Saturday, May 28, 2011

A camping we will go

Last week of school we set up camp grounds inside the classroom.  I have parents bring a tent and a small pool becomes a pond.  This year we have ducks and nets in the pond.  Some years there are fish and other things.  I also bring rocks and dirt for a sensory digging center.  We have horse shoes, a pretend campfire and some pretend cooking equipment. I have a plastic cast iron kettle that I bought after Halloween one year.  It is use for cowboy unit, campfire units, really anything that is cooking outside, and also my pioneer unit.  Worth keeping and eye out.  I even use it in sensory for ladling beans in and out of the pot.
Two friends roasting pretend marshmallows at the pretend camp fire.  Notice the logs are blocks, and the fire is tissue paper. The marshmallows are cotton balls and skewers are 18" dowels.  the kids just push the cotton balls onto the dowel and roast away.  They had a blast with this, and it was just a last minute brain storm of what could I use as pretend marshmallows.

Cotton balls are handy for a lot of brain storms, lambs wool, fluffy clouds, snow and now marshmallows.
 We use compasses to learn about finding our way.  We use flashlights to help us find our way in the dark  Lot's of night time books, because my actual unit is called outdoor fun day and night.  It is a great way to end our year as a class family. Notice from the picture the tent inside the classroom.  It was such a blast.
another fun year of classroom camping. 
We purchased water bottles and flashlights for the kids to have as camping gear, and thanks to
Chick-fil-a  we got compasses as well.  Their toy for this month was spy gear compasses, and they generously donated 16 to our end of the year camping event. 

If you don't teach a class, try an indoor camp out at your house.  The kids will love it and you will be a hero. You don't even need a tent because sheets and blankets work
 great.  Use your imagination and have fun with them.  Surely you had some fun indoor camping adventures as a child.  I know my girls did. 
Here is a a good camping rhyme for nightime noises
Night time noises

The children love this one. I use it when we do any night time activities, slumber party, campout, God made the night and day.

Chant this:
I was laying in my sleeping bag  and I couldn’t get to sleep.

The winds began to howl (howl)
And the bugs began to creek ( creek)
So I rolled to the left ( roll left)
And I rolled to the right ( roll right)
And I heard all the sounds that you hear late at night.

Repeat the rhyme with other sounds like people began to snore, frogs began to croak, owls began to hoot, dogs began to bark. Have children think of noises they

hear at night.
A few good books for camping theme.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring time fun

There is so much fun learning to do in the spring time. We spent a week learning about the weather changes, and nature changes that occur during the springtime.  We learned about spring colors and how to make pastle colors by adding white to red, blue, yellow, green.   The children always think mixing paint to make a new color is fun.  We used sponge mops to make the paint part of this art collage.  After all was dry, we let them add some more to their picture to make a beautiful spring garden.

 We have been having a great time swatting bugs with letters, numbers, and pictures for letter sounds on the back.  I put velcro on the fly swat and the other half on the bug. 
We also have been checking out our patterning abilities by using colored sticker dots to create patterns. 

One of my favorite learning activities in spring is teaching them about ants and insects in general.
We use what we learned about insects to do a special math project.  We learned that when you have x ants and x ants it makes x ants in all.  Addition!!!!!  I let the children roll the dice and make finger prints on their pre-drawn ant tunnels (they draw the tunnels before the math begins) Each insect has 3 body parts.  We count together so they don't lose track of the bugs they are making.  They roll the dice again for the second number.  After all the ants are made we count them all and write our numbers on our paper.  The children love the finished result. 

Another fun math activity is pattern caterpillars.  We used green construction paper for leaf and sticker dots for garage sales for our patterns

 There are so many great books to go along with spring time learning.  Check out Eric Carle for many great bug and spring books.