Thursday, January 28, 2016

Stirring the Pot

Hope you'll head on over to Stephanie's Stuff and read about our newest cooking experience with the children. We are keeping up with our Child-Directed activities and Letting the Kids Do It. Cabbage Soup was the topic and having a wide range of sensory experiences came with it.
  • Taste - the obvious
  • Smell- We had the Before and After of Cooking scents
  • Touch - Bumpy and crisp raw/ and the opposite cooked
  • Hear - Listen to the sound of it vegetables being cut, broth being poured, the sound of our voices wanting to 'be next' to help
  • See- How much cabbage you get when it's piled up in the pot!

Child-directed learning promotes the natural development of self-confidence, initiative, perseverance and life satisfaction.
Have A Wonderful Week!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Cookbooks in Early Childhood

Sharing a post on the Stephanie's Stuff blog about a cooking experience. But I also want to give a little frugal thought to buying educational material for early childhood ideas in your kitchen.
This was $1 at a local antique store. It's copyright is 1932. The pictures are very clear on measurements giving children a good idea at what 1 cup looks like for instance. Those little hole-in-the-wall places have such cool things just waiting for reuse.
Check out your little stores and support small business. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Why Save Paper Towel Tubes? And Toilet?

We like Dramatic Play in my childcare environment. And when you need something to fill the time, you make something the children can take home. But first, we do a 'Test Run'. After all, it's more fun to play with friends! Right?!
So showing you how we turned a simple color page into a way to extend our theme of Fire Safety into the Dramatic Play Center. This color page is from about 16 years back so sorry no link for making a copy.
But maybe you could find a back issue on Amazon??
 Notice the $5.50 price? Unheard of today.

Here is a view of supplies needed including a color page. We printed ours on cardstock for more longevity.
  1. The color and cut stage

    2.Connect the long tubes on each end ONLY.

Masking tape works best.

For the "People", firefighters in our instance, use tape loops and attach to the smaller tubes.
 Finally, slide the fire truck in-between the longer tubes. It should be a snug fit. Trim the ends if it's a little long. And there you have it! Individual play sets for your theme to enhance Dramatic Play.
Skills Learned from Dramatic Play:
  • Learning to cooperate, to control impulses (like tearing it up by 'crashing', leads to less aggressive tendencies.
  • Eye/hand coordination, fine and gross motor skills
  • Developing literacy skills with use of new language, role-playing and problem solving
  • Learning to ask and answer questions. This introduces a larger view of the world they are living in. Some of them will relate the events of the evening news they see at home to their play. Great opportunity to 'be there' to discuss our times.
Talk with your caregiver about the importance of Dramatic Play.



Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Apple of My Eye

The poem of the week for our Apple Theme is pictured here from Pinterest.
 Sharing with you some of the "apples of My eye".
Our upcycled Apple tree before the leaves are added.
Pardon my primitive artistic ability.

I have a 'little' stash of Red Bags from last Christmas.
Perfect for the trunk and the apples.
I am my mother's daughter. I save stuff.

 Apple paper punches could be a big hit, but ours are pretty hard for little fingers.  So we improvised and turned the punches into strips.
This became cutting practice and letter recognition introduction all wrapped up in one.

Remember it's the process, not the product.
Learning rules like: keep Thumbs Up, only cut paper, start slowly & more.
Some of the strips were used for apple rubbings.
 Feeling and finding the bumps under a sheet of paper is also a texture/sensory experience.
The Sorting A/a Activity






Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rolling The Dice

School is about to recommence for 4 of our children here in Missouri, as it is nationwide. So instead of shedding tears, we have parties. So a Back to School Party headed off with this project of Rolling the Dice. We used an old square box and covered it with wallpaper samples, wrote some question on white labels, and ended up with This.

Each roll of the dice enticed some cute, funny, and smart answers from ages 3 to 6 and I had it all recorded on my phone. Only problem is, the transfer from phone to blog has not worked due to differences in formats. I'm very bummed about this let me tell ya. But I decided to transcribe the majority of the questions and answers even though some of the drama of a room with babies crying, children getting upset over who had a turn first or sudden, joyful laughter won't be heard by you.
But I hope you'll enjoy.

Q: Who is your hero?
Ty: I don't remember. (really just didn't understand the question at first)
Ben: I don't have a hero (another non understander)
Ty: I have one! My hero is the Minions! (He is Very serious)
Lou: My Dad! (Finally, the quiet one awakens :)
Weston: Superman!
Macoy: Spiderman!
Ben: I have Spiderman! Is Batman your hero? (to me)<3

Q: Who is your best friend?
Lou: Points to me :)

Q: What is the most important rule?
Ty: Don't pinch no one's fingers. (after baby Emmi just shut her finger in a toy) Don't be mean to someone.
Lou: Don't teach little kids to do something very, very, very bad.
Weston: Don't tease people.
Macoy: Don't push people (Mom, he Is listening to you, see???)

Q: What is the best thing about being a kid?
Ben: I like counting.
Lou: I like being in fashion and having a smile on my face. (partly my fault as I'm letting her model some of my Etsy items.)
Weston: I have fun going to the Fair. (Have I mentioned our Missouri State Fair is a couple blocks away from my home? Very big deal to these children)
Ty: That's what I was going to say!!!

Q: Were there dinosaurs on Noah's Ark?
IN Unison.: NO!!!
Me: Why do you think they asked that question?
Lou: To like see if you were smart enough, Like if you really listened to the book (we read the story beforehand)

Q: What makes a good friend?
Macoy points to me :) love his face!!
Weston: I say Hudson!! (awe!)
(I reword the question)
Q: What can you do to make a good friend?
Ty: Smile at people
Weston: Play with them
Lou: Give a Valentine (she'll be the one to always remember your birthday.)

Q: What are you good at?
Lou: Standing on my head
Ty: I'm good at listening to my mom and dad and Hunter(baby brother)
Weston: Skipping fast!
Ben: I'm good at stomping fast!!
Macoy: I'm good at baseball (and he is)

Q: What is the greatest thing ever invented:
Me: Make up!!
Lou: Shelter (yep, I looked bad after that brilliant answer)
Weston: Bathrooms! (time to ask another question)

Q: Why do people get old?
Lou: Cuz they turn different ages and they grow and they have growing pains
Weston: Because they turn 40 or 21. (In my head I'm saying 50 lol)
Ty: Because you are almost the biggest one here

I hope you enjoyed our table discussion. Hoping to do this again soon!


Friday, August 7, 2015

An August Snow Event

Last winter after one of our larger snowfalls, I took a couple 2 gallon freezer bags outdoors and stuffed them full of the fluffy stuff, sealed them up and found a spot for them in my deep freeze.

Fast forward to the first week of August. You know, the time of year when everyone has exhausted all their summer ideas. We went through the bucket list and nothing sounded good for the umpteenth time. Boredom officially reared its' ugly head. After I made sure vacations were over with all the families, and we'd have all hands on deck, I pulled these bags of awesomeness out. I had several sets of watercolor paints and brushes and we proceeded to experiment with a Pinterest idea. We found out:
*you can indeed paint on snow with watercolor but it helps to first dip brush in bottom of container where there's a bit of thawed out snow. Once that technique was discovered, there was a moment of silent (yes it can happen in a room of children) artistry.
After awhile they naturally were tired of the project so we decided to finish it off outdoors in the
 80 degree heat.
(It's pretty ironic that a couple of my families had been playing in the sand in Florida the previous week and were now dipping their feet in snow)
A couple other 'snow' ideas we implemented in our theme were
"Watch Out Snowmen!" bowling
(Cat not meant to be included)
Their grand masterpieces, "Snow Paint" i.e. shaving cream paint.

Sorry peeps, these aren't for sale :)


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Stars but No Stripes

Just a few days behind on sharing our Stencil Painting project on the front driveway.
Our ages ranged from 20 months (above)

to 6 years (below)

But then there's the cat (age unknown)
She adopted us when her owner, a neighbor, passed away.
She is our silent participant in most outdoor activities. 

Hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Independence Day!