Friday, September 9, 2011

Finding Teaching Moments Every Day

I love to watch my children learn, and most of the time those moments where I know they are discovering little bits of wisdom, are not done in a formal setting. Usually it's in our every day. I think it's important to take the time when these moment arise to talk to my children, or let them touch things, smell things, or ask about things. Sometimes these moments happen while we are driving. Sometimes its when they are helping me make dinner. Here are just a couple time in the last week that we have taken a moment to learn.

While I was out mowing the lawn I saw a little frog hoping away. We rarely see frogs, so I stopped to catch it, and then went and got my girls. They really enjoyed the frog-who they named Damion. We talked about where he came from, why he might have been in our grass, (Because our grass was REALLY long and cool that week,) and what we should do with him.
We decided that for him to be the happiest, he probably should be let go. And so after about 20 min. with us, Damion hopped back to wherever he came from.

I also think play can be a learning experience...even playing with your food!
Maggie was home during the day (while big sister was in school) and enjoying a snack. On her own she made an M-for Maggie. Then we thought it would be fun to try to make other letters out of her snack.

Learning is fun. And it is also very easy to incorporate learning into every day life. It doesn't need to be formal for you to teach your kids something wonderful!


We've been working really hard on the numbers 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. We worked on tracing the numbers.
We made this fun numbers caterpillar. It's pretty self explanatory. We used a paper plate for the body, and construction paper for the rest. The dots are made with a 3 hole punch.
Then we worked on putting all of the numbers in order.


To start this lesson I darkened the preschool room and set up a light to shine on the wall. (My piano lamp worked wonderfully.) I also taped some poster board to the wall to draw on.

We started in the classroom and saw what a shadow was, and how it was made when an object came between the light and the wall. Then we went outside to see if we could find more shadows! We found LOTS of shadows!!
Then we went inside and made shadow puppets on the wall. It was fun to make them talk to each other or gobble each other up.

Here are some shadow animals that we tried to make. Some of them where quite hard to make.

Then we traced our shadows. Daddy just happened to be home for lunch and I had him come help Maggie trace mine.

Then we traced our shadow hands.
We talked some more about WHY we have shadows-that it is us, or an object, coming between the sun and blocking the sunlight.

Then I let Maggie watch the beginning of Peter Pan when he lost his shadow.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Today we had a lesson on germs. Believe it or not I had this lesson planned BEFORE we all came down with colds this week.

It was kind of hard to explain what a germ was to my 4 year old. I didn't want her to think there were really bugs on her hands. But I told her there were tiny bugs that makes us sick everywhere. I told her that THAT is why it's so important for us to be clean, Body and Environment, and to wash our hands regularly. This made sense to her. We talked about how to cough into our elbow instead of onto our hands.
Then we walked about how to correctly wash our hands. We talked about using warm water, soap, and lathering for 30 seconds. I told her that it was good to sing the ABC song while she rubbed her hands together, and that would be a good length of time. Then she could rinse and dry her hands.
Then we watched these youtube videos on Germs and Handwashing.

We did this fun craft-we made paint germs. I thought they were cute.
Wet down water color paints until they are quite runny. Then using a dropper, suck up the liquid. Then drop it onto your paper.
Using a straw, blow the paint all over the paper, making germs.
When you are done they should look something like this. Let them dry completely. We came back the next day.
Then we glued on googly eyes and drew mouths on them.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lesson 1: Always have something prepared!

We had a great summer, and kept busy with swimming lessons, nature club, and lots of family time! I posted a tiny bit during the summer, but now we really are back in the swing of things!
We are one pupil short, bringing the head count down to one. Big sister went off to Kindergarten and is having a blast! We miss her, but preschool will be fun with just the two of us.
I actually wasn't going to do preschool until Wednesday. But when school started for Big Sister on Monday, Little Sister begged to have preschool. She wanted to learn just like her sister was doing.
So we had a make-shift lesson. I had these play dough cards sitting around. This activity is good for fine motor skills. We rolled the dough into tiny "snakes" and laid them on the card to match.

Then I also had these file folders tucked away. There are many types of file folders that you can make, and I made these years ago and found them the other day while going through my filing cabinet. I thought they would be perfect for preschool. The top one is a shoe matching game, and the bottom one is more conceptual matching. For example, the raindrops and the umbrella make a match, and the nest and the bird make a match.

HERE are some free file folder printables.
Then we worked on writing. I also made these papers about a year ago to trace their names. You can download lined paper online, but I just made mine with a ruler and a sharpie. Then I made copies.

It was a relief to have a few things on hand to throw together for a preschool lesson when I didn't have one prepared and had a 4 year old begging me to teach her. :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

The 5 Senses

First, let me apologize for all of the pictures. I didn't know how to show this to you without posting a lot of pictures.
Today we learned about the 5 senses. We actually did a LOT for this activity, and it could easily be broken into more than one day.

Sight: We went outside and talked about what we could see. Then we explained it...How big is it? What color is it? etc.

Hearing: We went outside and closed our eyes and listened. Then we talked about what we heard. (Birds, an airplane, kids playing)

Smell: We smelled different things around the house. We talked about how it smelled. (sweet, bitter, stinky, etc.)

Taste: Snack time! I made a plate of different foods. (A peach, cheese, and pretzels.)

Touch: I placed several different items into a paper bag and had them close their eyes and reach into the bag. They had to feel the items and tell me what they thought they were feeling.

I made booklets in advance for them to put together. They glued in the silly face parts, and the other items. These booklets were easy to make. I just used construction paper and a glue stick. I DID have to google a 5 senses worksheet to go under the flaps on the front.

The booklets were all put together, and then they glued on the eyes, ears, mouth, nose, hands, etc.

They LOVED this, and now they have a book to read and keep!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I started out this lesson with letter and number flash cards....just for fun.

Then we had a chalk board discussion about bugs. I had them name every kind of bug they could think of. Then we read some books about bugs. I was actually very surprised that I had so many books on bugs.
I really liked the "Creepy Crawlies" Usborne book. Lots of good info, and 'fun lift the flaps.'
Then we did a few nursery rhymes about bugs, such as 'The itsy bitsy spider" and 'Here is the Bee Hive.'

Here is the bee hive.
Where are all the bees?
Hidden away where nobody sees.
Watch and you'll see them
Come out of the hive.

Make a fist with your hand to make the bee hive, and as the bees come out, count them on your fingers. Then buzz your hand like a bee at the end. (Which is where I take the opportunity to tickle my kids.)

Then we painted rocks to looks like bugs!

Then we watched this youtube video "The Ugly Bug Ball" from one of my favorite musicals.