Friday, August 28, 2009

What smells good?


Today we read the book What Smells Good? By Maria Fleming
It's a leveled reader.

Here is the video of the story.

video

After we read the story we talked about the things that smell good and not so good!
We made a chart and listed things that smell good and bad.
If you are doing this activity at home your children can write the words on the list. (if age appropriate)

When doing this activity in the classroom you can have the children take turns to come up and write what they think or you can give each child a 2' by 2' square sheet of paper. Have half the class write one thing they think smells good and the other half write one thing that smells bad.
Then as a whole group they can take turns taping their cards on the chart.
You can extend the activity by counting how many items they came up with on each side. Which side had more/less items? Which things got repeated if any?

You can make another chart (possibly the next day) for example calling it 'my favorite smell'
use 3 or 4 options ex: flowers, cookies, rain, soap
Next have each child write their name on a 2'by 2' card and come up and put their name under their favorite smell.. Then discuss which was the classes favorite/how they came up with their answer/which was the least favorite/ and so on..


Math games! (over, under, around, through)


Obstacle Course!

This games teaches children the concept words over, under, around and through. It also teaches children to follow directions.

Materials...
Furniture
Yarn
Tape
Sheets/pillows

Directions...
Move your furniture around and get creative.. If you don't have the space indoors you can make your own obstacle course at the playground. The yarn is to help the younger children who don't already know the concept words. They can follow the yarn as you give the directions using the concept words.

If you have more then one kid participating in the obstacle course activity, allow them to take turns giving directions and using the concept words while the other child listens and follows directions.

Arrange your furniture in a way that children can go over, under, around, and through objects. I put a sheet over the table to make something for them to go through.. (pretending it's like a tunnel) We used chairs to go under, over, and around and a chair cushion to mark the ending of the obstacle course.

Kids love obstacle courses so get creative, ask them to help you come up with suggestions and have fun!!

If you are using yarn or any kind of rope please be careful around the younger kids so they don't get tangled or hurt. Taping the yarn down is another way to help keep things safe. All children should be watched during the activity. Please don't leave children unattended especially the younger ones.

When you are done with this activity you can leave the sheet on the table and play a game in a cave underneath!

This video shows how our obstacle course looked. Hope you find it helpful!
video

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Darling Doggies!



Materials...
Any color construction paper
Scissors
Glue
Googly eyes/sequence/beads/buttons
Pencil/crayons/markers/paint/color pencils
Any item you have around the house that the children can use to be creative!

Directions...
Hold one end of the construction paper and fold it so you have the biggest triangle possible.
Cut out the remaining rectangular shape.
Using the already folded triangle.. place it on the table so the folded piece is on top.
Hold the right edge and fold it down making another triangle (this will be the ear)
Repeat the same fold using the left edge to make the other ear.
Next fold the bottom edge backwards.
Decorate your dog by drawing, coloring or gluing on materials to make the face and skin!

You can watch the video below for further instructions or to get a visual!

For all art activities you can adjust the project to the child's age by assisting them with the drawings, cutting, folding, etc. The main idea is to spend time with your child and have fun! And remember there's no right or wrong way of doing any kind of art. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder! Enjoy the process!!!

video

Math games! (adding fun!)

Materials...
A deck of cards
Plastic cups/bowls/any small container (1per player + 1 for the middle)
Cereal.. cheerios or cookie crisps work well

Setting up...
Give each child a bowl and place one bowl in the middle filled with cookie crisps. Pass out 1 card per player.

Objective..
The objective of the game is to have the greatest number. This game helps children practice adding and comparing numbers to find out which one is the greatest.

Directions...
Pass out 2 card to each player. Everyone flips their cards and adds their numbers together. Then each player says their answer out loud. Then who ever has the greatest number takes a cookie from the middle bowl and puts it in his/her bowl. When adding allow the children to use their fingers if they wish or they can count the shapes on the playing cards to aid in their adding.

You can either wait till all the cookies are done, count the cookies to see who won or they can eat the cookies that are in their bowl as the game moves along. (We usually eat the cookies in our bowl and everyone wins as they get a cookie from the middle!)
The game is over once all the cookies in the bowl are empty!

If you are playing the game with one child, he/she can be the one to announce who gets the cookie you or them so they practice figuring out which number is the greatest. If you are playing with more then one child they can each take turns deciding who has the card with the greatest number!

Have fun!!
video

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Math games! (finding the greatest number)

video
Materials...
A deck of cards
Plastic cups/bowls/any small container (1per player + 1 for the middle)
Cereal.. cheerios or cookie crisps work well

Setting up...
Give each child a bowl and place one bowl in the middle filled with cookie crisps. Pass out 1 card per player.

Objective..
The objective of the game is to have the greatest number. This game helps children learn and practice comparing numbers and finding which one is the greatest.

Directions...
Pass out 1 card to each player. Everyone flips their card and says their number out loud (teaches number recognition) then who ever has the greatest number takes a cookie from the middle bowl and puts it in his/her bowl.

You can either wait till all the cookies are done, count the cookies to see who won or they can eat the cookies that are in their bowl as the game moves along. (We usually eat the cookies in our bowl and everyone wins as they get a cookie from the middle!)
The game is over once all the cookies in the bowl are empty!

If you are playing the game with one child, he/she can be the one to announce who gets the cookie you or them so they practice figuring out which number is the greatest. If are playing with more then one child they can each take turns deciding who has the card with the greatest number!

Have fun!!

Painted cats..



Materials...
Paint
Paint brushes
Small paper plates/bowls
Scissors
Glue
Yarn
Pencil/Markers
Newspapers

Directions...
Prepare the table by covering it with old newspapers. Start by demonstrating how to draw a cat using simple shapes. I used a circle for the head, triangle for the ears (smaller triangles for the inside ears,) heart shape for the nose, and ovals for the eyes. After drawing our cats we painted them and cut them out.

You can give children the option to use other materials to make their cats. For example they can use yarn for the whiskers instead of painting it on. They can glue on googly eyes or construction paper or any other material for eyes/ears/nose.. etc.

For all art activities you can adjust the project to the child's age by assisting them with the drawings, cutting, folding, etc. The main idea is to spend time with your child and have fun! And remember there's no right or wrong way of doing any kind of art. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder! Enjoy the process!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Birds...





Moving on to the next animal on our list... it's time to make our birds!

Materials...
Construction paper (any color of your choice) we used white
Crayons/Pencils/Markers/Paint/etc.
Scissors & Glue
Beads/feathers/cotton balls/googly eyes/any other materials you have at home that can be used creatively!

Directions...
Demonstrate how to draw a bird using basic shapes. Remember you don't need to know how to draw a bird! Just use some basic shapes like a circle for the head, oval for the body, and you are good. When I drew the bird I showed them a couple of ways of drawing the bird. One way to explain it is to make it look like you are drawing a chubby banana or a moon :) with a slightly bigger side (for the head) After the outline have the children cut it out.. then draw the wings (you can draw them in the shapes of triangles or triangles with swirls at one end) and cut those out. Next draw and cut out the feet and beak. The beak can also be a triangle.

You can do all the drawings on different colored construction paper or you can use white paper and color it afterwards. After coloring your bird glue all the pieces together and decorate with any material you have handy.

I don't like to use any templates for the arts and crafts we do because it's important that children know that everyone's art isn't supposed to look the same or be perfect. Each project is unique and is perfect all in its own. Encourage your child to draw as best as they can and be proud of their creations!!

For all art activities you can adjust the project to the child's age by assisting them with the drawings, cutting, folding, etc. The main idea is to spend time with your child and have fun! And remember there's no right or wrong way of doing any kind of art. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder! Enjoy the process!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fly n Spider :)




We read the book 'There was an old lady who swallowed a fly' and we decided to make the fly and the spider today.. we will make the rest of the animals in the upcoming days... This will be a fun way to remember the story, it's order and make a book with our own animations!

Materials for the fly and spider...
white paper for the fly black construction paper for the spider
scissors glue googly eyes
pencil/crayons/markers/paint

Directions...
Demonstrate how to draw a fly on a scratch sheet of paper by drawing a small circle for the head a smaller circle for the body and one more circle for the last part of the body. Draw on legs (making the letter L makes the legs look cool!) and 2 ovals for the wings! Tell them that they don't need to draw the legs or any details.. just the body..
Next instruct the children to cut out their drawing, color the cut out and then glue on googly eyes/draw it on or cut eyes using construction paper..
For the legs we colored a small section of the white paper with a black marker (you can just use black construction paper if you have it) and then cut out thin legs. The last step is to glue on the legs!

To make the spider... trace your hands on a black construction paper using a white crayon or white color pencil works best. Cut out the hands and the thumbs. Then draw and cut out an oval shape for the body. Glue the hands together with the fingers facing the opposite direction. Glue on the oval on top in the middle for the body. Again you can use the googly eyes or small pieces of cotton/rice (what ever you have) for the eyes. Last step is to fold the fingers so the spider is standing up! creepy crawly spiders are ready to play!

Here's a video of the story!
video

For all art activities you can adjust the project to the child's age by assisting them with the drawings, cutting, folding, etc. The main idea is to spend time with your child and have fun! And remember there's no right or wrong way of doing any kind of art. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder! Enjoy the process!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Paper boat!



Today we decided to make paper boats and sang the song 'row row row your boat!'
And for a kid who doesn't like that song.. (my 8 year old.. ) he had no problem joining in when my daughter and I sang it!

Materials..
Markers/crayons/pencils/paint
cotton balls/glitter/confetti/ sequence
straws
white or colored construction paper/ reg white paper
anything you have at home that the children can use for decoration

Directions..
I used regular plain white paper because it is easier for the kids to fold the paper since its thinner then construction paper.. but colored paper works better if you have kids that don't like to color..

Pre-cut a paper into a square.. by holding one end of the rectangular paper and folding it to make the biggest triangle. The remainder will be a rectangular shape.. you can fold and rip this part out or simply cut it with scissors..
Open the triangle and give each child a square shaped paper and they are ready to begin..
1. Fold the square paper in half.. (now you have a rectangle)
2. Fold the rectangle paper in half..(now you have a smaller square)
3. Hold the paper in your hand making it look like a diamond shape with the 4 single edges facing up.
4. Count 3 of the single edges and fold down to make a triangle
5. Fold the 4th single edge down on the other side making a triangle
6. Place your hand in the middle of the triangle (where the opening is after the folds) and fold that into a triangle. (this is hard to explain but hopefully thevideo will help!)
7. Turn it upside down and pull apart from each side to reveal your boat!
8. Have the children color and decorate their boat as they please..
My kids decided to add a flag using a straw and some paper.. extend the activity taking direction from your children! maybe they want to put people on their boat.. or maybe they can see if their boat sinks or swims? Have fun!


video

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Making puppets!






Materials...
Paper Plates
Colored Pencils/crayons/markers/paint
scissors
construction paper
straw
beads/buttons/googly eyes/cotton balls
Glue
Tape

You can use any materials you have at home. If you don't have paper plates, you can use cardboard or a cereal box. Just something that will be more sturdy then construction paper. You can use any arts and crafts materials you have at home for decoration.. pieces of pasta, rice, buttons, old clothing material, yarn, toothpicks, use your imagination. The more of a variety of materials the better. It is important for children to be able to choose and use their imagination and creativity!

Instructions...
Have all materials on the table handy and ready to go. Draw a picture of a few things to show your child how to draw and what kinds of things they can make.. The drawings don't have to be great or even good. You can draw basic outlines to demonstrate. I drew a butterfly, dog, cat, and a fish to show them.. And I used basic simple shapes for example a circle for the face and two triangles on top for the ears and tada.. you have a cat.. add on the wiskers and eyes and you're done..
Incourage your child (depending on their age) to draw on the paper plate the shape of the animal they choose.. they can then cut out the outline (or you can assist with the cutting if the child is younger).. next have the child color the animal and then decorate using the materials they want.
After the glue has dried tape the straw to the back of you animal and get ready to play with your animal puppets!

What is your child learning?
There is so much learning going on with any arts and crafts activity. The most important thing is that they get to spend some quality time with you. While making the crafts, you can talk about the animal the child chose. What do they know about that animal? what sounds does that animal make? Where does the animal live? Can this animal be a pet? Why or why not? You can go to the library to extend the activity and read about that animal. Talking and listening to your child while making these crafts is also a great way to build their vocabulary. Another way to extend this activity would be to write a story using the puppets as a main character. Depending on the child's age they can tell you the story and you can write it down for them. Or they can write down the story on their own! To help them come up with the story ask them open ended questions with no wrong answers.. remember in stories arts and crafts there's no right or wrong!
Some of the other basic things your child is learning is eye hand coordination, building their small motor skills, leaning how to hold a pencil, learning how to use the materials, and much much more!

Above you will find pictures of the materials we used and how our project turned out! Hope you can enjoy this project with your little ones!