Saturday, December 29, 2007

Preschool Craft - Reading Center

Hello Everyone,

I'm BACK! Ready to share more ideas for preschool crafts with you.

Sorry for the absence but I too am one of the "sandwich generation" and had to quickly depart to take care of an aging parent. All is well again and I can catch up with my readers.

I receive so many wonderful ideas from around the world that I would like to share. This one is so timely, a "green" idea for recycling, creative and just so much fun.

Heather sent this idea to create an "Igloo Reading Village".

Igloo Reading Village

Need: 200 1 gallon milk jugs--ask parents for these--free is great!!
Glue--(hot glue is quickest but care must be taken)

My class has made an igloo. We made an IGLOO out of more than 200 1 gallon milk jugs.

We use it as a reading center. How cool is this! I bet you will have lots of eager readers in this center.

Art Work for the Walls:

Coconut Snowman

Need: Paper, chalk, paste or glue, coconut, raisins.

Directions: Draw outline of a snowman on black paper with chalk. Spread paste over snowman. Sprinkle shredded coconut over the paste. Use raisins for eyes, mouth, buttons!

These are just a couple of ideas that show imagination knows no bounds!

I hope you can use these. Send me your ideas and I will be sure to share them here.


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Monday, December 3, 2007

Preschool Games

Hi there,

Here in the States we are in the midst of winter--meaning cold, blustery weather. Getting ready to go outside has given me lots of ideas to use in the classroom.

Here are some fun "Mitten" ideas that come to mind. Try some or all of these and let me know if you have others!

Hide and Seek is always a big hit and can be done on so many skill levels.

Classroom Hide & Seek--FOR EYES ONLY
Have all the children hide their eyes while you "hide" a mitten somewhere in the classroom. It should be out in plain sight but still not in any obvious place. Emphasize that they are to keep very quiet and not shout out when they see the mitten. Tell the class to open their eyes and look all around the room, staying very quiet and use their eyes to search for the Hidden Mitten. They are to raise their hand when they see it but not to shout out or let others know where it is. Pretty difficult to stay quiet but it is possible! The first time they will shout out and one of the learning skills is to learn to keep very quiet. Do this a few times and see who can remain quiet! They always love a challenge.
Choose one of children to show where it is or if they are older have them describe where it is.

Hot & Cold

Play this game by hiding a mitten somewhere in the room or you can have one of your kids do this. This time make it a little more difficult than the one above. Next choose a student and tell them to walk around and search for the mitten giving the clues of "hot" and "cold" until they find it. If one of the children hide the mitten, they give the clues to the one searching. This is fun at circle time and can be used until all the children have a chance at hiding the mitten or searching for it.

Sensory Painting
Knitted mittens
Large paper or poster board

This is great for all ages from toddler to five year olds.
Have parents bring in old knitted mittens or buy some in bulk at the discount store. Pour some fingerpaint into trays. Spread large sheets of fingerpaint paper or poster board on the tables. Have them put on the mittens, dip their hands in the paint and start painting with the mittens on. It is a so much fun and gives good sensory feedback as well.

They really enjoy this and it is a new use for mittens!


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Monday, November 26, 2007

December Lesson Plans Preschool


We are gearing up for December Lesson Plans--I have so many ideas to share with you that it is hard to know where to start!

Since it is cold where I live, I think of winter weather, snow, icicles and all the activities and crafts that are winter related. Here is an art project to get started with the season.

Igloos--What is inside?

This is an art project that not only provides fine motor skills but draws upon your kids' imaginations to think about what is inside an igloo. They always think about the outside and how it looks but get them to understand that they can actually be shelters and what they might find inside!

Light blue paper
White paper
Magazines, optional
Pencils, crayons

You will need to draw a template of an igloo shape that almost covers the entire page of the white paper (I use the paper horizontally so that I have plenty of room.) Cut out shapes of the igloo using the light blue paper so that it will stand out against the white paper. Cut out doors, like a barn door or double doors that will open.

Glue the blue igloo--edges only--to the white paper so that the doors will open.

Next have them draw the lines on the outside of the igloo in a pattern that they can do (age dependent here). This could be simple lines across and then down for the youngest to staggering brick patterns if your class is older.

Once that is finished, have them determine what they will find inside their igloo when they open the doors. They can cut out pictures from magazines, draw, cut out and glue shapes...whatever their imaginations create!

Then have them tell about their igloos at circle time!

One of my parents sent me this recipe she found online. I don't have the original source but it was a hit with class.

Easy Pumpkin Pudding
Materials and Ingredients:
1 cup vanilla pudding for each child
2 tsp. Libby's easy pumpkin pie mix per child
A bowl for each child
A spoon for each child
Description: Help young children measure and place one cup of vanilla pudding in their individual bowls. Next, measure out 2 tsp. pie mix with each child. Ask children to mix the vanilla pudding and the pie mix together for a seasonal and yummy treat.

I hope you enjoy these


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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving Lesson Plans for Preschool

I don't want to slight our friend the turkey at this time of year but I am always looking for fresh ideas for Thanksgiving.

Here are a couple of ideas that work together to give a little variety to our traditional arts and crafts.

Wooden Spoon People Thanksgiving

Wooden kitchen spoons, varying sizes
Felt scraps cut into shapes

Give each child a wooden spoon (I try to give them 3 if I can find a good price on them or ask for parents to donate them too)
Have your child glue yarn onto the top of the spoon to make hair and buttons to make the eyes.
They can draw a mouth and nose with markers.
Then use the felt scraps and glue them on for clothes.
Now you are set for the circle time activity below.

Dramatic Play at Circle Time

Have the children use their spoon families in circle time to talk about Thanksgiving.
They can pretend the Spoon family is their own and use them as puppets to talk about how their family will celebrate Thanksgiving. Ask them about the food that they will be eating and whether it is food they like or are willing to try.

Having each child have a turn to share their family traditions teaches your childrent that there are many ways to celebrate a holiday--not just the way their own family does it.

Let the imaginations and conversations lead your day with this activity.



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Monday, November 12, 2007

Tips for Preschool Teachers

Imagination is the key word in today's idea. What better place to use imagination than in Preschool where our children are the masters!

We have such an opportunity, and I believe duty, to provide the right environment for kids to tap into their imagination to design and build their play space in the classroom.

I like to clear an area in the classroom before everyone arrives. Then when the children arrive their interest is sparked by this VACANT space. Sometimes I put large Question Marks"?" on paper around the area.

We then hold a circle time meeting in that area. I have them close their eyes and tell them that can design the space to be whatever pretend environment they would like. (You can offer suggestions, such as "Play House", Post Office, Grocery Store, and believe it or not, a $1 Dollar Store. These stores are becoming so popular in the US that children love browsing through them.)

We all lie in a circle and stare up at the ceiling and decide what it will be and then where we will put the walls, counters, furniture..whatever the case may be. Let them help to tape out the area with masking tape and then to go throught the classroom to decide what could be useful in their new area.

Bring out your storage boxes which should include items they can use to set up the station. If it is a store, they will need shelves, items to sell, pretend money, cash register. If they are playing house, they will need kitchen items, sitting area, bed (use a nap cot for this).

I'm sure you get the idea but the best part is to let them make most of the decisions. If you feel it is questionable, use this time to get them to explain their idea and why they think it is a good one.

THEN....let the imaginative play begin. This is an activity that can stay up for days so that all of the children get a chance to have their turns to interact with each other and to try different roles...shopper, store owner, parent, child, etc.

This needs a good half hour for them to be able to truly enjoy the experience.

Imagination and self expression is such an important part of preschool. Allow the play and role playing to teach them about their world.

Have fun and enjoy the moments.

Until later,


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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Preschool Halloween Crafts

Halloween is next week and the count down is on!

I do believe that this holiday is getting more and more popular every year and the excitement is mounting.

Preschoolers love it and get a little scared too... I try to keep the "scary" part to a minimum but add lots of fun to the event.

I want to share a few last minute craft ideas and snack suggestions that should be a hit with your preschoolers.

These come courtesy of one of my moms, Carol, who volunteered last week with these great, easy ideas.


Need: White foam trays or foam core
Black marker
Black yarn
Hole punch

Trace out a ghost shape. We made a couple of templates from cardboard so that the children could trace around them. It was a "buddy" effort where one child traced and the other held the template still. Cut out the shape. This is a good fine motor lesson and it doesn't matter if the edges are scraggly..that makes it more ghostly!

Then punch out two holes at the top for his eyes or use the black marker to draw the eyes. Next punch out one hole at the top center and also at bottom center. Tie one of the bells on a string and tie it through the bottom of the ghost for the noise effect and use the other string to attach the ghost to the ceiling to move in the breeze.


Construction Paper
Black Paint
Googly eyes

This is a quick and immediately successful activity for all ages. It can be messy so be sure to have a helper around to wash off hands.

Paint your student's palm and 4 fingers with the black paint. Be sure you don't paint the thumb. Have them press their handprint on the paper with their fingers pointing out to the side. Next paint the other hand and place it on top of the other print but with the fingers going out to the other side.

Voila! You have a spider print from their hands. Add the googly eyes and make a Spider Wall or bulleting board.


Cutout Sandwiches
Make some sandwiches--Cheese sandwiches, peanut butter(if no allergies), tuna or just bread and butter...whatever your kids like. Use large Halloween Cookie cutters--ghost, large dog bone, pumpkin, ghost etc and cut out the sandwiches.

Bones were the biggest hit for snack time with my class.

Marshmallow Pops

Large marshmallows, green or orange candy melts, icing gel, lollipop sticks.

Stick a lollipop stick into each marshmallow. Place them in the freezer to harden for about 15-30 minutes. Use your microwave or stove to melt the candy. Dip the frozen marshmallows into the melted candy and set on waxed paper or parchment paper to dry. Once they harden, add eyes, and mouth if you want, to the hardened lollipops and enjoy!

Kids love them and they made them.

Happy Halloween to all.


P.S. If you like these ideas Check out my Preschool Lesson Plans here:

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Preschool Activities for Fall

Hello again!

Are you looking some for fun preschool activities for fall?

I have two to share with you today that are so simple and so much fun.

Your preschoolers will love these!

First in order is to go outside for a "Collection Walk".
If you have a large group you may want to break them into groups--some will collect pretty fall leaves, others will want to look for pine cones, acorns, tree bark, stones,etc (fall like nature objects).

If the weather isn't cooperating, you can draw leaves on construction paper and cut them out or ask your kids to cut them out.
(These don't have to be exact so it is a good fine motor activity as well.)

Now for the fun...

Leaf Toss
Take a sheet, or a small parachute if you have one, and put the leaves in the middle.
Gather your class around the sheet and SLOWLY lift the sheet and then drop it QUICKLY to watch the leaves fall. This can go on for awhile because it takes them a few times to understand how to make them fall gently!

This is an activity that can be used for all seasons--just change the leaves to snowflakes, blossoms, flower petals, etc.

Sensory Box

You will need a large box that you can cut a hole in that your kids can put their hand in but small enough so that they can't see in.

Take your fall nature finds and put them in the box. I like to add a few extra surprises to the box that they didn't collect such as an apple, pear, baseball.
Have them sit in a circle and take turns reaching into the box and see if they can describe what they feel and can they guess what it is.

Hope you enjoy these as much as we have!


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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Preschool Lesson Plans on Comparing

Hi there,

I hope you are enjoying this fall season as much as we are.

Here are a few of the many activities we've been doing this month that have been so much fun.

The children love challenges to give them the opportunity to show how much they can do and know. These activities provide that possibility to shine!

Matching Games

Leaf Match

For all ages 3-5
1. Cut out leaf shapes from different colors of paper. Give each
child one leaf. Ask the children to find one person with the same
color leaf.
2. Place matching leaf stickers on separate index cards. Give each
child a card and ask them to find the child with their match.

To add challenge:
3. Cut out leaf shapes from different colors of paper. Cut the leaves in half using a puzzle type cut, like zig zag or interlocking pieces. Give each child one half of a leaf, and ask them to find the person with the other half.

You can experiment with these matching and comparing ideas and increase the level of difficulty depending on the ages and abilities of your class.

These are fun, encourage spatial concepts, color many areas of learning AND the children can move around to do it to use some energy!

Enjoy and come back to visit for more ideas.

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Preschool Lesson Plans on Comparing

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Preschool Lessons- Word Matching

Hello and Happy September!

With the beginning of the school year, letter and word recognition is a great place to start.

Here is a suggestion that one of my aides created a few years back and it is always well received and holds attention.

It may not be new but it is fun and gives a sense of accomplishment! Everyone needs that positive feeling in their day.

Word Matching

30 circles of paper (or any shape you wish)
Large Poster Board (large enough to hold 15 of the shapes)

Pick out 15 words(3 or 4 letters long) and print them on 15 shapes.
Glue these shapes to the poster board.
Now print those same words on the other 15 shapes and place them in a tray or envelope.

Have the children match the loose words with the ones that are mounted.
I like to use similar words which may only have one letter difference such as "trip" and "trap" and see if they are matching the whole word or just the beginning sound.

Easier Version: only use individual letters or numbers for younger children and have them match them.

My feeling is the more exposure to letters, words, and even sounds of the letters and words will always enhance pre-reading skills.

Send me any ideas you would like to share and I'll include them in the blog.



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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Preschool Education--Calming Game

Hi There,

I couldn't wait to share this great idea that one of my readers, Ann, sent to me.
It is a game she calls--"Which is better?" and it can be used in preschool
education settings, bedtimes at home, anywhere you would like to
restore a sense of calm to your setting.

Which Is Better?
At night, or whenever we need to get a child to calm down and focus a bit,
we play "Which is Better?"

I usually do this one with my son to help him calm down enough to go to sleep.

Once I get him into bed and lights out, I'll ask questions like:
"Which are better, dinosaurs or lizards?", "cheerios or rice krispies",
"puppies or kittens?" "puzzles or games?" "crayons or markers?"
"bed or sleeping bag?" "playground or swimming pool?"
"beach or camping?" etc.

The possibilities are endless, and it REALLY works as a calming tool.
My 3-year-old could still be going strong at midnight, and this
gets him to sleep every time. He wants to play it in the car,
but I usually tell him we have to save this game for bedtime!

This works so well! I would love to hear how it works for you.

I love getting these suggestions so send me yours and I will share them here.

Have a great day--until next time!


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Friday, July 20, 2007

Preschool Themes -- Camping


It has been a busy July here for sure.

With all of the vacation trips going on with family and friends
I thought of this preschool theme that is such a hit with my

It is all about camping but the best part is that it is all indoors and weather isn't a factor! What could be better than that? I call it "camp preschool" and the set up is as much fun as the activities that you can use all week once it is ready.

Camp Preschool

Set up a tent in the classroom--this could be an actual tent if you have it or as simple as a blanket suspended over tables or hung from a ceiling(whatever fits your classroom setting).
Cover the lights with black construction paper to create a night effect and hang branches from artificial Christmas trees from the ceiling. The darkened effect and branches make it feel like the forest and the children love the atmosphere it creates!

You can bring in real wood logs or have the children sit around the "fire",a few small branches with red, yellow or orange tissue paper stuffed in them.

Use this setting the rest of the week for story time, snack time... The possibilities are endless.

Enjoy this idea and check back for more.

Until next time,


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Friday, July 6, 2007

Preschool Snacks


I hope that all of you here in the States had a fun and safe 4th of July!

I was scanning the internet and looking for some summertime snack ideas.

Here is a snack that is loved worldwide and can be made

and enjoyed year round--Ice Cream.

I found this video showing you how to make Homemade Ice Cream

with your preschoolers (or even older kids for that matter).

Check out the video--written and visual instructions --Easy and SO..GOOD!

Be sure to click on the arrow to start the video.

Bon appetit!

until later,


If you like this and want hundreds of new and fresh ideas for your preschool,

check out my Preschool Lesson Plans Made Easy:

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Preschool summer activities

Hi there,

Hard to believe that the 4th of July is just days away.. Those winter months seem so far away when we couldn't wait to get outside.

Let's enjoy these days! Here are some ideas for the 4th of July to add to your files.

Discussion--The Bald Eagle

This is a good time to talk with your preschoolers about the Bald Eagle. Explain to them that it is a symbol for the US and was declared the national bird of the US in 1782. It is only found in the United States.

Get their ideas of what "bald" means when talking about the eagle. It doesn't mean that it has no feathers on its head (like a person who is bald has no hair). If comes from a Greek word "piebald" which means "marked with white".

GOOD NEWS!--is that as of June 28, 2007 it goes off the endangered species list because the population of birds has grown so large.

Patriotic Punch
2 ice cube trays
Red juice
Blue juice
Seltzer water or club soda

Simply fill one or more ice cube trays with a red and one or more trays with blue fruit-flavored beverage and let the cubes freeze solid.
Place 3-4 ice cubes in each glass, pour the seltzer over and watch the special effects. As the red and blue ice melts, colored bubbles swirl through the drink.


White Paper Plates
Red & Blue Paint
Gold Stars
Tissue Paper cut in strips for streamers

Let the children decorate the bottom side of the paper plates any way they wish. Once their creations are complete, fold the plate in half. Add the dried beans to the plate to make noise makers and staple the edges shut. Just before you get to the bottom, add the streamers and continue stapling until the plates are sealed.

Turn on some great music, grab the colorful noisemakers, Yankee Doodle Dandy is good, and lead a parade around the yard, playground or classrooms. Always fun to have a parade.

Hope you enjoy the ideas.

If you're looking for more ideas be sure to check out my Preschool Lesson Plans at:

Bye for now,


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Friday, June 22, 2007

Preschool Ideas

Hello there,

Glad you're here to catch up on some ideas for your preschoolers.

Now that it's officially summer many of us think of camping.

Preschoolers love to pretend and practice what this is like.

Here is a craft idea for building a "campfire" that can be used rain or shine!


Paper Towel Tubes
Brown Paint
Tissue paper--red, orange and yellow

To make a 3-D campfire have each of the children paint a paper towel tube with brown paint. When the paint dries, hot glue 4 of the tubes into a square shape for the base of the campfire. Then glue the remaining tubes up towards the center, like a pyramid. When the glue is dry and cool, allow the children to glue pieces of yellow, red and orange tissue paper to the wood, representing the fire. This can be used in dramatic play as a real "fire". Watch out, it's hot!

Gather the kids around and have a great story time reading around the campfire.

Check back for more fun summer ideas.


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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Preschool Art Project


Summer is finally here and kids are ready to have new things to do at home.

While browsing the internet, I found this video which gives a fun idea for an art project. It's really a versatile idea because it can be done inside or out, depending on the weather or the season.

Watch and enjoy! It takes a couple of minutes to load so be patient and it will play for you. (Be sure to click on the arrow to play the video.)

Hope you found this to be something you and your preschooler will try.

Send me any ideas you may have and I'll share them with my readers.


P.S. If you want help with what to do this summer with your preschoolers check out my Preschool Lesson Plans here:

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Preschool Crafts

Hi There!

I've been away awhile but actively working on organizing my volumes of ideas for preschool. No easy chore but definitely fun and worthwhile.

Here is a simple but delightful activity for preschoolers from 2-5.

All children love stickers...they are provide time for creativity, quiet time, encourage fine motor skills and so much more.

Here's a way to have them make their own stickers.

Home-Made Stickers

Need: Pictures cut from magazines
Different colors of paper cut into shapes
(depending on ages and abilities, the kids can cut their own shapes)
Jell-O, any flavor

The preparation of the Jello-O glue is for the teacher to prepare. Mix 1 tablespoon of jello to 2 tablespoons of boiling water. Stir until dissolved.

Allow to cool to lukewarm. Let the children paint the BACK of the pictures or precut paper with the jello. Allow to dry, painted side up.

After the paint has dried, they can lick and stick their stickers to paper--added benefit is that they taste good too! Their art work is truly their own and smell great too.

Try this and let me know how this works for you.

Send me any ideas you have and I'll share those too (with due credit, of course)!


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Saturday, April 7, 2007

Preschool - Shapes


If you're like me you're always searching for ways to teach shapes.

Here are a few that have worked well for me.

Pass around a shape and have children look at it and feel it with
eyes open and closed. I use large cutouts--one of cardboard and
another of the same shape cut out of sandpaper.

Use pieces of painter tape to make large outlines on the floor of a
circle, square, triangle, etc. I ask the child to name the shape
before walking around it. Let the children take turns walking or
crawling around the edges of the shapes.

For a quiet activity have them hunt for shapes in a magazine and
paste them on a paper. Then you can make a bulletin board of
shpes with their creations.

You can turn it into a group activity by going outside and finding these shapes in nature.

I would love to hear any ideas you may have and I will share them all.


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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Preschool Lessons for Spring - Springtime WIND

Hi Everyone,

Here are a couple of ideas that go together beautifully. One is an activity to make windsocks and you follow it up with a talk about WIND. With good questions, you can create a lively discussion and make a wall mural as well.


Need: Small cardboard tubes (toilet paper rolls)
Springtime pictures cut from magazines
Yarn or ribbon or crepe paper

Start by going through some magazines and having children cut or tear springlike pictures. Next, let your children decorate the cardboard tubes by gluing on the pictures. Help them glue several long pieces of ribbon or thin strips of crepe paper to one end of their tubes. At the other end, make a hanger by tying on string or yarn. Have the children hang their windsocks outdoors to see which way the wind is blowing.

Discussion -- How Do We Know the Wind is There?

You begin by explain to your children that wind is moving air. Then talk about how WIND is invisible so what are the signs that tell us it is windy. Give them clues such as clouds moving in the sky, wind chimes ringing, leaves or paper blowing across the yard.
Let them give their answers and write them on the board. You can follow up the discussion by illustrating their answers. This can be done by cutting out more pictures from magazines, having them draw their answers, or you can illustrate.

I hope you enjoy my ideas as much as I enjoy sharing.

If you enjoy these ideas, check out my Preschool Lessons at:

Bye for now,


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Friday, March 23, 2007

Preschool Lessons - Mud Bricks

I don't know about you but I am SO happy to have the warmer days and LONGER daylight hours! It recharges my "batteries" for sure and I notice that the kids are in the same mode.

Here is an outdoor activity that kids love to do--it involves MUD. What could be more appropriate for springtime?!

Mud Bricks

Kids love mud and you can teach them to make their own bricks that they can use later for other projects. Best of all--all of the materials are FREE; just go outside and they are there in nature!

Large container(s) to mix the mud
Handfuls of grass

Take the dirt, grass and water and stir together in the container until you have a thick clay-like texture.

Next let the children form small rectangle shapes to look like bricks. It is best to keep them small because they dry quicker.

Leave them out in the sun to "bake" or dry. Once they are dry and hard they can use them for other projects. (This can take a day or two.)

Hint: Place these on a tray to dry so that if the weather turns rainy you can easily bring them inside to continue drying.

Until next time, enjoy the spring!


P.S. Looking for NEW IDEAS for your classes but don't want to spend your free time planning--Check out my preschool lesson plans:

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Preschool Lesson Plans for Spring - Kites


Finally! Spring is at the doorstep and time for more sun, more energy and lively

times outside.

We all need to get out and enjoy ourselves.

I have some fun things to do inside and out--just in case the spring rains keep us in

a day or two.

I'll be sharing these with you over the next few days.

We think of KITES when we think of spring--here are some ideas for kite pictures and kite-making.


Need: Diamond Shape Template, paper,bowtie pasta, glue, markers or crayons

the children trace the diamond shape on their paper. Some may need help
holding the template still. Let them decorate their kite anyway they
would like. Show them how to draw a line from one of the ends of the
kite to look like the tail.

Next, they glue the bowtie pasta on the tail to decorate the tail of the kite.

You could decorate a wall or bulletin board with their creations.

Simple Flying Kite

Need: Plastic grocery bag, yarn, stapler, tissue paper

this "guaranteed" to fly kite by stapling strips of tissue paper on the
bottom end of the grocery bag (try to be sure there are no holes at the
sealed end of the bag). Next tie yarn onto each handle of the bag. Go
outside and let the kids run with their kites. They don't fly high like
a real kite but they are guaranteed to fill and "fly" as the kids run
with them.

Success rate is guaranteed!

Please let me know how you like these ideas and share any new ones you use. I'll pass them on to everyone.

More spring ideas to come.


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Thursday, March 8, 2007

Preschool Crafts- St. Patricks Day Ideas

Spring is so much fun for everyone--it lifts our spirits and renews our energy. St. Patrick's Day fun provides ideas to fill many craft times and the end results make for a bright, happy and very GREEN room. What better color for spring than GREEN!

I have two tried and true ideas to suggest to you using a similar theme. You can decide which one is easier for your kids to do. OR you could do both!

Shamrock Placemat/Picture

White Card Stock
Shamrock cookie cutters, varying sizes are great
Green crayons or markers
Green tissue paper
St. Patrick's Day stickers

Give each child a sheet of card stock. Let them use the green crayons or markers to trace around the cookie cutters to make the shamrocks. Younger ones will need help with this to hold the cookie cutter still. Next let them color them in if they will use it for a placemat. They can also add some of the stickers to it.

If they are making a wall hanging, let them spread some glue inside the clover design. Next, they tear off pieces of the tissue paper, wad it up and then stick it onto the glue inside the design until the entire clover is filled in. A great 3D design to hang on the wall.

I'll share more of my ideas with you this week so check back often.

Bye for now.

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Sunday, March 4, 2007

Preschool Activities--Let's Play Restaurant

This is an activity that you can stretch out over a couple of days and give the kids active participation in the planning, creating and finally doing!

The plan is to make menus for their own pretend restaurant. Next they will learn about setting tables (keep it simple here--not a four course meal). And the final days they take turns being the waiter, the cook and the customer.

You use this as an opportunity to talk about healthy food choices, different kinds of food, favorite foods, and favorite restaurants.

Materials Needed:

Pictures of vegetables, fruit, dinners from magazines or Sunday food flyers.
Glue Sticks
Fake food items (optional) or great imaginations!
Paper plates, cups and napkins


One day is spent cutting out the pictures for the food. Talk about what should go on each page--maybe just two items per page. Label the picture so they can see the word and the item.
Staple the pages together to make the menu. You should make several.

Next day the kids take turns setting up the restaurant and taking turns being the waiter, and the customer. The waiters set the table with a plate, cup and napkin.
This is also a memory game for them because most preschoolers cannot write. It is fun to see if they remember the order.

It is a fun way to talk about food choices and general health.

You can then have snack time when the tables are set up and everyone gets to have something real to eat.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Preschool Games - Counting Games

Are you looking for ways to make learning numbers and counting fun?

Try some of these suggestions:

1 For quiet play for individuals, give each child several baggies each one marked with a number on it. (I like to start at 3 and then go higher maybe to 10 depending on the level of the children in the class.) Then give them a bag of cottonballs(ping pong balls, anything small enough to fit) and ask them to fill the bags with the correct number of cotton balls as the number on the bag.

2. Take the class on a type of scavenger hunt through the classroom. Start with trying to find out how many shoes are in the room, then go to how many jackets are in the room, windows, etc. Children could be divided into teams and limited to certain areas of the room to make it more manageable.

3. Use the game of Simon Says to help with counting. Simon will give commands to do do things a given number of times--such as "Simon Says, Clap your hands 4 times." This can go on for a long time and the kids love it!

All the things you do throughout the day can be opportunities to learn numbers! Repetition that is fun is what makes learning fun for this age.

Let me know your ideas! I'm always looking for more ideas.

Until next time,

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lesson Plans Preschool - Guess Who

Three year olds love guessing games because it involves an element of surprise and secrecy. It also teaches mastery because they actually figure out the answer! BY using these three different ways to play an classic kids game, you're teaching them observation skills, listening skills, and reasoning.

There are many ways to play "Guess Who"

In the tradition of "I spy" --the teacher silently picks out one of the children and tells the class that they have to "guess who" she is thinking about. Then, she starts to give clues starting with big ones like hair color, gender, and then getting more and more detailed so that the kids have to use their skills of observation.

Another way is for the teacher to pick out one of the students and begin to describe that childs special qualities or abilities, in other words identifying those things that make that child unique.

A third way is to tape record each of the children and then play the tape and ask the class to "guess who" the voice belongs to.

Always a hit and it keeps their attention for awhile.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Preschool Science Lesson Plans - Shiny Pennies

One of the traditions during the Chinese New Year celebration is to give children red envelopes containing brand new money.

Try making pennies shine like new again with this classroom activity. Make this into a real science experiment by trying 4 different ways to shine the pennies and see which one works best. Ask the children what they think will happen. Encourage them to observe and describe what happens after dipping each penny into one of the bowls.


1 bowl vinegar

1 bowl salt

1 bowl salt and vinegar

1 bowl salt and water

Fill 4 bowls with the ingredients listed above and see what happens when you dip in a penny.

Combine 1/2 cup vinegar with 4 tablespoons salt in the third bowl.

It is such fun to see the reactions of the kids as they watch the shine come back to their "lucky" penny! Let them take their lucky pennies home as their Chinese New Year's gift.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Preschool Winter Lesson Plans - Panda Paper Bag Puppets

Everyone loves the giant panda bear! I like to start by telling the children a little about the panda. They are considered a national treasure to China.

Basic Panda Facts
* Pandas are mammals
* They live in the bamboo forests of China
* They eat bamboo, a kind of grass that grows where they live. In zoos they eat bamboo, apples, sweet potatoes, carrots and other vegetables.
* They are black and white
* They are endangered wich means people have to protect and take care of them and their forests so that they can survive.

Very simple Panda puppets can be made from small paper lunch bags.

Panda Paper Bag Puppets

Supplies needed:

* Paper bags
* Black construction paper
* Glue
* Scissors
* Markers or crayons

Fold the two square edges of a paper bag under (see dotted lines), to form the animal's chin.

Cut out shapes (you can uses just circles of different sizes) to form the ears, eyes, a nose, and paws. Glue them to the panda.

Puppets are always great ways to stimulate imagination and enhance story time.

Try this for one of your Chinese New Year's ideas.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Lesson Plans and Preschool - Chinese New Year

Here is a great idea for the coming week's activities--celebrating the Chinese New Year. Here are a few ideas to start this week of festivities!

Explain that the Chinese New Year 4705 begins on February 18, 2007. The New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the lunar month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest.

Using a globe or world map, show them where China is and show them that it is the 4th largest country in the world. One tip to help them remember it and locate it easily is to show them that the shape of the country resembles a rooster, with the head at the northern-most part and the tail feathers in the west.


Making a Chinese Flag

Gold Stars, Large and medium
Red Paper

The flag at the top is the national flag of China. It consists of a red background and five golden-yellow stars.

Each star has five points and the star on the left is bigger than the other four.
The design of this flag is simple.

Let your children stick gold stars on a small red rectangle that you give them or draw their own stars and colour in the page, if they are able.


For snacktime, order out for appetizer platter and steamed rice from your local chinese restaurant!

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Simple Preschool Lesson Plans - Fruit or Vegetable

So many preschoolers know the words -fruit and vegetable but how many can tell you the differences. This is a great topic and open for lots of discussion!

For openers ask them:

How Do You Know a Vegetable from a Fruit?

One way is fruits grow on trees or vines and vegetables grow in the ground.

Bring in some real foods and and see if they can tell you if it grows in the ground or on a tree and if it is a fruit or a vegetable.

Have such examples as corn, tomatoes, green beans, pears, peaches and grapes. Then have them all for a great healthy snack.

(Have some unusual ones much as kiwi,eggplant, orange bell peppers or any others you can find at your local store.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Preschool Lesson Plans for Free - Berry Basket Painting

It's always a good idea to have lots of fun indoor projects for the winter months. This one is a fun and the paintings can be used as Valentine gifts as well!

Children can use berry baskets to make designs with paint.


- Plastic berry baskets
- Paint
- Paper
- Paint smocks
- Meat trays
1. Have the children put their paint smocks on.
2. Put out several different berry baskets
3. Pour paint into the plastic meat trays, one tray for each color (I suggest minimum of 4 colors and more is better.)
4. Place the baskets into the paint.
5. The children can pick the colors they want to use for their creation of art.
6. Tell the children to use the berry baskets to create prints on their paper. They can make single prints or overlap prints if they'd like.

HINT: Instruct the children to use the basket that is in the color they choose and not to switch the baskets from color to color.

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Friday, February 9, 2007

Lesson Plans for Preschool - Valentine Heart

This is such a simple but rewarding Valentine craft for the younger preschooler.

Pre-cut Heart shapes (I use oak tag)
small bowls
Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
red food coloring

Mix the milk and food coloring in a bowl and stir well. The more food coloring the darker the shade of pink. Have the children use the paintbrush to brush on the colored milk to the heart. For texture, they can sprinkle salt on it while it is wet.

Lay the heart flat to dry.

It will be sticky while drying. When it is dried it will be nice and shiny with a raised texture!

It can't get much easier than this and the kids love it!

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Free Preschool Lesson Plans - Fun with Scissors

This is such an easy project to set up for preschoolers. It helps develop the fine motor skill of cutting which this age group really needs.
Coupon flyers from the Sunday paper
Safety scissors

Allow time for the kids to sit and cut out coupons. This is great for learning small motor control. It can also be calming since they are seated at the table. They can pretend they are going shopping and that they need coupons for their favorite foods or items.

You can stimulate some lively conversation about nutrition, favorite things, and memorable times they have had shopping with their parents.

This has always been a fun time for my class. I would love to hear any of your "free" ideas too!

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Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Weather Preschool Lesson Plans - Rainbow Ice

This project gives kids a fun way to create colorful designs in large blocks of ice plus getting to observe how salt melts ice.
Materials: Large ice blocks (freeze water in empty one 1/2 gallon milk cartons). When the water is completely frozen, tear off the cardboard container.
Coarse salt Food coloring Eye droppers
Steps:1. Place ice blocks on trays covered with several layers of newspaper.2. Give each child some coarse salt to sprinkle on top of the ice3. Using eye droppers let the kids drip various colors of food coloring on the ice. 4. The colors drip down and create color streaks through the ice.5. If it's cold enough, put the ice blocks outside and they should stay frozen for several days.

Children love watching the changes that occur as the blocks melt away! You can bring them inside or leave them out for them to see when the weather allows outdoor playtime.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Preschool Lesson Plans - Memory Game

This one is always fun and stimulates lots of participation while teaching observation and memory skills.

Need - winter hats, scarfs, gloves, mittens, boots

Game - Chose one child to be a SNOWMAN. This child will chose the items he wants to wear as a snowman while the other children hide their eyes. Next, have the children look at their snowman, then close their eyes again. This time the snowman changes somthing he is wearing and ask the others to point out what has changed. (The more things the snowman wears the harder the game so you can adapt this to whatever skill or age level you have.)

Options - This can be done with any dress-up clothes such as a fancy outfit and changing shoes or necklaces or for uniforms like a fireman and adding or taking away different items.

Lots of fun for indoor play!

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Preschool Lesson Plans for Children 2 to 3 - Obstacle course

This time of year we all get cabin fever and need to move around. My 2-3 year olds love my obstacle courses. I use crawling tubes, large balls, exercise mats, mini-tents ( made out of balnkets over tables) and arrange a path for everyone to follow. This all leads to the reading circle where they are now ready to sit, relax on a pillow and hear a story.

I would love to hear any ideas you use to get some safe indoor activities going for your kids. Send me your comments and ideas

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Monday, February 5, 2007


I have found a fun way to get the kids involved in cleaning up.

At the end of the day, when the tables are pretty messy, get out some shaving cream. Spread it on the table top and let the kids fingerpaint all over the table top. They love this and it is a way to involve them in clean up time. The shaving cream cleans the table lifting off dried glue, snack crumbs, etc.

Thier hands and the tables get clean. When the table is clean, give them paper towels to wipe the table dry. Then have them rinse their hands and dry them.

They have had a fun time and helped get the tables ready for the next day.

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Marshmallows - Marshmallow Igloo

Here's a really fun way to hold kids interest and even the youngest can follow the steps to instant success.

Marshmallow igloos--

Need -
1/2 of an apple or an orange
mini marshmallows
White frosting or marshmallow fluff
large pretzel rods broken into shorter pieces
paper plates
plastic knives or spoons
aprons or smocks

Line a table with newspaper or disposable table cloth.
1. Give each child a plate and piece of fruit.
2. Have them spread the apple or orange entirely with the frosting or fluff.
3. Tell them to start at the bottom (at the plate) and start covering the fruit with the marshmallows until the entire fruit is covered.
4. You could add a pretend chimney using the pretzel rod pieces.
5. Let them enjoy their masterpiece to eat, admire or take home for a surprise.

Marshmallows are such fun things to use with kitchen crafts and preschoolers. They guarantee success.

Send me any ideas you have tried using marshmallows--even the tried and true snowmen!

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Uncooked Playdough

Wow these weather extremes have increased the energy level to all time highs with my preschoolers.! Too cold to go out, so here is a great way to use up that energy.

My kids love to make a special playdough that I have made over the years. It takes lots of energy to stir it up, doesn't need cooking and then they can create whatever their imaginations allow!

Here is the recipe: 4 cups of play table sand, 3 coups all purpose flour, one cup of water, and 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and let them take turns stirring. (If you have a sand table, it is best to set the bowl there so they can really "show their strength" stirring!)

I let them get out the rolling pins, cookie cutters, or just sculpt.

I'm always on the lookout for new ideas for this great timeless way to play.

Post your comments and let me know any ways you have to use playdough that may be a little unique and fun.


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Preschool Pizazz!

When your on your way to the preschool to great your children, what comes to mind? Are you prepared, ready for fun things to do and experiences to offer?
Hopefully this is the true but often we have run out of ideas or time to pull together some new and exciting opportunities.

There is so much to offer kids at this age. Every day events, being with others, sharing, eating, cooking, general play are all opportunities to enrich their lives. They come to you already with a variety of experiences and it is the goal of preschool to enrich upon these and expand them to give them confidence in themselves and their ability to take on new challenges.

Play is such an important and special part of childhood. It gives kids a chance to experiment with their world, to try new things and to have control over what is going on. Self-esteem is developing so fast.

This is a place where you can come to find fresh and fun ways to keep the momentum going and to help you plan your day with new and fun ideas.

See you soon with some clever and fun ideas for winter play!

- Mary

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Sunday, February 4, 2007

Bringing you fresh, creative ideas to keep your preschoolers happy and busy as they learn about the world. Let us do the planning while you devote your time to teaching!


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