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Be kind

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We asked the question “what does it mean to be kind?” We got so many great answers. Max told us “ it means to help someone”, and Harry said, “it means loving somebody”. Jasper said, “it’s being nice to my brother”.  We all agreed that it was kind to share, and help others and that when someone is kind to you it feels good. The opposite of kindness doesn’t feel good at all.  A few weeks ago we were talking about what it meant to be thoughtful and we realized that being thoughtful really fit when talking about kindness too. Thinking about our friends feelings is key to being kind. We read a book about kindness and the last line said, “Truly it is the small acts of kindness given freely along the way that become the greatest gifts of love”.  It’s an important reminder for the holiday season don’t you think? 

We made “kindness sticks” using craft sticks and water color pencils.  When we were finished decorating them with the pencils everyone got to pick out a gem to put at the top.






If your child…

Our Thankful Tree

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We made leaf prints using yellow, red and a bit of green paint. It was really cool to see the lines in the leaves printed on the paper.  Lines really are everywhere!



After the leaves were dry and cut out the children used a hole puncher to make a hole in their leaf. 

All week we have been reading books and talking about what it means to be thankful.  For the last part of this project we asked the children what they were thankful for .  We wrote some of those things on the back of our leaves.


Everyone had the chance to hang their leaf on our tree.


We put the tree on the cubbies in our kitchen so everyone can enjoy it. Happy Thanksgiving!








Branches and Beads

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We are making a thankful tree in the preschool. For the first part of this project we supplied different colored wooden beads and the children decorated the branches. 

We started calling it our “thoughtful and thankful tree” because you really needed to put some thought into where you put your beads. You also needed to be thoughtful because if you weren’t careful the smaller branches could break and if you knocked into a branch beads would come tumbling down.

The attention and care each child put into placing their beads onto the branches was a beautiful thing to watch. 

This turned out to be another very simple idea that completely enthralled the children while at the same time provided them with a great fine motor activity.





Lines part 2

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During a group discussion we talked about all the places we can find lines on our playground. We see lines everywhere we look. The fence, the slide, the ladder, the balance beam, and sticks are just a few of the answers we got from the children. I asked about where the sticks came from and from sticks we got to branches and from branches we had the realization that all the trees on our playground are lines. The trunks are thick, fat lines and the branches are thinner lines. 


In our studio we invited the children to draw and paint lines.  Branches in a glass bottle became the inspiration.  We supplied varying shades of grays and brown watercolor pencils and paper.  They did the rest. 





In a related loose parts activity the children created tree compositions using twigs.












Lines

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This past week we started talking about lines. We looked around the room and noticed that they are everywhere! They are on the walls, the ceiling, table legs. We can even find them on our bodies. Our fingers our legs....you get the idea. Lines are important because they are the foundation of shapes and letters. All form starts with a line. 

We introduced three different activities that let the children explore lines.  Rulers are a big hit with little ones and for some this was their first experience using them. It takes a bit of coordination to master making lines with rulers but everyone was up for the challenge.  They made “horizontal”, “vertical” and “diagonal” lines. They made them thick and they made them thin.


This activity allows the children to use sand to make different lines. Sand is a useful medium for pre writers. It is very forgiving, it’s easy to start again and is easily manipulated with just a child’s finger.


We also provided the opportunity for the children to trace different…

Apples and cloves

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In a related activity we set out apples along with the cloves from our scent activity.  It just goes to show that the simplest items combined can turn out to be the most fun and useful for young children. We really just happened to be eating apples for snack and ended up having a big bag of cloves left over from the previous activity. The children spent our entire activity time pushing the cloves into the apples.  This activity made good use of hand/eye coordination and utilized all their finger muscles preparing them for a future of writing.






Smells of the season

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We finished up our exploration of our senses this week.

We did this activity a few years ago and it was such a success we knew we had to do it again. 

We used a mortar and pestle to crush seasonal spices to bring out the scent and wow did our classroom smell amazing!

This activity involved not just their sense of smell, it’s also useful in utilizing and honing fine motor skills.