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!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Reviewing H - J

This week we are still reviewing letters, while also enjoying spring.  We did two hippo art activities one day, painting plaster hippos, and making paper ones too.  They are both very cute, and worked our fine motor skills.

I found the inspiration for the paper hippo here, and modified it to be made with construction paper instead of paper plates.  The children loved it.
There are plenty of good hippo books to read to introduce these crafts.  We really love The Hiccupotomus by Aaron Zenz, and Hiccup by Mercer Mayer.

For the letter I, I considered sampling ice cream again, but decided my friends were already excited enough by our ice cream pretend play.  I've saved a couple of empty ice cream containers, bowls and spoons, and put those out with colorful pompons, what a hit!  I really like that the pompons are easy to pick up once they're done playing, but must admit, they do seem to get spread about a lot!
We also improvised a snow cone shop for the letter i - I'm thinking icy snow.  The cash register was very popular, more than the foam balls, bowls, and empty snowcone syrup bottles we had out for our pretending.  It was interesting to observe the children using the cash register, and to see how they used numbers in their play.  They asked their "customers" for their phone numbers to enter on the register, as well as entering prices, swiping credit and debit cards, and using the scanner on bar codes.

For the letter J we reviewed a fun Spanish language song on youtube.com : Jugo de Naranja.  I made a book from the lyrics a long time ago, and we like to sing the song as we turn the pages.  It's a good review of some basic Spanish vocabulary: me gusta, no me gusta, and lots of food words.
After we sang along with the song, and read the book, I offered each child some orange juice.  "Te gusta jugo de naranja?" I asked each child in turn.  "Si, me gusta jugo de naranja," they answered, and then got some to drink.
We read a book that featured a jellyfish while we drank our jugo de naranja (o.j.) and then made a jelly fish art project, which I found here, and did a jelly fish finger play, which is from here.

This was a particularly busy morning, as we also got to practice our hand writing - on a plate of jelly!  Each child got a plate with a smear of strawberry jelly on it, and practiced forming the letter in the jelly.  Correctly made j's resulted in a tasty lick of their fingers.  Yes, we washed hands before as well as after!  This was literally a sticky proposition, and well loved. 

For any readers who have school aged kiddos, this is also a great way to get them to practice writing their spelling words.  When I taught first grade, I suggested that parents make one evening's spelling practice be writing words in something yummy: jelly, chocolate syrup, peanut butter... I'm sure your children would love to suggest other tasty treats.  No licking fingers until you can write the word or letter correctly - talk about motivating!  Yum!


  1. That’s quite innovative and interesting way to teach kids. Even my cousin’s daughter is made to do such activities in her Phoenix preschool. I think this is one of reason why kids are sharp and active as they do lot of things right from their pre-k.

  2. Thanks Justin. Any time you can get children to buy into an activity, you're going to reach them. Play based learning is so important for our kiddos, and so much more fun for everyone concerned, teachers included!