# Rockets: Counting and Sorting

Sorting activities often appeal to children and many will naturally sort according to qualities and characteristics they visually notice without ever being taught.

This fundamental requisite to further mathematical understanding can often benefit children through the simple act of play.

For this activity, students sorted astronauts according to number.

They then placed different numbers onto rocketships affixed with the corresponding symbol.

# Astronaut Obstacle Course

Gross motor activities are an essential component to any preschool curriculum.

These activities build skills that aid the development of young children, and prepare them for elementary school.

Because your little ones are active and often on-the-go, it is important that they learn how to control their bodies

Comfort with gross motor skills means that your child is aware of his personal space.

By controlling his body, he can respect other people’s personal spaces as well. For this activity, we learned that being an astronaut creates intense physical demands on the body.

Comfort with gross motor skills means that your child is aware of his personal space. By controlling his body, he can respect other people’s personal spaces as well.

For this activity, we learned that being an astronaut creates intense physical demands on the body. Because of this, potential astronauts undergo rigorous training to prepare them for the challenges of space travel. Using yellow rope and our bodies, we participated in an astronaut obstacle course! This enabled your child to practice accessing both sides of the body simultaneously to get through the rope maze.

# Counting Black Holes

At our preschool, we like to help our students learn number quantities and associate those number quantities with the written symbol of the number.

In general, young children can understand quantities sooner than they can understand the number symbol associated with that quantity.

For this activity, we combined our love of quantities and symbols with this fun black hole counting project!

To do so, students rolled the dice and selected the appropriate number of “asteroids” (rocks) to be swallowed by the black hole.

Students learned to recognize the number in dots on the dice, quantities in their hands, and symbols on the black holes!

# Paint Bag Comets

Color has been an intense topic of interest for thousands of years. Mathematicians, philosophers, physicists, and poets have all contributed to our understanding of color.

To tie in an artistic element within our comet theme, we spelled the word comet using paint bags. These colorful packets contain paint, stars, and the word comet written on a laminated sheet of paper.

Using their fine motor skills, students manipulated the bags until they could see the letters C-O-M-E-T in the bags!

# Comet Spelling

Gross and fine motor skills help foster language development from infancy to early childhood.

For these two activities, we combined these skills to spell the word COMET!

Our three and four year olds spelled this word using chalk and glass beads, while our two year olds did so using q-tips and paint.

# Rocket Ship Dramatic Play

Dramatic play benefits are numerous. In addition to supporting creativity and self-expression, dramatic play can help children learn real life skills and social skills that can serve them throughout their lives.

The benefits of dramatic play include learning conflict resolution, helping children to learn creative problem-solving skills alongside their peers.

Dramatic play also allows children to explore self-empowerment, allowing kids the opportunity to make choices, act out their feelings, and find a new connection to themselves.

For this activity, students participated in a dramatic play activity where they (along with their friends) “flew” to the Kuiper Belt! Different students played different roles. Some were the passengers, some steered the rocket, some were the engineers, and some were the engine or “fire”.

Students counted down from 10 to 1 and “flew” to the music of Star Wars. Along their adventure, students faced asteroids, interference, and black holes!

# Astronaut Food

Living and working in a microgravity environment requires culinary ingenuity and creativity. In the early days of space flight, Mercury astronauts would consume puree squeezed from tubes and cubes of dry goods.

Currently, NASA uses freeze-dried food to create nutrient dense food for astronauts. For this activity, students used a few simple materials to create their very own astronaut food.

This activity was so great because it accessed a host of development skills!

By manipulating the different tools, students practiced their fine motor skills. By figuring out food amounts, they practiced measuring: an essential math skill. By following directions, they practiced their listening skills.

# Paper Moon Rock Walk

Small group time is a meaningful and important part of any preschooler’s day. It’s a time when teachers work with a small group of students and individualize instruction based on student needs.

For this group project, we explored the surface of the moon!

Using rocks and shredded paper “moon dust”, your little ones went on an adventure!

They used their hands to search for rocks, often teaming up with their friends to complete the task.

It was so exciting! Not only learning about what was on the surface of the moon, but the tactile feel of the paper “dust” sliding through our fingers!

Jasper is cute. I like his cheeks.

# Star Manipulatives

Manipulatives are an invaluable tool in any preschool classroom. They help students learn by allowing them to move from concrete experiences to abstract ones. Experts in education posit that this learning takes place in different stages.

For preschool children, the first stage involves symbolic thought. This refers to recognizing and labeling symbols that take on different meanings. Two examples of these are letters and numbers.

Seeing a letter, understanding that it is a symbol for something else (a sound), and then being able to create that letter is a difficult feat for any young learner. It is our goal to break up this reasoning into small steps that can be readily accessed by the young learner.

Manipulatives can also be important tools in helping students think and reason in more meaningful ways. By giving students concrete ways to compare and operate on such quantities, symbols, and other features can contribute to the development of well-grounded, interconnected understandings of different ideas.

For this activity, students used manipulatives to create the word STAR. They placed the manipulatives onto different points of the letters and then saw the final product!

# Alla Seltzer Rockets

Your little ones love to explore with the many science activities that we do throughout the week.

These activities not only engage your child, but explain the physical properties of objects, teach cause and effect, and provide the necessary hands-on experience most conducive to learnng.

For this activity, w used alka seltzer tablets and film canisters to make rockets.

To do this, we mixed the ingredients, and poured them into film canisters.

These film canisters were decorated like rockets.

Upon mixing the ingredients, we squealed as we watched our rockets soar to the sky!