Expanding Monsters

Activities that stimulate curiosity, teach science concepts, and avoid overwhelming or boring children with lessons are developmentally appropriate for the preschool classroom. When done well, preschool science is exciting and intellectually meaningful.

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The right preschool science activities can nurture your child’s natural sense of adventure and curiosity, help your child develop his own understanding of the natural world, encourage your child to be a persistent problem solver, and introduce your child to basic elements of scientific reasoning (seeking evidence; testing predictions). Because we are learning about monsters this week, we decided to combine vinegar and baking soda to create monster faces!

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We first poured 1/2 cup of vinegar into an empty water bottle. Then, we drew a face on the balloons while they were deflated. After that, we placed the funnel into the open end of the deflated balloon and poured in the baking soda. Following, we secured the open end of the balloon onto the top of the bottle being careful not to dump the contents of the balloon into the bottle quite yet.

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Finally, we held the balloon upright, allowing the baking soda to fall into the bottle and mix with the vinegar! So, why does this work? Your little one learned that the product of the vinegar and baking soda is carbon dioxide, a gas present when we breathe out. The carbon dioxide inflates the balloon. It’s that simple!

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Spider Web – Visual Discrimination Activity

Although most children develop the ability to focus visually and to make fine discriminations in visual images as they grow, some children will take longer to develop these skills and may need some additional help, or additional practice.

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Good visual perception is an important skill, especially for school success.

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Children need good visual perception to discriminate, copy text accurately, develop visual memory of things observed, develop good eye-hand coordination and integrate visual information while using other senses in order to perform tasks like recognizing the source of a sound, etc.

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This activity accessed these pertinent skills.

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Using a variety of different colanders, your little ones weaved spiders into a web of string, which targeted their ability to perceive spatial relations.

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Spider Web Collaborative

Using yarn and clothespins (with pictures of spiders on them), we created our very own spider web!

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This was a collaborative group project, and your little one enjoyed making our back yard a little more festive by attaching clothespins onto white yarn that represented the silk of a spider’s web!

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This activity incorporated the developmental domain of fine motor movement.  When attaching the clothespins to the yarn, your little one was practicing fine motor control and hand eye coordination.

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The importance of hand eye coordination lies in your child’s ability to manipulate their environment.  Simple hand-eye coordination techniques, such as weaving, beading, and manipulating small objects, are a great way to help your little one learn how to control their mind and their hands. 

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These skills are transferable to literacy, and when your little student is then exposed to holding a pencil, crayon or pair of scissors, the coordination will be in place.

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Cloudy Bones

As part of simple, tactile play – cloud dough can be squashed, squeezed, rolled, flattened, chopped, cut, scored, raked, punctured, poked and shredded! Each one of these different actions aids fine motor development in a different way, not to mention hand-eye coordination and general concentration.

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It is for these reasons that I use cloud dough so often, and for some many different learning experiences. Many young children are tactile learners and require the sense of touch to interact with the world around them. Because we are learning about all things related to skeletons, I combined cloud dough, a diagram of skeleton, and our thinking minds to learn more about anatomy!

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There were two components of this activity. Students first named three different bones (the skull, ribs, sternum, and femur).   They then used their fingers to roll up cloud dough (baby oil and corn starch) into the different bones. Lastly (with help from Miss Carrie), they connected their pieces to create a full skeleton!

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Feelings Pumpkins

Felt pieces are fun and inexpensive and allow children to practice creative and problem-solving skills. We try to use as many open-ended activities as possible, so your child is motivated to think divergently. Open-ended materials are those which young children can use for creative play in any way they like, within a set of guidelines for safety and clean up. Open-ended materials are like open-ended questions.

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There is no “one” answer or one “right” way to use them. Any child can enjoy, and be successful in creating with a few simple materials, such as felt. Using open-ended materials nurtures both the child’s creativity and self esteem. Blocks, dress ups, props, recycled items, and natural materials like seeds, earth, sand, and water are also open ended materials which can be used in many ways. For this activity, we used felt pieces to create a variety of faces on felt pumpkins. There was no right or wrong answer. Each child created an expression that they saw fit, according to their own understanding of the various facial expressions they saw on a few pictures.

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Spider Web Weaving

To help us hone our fine motor skills, we strung pipe cleaners through an spider-shaped colander. Parents may think that activities like these have very little developmental significance, but the truth is just the opposite.

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Activities like these are crucial because they allow a break in the sometimes monotonous tasks of tracing or even coloring, and provides a wide range of motion that young writers can use. dominant hands. Stabilizing the cards while working the pipe cleaner through the holes strengthens those little fingers and muscles.

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