Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Buddy Activity–What’s Inside the Egg?

Our buddies planned an egg activity for us to do today.  They had precut cracked eggs and used brad fasteners so they would open and shut.
When the buddies got together we started with sharing the eggs from our toy incubator.  I presented each egg as a riddle and they had to guess what was inside.  Next they had to think of what they would draw inside their egg.
They spent a few minutes planning what creature they would draw.
Next they drew their picture, talking about it and beginning to think of questions that would give hints to what is inside their egg.
Also during that time they continued to build their relationships.  Helping each other, sharing ideas, working together and showing new tools (the last picture shows the big buddy using a pencil sharpener).
         Once their picture was done they considered their clues. 
What questions would they write so people can guess what is inside?
           Once they were done they walked around and shared them. 
        Could other buddy pairs figure out what was inside the egg?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Raising Chicks

We are attempting to raise chicks this year.  I tried once before without success.  One of the families that attend my program offered eggs if I wanted to try again.  How could I refuse?
Last Tuesday I picked up the eggs and put them in the readied incubator.  Our incubator has an automatic turner so I won’t have to turn the eggs each day.
My biggest worry is the humidity level, that is what went wrong last time. This incubator has an easy to read thermometer and humidity guage. 
Every couple of days I add more water into the trough underneath the turner to maintain a certain percentage of moisture.
IMG_5224 IMG_5207
The families are curious about the incubator and have questions.  I appreciate how some grown ups compare the incubator to the mother hen.  That is does the same job keeping the eggs warm.
This morning we tried to ‘candle’ the eggs, to see if they are fertile.  The first attempt using a box wasn’t dark enough.
       So we crowded into the bathroom and turned off the lights.
A few of the eggs we didn’t see anything.  Others we could see the line of the air sack.  One we thought we saw some lines, maybe the blood lines.  We will try again next week and really hope that we see more.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Our Play Incubator

No, this isn’t our play incubator.  This is our real incubator and since we can’t disturb the eggs I decided to create an incubator that the children can play with.
The incubator is a cupcake holder that I found at a dollar store.  The eggs are a bit too big for it but doesn’t effect the play value.
Each egg holds a different creature that comes from eggs.  I took photos of each one and taped them on the table for the children to match.
The children love opening the eggs to discover what is inside.  Is it a leftover sensation from Easter?
Whatever the reason it has given them lots of opportunities to work those muscles in their hands.

Next week they will be surprised to find that inside each of the eggs there will be chicks – toy chicks.

Monday, April 27, 2015

What Comes from Eggs?

A couple of weeks ago I saw a picture on Instagram from Teach Preschool.  Debra shared this image that her assistant made of a game to match eggs to where they came from.  I thought it was a brilliant idea and made one for our centre.  Thank you Miss Abby for sharing the idea.
I found this plastic sorting box at a thrift store for $.49, just thrilled to find it when I needed it.  The toys came from a mix of bought Toob Toys and toys I already had in my centre.  The egg pictures were found on line by searching for habitats of each of the animals.  They are just taped in the bottom of each section so I can reuse the box later.
The homemade toy has been a playful way to learn more about creatures that come from eggs and their habitats.
The children’s vocabulary has increased as they have learned more about each animal. 
They worked together to figure out which animal matched the right picture.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

I Need Your Vote

I’ve entered a contest through Natural Pod to wind a $5000 natural play classroom and I need your help to win this great prize.

Please connect here and vote for my entry.
                                                  Thank you

Friday, April 24, 2015

Playing With Eggs

I love simple materials.  Egg cartons, plastic eggs, tongs and lots of focus.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

StoryWalk–A Tree is Nice

Yesterday when we were at the pond I set up another StoryWalk using the book “A Tree is Nice” by Janice May Udry.
I picked this book especially for Earth Day to help us celebrate trees. "Trees are beautiful. They fill up the sky. If you have a tree, you can climb up its trunk, roll in its leaves, or hang a swing from one of its limbs. Cows and babies can nap in the shade of a tree. Birds can make nests in the branches. A tree is good to have around. A tree is nice."
Beside the pond there is a big, open, grassy area that was perfect to spread out the walk. It meandered across bumpy grass and around the trees, offering the opportunity to see different kinds of trees.
The families took their time at each picture.  Giving the children time to look at the illustrations and talk about them.  Then reading the text of the story out loud before heading off to the next page.
A Story Walk is a relaxing activity that combines the love of book and the outdoors.  I’m already looking for our next story.