Thursday, March 17, 2011


Happy St. Patrick's Day!  :-)  As a rule we don't "do" holidays in our program.  But without going into too much change of routine we did have a green day today.  Didn't really need to dress in green as most of us had some sort of green on us before the morning was done.  :-P

This activity was the main culprit for getting us stained.  :-)  But it's well worth the mess.  It's one of those activities the kids love to do over and over.  The children cut out a large shamrock and we made green bubble prints on the shape.  What child does not like to blow bubbles? 
It's wise to practice blowing through a straw.  Yes, there was a couple that got a green tongue and tasted a wee bit of soap...but really, they only do it once.  It's relatively harmless.  Just water, food coloring and soap.  Be sure to use a tray/pan underneath your bowl, as you can see the bubbles do tend to erupt over top so you don't want to have to worry about it.  Since it has a soap inside, the food coloring washes off the tray very easily.  Use LOTS of food coloring for a bolder color.

Another favorite and if you can believe it, we didn't do it all winter!  My eyedroppers seem to have found a new home somewhere other than where they should be.  Not surprising if you have ever seen my computer/work/storage room!  So looking for something else I stumbled across some more.  :-)  That's a nice thing about a large set.  Mine are plastic and are the "old version" with the black stoppers.  You can still get them at in a set of 12.  I prefer them over some of the newer "one piece" droppers.
I love to hear their excitement when they have made a new color.  Of course, they all tried to make green first because that is what we were focusing on.  Most made "snow cones".  Eyedroppers are great for fine motor!  

I really wanted to offer Incredible Foam this morning (it was green :-P) but unfortunately I could not find it...though I did find the eyedroppers!  I'm sure it'll show here soon now that I'm wondering where it's at.  So we did playdough again, child choice.  :-)  Chose a tool we don't often use and added a ruler to encourage measurement.  The younger ones don't usually use it unless it's suggested.  However, my oldest student is beginning to show more self-direction (which is something I look for in my preschoolers...and usually see at then end of 4 years beginning of 5 years) and he was quick to use that ruler without me saying a word as well as using the sticks for nonstandard measurement. 
Tip:  Provide them with two colors of playdough because often they can't refrain from mixing them together and that really gets them using the muscles in their hands!

A switch from the easel today.  Definitely was messier than an easel but that allowed for them to take responsibility for their own mess!  ;-)  I thank Melaleuca for providing family safe cleaners that actually do an excellent job!  The children learn life-long practical skills. 
"Hey, your tongue still green?" 
They did enjoy the switch to sitting and painting at the door.  (Excuse the mess outside, our lovely "puppy" has made a disaster of our yard.)  I do want to remind you all though that standing at a wall or easel is excellent for writing as well as for art work.  It strengthens the shoulder muscles which in turn promotes stability and wrist position.  This supports a proper/mature writing grasp.

For math, we did the shamrock addition that was mentioned in a recent blog.
I provided a small amount of dried beans in a bowl, to be used as manipulatives, and clipped eight clothespins around the edge. 

Enjoy the beautiful weather!  We plan on heading back out after a brief rest time today.  Older kids are home from school, half day.  Parent-teacher conferences.  And we have the sand box cover off for the first time all winter!  YIPPEE!

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