Bird Nests

Your preschooler consistently expresses her preference for tactile play.

nesty6As young children seek to grasp new information, this form of play provides the perfect forum to apply newly acquired concepts.

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nesty8As they interact with peers, their teacher, and provided materials, your budding ornithologist forms relationships to learned notions that enable them to make sense of their world.

nestyFor this particular activity, we learned about how baby birds are born. Because they are reptiles, most birds lay eggs. Using play dough, tiny birds, sticks, and rocks, we created our very own bird nests!

nesty2We first made the play dough (using salt, flour and water), and then created our nests!

nesty4Your little scientist enjoyed spinning elaborate tales of baby birds cavorting through the “forest” as they followed their “parents”.

nesty1Their conversations allowed for the processing of new vocabulary and the enjoyment of working together toward an idealized goal.

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Solfege Driving

There are many ways to teach young children about music theory. For the younger child, I use colors to teach pitch, recognize notes, and enhance ear training. I like to use toys to teach a variety of musical concepts, because it engages the child, while teaching them at the same time.

carsFor this activity, I used cars to reinforce the concept of the Solfege scale. Students were given cars of a variety of colors. They were then told to play the different cars onto the notes with the same color, singing as they did so. Following this, they were told to “drive their cars” on the staff at various tempos.

cars1For this activity, we drove Adagio (slow), Moderato (medium speed), and Allegro (fast). After this, they were told to drive their cars at different speeds to different notes. For example, they would drive the yellow car “slowly” (Adagio) to Mi (the yellow note). They would also drive the light blue car rapidly (Allegro) to So (the light blue note). Doing activities like this enables children to play as they learn!

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Eighth Note Fun

One activity involved learning all about eighth notes. There were five components to this activity. First, students would clap out the rhythm Titi. They were then directed to “walk” their fingers across a tabletop. The first “steps” of their fingers entailed them chanting Ta Ta Ta Ta and then finishing with Titi Titi.

ellapianoFollowing this, they were given a variety of blocks to first create one eighth note, and then two together.

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emilyeight1They were then given play dough and were instructed to create two eighth notes.

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ellapiano1Next, they were given a white board and were told to draw an eighth note.

ellapiano4Lastly, they played several exercises on the keyboard, aimed at helping them feel the rhythm of Titi in their fingers. They would initiate the exercise with the red note (or Do), chanting Titi as they did so, progressing up the solfege scale (playing Titi on each note), and then returning back. Providing several learning activities enables different learners (whether visual, auditory, or tactile) to grasp material more effectively.

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Solfege Fine Motor Transfer

One activity that helped your little one identify pitch was a game that I call, Solfege Fine Motor Transfer.

solfegefinemotor3In this game, students used pom poms and tweezers to add “notes” to the Solfege scale. As they added the pom poms to the staff, they sung the pitch.

solfegefinemotorTo encourage musicianship, students sung and placed pom poms on a variety of musical intervals, such as Do-Mi-So and Re-Fa.

sofegefinemotor3This enabled them to both recognize and apply their understand of common musical intervals.

solfegefinemotor2We did this, first with the treble clef, and then with the bass clef.

solfegefinemotor4Following this, they played these intervals on their keyboards.

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Vegetable Flowers

Flowers are an essential component to any plant theme. They are among the most beautiful things to gaze upon.
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Using pictures with numbered instructions, rasberries, celery, carrots, and bananas, your little one created their very own flower!
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This activity incorporated several areas of development for your little one to enjoy. The numbered instructions fostered pre-reading skills, as each child followed the pictures from left to right.
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Manipulating the fruit (to construct the flower) accessed self-help and fine motor skills, which are imperative for autonomy, confidence, and future writing endeavors.
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Lastly, following the instructions in order allowed your little one to understand sequencing (the order in which things happen) strengthened their counting skills!
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