Princess Sand

The prestigious title of ‘Princess Royal’ dates back to 1642 when Queen Henrietta Maria, spouse of Charles I, wanted an Anglicised version of the French title ‘Madame Royale’.

sand3

The current Princess Royal is Anne, only daughter of the current Queen. The second child of The Duke of Edinburgh and The Queen was born at Clarence.

sand2

Because we have been learning all about English royalty this week, we spent one day discussing princesses and their origins.

sand5

To help us interact with this concept in a physical way, we created our very own princess sand!

sand4

Using salt, glitter and jewels, students manipulated the material along with their very own princes and princesses!

sand6

Medieval Ice

During our week of royalty, we learned about princes and princesses.

frozen

Several students were particularly interested in learning about Queen Elsa from the Disney movie Frozen.

frozen1

To build upon this interest, we created ice castles out of ice cubes and blue glitter.

frozen2

Students selected their favorite princess and built their perfect ice home!

frozen3

Medieval Stew

Food preparation is not only a fun, engaging activity for children,  but one that can be used for years as an important teaching and development tool for all ages. For one thing, hands-on cooking activities encourage a sense of pride and confidence.

stew

The act of following a recipe can encourage self-direction and independence, while also teaching children to follow directions and use thinking skills to problem solve. Working with food also inspires children’s curiosity, thinking, and problem solving, offering new opportunities to make predictions and observations.

stew1

Additionally, creating snacks offers authentic opportunities for students to understand and apply their knowledge of measuring, one-to-one correspondence, numbers, and counting. As they follow a recipe, children organize ingredients, follow a sequence, and carry out multiple directions.

stew2

Lastly, chopping, squeezing, mixing, and spreading materials help develop a child’s small muscle control and hand-eye coordination. For this activity, we used a few ingredients to create a medieval stew (a staple in most medieval homes).

stew5

We used a variety of beans, and placed them into bowls! Once we were finished, we pretended to eat up our yummy creations!

stew3

Play Dough Crowns

March is Medieval Month! This means that we are learning about all things royal!

crown

Throughout the month, we have been learning about castles, peasants, lords, and ladies. We have learning about how they live, what they live in, and what they wear.

crown1

As part of our royalty week, we constructed crowns using play dough and jewels.

crown2

Students enjoyed manipulating their jewels, and were encouraged to count them once all applied.

crown3

Castle Cups

Block play is a great way to build skills that we ordinarily think of as academic or school-related.

castlecup

Blocks are especially beneficial when children are allowed to freely explore and manipulate the blocks in a variety of engaging ways.  Children’s creativity is further expanded through encouragement to make their own accessories from throw away junk items.

castlecup2

When it comes to blocks, it’s all in their imaginations.. As part of our medieval theme, we spent one week learning about castles. During this week, we constructed castles with a variety of different materials. For this one specifically, we created castles out of golden cups. Students were encouraged to create their structures, and then once finished, to count them.

castlecup3

Castle Block Play

Provocations are materials or the way we present materials to create a context where the child can explore.

Castleblock

They are designed to encourage to extend their thinking.

castleblock3

Provocations provide a challenge to move children to deeper levels of critical thinking of how to design their structures and how to expand into more complex play.

castleblock5

Castleblock1

For this provocation, students were presented with regular blocks, castle blocks, and toilet paper tubes.

castleblock4

Students were encouraged to construct their “castles” as part of our medieval theme.

Castleblock2

My Many Colored Expressions

The use of group projects in a curriculum can be very useful, especially in bringing difficult concepts to the preschool level. To bring these concepts to fruition, all participants must, in a sense, become learners along with the children.

face

The teacher has to be careful to not act as a mentor but as a guide; that is, the teacher cannot think solely in terms of a prearranged destination to activity but must focus on offering a sense of discipline to the activity. Feelings and emotions consist of many complex components, and because of this, we must be creative in teaching our little ones about them!

face2

For this activity, we used play dough to convey a variety of emotions. Your little ones worked together to best determine what expression they wanted to portray. Following the construction of these faces, students were asked to name the feelings they created.

face1

Turtle Tracing

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

traceturtle2

The more they are introduced to pre-reading and pre-writing activities, the more they are able to recognize and understand their meanings.

traceturtle1

It is for this reason that we are constantly engaging in these types of activities – ones that help students understand abstract concepts through sensory play. For this activity, students traced the word TURTLE into green glitter. They were then asked to recognize cardboard cutouts that matched the letters they traced. 

traceturtle

Sal-a-ma-sond Small World Play

Small world play involves acting out scenarios (scenes from real life, stories and/or imagination) in a miniature play scene, created with small figures and objects. Anything from your own home or garden will do, there is no limitation to your creativity which is why it’s a truly inexhaustible subject! 

turtlesensory2

Small worlds are often set up in a certain theme (construction area, pirates at sea, dinosaur world, … you name it) that are relevant and meaningful to the child at the time and they usually include a sensory element (water, sand, dry pasta, leaves, …) which adds more layers to the play. As with any kind of play, there are numerous ways in which small world play supports your child in it’s development. By providing children with opportunities to re-enact certain experiences, you are helping then to reflect on feelings and events in life in a safe way.

turtlesensory1

While engaged in small world play, children can explore and experiment with different emotions and act out these scenes in their play. Small world play invites children to be creative, and boosts confidence when children are able to experiment with different (both new and familiar) materials and build something they think is awesome. As part of Dr. Seuss theme, we read a book called Yertle the Tertle. This book visits the pond of Sal-a-ma-sond and Yertle the Turtle, who lives there. Throughout the story, the residents of Sal-a-ma-sond make a pile, one on top of another. With this small world play, we recreated these piles with some toy turtles. Students also reenacted parts of the story. All in all, it was fun to create our very own ponds and play with our turtles!

turtlesensory