Marble Balancing

Marble Balancing

This is a great small muscle activity for toddlers and twos. It requires the children to use their fingers and thumbs in order to get the marbles balanced on the golf tees. I stuck the golf tees into a block of styrofoam so that they were perfectly upright. Once the children mastered the skill of balancing the marbles, they took all the golf tees out and reinserted them into the styrofoam on their own. This made balancing the marbles quite a bit trickier…

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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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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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Dry Erase Faces

Dry Erase Faces

I saw this idea on the Play At Home Mom blog. It looked like lots of fun, so I decided to try it out in our classroom. I searched through my many pictures and found nice face shots of all our students. I printed them out on regular paper and laminated them. I had lots of help with this because our class loves to use the laminator. Then I cut out the pictures and got out the dry erase markers….

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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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Monster Emotions

Monster Emotions

 One of my favorite children’s books about emotions is Glad Monster, Sad Monster  which we read many times this week. The book came with monster emotion masks for the children to try on. After reading the book, we decided to make our own monsters using an idea for blown paint monsters that I found on Pinterest. I gave each child a drinking straw and a glob of watered down paint. It took a little practice, but eventually the children were…

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Painting with Bows

Painting with Bows

This is a fun and festive alternative to painting with paint brushes. Last week, I bought a bag of gift bows at the store, and I had some paint stirring sticks left over from all the painting we did when we were getting the school ready. I attached a stick to each bow so that we could paint without getting our hands dirty (although some of us still did). Then I put red and green paint on plates and we…

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Wrapping Presents in Preschool

Wrapping Presents in Preschool

Every year at Christmas time, I set up a present wrapping center in the classroom. Ripping tape, cutting, and folding paper are great small muscle activities for young children. Besides, it’s lots of fun to wrap and open presents! To set up, I fill the wrapping center with rectangles of wrapping paper, bows, scissors, tape, an assortment of boxes, and some small toys from around the room. As children came to the center, I explained how to rip the tape…

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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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