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Category: Aspen Leaf Preschool

Hay Bales in the Playground

Hay Bales in the Playground

We are always looking for new things to add to our playground. Early in October, Miss Marta had the idea to add bales of hay to switch it up for the fall. At first we piled the hay for climbing and gave the children the opportunity to explore it.    The next week, I rearranged the hay to make little huts or crawl spaces. I added pumpkins, play dishes, and dolls. We decided to call it the pumpkin patch.  The…

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Cooking in the Outdoor Kitchen with Herbs and Sparkles

Cooking in the Outdoor Kitchen with Herbs and Sparkles

    We use sand and water a lot in our outdoor sensory table. Last week I noticed that the children were collecting leaves and grass from the yard to add to the water in the table to make “soup”. I decided to set up the sensory table on the porch, where there is more space for the children to work, and to add a few new sensory items that would expand the cooking experience.   I had just purchased…

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Loose Parts In the Playground

Loose Parts In the Playground

I’ve been away from blogging for several months now mostly because our preschool, Aspen Leaf Preschool, has been very busy. We’ve been growing so quickly and will soon be opening a third classroom! My classroom has also been busy learning lots of new things. In the next couple of blog posts I want to share some of our favorite activities from the past few months. Loose Parts in the Playground Loose parts are items that can be used in a…

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Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day

Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day

We’ve had lots of fun getting ready for Valentine’s Day this year! Here are some of the things we have been doing. Tie-dye Hearts This is a fun and simple activity with beautiful results. The children painted coffee filters with watered down paint. As they painted, the colors ran together to produce a lovely tie dye affect. When they dried, I cut them into heart shapes and we hung them on the window. Glitter Hearts This one is also easy…

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Christmas Countdown Calendar

Christmas Countdown Calendar

I wanted to make a calendar for my class to count down the days to Christmas. I wanted to make it more interesting than simply removing numbers. At the same time, I didn’t want to put prizes under each number like the traditional Advent calendars do because it would be difficult to fit enough prizes into each box for eight children. Then I remembered seeing somewhere on the Internet, although I can’t remember where, the idea of putting an activity…

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Family Style Dining in Preschool: A How-To Guide

Family Style Dining in Preschool: A How-To Guide

Transitioning to family style dining can be an intimidating task for many teachers. Its easy to imagine a free-for-all occurring when the children have direct access to the meal, or mounds of spilled food all over the floor. In order for family style dining to work, you have to be prepared and you will need lots of patience. To begin, child-sized dishes and utensils are a must. If things are too big, the children will not be able to manipulate…

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Family Style Dining in Preschool: Why It’s Important

Family Style Dining in Preschool: Why It’s Important

During the first few weeks of school, the children have been getting used to all of the new routines and expectations that are part of going to preschool. One of my favorite, and also one of the most important, routines we are establishing is family style dining. What is Family Style Dining? With family style dining, children are responsible for setting the table, helping to get snacks and meals ready, serving themselves at the table, and cleaning up when they…

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Practicing Circles on the Map

Practicing Circles on the Map

This week my class has been very interested in sea animals, dolphins especially. One morning, one of the children noticed that there were pictures of dolphins on the world map that is hanging in the classroom. I purchased this map last year and laminated it at my local Lakeshore Learning store (laminating is only 29 cents a foot there). Since we have been working on our fine motor skills, I gave the children dry erase markers and asked them to…

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Digging for Treasure in the Sandbox

Digging for Treasure in the Sandbox

The first week of school at Aspen Leaf Preschool is drawing to a close. It has been so wonderful working with children again after three and a half months of getting the school ready and licensed. I have enjoyed getting to know the students and our new teacher, Miss Erin. We did lots of fun activities this week but I think everyone’s favorite was digging for treasure!   All week, the sandbox that my fiance built has been everyone’s favorite…

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