Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We're Counting the Days

At our house we have two exciting events in April: Easter and Julia's birthday! Of course Julia wants to know how many more days until each of these events so we created an egg hunt countdown and a birthday countdown.
The egg hunt countdown is a large construction paper egg labeled with black dots. Each day the girls place a sticky dot on one of the black dots and then count the remaining days until the egg hunt. We have a pencil with a rabbit eraser and a pencil with an egg eraser to use as pointers when they count. After they determine how many days remain, Julia writes the number on a sticky note and places it on the record sheet.

I created Julia's birthday countdown in Power Point using clip art. Each day she colors a cake, counts the remaining cakes, and posts the number on the record sheet.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Easter Sensory Tub

Our sensory tub is filled with paper Easter grass, plastic eggs, empty egg cartons, yellow pom poms (chicks) and Easter baskets. The girls have had a great time exploring and playing with the materials.
Lauren enjoys opening and closing the eggs and placing them in the cartons or in her basket.

Julia has incorporated the eggs into her pretend play. One day she was the hen and I was the fox who tried to steal the eggs. Later she pretended to be an egg delivery girl. From small and simple things comes big fun!

Spring Play Dough

We have been so excited to see the wild flowers growing on the side of the roads lately. Wild flowers are even popping out of our play dough! The girls have been exploring green play dough and silk wildflowers.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Eggs in a Basket

Young children need lots of opportunities to count real objects. These cute little baskets and tiny, colorful eggs provide plenty of interest to motivate children to work with this counting game.

  • mini Easter baskets (I only had eight baskets but I think ten would work better. You can find these at a craft or party store.)

  • mini Easter eggs (I found these at Hobby Lobby)
  • number cardsThe child lays down the cards in order, places a basket above each number, and counts the appropriate number of eggs into each basket. To make this activity self checking, provide the exact number of eggs the child will need

Variation: If your child does not recognize numbers you can provide cards with dots. The child counts the dots on each card and places the corresponding number of eggs into the basket.

Here is a variation of this game that I made for my two year old.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rabbit Counting Grid Game

I learned about grid games in the book More Than Counting by Sally Moomaw and Brenda Hieronymus. The authors write that grid games are an important part of preschool and kindergarten math because they "provide opportunities for children to create mathematical relationships by using interesting manipulative counters to create, compare, and quantify sets."

Children are highly motivated to play grid games with fun counters. As soon as four year old Julia saw this rabbit grid game she was excited to feed the rabbits!

To make this game I used:
Each player rolls the die and places the corresponding number of carrots on the rabbits. Play continues until a player covers all her rabbits. Julia had lots of practice counting and comparing as she decided "How many more carrots do I need to cover each rabbit? Who has more- mommy or I?"

Can you guess who won?

I created an easier grid game to play with my two year old. In this game we use a grid of 10 heads of lettuce, a die with 1-3 dots on each side, and rabbit erasers.
These games are great to play after reading Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit or Muncha, Muncha, Muncha by Candace Flemming.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Egg Lacing

The girls had fun developing fine motor skills during this project.

Gather construction paper cut into egg shapes, hole punch, scissors, tape, and yarn.

For young preschoolers, punch holes around the perimeter of the egg about one inch apart. For older preschoolers, draw dots on the egg to show where the holes will go. The child punches holes over the dots. Cut a length of yarn. Tape one end of the yarn to the egg. Wrap a small piece of tape over the other end of the yarn to create a needle.

The child laces the yarn through the holes in any pattern she chooses. When the child is finished, tape the other end of the yarn to the egg.

Great work girls!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jumping In

I am so excited to begin this blog. Over the past several months I have enjoyed learning from the blogs of other mommies. When I taught in the public schools my fellow teachers and I longed for the chance to linger in each other's classrooms and check out the wonderful things each teacher was doing. Unfortunately, there just wasn't time to do this. Now through the world of blogging I have the opportunity to see into the homes of fellow mommy-teachers and learn from their experiences. I am grateful to all the bloggers who continue to inspire me and I hope that I have something useful to contribute.