Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bugs II

A side note:  I heard a child say to another "I frustrated in you".  :-)  Brought a big smile to my face.  Teaching about feelings is very important.  Most of it is done informally, through conversation, helping a child through problem solving steps that include stating feelings, and being verbal and labeling what you yourself are feeling.  But there are some "emotions" activities you can do and that would be a good future blog.  :-)  Especially when we receive our new toys from amazon that is focused on feelings.  So, stay tuned!

Yesterday I spent much of my day in Lansing and then in Bay City in the evening as the parent rep for the QRIS project.  QRIS stands for Quality Rating Improvement System that the state of MI is in the process of implementing to boost quality in child care/preschools.  It was a very profitable day...helped me see a little of where they are going and how they are working together to create a feasible system for the various types of early childhood settings.  I'm excited!  Another parent focus group is Monday the 16th at the BAISD.  Please come if you are from this area.  Contact me for more information.

So, onto BUGS!
Day number 2.

Maybe I'll break it up like I do when I lesson plan.  Please keep in mind that so much more is done then just these activities.  But planning like this helps me make sure that the children experience a little of everything every day.  Also, I would like to remind you that there is no reason to "recreate the wheel".  There are so many ideas out there...use them! 

Literacy:  Bb is for Bees (Mailbox)

I chose five "leapfrog" consonants to review recognition, sound and capital letter review.  F, D, P, R, B.   My 3 and 4 year old understand exactly what I mean when I say a "leapfrog letter".  They know, line down from top to bottom and leapfrog back up to the top of the line.  My newer child hasn't experienced this before so I really wanted to review them. It's so hard to break a habit!  Start young teaching them the correct way!!! Another thing I teach is to not pick up their pencil/writing tool/finger if not necessary to.   Another tip for the children is to start their letters at the top and their circles should be started top, off center just a wee bit to the right, drawing the circle to the left.  As you can see here, K. definitely knows how to form an R.  Someone who doesn't know the correct formation will do a circle at the top and two lines out on angles at the bottom, all done separately.  That's because it's how they see it.  Here we can see she did the leapfrog line and closed the circle in and made her leg without picking up her finger.  Excellent!  By the time she goes to school she'll have letter formation down pat!  The three year old also does very well with letter formation because he was just beginning to explore when he came to my program and so the correct habits are already in place.  Am I picky about letter formation?  You bet!  And I'm not going to apologize for it!   :-P  Tactile letters are excellent for helping a child learn how to form their letters.  My sandpaper alphabet set came from for only $11.55 for both upper and lower case letters.

Fine Motor:  Band-Aid Lightening Bugs (
There you have it.  :-P  We wrote the number of lightening bugs (or fire flies) at the bottom of the paper.  They did as many as they wanted.  Peeling the backing off of bandages without getting them the stick on itself takes a bit of fine motor.  Meijer was out of the neon bandages (which happen to be on sale) but they had sparkle they turned out pretty cute that way too.  We used regular brown ones for the body.

Scissors:  Where are the Bees? (Mailbox)
Here is the beehive.
Where are the bees?
Hidden away, so no one sees.
Here they come creeping, out of the hive.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Children cut out the hive and wrote the numbers across the bottom of the fingerplay words,which they glued to their hive.  Then they taped their hive onto the white paper and added and decorated 5 yellow fingerprints to make them bees.  They enjoyed this. (The little tab of yellow is just covering a name, is all.  We respect the wishes of families who do not wish to have their children's pictures or names posted.)

Math:  Ladybug Sorting/Matching (
These were both very easy activities for my kiddos but I wanted a quick, hands on activity that I could observe for their assessments.  So size, color, and shape.

Sensory:  Bugs in Shaving Cream (Bugs are a set from Toys R Us.  Nice details!)
Wasn't exactly what I had planned today but because of time and energy last night...I went the easy route.  Next week we'll do goop and the bugs.  :-)  That's liquid starch and liquid glue. 

Art:  Flyswatter Flower Garden (OUTDOORS!!!)
Well, maybe it didn't turn into a beautiful garden but the process was fun!  The older child here actually got the hang of slapping the flyswatter down multiple times and so she had some beautiful flower prints.  The younger ones were into the effect of having a glob of paint and splatting it.  Speckled we were when we were done.  :-)  I might try it with my summer group if time allows and see what we can do with it.  We purchased the flower and butterfly flyswatters from Dollar Tree.  I have seen basic shape swatters at

And we even got a chance to eat lunch outside before it rained!  :-)  That was neat in itself though.  Watching the change of the sky, feeling the change in the wind and temperature...and the little scientists..."Ms. Amber, it's going to rain!"  :-)  "Notices and describes changes in natural environment".  Love it!  We haven't got the rain yet but...sooner then later probably.  Too bad the garden isn't in!

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