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, June 22, 2014

Staying Cool this Summer

One of the reasons I keep blogging about our school days is that looking back at the week encourages me to be a reflective teacher.  One thing I've realized this week is that we need a new sandbox.  The old one was wooden and falling apart, so we took it out a few weeks ago, but there's a group of kiddos who still play in that area, desperately collecting the sand that accumulated in the mulch over the years.  When I see children determined to return to a favorite activity, I know it is feeding a need.  They need a sandbox.

It's definitely summer around here, and they also need ways to play outside and get their big body play, but without getting overheated.  I have misters that we turn on while we're outside, and they help a lot, but we've also had water and bubble play several days, and the kids love it!

 Arguably their favorite bubble toys, the large circular wands are in constant use when I have them available.  I'm really impressed with how well the children manage to share them, using other toys while they wait for their turn to use the huge wands. 
 Who wouldn't want to make huge bubbles like this?!
 Another favorite wand has many large holes, and makes a cluster of bubbles.  When a bunch of bubbles are stuck together, the children call them "snowman bubbles" - and chase them down to pop them.
 There's some snowman bubbles!

 This is the main cadre of bubble poppers, ready to chase them down and pop any stray bubbles, any way they can: with their feet, their hands...
 ... their mouths.  Yuk!  Bubbles don't taste so good!
 These girls, in the mean time, were figuring out how to share one car.  They couldn't scoot it very fast, but they were both on, and apparently they were satisfied with just sharing.  Nice!

As much fun as we can have in my backyard, I think it is important to play in other playgrounds sometimes.  Each playground offers different ways to move our bodies, different combinations of activities, and fun new elements to explore.  I took two different groups of kiddos to Stovall Park to play this week.  There are climbing elements that use lots of upper body strength, spinning elements, and some fun places to pretend.

 Here the boys were playing hide and seek...

 I mentioned last week that the Arlington Public Libraries have a lot of free shows for kids this summer, both at libraries and at recreation centers around town.  We're taking advantage of some of the performances, and checking out the rec center playgrounds while we're there.  If you are in the area, you can check out the schedule of events at  http://www.arlingtonlibrary.org/kids-calendar.

 It's really hot out on the playgrounds in the afternoons, so we take our ice water, and I take a spray bottle full of water to douse the kids - and myself.  Do you think these girls liked me spraying them down?

 Our backyard play area is nice and shady, and with ice water, misters, and a little water play, it's still nice to get out at the house too.

 So how do we keep from getting bored at the house?  By rotating which toys are available.  This week I dug out the light bright, and the little pet shop toys, as well as kid connex, and those were instant favorites.

Outside, I got out some high dollar toys... by which I mean recycled loose parts for the kids to play with.  You've surely heard people talk about how children prefer the box to the new toy sometimes... I take that theory and go with it pretty regularly.  These cardboard tubes were in the center of carpet rolls, slated for the trash or recycling bin... but I rescued them.  Add balls (and pine cones), and you have serious kid entertainment.

We added plastic tubing and recycled bottle funnels to the water play table, and the children came up with quite the creation.

 The children connected all the tubes, attached the funnel to one end, put the other end in the top of a water wheel, and collected water to pour down the funnel and into the water wheel. 

1 comment:

  1. Paula, wow! My daughter is 23, but this post sure makes me want to have more little ones. What great ideas! My favorite toy when I was little was Lite-Brite. You brought back fond memories. :)

    Sharon Dudley, NBCT
    Teaching with Sight