COUNTRY FUN

~ early education care ~ where our play supports our learning

October 6, 2017
by countryfun
Comments Off on Fall Lessons continue……..

Fall Lessons continue……..

We’ve worked in Apples and Pumpkins through daily activities, stories, snacks and lunches, exploration boxes and just general conversations. Most of the interest is currently on seeds.

Tied seeds and apple work together to make a book that compressed the life cycle of an apple. Our life cycle was seed – blossom – fruit – harvest. This group has an understanding that plants grow from seeds planted in the ground. That plants need water and sunlight to grow. That the food grows from a flower. That the food has more seeds inside it and these will grow into the food they came from if planted.

To make the book we colored a large sheet of drawing paper using the colors of apples we had to explore.

   

This sheet was then folded to make our book. The children glued the pre-cut images into their books. I added words with our discussion on the images and apple cycle.

   Of course the books headed home.

Then our seeds exploration headed outside to gather different seeds. The Fall is actually a great time for this because it’s when plants and trees are loaded with seeds.

We brought the seeds inside to explore further. We had seeds from weeds, grasses, trees, herbs and a couple of the beans for drying that were not dry yet.

First we took the beans out of their pods and set up a growing experiment: glass jar, paper towels, water and beans. We’ll be checking to see if the beans sprout on the south facing windowsill.  

The rest of the seed heads were handled, checked with magnifying glasses, shaken in small tubes, smelled, hammered, blown …………..

 

Still checking maple pods to see if they contain seeds while outside at play. More acorns keep finding their way inside also.

September 6, 2017
by countryfun
Comments Off on Apples, Apples and Apples

Apples, Apples and Apples

Rainy day, so no stick collecting today. Perfect to make applesauce and do some of the apple activities I have gathered for Fall lessons.

It all starts with observation of our apples:

  • numbers 1-12, one-to-one correspondence
  • shape: 2D circle and 3D sphere
  • parts:
    • stem (“hangs from a tree”)
    • blossom
    • skin
  • compare size and weight
  • color:
    • red
    • green
    • yellow

Then it’s off to the kitchen to make a simple applesauce. We used my apple peeler. This simple machine peels, spiral cuts and cores the apple safely allowing the children to participate.

    

When the cores snap in half we also get to see the “star” (another shape) inside each apple. The children immediately observed the seeds within the star. Another chance to count.

After getting the apples onto the stove we enjoyed some painting. Red and green paints on manila (yellowish) paper.

    

Also used the broken cores to stamp stars onto our apples. The children had earlier observed that the Paula Red apples had dots all over their skin. The star gave a little of this look.

While the applesauce cools down, we read:

  • Applesauce Season by Eden Ross Lipson
  • Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington

We began to learn an action song: “Two Little Apples”

Way up high in an apple tree,
2 little apples smiled down at me.
I shook that tree as hard as I could.
Down came the apples,
Yummmmmmm, were they good!

Back to the kitchen to taste test the sauce. Success!

Perfectly tasty plain, but will add a bit of cinnamon sugar for lunch today. We’ll keep the rest plain to use for some baking later this week.

Finished up our morning exploring the new flannel board. We sorted red, green and yellow circles into 3 separate baskets. Then it was about putting them back up on the tree, sort, place back.

     

This activity will be openly available to use during the day.

The books will also be available for reading with our iPads and QR codes.

November 9, 2015
by countryfun
Comments Off on Books of Fall

Books of Fall

There are so many fun books to read during the Fall season. Having a yard full of Maple trees we have an abundance of leaves on the ground awaiting children and their imaginations this time of year. I have a good mix of books about the different seasons and the changes that occur, but I made sure to have books about Fall leaves because every group has a connection to them. It doesn’t seem to matter the make-up of the group, all children enjoying playing in piles of leaves. Here are four that seem to get read each year:

The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger

The story focuses on a single leaf that is not ready to leave the branch of its great oak tree. All the other leaves swirl down to the ground, apples grew musky, pumpkins heavy, and flocks of geese took wing, but yellow leaf holds on. Now it’s winter and yellow leaf is alone in the tree, until it sees a scarlet flash. Through agreement they let go together and soar off through the skies together.

Who would think that a story about Fall leaves would support working on friendship, being afraid of new things/the unknown?

The illustrations are different and can be a little hard for younger readers to connect with, but it’s important for children to be exposed to variety in both language style and visual images.

Extension Activities:

  1. Movement activity of chasing, swirling, soaring, dancing like the leaves.
  2. Nature watch – check out the trees around you for leaves that may still be in them. Rake up the fallen leaves and play in.

————-

Fall Leaves Fall! by Zoe Hall

 

When fall comes, two brothers enjoy their favorite time of year, by catching the falling leaves, stomping on them, kicking them, jumping in piles of them, and using them to make pictures.

Extension Activities:

  1. Get out and play in the leaves.
  2. Make pictures from different leaves.

——————-

It’s Fall by Linda Glaser

A young boy describes what happens to animals, plants, and people in the autumn while he enjoys the leaves.

This book opens up discussions about more than just the changes to the leaves. Getting the bird feeders ready for our winter friends and watching the Canadian geese and crows fly in large groups overhead we can explore migration and hibernation.

Love the large cut-paper illustrations of this book.

Extension Activities:

  1. Great listing of activities to pull ideas from at end of book.
  2. Rake a pile of leaves to hide in and pop out of. Talk about what the leaves in the pile smell like, feel like and sound like.

—————-

We enjoy finger plays and rhyming songs. An old-time favorite is ~ We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. Having a book that connects by following the same pattern opens up different experiences.

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger

Three friends are going on a hunt for leaves. They go over a mountain and through a forest to collect leaves of all kinds and colors. Then through a waterfall and across a lake. Something black and white sends them quickly home.

 

Extension Activities:

  1. Go on your own leaf hunt. Count your leaves. Compare them. Make leaf rubbings.
  2. Make leaf pictures. Preserve your leaves.
  3. Add actions and then act out the story.

 

November 18, 2013
by countryfun
Comments Off on Finishing Up with Pumpkins

Finishing Up with Pumpkins

We have finally finished up our lessons with pumpkins. Over the years I have found that pumpkins are great for learning about a plant’s life cycle and plant parts. There are so many uses for pumpkin and lessons can go in many directions. It all depends on interest and taking hold of opportunities.

This year there has been a lot of prior discussions on recycling, composting, and rotting. Now I know what a wonderful mess a Jack-O-Lantern turns into, but most children do not see theirs once Halloween is done. Our garden pumpkins were not great this year, but definitely good enough to do a bit of exploring with.

To top our lessons off I found this new book while on my lesson search. It was a perfect fit with it’s wonderful real photos and scientific information. For me this book was a non-fiction find, even though it’s story is told in 15 voices. These voices added to our discussions and knowledge gained.

Here’s the cover of this new book. Can you see why I knew it would catch the children’s attention from the start?

rotten

November 6, 2013
by countryfun
Comments Off on Exploring Pumpkins Online

Exploring Pumpkins Online

As part of our exploration of the pumpkin it was important to understand it’s life cycle. I have the paper sequence cards, the color sheets, etc., but I really like using youtube resources to support this type of lesson. The children are engaged observing, listening and questioning. They see all the stages in a short time period and can relate these to what was observed from our backyard garden.

Our first video is about the life cycle and shown for open discussion within the group. This one was chosen because it wasn’t about “Jack-o-lanterns”, but just the pumpkin.

The next video again shows the life cycle. There is a song accompanying the slides which involves the children in a totally different manner. We use a lot of singing to reinforce what we are learning. Music and children just go together.

By using these different videos, exploration of real pumpkins, books and paper activities we have a pretty solid understanding of a living items life cycle and needs for growth.

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