Friday, November 29, 2013

What We're Up to in December

The classroom is ready for my students to return on Monday.  Here's a look at the new activities for the month.

Our new selection of seasonal books.  
Yes, I love Jan Brett, her artwork is just breathtaking and the stories are simple and joyful.

Magnetic bows inspired by one of my very favorite blogs, Teach Preschool.  Just cover a cookie sheet with wrapping paper, stick some magnets on the back of the bows and voila!
This activity is also wonderful for toddlers.

Christmas sensory bin.  Colored rice and some tidbits picked up at the Dollar Tree.

Felt gingerbread man to decorate.

Pom Pom tweezing and color sorting activity.

Water transfer activity with some added holiday cheer!

Christmas tree decorating in our outdoor rice bin.  The ornaments are hand made with some mini clothespins and some random items such as pipe cleaners, foam shapes, ribbons, etc.

Happy Holidays!

November Round-Up

Finding time to keep my blog updated has been increasingly difficult lately.  But we did do some fun things this month that I'd like to share.

The kiddos had a great time working with all our new additions in the classroom.  I also added an Indian corn tweezing activity and pumpkin pie play dough, which were both a huge hit, but I didn't manage to get any pictures.

Early this month we made bird feeders and simple suncatchers.

We also managed to find time for a pumpkin pie and whipped cream - the old fashioned way.

We did a painting activity with Indian corn, which was very interesting to watch.  Each child had his or her own method of painting, some foregoing the corn altogether.

Monkey and Bear had some fun with loose parts play, and of course, cardboard was the favorite item!

The end of the month brought a much-needed rainstorm and we had a blast getting muddy and wet!

We also had an impromptu science experiment when we accidentally left our Bubber uncovered in the torrential rain.
 It floats!  
And it retains its original texture even when wet.  I'm currently drying it to see if it is back to its original form and ready to use.

The classroom has been prepped for December and we have loads of fun in store!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Easy Autumn Suncatchers

I love making suncatchers.  I used to do it every month and vary the shape depending on the theme, season or holiday, however, my old suncatcher creation method was tedious to say the least and they slowly got pushed to the back burner.  Not only would I have to cut the contact paper, but I'd also have to cut a narrow border for each child.  If you are making a basic shape, circle, heart, even a star, no problem, right?  But how about a leaf?  No thanks.

I was determined to find a new method.  I apologize to any amazing bloggers out there who have already discovered the secret to lazy suncatcher-making.  It's new to me, so here it is for you.

Start by folding a sheet of 9x12 construction paper in half to more easily cut a symmetrical shape.  We did leaves, but it could be any shape you like.  If you are super-lazy like I am, you'll cut 3 or more pieces of paper at once.  Set the paper aside.

Next, cut squares of contact paper so the sticky part will completely overlap your shape cut-out, but is not larger than the 9x12 paper.

Tape the contact paper square -sticky side up- to the table to make it easier for the little ones to stick their tissue paper on top.  Bear was all ready to get started.

Remove the top sheet from your contact paper and then place your construction paper on top, creating a 'window' for the kiddos to decorate.

Start sticking!

Monkey preferred the 'press' method.

Bear was more into the 'rip and stick' method.

Once the artwork is complete, cover with another square of contact paper, which will again overlap the cut-out portion of the 9x12 sheet.

Voila!  You are done with no detailed cutting of less-than-user-friendly contact paper!

Display your little one's artwork on the window and enjoy!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fine Motor Practice: Hanging Bird Feeder

Each month, we get our delivery of the Scholastic publication My Big World.  This mini-magazine is the only 'worksheet' we do at Seedlings, but I absolutely love it and so do the kiddos.

This month, we are talking about Autumn Animals and we used our issue of My Big World to start a discussion about how animals survive the long winter without much food.

After reading the issue and doing the activity on the back page, we decided to make some bird feeders to help out our little feathered friends more easily find a food source.


This hanging bird feeder is probably the easiest bird feeder you can make.  It requires yarn, a small jingle bell and O-shaped cereal of some sort.

Tie the bell around one end of a length of yarn, and wrap a bit of tape around the other end to create a 'needle' for the children to thread the cereal more easily and start stringing!

Apparently, Bear thought we were making a Bear feeder and not a bird feeder.

Depending on the patience of the children making the feeders, they can end up a variety of lengths.  Make a loop at the end of the string (I removed the tape) for easier hanging.

All that's left is to find the perfect branch for your bird feeder and wait for your feathered friends to arrive!

Friday, November 1, 2013

What We're Up To in November

Here's a quick look at what we have on our shelves for November:

Our new selection of seasonal books

Acorns sent all the way from Pennsylvania to explore on a fun mirror tray

Autumn table scatter I found at the local dollar store for sorting, matching, counting and lots of other fun activities.

Real leaves laminated for light table exploration

Pine cones and fabric leaves as an addition to the block area

Autumn felt board pieces for stories and pretend play

Fine motor activity inspired by one of my favorite Montessori blogs, To the Lesson!  I modified it just a bit by sewing and stuffing a felt turkey rather than using foam or paper.

Gobble, Gobble!

We have plenty of wonderful projects and activities planned for this month and I look forward to sharing them with you!!

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