Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sandpaper Letters Project

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We made sandpaper letters this week. First I drew the letters on cardboard to use as stencils. After cutting out the homemade stencils. I laid them on the sandpaper to cut. Remember to place them backwards on the back of the sandpaper to trace the outline. Cut out the letters with old scissors or the sandpaper may dull a good pair of scissors. Then I glued the sandpaper letters onto construction paper that had been glued to cardboard.

We read some fall books.

We baked some apples.

We had fun in the fallen leaves.

Over all we got most of our planned work finished this week. We are looking forward to next weeks lessons.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Preschool Lesson: The Changing Seasons

I chose The Changing Seasons for our theme this week after Pooh Bear noticed the leaves changing colors and falling to the ground.  We will focus on Fall this week and Winter next week. We are reading fall books and painting with fall colors.  We will taste some apple cider and make a baked apple treat. Our letter of the week is B. Our number is 2. Our advanced concept for the older preschooler is before, between and after.

For our crafts this week we are decorating a pumpkin. We may also make some crafts with fall colored leaves that we collect on our nature walks this week.

We glued felt shapes on our pumpkins. This was a fun and easy way for a toddler to decorate a pumpkin. There was no mess to clean up and later we can use the pumpkins for pie and dry the seeds for a treat.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fun With Shapes

Our shape projects have kept us busy. We made sugar cookie cut out shapes. Then we made a simple construction paper shapes puzzle.  We included a shape lunch for fun.

Our fun shape lunch.
Toasted cheese on wheat toast squares.
Apple triangle slices.
Steamed carrot circles with shredded cheese.
( For young toddlers the carrots and apples should be cut in half to prevent choking.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I am not so wordless today!
We are painting shapes with sponges. I cut up a regular sponge into one large circle, one small triangle and one small square. I sewed the leftover edges to the sponge shapes to make a small knob handle to hold the sponge with.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Preschool Lesson: Learning Shapes

This week our theme is Shapes Around Us. We will be focusing on the three basic shapes. Triangle, square, and circle. (For older preschoolers we can add more shapes such as the rectangle, star, diamond, octagon and crescent. )
Our letter of the week is A. We have just started to identify the letters of the alphabet. I will have some coloring pages and tracing pages for each letter we are learning. (For the older preschooler we can practice writing our name and address.)

Our number of the week is 1(one). I plan to teach both the numeral and written form of each number.
(For the older preschooler we should be working with numbers up to 20 and we can teach the concepts larger and smaller.)

For our arts and crafts we will create some fall artwork that include our shapes theme.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Coloring Time

While on vacation my grandchildren enjoyed coloring. The girls sat right down and got started coloring while the the boys  had a harder time picking which coloring page they wanted to color the most. Next time I won't give them so many pages to choose from.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Our Schedule

I would like to share a sample of the preschool schedule I have been working on. Our schedule is not set in stone.  It is used as a guide line so I am able to keep track of our time spent learning. I am hoping to be able to use this schedule with all of my grandchildren in the near future. Since my grandchildren fall into two age groups I have made the schedule to work with both age groups.

*Morning devotional
*Free time ( any quiet, non messy activity, coloring, block play,  puzzles, educational DVDs )                
*Story time-( two stories one the child picks the other mom picks )15 to 20 minutes
*Writing practice- ( alphabet letters, name, child's address, sight words) 2 workbook pages
*Music- (Finger plays, nursery rhymes, play with music makers) 15 to 20 minutes
*Math - ( identify & write numbers, number games, shape sorting, simple math) 2 workbook pages
*Nap time/Quiet time- ( sorting, stringing beads, puzzles, books,  other educational toys)
*Reading practice ( sight word identification, basic readers) 20 minutes
*Arts and crafts-( color identification, painting, gluing. scissors practice) 20 to 30 minutes Monday and Wednesday
*Science- ( science books, nature DVDs, growing seeds, other projects) 20 to 30 minutes Tuesday and Thursday
*Homemaking ( cooking, baking, measuring, sewing projects, special chores) Friday.
*Nature walk 30 to 60 minutes Three days a week weather permitting
*Dance, Soccer or Gymnastics once a week

Our lessons also include a letter and number of the week. I plan each week around a specific theme. The theme  helps to decide what stories we are reading and what art or science project to work on.
I also print out coloring and activity  pages that are related to our weekly theme.

When we have outside appointments or other scheduled activities we work around our schedule and keep the important learning tasks such as reading, writing and math.

Free time and Nap time is used for Grandma or mom to do house work, read, blog, or any other needed task.

I welcome any suggestions for an improved version of this schedule.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Toddler Apple Biscuit/ Bread Stick Recipe

I came up with this recipe while trying to find a semi healthy cookie recipe for my grandchildren. Every recipe I looked at called for a cup of sugar and or butter. While that is fine for a once in a while treat I wanted something I would not feel guilty about giving my grandchildren more often.  So I made my own recipe.
They are a cross between a biscuit/cookie and a bread stick.

Apple Biscuit Stick

2 1/4 cups flour (more or less)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 eggs
2 tablespoons honey
1 pealed and cored apple (I used granny smith)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease  and flour a baking sheet.  In a medium bowl add flour, baking powder and salt mix well. Shred the apple with a grater or chop to very small cubes. Add eggs, honey, olive oil and shredded apple to the flour mixture. Mix dough until consistency is like a biscuit dough. Add flour if dough is sticky. Add water if dough is dry and stiff.   Take about a tablespoon of dough in hand and roll into a bread stick shape.  Place on baking sheet. Brush tops with egg wash. Lightly dust with a pinch of sugar. Bake about 10 minutes until tops are lightly brown. 
I served this as a snack with plain yogurt. The grandchildren like to dip their cookies or crackers so this is a great dipping stick.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Preschool Lesson: Music for Toddlers

This week we are having a short week in the classroom. So I decided to make this week fun while learning at the same time. We will be working on music for toddlers. finger plays and some other fun songs.  We will enjoy lots of story time, crafts and our daily nature walk.

Just a sample of the finger plays, and toddler music we will enjoy this week.
1. The Wheels On The Bus
2. Where Is Thumbkin
3. The Farmer In The Dell
4. Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes
5. The Alphabet Song
6. Five Little Ducks
7. Loop De Loop
8. Baa Baa Black Sheep
9. The Ants Go Marching
10. Do Your Ears Hang Low

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Plants and Seeds Wrap Up

We had fun this week learning about plants and seeds. I think I had just as much fun as Pooh Bear had watching our bean seeds sprout and begin to grow. 
One of the books we read this week.

One of our plant crafts
(completed with help from Pooh Bears mommy)

Our Trip To The Pumpkin Farm
It rained most of the day and was very windy. The rain let up for about 30 minutes so we were able to
make a quick trip to the farm. We were not able to pick our own because of the weather. I am hoping to be able to visit another pumpkin farm this weekend.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Looking at the age rings in a tree stump.
(part of our plants and seeds week)