Train Week


Children love trains. We will have them in all the rooms this week. Our art project will have the children use shapes to build their own train. The art activity uses pre-math skills. The ‘train pieces’ will be circles, triangles, rectangles and squares. As you discuss different shapes with your child you are building their math vocabulary. You can help your child with the names of shapes as they name objects in their home environment – a door is a rectangle, the dinner plate is a circle, the window is a square, a stop sign is an octagon, etc. They can recognize and compare 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes as they compare the 2-dimensial train they make at the art table with the 3-dimensional wooden trains in the blocks area and with the 2-dimensional train puzzles at table toys. As the children learn about shapes we will give them opportunities to create and take apart shapes –- make a square from 2 triangles, a rectangle from 2 squares, a circle from 2 half circles. At the playdough table you can encourage the children to create new shapes — cut the ball in half, roll the snake into a circle — as they experiment with the playdough. Using words such as turn (rotation), flip (reflection), slide (translation) identifies spatial visualization terms that will later be used in geometry. Using these terms with toys – “turn your Teddy Bear over” – will then be used with directions for shapes – “turn the triangle shape piece so it fits inside the puzzle”. At Circle Time we will continue to use words that expand their spatial orientation vocabulary. Above, below, in front, behind, over, under are positional words that allows children to understand where things are in their world. The spoon is beside your bowl, you are under the table, a bird is flying over the house are sentences that teach spatial orientation. While reading Freight Train we will use positional words that describe where the train is going. Using descriptive words with your child you can help them develop a stronger math-based vocabulary. When you talk with your child try using descriptive vocabulary words that include shape, size, and placement.

Down By the Station
Down by the station
Early in the morning
See the little pufferbellies
All in a row
See the engine driver
Turn the little handle
Whoo Whoo Choo Choo
Off we go!

Little Red Caboose
Little red caboose, choo, choo, choo
Little red caboose, choo, choo, choo
Little red caboose behind the train, train, train,
Smokestack on his back, back, back, back
Chugging down the track, track, track, track
Little red caboose behind the train.

Choo, Choo Peanut Butter
A peanut sat on a railroad track
His heart was all a flutter.
Around the bend came a choo-choo train
Uh Oh! … peanut butter!

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After you take the frozen ice out of you containers you can explore with the cold ice blocks on the table.  Watch as it glides across the table, look at it with a magnifying glass, shine light through the ice, touch it and see what happens to the ice as it melts from the heat of your hand.  After you have explored the frozen water set the ice block on a cookie sheet with sides or a shallow pan.  Using table salt or coarse salt – or both – sprinkle the ice with salt.  Let the salt sit for awhile and watch as it ‘eats’ away at the ice.  Shine a flashlight through the ice, use the magnifying glasses again and look at the new shapes made by the salt.

Add color to the ice sculptures and watch as the color makes its way through the crevices created by the salt.If you want to make a permanent reminder of this experiment use paper or paper towel to make an imprint of the colors on your ice sculpture.


This is an idea sent in by Colleen, Mom of Finn (Bears class)
Does your child like to excavate and dig in the dirt?  Give them a block of ice with a toy or some kind of “treasure”  frozen inside.  Let them figure out how to get it out.  Chip away with a spoon, some kind of wooden or metal  tool, a small toy hammer and chisel.  Ask if they can think of another way to get the toy out.  Look at the toy with a magnifying glass and with light shining through it.  Make shadows …. Explore!


This is a fun art project and by adding a small drop of watercolors to a squiggle of salt, you can demonstrate capillary action. This is the property of liquids that allows them to move in small spaces without external help. The same principle is shown when water “spreads out” on a paper towel, or a flower in colored water takes on the color of the water. The water colors aren’t only a science lesson, they’re super pretty! 
1. Lay a piece of heavy paper (it can be construction paper, cardstock or anything else that won’t warp when wet) on top of some newspaper. With a bottle of glue, “draw” whatever patterns you desire. You could write a message, or draw a nice Valentine heart, or just some Picasso-esque squiggles. Make sure the glue lines are pretty thick, but not big puddle2. Pour normal table salt over the wet glue. You’ll need a lot of salt for this. Make sure it gets onto all the glue. You can do this by tilting the paper after the salt is on it. Then shake off all the excess salt onto the newspaper or into a plastic container.3. Using watercolors, paint the salt whatever colors you please. Make sure the paint is nice and watery so the paint brush doesn’t actually have to touch the salt that often. Don’t let it get too wet though, or it’ll wash the salt away. I recommend experimentation.I love the intensity of the color you get with this technique, especially against a darker paper, and the tie-dye-like effect. Happy art making!


Becky, Mom of Wyatt, Bea and Wesley (Orcas class) sent in this idea.Make Snow Ice Cream while we still have some snow outside.. Easy and delicious. Use half and half, sugar, vanilla and, of course, snow. The kids loved it!


Have a picnic in the living room.  (Or under the dining room table, on the bed in the bedroom.). Bring out a table cloth to sit on and let them decide what food to have for the picnic.Decide on a theme.  Stuffed animals are often guests at these picnics.  How about a Pajama Picnic where everyone wears their jammies?  Or a fancy picnic, a clothes on backwards picnic?  Then you can read a book while you finish your picnic treats.


Always a fun way to spend the afternoon. Fill up a storage container with water.  One where you can see through the container is best.  Set it on a a plastic garbage bag and towel to absorb the splashed water.   Go on a treasure hunt around the house to find items that may “sink” and items that may “float”.  Decide what items will go in the “sink’ collection and what items are in the ‘float’ collection.  You can make a graph and see if they were correct with their decision on what items would  sink and what items would float.


Play some music and when it stops everyone freezes.  Decide on how they should freeze — like an animal, like a letter of the alphabet, something silly, a yoga position, etc.
RED LIGHT GREEN LIGHT is also a fun version of this stop and go kind of game.

Enjoy your day with the kids.  The snow will go away and we will be back to ’normal’  soon and this will just be a memory.  A fun memory!   

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As we enter our third day of Snow Days it may be harder to find enough snow to play in outside  so bring some inside!  Get a large pan, cookie sheet with sides or a plastic storage box – the under-the-bed sweater boxes are the best.  Put the container on the floor with a garbage liner and towel to protect your floor or on the kitchen table.
Here re three ideas for inside snow activities.  Kev had River paint with paint brushes and set up a science activity to watch how long it took for the snow to melt.Danielle had Ansel use a squeeze bottle to change the snow to green.  If you have pictures of your child painting the snow please send them to me and we will add them to our snow wall.

Paint the snow….
Use paint brushes, eye droppers or squeeze bottles to paint the snow with food coloring or liquid paint.  If you do not have any of those tools you can just use spoons to drop the paint onto the snow.  It is fun to mix the colors and watch them blend.


Next idea …..

Play with dinosaurs or animals in the snow.


Build a construction site in the snow …


Snow is a great sensory activity for your child.  Talk about how it feels, how it changes (melts, molds/forms shapes, crystalizes).  You can watch as it changes back into water and discuss why it does that.  And, of course, talk about the weather – cold and sunny, wet and cloudy, snowy and windy)
Have fun exploring the snow with your child.

Hope to see you soon!

Teacher Janice

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Outside activités

Go on a neighborhood explore…



Talk about the light and how it shines on the snow.


Look for things that are frozen.  Can you find ice that is in the process of melting because of the sunshine?  Is there ice that has melted and has frozen again overnight?


Shadows!  Make shadows on the snow and then on the grass.  How are they the same and how are they different?


Snow on the mountains.  Why does it stay on the mountains even though it is sunny today?  Why does it melt on the street but not on the grass?


Look for snow sculptures, snow people, snow forts.  Can you find tracks in the snow where people, dogs, cats and birds have walked on it.  Do you see tracks from sleds and from rolling a ball in the snow?


Measure the snow.  Is there more snow in the shade?  More snow under a bush?  Do you see snow on the roof of a house?

Enjoy a walk through the neighborhood on this sunny snow day.
Hope to see some of you in class tomorrow ….


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First pick some water proof items to make the interior sculpture with.


Next you will need a plastic baggie or a plastic container.Yarn and / or a pipe cleaner


Place the items in side the baggie or the plastic container


Add water to the baggie / plastic container.  Set the baggie in the container if you choose to use the baggie.  Submerge a long piece of yarn, twine or pipe cleaner into the water,  This will be the hanger for your ice sculpture.


Set the sculpture out side in the snow / on your deck or porch.  After it freezes remove the sculpture form the plastic baggie / container and hang it up.  It will glisten in the sun (which is coming on Wednesday!)


With the temperatures below freezing at night and near freezing during the day your sculpture should last several days.
This is a great way to show your child how water freezes, talk about weather and temperatures and get them excited about doing science experiments.


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Thumbs in the thumb place… We haven’t had a lot of time to wear our mittens this year but we can still sing about mittens.   We will be working on colors with a mitten story this week.  The children will be talking about textures in the art room, there will be an assortment of warm clothing in the dramatics area and we will have books about weather in the library.  We will be dressing Bear – mostly in a raincoat but we do have mittens for Bear. This will be a good week to add to your child’s vocabulary: words that describe the weather, colors, temperature and textures. Our children have lots of words for wet and rain but not as many about cold weather – if you have a chance try to get up to the mountains to play in the snow and use those mittens!

Mittens on My Hands

(Sung To: ‘Wheels on the Bus’) 

The mittens on my hands
Keep me warm
Keep me warm
Keep me warm
The mittens on my hands
Keep me warm
All Winter long!

The socks I wear will…

The boots on my feet…

The hat on my head…

The scarf around my neck…

The coat I wear will…

Mitten Song

Thumb in the thumb place (Give Thumbs up with both hands)
Fingers all together (hold fingers together like in mittens with thumbs out). 
These are the things we wear in mitten weather (move mittens back and forth). 
When it’s cold, it doesn’t matter whether, (shrug shoulders)
Mittens are wool or made of finest leather. (rub hands like of 
Thumb in the thumb place, fingers all together

Mittens for Snow Time

Mittens for the snow time, when the world is white. 
Mittens for my two hands, (hold up hands) 
Mittens left and right (show left & right) 
Mittens with a thumb place (show thumb) 
Mittens warm and snug 
Mittens make me feel like giving a hug (hug self)

Mitten Story

My poor little kitten lost her mitten and started to cry, “boohoo”,
So I helped my kitten to look for her mitten, her beautiful mitten of blue.
I found a mitten just right for a kitten, under my mother’s bed.
But alas the mitten was not the right mitten, for it was colored red.
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
…under my father’s pillow … yellow.
…on the hand of my brother’s clown … brown.
…under the laundry so clean … green.
…inside a grocery sack .. black.
…under the kitchen sink … pink.
I found a mitten just right for a kitten inside my favorite shoe,
And this time the mitten WAS the right mitten, for it was colored blue!

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Just as no two snowflakes are alike your child is not like any other child.  Yes, they may have family similarities or are right on target with other children their age on the development charts but they are all unique little people.  Enjoy those special qualities that make your child a ‘snowflake’ – unique and one-of-a-kind!

This week we will be talking about snowflakes.

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.
I shook that tree as hard as I could.
Down came the snowflakes
They are cold!

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Welcome back! The month of January will be our ‘cold weather’ month. During Snow Week we will talk about cold weather, snow and snowmen. We will be making snow collages and paint with Epson Salts to create snow pictures. We will begin our snow-themed songs and finger plays that we will sing all month. If the chilly weather returns you can point out the frost to your child. During Circle Time I will introduce Bear. We will dress Bear for warmth and talk about warm clothes we wear during chilly weather.
If you have family pictures, especially any snow pictures, you would like to share I will be posting them on the bulletin board in the Circle Room. It will be fun to see what people did during break.

It is Snowing
It is snowing, it is snowing
All around, all around
Soft and pretty snowflakes
Soft and pretty snowflakes
On the ground, on the ground.
I’m a chubby snowman short and fat
Here is my broomstick and here is my hat
When the sun come out and shines all day
I just start to melt away….
Oh no I’m a puddle!
Little Snowman
A chubby little snowman with a carrot nose
Along came a bunny and what do you suppose?
That hungry little bunny looking for some lunch
Ate that snowman’s carrot nose crunch, crunch, crunch
Mitten Song
Thumbs in the thumb place, fingers all together.
This is the song we sing in mitten weather
When it is cold it doesn’t matter whether
mittens are wool or finest leather.
Thumbs in the thumb place fingers all together
This is the song we sing in mitten weather.
The cold wind doth blow
And we shall have snow
What will poor robin do then, small thing?
She will sit in the barn
And keep herself warm
And hide her head under her wing. Small thing.

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This week we will continue singing about stars and light.  We will add conversation about the moon.  You can go to this website to see information about the moon, the sun and the planets.


We will have a full moon on Saturday.  It is called a Cold Moon.

  1. Traditional Full Moon Names
  2. Wolf Moon – January
  3. Snow Moon – February
  4. Worm Moon – March
  5. Pink Moon – April
  6. Flower Moon – May
  7. Strawberry Moon – June
  8. Buck Moon – July
  9. Sturgeon Moon – August
  10. Harvest Moon – September or October
  11. Full Corn Moon (Harvest) – September
  12. Hunter’s Moon (Harvest) – October
  13. Beaver Moon – November
  14. Cold Moon – December


If the skies clear up the children should be able to see the full moon and Venus.

Cold Moon 2018

Dec 22, 2018 at 9:48 am



Mr. Moon

Mr. Moon, Mr. Moon

You’re out too soon

The sun is still in the sky

Go back to your bed

And cover up your head

And wait for the day to go by


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Bell Week

It is hard to believe we are starting Bell Week – December is here.

As we start the ‘holiday season’ (even though the stores have been in holiday mode since Halloween or before!)  we will be staying “the same” at preschool.  We will start singing our bell songs but Jingle Bells will be the only ‘holiday’ song we sing.  It is nice for the children to know that preschool will be the same as always – familiar and what they expect.  It may be comforting for you, as well, to know we will be low key and without a lot holiday hubbub going on.  We will switch from gobble- gobble to ring-ring and the children will be excited to play with the bells.   It is an exciting time of the year and hopefully we can catch some of that excitement while maintaining a calm atmosphere at preschool.


Bell Songs:

Ring, ring, ring your bells

Ring them loud and clear

To tell the children everywhere

That Circle Time is here.


Did you ever ring your bells, your bells, your bells

Did you ever ring your bells over  your ______

….under your ______, on your ______, next to your ______



Jingle Bells

Dashing through the snow
On a one horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go,
Laughing all the way
Bells on bob tail ring,
making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing song tonight

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh


Motion Rhyme

Shake, shake, shake and stop

Shake, shake, shake and stop!

Stop, stop, stop and SHAKE!



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