# Big, Bigger, and Biggest

Young children learn measurement initially by sorting objects by size. For this particular activity, we practiced sorting and measuring the length of cupcake sponge blocks. Measurement can be a tricky concept for preschoolers to grasp, so experimenting with different materials assists them in the understanding of complex measurement concepts. When relaying concepts of measurement, it’s best for your budding scientist to be concrete, because that’s how preschoolers think at this stage of their development.

A preschooler would have a tough time learning the ropes of measuring skills using a regular ruler. They don’t have much of a handle on any abstract skills yet, and measurement falls in that abstract area. Still, the basics of measurement can be taught at the preschool level with great effectiveness by using very basic measuring methods.

Even though inches and centimeters are much too abstract for a preschooler’s grasp, the concept of comparing lengths of items is more concrete and can be a great way to introduce measurement. The acquisition of measurement concepts also includes new vocabulary. Throughout the activity, your little one was encouraged to use words such as longer, smaller, heavier, lighter, and variations of the terms such as large, larger, and largest.

# Bread in a Bag

When children participate in the kitchen, they are learning important life skills. With specific direction, they can create several tasty dishes, and enjoy the sense of autonomy that is fostered as a result.

These kinds of activities provide endless opportunities for building self-esteem and increasing vocabulary!

For this particular activity, we made bread with the assistance of a picture diagram as we learned about the world of baking.

Since we are learning about the book, In the Night Kitchen, we thought it would be fun to bake our own bread! To do this, we divided into groups of two.

Each child would have a turn holding the bag that the bread would go into, while the other child added ingredients. Once finished, we put it into the toaster oven and then, into our tummies!

# Nest Sorting

Many preschoolers are able to use numbers arbitrarily; pretending to count, or mixing up numbers and letters.

From about the age of four, preschoolers will begin to show one to one correspondence, or the ability to count objects correctly, as well as recognize most numbers 0-9 and sometimes recreate numerals when given an example.

As with many preschool skills, it is important for young students to be given many different opportunities for to see, touch and use numbers throughout the day. Including numbers in thematic play is one way that they can begin to recognize numbers.

For this activity, your little one participated in a sorting/numeral recognition activity that tied in with our snow owl theme. Using manipulatives and pictures of owl nests(with numbers printed on them), your little one practiced sorting and matching groups of snow owls with their corresponding numeral.

# Ice Creatures

This month, we are learning all about arctic animals.

Using wooden play dough hammers, we practiced freeing our arctic friends from large chunks of ice.

This encouraged motor development, hand-eye coordination, creativity, and math and science skills!

As young children explore with age-appropriate tools, they use small and large muscles.

As they make decisions about the orientation of the hammer, they participate in problem solving skills.

Lastly, as they complete their project, they experience a feeling of accomplishment. Most importantly, they had fun while doing it!

# Snow Owl Nests

Your preschooler consistently expresses her preference for tactile play. As young children seek to grasp new information, this form of play provides the perfect forum to apply newly acquired concepts.

As 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. For this particular activity, we learned about how snow owls are born. Because they are reptiles, most birds lay eggs.

Using play dough, tiny snow owls, sticks, and rocks, we created our very own owl nests! We first made the play dough (using salt, flour and water), and then created our nests!

Your little scientist enjoyed spinning elaborate tales of baby owl cavorting through the “snow forest” as they followed their “parents”. Their conversations allowed for the processing of new vocabulary and the enjoyment of working together toward an idealized goal.

# W is for Winter

Although the formal study of reading and writing does not occur until kindergarten, young children are capable of recognizing letters and their functions.

Providing regular opportunities to practice pre-reading skills, is essential in gaining knowledge of the alphabet and its association to how words work.

Using flour and our fingers, we practiced tracing the letter W.

Throughout the week, we have been talking about different words that start with the letter W.

We have additionally been singing songs that reinforce the different sounds that W makes.

# Painting with Flippers

Using socks as flippers and white paint, we created our very own walruses! We began the project with a discussion about what walruses, where they live, what they eat, and what flippers are!

We then dove into the paint, and created a messy, but fun masterpiece! This sensory activity was one of the favorites for the week!

Sensory play is important because it gives children the change to play with different types of textures, which helps them to build new ways of talking about the world.

Sensory play is also calming for young children. It helps regulate their internal discomfort by soothing their senses and providing a creative outlet for their emotions.

# Walrus Blubber

Walruses deposit most of their body fat into a thick layer of blubber – a layer of fat reinforced by fibrous connective tissue that lies just below the skin.

The blubber layer insulates the walrus and streamlines its body. It also functions as an energy reserve.

Using rubber gloves, our hands, and ice water, we learned about how our marine friends stay warm in their cold environments!

We first dipped our hands into icy water, and talked about words associated with the cold, such as ice, chilly, frozen, icy, and snow!

We then talked about what blubber was, and compared it to a thick rubber glove. After that, we put on a rubber glove and dipped our hands again into the water. Each child was then asked whether or not their hand felt warmer or colder with the glove on. Lastly, we talked about other uses for blubber and why some animals need to protect themselves from the cold.

This activity allowed your adventurer to explore the concept of animal adaptations through investigation and application.

# Play Dough Owls

Since we are learning about snow owls this week, we used to play dough to create our own!

Using play dough as a medium, feathers, and plastic eyes, we created our own version of our favorite snow owls!

Using play dough helps a child practice using certain physical skills with the hands when they manipulate the dough with their fingers.

Children can practice skills such as pinching, squeezing or poking while they play with the dough.

Lastly, using play dough helps a child practice using imagination and other cognitive abilities such imitation, symbolism and problem solving.

This helps your little ones learn more about their environment as they make and mimic everyday objects with the play dough.

# Snow Owl Puzzles

Using pre-cut pictures, we practiced putting snow owls together!

Puzzles help young children build the skills they need to read, write, solve problems, and coordinate their thoughts and actions – all of which they will use in school and beyond.

They also help them begin to recognize colors and shapes, and come to realize that the sum of parts make up a whole – a concept that will help them with math later on.

By arranging pieces into the puzzle, your little one also develops the muscle group used for writing, or the “pincer” grasp.