Blog

Snowflake Week 2017

Your child is not like any other child.  Yes, they may have familiar similarities or may be right on target with other children their age on the development charts but they are all unique little people.  It fascinates me to listen to the children as they explain a thought, watch as they work with the play dough, and see their creativity as they explore the materials in the outside play area. 

Even though two snowflakes may form in the same cloud, their different journeys to the ground will affect their shape and size, giving each snowflake its own unique identity. You may never find an identical pair of snowflakes, but they can be grouped by similarities in their patterns.
https://wonderopolis.org/wonder/why-are-all-snowflakes-different

And just as two children are interacting with similar materials at preschool they will have a different interpretation of that item or activity and how it effects their world.  Enjoy those special qualities that make your child a ‘snowflake’ – unique and one-of-a-kind!

This second week in January we will be talking about snowflakes.  The children will be dipping snowflake shapes in watercolor to make “rainbow” snowflakes.  We will be using magnifying glasses to look and make tiny things look bigger.

The Science of Snowflakes: Facts and Activities for Children
Laure Latham
December 9, 2015
Six is the magic number for snow – did you know that? If you had a big magnifier and stepped outside with your children on a cold winter day to watch snow fall from the sky, here is what you might observe – six-sided hexagonal crystals, needles or flat six-sided crystals, and a wide variety of six-sided shapes. All snowflakes are a combination of the number six for simple chemical reasons – they’re all variants of the water molecule. Despite all snowflakes having six sides, not two snowflakes are exactly identical. How crazy is that? Here are a few more fun facts about snowflakes as well as simple science activities you can do with your children.

Where Do Snowflakes Come From?
As obvious as this may sound, snowflakes—or more scientifically, snow crystals—are formed in clouds. However they are not frozen raindrops, as that’s called sleet or hail. Snowflakes are a different cold weather phenomenon formed from water vapor that condenses around a tiny particle—the seed crystal, usually a speck of dust—in clouds. Cloud droplets condense around the seed crystal and freeze on the surface of the particle, patterns emerging as the crystals grow.
The shape of snowflakes is determined by the altitude and temperatures at which they are formed. When several crystals stick together or create puffy white balls, they become snowflakes. Once the snowflakes are heavy enough, they fall to the earth. The average snowflakes fall at an average speed of 3.1 miles per hour!

Snowflake

Songs:
Snowflake Song
Snowflakes, snowflakes, dance around.
Snowflakes, snowflakes, touch the ground.
Snowflakes, snowflakes, in the air.
Snowflakes, snowflakes, everywhere.
Snowflakes, snowflakes, dance around.
Snowflakes, snowflakes, touch the ground.

Five Little Snowmen
Five little snowmen riding on the sled, (pretend five fingers are sledding)
One fell off and bumped his head. (pretend one finger falls off…rub head)
I called Frosty and Frosty said, (dial imaginary telephone)
“No more snowmen, riding on that sled!” (say in a deep voice)
Four little snowmen…etc.

Winter Song
Way up high in the snowy tree,
Lots of little snowflakes smiled at me.
So I shook that tree as hard as I could.
Down came the snowflakes
Brrrr
They’re cold!

Read more

Snow Week 2018

Welcome back to school.  I hope you have enjoyed time with family, friends and had some time to get outside to play in the snow.

We will be talking about snow, snowflakes and snowmen in the next several weeks.  We will have songs, poems and stories about cold weather and snow.  I love that the children have had a chance to see actual snow…and maybe had an opportunity to make a snowman.

This week looks like it will be sunny and cold.  Please, be sure to dress for chilly outside play – both for you and your child.  😉

At home you can talk about ice, cold, water, snow, snowflakes and warm clothing.

10 Little Snowflakes

 

Read more

Moon Week 2017

SUNDAY WAS A SUPERMOON!

When the “Full Cold Moon” rises on Sunday night (Dec. 3) it will also mark the first (and last) “supermoon” of 2017. Supermoons happen when a full moon approximately coincides with the moon’s perigee, or a point in its orbit at which it is closest to Earth. This makes the moon appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2017/12/03/tonight-supermoon-supermoon-2017/#2b9182553fac

This week the moon will be visible in the late afternoon/early evening and in the early/late morning.  With the skies being mostly clear it will be a great week for ‘moon-gazing’.  We will continue talking about the stars, the moon, shiny things and light.

Fun Facts about the PHASES OF THE MOON
When we look into the sky the moon does not always look the same.

  • Explain to your child that the moon is always the same shape, round.
  • However, the moon does not have light of its own and we can only see the moon by the light of the sun.
  • Sometimes the light from the sun cannot reach the whole moon and we can only see part of it.
  • We call these different shapes that the light of the sun on the moon creates – The Phases of the Moon.
  • Sometimes the moon looks like a circle, some times it looks like half a circle and most of the time it looks like a funny section of a circle.
  • Every month, we are able to see at least one full moon.
  • When we are able to see two full moon’s, we call the second moon a “Blue Moon”.

Supermoon

Read more

Star Week 2017

This last week in November is Star Week. We will be singing songs about stars and talking about shiny things. The play dough will have glitter added to it and the sensory table will have shiny white sand with glitter in it too. The children will be painting star shapes with glitter paint. We will be talking about the night sky. There will be stars on the walls in the climbing room that the children can find using flashlights. The older children will be making star scopes and talking about what they see in the night sky (besides rain and clouds!). Here is to hoping for a few nights when they can see the stars now that it is getting dark before they head for bed.

Songs, Poems and Rhymes:

Star Light Star Bright
Star light, Star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.

Hey Diddle Diddle
Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away
With the spoon.

10 Little Stars
One little, two little, three little stars,
Four little, five little, six little stars,
Seven little, eight little, nine little stars,
Ten stars in the sky

Star Poem
At night I see the twinkling stars
And a great big smiling moon.
My mother tucks me into bed
And sings a good-night tune.

Star Song
Sung to Mary Had a Little Lamb
Stars are shining in the sky
in the sky, in the sky
Stars are shining in the sky
Way way up so high.

Start Week

Read more

Thankful

I am so thankful for each of these children and their families.  Each child, and family, brings new energy to the preschool.  Each child has a unique view of their world, genuine curiosity about how their world works and an interest in interacting with the people in their world.  It is these little people, and their love of learning, that brings me such joy.  Their desire to learn is what energizes me.  Each month I have a lunch date with two friends that used to teach in the NSC cooperative preschool program.  When we are together we always talk about what I am doing and what is new with the children.  They miss seeing that sense of wonder as a child engages in learning about their world.

I am so thankful that I can be a teacher of young children and be outside!  It has been a double blessing to be able to teach preschool while developing an outdoor classroom where these children can explore, engage and interact with nature.  As my family can tell you, I love being outside and I love the simple pleasures in nature – leaves, trees, the beach, waves, drift wood, shells and rocks.  Curt always has a pocketful of my treasures to tote back home.  Everyone in my family knows how much I love rocks.  This summer Greta’s Dad gave me some very special rocks to bring back from our trip to Door County, one year Nick gave me a glass jar full of shiny rocks as a Christmas present, my brother called and asked if I wanted a bucket of black rocks and Danielle just brought me back a bag of rocks from one of her adventures.  In the play area, you may remember that the leprechauns brought rocks as gifts to the children and you may have noticed that I hide ‘special’ rocks in the sandbox, the car table and garden area for the children to find.  I love that I have some fellow ‘rock lovers’ in our preschool.  These little ones are just as excited about a rock as I am!

It makes me smile to see the children marvel at the wonders found in nature.  The leaves as they change colors, the way the trees sway in the wind, the patterns on the snail shells and the delicate blossoms of the raspberry plants.  When they are outside they are using all five senses.  They can see the beauty of nature but they can also hear, feel, smell and taste nature.  They hear birds singing, see the wind in the trees,   feel the movement as they walk on the gravel and watch as the rain rolls off the top of the tent.  They can smell the flowers, taste the red tomato they picked off the vine and feel the prickle of the small thorns on the stalk as they look for another red raspberry.  Each experience has more than one sense – seeing the colors, hearing the sounds, touching the textures, smelling the fragrances and tasting what we grow in the garden.  When they play outside they are using their five senses to categorize what they encounter.  As well as building a vocabulary – both in spoken words and visual images – using these new skills they are developing an awareness of their body and how it works.  Being outside on uneven ground helps them learn how their body moves.  They are developing balance and coordination skills as they run, climb and jump.  This movement engages their brain in ways that smooth surfaces do not.  They need to problem solve when the ground is bumpy, they take developmentally appropriate risks as they develop some of these skills and they become more aware of how their body responds as they walk on gravel, run on uneven ground, climb on a stump or balance on a log.  They build community as they work together to build a space ship, a teeter totter or a chair using the garden timbers.  I marvel at the determination they have as they lift and carry those timbers.  They need to communicate their plan, listen to their friends as they express their ideas and work together as a team to accomplish the task.  As one child said, “This is hard work.  We did it!”

I feel so blessed to be a part of their experiences as they learn the importance of the living things in their world.  They are learning that plants grow if they are watered, that snails need to be touched gently and cared for, that mother birds feed their young and that spiders work hard to build a web.   They are learning empathy and that empathy will carry over to how they respond to their friends and family.  They are becoming caring and loving people.  How awesome is that?!  What a blessing to be a part of their world as they develop this sense of compassion for living things.

I am so thankful for children, for teaching, for nature, for being outside and for having an opportunity to share this small window of time with your children.

I hope you took time this week to enjoy the Wonder of Learning that is going on right now as your child engages in the world.  It is a special time – it is the Wonderment of Childhood.

 

– Teacher Janice

Read more

Food Week 2017

In a little over a week we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is time to enjoy family, friends and food. This week at preschool we will be exploring the world of food. At the art table we are making satsuma turkeys with fruity o’s for feathers.  The Pre-3 and 3s classes will be making vegetable prints. There will be measuring cups and kitchen tools in the sensory table, as well as, kitchen tools to use with the play dough. There will be food puzzles at table toys, and of course, lots of opportunities for food conversation in the dramatics area.

Fun Food Activities for Home:
(Due to allergies we will have limited food activities at school, but these are two fun ones to do with your child at home.)

Toast
Ingredients and items needed: wheat bread, milk, food coloring, pastry brush, toaster, plastic knives
Have your child brush the toast with milk that has been colored with a small amount of food coloring (they can paint shapes, faces, etc.). Now, toast the bread!

OR:  Make your toast and then have your child top it with apple butter, applesauce, yogurt, sliced bananas or other fruit you may choose!

Smoothies
In a blender add yogurt of choice, ice cubes, milk or juice, any kind of fruit you like (veggies too). Have your child cut up the bananas with a plastic knife, wash the blueberries, pull the grapes off the stem, etc.
Let them measure, pour and push the buttons on the blender.
Blend and enjoy!

Songs and Rhymes:

I Can Eat a Rainbow
RED as an apple,
ORANGE as a carrot,
YELLOW as a banana,
GREEN as grapes,
BLUE as blueberry,
PURPLE as a plum,

One Potato, Two Potato
One potato, two potatoes, three potatoes, four
Five potatoes, six potatoes, seven potatoes more!

Patty Cake
Patty cake patty cake,
Bakers man, bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Roll it, pat it, mark it with a B
And put it in the oven for Baby and me.

Jelly Song
 (Sung To : The farmer in the dell)
Jelly in a Bowl, Jelly in Bowl
Wibble Wobble Wibble Wobble
Jelly in a bowl.

I Like Apples and Bananas
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas

I like ate, ate, ate aepples and baenaenaes

I like to eat, eat, eat eeples and beenenes

I like to ite, ite, ite ipples and binini

I like to ote, ote, ote opeles and bononos

I like to ute, ute, ute upples and bununus

I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas

Painted Toast

Read more

Feather Week 2017

We will continue our turkey theme this second week in November and add feathers to our activities. You can talk to the children about ways animals stay warm – do they have feathers or fur, do they live in a house or outside, do they hibernate when it gets cold or go south where it is warmer? Talk about how some animals like the cold and some do not. You can talk about what they do when it is colder outside. Ask the childen how they stay warm and what they can do when it is colder that they cannot do when it is warmer.
With the change in weather we will have the children filling our bird feeders in the garden area.  We have two seed feeders and one hummingbird feeder. After we fill the feeders we will  have a lot of new guests with wings in the play area. This week, while you are outside, see if you can find any of the birds.  They are at the feeder and in the trees and bushes of our garden.

Along with our turkey Songs and Rhymes from last week we will add:

Five little turkeys
Five little turkeys by the barn door,
One waddled off, then there were four.
Four little turkeys out under the tree,
One waddled off, then there were three.
Three little turkeys with nothing to do.
One waddled off, then there were two.
Two little turkeys in the noonday sun,
One waddled off, then there was one.
One little turkey – better run away!

Turkey Feather Game:
The adults say:
Mr. Turkey is so sad
He lost the feathers he once had
Now he wants us to help him find
All his feathers. Oh that’s so kind.

The children sing:
Found a feather, found a feather, found a feather on the ground
Oh I am so very lucky for a feather I have found.

 

Thanksgiving Feathers

Read more

Turkey Week 2017

This first week and second week in November, we will have turkeys, feathers and lots of ‘gobble, gobble, gooble’ at preschool. The kids will be painting our papier mache turkey at the art table, and they will be making their turkey handprints. In the sensory table there will be corn. We will be using the small and large tongs to find hidden items in the sensory table.   Tongs are a fun way to work on fine motor skills.
There will be farm animals at the play dough and in the sensory table. In the blocks area there will also be farm animals – both plastic and soft. We will have a special guest animal when we sing Old McDonald. Gobble, gobble, gobble.

Songs and Rhymes:

Funny Fellow
The turkey is a funny fellow, his head goes wobble, wobble.
He only says but just one word: gobble, gobble, gobble.

Hello Mr Turkey
Hello, Mr. Turkey how are you? Hello, Mr. Turkey how are you?
With a wobble, wobble and a gobble, gobble
Hello Mr. Turkey how are you?
(Good bye Mr. Turkey see you later.)

Mr. Turkey
Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble says the turkey (3x)
Mr. Turkey gobble, gobbles and he wobble, wobble, wobbles.
Gobble, gobble, gobble says the turkey.

My Turkey
I have a turkey big and fat
He spreads his wings and he walks like that
His daily corn he would not miss
And when he talks he sounds like this:
Gobble gobble gobble

Papier Mache Turkey

Read more

Spider Week 2017

This week is Spider Week.  During the day we will introduce spider songs/finger plays as well as continue with apple/leaf/pumpkin songs.
With the spider we will be talking about webs – home for a spider.  We will talk about other homes for animals – nests, holes, caves, etc.  We will talk about their home. During the week you can show your child webs outside in the garden. With the rainy/misty mornings it will be perfect for finding webs outside.  Look for nests in the trees now that the leaves have fallen.  Ask your child where he/she thinks the birds live during the winter, where do the spiders go when it is cold and what kind of homes different pets have.  We will continue to talk about homes as we move into Thanksgiving and family celebrations.

Songs and rhymes of the week:

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Little Miss Muffet

Spider on the Floor
There’s a spider on the floor, on the floor.
There’s a spider on the floor, on the floor.
There’s a spider on the floor,
Who could ask for anything more?
There’s a spider on the floor, on the floor.
(There’s a spider on my leg, on my arm, etc.)

Spin Spin Little Spider
Spin, spin little spider.  Spin, spin little spider.  
Spin, spin little spider. Spin a web today.
(Spin, spin higher higher.  Spin, spin lower lower.)

Spider Web

Read more