Friday, December 30, 2016

Oh, Boy! Preschool Camp - Week 1

Happy New Year! 
 I am so excited to welcome in the year 2017 with a bang.  For the next 13 weeks I will be providing you and your preschool kiddos with fun activities to help them as they explore and discover colors, shapes, letters and numbers.  I believe that children learn best through play!  So, as Ms. Frizzle always says I hope you and your child(ren) are ready to "take chances, make mistakes and get messy!"

First, grab your supply list!

Don't worry if you don't have the supplies to do every activity or the time.  The important thing to remember is every moment you spend playing and learning with your child is a cherished moment!  

Monday - January 2, 2017
Today's activities include:

1. Playdough
(letters Aa & Bb)

First, I recommend making playdough with your child(ren).  It is a great math and science activity!  I chose to make a snow glitter playdough because it is winter and snowing here.  However, using red playdough would be a great addition to this activity because we are learning about the color red this week.

Here is a recipe for snow glitter playdough:

1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup salt
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp cream of tarter
1 cup boiling water

1. Mix all dry ingredients (including glitter) together.
2. Add oil and mix
3. Add water and mix.
4.  Let it cool down for a while (it will come together more)

We rolled "snake" letters for A, a, B and b.  My kindergartner is able to take it a step further by making and reading "snake" words.  Rolling playdough is a great for fine motor muscle development for those little hands.  If they can't quite get it that is okay.  Just encourage them and explore!

We also made balls to smash!  My preschooler and kindergartner said each of the pictures names as they SMASHED the balls.  My toddler really enjoyed smashing.  I couldn't make the balls fast enough...haha!  Making balls and smashing the playdough are also great development for those fine motor muscles.

If you don't already have letter playdough mats you can get all of my alphabet letter playdough mats at my TpT store.  It will be 50% off this week only.  Each letter comes with 8 letter/word mats and 1 smash mat.  That is 234 letter playdough mats for your to use.  They make a great addition to letter of the week curriculum!

Or if you would prefer not to get playdough mats you can always add cookie cutter letters to your playdough center.

2. Shape Run
(circle shape)

With painters tape or masking tape, create a large circle on the floor.  Have your child(ren) run like a cheeta, skip like a rock, hop like a frog, bounce like a kangroo, crab walk sideways, walk backwards, etc. around the circle.  This was such a fun activity!  My kiddos just screamed and squeeled with delight.  I know yours will too.

While you go around the circle sing, "The Wheels On The Bus"! 

Song Verse
The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round,
'Round and 'round, 'round and 'round.
The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round,
All through the town.

You can also change it to say:
"The cheeta in the savanna goes 'round and 'round..."
"The rock on the water goes..."
"The frog by the pond goes..."
"The kangroos in the outback goes..."
"The crab on the beach goes..."

3. Letter Crowns
(letters Aa & Bb)

We love dressing up at our house.  So, why not create your own letter crowns to wear all week!
Grab some coloring utensils and everyone can color their own crown.  Encourage your preschool to try and cut out their crown.  However, they may need some assistance.  A kindergartner should be able to cut their crown out on their own.  Tape or staple the strips together to create a crown.

EXTENTION ACTIVITY: add some play jewelry, capes, etc. and play king/queen of Letter Land.

I have a very artistic and enthusiastic toddler.  As you can see my toddler helped me to color my own crown...haha! 

To get your crown printables visit my TpT store.  These letter crowns will be 50% off this week only.  It is another great addition to your letter of the week curriculum.

If you would prefer not to purchase crowns you can make crowns by adding stickers to a paper that start with letters A and B.

4. Number Men
(numbers 0-5)

This is more for a kindergarten level; if you want your child(ren) to make the number men.  However, it makes a great room decoration for preschool.  The preschoolers can help tape or glue the "legs", "arms", "hands" and "feet" onto the number "body".

 You will need large numbers (you can cut your own out of construction paper) and number "feet"/"hands".  The number "feet"/"hands" have the number word, tally mark, stacked cubes and a ten frame.  You will also need strips of colored construction paper folded up accordian style.  As well as tape or glue.  Be sure to hang them or tape them to the wall to provide your child(ren) with number recognition all week.

You can get the printables I used in my Oh, Boy! Numbers Kindergarten Mega Bundle at my TpT Store.

5. Cutting Strawberries
(color red and cutting skills)

You will need the book: "The Little Mouse, The Red-Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear" by Don and Audrey Wood.  If you don't own this book you can purchase it, borrow it from the library or you can even watch it on youtube for FREE!

This story will be our focus story for the week.   We will be reading it everyday and having an activity that goes along with the story.

Today, we will start by reading (and the kiddos will listen) to the story.

After your are done reading the story...practice cutting strawberries.  Don't be afraid to introduce your child(ren) to a knife.  I let my kiddos use butter knives.  I was their assisting and instructing the entire time.  And don't forget to eat those yummy strawberries before the big hungry bear gets them!

This is a perfect time to introduce fractions.  Half for you and half for me!

Tuesday - January 3, 2017
Today's activities include:

1. Q-tip Water Painting
(color red, circle shape, letters Aa & Bb and numbers 0-5)

This is a great activity to work on fine motor skills and pre-writing skills.  I used red chalk and wrote letters (A, a, B, b), numbers (1-5) and circles (big and small).  You will need a chalkboard or you can go outside and use the sideway or driveway.  Give your child(ren) a small cup of water and a couple of Q-tips.  Tell them to erase all of the letters, numbers and shapes with their wet Q-tip.

This is a great way to introduce writing skills.

2. Paper Tube Stamp Painting
(color red and circle shape)

I put down a large piece of paper on our kids table for them to make circle stamps on.  However, you can give each child a piece of paper.  Because our color of the week is red...we used red paint.  I also gave each child a empty toilet paper tube and half of a straw.  They dipped them into the paint and then used them as circle stamps.  We discussed the different sizes of circles.

TIP: add liquid hand soap to your paint for easier clean up!

And of course, they turned the activity into something different!  This is great, because I want them to learn by exploring.  They used the straws as rollers and made rectangles.  

3. Alphabet Swat It
(letter Aa & Bb)

For this activity, I got out the A, a, B, b, C, c, L, and l cards.  You can choose to use as many or few as you would like.  I basically chose the letters of the week and a couple of letters that are in some of my kiddos names.  (Every kid loves learning the special letters that are in their name!)  Give each child their own fly swatter.  You can get them at the dollar store.  Call out letters for them to swat.  Or you can let them swat the letter they want and tell you which one they got.  

EXTENTION ACTIVITY: discuss the sounds the letters make.  A kindergartner should be able to tell you on their own.

You can get your Alphabet Swat It cards at my TpT store.  They will be 50% off this week only!  These are a great addition to an insect unit too!

If you don't want to purchase this set you can simply write letters on 3x5 cards and add a couple of insect stickers on them.

4. Number Dab It Pattern Strips
(numbers 0-5, circle shape, beginning counting and beginning patterns)

This activity is a great introduction to patterns and counting.  I cut construction papers in half (hotdog style) and taped them together.  Then I wrote numbers on them in a pattern.  Using bingo markers my kids dabbed the correct number of dots above each number.  If you don't have bingo markers use stickers.  I made my kindergartners a bit more challenging (as you can see in the above picture).  I let my kiddos choose the colors they wanted to use, but you can let them use red to go along with the color of the week.  And don't forget to point out all the circles they made.  You can even practice counting them!

My preschooler needed a bit more guidance and assistance in putting the correct amount of dots.  

5. Bear Hunt
(color red and gross motor)

Start by reading (and the kiddos will listen) to the story.  Have the child(ren) see if they can find the big hungry bear while you read the story.  Afterwards discuss where they think the bear is.  What?!  He wasn't in the book?  You better go on a bear hunt and find that bear!  Go on a bear hunt with Dr. Jean on youtube!

We had so much fun going on bear hunt.  Everyone participated!

Wednesday - January 4, 2017
Today's activities include:

1. Mystery Painting
(letter Aa & Bb, circle shape and numbers 0-5)

So, I found what looked to be a great activity on pinterest.  You use watercolor paints to uncover mystery pictures when you paint over white crayon.  IT FAILED!  I could do it because the paint I used was pretty watered down.  However, my kindergartner's paint was to thick and my preschooler couldn't really figure out the watercolor painting process.  I tried helping them, but it didn't work like I was expecting it to.  So, we experimented with another tool...MARKERS!  Those worked much better.  Feel free to use both during this activity so you can experiement too.

Purple marker vs. thin water color...

Once we got the activity to work my kindergartner was in heaven discovering the mystery pictures!

For this activity you will need to prepare a white piece of paper for each child.  Write  A, a, B, b, 0-5 and circles in white crayon on the paper.  Have your child(ren) draw with markers on to find the find pictures.  Discuss the pictures as they find them.

EXTENTION ACTIVITY 1: count the circles
EXTENTION ACTIVITY 2: what does each letter say?

2. Tabletop Sticker Numbers
(color red and number recognition)

My kids loved this activity!  This is a great activity for fine motor development and number recognition. You will need paper to cover your table or individual paper for each child.  Write the numbers 0-5 on the paper and have your kids cover the numbers with  red circle stickers.

I ran out of red stickers so we had to add other colors to our red numbers. 

EXTENTION: count how many stickers it took to cover each number.

3. Muffin Tin Color Sort
(color recognition and circle shape)

This is a great activity for color recognition.  I cut circles out of colored construction paper, wrote each color name on the circles and then laminated them for durability.  You don't need these for this activity; however, making a print rich environment is beneficial for children.  Have your child(ren) sort colored pom poms, buttons, beads, etc. into a muffin tin.  You can add tongs/tweezers too!

4. Alphabet Book Pages
(letter A & B)

Here is another great activity for letter recognition and beginning sound recognition.  You can make your own letter bubbles for A and B.  Or grab my book with the link down below.  If you choose to do your own here is a list of ideas to glue to your letters:

APPLES: apple stickers, apple stamps or apple stamp painting
ANIMALS: animal stickers, animal stamps
ANTS: ant stickers, plastic ants or make ant using three fingerprints
ARROWS: arrow stickers, arrow stamps
ACORNS: acorns or acorn stamp painting

BLUE: blue paper strips, blue collage items, blue sticker dots
BUTTONS: buttons or button stickers
BALLOONS: balloon stickers, water balloons or balloon stamp painting
BEANS: dried beans
BERRIES: artifical berries or paint with berry juice
BUBBLES: bubble painting
BALLS: ball stickers or ball stamp painting
BLACK: black collage items
BROWN: brown collage items

I have created multiple pages for each letter.  As well as a list of fun things you can glue or stick to the letter of the week.  At the end of our alphabet journey your child will have their own alphabet book!  Grab your alphabet books at my TpT store.  It will be 50% off this week only!

5. Disguised Strawberries
(color red and imagination)

This was a hit!  My kids loved disguising their strawberries.  

First read this weeks story.  Then discuss why the little mouse wanted to disguise and hide his strawberry.  Encourge your child(ren) to disguise their strawberry from the big hungry bear so he wont find it.

The dinosaurs were very hungry too!  They came to see if they could find the disguised strawberries...but they didn't have any luck.  
To do this activity be sure to grab your FREE strawberry printable!

Thursday - January 5, 2017
Today's activities include:

1. Red Water Beads Sensory Bin
(color red and circle shape)

My kids love sensory time!  Prepare (4-6 hours in advance) red water beads for the kids to play with.  I prepared what I thought were red waterbeads but they were pink.  So I grabbed another packet hoping they would be red...they were orange!  OH WELL.  

I added circle shape cookie cutters for them to fill up with the water beads and some measuring spoons.  Of course they needed more cookie cutters!  So we added the truck cookie cutters, heart cookie cutters and star cookie cutters.  I am not joking when I tell you my kiddos will play at the sensory bin for AT LEAST one hour!!!!

2. Aa & Bb Roll and Cover
(letters Aa & Bb)

This is a great game for upper and lowercase letter recognition as well as fine motor development.

For this activity you will need my roll and cover packet.  Prepare by creating the Aa and Bb dice.  You your child roll the die and play a small object on the corresponding letter.  We used mini erasers that I purchased at Target's dollar spot.

You can get my alphabet roll and cover activity at my TpT store.  It will be 50% off this week only.

3. Color Sticker Book
(color red)

To prepare for this activity you will need to make your child(ren) a color sticker book.  For this you will need paint swatches and metal book rings.  I laminated my pages back to back, hole punched then end of the book and added my rings.  With permant marker I wrote down each color name on top of the corresponding color to create a print rich activity.  I also created each of my children a title we know which book belongs to each child.  I chose to do the colors of the rainbow, but you may want to add in pink, white, brown, gray and black.

 For this activity your child(ren) will add red stickers to their red page in the color book.  This is a great activity for fine motor skills and color recognition.

EXTENTION ACTIVITY: discuss the shades of the color red

4. Number Beaded Pipe Cleaners
(number recognition and beginning counting)

For this activity you will need to cut pipe cleaners in half and add tape on one end.  Write the numbers 0-5.  Have your child(ren) string beads on to each pipe cleaner until it adds up to the correct number on the pipe cleaner.  My toddler really worked hard and enjoyed stringing the beads.


5. Strawberry Jam
(color red and cooking)

Start off by reading this weeks story.  Then discuss how strawberrys can be used to make other yummy foods or added to other foods.  For example: jam, fruit leather, dried strawberries, smoothies, added to oatmeal or cold cereal, etc.  Then make strawberry jam!  Oh my goodness you guys...this recipe is amazing!  So YUMMY!!!!

*makes 1 3/4 cups

16 oz strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup of sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice

1. Add all ingredients to a saucepan
2. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved
3. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a rolling boil
3. Stir frequently mashing the strawberries as you stir.  Continue to boil mixture until jam is thickened and bubbles completely cover the surface of jam (about 10 minutes).
4. Pour jam into a jar and let cool to room teperature.
5. Seal jars and store in refirgerator for 10 days or freeze.

This is a great activity for fine motor development, math and science!  Be sure to discuss the color of the strawberries and what happens to the strawberrys as they cook.  

Have your child(ren) help you measure the ingredients into the pan.

Use caution when they help you stir and mash the cooking jam as the pan and stove will be hot.  I held my kids up when their were stirring instead of letting them stand on our step stool.

Friday - January 6, 2017
Today's activities include:

1. Sugar Cookies
(circle shape, letters A & B, numbers 1-5)

I thought that it would be fun to celebrate our first week of preschool camp with sugar cookies.  This also provides a great review of everything we discussed this week.

For this activity you will need a sugar cookie mix or recipe.  Provide your child(ren) with letter, number and circle cookie cutters.  If you don't have these you can make cookie snakes, use a mason jar lid or glass.  Let your child mix the food coloring of their choice into white frosting.

TIP: for less mess pour a little bit of sprinkles into muffin liners.  Your child can pinch the sprinkles they would like to use and then you easily can pour the rest back into the sprinkle jar when you are done.

2. Bubbles or Balloons
(circle shape)

Unfortunately, I am allergic to latex.  So we are doing bubbles this week.  But you can get miniture red balloons at a local party store and have so much fun with those.   Blow bubbles for your kiddos to pop.  Also let them blow bubbles.  Having them practice bubble blowing is a fun way to work on their lanugage development (it works their mouth muscles). 

For this activity have fun playing and popping bubbles.  Don't forget to talk about those FLOATING CIRCLES!

3. Wrap Balls in Aluminum Foil 
(phonemic awareness for letters A & B)

This activity was a hit!  My kiddos loved wrapping up their balls in aluminum foil.  We even unwrapped them too!  This is such a great activity for fine motor development.

They also enjoyed wrapping up their other toys...dinosaurs, motorcycles, etc.!

4. Hi Ho Cherry-o
(color red, circle shape number recognition and beginning counting)

I found this game at a local thrift store.  It has quickly become a favorite around here.  If you don't have this game don't worry.  Play another game with your child just for fun!

5. Scissor Practice 
(color red and scissor skills)

This is a great way to practice those scissor skills!

After you read this weeks story have your child(ren) recall what the little mouse did to make sure the big hungry bear never go his red-ripe strawberry.  Then practice cutting on the lines on top of the strawberrys to cut them in half.

I hope this upcoming week will be so much fun for you and your child(ren)!  I know you will love and cherish the time you get to spend together and play together.

Now it is your turn to "take chances, make mistakes and get messy!" - Ms. Frizzle

Ready for week 2!

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