Patterns present themselves to us in several ways; through the repeated images on wallpaper to the lyrics of our favorite songs. Understanding these patterns will influence your little ones’ future mathematical endeavors, because understanding numbers requires an understanding of how things work together. Using plastic eggs and colorful pictures, we practiced our own color and pattern recognition skills!
Everyone can appreciate a little butter on their toast in the morning, but did you know that it is thought that the Arabs discovered butter? According to legend, (a long time ago) traders were traveling through the desert on camels. In small leather sacks, they carried milk. The constant rocking motion of the camels churned their milk into butter! To foster your little ones’ natural curiosity, we made our very own butter! Using glass jars, cream, and our strong hands, we enjoyed creating this delicious snack. This activity not only introduced the process of how butter is created, but what it is made of, and the work required to put it on our tables!
For young children, science encompasses those activities where they can directly observe and manipulate physical properties. Using shaving cream as our “yogurt”, dyed salt as our “toppings”, and our imaginations, we observed how different materials interact. The tactile element within this experience is paramount to your little one acquiring information about their world. With minimal adult intervention, your little one is free to explore and create the interactions they desire. This significantly affects their development because it encourages autonomous functioning. At this age, it is the process, rather than the product, that results in a more meaningful learning experience.
Children acquire language as they develop, but they have been using their senses from day one. Hearing, touching, tasting and smelling enable them to receive and utilize new information. By providing them with meaningful experiences, they gather language tools that support the cognitive concepts specific to the experience. Using pudding, paint brushes, and food coloring, we created our very own dairy masterpiece! Your budding artists mixed colors (recognizing how they change), manipulated the texture of the pudding, created shapes, and enjoyed sharing their discoveries with their peers!
Our favorite dairy products undergo an extensive process to reach our tables. Each stage of development is complex, requiring a series of lengthy procedures designed to make milk safe for human consumption. Using pictures, puppets, and a silly song, your budding farmer learned about the many stages of milk production. Following this circle time introduction, each student was given tractors, cows, cotton (to simulate milk), farmers, and their imaginations, to apply their understanding of this new information! This activity was significant to our curriculum, because it supplied us with a greater understanding of the origins of our food, those who serve our communities, and the connection between them!
While exploring our dairy theme, your little one learned about the many steps involved in bringing milk to our tables. Before we began this activity, your little ones were asked if they had milk in their homes. Most everyone replied in the affirmative. Then, they were asked if they knew where milk comes from. Your budding farmers understood that milk originates from our bovine friends, but were a bit hazy on the details. Once we established the details, we learned about all that is put into cleaning and providing milk for everybody! The milk truck is a key factor in this process, and with foil, mesh, little people, wheels, and clay, everybody created their own truck!
We spent a lot of time at the dairy farm, and one of our favorite activities for the children was to milk a cow! This was a great way to teach your little farmers about cows and where milk comes from! Preschoolers learn best by doing, and they milked a cow, just like farmer would! Using rubber gloves and white paint, we milked our cows, letting the paint fall onto the ground!
Letter recognition activities help engage your budding reader. Experiences that foster their inherent curiosity prepare them for a lifetime of reading, and motivate them to learn even more. To encourage this process, your little one placed dairy items into a large letter D that was taped on the floor. This activity not only facilitated their ability to recognize the letter D and its function, but cultivated their social and classification skills.
This activity was the favorite of the week, as your little one constructed their very own creatures out of potatoes! This activity honed in on their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills! As they arranged and rearranged a variety of facial features, your little ones manipulated space and made their visions come to life!
Using soil, REAL vegetables, a toy oven, tractors, and a variety of “farming” equipment, your little one was encouraged to grow and harvest their own vegetables! As their vegetables matured, they incorporated them into a hearty stew. My objective in this activity was to link the role of the farmer to what we put on our plates at home, and the exhaustive process it requires to make that possible!