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Classroom Ideas

Gak

Gak…oh what fun!  I’m actually serious, it looks icky, but it’s a lot of fun and GREAT for those kiddos with sensory needs!  This is very easy to make.  We mad each child their own and they took it home in a plastic baggy.  Here is what you will need:

Mix 1 tsp. Borax in 1 cup warm water in one container.  In a separate container, mix 4 oz. glue with 1/2 cup water.  You can add a couple drops of food coloring if you wish.  If you don’t have food coloring, you can use a drop or two of tempera paint. Combine the water and Borax mixture into the water and glue mixture.  The texture will change instantly.  Let kids put their hands in now and mix it together.

Mix till it’s the consistency you want and take out of the container.  You can dump any liquid that is left.  Kids will enjoy watching the gak flatten out on the table, hiding and finding little objects in the… Continue reading

Valentine Yarn Hearts

Here is a fun art activity for Valentine’s day.  We used four colors, but you can use more or less.

Here is what you will need:

  • paint
  • heart cut outs (2 per child)
  • strings of yarn

 

 

First, dip yarn strings in paint.  Use a paintbrush or something else to make sure the string gets full of paint.  Leave ends paint free.

 

 

 

 

 

Next, have kid place a string for each color they desire on the heart cut out.  They can zig-zag the string, pile it up all in one spot, however they choose.  Just make sure that an end of each string is sticking out as it will need to be pulled at the end.

 

The final step is the cool part.  Take a second heart and place on top of the first, with the strings in between.  Gently place your hand on top so not to squish too hard but so the paper won’t move.  Have the child pull out each string at one time.  This will be your final result:

We sent one heart home and used the other to decorate… Continue reading

Number Wheels

Here is a fun little activity we did last week and it’s VERY easy to make!  We made enough for three children to do this center at one time.

What you will need:

We started with a large circle shape and added 12 smaller circles around the outer edge.  Make the numbers look like a clock.  Print, laminate and you are done with that part.  Here is an up close view:

Next, you make the cards to go in the center of the wheel.  The cards you make will depend on what skill you are looking to target.  We made cards with circles (1-12) for counting and matching to the numbers as well as cards with the number words to match to the numbers for our older kiddos.  Use Velcro to attach cards to the circle. When matching, the children take a clothespin and clip it on the correct number, which also works on fine motor skills.

Although we didn’t do this, you could also make numbers for the cards so kiddos can match the same looking numbers.… Continue reading

Circle Time Number Bear

 This is our number bear.  Our kids love having a turn with the number bear at circle time.  Each day the special helper, with the help of the other kiddos if needed, tells us which number is next.  Next, they add a button and we count them together.  Once the bear is filled with 10 buttons we take them all down and start over.  We have a younger group this year, so we waited and introduced the number bear after Christmas break.  In the spring we will switch to something else so we can work on numbers 11-20.  This is a fun little activity that helps to learn counting, 1-1 correspondence and number identification.

Scissor Skills and Preschoolers

Does the idea of a pair of scissors in your preschoolers hands scare the bejeebers out of you? Well it should. Those little things are sharp and can cut all sorts of stuff like hair, clothes, the curtains and even the cats whiskers. So why am I writing about actually putting these tools of destruction in your child’s hands you ask? Well, because scissor skills are an important developmental step for your child.
Using scissors develops your child’s hand strength, coordination, motor planning and eye/hand coordination. These are all skills that carry over to other activities, like writing, doing math problems and even playing sports.
So let’s talk about letting your little one practice that all important skill of using scissors and keeping the cat’s whiskers safe. First some general guidelines:

  • Use good quality kids scissors like Fiskars or Wescott. These are not expensive and they are sharp enough to actually cut and allow your child to experience success in their earliest attempts at cutting. Cheaper scissors will only frustrate their efforts and in actually may lead to them to explore to find something the scissors will actually cut.
  • Set guidelines for cutting practice. “Only when mommy is around”,… Continue reading

Snowmen, Marshmallows and Math

 Here is a fun little winter math activity.  First, we printed and laminated counting grids from the PreKinders website.  We used the grid with 10 snowmen for our younger kiddos and the ones with 20 snowmen for our older kiddos.  Each child got a turn rolling the big die.  They counted the dots and covered up that many snowmen with min-marshmallows.  It may have been better if we had the older kids use two dice to work on 1-1 correspondence counting to 12 instead of just 6.

Baby Wipe Containers-Circle Idea

If you are like us, you have a plethora of baby wipes containers in your classroom.  Even if you don’t have kids in diapers wipes are great for quickly cleaning paint off hands, wiping little messes off the floor, etc.  And as every preschool teacher knows…we never through any containers out as there will always be a use for it at some point!

Well, here is a use we have found for empty baby wipe containers.  We just started using these this week and so far so good.  We have velcroed them to our circle time board to hold the things we need every day.  We currently have a bin for calendar to hold our numbers, weather to hold our weather words and pictures, the number bear to hold numbers and buttons (look for a post on him coming soon!) and the question of the day to hold our questions, answers and hand markers.  Here is a closer look:

We placed two pieces of industrial velcro on the back and used some sticky tack on the lip of the tub so it wouldn’t lean forward so much.  These tubs… Continue reading

Letter Roads-Pre-Writing Activity

This was a really fun idea, I believe we got it from Pinterest.  It’s very simple, you take black posterboard and cut in the shape of letters.  Each poster board will give you 1-2 letters, depending on the way each letter fits.  We used small white labels as the dashers and covered with contact paper.  We loved how the kids took the letters and formed longer roads.

Some of the older kids were able to tell that they were letters right away and loved the fact that they were driving on them.  Our younger kiddos drove on the roads, not realizing that they were letters.  Either way, this is a great pre-writing activity.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats Activities

I just love The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.  My son’s first preschool teacher gave it to him for preschool so he just loved having me read it to him over and over again.  This a great story to read during a winter or snow theme.  Homeschool Creations has a printable packet to go along with The Snowy Day.  You can find it here.  There are pages that can be printed and laminated to be used in games while others are quite ‘worksheety’.  Margaret and I try not to use many worksheets in our class.  We have found that our kids REALLY like to use dry erase markers, so we will at times laminate worksheets so kids can use them with dry erase markers or crayons.

How do you avoid using worksheets?

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