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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