Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, September 27, 2013

E is for elephants and eggs

E is definitely for elephant!  We are very lucky to be close to the Fort Worth Zoo, where there are hundreds of amazing animals.  Every year we buy season passes to the zoo, so we can go as often as we want.  Here's one of our favorite photo spots...
 It isn't every time we go that we get to see elephants taking a bath, but this week we did!
 Best of all, this summer the Fort Worth Zoo welcomed 2 baby elephants to their herd - and we got to watch them playing.  Bowie was trumpeting and racing around, while Bluebell stayed close to her mother.
Another fun activity I like to do this week is smashing eggshells.  I saw this idea on www.babble.com last year, and my kiddos love it!  We had eggs for lunch one day, and I saved and washed the shells.  A box, a mallet, and safety glasses rounded out the materials needed.  This is a free, fun, sensory activity that children (and adults!) enjoy!

 I saved all the crushed shells in a zippered baggie, added food coloring and just enough rubbing alcohol to disperse the coloring, and made dyed egg shells.  Once they were dry, the children wrote large letter Es in pencil, and then wrote over them in glue before adding the crushed shells.  This was another sensory activity for the children, as well as a letter review and glue practice.  We got some bang for our buck out of our scrambled eggs!
 I found an awesome Humpty Dumpty activity on skellyskindergarten.blogspot.com. A hard boiled Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, then fell on various surfaces.  The children first predicted (a fancy science word for guessed) whether Humpty would break when he fell on each surface. 

 Humpty Dumpty did not break when he fell on the cotton balls!  He still looks so happy.
 All the children agreed that he was sure to break when he fell all the way to the floor, with no protective surface.  We did a count down from 10, and let him go on 0...
 Oh! Smashed!
 Here's the recording sheet I created to go with the activity. 
 We also enjoyed playing with plastic Easter eggs and finding the letters hidden inside.  We sorted the letters into Ee and Not Ee.

One of our friends is having a birthday, so she and two friends made birthday cake with me.  This was her first time to crack an egg, so I held her hands and helped her.  Next time she'll know how to do it all by herself!

Finally, we finished off the week with a cute Elmo craft that I found at TheCleverFeather.blogspot.com.  While I usually prefer art projects to crafts, this one offered so much that I had to use it.  The children got to tear the red paper into small pieces, an excellent fine motor activity to strengthen little fingers, and to prepare them for future writing activities.  They used scissors to cut out circles, a half circle and an oval - both another fine motor skill and a review of shapes, and then they had to squeeze the glue out of the bottle (more strengthening those hand muscles) to stick on all the parts.  Who could resist Elmo?!

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