Thursday, September 30, 2010

Eensy Weensy Spider

Today I used masking tape to make a spider's web on the carpet.
And added lots of spiders.

I was a little worried that some of the spiders might be frightening but my concern was for naught.
They were sorted.
And grouped.
And became friends.
We sang Eensy Weensy Spider many times.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spider Math Game

I made this simple math game for our topic of spiders.

What I used: containers from the recycling box, dice and toy spiders.

Simple rules: roll your die then fill that many holes in your container.
First one to fill their holes can help the other fill the other.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Web Prints

Any time that we bring out the paint rollers the children are drawn to the art table.As well as paint rollers we had styrofoam trays that were trimmed of the edges so they would lay flat.
Using pencils we pressed spider web designs onto the styrofoam.

Then the rolling began.

Press on the paper and peel back to see your print.

Add a few spiders.

Some had so many that they looked liked babies emerging from their eggs.

It was a great morning of web building.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sensory Monday

Today was a Professional Development day for staff in our school district so I was able to do some prep work for the coming week and get caught up on a few projects.

We have been getting a lot of rain lately and yesterday morning when I was out walking I noticed so many spider webs. They were beautiful.
I decided to change focus this week from autumn to spiders.
The sensory tub is now filled with shredded paper and spiders.

At the light table I put a laminated piece of spider wrapping paper and black flat marbles and white flat marbles.

I couldn't not put out autumn and Thanksgiving items.
The children can investigate the items, match, sort or use them in the play dough.
I'm looking forward to seeing the Indian corn or the pine cones pressed into the dough.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Busy craft table

The past couple of days have been quite busy. Especially at the craft table.

We've done apple sun catchers with leftover laminate film and tissue paper.

We also did spin art using a salad spinner. We've done this many times before and I've seen it written it several blogs. It's a very popular craft. Children love to turn and turn the handle. The parents like the effect and the fact that their child can do it at school versus at home.

And to continue on our Harvest Garden we put together bird houses and painted them.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Apple Peeling

Today I brought my apple peeler/corer/slicer to school to make dried apple rings.

Of course the apple rings were the outcome but the process is what draws the children - it's immediate satisfaction.

The machine, itself, impresses the grown-ups. It suctions to the table and all you have to do is push an apple onto the prongs and then turn and turn.

It makes quick work out of making apple rings, sauce, pies and more.

Once the peeling, coring and slicing was done and the rings were in the dryer we used the peels to do some measuring.
How long is it?
If we held it up touching the floor will it be taller than me? My mom? My dad?
How far up the body did it go?
It created good discussion between grown-up and child.

We'll be using the machine again next week when we make applesauce. Also a colleague told me how to make apple butter so we may try that too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sensory Play

There has been a lot of discussion of what to put in sensory tables in the share groups I belong to online.

Each week I change my main sensory table and usually have one or two different sensory activities around the room.

Today I put dyed pasta shapes and pipe cleaners in the main tub. It was a hit. The older children liked to string them and the younger children (when they weren't trying to eat them) just like the feel of them in their fists.

Since it's the first day of autumn at the light table I put laminated leaves. Again because my program is for children birth to 5, I added some toy animals.

The parents were more interested in the leaves than the children but I believe that their interest may peak their child's.

At the playdough table I added different items from nature to encourage making impressions.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Walking through the marsh

We went outdoors today, to the marsh.

We were lucky that the rain stopped yesterday so it wasn't too wet on our walk.

The marsh is a nice 2 km walk loop with a boardwalk viewpoint midway.

At the midway mark I laid out vinyl cloths on the ground and put out watercolour paints, brushes and paper. It was a hit.

The families walked out to the viewpoint and could hear birds and frogs but didn't spot any.

We found some berries that a grandmother told were called Salberries and when her children were little would find a branch and then carefully pick off each little berry. She would bake them in a pie with apples. I imagine the colour combination was pretty.

We did see lots of slugs once we stayed in one place.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gone to the Birds

Our solution to the bug problem in our garden was to bring in some birds.
I enjoyed hearing the parents talk to their children about the experiences they have had with their own gardens. Making that connection to the child's own life is so important to make it real.

We not only brought in birds but we made some too.

And since we had birds we had to make homes for them.

I think they liked them.

Both the children and the birds.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bugs in the Garden

Back to school this morning and we found bugs in the garden luckily they were fake.

There was much talk about the different kind of bugs in our garden and the bugs that the families have found in their home gardens.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Oh today was a busy day. The nature of StrongStart is drop in. Families can come whenever they wish and stay for as short or as long as they wish. Today we had over 30 children plus their grown-ups visit.

It was so busy that I didn't have much time to spend in our second room where the dramatic play, and at the moment our Harvest Garden, is located.

At the craft table Roll-a-Painting was set up. It's the same as marble painting but we used different size, shape and weighted balls.

Some interesting observations were made and...

It was very popular.craft