Leprechaun Small World Play

Small world play allows children to act out scenarios (scenes from real life, stories they have heard and/or from their imagination) in a miniature play scene, created with small figures and objects.

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A child’s small world play is often based around a certain theme depending on the child’s interests such as farming, construction area, dolls, fairy garden or even a dinosaur world.

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Everyday items around the house or garden can be transformed to create small world play scenes. An empty box transforms into a garage for farming and construction toys, a carpet turns into a busy highway.

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The options are as limitless as kids’ imaginations! During our leprechaun week, we learned all about Ireland, rainbows, and hidden treasure. With a variety of different sensory materials, students explored this new world with their friends!

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Leprechaun Slime

Many scholars believe that the origin of the word leprechaun is the old Irish Lú Chorpain meaning small body.

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Another definition has linked the modern name to luchorpán ( a word from the 8th century AD ) which is defined as sprite or pygmy.

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Finally, the word leprechaun has been connected to leath bhrógan (shoe maker). This definition is also a possibility as many stories about leprechauns have shown their profession to be the cobblers of the fairy world.

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For this activity, we used a few holiday relics to learn about Saint Patrick’s Day. Using slime, pots of gold, shamrocks, gold coins and miniature gnomes, we created various stories with our friends!

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Leprechaun Traps

The Leprechaun is a much-loved and sometimes feared magical creature of Irish folk legend.

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Short in stature and with a long-beard and pot of gold, leprechauns were once believed to pervade the Irish countryside.

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Those little men all dressed in green, obsessed with rainbows and treasure, trickery, and of course shoe-making.

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As part of our leprechaun week, we made our very own leprechaun traps! Using gold coins, a shoebox, and our imaginations, we set up the perfect trap for our little friends!

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Unicorn Sorting

Measurement concepts are often a part of children’s interactions. “My dad is bigger,” “I can jump higher,” and “I have more play dough than you!” are common comparisons that children make.

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From the child’s perspective, these statements compare quantity; however, they also provide a nice introduction to measurement.

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Unfortunately, it is an often neglected content standard in early childhood classrooms.

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Throughout the many projects we do throughout the week, we are constantly measuring, comparing, and contrasting items related to the theme.

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For this activity, your little one was presented with a problem. They were each given three pictures of unicorns that were of varying length.

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After this, they were asked to sort them by size. The target words for this activity were long, longer, and longest.

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Following this, they were encouraged to measure the width of the largest unicorn. Lastly, we recorded the answers and compared our results!

Unicorn Spelling with Manipulatives

Manipulatives give children the opportunity to interact with the alphabet through hands-on play.

They are able to feel the shape of the objects and arrange multiple letters to form letters and words.

They can see the curves and the lines that come together to form each letter, and some manipulatives even allow children to explore letter formation and tracing.

We used manipulatives as part of our unicorn theme.

To do this, we did a couple of things.

First, we wrote the word U-N-I-C-O-R-N on the sidewalk using chalk.

Then, we placed jewels (the manipulatives) on to the letters.

Lastly, we sounded out each letter until we created the word!

Unicorn Counting using One-to-One Correspondence

One-to-one correspondence is an early learning math skill that involves the act of counting each object in a set once, and only once with one touch per object. Rote counting and counting with one-to-one are very different.Rote counting is just reciting the numeral names in order, “One, two, three, four, five…” But counting with one-to-one involves actually touching each object and saying the numeral name aloud, which is a much more complex skill for young children.Activities that involve real objects that children can hold in their hands and manipulate are going to be the most effective for teaching the concept of one-to-one correspondence. One of these activities involved counting with unicorn “horns”. Using pipe cleaners as the “horn”, students slid beads while counting.Each “horn” had a number ranging from one to ten. They were directed to slide the number of beads that matched their number. It was so exciting to see how sparkly our “horns” became!