Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day April 22

I am going to touch base on Earth Day in my class. I know my smaller friends will not get the bigger concept but I know they can understand cleaning up. What better way to understand picking up trash and/or recycling than a garbage truck! My kids run to the window on garbage day. We get to see three trucks go by; the garbage, recycle, and yard waste truck. 

Book: I Stink by Kate & Jim McMullan.

Art/Craft: We created our own garbage/recycle truck with shapes. I found this over at No Time for Flash Cards and Mommy and Me Book Club. These are two bloggers that I follow and respect.

You will need construction paper cut into a square, a rectangle, a triangle, and circles for tires. Glue and scissors and a marker for decorating. I used a paper grocery bag that I cut into two for my boys to glue the garbage truck to.

This is one done by my 5 year old son. He had fun making the garbage and recycle sign. 

I cannot wait to do this with my younger friends and have them paint the garbage truck with chocolate pudding. They can get the truck good and dirty while having some sensory play!

I like this art activity because it uses shapes and we get to discuss the benefits of picking up trash. Two for one is always good. 

Songs: I got this song from one of my preschool teacher books.

What Can We Do? sung to a tisket a tasket
It’s earth day, it’s earth day
what can we do on earth day
to make the world a better place?
Let’s [pick up trash] on earth day
continue with plant a tree, recycle, walk outside, save water

In my sensory bin I placed rocks (not too small for my little ones) with soap and paint brushes. The children got to clean our rocks. 

Here are some other ideas for Earth Day from a blogger I enjoy; Debbie Clement. She has this great pin board on Pinterest

How are you celebrating Earth Day? 

Bugs Don't Bug Me!

I love bugs/insects and always have (I hate snakes). I use to dig for ants, hope that dragonflies would land on me, study dead bugs, and search out any bug. I was fascinated by spiderwebs and the way the glistened in the light after a fresh rain. This is why I am super excited to share bugs/insects with my friends.

Books: I found several great books at my local library on bugs; narrowing it down proved tricky. I finally decided on 10 Little Ladybugs, a picture book for my 1-2's and Big Rig Bugs by Kurt Cyrus for my 2-3's.

Big Rig Bugs is about a group of bugs that work like big rigs, collecting the discarded sandwich a worker threw on the ground. The illustrations are bold and beautiful, while the words are simple. My own three and five year old loved this book.

Art/Crafts: We used large bug stamps and they were a huge hit. The noise is gratifying to many of my little friends who just stamped and stamped and stamped. I supplied several colors for them to choice from.


The Itsy Bitsy Spider of course! Beehive finger play and The Flea on My Toe. These are fun, simple finger plays that all ages enjoy.

Additionally you can do I'm Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee and Where is the Beehive?

Sensory: I had the green play sand in our bin today, full of plastic bugs for my friends to find. You can also use Easter basket paper or even shred you own green construction paper.

I have a bug pattern matching set that my sister gave me; she use to use it with her children that she treated when she was an OT for children. My boys love to play with it at home. It encourages color identification and pattern matching. I used this for my 3 year olds.

Lastly, I pulled out the bug capsules from the dollar store. These are the capsules that melt away in warm water to reveal bug sponges. This was really the highlight of class to many of my friends. The loved watching them grow and then finally playing with them. I am going to find a way to recycle them; perhaps into stamps or for my sensory table.

What is your favorite bug activity?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I found this wonderful book at our local library; Perfectly Square by Michael Hall. I enjoy this book for several reasons. First because of its simplicity; it is square that can turn into so much more. Second, the illustrations and colors are great. Third, not only is it about shapes, it is about the days of the week. Bonus.

Today I set out construction paper squares of all different colors, white construction paper and glue. After reading the book I had my friends pick a square or two and asked them to tear them. There was much hesitation and looking towards mom for approval. It is funny how they asked for permission; obviously we do not let our kids tear enough paper.

Once they started, they could not stop! My friends sat at the art table for 15 minutes; unheard of. I had to remind the moms to not tell the kids where to put the pieces; let go and let them do it.

I asked several of them what they were making and many said a house. Well, one said it first and then they all decided they were making houses. 

To compliment the theme I had my friends make shapes out of home made play dough. 
We sang a song to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle. I sang "Do you know what shape this is? Shape this is, shape this is? Do you know what shape this is that I am holding in my hand? I held up a square, then circle, heart, triangle and a star. 

I had available for play several shape sorting games. 

I love that the theme was so simple. I always say (and why am I surprised) simple elicits the greatest response. 

In the future I would do this at home and make a square piece of art every day. In the book they use scissors, hole punchers, and crumple the paper. If my boys would let me, I would do this!

What have you done to explore shapes?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Easter

I did not forget about you! I am taking some much deserved time off. I am creating my curriculum for my next round of classes, cleaning my room, and resting.

A sneak peak of upcoming themes:
Bugs Don't Bug Me
Silly Animals
Five Senses
Earth Day
Mother's Day

Meanwhile, check out our Facebook page for fun art activities from some fellow bloggers.