Monday, July 27, 2020

Bug Themed Sensory Table Ideas

This month Nat and Nora are learning about bugs and crawly things.  

Every few days I like to put out new materials for them to explore in our sensory table.

Here are some sensory table ideas we have done this month for our big theme:

1.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar:

This bin is filled with:
  • Eric Carle's Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Caterpillar stuffed toy
  • Butterfly puppet
  • Play food
  • Plates, spoons, bowls
  • Leaves
  • Split Peas (as the base)

The girls had a blast acting out the story and making up new versions.  They fed the caterpillar, built it a cocoon, and turned him into a butterfly.

2.  Ant Invasion:

This bin is filled with:
  • Green Basket Filler
  • Beans
  • Plastic ants
  • Ant hill (Plastic bottle covered with salt dough and then painted brown)
  • Toilet paper roll (Tunnels)
  • Leaves
  • Bowls
  • Dice
  • Clothes pins with the letters that spell out ANTS
  • Spiders

The girls were busy counting the ants as they entered and left the ant hill.  Natalie created math word problems and was busy adding and subtracting different quantities of them.

3.  Bug Bonanza

This bin is filled with:
  • Beans
  • Rocks
  • Leaves
  • Plastic Bugs
  • Jars
  • Tongs

The girls organized the bugs by color and then made patterns of bugs crawling in lines.

4.  Spider Web

This bin is filled with:
  • Beans
  • Rocks
  • Leaves
  • Plastic bugs
  • Jars
  • Tongs
  • Spiders
  • String wrapped around the table (to form a web)

The girls worked together to save the bugs before they were caught in the spiders web.

What sensory table ideas have you tried?

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Outdoor Fun for Little Ones - Searching for Nature's Treasures

This week we are enjoying a little camping trip and have found so many fun ways to keep the girls busy and engaged while exploring nature's treasures outdoors.

Nat and Nora created little paper bag backpacks to wear on our nature hike (compliments of Mother Goose Time).

The girls traced their hands to glue to the sides of the bag.  They cut off the top and used it to create straps on the backside.  They used the scissors to cut hair at the top.  They added a face with markers and two wiggly eyes.  After they dried, they tried them on.

Nora thought her bag was a hat at first.  Oops!

We went for our hike through the campground and the girls gathered treasures inside their bags.  Natalie was focused on finding flowers, leaves, and stems while Nora looked mostly for rocks, sticks, acorns, and pinecones.

When we returned the girls laid their treasures out on the table and examined them.

Then we sorted them out on a tray by their properties.  The girls found some were soft, hard, long, short, round, rectangular, stick like, and many different colors.  They found a few more items nearby to add to the tray as we sorted.  Nat set some of her beautiful flowers aside.

I gave the girls some Playdough.  Nora decorated an island in the center of our tray.  She called the branches her trees.

Natalie created a family of bugs with the Playdough and her artifacts

How do you keep your little ones engaged while exploring the natural world around them?

Monday, July 6, 2020

Mother Goose Time - Birds & Eggs Art

The girls are loving Mother Goose Time’s Birds & Eggs theme. 

Here are a few of the artwork pieces and projects we've created this month with the kit.

Nora's favorite art project was building a bird nest. Natalie loved creating a baby bird to stick inside the nest.  We were able to staple the nest onto our bulletin board and stick each baby inside.

The girls also created a bird on a string that floated through the air like a kite.  They were able to fly it around the house.

After dancing around with our birds Natalie decided to put on a puppet show for us.

The girls practiced cutting tail feathers and wings for their paper plate birds.

We even added cute woodpeckers to our tree.

My favorite project was their bird bodies.  They used yarn to weave in and out of the little holes.  It was great fine motor practice for both of them.  Natalie also added a few worms and some dirt to the grass on our bulletin board.

Each topic and theme inspires Natalie to create her own artwork.  Creating bird beaks encouraged her to create a whole bird costume.  Here are some pictures of her creating the wings.
Nora is always happy to try whatever her big sister does.

The girls painted their cut out cardboard and then added some feathers.

I helped the girls add string to hold the wings on their arms. 

I love how Mother Goose Time provides us with amazing art projects and crafts that we can display for each month.

Check back later, or follow me on Instagram, to see some of the other projects that we have been working on!

Wonderful Woodpeckers

Today we learned about woodpeckers with Mother Goose Time's Birds and Worms kit.  This was a particularly fun day because we have been seeing families of woodpeckers on our nightly walks around the block.

The girls each created their own woodpeckers, which we later displayed on our bulletin board.  They stapled them right to the sides of the tree.

We read the cutest book about a woodpecker called Peck, Peck, Peck, by Lucy Cousins.

We played a board game called, Hungry Birds.  The girls took turns rolling the die and moving that many spaces.  They collected food cards each time they landed on bird food.  When one of the girls collected one of each food card, they won.  We are struggling with winning right now so to avoid a meltdown today we played as a team and when our whole group collected all the cards we all won as a team!

The girls practiced taping out rhythms with sticks we found in the back yard.  We tapped on tree trunks to imitate a woodpecker pecking.  The girls had a blast!

Check back soon to see what else we are doing with Mother Goose Time.

Displaying Children's Artwork Created with Mother Goose Time

The Mother Goose Time monthly themes come with daily art projects and crafts for students to make.

Lately, artwork has been taking over our household.  So, I created a simple system for displaying it.

Here are my top 3 locations for displaying artwork:

Location 1:  The Doors

Our main doors are metal and magnetic, creating the perfect spot to hang a few of our collages throughout the month.  I like to display them with the included inspirational photographs and the words/names of what they have created.  I think this helps to enhance our literacy rich environment.

I love how they can be put up and taken down easily with a magnet or two.  Simple and cute.

Location 2:  Our Bulletin Board

We inherited a bulletin board with our house.  If you are looking for one, I have seen quite a few for sale on Facebook Marketplace and on Craigslist lately.  In my classroom I've often hung student artwork in a row, like a patchwork quilt, but I had a better idea at home.  

I decorate the background of our bulletin board to look like the theme for each month.  Throughout the month I add my childrens' artwork to the board as they create it.  We build our bulletin board as we go.  At the end of the month, I take down the artwork and set up the bulletin board for the next theme.

Location 3:  Binders

At the end of the month we put our artwork away.  I place some of my children's favorite pieces in page protectors inside binders.  These are great to refer back to.  My 6-year-old uses the labels on each page to help her spell words when she writes in her journal.  These are great conversation starters and portfolio's to keep for a lifetime.

Love the artwork you see displayed?  Check out Mother Goose Time for more ideas and curriculum.

How do you display the artwork your children make?