an early education learning space ~ where play equals learning

January 30, 2013
by countryfun

Snowflakes A Plenty

I love making snowflakes. Have always loved making snowflakes, but it’s not always the easiest project to do with young children with beginning scissor skills. It isn’t always easy with older children that see lacy, involved snowflakes in their mind, but cutting the design is not feasible. Then you have all that paper – scraps, waste? – newspapers or magazine just don’t work the same as white paper. But making snowflakes is part of the experiences we want for our children right? For me the answer is yes.

Here’s where technology has come in handy this year. I found a sight that allows one to design snowflakes for free with the click of a mouse ~ SnowDays – It’s Always Snowing. Now there are other sites online, but this one worked the best for us. Even my 2 yr old enjoyed. I handled the mouse click and she moved my hand where she wanted. She not only had fun controlling my hand, but the excitement as she saw what was developing. I just kept seeing a smile and hearing “Pretty!”

We all made multiple snowflakes, watched many fall, checked out where others that were made were from and even went on a snowflake search.

Don’t worry we gets lots of scissor time here. Making snowflakes is not about scissor time, but that finished lacy snowflake.


January 8, 2013
by countryfun

The Mitten is The Mitten or is It?

As part of our science and math learning during this snowy month of January we compared 2 versions of the folktale – The Mitten (original inspiration: Golden Gang Kindergarten). We then made a Venn Diagram of these 2 books: The Mitten by Alvin Tresselt  and the one we already knew by Jan Brett  ~ The children discussed their observations about what was the same and different between these 2 stories. I wrote their observations onto our large white board, placing into the correct sections, as guided by the kids.  

During rest-time, I used to find creative commons photos of the characters in each version to make a visual version of our Venn Diagram for The Mitten.

You may notice a part of the Venn Diagram is missing – I left that out for the children to draw in themselves as part of understanding how a Venn Diagram works.

January 11, 2012
by countryfun

More Snow…at least indoors

Our lessons around that wonderful white stuff that we usually have plenty of by now continues. It’s great these kids have imaginations and memories of snow in years past. This is one of my favorite lesson units – there are just so many activities and wonderful books around snowmen.

We’ve been doing a lot of talking about what happens to snow when the sun is out and it warms up. In looking for an activity that included that I came across a cute, simple sequencing sheet from Today in First Grade.  When I saw it I knew I could pair it with a couple of other simple activities I had seen from Frugal Family Fun and Family Fun to have a perfect project for this group.


Before we put our books together we did a sequencing activity with the pages. This group totally understands that a snowman melts when it gets warmer outside.

July 27, 2011
by countryfun
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Homemade Bubble Wands

With everyone here today it seemed like a good day to get out the beads and wire to make our own homemade bubble wands. The original idea was seem at Kleas and looked like a great activity for my group.

Making Bubble Wands from countryfun on Vimeo.

This motor skill activity was really good for the youngest and the help provided by the older kids was great to see. The youngest all made wands with larger circles that were slightly bent for use in a pan.

The older kids all chose to make dipping wands with small heads.

All made and now it’s time to play…..

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Really Really Good Homemade Bubble Recipe:
3 cups of water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup dish soap (transparent/clear soap works best)

Mix water and corn syrup until blended. Slowly stir in soap. This will last several weeks in an air tight container.

June 22, 2011
by countryfun

5 A Day Books

Another new blog for me The Imagination Tree had a post which really caught my attention. It was about an approach to literacy development which I can totally agree with. Now I haven’t heard of the specialists she mentioned and couldn’t inter-library loan a copy of their book, but they are from the UK, so I’ll be investigating further. I want to read more directly from them to learn even more about their whole outlook on literacy.

The post really focused on one aspect – repetitive reading of simple books/stories to young readers. Over my years in early education I have often found myself reading and rereading books to children. They love it. I have also told parents about my thought of the value of doing this, especially when their children are requesting that same book over and over.

The post offers a challenge around this approach – 5 a day Books. 5 a day books You choose 5 books to read over the week, reading each book, each day. We are going to join in this challenge beginning June 28th and see what fun we can have. I will be listing our books, info on them, possibly responses from the children and maybe some general observations from that teacher point of view/observation. I think it will be a fun and enriching way to share our summer books.

June 21, 2011
by countryfun

Snappy Visited

A surprise visit led to a simple fun biology lesson as lunch was finishing. Our neighbor was surprised as a common snapping turtle crawled out from under his porch and bite his dog. He decided to remove it to a better habitat just down the street and stopped here first to share it with all of us. We were able to see how it moved it’s body to protect itself. How it acted dead if it was on it’s back. We saw how long it’s head and neck was and why it’s called a snapping turtle.2011-06-21_1412



January 6, 2011
by countryfun

A Fire Truck – Virtual Fieldtrip


I enjoy talking about fire safety at this time of year. With all the woodstove usage in our area I think it is a very good time to be teaching about fire safety. The following virtual scavenger hunt was designed to take our safety lesson a little further into understanding what the job of a fire fighter entails and just how special fire trucks are. We have done this during preschool time, but thought you might also enjoy hunting together at  home.

Fire Trucks
Use the underlined links to find the answers to the questions.
1. What do firefighters do to get ready between fires?
2. What is a firefighter’s bunker gear?
3. What do you see and hear when a fire truck goes to a fire?
4. What colors are fire trucks?
5. Sometimes firetrucks can not reach a fire. They call other help. What’s the job of a fireboat?
6. What’s the same and different about houses and fire stations?
7. How do fire fighters get safely to a fire?
8. How do firefighters fight a fire as a team?


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