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Category: Outdoor Play

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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Fun Ways to Use Pool Noodles in the Playground

Fun Ways to Use Pool Noodles in the Playground

It has been so long since I last wrote a blog post! I recently attended the CAEYC annual conference in Pasadena. I’m inspired to start blogging again so that I can share some of the wonderful inspiration I received there. One of my favorite workshops was about promoting children’s physical activity. The presenters gave us tons of good ideas to get kids moving in fun ways. They also pointed out that all of the materials they use are cheap and…

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Lots of Pumpkins!

Lots of Pumpkins!

Last week I went to Sprouts Farmers Market to get a couple of pumpkins for our classroom. They were so cheap I ended up getting about twenty pumpkins and gourds in all different sizes and colors. Since then, we have been using them in all areas of the classroom and even in the playground. Here are some of our favorite ways to use pumpkins at preschool. 1. Pumpkin Hammering We hammered golf tees into one of the bigger pumpkins with…

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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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Some Plant Themed Ideas

Some Plant Themed Ideas

Over the past couple of weeks we have been doing lots of plant-themed projects. Here are some of my favorites. 1. Silk Flowers in the Sensory Table I filled our sensory table with potting soil, added some shovels and flowers pots, and let the children “plant” silk flowers. 2. Bottle Print Flowers We used recycled plastic bottles to make flowers. Then we drew a little stem on each flower. 3. Sprouting Seeds Each of the students put a seed in…

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Gardening in Preschool

Gardening in Preschool

One of my favorite children’s books about gardening is The Curious Garden by Peter Brown. The illustrations in this book are charming and beautiful. It tells the story of a little boy, Liam, who makes his city prettier by growing trees, flowers, and other plants. My classes have always enjoyed reading The Curious Garden. They especially like comparing the picture of the city before it had gardens to the picture of the city after Liam inspired everyone to grow things….

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Water Play Board

Water Play Board

Recently I’ve been in playground improvement mode. After looking at hundreds of ideas on Pinterest, I came up with a list of things I wanted to try at our school. The project at the top of my list was a water play area where children could pour water into tubes and watch the water flow through and come out the other end. I’m not sure where I got this idea, but it was pretty clear in my mind what I…

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What Will the Ants Eat?

What Will the Ants Eat?

Last week we found a whole bunch of pill bugs under some rocks in our playground, and ever since then the class has been all about bugs. Every time we go outside we turn over all of the rocks to look for bugs, though the bugs seem to have learned their lesson as we never find them under the rocks anymore.   Still, we look for bugs outside every day and yesterday we found some ants marching around looking for food….

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Building Bird Nests

Building Bird Nests

This week our class has been interested in birds. On Wednesday we watched a video of a bird building a nest and talked about what birds’ nests are made of. We talked about how birds collect twigs, leaves, and other things to use for their nests. When we went outside, we pretended we were all birds and collected lots of small sticks. Then I gave the children paper and glue… and they set to work… Here is one of the…

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