We used food coloring and coffee filters to make fall colored leaves and posted them up on our door. We used tissue paper and contact paper to make fall leaf sun catchers to put on our door as well. I painted the kids hands brown and had them make handprints (turn that into a tree) then used their fingers to paint leaves on their tree. The kids colored pictures with the colors of fall leaves. We made leaf rubbings from some leaves that fell outside.
I found some numbered leaves and we practiced identifying leaves number 1-10. We sorted leaves by color, We had a leaf matching game. We had a leave paper puzzle. We practiced following directions by identifying different colors of leaves and either drawing a circle, square or an X on the leaf. We used play doh mats with pictures of leaves on them. I made a discovery bottle with all types of items in it associated with fall- leaves, twigs and acorns.
We read, There was an Old Lady That Swallowed Some Leaves, by Lucille Colandro and I made an old lady to eat numbered leaves using a shoe box. We organized the leaves by number, color and size and took turns "feeding" the old lady the leaves. We sang a couple of falling leaves songs found on the internet.
We glided around the room like falling leaves. We pretended to jump in piles of leaves and we threw silk leaves into the air and watched them fall. We crumpled up leaves outside and listened to the sound they made.
This week our theme was pumpkins.
We painted paper plates. Initially I put orange paint on an extra plate for the kids to use but then they asked me to put the paint directly on their plates so I put red and yellow on their plates for them to make orange. We let them dry. Then the following day I cut out several shapes using black construction paper. We discussed the shapes and the kids were able to use any of the shapes they wanted for their eyes and nose then I had traditional mouths to choose from.
I cut out pumpkin shapes using orange construction paper and gave the kids crayons and told them to decorate their pumpkin however they like. Some kids chose to draw faces others just colored the pumpkin.
I cut out pumpkin shapes using white construction paper and gave the children orange tissue paper and told them to tear up the tissue paper as small as they could then let them glue the tissue paper on themselves.
This week I brought out the fall felt alphabet letters for the children to play with. I also made a felt pumpkin with various faces for the children to play with in the library.
I found a pumpkin memory match game for the children to play. We played hide and seek with pumpkins. We made pumpkins with play-doh. We pretended we were going to a pumpkin patch.
CIRCLE TIME/STORY TIME
We read several pumpkin ebooks since all the pumpkin books were checked out of the library and sang 10 Little Pumpkins song during circle time.
This has been a very busy and very fun week. This week we're talking about community helpers. We discussed fire fighters, police officers, doctors/nurses, dentists and mail carriers primarily. Each day we covered a different community helper.
On Monday, we talked about fire fighters and we participated in our monthly fire drill. We read some short stories about fire fighters and talked about the dangers of fire. We read a very short story about Stop Drop and Roll. We made Stop, Drop and Roll hats and colored a fire fighter print out.
On Tuesday, we talked about police officers. We talked about how to call 911 for an emergency. We also talked about strangers and how they can be dangerous so we should never talk to them. We read some books about the dangers of talking to strangers. We painted giant badges and made our finger print art with our actual finger prints. We even made little foil badges so everyone could play police officer.
On Wednesday, we talked about doctors and nurses. We talked about how doctors keep us healthy and can help make us feel better when we're sick. The kids had so much fun playing doctors office and "fixing up" their teddy bears and each other. We made an x-ray of our hand/arms with Q-tips and we made a collage of things we might find in a doctor's office.
On Thursday, we talked about dentists. We had a giant fake mouth (foam board and egg carton) with tissue paper for plaque and everyone was able to practice flossing and brushing to remove the plaque. The kids actually enjoyed that more than I thought they would. We also painted a fake tooth white and talked about the proper way to brush our teeth. We sorted food into two categories- good food and bad food. What is good for our teeth and the types of foods that could cause cavities.
On Friday we talked about mail carriers and made or own bags to carry mail. We used foam boards and yarn to sew it together. The children did better with the sewing than I expected. Then we pretended too deliver mail to each other.
Since this was the first week of fall we talked all about the season. We talked about the change in weather, how the leaves change color then later will fall off the trees, and how we wear different clothes in fall. We went around and talked about what clothes we wore in the summer and what we're wearing now. It was perfect timing that the weather was so much cooler this week.
My backyard, which is fenced, backs to trees so we were able to collect leaves from outside that were green and brown. We brought them in and painted them with yellow and red paint and I showed the kids how to make orange paint by mixing the yellow and red. We let them dry and two days later we all glued them on a paper tree.
We read I Am an Apple, by Jean Marzollo. The book talked about apples but more specifically it mentioned if you cut an apple horizontally in half you can see a star so we tested the claim. It's true. We all passed the apple halves around so we could all see the star. Then we used them to make our apple stamp paintings.
We collected acorns outside and organized them by size and sorted them by color. We talked about how squirrels eat acorns and store them for the winter.
I made an apple number match up to practice number recognition and counting. I also made a seasons memory match game. The children really seemed to enjoy both games.
We looked around outside to see if we could find any trees with changing leaves. We noticed some looked like they were about to start changing colors.
We also made leaf rubbings by collecting leaves and taking a crayon and rubbing it sideways on the paper to transfer an image of the leaf onto the paper.
This week we're talking about our emotions.
We started off the week off by reading Duck & Goose How Are You Feeling by Tad Hills. We talked about all our emotions and tried to think of things that make us happy, sad, mad, tired, jealous, and so on.
We also read I Was So Mad by Mercer Mayer and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. We talked about how when we're angry we need to verbalize it and take deep breaths to calm down. We talked about how everybody gets mad but we should never hit or hurt our friends when we're mad.
Then we read I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt and I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak. We talked about how we are happy when we love people and when people love us. We talked about all the things that make us happy.
Later in the week we read Do I Look Good In Color by Alex Lluch. We talked about how the penguins were sad they didn't have colorful feathers and jealous of parrots for their colorful feathers. We talked about how it's always good to be ourselves and how each one of us is so special in our own way. We also used this opportunity to talk about how sometimes we want toys other kids are playing with and it makes us sad that we aren't playing with those toys but how we always take turns and share so that everybody is happy.
We wrapped up the week by reading Another Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone. We talked about the emotion fear and how if we're ever scared we should talk about it. Then we all took turns making our scared faces.
Some activities we did to enhance our theme:
This has been one of the most exciting themes we've done yet. Several children love superheroes so I decided to have a superhero theme this week. Really it was a chance to start learning several preschool skills in disguise. We already had tons of superhero books and puzzles so I went to various websites (where I found an awesome site www.homeschool4me.com) for worksheets to laminate and complete as a class.
We completed worksheets with our superhero theme for matching, identifying patterns, counting, comparing size, identifying numbers, and determining differences. The older children were able to practice cutting, pre-writing and tracing shapes.
We colored a gingerbread style superhero and I gave the kids the option to draw their own faces or use their pictures for the face and I wrote on each what each child said their super powers were. We painted what our capes would like look on cape shaped paper. We colored and glued decorations on face masks so we could hide our secret identities.
I made a Superhero Training Obstacle Course in chalk. And I made a Number Bridge for them to walk on (they are given several number options but they have to walk on the numbers in numerical order or they "fall off").
We "flew" around the room like superheroes.
Circle Time/ Story Time
We took turns "reading" a superhero book to our friends. We took turns talking about which super powers we'd have.
This week was a bit of a short week because of Labor Day but we still had a fairly action packed week. Our theme this week was friends so we talked about how we can have several best friends and what we like about our friends. The kids all took turns sharing what characteristics they liked but most said something about liking it when their friends shared toys and played with them. We talked about ways to be good friends and about taking turns, sharing, playing well, and nice touches (as opposed to hitting/hurting).
We made our friend puzzle, where we colored ourself and then our friend as they colored we talked about our best friend and what makes them special. We made friendship bracelets with macaroni noodles (instead of giving them away they kept their own to remind them to be good friends with everyone). We made a best friends wreath, where we traced our hands, the older ones cut them out and everybody colored them then helped glue them together. And because I didn't want to do too many teacher led projects, I let the kids draw anything they wanted and we finished up with drawing a picture of our best friend(s).
We tried playing musical shares (similar to musical chairs but you find someone to share a chair with instead of having someone sit out). We might give this one a try again because some were a little too young to get the concept but they still had fun. We had some new tricycles and scooters outside so I encouraged sharing with our friends so everyone could take a turn. We built castles and buildings with legos as a group so everyone could contribute.
Sorry for the delay in posting last week's activities.
Last week our theme was All About Me. I asked the children what type of art craft they enjoyed the most and as a group we all participated in each type. We used chalk to trace our shadows outside. We used crayons to color our About Me life size posters. We used markers to color our self portraits on paper plates. We used glue to glue down magazine clippings for our About Me collage. We used water colors to paint a piece of cardstock with our name written on it in white crayon so the name would stand out as we painted.
We played a matching game to match facial expressions/emotions. We made puzzles using pictures of our own faces (those that were novices with puzzles had fewer pieces than those that had more experience). During circle time, we talked about our similarities and differences (gender, hair color, height and so on) and some of our favorite things (activities, food, games and so on). We read books on different occupations we might be when we get older.
This week we're talking about our 5 senses.
We have a poster in our room with the 5 senses illustrated, which I referred to during circle time. We read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear, Pat the Bunny, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar to help us segway into our theme this week.
Each day I asked the kids to name our 5 senses. We made discovery bottles, maracas, and a sensory block. We made leaf rubbings, a 4 senses picture using our own pictures of our facial features, painted using different textured scented paints then once it dried we felt the different textures.
We played in our sand bin, our rice bin and with shaving cream. We talked about the textures of each and then added a little sand to our shaving cream to change the texture. We also played with our sensory bags (colored bags of gel with various objects in them).
We made our own pizzas with english muffins and we talked about the textures, the smells and the taste of the ingredients.
We found objects around the room and made each child wear a blindfold and guess what the object was without using their sight.
We played with our musical instruments then tried to guess what was playing by using only our sense of hearing.
This week we were taking about dinosaurs.
We used our toy dinosaurs and paint to make our Dino Tracks.
We colored and read our emergent readers dinosaur book.
We colored dinosaur eggs and glued a dinosaur hatching from the egg.
We simply colored a dinosaur picture.
We played with dinosaurs in the sand bin.
We made more different dinosaur prints with our dinosaurs and play doh.
We sang our dinosaur song and read various dinosaur books throughout the week.
We counted and identified numbers using our dinosaur flash cards and our dinosaur matching cards.
We tried to start recognizing the names for colors by matching the color to it's corresponding name.
We took turns wearing our dinosaur feet and stomping around the room.
We made dinosaurs using a paper plate (for the body) and construction paper (for the head, feet and tails).
We looked at pictures of what real dinosaurs would look like.