This week is Spider Week.  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 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

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.)

Bug in a Rug

Bug in a rug
Bug in a rug
Which one of you bugs
Is snug in my rug?




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Pumpkin Week

This week the children will be exploring pumpkins – in the play area, at the art table and in the sensory table.  We will have orange playdough and cookie cutters at the play dough table.   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.  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.  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

Pumpkin Songs and Rhyme

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)

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)

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

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

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Leaf Week 2018

This week we will be learning about leaves – colors, sizes & where they come from.  At the art table the children will be making leaf prints and leaf painting at the easel. There will be leaf and tree cookie cutters at the playdough table.  We will have texture cards out to make leaf imprints. They can use the magnifying glasses to examine different types of leaves.  As you go for walks this week ask your child to find leaves of different colors, shapes and sizes.

Leaf Songs:

Leaves are falling to the ground, to the ground, to the ground. The leaves are falling to the ground.  Pretty Autumn leaves.

The leaves are falling down.
The leaves are falling down.
Red, yellow, green and brown.
The leaves are falling down.

The leaves on the trees turn orange and brown. . .orange and brown. .. .orange and brown
The leaves on the trees turn orange and brown
In the town.

The leaves on the ground go crunch crunch crunch,  crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch
The leaves on the ground go crunch crunch crunch
Down to the ground
The leaves on the trees come tumbling down, tumbling down, tumbling down
The leaves on the trees coming tumbling down
Down to the ground

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Apple Week

This week we will be focusing our 5 Senses on apples.  What do we see when we look at an apple, what do we hear when we bite into an apple, what do we taste when we eat one?  What does an apple smell like when we cook it for applesauce?  When eating applesauce or a whole apple you can talk about how the texture is different between the two.  The children will be making applesauce and exploring the difference between fresh, crisp apples and warm, cooked apples.  Yum!

At home you can talk to them about the apple trees in the neighborhood, the apples they see in the grocery stores and at the market.  Ask them if all apples are the same color, if they like them crunchy or soft, what shape do they think an apple is and help them identify seeds/stem/skin.

We will be singing:

Way Up High in a Tree

Way up high, in a tree, two littles apples smiled at me.

So I shook that tree as hard as I could.

Down came the apples, mmmm good.


Twinkle Twinkle Traffic Light

Twinkle twinkle traffic light  Round the corner shining bright

Red means stop, green means go, yellow means – very slow.

Twinkle twinkle traffic light Round the corner shining bright.

(Then we will sing it ‘silly’  Twinkle Twinkle APPLE light)


Have You Ever Seen an Apple

Have you ever seen an apple, an apple, an apple,
Have you ever seen an apple, that grows on a tree?
A red one, a yellow one, a red one, a green one.
Have you ever seen an apple, that grows on a tree?

Have you ever had an apple, an apple, an apple?
Have you ever had an apple and heard it go ‘crunch’?

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Me Week

This week we will be learning about ME and my body.  We will have a story called

I LIKE ME and sings songs about our body parts.   We will talk about our 5 Senses i At home you can ask your child to ‘listen’ as they crunch the leaves on a walk, ‘look’ at the colors of the leaves in the trees, ‘taste’ the apple, ‘smell’ the food as it cooks for dinner and ‘feel’ the slippery soap during their bath.  This year we will spend a lot of time encouraging the children to engage in the world around them by using their 5 Senses and developing an awareness of how their body works by interacting with the world around them – inside and outside.



Special, special, special me

How I wonder what I’ll be

In this big world I can be

Anything I want to be

Special, special, special me

How I wonder what I’ll be.


A Home for Me

This is a nest for a birdie

This I a hive for a bee

This is a hole for a bunny

And this is a house for me.



Hands on shoulders,
hands on knees.
Hands behind you,
if you please;
Touch your shoulders,   now your nose,
Now your knees and now your toes;
Hands up high in the air,
Down at your sides, and touch your hair;



This is the Way

This is the way we wash our hands,

wash our hands, wash our hands.
This is the way we wash our hands
So early in the morning.


…eat our food

…drink our milk

…brush our teet


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Garden Week 2018

This second week in May will be our Garden/Flower week and we will continue this theme into the following week. The children will be making Mother’s Day cards this week and we will be planting flowers next week.

Children need to connect with nature. A growing body of evidence indicates that contact with nature is as important to children as good nutrition and adequate sleep. I, Teacher Janice, agree with this statement by Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods. It is so important for the children to be outside, in a safe environment, where they can explore the world around them.  

Gardening and nature based play go hand in hand. While gardening with children we are promoting play that is:
Learner centered – it is set around and for the learner.
Hands on – promotes sensory based play.
Inclusive – connect children of all cultures, ages, skills and abilities.
Social – promotes interaction and communication between children and adults.
Emotionally safe – builds self-esteem and pride.
Physical development – fine and large motor skills are used. 
Integrative – blends math, science, language, reading, 5 senses, and creativity.
Artistic and Creative – allows opportunities to create artistic pieces, as well as, and enjoy colors, shapes, smell and nature.

Gardening gives opportunities to develop empathy, curiosity, and responsibility, as the children become aware of the physical world outside while they care for the plants and animals living in our world.

Garden Week


Little Seed
Dig a little hole
Plant a little seed  
Pour a little water
Pull a little weed
Up Up Up 
Green stems grow
Open wide
It’s blossom time.

Here is a Blossom
Here is a leaf
And here is a leaf
And that you see makes two
Here is a blossom
That will bloom
Just for you!

I like dirt
I like dirt, I like dirt
It won’t hurt
On my shirt
I like to spray it with the hose
I like to squish it with my toes
The fun I have just grows and grows
Cuz I like dirt!

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Fish Week 2018

This last week in May we will make fish prints at art. The children will have a chance to choose the colors they would like to paint their fish and see how those colors blend when made into a print. We will have a fishing pool set out in the blocks area with a ‘dock’ to stand on to catch fish. A fun activity at home is to ‘catch’ goldfish crackers with humus ‘bait’ on the end of a long, fat pretzel ‘fishing pole’. You can use anything long like a pretzel, celery, or carrot to be your pole and any thick bait like humus, cream cheese, or a nut butter to catch anything you like that is small (like a fishy cracker, cut in half olives, cheerios, etc.).  It is a fun way to eat a snack!

Bears Class and Owls Class will have their Pajama Nights on Tuesday (Bears) and Wednesday (Owls) – 6– 7:30pm. Bring cut up fruit for the fruit bowl. Pancakes will be made.

Fish in the Sea
There are so many fish in the deep blue sea. What color fish do you see?

5 Little Fishes
5 little fishes swimming near the shore
1 swam away and then there was 4

4 little fishes were swimming out to sea
One swam away and then there was 3

3 little fishes said now what should we do?
One swam away and then there were 2

2 little fishes we are having great fun
One swam away and then there was 1

1 little fish said I like the warm sun
She swam away and now  there are none!

Fish are swimming, fish are swimming,
In the sea, in the sea,
A-splishing and a-splashing,
A-splishing and a-splashing,
Look and see, look and see.

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Bee Week 2018

This fourth week in May, we will be talking about bees and bugs, dirt and gardens. The pumpkin seeds from the process pumpkin have sprouted in the garden.  We will plant some more carrots, some wildflower seeds that will attract honey bees, and some edible herb plants given to me by a neighbor…WATER WATER WATER! We will be adding a home for mason bees in the garden area as well.

We will talk about colors when we read our story, The Bee, at Circle Time. This story gives the children the opportunity to guess what comes next, this is one of the pre-reading skills we have been working on. To be able to guess what comes next, the children need to be engaged in the story, able to stay focused, and to follow a story line.

We will be learning the Bug in the Rug rhyme. Learning rhymes is also a pre-reading skill (to hear the sounds of words).  The children are developing listening skills as they hear how words sound the same and how they are different. Children enjoy rhymes and the humor that comes with some of these rhymes.

The five early literacy practices: read, write, talk, sing and play…

As we sing songs, learn rhymes, and read stories we are working on early literacy skills. The children are building their vocabulary as they learn the words in the songs and poems. Reading the books during Circle Time and in the Library encourages them to love to read and to have print awareness (seeing the written words that are spoken to them as you read the story). As we re-read stories or do the song/rhyme/flannel story for yet another time it is to encourage your child to hear the words/sounds, and be able to re-tell the story/thought/word sequence. The children need to practice this skill and repetition of the songs and stories is a way they can practice this skill. Singing songs is a way for the children to hear the syllables in the words, hear words that rhyme, and recite the words back to you. These songs and stories are the beginning introductions to the written word, which is the start of the development of their early reading skills.

Don’t forget…this week and next week are our Family Nights.  Check the schedule below for your Pajama Night.
Pajama Night:
6:00 – 7:30pm
Children wear their pajamas.
Pancakes and fruit salad will be available till 7:00pm. Art activity at the table.
Circle time at 7:15pm.
Please bring a baggie of bite-sized cup up fruit for the fruit salad.
21 – Eagles
22 – Orcas
24 – Otters
29 – Bears
30 – Owls

Songs, Rhymes and Poems:
Bug in Rug
Bug in a rug
Bug in a rug
Which one of you bugs
Is snug in my rug?

Insects All Around
Ladybugs and butterflies
Buzzing bees up in the sky
Teeny tiny little ants
Crawling up and down the plants
Many insects can be found
In the sky and on the ground.

I Like Dirt
I like dirt, I like dirt
It won’t hurt
On my shirt
I like to spray it with the hose
I like to squish it with my toes
The fun I have just grows and grows
Cuz I like dirt!

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Caterpillar Week 2018

This last week in April we will continue learning about birds and nests, and we will add caterpillars. Our fuzzy, little caterpillar turned in to a moth two weekends ago. A week early for this curriculum theme, but I am guessing he did not read the yearly themes! The Woolly Bear Caterpillar turns into an Isabella Tiger Moth So cool!


Caterpillar Week


As the weather warms up we will be exploring our garden and growing seeds; and learning about caterpillars, butterflies and lots of bugs and bees. The outside play area is a great place for discovery. If we are lucky we will have the opportunity to have birds nest in the nesting box on the side of the church building. It is so much fun to hear the baby birds as the mama bird brings them food to eat. If you have the chance to show your child a nest, you can talk about what they are doing and what happens when they grow. This week we will be making some ‘nesting stations’ for the birds to use as they make their nest. We will be reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar and discussing how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. The rhymes and stories will say ‘cocoon,’ but it is actually a ‘chrysalis.’ 
Butterflies and moths go through the same stages in their metamorphosis with one difference. Many moths form a cocoon instead of a chrysalis. Moths form cocoons by first spinning a silken ‘house’ around them. Once the cocoon is finished, the moth caterpillar molts for the last time, and forms a pupa inside the cocoon.
Butterflies DO form cocoons, no matter what The Very Hungry Caterpillar says! However, not all moths form cocoons, either! Some moth species pupate underground instead. These caterpillars burrow into the soil or leaf litter, molt to form their pupa, and remain underground until the moth emerges. The newly emerged moth will then crawl out from underground, crawl up onto a surface from which they can hang, and will then expand their wings in preparation for flight.

Fuzzy Caterpillar
A fussy little caterpillar 
made a cocoon one day
Turned into a butterfly 
and flew away.

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Bird and Nest Week 2018

As we spend more time outside we will have many opportunities to think like scientists. Many key components of scientific thinking are imbedded in the way children play. Children are natural observers and are very inquisitive. During the next few weeks I would like to encourage the children to use their senses and develop observational skills by: asking questions, describing what they see, predicting what will happen, explaining what they think is happening, using tools, communicating their ideas with others, etc.
We will be using the greenhouse as our outside science and art lab/classroom. During the next few weeks we will be planting seeds, making nest art sculptures, experimenting with water, observing the birds nesting in the play area, documenting plant growth, talking about the what is growing in our garden, using tools, and documenting the changes in the seeds as they grow.  

Remember that there is a connection between learning and playing.  Children learn best while playing.

While we are outside we will have many opportunities to engage in ‘learning during play’ activities. These activities may be ones that are pre-planned, ones that are completely child driven, or a combination of the two. Many times when I set out an activity for the children they will engage in the activity as I had planned, and just as many times I have seen the children take what I have set out and go a different direction – learning through play is never static or contained, but it is fluid and spills out in many directions. The natural curiosity combined with imagination, and a mind open to new ideas creates many avenues for learning through play and scientific thinking.

When I was a kid I had a lab. It wasn’t a laboratory in the sense that I would measure and do important experiments. Instead, I would play. Richard Feyman – Nobel Prize Recipient in Physics

Nest for a Bird
Here is a nest for a birdie
Here is hive for a bee
Here is a hole for bunny
And here is a home for me.

Two Little Black Birds
Two little black birds sitting on a hill
One named Jack, One named Jill
Fly away Jack, Fly away Jill
Come back Jack, Come back Jill.

Five Little Ducks and Five Little Quail 
Five little ducks went out to play (Wiggle five fingers on one hand)
And met five quail that came their way (Wiggle five fingers on other hand)
The five little quail went to get a snack (put quail hand behind back)
And the five little ducks went quack, quack, quack. (use hand to form duck bill)

5 Little Ducks
5 little ducks went out to play, Over the hills and far away
Mommy and Daddy duck said quack quack quack
But only 4 little ducks came back…(then 3, 2, 1, none of the 5 little ducks came back)
Sad Mommy and Daddy duck went quack quack quack
And all of the 5 little ducks came back.

Five Little Ducks
Five little ducks paddling to shore,
One paddled away, then there were four;
Four little ducks paddling towards me,
One paddled away, then there were three;
Three little ducks paddling towards you,
One paddled away, then there were two;
Two little ducks paddling in the sun,
One paddled away, then there was one;
It paddled away then there was none.

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