Friday, October 14, 2011

P is for...

P is for Panda!
This was our scissors activity today...a simple circle, craft foam panda. 
Craft foam is an awesome media for preschoolers to explore cutting with!  I like to cut strips of "leftover" craft foam for my toddlers for snip cutting.  They love it...and it's a lot easier than paper.  This activity is not an art project.  Though there is room for some creativity since they really could have glued their pieces anywhere they wanted, and obviously these two have differences...just not enough for me to consider it as an art project.  There really is a "preconceived ending" to this project. I set the whole container of pom poms out...I expected the biggest ones to be put on the pandas face but...both children chose size 'appropiate' pom poms.   The other thing I noticed, and chuckled over, is the mouth on the right panda.  She's a little older and so I showed her on scrap paper how some mouths of bears, dogs, cats and such are portrayed with the Js.  She decided that yes, she wanted that and drew it and then finished gluing on her nose and ears and was looking at her panda and then picked up her marker and closed the mouth to make it look more like a typical drawing of a mouth.  Love it! 

Now...the pictures displayed above the foam pandas.  These pics were just googled and they'll be discarded after a bit.  But I tried something "new"and I just posted those pictures up around a large piece of construction paper.  Then I provided, black, white, brown and green paint and paint brushes.  But...I did not suggest a painting of a panda.  With my older student, who is moving write along into drawing recognizable objects, I often suggest she start with a theme related painting and then get a new sheet for exploration and she always enjoys doing that.  The children know they can ask for any color paper after the first one is done, and make as many paintings as they wish.  Small groups allow for a little more freedom in that regard.  My own wish is that I could have it available all times of the day...but, that wouldn't be wise on my part because of the mixed age group and the home-based environment.  Anyway...I had painting explorations all over my walls, and my 8 year old started painting when he got home here are three of the pieces of art work.
older------4 years old------younger
Always important to remember that between 3 and 5 there is a big difference in development.  Just seeing the difference between an older 4 year old and a younger one is amazing!  One thing that put a big smile on my face was that K. (left pic) picked up the crayons on her own and wrote "I love (a heart) pendiz (pandas)."  She's beginning to really explore with the sounds the letters make and try to write that word/sentence on her paper without me encouraging her to do so.  Yeah!!!
And the 8 year old's after-school work.  He enjoyed the pictures around the paper also.  I heard a lot of talk about what they saw in the pictures.  It's something I did with my school-agers that I might be more consistent of doing with my preschoolers.   I tried to get a variety of them.  This particular painting caused a conversation between him and his 6 year old brother who told him that pandas don't climb up in trees.  Which leads us to some facts I shared throughout our morning...
1) Even though pandas are in the same meat eating family as the polar bears and grizzlies (the big word...and please use carnivore), pandas very seldom eat meat.  Instead, almost all of their diet is vegetation-mostly bamboo.

2)  Pandas actually do most of the wandering/movement at night.  (The big word is...nocturnal).  Their pupils are more like cat's and can see better at night than other bears who have round pupils.

3)  Pandas are really good climbers and in their natural habitat (the big word :-)), there are a lot of mountains and trees.  And because they are such good climbers, they make their homes out of trees or in rocks instead of having a den like other bears.

4)  Pandas make noises (the big word is vocalize) like a dog!  They also, squeal and honk.

5)  Even though Pandas are really big...their babies are the smallest mammals (big word) born and they are helpless... they are almost all pink and with no fur and they are blind.

We had black and white beans in the sensory pool...can you guess why?  :-)  I love this picture!  It takes children awhile but they get accustomed to me snapping pictures and so very seldom "pose" anymore.  Love it!  She did this process over and over.  So, of course, I had to slip in a "Tell me about that." comment.  She would put the cardboard tube over top of the blue plastic tube.  Then she'd use a scoop to fill the cardboard tube to the top and then she'd quickly pull it off and lo and behold, the blue tube would stand up in the beans and be full up to the top!  Excitement!  One of the other activities that she did was to fill the various types of containers (I put contains with lids this time) with beans and shake them to hear the difference.  :-)

P is for Pop Rocks!  :-P
Okay, nothing to do with anything other than I was walking through the aisles of a dollar store (never know what you might be able to use) and lo and behold these packages of pop rocks "popped" out at me.  LOL
Ha!  What fun!  Anyway, one child didn't really care for that sensation so we added water to the rest of the pop rocks in his bowl and they popped for almost a minute! 

We had fun this week.  Next week we move onto B and we'll continue with bears on Monday. 

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