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.

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 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
They’re cold!

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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


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Moon Week 2017


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.

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”.


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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

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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.)

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!

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

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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

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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

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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

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MESS: Experience 3 – What is a Seed?

October 9 – October 13

Marvelous Explorations Through Science and Stories: MESS is a science-centered early childhood curriculum enhancement. Each unit includes field-tested science experiences, suggestions for ways to integrate each topic across the curriculum, lists of recommended books and science materials, and ideas for involving families in children’s learning at home and in other settings.

Here is this week’s MESS-inspired curriculum for Crown Hill Explorers’ Nature-Based 3s class.

Experience 3: What is a Seed?

Look for seeds on the playground. Watch squirrels and birds as they hunt for and eat seeds.

Science Concept

Plants are living things that need water, light, nutrients, and air to survive, and can move, grow, and reproduce.

Place a variety of seeds and magnifying tools in the Center for further exploration.

Creative Arts (Art): Have the children create seed collages by gluing seeds onto paper.

Show the children the collection of seeds. Encourage the children to think about what these small things might be:

  • Have you ever seen things like these before?
  • What are they?
  • Where do we find them?

Tell the children the names of the seeds that you are familiar with. Explain that if the seeds are buried in the ground and provided water, and the temperature is right, they will grow to be plants. Talk about how people sometimes plant seeds, but that seeds in the natural world are spread by the wind and moved around by animals such as squirrels and birds.

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Pumpkin Week 2017

This second week in October the children will be exploring pumpkins – in the play area, at the art table and in the sensory table.  There will even be orange play dough and cookie cutters at the play dough table. There will be farm and garden books in the library area.  Talk to your child about where our food comes from and how plants grow.
A pumpkin is a sensory experience in an orange ball (or other colors and shapes!).  Talk to your child about the color, the size, the shape, the texture.  You can scoop out the seeds and roast them or buy some at the store and talk about where they come from. Remember that some children love to explore and get messy while others will just want to look at the pumpkin.  Either way the child is learning and developing new informational pathways in the brain.  These early experiences are stored and used to build the foundation for later learning.

Songs and rhymes of the week:

Have you ever seen a pumpkin, a pumpkin, a pumpkin,
Have you ever seen a pumpkin, that grows on a vine?
A round one, a tall one, a bumpy one, a squashed one.
Have you ever seen a pumpkin, that grows on a vine?
(You can add your own adjectives to describe it.)

Pumpkin, pumpkin, round like a ball.  Pumpkin, pumpkin, high on the wall.  Pumpkin, Pumpkin, sit up tall.  Pumpkin, pumpkin, tip and FALL!

We are pumpkins big and round, big and round, big and round.
We are pumpkins big and round.  Sitting on the ground.                                                                      
(We are pumpkins, little and round.)

Developing and Cultivating Skills with a Sensory Table…
Is it smooth and wet or bumpy and dry? Is it sticky and gooey or slippery and fluffy? Does it tickle? Can it change shape? These are just a few of the questions that children can explore while using a sensory table. Learning with a sensory table is more than a fun time-filler; it allows them to gain insight and information about the world around them by providing essential hands-on experiences. Investigating materials with no preconceived knowledge also helps develop and refine cognitive, social and emotional, physical, creative and linguistic skills. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to use a sensory table; they are appropriate for all ages, genders and races.
Encourage your child to explore: don’t overwhelm him with tasks and don’t be too quick to answer his questions
By Danielle Steinberg


Sensory Table


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