I use this book to introduce mixing colors, and I use it again periodically to review color mixing. We have done several activities practicing color mixing, including oil pastels. Oil pastels continues to be the most popular.
I gave them a huge piece of paper, $store watercolors and three or four jars of water each. The goal was to let them mix paint in the water and watch the water change and explore as they wanted.
They spent much excitement and wow time predicting what the water color would change to, and then observing the change of color.
When I thought they might be ready to transition, I mentioned mixing colors on their paper.
I truly become inspired when I see this awesomely pure creativity expressed!
(I made some shapes and traced around to create puzzles, then reused for this project)
Foam Die= With a dry-erase marker, draw 2 rectangles, 2 squares and a heart on one die. Or any combination of 3 shapes.
Set up on a table:
A paper for each child
Glue for each child
Some of each shape to glue onto papers.
Other random items children can glue onto their art.
Game benefits and directions:
Exercise. The benefit of a foam die from the $store, they can throw it within a controlled area. They become really excited, every turn, to read their number.
Following Directions and Memory:F After the child rolls the dice, I have him leave it until he identifies the number and yells it. This helps the child follow a direction and remember while he walks back to his art paper.
Find a shape paper that matches the shape that he rolled, and glue it on the paper. Repeat after each turn.
After 5 or 10 turns, or when the children appear bored, the game ends.
Give child(ren) the option of finishing their art by gluing random items provided onto their paper.
SQUARES VS. RECTANGLES; OUR version
I chose squares and rectangles because they were challenged in telling the difference between those two shapes. I have observed they memorize easier if I teach using comparison. I chose an easily recognized shape for the third shape, so they only had to really THINK for square vs rectangle.
I allowed the children to both run and see what the other child had rolled, however, we only had 2 children playing this. I doubt I would allow more then 2 children at a time run to look at the dice.
I set up liquid glue and a paintbrush for each child. The paintbrush helps with finemotor, provides less glopping and mess. I try to alternate between using glue sticks or liquid glue with our art. Also, I don’t have to say “don’t use too much” because the paintbrushes are small.
$store paintbrushes, elmer’s glue, or Aileen’s tacky glue for bulkier items like poms.
I use recycled container lids to pour paint and glue in. Jar lids are an example of the best depth/width.
The random items I placed out were in my “bits and pieces” box. A photobox I keep misc crafty type bits like leftover scraps of paper, google eyes, stickers and seasonal items that we didn’t use all of=not enough to save, and small items I find floor after official cleanup. HAHA.
Everytime we play this game its a big success to get their energy out in a focused, non rambunctious way. Moving from the game to finish the art is an easy transition.
Another last minute activity I threw together, as a result of being stuck inside!
fine motor prewrite skill
cooperation, taking turns
science-how things move, gravity
Fill bin halfway with cotton balls, and at least 5 bells per child.
Game: Explain to students: Get bells out by using spoon, using only ONE hand. Each child gets one turn to attempt to fish out a bell. At the end of the game, have child count their own bells and the one with the most wins!
Independent play activity. Encourage children to dump the bell into the container only using THE SPOON. I also allowed the children to remove some cotton balls and play with after activity if they wanted.
Extension: Substitute the bells with different objects, or smaller objects to continue skill building. Substitute heavier spoons such as a metal ice cream scoop, for hand strength building.
BOOKS NOTE: I order and check out our theme books from the library, usually about five if there are that many. Since we started with hibernation, then artic animals, we are now moving to snow. We just had another snow storm and the subject is very relatable! However, if we were only having a “cold” winter, I might do this activity while reading about ICE and maybe show a video and talk about ice fishing. This is an example of choosing books that are as relevant as possible, AND interesting.
I thought they would be bored with snow books after covering different aspects of winter from december through January. If they lose interest before winter ends, I will shift it to winters are different depending on where one lives. Always have a back up aspect for your theme!
Subscribe to keep up with future no-prep activities for preschoolers!
Above is a You Tube Read Aloud link for Sneezy the snowman.
We had been studying artic animals/ hibernation, observed our mini snowmen melt over days; so it was natural for children to put Sneezy the Snowman book AND the Ice experiment together for comprehension of the 3 states of ice, gas-liquid-solid. I interjected “gas” a couple of times but mainly we focused on the cool stuff the ice did!
Mini snowman, we built this inside, if snow isn’t available-used crushed ice.
PART 1- Melting Ice basic experiment
Each child recieves 3 pieces of ice.
Explain what we are going to do.
Direct children to pour epsom salt on 1 ice piece, seasoning salt on 1 ice piece and the plain ice piece is for comparision.
Encourage them to watch and see what happens. Ask if anything is different, what is it? Why is it?
PART 2-Melting ice extension, or continue later or next day.
Each child recieves 3 pieces of ice.
Explain what we are going to do.
Ask child to wrap a piece of ice in bubble wrap and set aside on tray.
Ask child to put a piece of ice in baggie, close it, set aside on tray.
Repeat Part 1.
Pass out flashlights, encourage children to keep talking about what is happening and why.
After a few minutes, or when children get bored, have children unwrap the ice in the bubble wrap and remove from baggie.
place both pieces on tray next to control piece. Did ice melt at all, which melted fastest, why and how?
This activity worked great for me as a last minute activity on an stay inside day!
Just Print and Play! I use standard clear contact paper from the $Store and cover if i am going to store and use again. I also insert page into a clear protector sheet, and the student uses dry erase markers. Robot Love is Easy Peasy!
Roll A Robot Dice Game (also includes robot drawing template, separate dice key)
PreWrite Page Tracing Lines
Puzzles with and without numbers
Fine Motor Cutting Page
Boy and Girl Robot Puppet Craft to make
Trace Letter H (uppercase)
Trace Letter r (lowercase)
Count dots and robots/write #
Patterns what comes next
Find the Differences
I Spy and count
Alphabet recognition matching cards (upper and lowercase)
ReadCountCraft free printables may not be edited, and must be shared from this page. Thanks!
A key of dice with corresponding drawings assigned.
An example of what a roll a heart can look like.
A blank valentine to play with blank dice to fill in corresponding drawings.
A blank heart to print out and use.
Remember, the great thing about Roll and Draw games is we get to use math and art! We also use counting, 1:1 recognition, fine motor skills, prewrite skills, subtizing-seeing a number and knowing it without counting it, and common core foundation because of DOTS! Plus it can be as long or as short as they want!
I cover the Heart/Dice page with contact paper but you can do this, or print out on paper, or just print out on paper. OR you can cut a heart out of cardboard and let them use THAT as a stencil and trace around it.
We use white boards, erase markers and large foam dice from the dollar store. That way they can throw the dice as hard as they want (not up high lol) and RUNNNN after it and it gets their energy out yay!
On occasion in summer during the school kids quiet time, we watch Puffin Rock. This led to interest in Puffins, and it was the only artic creature that recieved a unanimous vote to learn about. It turns out that Pufrins are pretty cool, their eyes show quite an expression. Penguins are taught in schools here, so I was thrilled to investigate Puffins.
Here are the preschool books we found at our library which my preschoolers found interesting, that are ONLY about puffins, but you can use ANY animal book that includes Puffins.
The Library had these books below also, and while I love Gail Gibbons, they totally were not interesting for the preschoolers. My preschoolers weren’t totally excited about puffins like other animals. They are naturally inclined towards domestic, familiar animals, or familiar fun animals such as monkeys. I added interest by adding “fly like a puffin” or “dig like a puffin” during theme time. The funnies thing is to make puffin noises, one of the sounds they make are a bit like cows!😂
Here is the free printable P is for Puffin template we used
Books: Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Three Snow Bears, both books are by Jan Brett. I checked out from the local library. Use these to invite talks about the differences, similarities in both stories. My preschoolers are always interested in exploring a favorite story retelling- and drawn differently!
These books were the favorites to learn about hibernation of different animals! Read Goldilocks and the 3 Bears first, then the Three Snow Bears.
After reading the books the first few times, children may notice, or you can talk about the pictures how the same person wrote and drew both books. Or you can introduce that discussion once they are familiar with both books and the similarities/differences in both stories. I leave the Dramatic Play once the children indicate initial comprehension of hibernation. We had our “Cave” up after the first week, and the children helped me set it up while including smaller teddies in smaller “caves”. The 3rd week we built a town (blocks), railroad around mountains (towels over boxes with stuffed animals), and stools as bridges. The the children included more animals figures on their own.
Below is a fun craft with a bear puppet to go with Goldilocks!
Talk about where brown and polar bears live. Do brown bears really live in a people house? 🤣 So silly!
After reading Goldilocks and the 3 bears, click on the picture, print and make the bear puppet craft.
Bear House Printable and any decorations, such as, poms, paper shapes, stickers.
scissors and glue (we used gluesticks)
Piece of Construction Paper
Crayons or any medium.
1 Craft Stick per child
**All activities require Adult Supervision**
(The Bear with Backpack graphic is by Trevor Brown, his link is below)
Glue the House Pieces onto the Construction Paper.
Cut the Brown Bear out on the dotted lines.
Tape the back of the Brown Bear to a craft stick with heavy tape.(we used Shipping tape).
Cut a line through both the house and the construction paper, for the Brown Bear to slide back and forth into the house. (See finished photo)
Ask them what they want to build a cave with, along with suggestions of using anything you have. Even egg containers can be used!
Remind them that only PREGNANT polar bears hibernate and talk about why this might be. Then use the opportunity to research together. (google it, hahahaha, its great for kids to observe technology being used for research!)
Ask them, when reading Goldilocks and Snow Bears books, what happens in sequence, using First, Then, Last.
Introduce snow or crushed ice during this time.
I like to use YouTube clips before each subject focused booktime. Habitat and Hibernation go hand in hand.
It’s not very exciting to watch a bear hibernate, these are short!
We played Roll a Bear during the holiday vacation which is a favorite group activity! Roll games are my favorite too because it: encourages drawing, builds printing skills, builds subtizing (see and know the # without counting) (common core) , dots familiarity aids common core K math. We use a huge foam dice from the $store, so they can throw it across the room, not hit anything, and get thier energy out during our cold weather. Between the drawing and the throwing its bubbling SILLY SILLY! Click on the pic and print!
“The Mitten” and stuffed animals are left out for an activity choice for use during free play.
On the third day, after reading The Mitten, we put the animals into the mitten as I read the book.
The children don’t care if the stuffed animal is the same as the book. The ones we used do not match the animals. They still learn and we use our imaginations!
Remember, my goal is to get their interest peaked about artic animals, we are not into the STEM of it yet!
Repeat the first activity only this time using the book, and instead of commenting with “less then more then” comment with “first, next, then” . These are Kindergarten skills, and, it also gives the children a framework for their sequencing. Name it and claim it!
A review of the skill building/concepts:
Artic Weather and Animals= It’s cold and they have to do things to stay warm.
Math: Kindergarten/Common Core= Less then More then, First Then Last
Math: Volume, Sequencing
Practical Skills: Perserverence (getting the last critters in) Waiting (waiting to put in an animal when the page turns).
During Free Play, he took this container of animals out, and played The Mitten.
I checked out about 7 books from the library, for the 1st week of January. This is a great week for extra reading due to the post holiday transition. The children get to choose 1 or 2 stories before naptime.
Reading before naptime take 30-45 minutes because we are interacting about the stories. We will talk about if bears really live in a house like in the Goldilocks story. Where do real bears live?
I grew up in central Cali. I moved to a beautiful rural small town, 40 min from Crater Lake National Park, 15 years ago. Located on the opposite side of the state from Portland. Oregon.
I am adjusted to the weather change. I prefer 4 seasons, vs. Warm and hot. There’s so much wildlife here! Last week there was a peregrine in my front yard with a sterling in is beak! Deer walk in our own on a regular basis.
However by Feb we are all in cabin fever mode,desperate for spring. It’s not the snow that bothers me. It’s not the cold that bothers me. It’s the no warning constant switching back and forth. Four days ago, we received four inches. It warms up when it snows, today the high is 32. Freezing point.
Between trying to adjust my schedule (daycare) and my husbands, and cold means we burn more energy in doing the basics.
So I remind myself. It’s beautiful. That’s why retirees move here, snowball res, and tourists. Of the Eagle migrations, bald Eagles. Raptors,a plethora of water birds and my daily NorthernFlicker woodpecker.
I have the day off and slept twelve hours lol. Below is Klamath Lake, but not frozen like last week.