Teaching young children about the importance of the Arctic in our planet’s ecosystem is an important first step to developing environmental consciousness.
By providing your little one with the opportunity to construct their own polar bear habitats, they are learning about how these living structures function and thrive.
As your child creates their individual den, they are formulating combinations of how shapes fit together.
Open-ended play such as this also prompts them to group like objects together, an important precursor to more complicated mathematical concepts.
Pre-writing activities are a great way to build essential, foundational fine motor skills.
These skills include hand strength, directional movement patterns, and effective hand position, which will then facilitate making lines, letters, and shapes.
All development comes in predictable stages. Before a child can write, he must have the prerequisite fine motor skills necessary to use his wrist and hands properly and effectively.
For this activity, we used magnets to continue our learning of the letter M. Students used magnets that they placed onto a metal tray in the shape of an M.
Diversity activities teach young children to respect and celebrate the differences in all people. For this activity, we used multi-colored plastic eggs to do just this.
We initiated the activity with a discussion of what diversity is, followed by a compare and contrast of the different eggs used. What are the main difference in these eggs? Is one color better than the other?
Within each egg were jewels of the same color. As each child opened their eggs, they noted that all eggs, regardless of color, all had the same amount and color of jewels. This led to a discussion regarding how people are the same and how they are different, and that things such as hair color, what toys you like, and the color of your skin are not as important as being a good friend.
Teaching diversity to preschoolers provides a broad understanding of how children are each unique in their own ways. This process helps children learn more about who they are and is an avenue for teaching respect and acceptance of others. Multicultural lesson plans should combine content with hands-on learning experiences that bring diversity understanding alive. As children are challenged with new ideas, critical thinking skills are ignited and compassion for others is developed.
Children thrive in inclusive settings where each child is an important part of the community. When differences are celebrated
and similarities discovered, children learn to value themselves, appreciate their peers, and develop meaningful and significant relationships with one another.
Often the preschool years mark a child’s introduction to the world of peers and peer relationships. Research supports the notion that children benefit in many ways from positive peer interactions. In early childhood programs, friendships foster a sense of connection and security and build self-esteem and self-confidence, helping young children adapt more readily to the preschool setting.
For this reason, we try to introduce projects that foster these connections. Using pipe cleaners and beads, we created friendship bracelets, and then handed them out to our friends. If one child already had a bracelet from a friend, we kept looking to find another one! The overarching goal was to ensure that all students were included. Activities such as these provide important opportunities for children to learn and develop compassion, sharing, and a sense of community.
Your little ones celebrated the joys of making and having friends with our friendship theme. They engaged in sharing and caring activities, games, songs, rhymes, and literature.
The togetherness painting activity was a starting point for one particular discussion about friendship behaviors: the act of sharing. This behavior was reinforced when students worked together to paint a picture.
Everyone seems to love popcorn. It has become a mainstay at movie theaters, sporting events, amusement parks, and nearly everywhere else people gather. Although Americans are now such avid consumers of popcorn, and its agricultural history is long, its commercial history is comparatively short. Popcorn was not mentioned in early farm papers and seed trade catalogs until around 1880, but once the American public discovered it, popcorn’s popularity quickly grew.
Scholars agree that corn, and popcorn, originated in the Americas. Precisely how it originated, however, is a topic of debate. It is believed by many experts that corn was developed by centuries of breeding and crossbreeding wild grasses like teosinte. There has also been much speculation about how popcorn may have been prepared or used by the native Americans, fueled by findings of popcorn in archaeological digs.
The oldest ears of popcorn ever found were discovered in the Bat Cave of west central New Mexico in 1948 and 1950. Ranging from smaller than a penny to about 2 inches, the oldest Bat Cave ears are about 5,600 years old. To help our budding popcorn farmers learn about these caves, we created our very own bat caves that we filled up with corn kernels!
Preschoolers are natural scientists—curious and full of wonder and questions about their world. They are hands-on investigators who learn as they turn over rocks to examine the bugs living underneath or plant seeds that they water
and watch grow into pumpkins or tomatoes. This is why we aim to create the things we are learning about; direct contact with materials helps children understand them.
Our students are introduced to sorting and classifying in an array of activities we do continuously throughout the week.
These activities provide students with opportunities to develop logical reasoning skills as well as demonstrate divergent (independent) thinking.
For this activity, we sorted beads by number using pipe cleaners.
Students slid a number of beads onto each pipe cleaner, counting as they did so and matching the amount to the correct numeral.
During the 1950s and ’60s, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. recognized the power of service to strengthen communities and achieve common goals. Initiated by Congress in 1968, Martin Luther King Day builds by honoring his teachings of nonviolence and social justice.
To integrate Dr. King’s principles of service into our theme, we decided to make friendship bags for our friends. Teaching preschoolers about friendship prepares them for success in kindergarten and beyond.
Making friends is a learned skill and takes practice. For this activity, each student drew a picture for each classmate, and under that picture, noted something nice about their friend.
Motor skills are so important to work on with your little ones. Fine motor practice helps them prepare for writing skills that they will begin in school.
Using an eye dropper, your child suctioned water from a cup, then carefully dropped the right amount to fill each section of a lego. This activity worked on your child’s fine motor skills, controlling and pincer grip which are essential for writing skills.