Oh, we had fun this morning. :-) They really got into the the "dramatics" of finding bugs We had all sorts of squeals going on. Makes for a fun sorting activity!
I'm big on verbal language and really try to get children to describe, predict, "analyze" what they do. One of our goals on our assessment is to be able to sort by at least one characteristic and then describe why they sorted that way. The easiest characteristic to sort by is color and most of them can do that on their own but sometimes can't label that they are sorting by color. After they are able to sort by one characteristic easily, we take it a step further. These bugs from the Target dollar section are perfect for taking it a step further. We can easily sort by color but then we can sort by type of bug within that color. So we'll be doing that this week also. (These are stretchy bugs...and though I can't put them in a wet sensory like I wanted to...they add their own sensory component.)
Buzzin' to the Beat
This was an idea from a Mailbox publication...and the patterns were from there also. You could easily adapt any animal/theme. I placed a large sheet of paper vertical on the wall for each child. It went above their heads to the floor. Just add a little variation to our typical horizontal, cooperative work. They didn't spend a lot of time here but they sure got into it. I'll be leaving it up throughout the day so if they want to go back to it they can. I used a CD I created that had all fast classical music. We got complete different reactions to the music. It's so neat to see!
Bugs in the Flower Garden
This is a VERY simple activity but they really took to it!
I was going to glue googly eyes on the pom poms but decided against it. I thought they'd grab at the edge of the bug container...so we left them plain. I used the dollar store plate as the "flower garden" and the children "caught" all the bugs. Then as they put them back in the "garden" for the next child we counted them, talked about their color and size (big, medium, and small). I'm sure this is one that will get left out also as they enjoyed it. Wish I had space to leave activities out more often but...oh well, we work with what we have!
Since I blogged about puzzles recently, maybe I'll share one that we did together as a group. This was an "inherited" puzzle set. Not sure who I got it from but it's so nice. Will need to look and see if they have something similar to it on Amazon or elsewhere. I haven't seen anything like it lately. If you are aware where I could purchase a set like this, please let me know!
Color review, logical thinking, and turn taking. The spinner added a nice component also. Interesting to see who could actually "flick" the spinner. We actually played this "game" after reading The Color Bugs reader from http://prekinders.com/bugs-theme/ (free printable).
When we read this book, we went from child to child and they told us what color the bug was and where the color word was in the sentence. The 3-5 year olds repeated the color emphasizing the beginning sound for most of the words, all on their own. One child had a black bug but the wings were a little blue. So she said "blue" and I said, "Let's look at this word again." She sounded it out!!! Black! Wow...what a big smile that caused for me and the child. I laminated these pages and we used dry erase marker to underline the color word...if you choose to use this book you may wish to have your child underline the color with a corresponding crayon. Provide a pointer and this book is perfect for a preschooler to practice "reading". They are only 3 words and they are very predictable. A color bug. Having them "read" these books build confidence as well as reinforces some important literacy concepts such as left to write, letters make a word, words make sentences, etc.