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!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

V is for vegetables - and various other things.

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

We're learning about the letter V this week, and while Valentines Day is a terrific V thing, we had to learn about vegetables too!  The children brought one vegetable each from home, and I had lots of others on hand too.  We had quite a variety!
Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!
 We sorted our vegetables by color.  There were a LOT of green ones!
Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!
 Some vegetables grow above the ground, and others grow below the ground.
Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!
 We learned that people eat a lot of different parts of plants!  Leaves and roots were mostly easy for the children to figure out, but fruits, the part of plants that include seeds, were a little tricky.  The kiddos didn't realize broccoli and cauliflower are immature flowers!
Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!
 Next we weighed our vegetables on a balance scale.  We wanted to find out whether each one was lighter, heavier, or equal in weight to a bottle of glue.
Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!
 There were some of each, and in a lot of different sizes.
Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!
 Vegetable math was a lot of fun!  Tomorrow we will peel them, chop them up, and make soup!
Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Here are our vegetables ready for us to make soup.  As you can see, we had a great variety!
Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!
 The kiddos pealed, cut, and put all the veggies into the pot, with just a little help from me. 
Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!
It took us at least an hour to prepare all the vegetables, but we did it.  I forgot to take photos of the finished soup, but it was delicious!  These kiddos are good cooks!

Have you heard of the Vegetable Orchestra?  I hadn't, but my husband found a video about it, so we watched some clever musicians make musical instruments from veggies.  Check it out here.  The children were inspired, and created a lot of sounds with natural materials outside afterwards.  I didn't give them real vegetables to work with, but gourds, pine cones and seeds are all available in the backyard, and they discovered many ways to make music with them.
Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!

Hands on learning ideas with vegetables: math, science, fine motor, cooking and more!


 Another fun project we do for the letter V is to make our own version of Vincent Van Gogh's vases of flowers.  We looked at several of his sunflower pictures, paying attention to the texture he gave his paintings, then the children painted backgrounds for their vases.
 The following day I had the kiddos paint flowers and a vase.  I cut them all out, then had the children collage them onto the background.
Beautiful!

Of course we also made hand prints, upper and lower case letters, a page for our abc photo album, and a few other things, all before our Valentines Day party on Friday.






 

We ended the week with our Valentines Day party.  The children all helped with making cupcakes for our snack.  We followed the snack with a Valentines version of pass the parcel, a game I played as a child in Australia.  The parcel has several layers of wrapping, and is passed around a circle while music is playing.  When the music stops, the person holding the parcel unwraps a layer.  Between each layer, I inserted a heart with instructions for the children: smile at a friend, tell something that starts with the letter of the week, jump up and down as we count to 20, etc.  The final direction was to have a group hug.  Inside the last layer was a treat for the whole class, Pete the Cat stickers.

Next the children handed out their Valentines to each other.  Many had written the names of their friends on their cards, so this was a reading and writing activity for them, with cute pictures and candy as a motivator - and what a motivator they are!  Everyone ended up with a bag of goodies to take home, and there were many thank yous and hugs all around.  We headed outside to run all the fun off until mom or dad picked up.  It was a simple party, but just right for us.

 Happy Valentines Day!

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