Butterflies are beautiful, gentle bugs with a spectacular metamorphosis. They pose the perfect medium to the introduction of elaborate concepts, the addition of new vocabulary, and the continual harvesting of your little one’s boundless curiosity. Our activity included two components. We initially used contact paper, jewels, and glitter to construct individual butterflies. We concluded our lesson with a group project, adorning a large butterfly with jewels, and then tissue paper.
Monthly Archives: March 2013
B is for Birds
B is for Bugs
Every spring, migrating birds return to areas affected by snow and cold weather. These birds feast on the great flood of insects that return at the same time. Using tweezers, plastic bugs, and plastic grass, we pretended to be birds looking for these scrumptious treats. Before we began this activity, we talked about why bugs are important during this time of year. Your little one learned that a wide variety of flowering plants and songbirds owe their existence to these tiny creatures. They not only pollinate plants, but transport organic compounds throughout the soil. This activity encouraged fine motor development, the application of new subject matter, and hand-eye coordination.
B is for Block
We have been learning about the many words that begin with the letter B. We began our week with “Butterfly” and “Blocks”. To help make this activity fun and memorable, our task was to place blocks inside a large letter B. By doing this, your little one incorporated several developmental domains. They not only accessed their ability to evaluate space (How many blocks will fit?), but were given the opportunity to work with their peers. Social development is an essential component in many of our activities. They build self-esteem, create community, and encourage conflict resolution, which is essential as they continue to grow and flourish!
Cumulus Clouds and Shaving Cream
On Tuesday, we read about cumulus clouds during circle time. Our discussion involved defining and identifying cumulus clouds, and discovering their formation! Using preschool-friendly terms, we learned that clouds are created by moisture, sunlight, water, and ice! We also explored words associated with rain, and revisited our lesson on rain formation. Our shaving cream clouds were a natural extension of our lesson! Using turkey basters, your budding scientists dropped blue water into the shaving cream. They were transfixed as the color seeped through the “clouds” into the water. Your little meteorologist was then given ample opportunity to explore the “process” on their own. They were very intrigued, and decided, once they had used all of their water, that it would be more fun to move the clouds to the ground. Everyone delighted in pouring the “clouds” onto the ground and dancing in the remains. Activities that provide open ended learning foster a lifelong love of science and discovery. Young children are naturally curious, and need little motivation to promote their wonder and fascination of the world. Our messy cumulus clouds project provided the opportunity to fulfill some of that wonder.
What Happens to Rain?
Teaching scientific concepts to young children poses unique challenges, so in our classroom, we use simple vocabulary and fun projects to keep them captivated! Water rotation is an ideal introduction to rain formation, so we talked about where rain comes from and where it goes! With Playdoh, sticks, salt shakers, and blue water, we practiced making it rain on our “land” and then watched as it returned to the “ocean”. Hands-on activities such as these reinforce complicated concepts and allow your preschoolers to grasp how rain works!
Young children are aware of the seasons, and can recognize the changes they perceive throughout the year. Because they are naturally curious, they question the differences that distinguish one season from the other. This activity served to do just that! Using sticks, different colored leaves, cotton, and Playdoh, we created our very own trees! These trees were special because they transformed throughout the changing seasons. We began with spring, discussed its characteristics, and constructed our trees to resemble the abundance and newness of life. As we continued through the seasons, our trees changed. Leaves changed color, fell, and were eventually covered by snow. As your little one moved from season to season, they were given vocabulary to describe the changes they were experiencing. By building and rebuilding their trees, your little one was able to practice and apply their understanding of new concepts, and had fun while doing it!
Using paper towels, eye droppers, and blue water, we explored the exciting science behind cloud and rain formation! Using the eye droppers, we dropped blue water onto the paper towels. As the towel became saturated, the “rain” began to pour inside the jar! Sensory and discovery activities offer a means to introduce scientific concepts to young children.
As they engage in the activity, they are practicing what they are learning. The actions they take part in allow them to experience a concept. As we were doing this activity, your little one was encouraged to talk about what they saw and what they were doing.
Doing this enables their understanding of the physical and mental processes they are experiencing and provides them with the vocabulary to describe it.
Contact Paper Pointillism
Georges Seurat’s Picnic in Paris
Artist George Seurat developed a style of painting called Pointillism. With his paint brush, he would apply solid colored dots to a canvas, that, when viewed from a distance, would comprise a specific form. These different forms combined optically to make a picture. Both Claude Monet and George Seurat were from France, so we continued our discussion of France, where it is located, and what it looks like. We then discussed the various attributes of Pointillism, and created our very own masterpieces! When young children learn about an artist such as George Seurat, they are exploring his perspective on the world around him. Learning about his paintings instills an appreciation for art and inspires your little one to express themselves in the same manner.