Friday, June 29, 2012

Flower Power Continues...!

     This is the last post about Flowers I promise!! There is a plethora of ideas out there for flower units and I was overwhelmed by all the awesome ideas that I saw on blogs and on Pinterest! I wanted to try it all. But I can’t.
     I wanted to make sure I touched on a little bit of Science with my little munchkin, in regards to how a flower grows. I am a fan of Scholastic News and I love that they now have a Preschool Edition! Since Flowers is a hot topic/unit in the Spring, I wasn’t surprised when I found this in my spring stash! I love that it comes with a Big Book type pamphlet and a little one for little hands. =)
    We looked at the picture of the flower and I told her the parts of a flower and briefly talked about how each part grows.

    Home School Creations created a FREE Garden Unit and as always, I chose which activities I thought the little munchkin would enjoy, Usually I am rightBUT I was wrong about this one! She wanted nothing to do with it! But it’s still a cute activity... I even put magnet strips on to make it into a cookie sheet puzzle.
 Lucky for me I had some leftover die cut flowers from my Flower Mat making I did last weekend and I found a way to use them to create a magnetic Parts of a Flower Puzzle! Now this one, she liked! I also brought out her box of magnetic pom-poms to use as seeds.
 (I love how our dog, Sox, is just there, smelling her foot!)

  Here are some pictures I want to share of the Parts of a Flower Activity that my Preschool munchkins did, that I failed to post...
  I also made some Literacy Mats with other die cut flowers and she used foam flower stickers to play a letter matching game. ( I used the letters of her name to make each Letter Mat.)
  We wrapped up our Flower unit by making a fun lunch! A hummus sandwich in the shape of a floweralong with a tomato as the seed(s), celery as the stem and carrots as the leaves! It was a yummy way to review the Parts of a Flower! And I added some heart shaped cheese, just because! =)

And now, the Flower Fun has come to an end.....

July Calendar FREEBIE !

    So my little munchkin and I have been singing the Days of the Week song, to the tune of “The Addams Family”, a lot lately! So of course, I have been going with it and have been trying to slowly teach her the names of each day of the week.
    This led me to think about using a calendar (like the one I use in my preschool classroom), with her at home! So I pulled out some extra calendar stuff that I had in my teacher stash in the garage. Then I quickly created some fun Beach Ball calendar cover ups to use, rather than having to dig out the ones that I use in the classroom.
  And since Calendar Work is fun and a great way to teach simple math skills, I am providing it to you today for free! =)

Happy Freebie Friday!!

    I laminated the numbers and put velcro dots on the calendar and calendar cover ups. Now we are ready to start using and playing with our calendar -- starting on Sunday! =)

Click here for your FREE Beach Ball calendar cover ups for the month of July!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Outdoor Painting..."Spray Painting" !

    I am going to take a break from posting about the flower fun that my little munchkin and I have been doing lately and share the painting fun we had outside today. =)

    She loves to paint and today's weather was perfect, so I decided to take her painting easel outside!  I have always wanted to try "spray painting" and today was the day I did! It was a bit of trial and error, as I wasn't sure exactly how I wanted to do it. (I had seen several different ways online)
    First I took spray bottles and mixed washable paint and water inside. But I think I put too much water....
 Whomp, whomp, whomp....FAIL!

    So I tried a different approach. I emptied the bottles and filled them with only water. I showed my little one how to squirt the paint on the paper, paint  and then spray away! 

     I think it worked so much better and her little fingers were getting a (fine motor) workout, with having to squirt the paint and then squeeze the nozzle in the spray bottle! 
   She just kept on going...making her MASTERPIECE!  
(Look at that focus!) 


No doubt, we WILL be doing this again! =)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mighty Math Powers with Flowers !

   My little munchkin has been doing really well with her counting so I wanted to take some time to make a few math mat games for her to practice her counting and one to one correspondence.

   I love my Cricut machine and try to find ways to just use it! I saw an idea in one of my Mailbox magazines and rather than using the blackline masters that were in the magazine,  I whipped out my Cricut machine and made my own version!

    The math mats I made can be used in many different ways. Here is how I used them with my little one:

Bee & Flower Clip Game
 She matched the Bee Number Clip to the Number on the Flower Petals. 
(She got a little frustrated because she had a hard time opening up the clothespins.)

Bee & Flower Counting Mats
    We identified the numbers and then used bee counters to cover up the flower. I decided to put some magnetic strips on the bees so that it became a Cookie Sheet Math game! =)  She was even role playing a "teacher"!  =)

  It was much more fun for her that way, but it can be used as an ordinary math mat- which is how I will probably use it in my preschool classroom next school year!

Math Counting Mats with Flower Erasers:

I also remembered these play-doh math mats from Home School Creations, that I had used in many different ways in the classroom. I had her use our mini flower erasers instead of play-doh to play and count. 

Click here or on the picture for a link to the Home School Creations blog and for your own FREE copy of these versatile math counting mats.
Flower Number Order:
    I wanted to do some work on identifying the numbers and the order of the numbers. So I made some counting cards, up to number 10. 
Click here for your own copy!

    I helped her to put them in order and once they were all lined up, she grabbed her My Little Pony toys and did some one-to-one correspondence work- all on her own!
 It was a proud momma moment! I guess she wanted to see just how many My Little Pony toys she had! 
We sure have done a lot of math work these past few days! 

Hope you enjoyed our Mighty Math Power Fun with Flowers!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Preschool Memory Book !

Well, as promised, here is the final product of my Preschool Memory Book!
    Each of my preschool munchkins contributed to help me make this little Preschool Memory Book.  They each recalled a memory of an activity that they really enjoyed this school year.
    It will forever be special to me, as these munchkins were my very first preschool class in my new city of Buffalo,  NY.  =)

    I posted this as a freebie awhile back, but here is the link again in case you missed it! (Or you can just click on the picture)

   Awww... I miss them already!!!  =(

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Flower Fun !

    Flowers are everywhere! We walk outside and turn left, we see a garden with flowers! We turn right, we see another garden full of flowers!  It sure is nice to have neighbors who keep their gardens looking lovely!  Too bad I don’t have a green thumb, or else we would have our own garden to look at! =)

    This past week, the weather heated up quite a bit. But I was not complaining! There wasn’t much humidity in the air—thank goodness! So the heat was bearable b/c of the summer breeze… felt like I was in Hawaii!

   Anyhow, the little munchkin and I are always looking for fun stuff to do and with this heat, we brought out the water hose and the water table! I took an idea I saw in a Mailbox magazine and created a Flower water play area. 
   All I needed was fake plastic flowers (which I cut down to a smaller size), some empty Dannonino yogurt containers, and a spray bottle—and there we had it! Not quite sure what to call it though… Flower Spray Play?  I don’t know! =) 
   The little munchkin had TONS of fun putting the flowers inside the containers, setting them up and spraying away! Note: It led to a whole lot of additional soaking water play! This lead to purchasing 2 wacky sprinklers to help us keep cool!
    When we aren’t outside getting wet, or playing in the “dirt”, as she calls it (it’s really her garden sensory bin), we are indoors doing some other fun stuff.
    Here are a few little projects we have done with Flowers this week.

               Glued buttons onto the Letter F:
Scrapbook Flowers- 
I cut scrapbook paper into parts of a flower and glued them onto paper: 

   Skittle Flowers:
Then I got an fun idea to do, with a Flower dot printable that I found at Making Learning Fun.
    Rather than using Fruit Loops, I used Tropical Skittles! They are much more colorful and delicious!

 It was as VERY tasty Flower Treat! =)

    This weekend I have been making some math mat games for my little munchkin to play in the next week! 
     And I just finally put together my Preschool Memory Book! I will share a picture tomorrow! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ff is for Flowers !

  So I did a Flower unit with my preschool  munchkins but with so much going on at the same time, I was unable to do all the fun things I had planned to do. 

Gee…how often does THAT happen to teachers?!

    So, I just brought some ideas on over to my little classroom at home with my own little munchkin.
    I have been trying to find a flow of what, how and when I will do fun learning activities with my munchkin at home this summer. So far in learning with her, I think I have focused on a letter, using two different kinds of themes. (ex: C is for Caterpillar & C is for Cupcake) Each theme took at least 2 weeks. I think that is the type of learning schedule  that I am going to stick with throughout the summer, in addition to our reading program at the library, some fun outdoor time, pool time… and all that other summer fun! =)
Anyhow, here is what I presented to her to begin our Flower Unit.
  We began with the letter Ff and looked at the flip chart to learn about things that start with the letter. (I was shocked that Flower wasn't on it!)
   Then she decorated her letter F with foam flower stickers, which gave her fine motor skills some work.


    And as always, with each letter, I have her work with tracing the letter, using a dry erase marker and a laminated letter page. (This one comes from the Letter of the Week curriculum, created by Confessions of a Homeschooler.)
   She likes to do paper puzzles because she loves using glue! I found this one in a Flower Unit at 2TeachingMommies blog, which is a blog full of fun ideas!
   I wanted to try some math & counting with her so I dug out a die and some mini flower erasers from one of my teacher tubs (I have a gazillion!) and used a star ice cube tray I found in the dollar section at Target.
  I tried to demonstrate how to roll the die, count the dots and then place the erasers in each star on the tray. BUT she had her own idea on how she wanted to play! So I let her go at it. Guess my game wasn’t as exciting as hers…which is ok!! She was still working on her counting and one-to-one correspondence! =)

Later that day, I put together a mini garden sensory bin for her along with some gardening things I found at…where else? Target Dollar Bins!

            One of our shih-tzus was being nosey and wanted to play too!

    Here is as picture of the Garden I had in my classroom for the preschool munchkins.

   I am debating how deep I want to get into flowers with my little munchkin. Right now my focus will just be the letter Ff and different Flower activities. 
   I am going to attempt the Parts of a Flower and maybe the Seed to Flower process, but as always, I am going to follow her lead and do what she is interested in. J
More Flower Fun to come!