I could do days and days with the theme of hearts...I have a separate bin just for that shape. And activity after activity in my heart file on the computer. And books and magazines and... :-) Hmmm...just got my invitation for Pininterest...bet I could find all sorts of activities for hearts I actually haven't even done before. LOL But since I've had about 10-15 years of coming up with activities and "hearts" is a common theme...one could say that I've done plenty with hearts. Usually I do it around Valentine's day, Mother's Day, Father's, Grandparent's Day and so on but these past couple years I've kind of steered away from the holidays and this year I'm doing more of a focus on our focus letter. Here are some of what we did today:
Scissors: Paper Hearts
Our scrap paper drawer was overflowing so today I reminded the children how to make a whole heart by folding the paper in half and cutting a half of heart. Good use for that scrap paper! These hearts were actually cut from previously painted/printed paper. You know those projects that they make many many many prints/paintings because the process is so fun? Yes, those papers. :-) We just hot glued onto their choice of ribbon. They definitely like these!
Who says we can't have fun while "working"?! :-) These two were going to town with their jokes, laughs, and silliness today. Love to see that!
Melted Crayon Cakes
"The Process" pictures really didn't turn out and this one isn't so grand either. Just google recycled crayons or melted crayons and you'll find plenty of pics!
I don't know about you...but I always have a surplus of crayons around here. Usually because the children and I both like to use the nice sharp crayons and instead of taking time to sharpen them...well, they are pretty cheap at the beginning of the school year so I always purchase a bunch. So what do you do with broken crayons? Yes, broken crayons are perfect for beginner writers. Actually, I know many an occupational therapist who will break their crayons to make them stubs for those having some writing difficulties. It forces them to use the correct grasp (they can't fist them) and they can keep more control. But as I'm winding up our preschool, I really have a lot of crayons so decided that I might as well start "using up" materials. I found that there were quite a few school agers that enjoyed the no brainer task of tearing the paper off of broken crayons and breaking them into smaller pieces and then we created crayon cakes. This was actually very calming for many of those children. For preschoolers, this is a great fine motor activity as well. Tearing the paper isn't as easy for the preschoolers but they definitely enjoyed breaking them! Decided maybe we'd try making heart crayons this time around. They didn't turn out all that well...really do need a mold just for hearts to make heart crayons but the only molds I had were heart ice cube trays and those aren't oven safe. :-) I usually don't use liners when doing this. Back in the day I did this more often I had an old muffin tin that was used specifically for this activity. Don't here though, so went ahead and used the liners. They would be smoother without the liners but the process was enjoyed. So tear the paper off the crayons, break the crayons into small pieces, place in muffin tin, place in preheated oven (250 degrees) for about 15 minutes. The kids like to "check on the progress" so every five minutes or so we stopped what we were doing to see what it looked like. :-)
For those of you that read M is for Melt...we did a few more melted crayons explorations with my own boys on Monday (snow day). We found out that you can hold the blow dryer on it long enough to actually make a crayon fall out of it's paper. :-) They thought it was so cool since the wrapper was rock solid because of the melted wax. We also found out that we liked the effect of melting the unwrapped crayons.
Prints can be made in so many different ways but I love to use heart paper doilies to make prints. It's not the easiest for the kiddos but it does help them understand about the "helping hand"...their support hand since they must hold the doily in place while they are sponge around it.
Heart Candy Probability
This particular printable had white hearts but our box had blue so I just whited out the words and changed it to fit our heart colors. In Kindergarten, they do a bunch with "tally marks" so this is good practice for my kiddos going into K. next year.
Will let this be all for now...will share more heart themed activities at a later date. :-)