We are mastering letter recognition and targeting sounds. Recognition they know Aa 100%, B 75%, b 25%, C I just introduced because it is one of the easier letters. After we go through the entire alphabet in sequence by three’s, I will target pairs. d and b. e and c-to aid the students forming e correctly by contrasting. p and b, and so forth.
Today we played the first time and it is a challenge for the students which is what I wanted. They really have to follow the steps , slow down, focus and think.
Pack Includes: Instructions, page with Key, (shown above) page without Key, Key Page, and Page with a no color key so colors can be personalized.
I don’t think anyone reads the blurbs but I wanted to explain WHY ha ha.
My 1st and 2nd grader are struggling with common core. The 2nd grader JUST started struggling. My observation is simply the material is not given enough time to sink in. The students are doing the steps without understanding the WHY, or dynamics. I’m NOT anti-common core, I’m anti rushing through material to meet standards.
As a result I am trying to build as much common core methodology with my preschoolers, so they will only have to focus on the actual math work and not the procedures. I started at age 4, not knowing if they were ready but they have picked it right up.
Short and simple post because I have a migraine. I love using real animals. Enjoy.
Direct download below the bunny:
Benefits: My take is any age can make these, kids and adults. I think my friend will like the one I made. So it’s practical too right? Like, you can hold stuff up on your fridge with it. It’s light, easy to transport or even mail to someone-if anyone other then me does this anymore. I’m estimating the cost at 2$ tops?
*ALSO- last year’s Mother’s Day craft was, egg carton flower bouquet’s, except we covered ours with glitter. THAT was a lot of prep, I really got sick of cutting all those egg cups out for sure! Then, I had to assist them with putting them together.
This requires adult supervision. I recommend, not using strong adhesive while children are in the room.
Kid friendly art paint
Wooden shapes- Get the flower shape which is not pictured here.
Stencil, or a tool to draw the middle with
Glitter glue pens
Skinny kid friendly paint brush
Supplies are all from Michael’s. My town is so small we don’t have a Target so its either Michael’s, the $ store, or Walmart. I don’t order from online b/c I don’t find the 2d format inspirational whatsoever.
PREP: The only prep is PLAN TIME for each step. Each step requires drying. I planned a day per step.
Realistically? They painted the flower one day, and we rushed the rest this afternoon.
ha. Literally an hour before pick up time as I dug through my recycled containers, to send it home in so it could DRY. (saved deli hot dog containers ha).
STEP ONE-ish. I drew the “petal” lines, with a Sharpie. I used the stencil for center circle.
( design subconciously inspired by Mary Engelbright, realized later).
***IF you get the flower shapes, you don’t have to draw lines at all, just draw the center circle.
Even the preschoolers could draw the lines if they had a photo/example to copy. If they draw them, they might not look like flower petals, AND you will need more time.
AFTER the paint has dried, help student to thumbprint the flower middle (center circle). We use a stamp pad because I have a student who doesn’t like paint on her finger, AND no mess.
AFTER, the thumbprint dried- I glued the magnet on the back.
AFTER, the glue has dried- student paints on glitter glue. I dispersed small amounts out of the glitter glue tubes JUST like I do with paint. That was a personal taste thing and a drying time issue thing.
However much YOU disperse, or if student uses tube etc, have student use a paintbrush at the very end because it will help smooth the globbs.
Again, I do allow – at other times- process art by using an entire bottle of glitter glue on a project if they want. They have to be able to explore and splurge with the medium before you can expect them to use it properly. What THIS craft is good for is learning sequencing, following directions, methodology, attention span, LISTENING.
Upper left is 4.5 year old, Upper Right is 6.5 year old, bottom center is mine because I hardly ever have time to craft ha. AND the kids really like it when I can sit down with them and make my own also.
Students might even be encouraged to outline the edges, especially if they have an example to look at. Later we are going to use this craft as part of our flower study.
(The color in real life isn’t poppy red, but these COULD be used for poppy day hu)
Craft Gift Goals:
Uses materials I already had
Students create independently.
My garden isn’t blooming yet, I bought fake flowers from $ store for our flower shop for spring unit.
I keep a collection of various plastic bottles for saving the earth while having fun while saving $, haha.
A friend’s daughter outgrew her washi tape, I had a surplus. If I hadn’t, I probably would have left that out.
Creation Station Table: (whenever I’m truly inspired I forget to take a picture ha ha)
2 Power Ade bottles with per student.
3 differently shaped plastic bottles and a corn meal containter
NOTE ONLY BOTTLES WITH NON ADHESIVE LABELS HA HA EASY REMOVAL
Random stickers-transformers,to be colored, hello kitty, etc
White and Colored Papers both folded and unfolded
Small Kawaii Stamp Set with 3 stamp pads
Smaller and cut out, pictures to color (owl below)
I did not include ribbon, guess who’s going to be tying the ribbon on, or helping with it? I wanted this to be a no holds barred CREATION, using ALL MASTERED SKILLS.
Favorite Photo= The messy table afterwards!
Acadamic take? Allow students to use as many different materials as possible in expected and unexpected ways.
This is an empty 7-up bottle (green) and the 6 year old decorated it with cards taped all around the bottle! The owl is a colored picture and he wrote on the others.
This is both sides of the same vase.
Possibilities are endless!
I made this game with the goal of giving my preschoolers confidence in drawing. How many of us have said, “I can’t draw.”? My experience as an artist/artisan is that we are all creative, if we have the right medium.
For example, I am mediocre at freehand drawing. However, upon moving to a small rural town in Oregon, I was exposed to textile mediums. In two years I learned to make beaded bags and moccassins.
Ten years later I bead very little due to bifocals, but I have learned to use OTHER mediums to make things.
The point is: If we believe we are creative, we will continue to try different mediums.
With Art and Music cut from the standard education system, it is up to us to provide these experiences for children.
One of my preschoolers is speech delayed, and is only gaining confidence to TRY now at 4.5 yo. Student loses interest quickly, is resistant to try new things, and will only color smaller images. I made the game with this student in mind, and sure enough when it came to draw one side of the mouth- “I don’t know how to do that”. I responded, “you can do it”, and the student did draw that curve. During the second portion of the mouth, I guided the hand when asked. Student appeared to gain confidence, even drawing on wall whiteboards for the first time this week.
Confidence in Drawing
Kindergarten Common Core familiarity
Following directionS/Critical thinking
This is a great version of roll and draw for students with shorter attention spans. Drawing the face helps with letter formation due to fine motor skill practice for whiskers and mouth parts. Students excercise critical thinking skills as they have to draw the parts separately and understand how the lines lead to, a mouth, for example. This is the same process of alphabet letter deconstruction.
Pack Includes: Pages pictured in this post, single large page key, instructions.
Below the rabbit face is the direct download link:
We play these every week so I am continually doing different ones and sharing here. I love Kawaii and bright colors so I try to play these with the students whenever I can. They are just FUN, and math and some kind of art form always seem to go together.
I am incorporating all things spring and bright colors into our environment and curriculum as we had freezing temps just last MARCH. Here, tulips spring up first, chasing the crocuses. Yay for tulips and crocuses!
Moving to high desert mountains in SE OR where it can get below 0 on occassion, many of us are VERY adept at reading the signs as we thirst for spring with fierce cabin fever.
Included in pack:
Worksheet with color key, worksheet without key, worksheet with blank key for color fill in, and KEY sheet.
Direct Download Link under bunny
This is the last activity for The Three Ninja Pigs Unit.
- Roll a Ninja Pighttps://readcountcraft.com/2019/03/
2. Ninja Pig and Wolf Puppets, Letter P and W worksheets https://readcountcraft.com/2019/04/06/three-ninja-pigs-book-free-printable-activity-pack/
They build a house that the wolf could not blow down. It was tested by waving a hand fan really hard. They had a blast with this! The hand fans I picked up for free from a Cellular One Stand at a street fair thing- I covered the words with sticky glitter paper from the $Tree.
Fanning hard to see if the Pig House Falls down
Other Parts of this unit:
- Roll a Ninja Pig https://readcountcraft.com/2019/03/
2. Ninja Pig and Wolf Puppets, Letter P and W worksheets https://readcountcraft.com/2019/04/06/three-ninja-pigs-book-free-printable-activity-pack/
Otter Loves Easter is about Otter making and sharing dyed egg after he scarfs all of the candy the Easter Bunny brought him. Woven within the story is counting differently sized items, finding eggs in the egg hunt.
I have observed my students number recognition increase since I included a roll and color game center once a week. I also have them write the number once a week. We are now working on recognizing number 6 dots, and numeral. The dots also help as a common core tool, and both of my students will be attending standard K.
The reason I make so many themes is it’s my #1 effective tool for these skills, and the different themes keep it a game. It is easy to extend our literacy activity with adapting to a book we are reading.
The Pack Includes:
Page with Colored Key and a Page with Blank key to add colors to,
Page without Key, Key page with colors and Key Page without colors.
Direct Download Link Below Bunny Photo
My students love this game and playing it, has been highly effective for their number recognition. We use a large foam die from the $1 store. If they roll a number that has already been colored, the turn moves to the next player. The first one to have the egg color is the winner.
Pack Pages include: Color page with Key, Color page with blank key (to be filled in by teacher), Color page with no key, Key page with Colors, Key page without colors.
Here is the Roll and Color Pack Preview:
Direct Download Link is under the Bunny
This is a great activity for those who really can’t stand getting paint on their hands. My sensory sensitive toddler enjoys finger printing. It provides a personal record, without handprint mess. It also provides a less formal, result oriented art process.
Pages in Pack:
The Direct Download Link will be after free printable links, UNDER the Bunny.
Here’s an Easter Truck Free Printable I printed out and placed in a $1 Store Frame. These make great gifts too! ( I used this to show students what we were making so they had an artsy idea- our mantra? “Does it need to be perfect?” NO!! 🙂
I can’t find the place I downloaded it from, from one of my numerous subscriptions, NOT on pinterest, NOT on google, NOT in my trash! I will add the link when I get the next email from my graphics subscriptions! SORRY but it gives you an idea of frugal fun! My town is SO small it doesn’t have a TARGET, (90 min away over the mountains), so I HAVE to be creative!
A Free Printable of a Pink Truck filled with Easter items and says “Easter Blessings”
A free printable with a purple and green dumptruck dumping eggs out! I may use this one next year!
A Baby Blue Pickup with 3 big eggs
Turquoise truck with a bunny (you might be able to do contrasting thumbprints OVER the eggs)
My Fingerprint Egg Truck direct download link under bunny:
The bunny finds an egg and wonders what is inside. A boy, an elephant, another bunny? A duckling hatches while the bunny is napping, and they become friends so “no one is alone again.”
I always introduce a unit with something that connects the imagination and emotion. After reading the book a couple of times, I introduce questions through questions, as the bunny guesses what is in the egg. “Do elephants lay eggs?” I keep this part low key and fun.
Then they made their own “Bunny in an Egg”.
When introducing activity, discuss and identify ovals and circles. (math)
Using fine motor skills with crayons and scissors.
Egg Mobile by CuppieCake & Jojo! Very proud and the mobile’s look cu-uuute when hung!
After coloring, cutting and gluing, each child holds their project. I use a hole punch for the top and bottom of the egg and attach string.
The craft doesn’t HAVE to be a mobile. The egg can be glued onto construction paper with the “hanging” decorations applied wherever student wants to glue it.
Pages in Pack:
Egg Template, Bunny Templates (3 choices), Floral graphics to decorate (6 types). AND Instructions (not shown).
Hop to the Direct Download Link Under Rabbit!
These are my favorite books about earth day. Thank You Earth is full of photographs with poetic text to accompany each. The Earth and I, I love Asch’s art and the emotional story of Earth being a friend. I love the earth is a whimsical journey of how to help the earth, but great for short attention spans.
The Earth Day Craft is a no prep extension of any of these books:
- Color the Earth and Decorations that are going to be used.
- Cut out the Earth and Decorations that are going to be used.
- Glue the Earth and Decorations onto a piece of paper.
- Use Chalk for stars.
Included in the Pack:
-Large B/W Earth with Recycle Symbol
-Earth helper Decorations
-Extra Earth Decorations
-I Spy Page
-Critical thinking, what doesn’t belong? This is open ended, student only needs to have a reason for her group base. For example, she can choose by shape; odd one out is the square/heart. OR she can choose by color; odd one out is the black and white. OR choose by symbol; odd one out is earth.
-The final page is to choose what is good/bad for the Earth.
LINK IS BELOW EARTH!
check out our compost experiment (we have now added worms) and our recycling experiment.
This book is a silly story on its surface, with valuable literacy tools and ideas underneath.
Compare and contrast with the traditional three little pigs story.
The third little pig is the BEST ninja due to her hard work in earning the highest ninja belt. (perserverence)
Non traditional gender roles, the third little pig is the Sister.
Diversity and Vocabulary- such as “dojo”, unusual words and rhyme pattern.
Included in Pack:
Ninja Pig and Wolf Puppet Craft- Color, Cut, attach craft stick.
Find P recognition page.
Find starts with P, page.
Find W page.
Find starts with W, page.
We read the book then made our puppets. The next activity was the letter P recognition and sound pages.
The following week we read the book again. Completed our work sheets and found W’s in the book itself. In addition, my students useng post- it notes, to mark P’s and W’s in the book itself.
Special Thanks to NinjaWoman for the awesome Pig Ninja Graphic! Find her on TPT!
BELOW THE NINJA PIG IS THE DIRECT DOWNLOAD FOR THE PACK! AND THE LINK TO THE ROLL A NINJA PIG MATH COMPONENT!
the three ninja pigs book free printable pack
Kindergarten Skill building:
Ninjariffic Pig picture by Ninja Woman Clip Art Studio
Our Game Ninja Pigs!
Our game pages are light black because printer was low on ink.
Pages included for game are shown below:
SUPPLIES: Glue stick, poms, circle stickers, coloring tools
Heart Shamrock Number Recognition
- Child identifies shape and colors hearts.
- Child glues heart on matching heart in a clockwise direction, verbally stating identified number.
If unable to identify number, child repeats after adult states the number, while gluing the matching leaf on.
- After heart leaves are applied:
- Child glues the number of poms by color, indicated on each heart leaf.
- Example: 1 red pom is glued on #1.
- Child glues poms on heart leaves in a clockwise direction, and verbally states leaf number as identified.
- If unable to identify number, child repeats after adult states the number. Adult asks, “how many poms do you need?” Child answers with number, Adult states, “1 pom for #1” and so forth.
Heart Flower Number Recognition
- Child places stickers on matching flower petal in a clockwise direction, verbally stating identified number. I directed verbally the number to find in order 1-5, instead, number stickers for number matches.
- If unable to identify number, child repeats after adult states the number, while gluing the matching sticker on.
- After placing stickers on, teacher or student numbers each petal.
- Then, glue correct amount of poms to each petal.
SKILL BUILDING AREAS:
- number recognition
- 1:1 correspondence
- Number sense
- fine motor
- observation and critical thinking
click below the rainbow for direct download
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? You decide.
Use these as memory match cards or flash cards.
Attach craft sticks, for interactive storytime. Use these “puppets” for counting chicks in story books.
Use the Letter E card for Egg, and C card for Chick, and interact along with a Chicken Lifecycle book tale.
Chicks Lifecycyle Books:
Let’s Hatch Chicks by Lisa Steele
From Egg to Chicken by Gerald Scrace Legg
The Mother Hen: the Hen and the Chicks by Jemimah A. Admas
A New Chick for Chickies by Janee Trasler
Chickies series by Janee Trasler
Building skills with books:
Alphabet letter recognition
Incorporate technology with biology and counting:
Direct Download Link Below Rainbow
We are focusing less on our standard letter and number of the month and MORE on critical thinking the 1st three days of this week that starts spring break.
I have observed my preschoolers learn alphabet letters more by recognizing what they aren’t, then what they are.
We are also using hearts to build shamrocks, and puzzles for these days. I will post about these, as I find the teaching method applied effective and providing hands on experience and problem solving for my students.
Tried and True Rainbow Books!
The first is interactive, and the rabbit segueways into Easter. The second segueways nicely into spring blooming and planting.
Direct Download Under Rainbow Below!
The fun thing about this game is we use the color rolled for whatever place on the unicorn we want to. So, even the body can be three or four colors!
We use a big foam dice from the color store. The kids get a lot of exercise running back and forth to see what they rolled! I don’t have to worry about it getting lost, or, breaking something.
DIRECT DOWNLOAD BELOW:
An empty glass or plastic container with lid
Spoons for scooping in dirt to container.
Yard dirt or local dirt to fill up container at least half way
Biodegradable items: Use the Compost Stew book , it has lots of choices.
1- We took turns filling up the jar about 1/4 full, with our dirt.
2- Capt. D. put in the soft fresh pear pieces.
3-JoJo added used coffee grounds.
4- Capt. D. added a snip of my hair.
5- JoJo added dryer lint.
6- The boys finished by spooning the rest of the dirt into the jar and sealing the lid.
What we knew: We didn’t know anything about composting.
What we wanted to know: What exactly is composting anyway?
What we learned: How easy it is to make a compost stew and what we can throw in there.
Watch and see what happens: A week later we are still checking daily to see if the things we put in have become one with the dirt.
I also read I love the Earth by Todd Parr, and Thank you Earth which is a photograph book with one sentence of a poem on each page, during the two weeks we did these experiments. I read the other two books out loud, during our regular daily reading time. These books aren’t considered science books, but if we emotionally connect with nature, nature IS biology. Which is science. We live in the mountains, but one of the things the boys asked me today is to go and see how the canal microsystem has changed.
The books we read: The Earth and I by Frank Asch and Compost Stew By Mary McKenna Siddals
Biodegradable and Non Biodegradable Materials: any type of paper, plastic, metal, cardboard
Jars with lids, water to fill the jars
Sticky notes and a pen for labeling jars
We chose: bottle plastic, grocery bag plastic, an old cardboard book cover and bond paper to put into our jars of water.
What we know: We read the books and talked about where trash goes. We talked about what happens if our Landfill got full with trash, where would we put another one? We decided WE didn’t’ want a landfill next to where WE live.
What we wanted to know: Do things go away (dissolve/biodegrade) once they are buried in a landfill.
The prediction was that all of our materials would dissolve.
The boys- (4yo and 6yo), filled two jars apiece up with water. Then cut up a few pieces of their items to put in their jars.
We checked our covered specimens every day, a week later the cardboard and paper showed signs of dissolving. The book cover turned the water a bit green. After a week the plastic had not changed at all. We were ALL surprised that the bond paper was only soft, not dissolved yet.
What we learned: We talked about our observations, and that plastic stays in landfills. We also talked realized that plastic won’t dissolve in the ocean, either. That’s why we recycle our plastic, and even our paper. Otherwise, where will all the garbage go?
Finally, we watched a 3 min. video about the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch, which shows the result of what can happen to trash if not disposed of properly. No verbal narration, but the words can be read outloud if desired.
(The video provided transition to our compost experiment, next post.)
Watch and see what happens: the boys still check the jars daily to see how the paper is changing.
This is how much fun we had playing this game!
Stay Tuned! Free Printable coming Friday!
What makes a Rainbow is my all time favorite Rainbow book, I don’t care what age you are, the ribbons are magic.
R is for Rainbow Art Activity
BUILDING SKILLS: Writing: Letter formation and recognition, fine motor
Science: color mixing experimentation
Math: Counting ribbon colors, counting the colors used.
- A letter R cut out for each child (free printable)
- R is for Rainbow Template (free printable)
- Oil Pastels
- Glue Stick
- Cloth for wiping fingers off
- Read Over the Rainbow a few times over one week. During these readings, children count the ribbon colors.
- After final reading, introduce rainbow colors and talk about color mixing.
- Demonstrate how to smudge and mix colors using oil pastels.
- Tell children we are going to make our own rainbows with oil pastels. We can smudge our rainbows, and mix the colors if we want to.
- The child identifies the letter and glues onto template letter R.
- The child chooses an oil pastel and traces the attached letter R, with proper letter formation.
- Show children where to make their rainbows on the page.
- Then, they go for it!
- Use math again to ask the child to count what colors they used.
LINK FOR DIRECT DOWNLOAD TEMPLATES BELOW THE Word Picture
This link is the Letter R’s to cut out page
This link is for the drawing page
Again, a great fill in activity that I save for schedule changes, especially. Or a supplemental activity. I started making my own because any of the I Spy printables I found had so many objects, it was cumbersome and took forever. I tested them on my advanced 4yo preschooler and while he completed it, most preschoolers would have been bored. There are far more effective ways to teach counting! Mainly I use it as a different way to reinforce number formation (recognition). Enough jabbering, direct download below the leprechaun..wheeee
P.S. If you want the critical thinking part of “I Spy”, Highlights magazine offers a great series for critical thinking, including their infamous “hidden pictures”, for free in weekly email subscription.
Read each book by itelf at least 3 different times to the class, over one or two weeks.
Now you are ready to start a discussion about the similarities, differences and what are the same with the class.
- Hold up the books, examining and opening a discussion about the 1st story, then the 2nd.
- Flip through the Princess or a Dragon first page. Enter into a class conversation about the book main features page by page. A girl, A dragon, eating, etc.
- Then flip through the My 1st New Year book and repeat the same precedure.
- Finally, Display the books side by side, and encourage discussion about : same, different, similar.
- Print the puppets out and have the children cut them out. I printed mine out in black and white so the children could color.
- Have children place stick in desired place on back, and tape with shipping tape.
- Give children books and puppets and encourage them to go into freeplay with puppets and books and tell their own story.
- pre reading
- pre writing
- fine motor skills
I like to use this page as a fill in activity for those unplanned moments. Especially helpful when the kids spend most of the time indoors. After counting and putting in number, we can even talk about same and different, what’s your favorite item, etc. Make sure to orchestrate discussion so preschoolers understand what the objects are, and are called, for vocabulary. I don’t have a worksheet emphasis in my curriculum, but its an important skill to know how the physical world transfers to paper. I consider it a life building skill instead of a learning skill, because the adult world is full of paperwork! Enough jabber, the direct download link is below the leprechaun.
I like to use these worksheets for fill in activities. They are great for critical thinking. I put mine in protective sheets so the worksheet can be used again. If I don’t want to re-use, the students will either circle the different one, OR use a bingo dabber.
- I will also talk about WHAT exactly is the same, and WHAT is different? We talk about same, similar, and different daily with books and other objects, I weave it into the entire day. This helps them categorize, helps with critical thinking, asking questions, and the sorting process of a kind. Understanding and identifying helps them make sense of print. I consider it part of literacy.
- Of course, these can be used for math too, they like to count EVERYTHING. How many total? How many the same? How many are different? Figuring out less obvious categories also is critical thinking. I endeavor to teach more about THINKING then memorizing.
Enough jabber jabber, under the leprechaun is the link!
Use this for a no prep intro, review or practice of pattern production. I DIY laminate with clear contact paper and use for a go-to fill activity. If manipulatives are desired, have child place them on the correct hat.
Skills practiced: STEM, and knowing patterns are highly recommended for Kindergarten.
Below the leprechaun is the direct download link.
If child is a beginner with scissors, first cut worksheet into 4 vertical long rows. Shaped Pieces are easier because there isn’t a whole bunch of paper to coordinate while trying to practice the physical mechanics of cutting.
If a child is adept at cutting this sheet remains whole for practice.
This sheet can be used for pre-write line tracing to practice letter formation as well.
DIRECT DOWNLOAD LINK IS BELOW LEPRECHAUN
How can you make sure you get a chance to download?
- Follow me on Pinterest on my board ReadCountCraft
- Subscribe below
- Follow on Instagram, if you also want to see my fill in activities
I will be making a rainbow roll and color game as part of this series.
Use this as a fun way to practice “writing” line skills for alphabet letter formation.
Build alphabet writing skills with this free printable!
DIRECT DOWNLOAD LINK= UNDER THE LEPRECHAUN!
Supplies: Printable, Die and coloring tools
I tested this by playing with a preschooler and it was really fun! There’s really no win/lose, but he wanted a win/lose so we decided the person who has the most colors in the rainbow wins.
This game builds the following skills: counting, subtizing, color recognition, memory, following directions
And fits into many themes: Colors, Counting, Rainbow Theme, St Patricks theme, Unicorn theme, Spring Theme!
Below is the link for the Pack, Pack includes:
- Rainbow Outline with Key-3 copies
- Key-1 copy
- Rainbow outline without key-2 copies
Scavenger Hunt Sticky Collage Activity
There was so much snow that the children were excited to find anything! This was not planned, I grabbed a couple of recycled containers to put their goodies in.
Returning inside, I cut two pieces of clear contact paper and hung them up with magnets on our “magnet boards”. (Oil Pans)
Then, they stuck their collages to the color paper they wanted, and filled in the “frame” with oil pastels.
Finally, they decided to blend oil pastels on the back, which can be seen here.
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)
I’m sharing a site that offers a Kindness book list. The list was compiled from subscriber suggestions. The great thing about that is the books are tried and tested!
On of the books I like to teach kindness, is Z is for Moose. I enjoy interweaving themes that are not obvious with books we read.
My observation is the children are more receptive when I ‘m using implied teaching, instead of overt teaching when it comes to charachter building, social skills and emotional practices.
I only blog the winners I’ve tested on different children from toddlers to 7 year olds. The review above gives you an idea of how I integrate activities and dump the obvious (ABC’s) on its head.
Our small rural town is not diverse, so its incorporated into our curriculum.
We are going to be talking about Chinese New Year. I made this game for Chinese New Year 2019 Year of the Pig activity.
No Prep for counting, pre-write & subtizing skill building!
Supplies: Printable(s) /Die
- Pre-Write (coloring)
- Following Directions
- Counting 1-5
- Subtizing (I see & know how many w/o counting)
How to play:
- Choose which pig template to print, and print one per child.
- Child rolls die.
- Child says number outloud, and colors the picture that matches the rolled number.
- If that item is already colored, child passes turn if you want the game to last longer. If you desire a quicker game, when child rolls an item that is already colored, child re-rolls.
- Continue until 1 child has entire pig colored. That child wins.
What is in the Free Printable Pack?
There are two of each page in the pack.
The two pictures shown previously are two of the pages in the pack.
Show below is the pig template page, with the body already colored.
Finally, a separate dice page, shown below.
My preschoolers play this with each other, with only a little guidance from me. Since this has pictures, not words, it can be used as a center or independent play activity.
- Die, or Foam Die with Dry Erase Marker
- 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.
I live in SE Oregon, the Opposite side of the state from Portland. High desert Mountains. About 45 min from Crater Lake.
This morning’s photo taken with my phone. No filter, the light of the sunrise in 30 minutes created wonder.
We are in deep winter, it’s warmish for us , 30 degrees. Frozen.
Why add contact paper to any tray for textile learning?
Write letter ON the tray! No card, letter needed for copying! Easily remove the contact paper when done!
- Any tray or plate with raised edges to contain the sand.
- Decorative sand from the Dollar Store.
- Contact Paper from the Dollar Store.
Measure Contact paper for tray and apply.
Write the letter, number, or word and add sand.
I let him explore the sand first before he traced his letter.
He had fun finding the e. He had fun tracing with eyes open and closed!
Book: Any snow themed book. We are reading:
- cotton balls
- bells of different sizes
- Wooden spoons
- containers to put snowballs into
Another last minute activity I threw together, as a result of being stuck inside!
- fine motor prewrite skill
- following directions
- cooperation, taking turns
- sensory exploration
- 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!
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- Ice, Salt, Seasoning Salt in containers, set out on a tray.
- Bubble wrap, plastic sandwich bag
Cloth for wiping up spilled water
- ADULT MUST STAY WITH CHILDREN DURING ALL EXPERIMENTS. DISCUSS FLASHLIGHT SAFETY AND USE (DON’T PUT IN WATER!)
INTRO: Read interactively books which involve melting snow, artic, hibernation. We checked out Sneezy the Snowman from library and read it again, right before activity.
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!
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A Robot friendship story, Sparrow by Jake Parker.
The 4 pages for the game are:
- 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)
- Color the House BEFORE cutting it apart.
- Cut the House Pieces out.
- 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!
- Critical thinking
- Fine Motor
- Pre reading
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!
- GOLDILOCK’S BEAR HOUSE, AND ROLL A BEAR PACK EXAMPLE:
DOWNLOAD LINK BELOW
My students absolutely love any Roll and Draw games!
Dice (we use a big foam dice from the $ Store)
How to play: The first person to complete the picture wins! If person rolls what she already has, then she passes her turn.
Skills: Counting, Subsidizing (recognizing without counting), common core, fine motor skills, printing.
Download Link Below:
We checked out The Mitten by Jan Brett from our local library.
Over the next two days, we watch The Mitten on YouTube The Mitten story by Kids Hut and we read the book each day.
“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?
To spark interest in eventual learning with The Mitten, I highly recommend using this video during this week:https://youtu.be/E-V6f3aCfEo
This provides a foundation for skill building focus over the next month:
The Mitten by Jan Brett: Sequencing, measurement, counting, animal identification. (Reading and Math)
The Hat by Jan Brett: Differences and similarities with the Mitten story. Animal Homes and Habitats. (Pre-Reading skills, Science )
This book, Done with the Crying, has helped healing. No one talks about this issue, but there’s 100s of us we are everywhere as the book cites for research.
For the first time in 3 years, I did not get depressed or busying myself in an anxiety spike to get through the day. My mom died one year and my youngest daughter emancipated so she could live with her step dad the next. She’s 19 now and still silent. I’m close to my 32 non bio daughter, but she’s up and over the mountain 6 hours.