Huntley Swim Team

Measurement allows us to analyze the objects in our world.

We are constantly doing it. Before they are even aware of this new vocabulary, young children are constantly measuring items.

Fostering an awareness of measurement can not only help them master everyday tasks, but nourish their growing ability to think critically.

For this activity, we used non-standard units (in this case swimmer cut-outs) to measure each member of the fictional Huntley Swim Team.

Students were first instructed to lay down on butcher paper that was decorated with swimmer items.

Next they were given a partner who’s job it was to measure them with swimmer cut-outs. Lastly, the partner was instructed to count each cut-out. Lastly, both students discussed how tall they each were. Both partners traded places so that each were given the opportunity to measure themselves.

Swimmer Names

There are many creative ways to write one’s name.

From pencils to crayons, learning their name is a daunting task for any preschooler.

It is because of this that we try to create interactive experiences for students when learning to construct how they identify themselves.

For this activity, we used seashells to play a fun matching game with the letters in our name.

Students were first introduced to a swimmer mat upon which the letters of their names were affixed.

Following this, they were given seashells with letters on them.

Thirdly, they were told to match each seashell letter to the corresponding letter on their mat.

S is for Swim

Tracing activities allow for young children to write without the frustration that usually accompanies writing with pencils.

It not only creates the same benefit but allows children to delve into the sensory experience while using a variety of different materials.

During swim week, we learned about the letter S.

To help your little ones learn about this letter, we sang a song about the different words that start with S.

Following this, we traced the letter S in glitter!

Beach Volleyball

Beach volleyball was probably first played in Hawaii in 1915, when the Outrigger Beach and Canoe Club set up a court on Waikiki Beach.

Most people though believe that it begun in Santa Monica, California, in the 1920s, about 25 years after the indoor version of the game was invented on the other side of the USA in Massachusetts.

The sport began as a form of family fun at the beach, and its wide appeal and low cost meant it soon spread around the world.

By the 1930s it was being played in the most strange places: Riga, Sofia and Prague, the capital cities of Latvia, Bulgaria, and the then Czechoslovakia.

The sport was given a boost during the Great Depression,

Cash-strapped Americans in the hundreds flocked to the beaches to play what was virtually a no-cost pastime and a free source of entertainment.

By the 1950s, competitions were being held in California.

Included on the program were beauty contests and other forms of entertainment.

As the sport continued to grow, it wasn’t long before sponsors came forward to take advantage of beach volleyball’s popularity, and by the 1970s, a full-fledged pro beach volleyball tour was organized.

In 1986, the International Volleyball Federation recognized the sport.

Since then, beach vollyeball’s world tour has spread from the United States into Asia and Europe.

In 1999 it featured twelve open events for men and six for women with a total prize money of 3.6 million.

The 1999 tour attracted more than 460,000 spectators.

Beach volleyball was a demonstration sport at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, and shortly afterward the International Olympic Committee announced that the sport would be included in the 1996 games in Atlanta.

As part of our Beach Sports week, we learned all about this fun sport.

Using a net and a balloon, students enjoyed playing one on one games with their friends!

Sponge Boat Experiment

Young children enjoy learning about how tings work.

By participating in science activities, they are learning important critical thinking and observation skills.

These activities also promote their inherent sense of curiosity about the world.

For this activity we experimented with sinking and floating.

Using sponges and sails (constructed with toothpicks and paper), we created boats, and then placed them in water to observe whether they would sink or float.

S is for Surfboard

Phonological awareness is a cognitive skill for the sound structures of language.

Four young learners, phonological awareness allows them to attend to, discriminate, remember, and manipulate the different sounds and shapes of any language.

To enhance our phonological awareness, we are constantly partaking in projects where we construct words out of manipulatives, sing songs about the letter of the week, and trace letters in a variety of materials.

For this activity, students learned about all of the letters that make up the word SURF.

Using shells as manipulatives, students created the letter S.

Measuring Surfboards

A robust preschool math curriculum will include instruction in all the five disciplines of math.

This includes teaching preschoolers within the measurement discipline, comparing weight, height and length, and learning about all the ways we measure in our daily lives.

Teaching within the measurement math discipline takes intentional planning.

During the preschool years, this typically focuses on comparing sizes and understanding measurable attributes.

For this activity, we used glass jewels to measure the vertical length of different-sized surfboards.

Students lined up each jewel on each surfboard and then counted the amount of jewels it took to reach the top.

Life in a Coral Reef Story Tray

Children can find it difficult to re-tell stories and even harder to make them up.

This is particularly so if they have not had much experience with stories and story telling in the preschool setting.

There are a variety of ways to involve children with texts, and the use of “story trays” is one that not only spark an interest in reading but also involves much talk and discussion, which is why we include them in our curriculum!

A story tray is a tray containing a book, plus items associated with the story, which might include characters in the form of soft toys, felt pieces, or puppets.

There might also be a non-fiction book or a similar theme, which allows children to experience different types of text.

These items are used to help bring a story to life. They provide a visual and tactile stimulus that the children can use to take part in the telling or re-telling of the story. Children of all abilities enjoy using them but they can be particularly useful in helping children who are not interested in reading, for whatever reasons, to enjoy books. For this activity, we used a felt tray to re-tell the story of a book called Life in a Coral Reef by Wendy Pfeffer. Each child was given all of the felt pieces in the story, and as they story was read, they would add different felt items to the tray. Some of these items included felt sea creatures and sea weed!

Marine Biologist Sensory Bin

Marine biology is the study of marine organisms, their behaviors and interactions with the environment.

Marine biologists study biological oceanography and associated fields of chemical, physical, and geological oceanography to understand marine organisms.

For this activity, we learned all about what marine biologists do!

We did this by reading a story about a marine biologist.

Following this, we watched a short video clip about a real marine in action!

Lastly, we participated in manipulating different materials in a sensory bin!

Shark Pinata

Gross motor skills are essential for a child’s development.

These skills involve using the large muscles of the body, and they help children with movement and coordination.

Gross motor development is critical to balance, coordination, and connection to other body functions.

For this activity, we used a large, cardboard “bat” to hit open a shark pinata.

We used our gross motor skills to manipulate the “bat” and hit the pinata.

This was the favorite activity of the week. Everyone had so much fun and enjoyed laughing with their friends!