Thursday, October 18, 2012

How a Pumpkin Grows

Ok, so I have to make a post of my "How A Pumpkin Grows" booklet.  It was featured in last weekends TPT newsletter and I couldn't have been more excited.  Of course it led to followers, sales, and reviews!  Tons of reviews!  Which is great.  If you are new to TPT, make sure you put your items in to be featured.  If they do not get picked, keep trying every week.  It pays off. 

So anyway.  When I make teacher materials, I make them for my future use, for when I can use them for older kids besides my own and the summer elementary kids I get.  (I always test them out on them.)  I usually adapt a "younger" version for my pre-k kids and toddlers.  So this past Monday we did a pumpkin sequence. 

I cut out numbers 1-7.  (Because I forgot to cut them over the weekend, the kids practiced with scissors cutting my scrap papers while I was cutting.  Kept them busy, and stopped them from asking, "what is that?" after e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. I cut.)     
I also had to cut my pictures out.  Because I own this clip art, I can use it any way I need to.  I could not add this activity to my store because I felt it was not smart to just put clip art on a page for people to cut out...someone might upload it as their own clip art.  You gotta be respectful of our artists!  Anyway, you can get this clip art for your self here.  I love Graphics From the Pond's clip art.
 So the kids glued their numbers, 1-7.  I had them point out their numbers.  The 3 year olds knew them all, I of course had to help my Delena.  (Yes, she is still in her jammies, it's her house, lol.) 

Kids love glue.

 As we pieced together our sequence I talked about each stage the pumpkin takes to grow.  Just like in my book, I used transition words like, first, next, then, and last.

The finished work. They are proudly hanging in my window. 
  For #7, I wanted to let the kids decorate their pumpkin, they saw the orange glitter that I added this month to the art box and of course all picked that.  Glue and glitter, kids will have a ball.

So the sweet part of this, we were doing a puzzle yesterday that had a pumpkin vine on it.  It happened to have a flower on the vine....sweet!  One of the 3 year olds starts telling me the sequence we talked about.  "First the vine, then the flower, then the green punkin, then the BIG orange punkin!"  I was super excited.  Even though they are toddlers, they are sponges at this age, you gotta teach at every moment!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Snafu of the Week

Zombies! Ok, ok, so most of us tuned in for the Walking Dead premier last night.  Which was awesome, but I wish they did a 2 hour premier.  So, I feel like a bad parent.  No, they didn't stay up late to watch it last night, but yes, my kids have seen the show before!  Eek. Gasp.  Get it out of your system now. 

My husband and I just started watching the show, we have been wanting to for a long time now.  We watched both seasons off of Netflix last week.  (I love you Netflix.)  The kids were busy in the play room, so we didn't wait until they were in bed, we started it up.  Man, it was good, too good.  I couldn't turn them off!  So eventually my little ones started trickling in.  Remember, I have an 8 year old and a 6 year old.  My little, little ones stayed in the playroom.  My husband and I looked at each other we change we let them watch??  Our thought process....they have seen Twilight and Underworld....they should be good right?

Right!!  Ha, you thought I was going to say wrong didn't you.  I was happy after the night was over that they did not have nightmares.  The show is pretty gruesome.  The romantic scenes are short and sweet (we fast forwarded through them.)  The gore is enough for them to handle.  I'm not too proud of that, but whatever, maybe I am.  The show is rated PG 13, and I believe some of these Pixar movies should have been rated that at some point.  So yes, I don't feel bad.  They enjoy zombies.  It's suspenseful.  It's entertaining.  And if the zombie apocalypse really happened, my kids might have a leg up on how to survive.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fine Motor Skills

A friend stopped by quickly yesterday while I was doing an activity with the kids.  It was a simple activity.  We were putting stickers on a sheet of paper.  My friend mentioned how she hated stickers and that her kids used to stick them all over the place.  I explained to her that they are a great tool for fine motor skills for the little ones.  Of course, I have a standing rule in my house; Stickers go on paper or on your shirt!  I explained to her how they have to use their fingers to peel and place the small stickers, it is preparing them for writing.  She was amazed and never even thought of that.  I then went on and explained a bunch of activities we do, while they seem simple and non-educational, they are in fact, the best way to prepare little hands for writing.  I decided to list some of the ways I prepare my 3 year olds to write.

  • Stickers--Large and Small
  • Playdoh sculpting
  • Scissor Cutting-- Just hand them a piece of paper and let them cut it up.  I usually save the scraps for a glue project, which is also good for those fingers.
  • Beading Cheerios--For a snack, give them cheerios in a bowl, let them string them up and then eat them.
  • Anything with clothespins.  Even if they are just opening and closing them.
  • Play with tongs--Large or small.  Or small tweezers.
  • Knob Puzzles
  • Legos and other manipulatives

    Some of these are known, but I feel that a lot of parents forget they need to work these muscles so that they can properly hold a pencil and write as they get older.

    A 3 year old.

    My 2 year old.
    P.S.  As I was going through some supplies yesterday, I found this decal.  A much better tree for our class tree!