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Friday, May 27, 2011

Do Something! Learning Activities

Whose says learning can't take place on the weekends?  Not me!  I think if you have the right activity, children can be learning while playing.  So this weeks Do Something! is all about learning activities.  No pencil or calculator needed!

Science- Making Butter: Jada Roo Can Do  
Basic science activities involve change: making butter, making applesauce, etc.  These are hands-on activities where little ones can physically see change occur and be apart of the cause and effect of it all.  While making butter, your children can observe a liquid becoming a more solid mass.  They will observe the changing process as well as be involved in the cause of change. 

Math- Bug Jar Math Printables: PreKinders   
I know I don't promote many printables, but I like these.  Don't think of them as worksheets, but rather as a piece to a game.  Of course you need some Bug Counters but I think they are worth having in your home anyway.  These printables can be made for color sorting, type of bug, or counting.  Laminate them and you have something which can be used over and over.

Social Studies (Diversity)- Life Size Collage People: 4 Crazy Kings 
People are different: size, color, shape, hairstyle, etc.  Why not express those differences with these fantastic collage people?  Only one child?  No problem!  Try involving the adult family members, friends, or cousins.  Anything to show how each person is so different in the most beautiful way.  And I encourage you to allow the children involved to paint their people whatever colors they choose.  After all, part of what makes us all different is our self-expression! 

Fine Motor- Wool Webies and String Stars: Putti Prapancha
For little ones, fine motor skills are just as important as math and science because it leads the way to writing.  Lacing activities such as lacing cards or these string stars are a great way for children to relax and develop their fine motor skills.  As an added bonus, this activity is cheap and you are recycling!  

I've added a link to this entire site because I think it's fabulous!  This mommy and me group began a book club where they combine reading and preschool activities themed around the book(s) they are sharing.  The activities cover cooking, math, science, sensory, etc.  I'm working towards doing something similar with my mom's group.  Reading is so much better when reading with friends!  But even if you don't want to host a book club with your little one's friends, this site is a great resource for book-themed activities

The ideas have been place in front of you.  Now grab your kids because it's time to get off that couch and Do Something!      

  
Assorted Bug Counters - 144 Pieces
Assorted Bug Counters - 144 Pieces

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's Playtime: Creativity with Everyday Items



Sometimes as parents (and teachers) we want to do a project with our kids but feel we don't have the right tools.  The "I don't have this" or "I wish I had that" pops in our heads and we simply can't move past it.  I say, "KNOCK IT OFF!"  Creativity and inspiration comes when you least expect it.  Instead of being concerned with what you don't have, look around your house and make a list of what you DO have.  There is SOMETHING in your house that can inspire your children.  

When I was a teacher I was the Macgyver of teachers.  Sure I planned, but sometimes plans go array.  It was in those moments that I put together the best projects.  I never thought, "I wish I had...", instead I opened up the cupboards or surveyed the teachers' closet for what was available.  I could put together a fantastic art project in less then 5 minuets with whatever we had laying around.  And you can too!  Check out these great ideas from last weeks It's Playtime and see where inspiration takes you.

Cotton Ball Painting: Angelyn's Semi-Healthy Lifestyle  

Nail Polish Art: Housing a Forest

Mixing Colors with Shaving Cream: Play-Based Classroom

Honorable mention (no photo): Painting with Candy: Teach Mama

Were you featured this week?  Don't forget to grab your special button:




Now it's your turn!
It's Playtime is a community and Thursday link-up hosted by:
* Rachele : Messy Kids (That's me!)
* Anna : The Imagination Tree
* Rachel : Quirky Momma
* Jamie : hands on : as we grow
* Jenny : Let the Children Play

How to Play :

* Link up a post about a playful learning experience enjoyed by kids.
* Give us love and pop a button into your post/blog. Invite your readers to the weekly play date!




* Stop by one of our blogs every Thursday and add your link about play. Your link will show up on each of the blogs in the It's Playtime community.
* Each week the playtime hosts will choose favorite posts to feature. (By linking you are giving us permission to use an image and link to you, if featured.)
* Be sure to visit some of the links that catch your eye. Commenting on posts that you find interesting or inspiring is a wonderful way to develop your own playful community.



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Imagination Tree: Run for Mum

Dear loyal readers,

My financial situation doesn't currently permit for me to donate but I feel the need to pass this on. Anna has become a dear online friend and I truly want to help her reach her goal, somehow, even if it's by passing on her message. Check out her blog post and if you feel compelled to assist her with a donation, please do.

Thank you friends for your time,
Rachele

The Imagination Tree: Run for Mum: "In two weeks time I am running a 5k race with 14 of my friends to raise money for The Wegener's Trust in memory of my wonderful Mum who die..."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Backyard Fairies

My daughter loves fairies.  I love fairies.  And every year we attend a Fairy Festival at a local garden.  It's free, it's beautiful, and it's outdoors!
Ariel also has a small fairy garden she tends; adding and taking away gifts and toys for her fairies and trimming the succulents which make-up her garden.  Recently though, my backyard had become a jungle.  My kids were outside playing with a garden sensory tub I'd put together filled with green and yellow split peas, dry kidney beans, small flowerpots, faux flowers, bugs, and snakes.  It became quiet, so of course that was my cue to check-up on them.  I discovered some delightful imaginary fairy play....

The first thing I noticed were all the missing sensory items...
 The kids, still in their jammies, had found a tuff of grass to create their fairy world.  Michael was sprinkling peas around the grassy forest while Ariel was lost in creative thought.
 First she arranged some of the fake flowers to her liking.
 Uggghhhh!  Snakes and lizards in the grass!  
 Then the bugs and flowerpots were arranged.  Doesn't that spider look real?
 Close-up of our lizard friend.
 If you look closely, you can see that my daughter even created a path from some of the peas and beans.
 And of course, our fairy...
 This fairy reminds me of Miss Muffet   
 Ariel adjusting her work.  

I left the play area alone for a few days, but eventually I had to mow the lawn.  I was disappointed as I loved looking at it whenever I went outside.  My son moved a few things around, as he does with Ariel's regular fairy garden, so it was changed slightly every time I took a look.  Even though we had to remove it, I know it gives the kids a chance to create something new next time.    

A fairy garden is a magical creation and can contain whatever elements you and your child chooses.  It can be a play garden that constantly changes or a flower garden with added imagination and flair.  Get creative and try using items you already have: old barbie toys, a flower pot for the fairies house, sticks, etc.  For some great ideas check out these sites:




Linked with: 
NurtureStore

We Play



Friday, May 20, 2011

Do Something! Sensory Exploration

It's the weekend!  Time to grab the kiddos and Do Something!


This week, Sensory Exploration....

Ocean Sensory Bin: Play Create Explore

Flour Piping Activity: hands on: as we grow

Cutting Grass Sensory Tub: Strong Start


Flour Power: Messy Kids


Multi-Sensory Bath Times: The Imagination Tree


Jell-O Excavation: TinkerLab


The Little Island: The Chocolate Muffin Tree


Bug Slime Speghetti: The Imagination Tree


Playing with Shaving Foam: Tales of an Aussie Mum

Clean Mud: A Teacher at Heart

Enjoy your weekend and have a great time with your kids!  Just don't forget to Do Something!


This post linked up at:

                    Nurturestore



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's Playtime: Rainy Day Fun


It's raining in San Diego, so this weeks It's Playtime features rainy day type activities. So pull out those extra blankets, find yourself a flashlight, and keep your sanity on a rainy day!

We don't see too many rainy days in Southern California but during the past few rain falls my kids have enjoyed activity courses...
And forts.

Sense of Wonder took their fort to the next level by using cardboard boxes to create a cave for spelunking.

The family at Chadwicks' Picture Place created Indoor Hopscotch with a Yoga Mat.  Great for little hoppers and counting practice!  

And art is always a great rainy day activity!  Especially the kind that is edible like the Marshmallow and Toothpick Sculptures over at Smiling Like Sunshine.  

For those featured this week at Messy Kids, don't forget to grab your extra special button!



Now it's your turn!
It's Playtime is a community and Thursday link-up hosted by:
* Rachele : Messy Kids (That's me!)
* Anna : The Imagination Tree
* Rachel : Quirky Momma
* Jamie : hands on : as we grow
* Jenny : Let the Children Play

How to Play :

* Link up a post about a playful learning experience enjoyed by kids.
* Give us love and pop a button into your post/blog. Invite your readers to the weekly play date!



* Stop by one of our blogs every Thursday and add your link about play. Your link will show up on each of the blogs in the It's Playtime community.
* Each week the playtime hosts will choose favorite posts to feature. (By linking you are giving us permission to use an image and link to you, if featured.)
* Be sure to visit some of the links that catch your eye. Commenting on posts that you find interesting or inspiring is a wonderful way to develop your own playful community.

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