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!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Upcycling for Early Childhood Educators

Recently I hosted and presented a training about upcycling for early childhood providers.  I've been scouring Pinterest for awesome examples of reusing and repurposing in ways that are child friendly, and have compiled a board of ideas: http://www.pinterest.com/paulaspreschool/upcycle/.  All the projects you'll see on this post are on my pinterest board - please follow the link to go back to the sources of our inspiration.

After showing some of the examples of upcycled materials I use with my kiddos, I provided each participant with a bag that included a picture of a project to make, and the supplies to make it.  Everyone chose a project that they felt comfortable with - from very simple and with straightforward directions, to a box of "stuff" with complete creative license.  Then we got to work.

Here's a strap on rocket pack for pretend play...
... a counting puzzle, using pieces of straws in the shape of tally marks...
... a box for vehicles to drive through, complete with a clock and a waterfall...
...a scoop for ball tossing, and five little monkeys (made of corks) bothering poor Mr. Alligator...  The monkeys are numbered, and all different heights, perfect for number review and acting out the rhyme...
...a castle with Olaf and a princess, inspired by Frozen, of course. 
...owls that are simple enough that many of our children could make them for themselves...
... a cereal box guitar with rubber bands that actually make sound...
... a "Monster Mouth" box to feed letters to...
... a milk jug snowman, with bottle tops to sort by color, and to count as they are put into the snowman...
... a hanging planter made from an old plastic bottle...
There were many other awesome ideas, suggested by the pictures I handed out, but adapted by each of the creative individuals working on them.   Unfortunately I didn't get good pictures of some projects.  Not shown is the rain gauge - complete with a graph to show how a class could observe and record the weather.  I also missed the set of 20 paper tubes with the numbers 1 - 10 written on them - suitable for bowling, matching, and ordering numbers.  

So what did we take away from this training?  There are many ways to use and reuse materials, and teaching and learning is everywhere 2 people come together.  We may not always have a lot of resources, but we can use what we have to teach language, math, science, art and much more!  We are creative and dynamic individuals.  


If you are a parent looking for home childcare in the Arlington, Texas area, please check out our referral page at www.choosehomechildcare.com/.

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