointing to the words. Even though they are not actually reading the words present on that page, it’s still an important and useful habit to have. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Missing Letter Practice Sheet ( We’ve been trying to engage the kids in activities and writing opportunities where they are having to write all on their own, with no guiding lines. These worksheets that I have been writing out for them seem to be giving them that opportunity. I worked with each kid, one on one, to help them complete their sheet. Each of them do wonderfully when they can talk with me about how they are forming each letter. For example: ” Start at the top and go down. Then give it a tail. ” )

2. Sensory Bin: Free Choice ( As usual, when the sensory bin is open and ready for the kids to use, they ALWAYS choose the sand box! Jack and Lyanna have slowly added different tools and items to the bin. We have fossils, brushes, measuring cups, construction trucks, and more! I actually like that they have created this little center for themselves. It’s what they WANT to play with and when they are done playing in this center, they get to decide that on their own. )

3. Free Exploration ( The weather has been beautiful these past few mornings! Now that fall is in the air, it is cool and breezy during our morning outside time. We took advantage of this weather and went for a nice walk around the neighborhood during the last portion of our time outside. )

Center Explorations:

Kitchen Dramatic Play Set-Up ( The kids got another treat today with a center time devoted to a dramatic play set up! While they napped, I gathered all of our kitchen toys and fake foods, our classroom’s table and chairs, and a few items from our kitchen. I spent their rest time turning our living room into a kitchen / dining area!

Snack was a little challenging to get through as Jack and Lyanna just wanted to get right to playing in our awesome set up! The kids LOVED this chef set up, almost as much as they loved our doctor’s office set up from yesterday. They took turns being the chef, but also worked together at times to put together a plate of tasty treats for me and our spoiled teddy bears.

And here we have a picture of the aftermath of our play time ( see below 🙂 ).  Clean up time took us a bit longer today, but it was so worth! The kids really enjoyed our play time and I think these last two days of an academic break has really helped our little brains. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( The kids have been working hard these past few weeks at learning how to spell and write their names, all on their own. During our journal time today, they each had a page where they got to practice their name with guiding lines and then attempt to write it on their own. Here are the pages we completed today in our journals. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Zucchini Muffins ( Since our day has been devoted to learning about chefs and bakers, we just had to get in the kitchen and actually make something for us to taste! We ended our day by making Zucchini Muffins! These muffins are a favorite in our house and we usually make a monthly batch. You can check out the full recipes and steps for our Zucchini Muffins here from one of our previous blog posts.

After we thoroughly washed our hands, we set out to work on making our delicious muffins. Jack and Lyanna took turns adding the different ingredients and mixing. This was a great opportunity for the kids to be hands on the kitchen, to see what a chef does everyday, but to also engage their senses and practice counting. After the kids patiently waited for the muffins to bake AND THEN waited for them to cool down, we shared a muffin as a special treat to end our day! )

 

Letter Of The Day: All Letters Will Be Reviewed Today 
Shape Of The Week: Star
Storytime: ” Construction Zone ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Kid’s Choice: 5 Letters on the Dry Erase Boards ( For the next three days, the kids will have this time for THEM to choose the 5 letters that we review and write. We review the Letterland characters for each of the 5 letters they select and then we continue our dry erase board practice with these letters. This process allows us to still focus on the concepts that we need to, but it also gives the kids a sense of control in their academics. THEY get to pick what we work on. THEY get to choose what characters we talk about. THEY are leading our lesson. )

3. Read The Room ( After we wrote the selected letters for the day, the kids quickly walked around the room on the hunt for these letters. )

4. Daily ASL ( Today we learned the signs for ” Sing ” and ” Roll “, as well as practice our other signs. Jack and Lyanna have amazing memories when it comes to our ASL work. They have been working hard to remember the signs, but to also remember the CORRECT way to sign each command and phrase. )

Concept Activity:

1. ” What Does A Construction Worker Do and Why Is Their Job So Important ? ” Discussion with Chart ( Today will be devoted to learning about construction workers and what they do for their communities. We talked about how these helpers MAKE our communities and we would be very lost without their hard work! )

2. Construction Worker Video

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Missing Letter Practice Sheet

2. Hammer Your Name Playdough Activity ( Jack and Lyanna were huge fans of this activity! All you need is playdough ( which they LOVE ), a play hammer, and some item that you can use as a nail or nails. We rolled out a large amount of playdough and I wrote out their name for them. I made them spell it for me though as we have been working hard on that! Once I was finished writing their names, they used a cotton swab as their nail and hammered a small hole on the lines of their letters. These two love any project or activity we do that involves the playdough, but I think it was the amount of noise they were allowed to make that made this a fun game!

This activity is quite easy to throw together, but it provides numerous benefits for little ones. For starters, it allows them to focus on letter formation and how to spell a word or name, but it also focuses on fine motor skills, grip, and accuracy.)

3. Sensory Bin: Construction Zone ( As I have mentioned several times before, the kids love playing in the sand box. For our construction workers theme today, I thought they would really enjoy playing in a construction site sensory bin activity in the sand box! Using our mini construction trucks and rocks, the kids created a site where they were excavating rocks and burying them in other locations. )

4. Free Exploration

Center Explorations:

1. Large Lego Construction Site: Planning and Building ( We opened our centers time today with a quick introduction and discussion about what blueprints are. We also talked about how construction workers use these layouts to help them plan a construction project. To better aide our activity, I demonstrated to the kids how to create a blueprint and then how to use that print to help me construct my building.

The kids were excited and ready to go! They grabbed their clipboards, pencils, and paper, then set out to get to work!

Getting started was a bit challenging as they have really never been asked to PLAN their building blocks time. We talked through the beginning steps of their castles and then, after a bit, they seemed to really get the idea behind it and began to think and create all on their own! Once our blueprints were complete, the kids set out to create their castles and buildings like they had planned.

When planning this activity, I was really interested to see how it would play out. I wanted to see just how their little brains would react to the task I had given them, what their designs would look like, and how their buildings would turn out. I believe this activity worked so well because of the demonstration I gave in the beginning. I feel that this example was truly helpful to them in understanding what was being asked, but to also see how this “plan” would be used to get the final result. If you’re planning on doing this project with your little ones, I would highly recommend that step! )

2. Puzzles

3. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Truck Tracks Painting Activity ( We ended our day about construction workers with a fun painting project! Since we are big fans of our construction trucks, I thought the kids would truly enjoy using them one more time today. Using our large roll of white paper, kids washable paint, and our construction trucks, we set out to create cool, and textured, truck track paintings!

We started by laying out our large paper and taping it to the table. Then, we selected our paint colors and added little amounts of it to our paper. The kids then selected the truck they wanted to use and set out to drive this truck all through the paint, giving us these amazing paintings! )

Letter Of The Day: All Letters Will Be Reviewed Today
Shape Of The Week: Star
Storytime: ” Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Kid’s Choice: 5 Letters on the Dry Erase Boards

3. Read The Room

4. Daily ASL

Concept Activity:

1. ” What Does A Farmer Do and Why Is Their Job So Important ? ” Discussion with Chart  ( Today we focus on the community helpers that provide an essential element to their communities and communities in other parts of the country: FARMERS! We talked about all of the wonderful things that farmers do for us and provide us.

We created this little chart during our discussion. The answers I get when we have these discussion are hilarious and brutally honest. One thing I was worried about was getting a request for specific information on HOW farmers GIVE us different meats. There is a fine line here that I had to walk because I DID NOT want to explain to these two 3 year olds that we kill animals and eat them. We’re definitely meat eaters in our house, but I didn’t want to have that conversation today with my child, let alone someone else’s child. We just left it at ” farmers give us hamburger meat, chicken for our chicken nuggets, and bacon “. I’m sure there will come a day where that conversation and explanation take place, but it’s not today! )

2. Pocket Chart Sentences ( This is the fourth time we have used these sentence strips during our Community Helpers unit. The kids have become very familiar with the beginning sentence set ups, so even when we change the end to suit our theme, they STILL know what the sentence says. This is exactly how sight words work. Kids see, use, and write the same words over and over again, and before long, they know them.

If you follow us on Instragram ( creativeoutletforlittlehands ), you can enjoy a cute little video of these two reading these sentences together! )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Alphabet Knowledge ( Before we got to our fun outside stuff, I got Lyanna and Jack to sit down with me and complete these sheets. I have been “testing” and “assessing” them every so often to see how we are progressing. The teacher in me can’t help but get a clear answer on whether or not something is working for these kids. As a family that is new to homeschooling, I also want to ensure that what we are doing is working, that WE can do this together, and that we are making the right decisions for our daughter, and our friend Jack as well!

These quick little assessment was just to see if the kids could each identify the missing letters and write them on their own. While we had a few hiccups with a few letters, I am BEYOND proud at the progress BOTH of these two have made. I also have to keep reminding myself that they are 3 years old. Some of these skills and concepts that we work on are often not even taught to children until they get to kindergarten. We have lots of work to do, but we also have lots of time that needs to be filled with learning opportunities, exploring, playing, and fun!

2. Sensory Bin: Fall Harvest ( I managed to create a sensory bin activity that DID NOT involve the sand box today AND the kids didn’t rebel! Since we are now in fall and enjoying SOME of that beautiful, cool weather, I thought we should try and incorporate that into our farmer theme today.

Using hand dyed rice, some plastic farming tools from our dollar store, and a good amount of play food, we put together this interactive and festive sensory bin for the kids. They used their tools to harvest the food, counted how many apples they managed to get, play with the sand, “plant” their food again, and whatever else they could imagine. It was nice to not have sand everywhere today, however it was replaced by rice 🙂 ! )

3. Science Center: Observing, Counting, and Sorting Seeds ( We always seem to have an abundance for seeds for flowers that never get used. Spring comes around and we always end up buying MORE packets of seeds to plant. When I started planning this farmer’s day a while ago, I knew there would be an opportunity to turn that stockpile into a great hands on learning activity for the kids.

For this Science Center activity, we selected 3 different types of seeds from our collection and let the kids freely explore them using their science table tools and trays. The kids selected their different seeds, examined them with our magnifying glasses, sorted them, counted them, made comparisons, and so on.

I love having a science center for the kids to use and activities like this make the set up and supplies so worth it! This set up provides the elements for the kids, but they are free to explore however they choose. They are essentially taking their learning into their own hands, exploring what they wish to, and asking their own questions. )

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Veggie Garden ( Today we had a mini dramatic play set up for the kids to enjoy and play in. We used our felt veggie garden to explore with as we pretended to  be farmers. We planted and harvested veggies and fruit from our garden. This hands on dramatic play activity was made for our daughter, Lyanna, a few years ago. I covered an old diaper box with fabric, made various vegetables and strawberries using felt and stuffing, and made our “dirt” the same way you’d make pillows! I loved created these set up for our little one and she STILL plays with it to this day. For our centers activity today, Lyanna enjoyed being able to play and share this set up with Jack.

If you are interested in created your own felt veggie garden, here is a blog post that gives you step by step instructions. When making our garden, it would have been very helpful to have a little help like this post! )

3. Sorting and Counting 1-10 Food Jars ( This math game seemed perfect for a day like this! We were all about being farmers and crops today, so I knew our food jars would be a perfect fit for our centers time.

Jack and Lyanna worked together to count out the various food items and “package” them in their correct containers for going to the farmers market 🙂 . )

4. Free Exploration ( Left: Our Momma animals were giving piggyback rides to the babies. Right: Jack and Lyanna reading together <3 )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are our journal entries for today. These are actually our last pages in these composition books! Jack and Lyanna were so proud that they completed an entire book work of practice. Tomorrow we will be starting with new, crisp books!  )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Planting A Pattern ( For our End of the Day project for today, I thought it would be fun to be bring back and incorporate a previous theme: PATTERNS! The kids are constantly looking for, finding, and making patterns since our week that was fully dedicated to that theme. For today’s project, we had the kids use some leftover seeds and beans to “plant” and create their own patterns. )

 

Today was a special treat for us all. Nana and Poppy came in town to spend a school day with us! In a few weeks, when we welcome our newest addition, my mother, Nana, will be taking over the school days for me. We are so thankful for her willingness to step up and take care of Lyanna for a few days, but to also keep our preschool program going and take care of Jack as well. In an attempt to ” show her the ropes “, we invited her and Poppy, my father, to come and spend a day with us to see how our schedule goes, what activities we engage in, and how awesome we are :). One thing is for sure, the kids will have TONS of fun when these crazy days arrive!

Letter Of The Day: All Letters Will Be Reviewed Today 
Shape Of The Week: Star
Storytime: Free Choice

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Kid’s Choice: 5 Letters on the Dry Erase Boards

3. Read The Room

4. Daily ASL ( We took this time today as a review session and to show off our skills to Nana. )

Concept Activity:

1. Community Helpers Matching Game ( For our Concept Activity today, we played with this Community Helpers Matching Game. Since today is the last day for this unit, I thought an activity that combined a few different helpers would be a perfect way to end our theme. You can find your own printables here from Fairy Poppins.

The kids took turns with the 4 different mats and found the 6 matching cards for each community helper. We used this time to also talk about the helpers we’ve learned about these past two weeks. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Free Choice Painting and Drawing

2. Sensory Bin: Free Choice ( The kids went back and forth between our farmers harvest sensory bin and the construction site bin. )

3. Free Exploration ( During our free exploration time today, we had LOTS OF FUN! We started this time by going on a walk around the neighborhood, played with the basketball hoop and bubbles, and then enjoyed some time with Poppy and created sidewalk chalk outlines and other creations! )

Center Explorations:

1. Community Helpers Sorting Mats

2. 10s Frame Apple Trees ( The kids, Nana, and I took some time today during centers to focus on our math skills. We pulled out our favorite math game and got right to work.

As usual, the kids worked together on each of these number pages. Jack tackled the tree part of the sheet and added the apples, while Lyanna completed the 10s frames. )

3. Writing The Room ( We wanted to show off our writing skills today, so we showed Nana how we write the room! The kids have really become pros at this activity and they surprise me every time I look over their writings with them. )

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( We started our new journals today with a super simple and fun writing prompt, FREE DRAW! )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Free Choice ( To end our day of fun, we culminated our week with a free choice craft time. The kids decided that they wanted to paint ( of course ), so we set up our painting center for them to get creative in. )

 

Another week of learning and fun in the books! The kids have been working extremely hard these past two weeks learning about the people that make their communities what they are. We have also enjoyed some great dramatic play set ups and rocked our alphabet. We will have an opportunity all next work to work even more on our letter recognition and formation as our theme will be ” Exploring The ABCs “. Join us next week to see what we do in our 8th week together!

Brittany XOXO

Click here to be taken to ” Week 8: Exploring The ABCs

Tot Preschool Week 8: Exploring The ABCs

Week 8 of our Tot Preschool Program has been all about the ABCs! We have spent our week diving deeper into each letter of the alphabet. This week has been packed full of fun and educational games, crafts, and activities. We have been reviewing our letter sounds and formation, focusing on our counting abilities, working on number lines, counting past 10, and creating our own alphabet books! Here is our full day by day breakdown of the activities and projects we engaged in throughout our ” Exploring The ABCs ” week:




Letter Of The Day: Aa – Ee
Shape Of The Week: Pentagon
Storytime: ” Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Annie Apple – Eddy Elephant Letterland Cards With Sounds ( There will be a set of letters designated for review each day this week. Today we start with the letters A through E. For this portion of our Letterland, we will be pulling these 5 letter cards to review, talk about these characters, and what sound they make. )

3. Letter Review with Formation Practice ( Today is all about the letters A through E, so this portion of our Letterland will be all about reviewing and practicing these letters. We started with me and the kids going over HOW to form each of the 5 letters. We then found our letter magnets for each letter and matched them up. The last aspect of this part of our practice was the kids giving me a word for each letter. As I wrote each of their words on our board, the kids spelled out the words! This proved to be another great way to practice letter recognition for letters other than the ones we are focusing on today.

After we were done with the board portion above, the kids used their pencils and clipboards, along with these sheets, to practice our letters of the day. For this practice, we have usually been using our dry erase boards and markers. I thought we would change things up a little bit this week and have the kids practice in a different way. I have always found that a consistent routine is important for children, but there are always ways to change it up a bit so that it doesn’t become boring and repetitive. That’s when you could start to see a lack of interest, behavioral problems, and so on.

On each of their clipboards, the kids had their own sheets of notebook paper to write on. I had already wrote some guiding lines to help them out, like their names and one set of their letters. However, I also left a space for them to try and write these letters for themselves. Based on our results from these sheets, I will be picking out the letters that are giving them the most trouble and focus on those letters in the weeks to come. For example, I know that Xx is a bit of a challenge for us at the moment, but I am sure there are more letters that could use some more attention as well. )

4. Read The Room

5. Daily ASL ( We hopped right into our ASL practice this morning with a mini review and then an introduction to these two new signs, ” Sit ” and ” Stop “. I love that the kids are still excited to see what signs we’ll be learning each week, but I also love seeing them USE these signs in our interactions. Lyanna has been using ” excuse me ” any chance she can get ! )

Concept Activity:

Alphabet Soup A-E ( We will be using our Alphabet Soup set each day this week to review our featured letters of the day. For today, we pulled out our A through E cans and dumped all their cards into a pile. We went through this pile together and matched each card back to it’s origin soup can.

I love this activity because it helps the kids with letter recognition, but it also exposes them to text. We are in the early stages of learning how to read, so I love that the cards have words on the back for the kids to attempt to sound out and read on their own. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Aa – Ee Letter Sheets ( During our Art Center time today we colored these ABC sheets for letters A through E and talked about the pictures on each sheet. We will be using pieces of the sheets to complete our ABC books throughout the week. Originally, these letter sheets are actually meant to be folded up and turned into letter books, but we altered how we were going to use them. HERE You can print them off one at a time, for each specific letter AND they are FREE 🙂 . )

2. Sensory Bin: Letter Hunt With Magnetic Letters ( Our sensory bin set up for today, and the rest of the week, is a favorite for the kids. Mixed in with a few different types of colored pasta, are our letter magnets. The kids shuffle and sift through the pasta and magnets to find our letters of the day and place them on our magnetic boards. Today, the kids seemed to REALLY enjoy racing each other to the board 🙂 . )

3. Free Exploration ( Today is a rainy day, so we are limited in what we can do for our ” outside time “. The kids stood at the edge of the door and collected rain in their hands for a bit, but soon moved to running in and out of the door to get a little wet! We also used some of our time playing in the sandbox and coloring on our chalkboard. )

Center Explorations:

1. Capital and Lowercase Matching Cards With Clips ( This week is all about exploring the ABCs, so one of our centers for today is our Capital and Lowercase Matching Card set. On each card, the kids need to find the lowercase version of the large, capital letter. I love this game because it has become a quick review for the kids, but it also helps us work on strengthening our hand muscles.

If you haven’t seen us post about this game before, you can find this free printable here from The Teaching Mama’s Site. Be sure to print these out and laminate for continuous use! )

2. Write The Room ( Jack and Lyanna continue to enjoy this activity and I plan to continue taking full advantage of that interest! They love walking around together and finding different letters to practice writing. It is going to blow their minds when we start writing words! My favorite part of this activity is watching them learn and explore independently. They are taking charge of their own learning and they are HAPPY about it!  )

3. Puzzles

4. Match It! Numbers Edition: Numbers 10 – 15 ( We have been working hard and practicing our ability to count all the way up to 50, but I like to incorporate games like this for us to focus our efforts. Activities and games like this allow for us to focus on number recognition, past 10, and gain some practice in being consistent in our independent counting abilities. This game is from the Match It! line and we LOVE these puzzles! The cards are thick and durable, while the images are very clear and easy to see and read. )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Letter Book Sheets Part 2 ( Our End of the Day Craft for each day this week will be creating pages for our ABC books. Each day we will be completing a set of coloring sheets. These sheets will then be used at the end of the day to add pages to our ABC books. Today, we colored sheets A through E.

We then cut these sheets up and selected three images to use for each of our letters. The kids then glued these pictures to a piece of construction paper. As we continue to work throughout the week, our books will grow and be completed on Friday! )

 

Letter Of The Day: Ff – Jj
Shape Of The Week: Pentagon
Storytime: ” My First Peanuts ABCs ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Firefighter Fred – Jumping Jim Letterland Cards With Sounds

3. Letter Review with Formation Practice ( As you can see, today our focus is on letter F through J. Together, the kids and I walked through how we form these letters, matched our letter magnets, and thought of words for each letter. We totally cheated with the word ” I ” for Ii 🙂 .

We then wrapped up this section of our morning by having the kids practice these letters on their own. )

4. Read The Room ( Jack and Lyanna still enjoy doing this portion of our Letterland routine, but I’m starting to think this is how they prep and plan for what letters they will be writing during our ” Write The Room ” activity! Smart kids! 🙂  )

5. Daily ASL ( Our ASL time today was used as a review period, both for the signs we learned yesterday and the signs we have been talking about and using these past weeks. )

Concept Activity:

Alphabet Soup F-J ( We continued using our Alphabet Soup set as our Concept Activity. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: F – J Letter Sheets ( We worked on and colored our F through J letter sheets today during our Art Center. I asked the kids to focus on choosing 3 pictures and words from each sheet to color, rather than waste time or their efforts on coloring the entire sheet. I don’t mind using worksheets, if there is value in the work being done. Perhaps TOO MUCH time was devoted to these sheet yesterday, but you learn as you go what works and what can be adjusted. The kids agreed that we should save our time for playing and then selected just 3 pictures from each sheet that they would like to color and use in their ABC books. Such smarty pants ! )

2. Sensory Bin: Letter Hunt With Magnetic Letters

3. Free Exploration ( Our Science Center is still set up with seeds from our unit last week, so the kids decided to continue their investigations today. The two of them worked together to count the different seeds, talk about what the different seeds will turn into, and make comparisons about each.

Since there wasn’t any rain today, we also enjoyed playing some basketball, blowing bubbles, and going for a short walk down our street. )

Center Explorations:

1. Writing Center ( Our Writing Center was up and running once again today! Jack and Lyanna were allowed to choose whatever they wanted to from this center, as long as they were writing in some way. They both chose to write letters again, like how we did a few weeks ago when learning about postal workers. They each wrote letters, put them in an envelope, addressed them, gave them stamps, and mailed them out ! )

2. Doodle Books ( It has also been a while since we got a chance to write in our Doodle Books. We made sure that we left ourselves some time today to get to these books! Lyanna drew a mailman and talked about this being her favorite community helper that we talked about, while Jack drew a pretty cool jellyfish with one big eyebrow 🙂 . )

3. Reading

4. What’s Missing Number Line ( With all of our focus today on letters and writing, we wanted to make sure that we got to do a little math as well. Given the kid’s love for our dry erase materials, we set up this quick math activity to do together. Together, we figured out what numbers were missing from each of our number lines. These were easy enough for the kids to solve together, but this activity did show me that we need some work on WRITING our numbers! )

5. Matching Dinos ( Rather than pulling out all of the puzzles again today, we decided to use our Letter Matching Dinos. We LOVE playing with these dinosaurs, sometimes not for the purpose that is intended. Today we used them properly and played a match up game together with these cute little guys.

Jack and Lyanna worked together to find the matching dinosaur parts and matched all 26! Look at those proud faces :). )

6. Free Exploration ( We had A LOT today during centers, so we really didn’t have that much time for free exploration today. The kids had about 5 minutes to play with a game or do an activity of their choosing. All 3 of us decided that we would use this time for some more storytime! )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Since our first day of our Preschool Program, we have been each day in our journals. Some times we are enjoying a free draw day, other days we are working hard to practice writing our letters or doing something with math. These journals have been an experiment for us and I think it’s safe to say that they have been a powerful tool and activity for us!

Combined with all of our other activities and practice time, both Lyanna and Jack have shown significant improvement in their writing abilities and letter recognition. Not only am I proud of their hard work, but they themselves are proud at how far they have come and what they can do now! Our journal time together continues to be an exciting part of our day and the kids love setting up and completing their entries each and every day. Here are our journal entries for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Letter Book Sheets Part 2 ( For our End of the Time craft time, we continued worked on the pages for our ABC books. )

 

 

Letter Of The Day: Kk – Oo
Shape Of The Week: Pentagon
Storytime: ” LMNO Peas ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Kicking King – Oscar Orange Letterland Cards With Sounds

3. Letter Review with Formation Practice ( Today our focus is on letters K through O. Here are a few pictures from our morning practice together. )

Their writing skills STILL amaze me every time! We need reminders and guidance, but I’ve worked with plenty of 1st graders that needed the same!

4. Read The Room ( We made our “Read The Room” time this morning a bit more challenging. I asked the kids to find WORDS, rather than letters, that started with any of our letters of the day. It took at second for them to get their brains to switch directions, but we got it! It definitely took us a bit more time, but I think this change will be great for them. )

5. Daily ASL ( Today we learned the signs for ” Wash ” and ” Stand “. We, of course, took this time to also practice our formation of the other signs we have been learning. )

Concept Activity:

Alphabet Soup K-O

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: K-O Letter Sheets ( The kids continued working on their letter sheets for our ABC books. While they color, we talk about the pictures they are coloring, the letter that word starts with, what other words they can think of that starts with that same sound, and so on. )

2. Sandwriting A-Z ( In our sensory area, we had our sandwriting table all set up for us to get some more practice in. These two LOVE playing in the sand and sandwriting is no different. They patiently wait for their turn to write and give the other person compliments and reminders.

When we have this activity set up, I like to step back and just watch what Lyanna and Jack do. We are trying to teach them how to be self-correcters, but also understand that everyone needs help and their isn’t any shame in offering that help, or accepting it. They are obviously eager for their turn, but while they wait, they are ready to help the other person along! I love their partnership 🙂 . )

3. Free Exploration ( We took a little walk around the yard today to look at our Halloween decorations and check on all of our plants. While on our walk, we came across this little guy hanging out in our roses! We are used to these little guys getting into our house, but it’s nice to see them OUTSIDE enjoying their environment. )

Center Explorations:

1. Reading ( We added our Halloween book bin to our classroom today! As you can see, the kids are pretty excited about it! )

2. Capital and Lowercase Matching Cards With Clips

3. Writing The Numbers 1 – 10 ( After our math game yesterday, it was obvious that the kids needed some practice in writing their numbers, both with guided lines and on their own. For this center, I had the kids practice writing these numbers on a sheet of lined paper. Once we were done with these sheets, we moved to our dry erase boards. The kids haven’t gotten to use their boards in a few weeks, so we were pretty excited to get them back! )

4. Doodle Books ( Left: Lyanna wanted to have a little more practice with our letters of the day, Right: Jack created a pink tractor. )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Letter Book Sheets Part 2 ( During our End of the Day Craft Time, the kids and I continued to work on our pages for our ABC books. )

Letter Of The Day: Pp – Tt
Shape Of The Week: Pentagon
Storytime: ” Z Goes Home ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Peter Puppy – Talking Tess Letterland Cards With Sounds

3. Letter Review with Formation Practice ( Today our focus was on letters P through T. Here are a few pictures from our morning practice together. )

4. Read The Room ( Day 2 of our challenge to find WORDS, rather than the letters, went a little better than yesterday! They paired up and walked around the room TOGETHER to hunt down our words. These two work very well together, when they want to, and I am happy to let them tackle challenges with a partner! )

5. Daily ASL ( Review day! )

Concept Activity:

Alphabet Soup P-T

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: P-T Letter Sheets

2. Sensory Bin: Letter Hunt With Magnetic Letters ( We got back to work today in our sensory bin. We played and searched for our letters of the day to match with our flashcards. The kids really enjoy this game and seem to be getting more and more competitive about it! )

3. Letter Building with Playdough ( Jack and Lyanna LOVE playing with playdough, so we incorporated that element into our Alphabet Exploration this week with this letter building center. Using our alphabet letter set, that have been laminated, the kids used their playdough to “build” each of their selected letters.

Playdough activities are a fantastic way to engage children, refine fine motor skills, and encourage creativity. During this activity, the kids are tearing off little pieces of playdough, rolling it up with their fingers and palms, and pressing it down to fill in each of the letters. This process can seem relatively simple and unimportant, but for little ones like Jack and Lyanna, these actions are critical in strengthening their hand muscles. )

4. Free Exploration

Center Explorations:

1. Rainbow Numbers Matching Game ( We always forget we have these cute cards to play with, so we intentionally planned on pulling them out this week to get some use out of. Half of these cards feature a number, 1 to 10, while the other half of the cards feature a dot representation of a particular number. Jack and Lyanna work together to find the matching cards. We found these free rainbow matching cards here from ” From ABCs to ACTs ” . )

2. Write The Room

3. Reading

4. Doodle Bug Books

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Letter Book Sheets Part 2 ( We continued our work on putting together our ABC books. Tomorrow, once we complete our last few pages, we’ll be putting together our pages and making our awesome ABC books! )

Letter Of The Day: Uu – Zz
Shape Of The Week: Pentagon
Storytime: ” Free Choice ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

2. Uppy Umbrella – Zig Zag Zebra Letterland Cards With Sounds

3. Letter Review with Formation Practice (

4. Read The Room

5. Daily ASL ( Full Review Day …

Concept Activity:

Alphabet Soup U-Z (

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: U-Z Letter Sheets (

2. Sandwriting Letters A-Z (

3. Free Exploration (

Center Explorations:

1. Reading

2. Number Practice ( The one structured center we had today during this time was our Number Practice. We’ve been really focused this week on getting better at writing our numbers, so I didn’t want to waste any time. First, we pulled out our laminated numbers for the kids to practice using guiding lines. Next, we moved to using our dry erase boards to practice. )

3. Free Exploration ( Per our usual Friday routine, we took it easy during our centers time and let the kids have plenty of free exploration time to unwind. We do A LOT during the week, so these are the times we ALL look forward to! During our time today, the kids and I played some games, read our Halloween books,  colored a bit, and enjoyed playing with some of our letter magnets. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. Free draw Friday! )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Letter Book Sheets Part 2 ( Today is the day that we finish our ABC books and put everything together! After we finished our U – Z sheets, we pulled out our ABC stamps and decorated our cover pages. The kids used our stamps to add their little details to their pages and then wrote their names, all on their own!

Once all of our pages were complete, we hole punched them and tied everything together using yarn. As you can see from the picture above, these two are incredibly proud of their work and can’t wait to show off their work! )

 

Thanks for reading about our ” Exploring The ABCs ” week. We had a full week of activities and projects all about the letters of the alphabet. Jack and Lyanna are such troopers that continue to surprise me with their focus and dedication each week. They work so hard, but they definitely know how to be silly 3 year olds together. THOSE are my favorite moments :). Join us next week as we learn all about fall! We’ll be talking about the weather changes, the activities we do during this season, and what elements of fall we are already noticing around us!

Brittany XOXO