Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Cleaning and Child-Initiated Activities Show the Growth of the Season!

Above, the seeds we planted outside are finally sprouting!

Zoe and Elliott found some puppets and had fun trying each one out.  We made houses for them.  Below, the polar bear puppet is taking a nap.  This week was filled with the children playing quite harmoniously together, initiating activities like this one, on their own, while I observed, facilitated or joined in.  This ability for the children to initiate play together, on their own, and imaginatively is a wonderful perk of preschool progress this time of year.  

We also engaged in some spring cleaning out our water table! The kids helped dig out the sand from out bird's nest and then we scrubbed it out together.  Above, Karsten cleans the dinosaurs.  Good teamwork!

An activity we enjoyed this week was "table bowling", where we aimed balls down the green line to knock down some paper towel rolls.  The children modified the game by using cars to knock down the rolls later...

Another day we got the idea to make giant drawings of ourselves!

Kaden spontaneously brought in a bag of pistachios and we had fun opening the shells and eating lots of them!

(Another good fine motor activity.)

 Last week we collected lots of branches on our walks and this week we began painting them beautiful colors!

We read a fun book about pirates and this initiated some fun pirate play.  We used a big box as our boat and made spyglasses from the paper towel rolls.  We looked for treasure outside.

Above, someone left us a new play thing outside that we enjoyed exploring and we began some outdoor water play.  Below, the children continued to have lots of fun in the flour!

And we drew big flower tops on some pre-drawn stems on paper taped to the wall.

The children played together so nicely this week!  A nice accomplishment towards the end of a year. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Mini Garden and Tiny Pies!

We did a wide variety of activities this week with further emphasis on Spring.  Above, the boys use their fine finger muscles to open shelled peanuts.  And below Owen and Zoe concentrate on making patterns!

Zoe and Owen had some quality time while Elliott was on a trip.  Below, Owen behaved like a true gentleman, holding the door open for Zoe and pulling her in the wagon!

We gathered items for our "Secret Gardens" below . . .

Owen counted how many puff balls fit into the paper towel roll (13!).

We used those puff balls and our abilities to blow out of straws to play straw soccer!


And Jill just felt like making tiny pies! 

Below, Zoe and Owen roll out homemade pie crust.

It was fun to watch the pies bake.

A few sprinkles make them fun!

We had lots of fun and focussed time playing with flour together! (great sensory experience)

We spent some time paying attention to some leaves that we collected and how they are different and similar.

We talked about that trees are covered with bark to protect them and we check out the rings that represent the years the tree has been alive.

The children are exhibiting their growing maturity as they learn to take turns sharing news in the "teacher chair" and and listen to each other in the group setting!  Wonderful accomplishment!