Monster Rocks

For this activity we used several river stones to create monsters!

We have been so enjoying this theme, especially now that Halloween is near.

First, we cleaned the rocks, removing dust and dirt.

Once they were clean and dry we painted them with acrylic colors. We then let the paint dry.

Following this, we worked on the eyes!

We made the eyes with googly eyes, and with much precision, were able to attach them!

Lastly, we used pipe cleaners for their limbs.

Cute monsters everywhere!

We had so much fun that many students wanted to make two!

Monster Counting with Rings

We have had so much fun learning about monsters this week!

For this activity, we placed monster rings onto straws with different numbers.

Students were encouraged to choose the correct amount for each straw and then count as they slid them onto the straws.

This strengthened fine motor control, one-to-one correspondence, and the pincer grasp!

Monster Slime

From birth through to early childhood, children use their senses to explore and try to make sense of the world around them. They do this by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, moving and hearing.

Providing opportunities for children to actively use their senses as they explore their world through ‘sensory play’ is crucial to brain development – it helps to build nerve connections in the brain’s pathways.

This leads to a child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks and supports cognitive growth, language development, gross motor skills, social interaction and problem solving skills.

For this activity, we used a few different materials to create monster slime. We first combined glue and saline solution to create the “slime”. This is a malleable substance that appears as a solid when placed on a hard surface and liquidity when it is picked up.

Following this, students added googly eyes and glitter. Lastly, we explored the substance, watching it ooze through our hands as we played with it!

Tactile Monsters

Tactile learning and touch is essential for a child’s growth in physical abilities, cognitive and language skills, and even social and emotional development.

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Touch is not only imperative for short-term advancement with infancy and early childhood sensory experiences, but for long-term development within the child. Many children learn through tactile experiences, especially when they are young.

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If a child struggles to learn through their auditory or with their visual system, they may use their tactile experiences to develop other learning skills. For this activity, your little ones explored the texture of corn starch and water, known as our “gooey monsters” experiment. Students enjoyed placing googly eyes and other manipulatives onto their goo, and experimenting with the different textures!

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Monster Collage

In cooperative learning, students are organized into small groups to which they share a common goal.

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During the course of the activity, children work together for a shared benefit, realizing that all members share that goal and the rewards of achieving it.

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Cooperative learning goes hand in hand with social and emotional learning.

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For this activity, we created a Where the Wild Things Are collage.

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Students painted and added a variety of items to the poster that we later hung up in our classroom!

Roll and Cover Monster Dice

We love dice around here.  We love them so much that they’re always disappearing! This week we incorporated the mathematical developmental domain with a roll and count game.

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There are a plethora of skills your preschooler accesses when they use a die.

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The math skills your preschooler practices include subitizing (looking at the dots and knowing right away what number they represent instead of counting each dot), number recognition, counting, matching, comparing, and adding.

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This game involved rolling a die and counting the number that was rolled. Once the numeral was recognized, your little one placed the corresponding amount of eyes onto their monsters.

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Dot-to-Dot Monsters

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

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Children need to understand visual perception to discriminate well, 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.

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Visual perception is a complex process. It includes color perception and color constancy, shape perception and shape constancy, spatial relations, visual analysis and synthesis, visual closure, visual figure-ground distinction, and visual sequence.

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Visual closure is the ability to complete an incomplete image e.g. a dot-to-dot picture or a puzzle. Because we are learning about monsters, we used black markers and crayons to create our own monsters. This was an open-ended activity, so there was no right or wrong way to complete their creatures! Visual perception skills (through activities such as these) can be developed and improved with practice, until they become skills that are performed almost effortlessly.

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Shape Monsters

Children delight in making choices. The ability to name a favorite color of paper to make a drawing empowers a child. When he can ask for a square or triangle-shaped block by name during a game, he has a sense of control over his environment.

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In preschool, children can learn to identify and name circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, and ovals. By using materials such as posters, blocks, books, and games, teachers expose children to various shapes and help them analyze two- and three-dimensional shapes in various sizes and orientations.

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For this reason, we are constantly incorporating shapes into our schedule. During circle time, we may sing a song about trapezoids. For gross motor play, we may jump onto triangle-shaped chalk outlines.

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For this activity, we broke up into groups to categorize a variety of monster “shapes”. We learned about the word rhombus, diamond, triangle, rectangle, and square.

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Encouraging preschoolers to slide, flip, or turn shapes promotes problem solving and an understanding of transformations.

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These transformations are crucial to developing spatial visualization abilities and understanding geometry, which involves matching shapes through visualization.

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As preschoolers learn to identify objects, they can use spatial orientation vocabulary to describe the relative positions of objects.

Expanding Monsters

Activities that stimulate curiosity, teach science concepts, and avoid overwhelming or boring children with lessons are developmentally appropriate for the preschool classroom.

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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).

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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.

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Then, we drew a face on the balloons while they were deflated.

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After that, we placed the funnel into the open end of the deflated balloon and poured in the baking soda.

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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!

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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!