We had a new sensory play experience this week, just for the letter Gg: ghost dough! I found the idea at http://www.growingajeweledrose.com, and knew the kiddos would love it! I put some baking soda into a pie pan for them, added some shaving cream, and they mixed and formed it and squished it around. There were buttons and beads to add to create ghostly faces. The kiddos really enjoyed it, but I think the pie plates were limiting. I think next year we'll put it directly on the table!
One of my all time favorite stories for kiddos is Go Away Big Green Monster, by Ed Emberly. Each year we read the book, and as a follow up, make our own monsters. The kiddos squish green paint in the fold of heavy paper to create the symmetrical face, then add the features right into the wet paint as we retell the story together. Each monster seems to have it's own unique personality!
Another annual event is taking our photos with chocolate googly eyes. We'll make a book with photos of everyone showing their googly eyed faces, with the simple text, "____ has googly eyes." Again, the kids LOVE it!
We make graphs several times a week, and this was no exception. As you can see, giraffes were a fave this week, maybe because we had just finished making our hand print giraffes when we did this graph.
Here's a math manipulative for the letter Gg: geoboards. We pull these out some days after lunch, in between taking turns in the bathroom. The children stretch rubber bands over the pegs on the board to form various shapes. (Several kiddos made parallel lines this time, so you may hear a new vocabulary word if you ask your child about it.)
We also had a fantastic field trip to Mrs. Lowes' Farm this week. If we'd gone last week, I would have emphasized the /f/ sound of farm, and if it was next week, we would have focused on /h/ for hayride. We did get to see, pat and feed goats, but truly, what the kiddos will remember is touching the many animals, playing farm themed games, and the hayride. They were so gentle, and enjoyed the farm so much, we will definitely go back again next fall!
Something I am trying to focus on more this year, is doing more art with the children. You can see more of our artwork in our school gallery at our Artsonia.com gallery. Each child chose to make either a ghost or a giraffe hand print, and we all made gumball machines.
This is one of my new art projects, and it came from http://onecrayolashort.blogspot.com. Wayne Thiebaud is an American artist who frequently painted dessert items. This project is inspired by his Three Machines.
We had a second field trip this week; we went to Green's Produce for gourds - which is another fancy word for pumpkins. Did you know pumpkins are not always orange, or round, or smooth? We saw bumpy pumpkins, flat ones, long ones, green ones, white ones, some with red and green, some pink ones... there are a LOT of different kinds! We bought 6 cool ones to decorate our entrance with, and a dozen little ones for the kiddos to decorate next week. My favorite thing about the pumpkins is cooking and eating them! After Halloween, I will start baking pumpkins, making pumpkin puree with the flesh, and freezing it ready for our pumpkin cooking. I'll make plenty of pumpkin muffins, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin pies for us to eat at school during the winter months, and the children will each make their own pumpkin pie to take home for Thanksgiving. Our pumpkins are well loved! With crazy amounts of vitamin A, C, fiber and minerals, they are a healthy addition to our meals too!
This last activity has nothing to do with the letter Gg, but was such a hit, I have to share it with you. I've been incorporating more sensory play into my curriculum this year, and found this one at http://www.growingajeweledrose.com. This is Eucalyptus scented pasta. So many of us are experiencing allergies right now, and when I saw the idea, I knew the scent would help clear our noses. I just happened to have Eucalyptus oil on hand, so I made up a batch. The cardboard slides were packing in a box recently, which I kept, knowing they would be good for something fun. We rolled large acorns, which we collected at the zoo last week, down the slides with the pasta, and had an awesome time. This kind of play is great for developing fine motor skills, cooperating with friends, experiencing different textures and scents, and the repetitive nature of the play is soothing and calming. The children went back to this activity over and over. I think next week I'll add some Halloween themed items to make it new all over again!