Monday, November 25, 2013

Indians and Pilgrims

Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without our thankful Pilgrims!  Each of the pilgrims are holding a picture of my little one's families. At their age simplifying the concept of what being thankful means meant it needed to be associated with something they already comprehend, so FAMILY was perfect. 

I asked the parents a week before this craft to bring in a 4x6 photo of their family to use. The children made either a boy or girl pilgrim all wearing black pilgrim hats. I have seen several of these pilgrim crafts on Pinterest, but these little pilgrims are the ones I got inspired by. 

After each child was finished making their pilgrim I had them glue their family picture underneath the sentence "I am thankful for my family" as we talked more about what it meant to be thankful.

Overall, I was so happy with how this craft came out. The children were really receptive with what being thankful means to them and the importance of family. 

To finish up our day I read, One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims. I love how at the end of this book it shows the pilgrims and Indians praying before they ate, just as we do in my classroom everyday, this was exciting for my little ones to see.

My son made this Indian puppet (using a popsicle stick)in class last week while learning about the first Thanksgiving. 

 ..and finally, these adorable Indian and Pilgrim puppets were made by my daughter last week. Too cute, i know!! 
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thanksgiving placemats

Before our Thanksgiving break my little ones will be having their very own Thanksgiving feast right here in the classroom! We will be serving turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots, corn bread! We have been very busy preparing for our party by making turkey headband hats and hand print turkey place mats!

 I've seen so many variations of the turkey headband in the past two years here at my preschool and of course online, that I just incorporated my favorite aspects of the turkey headbands into one pretty cute little turkey if you ask me ;) Since my children are so little I was able to use a 12x18 piece of brown construction paper cut lengthways.   

We also have been hard at work making place mats for the party. I have loved this turkey craft since I first saw it right after Thanksgiving last year on Pinterest, and couldn't wait to do something with it. I started out by painting each child's right hand red, yellow and green, then their left hand brown and orange. The hands formed a half of circle around the paper. As you can see it can be tricky to get the hands perfectly centered, so I discovered that if you start with the middle handprint and work outwards it makes it easier to center it.  Once the paint dried I cut around the outside of the paper to give it a border using decorative scissors.

While the hand prints were drying I had the children make little turkeys that we would then glue in the middle of the handprints.
 Here are the finished place mats. I LOVE how they turned out. Some handprints were done on white construction paper (one of my classes) and some were done on beige paper (my other class). I personally think the beige paper gives it more of a fall themed feel, which I like very much. I personalized each by adding their names, year and HAPPY THANKSGIVING on the bottom.

 This is a placemat my son made last year and I am sure my daughter will be making this year (same teacher for both of my kids), so I can wait to set the table for them this year with their adorable placemats! I LOVE how his teacher personalized it by adding his name in the front underneath the poem and pictures of all the things he was thankful for on the back.

Community helper of the month; Police Officer

Today we talked about how police officers are our friends and help keep us safe. We discussed all the different things that police officers do like keep us safe, help us if we get lost, look for clues to solve problems and even get to arrest bad guys! 

After our talk the children made police cars, which everyone had so much fun with! I found this patrol car on Pinterest. Great craft for my little ones.

I had the children come up to the table and paint half a plate, that I previously cut in the shape of a car, using royal blue paint and a loofah. I was going to let them use a paint brush but I wanted the plate to be dry enough to finish the craft and send home same day.  I used my Fiskars 1 1/2" circle punch and black card stock paper to cut out the wheels for the police car and my Cricut machine to cut out the stars (1 3/4"). I swear by that machine, it has literally saved me hours of work. Overall not a lot of prep work and the finish craft is SO CUTE!

During story time I read to the children, Keeping You Safe: A Book About Police Officers. Great book and love the illustrations.

(update: 11/24/2013, 3:43pm) My little ones had visits from police officers in their classrooms towards the end of last week and got to bring home such great "goodie bags" from the officers. We played dress up and worked together to solve problems and save the day! 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Turkey tracks and more

We made turkey tracks this week! I took three bendy straws and used two small rubber bands to keep them in place. 

 The children dipped the straws in brown paint and pushed the straws onto construction paper. I noticed that the more paint that was on the straws the better the "turkey tracks" came out.
 Here come our turkeys! Gobble gobble :)

Since the color of the month is brown, we made corduroy bear out of BROWN paper bags. :) I had the children glue corduroy's green overalls on and try to find two of the same matching buttons to glue on. They also added little ears, arms, and eyes to finish him all. After I read Corduroy's Thanksgiving during snack time I let the children hold the puppets and interact with each other.

Focusing more on the shape of the month (square), I had the children stamp squares using a wooden block that I covered in yarn (found idea on Pinterest). I gave them an orange and yellow stamp pad and let them stamp away!

Last year I used paint instead of ink and I wasn't crazy about how it turned out. When the children dipped the block in the paint it seemed to be too much and caused the block to slide around the paper. It was hard to make out the finish result so we changed it up a bit this year. 

My son made this adorable turkey in his class last week. I couldn't help but laugh when I saw what he loved most about Thanksgiving. He is truly a replica of my husband, and I love it.

My little girl made a crow out of a toilet paper roll. This little guys hat was made by gluing a square piece of felt onto a cut egg carton to create that shape, so smart!!

She also made this clay pot turkey. She painted the pot brown and the following day glued the feathers and face on. I can't wait to find something to fill it with for Thanksgiving.

Fall Leaves

We have been learning all about fall for the past few weeks now, so of course making beautiful fall leaves was so much fun for them! My son actually made this craft two years ago around this time with hi teacher and I loved it so much I had to do it with my little ones.  I cut out the shape of a leaf in the middle of construction paper the night before and typed out a little saying " All the leaves are falling down. Orange, Yellow, Red and Brown" which they glued on at the end.

 The children came up to the table in groups of three to paint their "fall leaves". Each child got a paint brush and yellow, red or orange paint. We rotated the paint around until all three children got a chance to paint with the fall colors. I was careful with how much paint they used on the paper because I wanted to send home their leaves the same day, a little paint can go a long way. I love how bright and vibrant each one came out!

Once the paint dried I glued the brown construction paper  on top and had the little ones glue on the poem. We talked more about what happens to the leaves in the fall and how our leaves look like so many outside our classroom window.

During story time I read the book, Let It Fall and looked at some real leaves that I collected outside that morning. I love this book- it talks all about fall, then at the end of the book it introduces the winter. Great collection by Marann Cocca-Leffler, definitely check it out.

My two beautiful children enjoying the last few weeks of this beautiful weather outside before the winter. Look how colorful the tree is behind them. Definitely a picture for our holiday card.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Turkeys and more!

November is off to a good start in our classroom. This month we learn about the colors yellow and brown, squares, thanksgiving and so much more! 

My class made these adorable turkeys last week. I found the original idea from Grant Ever After. I had the children sponge paint with orange, brown, and yellow tempera paint. The next day the children glued the pieces together to make the turkey's body and then glued them on. So cute!! 

We made fall decorations for the classroom windows too! My children made the acorns and leaves, and another teacher added her students turkeys to make it the perfect fall window.

 She did a great job with the turkeys, right? Once she laminated the turkeys she let them glue two eyes on to complete it. 

The leaves were made with coffee filters and powdered tempera paint. The children sprinkled powdered paint onto the coffee filter then sprayed it with water using a spray bottle. I let the coffee filters dry and then cut out leaf patterns, laminated them and taped to window for all to see! Each leaf was a little different which I loved, just like my little one's- no two alike.  :)

 Acorns completed our window decorations. I had the children place yellow, gold and beige tissue paper squares onto laminating sheets. Once the sheet went through the machine I just cut out the shape of an acorn. The children then finished the acorn  by making horizontal and vertical lines using the side of a popsicle stick dipped in brown paint.

Scarecrows are such a fun craft to do with the children this time of year. I found this idea on Pinterest, but I could not find the original link. If anyone knows where this adorable scarecrow originated from please let me know so I can give them credit for it. 

My daughters class made these adorable scarecrows this week. I love everything her teacher does with her classes. Her creativity and love for teaching really shows in everything her little one's create. I'm so happy that both of my  children had the opportunity to be a part of her class.

I made these scarecrows, that I found on Buzzing About Second Grade, last year with my two's but it was way too much work for my little ones.

I love our bulletin boards for November. We made corn, using red, orange, yellow, brown and white square pieces of construction paper (which is it shape of the month) and then glued on the husk to finish them off. I found a quote that I based this craft on about the colors used in the corn representing God's plan for us. Being a religious preschool I try to incorporate the word of God and religious meaning into as much as I can whether that is through crafting, story time or hands on activities. 

 For our hallway bulletin board we made a turkey! The children each decorated a feather, individualized by their name, using colorful feathers. The verse reads, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Perfect way to celebrate Thanksgiving.

This is our hallway bulletin board from last year. Scarecrows and corn are very popular in our preschool this time of year :) 

This is my son's bulletin board. They did corn and attached to each ear of corn is a sentence or two about what they are thankful for. Love what my son said.

Some other fun things my own children and our students have made so far this month are: