Archive for September 2013

Preschool ‘Trees’ Theme

Last week we started our Forest theme, which I have broken up into a few different sub-themes. Last week we learned about trees!

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Here is our book list. There are many, many books about trees – I tried to stick to ones about temperate forests.

You will notice the Lorax by Dr. Seuss is on the list – we also watched the video (the original cartoon, not the new animated one), which has turned into a favorite here.

I found a printable from www.kidsunder7.com for Curly to practice tracing the letter T. She only made it for a couple letters before tiring of it, but I didn’t push it. She has plenty of time to learn to write the letter T! Here is the worksheet.

I appreciated the fact that this printable had a spot for both uppercase and lowercase, even though Curly didn't use them. I will remember them for future use!

I appreciated the fact that this printable had a spot for both uppercase and lowercase, even though Curly didn’t use them. I will remember them for future use!

 

Lately we’ve been focusing on the spelling of Curly’s name. I write her name for her on her projects and always have her spell it as I’m writing it. She gets confused by the end (her name is 6 letters long) but she’s getting better. She never let’s me forget that her name goes at the top of her workbook sheets, so we are getting lots of practice.

For science we headed into our back yard to do some bark rubbings. We have mostly the same species of tree in our yard, the box elder, but we have many trees at different ages, so we were able to get a few different rubbings.

For math, I found a printable from www.lifewithtoddlers.com for Curly to practice tracing/writing the number 1. She enjoyed this one.

We did a couple of different projects for art. Since The Lorax was a such a favorite, we did a truffula tree craft with popsicle sticks, cotton balls, and paint.

The brown figures on the bottom are barbaloots.

The brown figures on the bottom are barbaloots. We used black marker on the popsicle sticks to make them look like they do in the movie.

 

We also did a forest project. I traced Curly’s forearm and hand several times on a large piece of paper, then she painted them. Once they were dry, she used a round foam brush to stamp on some leaves.

We hope you had a great week!

 

Books About Trees

I put this list together for part of our preschool Forest theme, so I left out books that dealt with rainforests. We will do a rainforest theme separately.

I noticed while putting this list together that many ‘tree’ books are rather sad stories. I left those off the list. I think those books have their place, and that the subjects addressed in them (death, selfishness, etc) would be better suited for an actual discussion of those ideas.

Here are the books we selected for our Tree week! Click on the book covers for more information. This post contains affiliate links.

 

Here are some I had on lists but didn’t get to use myself:

The Growing Up Tree by Vera Rosenberry
Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems by Kristine O’Connell
Around the Oak by Gerda Muller
A Tree is Growing by Arthur Dorros
Meeting Trees by Scott R. Sanders
Have You Seen Trees? by Joanne Oppenheim
The Happiness Tree by Andrea Alban Gosline
The Oak Inside the Acorn by Max Lucado
Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward
The Tree by Karen Gray Ruelle
Gus is a Tree by Claire Babin and Olivier Tallec
Tell Me, Tree: All About Trees for Kids by Gail Gibbons
Where Once There Was a Wood by Denise Fleming

As you can see, there are oodles of tree books. Happy reading!

Camping Theme, Part 2

Part 2 of our camping theme centered around hiking and fishing. I have to say this was one of our most enjoyable weeks of preschool!

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Here is our book list.  The book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is an old favorite of ours, so it was a perfect candidate for us to center activities around. First, we made binoculars to take along on our bear hunt. I used two used toilet paper rolls and had Curly decorate them.

I provided markers and a variety of stickers.

I provided markers and a variety of stickers.

Then we glued them together. It may have been easier to staple them together, but I couldn’t find the stapler. In any case, white school glue worked just fine. Then I used a hole punch to punch holes large enough for yarn to fit through, and we had a pair of binoculars.

Next we made a ‘bear hunt snack’. I showed Curly how to make trail mix. We used cashews, raisins, and chocolate chips. We were now ready for our bear hunt!

Curly is very excited about the trail mix in this picture. Her finished binoculars are around her neck.

Curly is very excited about the trail mix in this picture. Her finished binoculars are around her neck. Sorry about the poor picture quality…someday I will get a real camera instead of always using my phone.

We headed out into the yard and pretty much just ran around pretending to go through tall grass, wade through a river, get through mucky mud, etc, all while quoting the book. We finally made it to the ‘bear cave’ , which was simply her fort made of sticks we made a couple weeks ago. We then ran like mad back through our make-believe obstacle course of mud and rivers, to finally make it back to our house and jump under blankets on the couch. By this time she was giggling like mad, and I have to admit I quite enjoyed myself. Now Curly asks to go on a bear hunt almost every day.

We did a fish craft that I’ve seen suggested many times. You have your child paint bubble wrap and stamp paper to create the effect of fish scales. It worked pretty well!

I taped the bubble wrap around her hand to make it easier to work with.

I taped the bubble wrap around her hand to make it easier to work with.

She really enjoyed the stamping part! I had already traced a fish shape onto the paper to make it easy to cut out.

She really enjoyed the stamping part! I had already traced fish shapes onto the paper to make it easy to cut out.

I did most of the cutting out of the fish, although she did do a little herself. Then she glued the fish onto some blue construction paper.

Fish!

Fish!

For a fish snack I made blue jello (for the first time EVER; we never have jello) with gummy worms in it. Lo and behold, my child thinks jello is disgusting. I had to feed it all the husband, who gleefully devoured it. At least it didn’t go to waste!

We did another fish snack that was much more of a hit. All you do is have your child dip pretzel sticks in peanut butter, and then use the sticky pretzel stick to pick up fish crackers. Fishing with crackers! I really wanted to take her on a real fishing trip, but we didn’t have any time to even plan it. We settled on eating fish snacks and reading books about fishing instead.

I grew up in a place where we went fishing almost every day near our house, all summer long, so I have really nostalgic feelings about fishing. I hope she can experience some of the same childhood that I did!

For a math activity I used a bunch of plastic cups we had on hand and wrote numbers on them. Then I had her count out marbles into each cup. I will be saving the cups for many other math activities.

This time of year the prairie is just bright with wildflowers, so I took Curly out to cut some with me to put on the kitchen table. We found mostly daisies and wild sunflowers.

We had a great week!