COUNTRY FUN

~ early education care ~ where our play supports our learning

December 12, 2017
by countryfun
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Adapting a Tree Activity

For multiple reasons, I do not go all Santa for activities in Dec. A main reason is not everyone I’ve had in care over the years celebrated Santa. So in years past, I started looking for alternative lesson options. There are many out there. With this current group where abilities and developmental levels are very diverse, I figured that my evergreen tree lessons would work well. All families here this year have Christmas trees, so that also ties in well.

Evergreens are present in our yard, so it’s easy to get natural lessons in from a point of reference. You’ll see posts of some of our activities on Facebook, or specific to each child in their Seesaw portfolios. I’ve chosen to post on this activity here, because I wanted to explain how I adapt one lesson to meet a range of needs.

This lesson started with a large square sheet of paper that I purposely cut to make a large solid triangle. With a square find the mid-point on one side. Cut from that point to a corner on the opposite side. Cut from the mid-point to the other opposite corner.

You can fold, trace a line or I use my paper cutter.

The 2 cut off sections when glued together also make a large triangle.

It’s appropriate for the preschool age here to be working on scissor and tracing skills. Using the largest triangle and a wide ruler they can trace straight lines across the triangle. The initial direction was given about how to trace the lines and then to cut as close to the lines as possible. They will follow these lines for cutting practice.

While doing that the toddler was busy gluing the back of the 2 cut sections. I glued them in place. Then I provided a sheet of colorful dots (circles) for working fine motor and eye-hand coordination. We also had some crossing the midline because of working on the floor and reaching over to place the dots.

Once the oldest completed cutting along the lines, it was time to step into the next part of the lesson – size sequencing. Directions: lay out the cut sections largest to smallest. Once that was done the gluing began. Glue the pieces onto a larger sheet of paper to reform the triangle. Some children have to glue up tight, others will leave space. Here you can see the cut lines because a bit of space was left between each section.  Also got the colored dots.

When the intended lesson was done, as the interest was still present, I provided some additional star stickers. Always looking for ways to extend an activity as directed by the children.

All working in the same space with the same basic supplies. Each ended up with a decorated triangle tree that worked skills appropriate to their developmental level and needs.

 

 

November 25, 2014
by countryfun
Comments Off on Turkey Time

Turkey Time

With Thanksgiving this week it was time to connect the books we’ve been reading and discussions about why our families are celebrating Thanksgiving. What better than a turkey made with hand and foot prints.

In this activity the feathers will be formed by 3 handprints on a half paper plate (quick lesson point on whole and half). Easy to do with the 3 colors of red/orange/yellow (another quick lesson on 2 primary colors and the color you get when they blend). The body will be a traced foot. The legs accordion folding (good for directions and fine motor).

I started with 3 recycled cookie tin covers that each had 1 color. One color in front of each child and their paper plate half.

Directions- Gently place your hand into the paint, moving around to get paint on all your fingers. On the count of 3 lift your hand out and place on your plate wherever you want that color.

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Nice project for working on following directions, counting sequence, and tactile comfort.

Time to wash up those hands, as we will rotate the color tins for the next handprint.

As we are heading to the sink the power cuts off. On a private well that means limited water in the lines, so how are we going to wash up after each color?

Solution: 1 bowl with a little water to swish in and then towel remaining color off. Nothing wrong with having to adapt and flex in a project – just another lesson point for the children.IMG_1905

We proceeded to rotate the color tins and print our hands.

IMG_1903 IMG_1906Interesting that this time the children kept using the same hand. Not sure if this was because we washed after each color or if they figured out how to keep 1 hand clean.

Set aside plate to dry and time to move, so we can trace a foot.

IMG_1907 Option to cut themselves or have me cut.

Discussion on what a turkey face looked like from stories read.

IMG_1908 Almost done.

Time for more direction following practice with accordion folding 2 orange paper strips. Needed to remind them to flip back and forth, not wrap around. As they got comfortable they hurried and that’s when I’d see a wrap around.

Opening an accordion fold always brings smiles, sense of accomplishment/success. IMG_1910

Last step to glue our turkey bodies in place.

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Successful project from the process/learning side and a fun product the children were excited to take home.

Power still off, so time for a final hand cleaning with liquid hand sanitizer before head off to play.

October 31, 2013
by countryfun
Comments Off on Sensory Play – First Exploration of Cracked Corn

Sensory Play – First Exploration of Cracked Corn

I love cracked corn for sensory tub play. With Fall here and bird feeders back up it was the perfect time to fill the sensory tub up with cracked corn. (If you haven’t played in cracked corn the softness experienced is a surprise.)

Playing in a sensory tub allows for so much learning that is child directed. Their imagination (brain) is engaged as they explore.

Fine/Gross motor skills:
Muscles are used without thought as they dig, pour, pinch, hold….

Cognitive development:
science concepts
make predictions
understanding about the world around them
problem-solving
reasoning

Language development:
words that describe sensations and actions
question what they think about what is happening
social communication

Here’s a look at a recent first experience in the cracked corn. cheese! Before getting into the exploration need to get the camera greeting out of the way. Love how I always get a “Cheese!” whenever the camera comes out from L. Even if she is nowhere near the camera/photo being taken I hear “Cheese”.

Exploring alone is fun, but it’s interesting how it changes when a slightly older friend who has enjoyed this experience before arrives and joins in.

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