Thursday, December 9, 2010

Preschool Theme: Christmas

We had a fun Christmas party today!! It was a nice way to bring in some Christmas cheer. The kids are always in a celebrating mood. I enjoy this preschool more and more each time as I get to know the quirks of each kid and they say the cutest things. They are becoming great friends and have cute little conversations around the table was like little group of adults chatting today. I love watching them grow week to week.

Christmas Breakfast.
I invited all the kiddos over for breakfast to start preschool. We made red pancakes and decorated them with a red writing tube and Christmas sprinkles. Everyone was excited about the Christmas juice (pomegranate). Apollo told me later that this part was his favorite of preschool.

Self-Selected Time.

Grant made and ice cream truck and Jonathan made an ice cream.

Circle Time. The kids each shared what they wanted for Christmas and we read White Snow Bright Snow (I had to laugh because it's a super old book and some of the words they use we wouldn't use today).

Art Time. We rolled out fondant (about 7 bucks at Michaels) after the kids warmed it up in their hands. The kids used cups to make circles. We passed around bowls and measuring cups filled with food coloring and the kids stamped their fondant circles (thanks for the idea Kirsten). I put them on tree plates (99 Cent Only Store) so their moms could put them on top of cupcakes they give out. They can also poke a hole in the top and make them into ornaments after drying them out.

Academic Time. The kids decorated gold and silver covered (99 Cent Only store again) trees with Os (Cheerios and O looking beads).

Afterward, the kids connected the dots from 1-10 to make a tree. Click on the image below if you want to print one off.

Music Time. I played Christmas songs on the piano while all the kids played and sang with me (I mostly sang, they mostly played, and random notes mostly heard). I played some songs off itunes for them while we danced.

I got out some "drums" for the kids.

Games. Everyone chose numbers, and based on those went in a certain order to be blindfolded and choose a gift (each preschooler brought one gift). They loved it.

We celebrated every time some opened a gift.

We played Santa, Santa, Reindeer (another version of Duck, Duck, Goose). We have played other versions, and it's fun to see they all get how to play and have so much fun.

I found Christmas posters for the kids to color (you guessed it 99 Cent store).

We all went outside for a change of pace to a bench and ate our holiday goodies a couple moms brought. I really loves those small moments when we can sit and chat and I learn about them (usually during snack time).

Grant: Loved Grant's little Christmas cheer on his face; he told me he was wearing his Christmas shirt; Jonathan was having troubles getting his shoes on so Grant offered to help and got it on-very thoughtful; he's so funny and cheery-he brings out the goofiness in all of us; he makes the best Mexican Wrestler (the next Nacho Libre)-he loves the Mexican wrestler masks we got in Mexico and has me tie them up during Self-Selected time

Jonathan: I asked the kids if I could have one of their chocolate cookies and Jonathan and Nicole both nice; he had a lot of fun during music time today; he thought the game "Santa, Santa, Reindeer" was so fun and was laughing his head off the whole time; he was so excited to be blindfolded and choose a present but ended up going last because of the numbers he picked (Murphy's Law always works that way)-he was super excited for a yo yo

Nicole: She looooves crafts and looooved working with the fondant and asked if she could keep working on it when she had finished all her circles (a girl after my own heart...Halley too is my crafter); wants some trendy toy for Christmas that I didn't recognize; Apollo was naming all his friends (all the preschool kids included) and said Nicole and then said CoBo jokingly, Halley calls her Coley

Halley: She loved sharing her cookies and carried them out to a table where she pulled them out for everyone; Halley told a couple of the boys not to sing a song anymore (I think Grant, Apollo, and Donny) because they were adding funny words and being silly and the next second she was joining them and doing the same thing; she was great at making fondant circles and liked it

Donny: Wants a roller coaster track; every time we get to the cave during our bear hunt (it's our transition into academic time) Donny talks about the roller coaster (Suzana just explained he means Matterhorn from DisneyLand); AMAZING with numbers and loves to work with them-he was the only one that could connect-the-dot for the numbers; it was cute during circle time we all said "My name is... and I want.....for Christmas, he said "Hi...I'm Donny", very cute and casual

Apollo: we did a states puzzle after preschool (just wanted to write it down anyway) and he said Monica probably lived in Montana (maybe because they both start with Mo??); he really liked Nicole's cookies and Halley's candy cane. He found another one someone probably left and wanted to eat it too. I said he could have it tomorrow and I know that's the first thing he'll ask about when he wakes up.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Preschool Theme: Space

Self-Selected Time. For self-selected time, I added big foam letters and numbers for the kids to play with and a kid size tent with a car mat and little buildings. I'm also always adding fun items to the dress-up kit.

Circle Time. Besides our regular games and activities, the kids shared their homefun with the group. During preschool we drew hidden messages with lemon juice for their parents, and their homefun was to heat the paper up. Fyi- if you're doing this project, you almost have to burn the paper (I put the papers in the oven at low heat) to get it to work. Grant and Halley were super excited to share their work.

I put Jonathan's in the oven and it turned out great.

Bugsby Space Adventure. Grant used the Bugsby pen to lead us through a space story. The preschool kids and my kids loooove Bugsby books. Apollo plays with them in his room before bed...they play with them all the time. Great for road trips too. If you're thinking of a cool reading tool...Bugsby is great. It's a big pen and you switch out the cartridges depending on the book the kids are "reading". Annie is 22 mo. and she loves to use it too.

Art Time. Kimberly let me borrow a book "Early Years Thematic Notes" that had a cute idea for our space theme. We had all different sized lids for the kids to trace with crayons to make planets. Once they colored in their planets, they painted their space picture blue-the wax repels the paint.

Academic Time. We organized all the alphabet letters and numbers 1-9 on the floor. I found this at some church garage sale (they have a preschool). Garage sales are a great place for learning toys at a cheaper rate...$5.

We all celebrated our puzzle putting together success.

The kids colored astronauts and traced the letter "N" I had dotted on each of their papers. Click HERE to print off your own. I printed off the face of each of my students.

I copied off some aliens and had the kids color them. On the backs were dotted numbers they could trace. After they aliens were cut out, I would call out a random number and the kids would find it in their pile.

Snack and a Story. Steel Cut Oatmeal Cranberry Muffins. Yum. Ziggy turned me onto steel cut oats for breakfast (fyi 1 cup steel cut oats to 4 cups water-put in pan on low until it thickens-yummy with peanut butter and a little syrup in it). I looked up a steel cut oats muffin recipe on line and came up with this one. I didn't even cook the oats a head of time and they came out great-kind of a hearty texture. I got the steel cut oats from Sprouts in a bin.

Steel Cut Oatmeal Cranberry Muffins

  • 1 C steel cut oats
  • 1 C unbleached flour (I used bleached and it was fine)
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 C milk
Put in muffin paper and cook for about 15-25 min @ 350 degrees. Let sit until cool. Enjoy!

I made 2 doz. and they were gone in two days. My preschool kiddos all looved them and went to town-super healthy too.

Music Time. I bought some pom poms for each of the kids. They had so much fun dancing around with them to Christmas music.

Quiet Reading. All the boys happened to sit together on the couch so I couldn't resist a shot of them.

Science Experiment. We finished our science experiments (with the worksheet) from last week. The kids also made and flew airplanes. We talked about evaporation and the water cycle after some of our water escaped out of the cup we left out. Jonathan put Nerds into water during our last class and I pulled it out of the freezer to check it out (a fun experiment to try).

Physical Fitness. We walked, ran, went slowly, etc. the same distance and timed ourselves to see what way was the fastest and slowest.

Ending Circle Time. I love to hear what the kids remembered from the day. Very cute.

Random Thoughts:
Grant. Always has his funny little words that he adds and the kids go back and forth saying funny things and laughing; he liked sharing his lemon juice homefun with everyone and was not happy when Annie wanted to check out his oven mitts; he called me Mommy a couple times today; he looked like he glowed with a little tan; he liked sharing about his trip-liked the pools; he was very excited about his planets all class long.

Halley. Got SUPER excited about sharing her homefun during circle time and started speaking loudly and quickly about dinosaurs; the muffins were a hit today and even Halley wanted another muffin; I had not bought pom poms for Annie (not knowing she would be in class today) and asked if anyone would let Annie use one...Halley said she could, so nice; Halley kept bringing books for Annie during quiet time.

Jonathan. He had fun during music time with his pom poms; he is super fast during our physical fitness section and beat all of us on a few of the activities; I think it's cute how he calls me Miss Robyn outside of preschool (most all of the kids do even if they didn't before preschool); he likes to play; he is always so polite every week.

Nicole. She was very particular about making her solar system and had to put a lot of paint over the whole thing- she is always into the art or crafty stuff we do; she likes to do things herself; liked playing with the Bugsby books; she likes looking at the pictures after I take them; she always has a beautiful smile.

Donny. He reminded me that it was his dad's birthday today; he likes the "Bugsby Books" (all the kids did); he was good at organizing the puzzle even when the thrill of starting it was over, he worked on it until it was finished; he still talks about the roller coaster from Disney Land when we go on our bear hunt.

Apollo. He asked for water today and I laughed as I teased him and said "What's that in front of you" and he started laughing. All the kids thought it was so funny so they all started asking for water and I would reply the same way-everyone was giggling; he loves preschool and is so fun to have in class.