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, May 9, 2014

Farm, puddles, bugs, BRIT, and zoo!

We're continuing our farm theme this week and next, as there is just SO much we want to learn about.  I made this sorting game board for our plastic farm animals this week, and the kiddos sorted animals and seeds on it.
 We did a lot of piggy activities this week, including Piggie Pie! by Margi Palatini at the listening center, and the Wee Little Piggies memory game.
 This was an exciting game, especially when someone remembered all five piggies in order to make the "This little piggy went to market" song play all the way through!

 We also practiced planting seeds like farmers, putting in hundreds of beans, chard, beets and kale seeds this week.  There's still more to go, and we'll keep working on it.  One of our youtube.com videos this week was a time lapse video of beans growing, so we're hoping that by Monday our plants will be sprouting, and we can watch them grow in real time!  I'm also hoping we'll have lots of yummy fresh veggies to eat this summer, there really isn't anything quite like picking vegetables fresh off the plant and popping them in our mouths - yum!

This week we had two different field trips.  The first group of kiddos went to Bella's Storytime at the Botanic Research Institute of Texas.  I've mentioned this story time before - it's the best story time I've ever been to!  This month we listened to the story The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens (see it on Amazon here), and did lots of fuzzy activities.
 We counted fuzzy pompons, sorted items by how fuzzy they were, painted with fuzzy things, and made fuzzy creations, as well as dancing with fluffy balls of fuzz.  We love Bella's Storytime!

 Another group of kiddos went to the zoo to see the giant animatronic insects.  Most of them loved it, but one kiddo isn't in any of these photos, because he was hiding behind me each time.  There's nothing quite like a 20 foot tall moving tarantula to make some of us nervous!
  I wasn't really expecting these insects to be very educational, just an extra thing to see between other animal exhibits at the zoo.  I was wrong!  Seeing the insects so much larger than life allowed the children to see some of the adaptations that make them great hunters or flyers.  On the dragonfly we could see the spikes on it's legs, and how it held its legs in a basket shape for catching mosquitoes.  We like them helping us with mosquitoes!
 When the ladybug opened it's wings, we could see that the red parts are stiff wing covers, there to protect the flimsy brown flying wings below.  It's very hard to see that on a real ladybug, but we had plenty of time to check it out on these.

I planned to take one more group of kiddos to the zoo, but we had a very rainy day, and it was not good zoo weather.  Luckily, there was a break in the rain, and we were able to go puddle stomping.  The children were so excited!  We took our shoes and socks off, rolled up our pants, and ventured out with bare feet.
 The children stomped and splashed in puddles....
...found bugs and snails in the soil....
 ... and ran around and around the circle planter in our cul-de-sac.
 Walking barefoot in the rain and stomping in puddles is one of those things that I believe every child needs to do sometimes, but it's often hard to find the right time for it.  As adults, we're so often rushing from place to place or chore to chore, that these moments can slip right by us.  Today we really did stop to smell the roses... covered in rain drops.

 Here we all are, damp but happy.  Yes, we did need a lot of baby wipes and towels afterwards.  And yes, we will definitely be ready to do this again!

Here are a few more pictures of the fun and learning we enjoyed this week:  painting...
 ...cleaning the table with shaving cream after we finished painting...
 ... learning on the ipad - I love how focused these children are, and that they are helping each other.  It's great to see the children working together to help each other learn!
... playing outside - of course!...
 ...checking out the cool caterpillar I found (but can't identify)...
 ...looking for roly pollies and other critters...
 ...and enjoying a picnic in the backyard.

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