Crozet Play School

Kids at Play in Crozet


Leave a comment

The Mitten & Animal Adventures

IMG_2841 2

Before I jump right into The Mitten and all of our new animal adventures, I wanted to share some of our last few Valentine’s activities we did throughout February.  Unfortunately this past month was really interrupted with National Holidays, teacher workdays, and lots and lots of snow!  We would just get started with something and then get interrupted for a snow break.  But, we managed to squeeze in some Valentine’s Day fun on two different days.

The blog has been quite quiet the past few weeks while I have busily working on assessments and portfolios.  I was able to write a portfolio for each child in the class, and meet individually with all of my parents.  It was so nice to sit down with everyone and discuss all of the growth and progress each child has made this year.

 

The pictures above and below are of D, C, and H playing in our huge sensory tub of pink salt.  I died many large boxes of salt pink, and then added scoops, glass containers, long pink spoons, heart gems, and a giant restaurant style salt shaker.  The kids quickly figured out how to unscrew the lid and fill it up with salt.  Then the boys would hold out their scoops and wait to have them quickly filled by the giant salt shaker.

This activity builds fine motor skills, cooperation, verbal skills, problem solving, and scientific processes of pouring and filling.  They were busy with this tub for quite some time.

Sensory Play:

IMG_2840 2

IMG_2837 2

 

IMG_2842 2

 

Process Art:

J brought in the most beautiful sunflowers for Mrs. Brittany and I for Valentine’s Day.  As much as we were enjoying them, we decided to put them in the art studio as an invitation to create.  I put the flowers in a large vase next to the easel with yellow, brown, and green paints.

IMG_2931

 

 

IMG_2925

 

Fine Motor:

For some fun fine motor work I covered a table with long strips of crepe paper.  The children each got to stand at the end of the paper and cut all the way down to the tape.  This provided a fun way to cut using scissors in a new and different way.

IMG_2950

We turned it  into a cutting race to see who could make their way to the tape first!

IMG_2968

 

Classroom News:

Our new sweet friend A started coming to school in the past few weeks.  She had a great time making new friends, and getting adjusted to life at Crozet PlaySchool.  A quickly discovered the Valentine’s themed learning trays.  She made some bracelets for mommy and daddy.

IMG_2934

A and A spent a long time moving our winter erasers from the container to the muffin tray using the tongs.IMG_2930 2.JPG

She also explored the jump ropes with her buddy A outside.

IMG_2937

And they got out our new set of sidewalk chalk for spring.  It was so great to see both girls bond right away!  It was great to see her warm up to our school on the first day:)

IMG_2935

Preschool Literacy:

We kicked off our study of animals by reading one of my favorite winter stories, “The Mitten” by Jan Brett.

the mitten.jpg

After reading the book a number of times in the morning, we acted out the story using large puppets from the Jan Brett website.  If your child is still interested in the book and would like to learn more, Brett has a fabulous website with lots of resources.

IMG_2956

I brought a large sheet down into the classroom and we clipped it onto the chairs to make a large mitten fort.  Then each child got to act like their animal as they crawled, dug, or hopped their way into the mitten.  Lastly our mouse got in the mitten and caused the bear to sneeze!  This was a wonderful way to incorporate early literacy skills such as story parts, characters, and problem solving.

IMG_2985.JPG

To give the students another way to “act out” the story I opened a snow sensory tub.  We made a batch of “blizzard in a box,” and then I added the figurines from Safari Ltd that matched the story.  They had a great time hiding the animals in the snow and making snowy forest scenes just like the book.

IMG_2963

IMG_2986

 

IMG_2952.JPG

Little hands in the tub…

IMG_2945.JPG

Also to go along with our kick off to studying animals Mrs. Brittany came up with this simple and very popular sensory tub!!  She added our large safari animals, soap, water, scrub brushes, and sponges.  The children got busy washing, scrubbing, and bubbling up the animals!

I love to see all of their little hands reaching into the tub to get wet and soapy!

IMG_2973

D scrubbing the lion very carefully.

IMG_2965.JPG

Preschool Math:

IMG_2993.JPG

We also played some great animal inspired games last week!  The game pictured above is called “Hiss.”  A bunch of students were playing with us, but of course they walked away when I took the picture.  Each child draws a card and they add it to a snake on the table by matching up the colors.  Once the snake gets a head and a tail it is complete and the player says “Hissss” to keep their snake!  It was a great game for color recognition, problem solving, turn taking, and practicing patience.

Celebrations:

Although we had to postpone our Valentine’s Day celebrations, we still squeezed in some time to have fun.  We got to bounce in the bounce house one morning!  These were the best pictures I could get!

IMG_2998IMG_2999

Each child got to roll out their very own pretzel, and shape it into a heart.  Here is B and D rolling out their pretzels.  They went straight into the oven and into our bellies before I could get a picture.

IMG_2959.JPG

Once our pretzels were finished cooking we enjoyed them and M’s special heart shaped cookies for her birthday!  We even got to decorate the cookies with pink and white icing! Yummy!

IMG_2970.JPG

IMG_2969.JPG

Happy Birthday M!

Yoga News:

Mrs. Kay also brought some new mats and a new format for our yoga time recently.  Instead of reading us a book and working on poses throughout the story, she told us a story out loud.  We had to listen to the story and then we posed as different story parts.  The picture below shows everyone trying to reach behind their legs to be a spider.  It was hard!

IMG_3005

And our favorite part of yoga, savasana.  Ahhhh relax and breathe.

IMG_3006IMG_3008

We had a few extra minutes at the end of yoga, so Mrs. Kay joined our mats together into a long line and we made a “Dragon’s Rainbow.”  Everyone got into downward dog, and then the first person crawled under the tunnel and went into downward dog at the end.  This repeated again and again!  It was really fun and hard work to stay up in down dog for so long!

IMG_3011IMG_3010IMG_3015

Now that we are mostly caught up, I can’t wait to share more of our animal study with you soon!

 


Leave a comment

Yoga For Kids

IMG_1327

We are so lucky to have Mrs. Kay visiting us twice a month for yoga!  It is so fun to watch children move their bodies, stretch, and get a chance to try something new.  Mrs. Kay usually uses a picture book to guide our yoga sessions.  The animals or pictures that they encounter in the book become different yoga poses to try.  The picture above shows the children moving their necks side to side like a gorilla.IMG_1576

These next two pictures show everyone stretching their backs on all fours, and making their hand into the Rhino’s tusk.

IMG_1574

IMG_1329

Yoga is fun!  The picture above is a great action shot of everyone growling like a lion.  You can see Mrs. Kay’s hands on the side showing us just how to do it!  Roooooar!!

IMG_1331IMG_1334

Each session we usually try to do many of the same poses as well.  Mrs. Kay always uses the correct yoga term, so they would know what to do if they visited a different yoga class.  Downward dog!

IMG_1335

And child’s pose:

IMG_1340

Each week Mrs. Kay ends with a relaxation exercise.  We lay still on our mats with the lights off and practice slow breathing.  Then we flex all of our muscles very, very tightly and relax them.  After a few rounds of this Mrs. Kay will give us a calm story to listen to while we relax on our mats.  We have even had some children fall asleep last year!

I love this weekly time with my little yoga kiddies!

IMG_1341


Leave a comment

March Madness

01f3071b9428cd2387509f1928376f8edea3e3e380

We had so much fun on St. Patrick’s Day this year!  The kids came into the classroom to find that some little leprechaun vandals had left a mess in our classroom overnight.  There were gold coins, rainbow yarn, and green confetti all over the place.  Then some of the students noticed a clue located on our bookshelf. 

 

We worked together, read the clues, and used our thinking skills to determine where to go next!

0173846b0e238577f2600251d18f68714a5d746f93

 

01827a1c1980d1a8363253784fe3593e4b759caf97

We ended up finding chocolate coins and treasure hidden in our trashcan!  The leprechauns sure know how to be tricky!

 

During our morning meeting we had a “lucky hunt” around the classroom.  Each child was given a hunt paper and had to find golden coins hidden around the classroom.  Then they had to race back and try to fill up the lucky hunt papers as quickly as possible.  This was so much fun that we played it a few times!

 

01faae04f021f7a3bae25e1b74cc5f5ed3c6a5d09c011f9b3adc5e126d137a427c6d266f04b5e880becb0121afb418e494cd8996749fd46e747bc0bf120cc80177b999bf7a1726d91abd57080fc8d8fc9450ceb5

 

01b41acbc7d8f7cd86c284b8330f9479606b26aae5

We also found some very green gak in the art room on St. Patrick’s Day.  Gak is still a favorite in our classroom, and we loved sticking the gak full of coins, shamrocks, and green gems.

 

01c47ab37e231326c0ac5c8268e7c424a95d7a177e

In March we opened a new construction area in the classroom.  It included our golf tees and foam board, with real hammers and goggles.  This is such a great activity for everyone in the class.  Holding up the hammers and pounding them into the board is great muscle building for our arms and hands.  Also getting the chance to use real tools is enticing and empowering for children.

016b480a21b78b57dc10bd002d971eafd811355523

New in our construction area were vests, hard hats, and all our construction vehicles.  The vests and hats have become a permenant part of our dramatic play area of the room.

 

 

0142d4b8f735cd9cb288c5865a55c833a812f7cc06_00001

We played with pasta, tubs, scoops, and bowls in one of the sensory tubs.

 

 

 

01a8e26804157a852087281cbcbbfe99d29ed0faf0

After reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears a bunch of times we got to act out the story using the sensory tub.  I filled the tub with oatmeal, added three bears and a goldilocks.  Then I put the furniture from our doll house to act out the beds and chairs.  They always know just what to do when they see these activities around the classroom.

01ddcd937cfb22b509c49a5040f7d9b0a530267eb0

 

01682532f33e2301c2e9cceefa335023a275b01082

Last year we spent a great deal of time discussing rainbows, colors, and color mixing.  I still did a few projects that included rainbows this spring.  We painted rainbows on a large sheet of paper.  Before they started painting I put a rainbow piece of contact paper on their sheet.  Once their paintings dried, I peeled off the contact paper to reveal an opposite rainbow picture.  They were very confused about the process, but once they saw me peel off the contact paper the whole idea made more sense to them!

01d27fd05a4c9db33b5c118545c8e93aefe1b9cc86

 

01b2a7c236bfdca1d498fdd1a20df1e6ee4318df82

 

014df92d87dcb516bba1c391d0f95440b5b026818f0136fe340a50147f04915022369378f79769bc5faa

We also finger painted rainbows with our glitter filled paints.  Each child decided if they wanted their rainbow to run across the paper or in an arch.  After our rainbows dried we taped rainbow yarn to the bottom of the paper and turned it into a windsock.  They loved taking them outside and seeing them blow in the wind.

 

01866be042f4d3df0a06e1f089b9a18c7a7b42874a

 

01198b1069bde4cacbba73859973915476f89ab45b

This winter was filled with a lot of snowy days, and we have loved adding the addition of yoga into our monthly routines.  The children are quickly picking up on the poses, terms, and the breathing elements of yoga.  They are so flexible and can quickly move from one position to the next.  I am in awe of their attitude to embrace new ideas and jump into yoga feet first!  We will continue to have Ms. Kay visit us throughout the spring too!

IMG_7219

Ms. Kay begins each lesson with an affirmation that we repeat a few times before an after our yoga exercises.  Then she guides the yoga session by reading a book that usually has animals in the story.  Each animal leads the children to the next pose they are going to encounter.

IMG_7223

Moose ears and breathing right to left

 

IMG_7226

Whale pose: laying on belly and lifting arms and legs

 

IMG_7233

Wolf pose:  downward dog with a leg lift to be the wolf’s tail wagging. 

 

Ms. Kay is so creative, and makes yoga fun for the kids!