Facts, watercolor painting, and pretend...
Remember a while back when I mentioned that by Friday, the children are ready for a break in the routine? Today was no exception- after circle time, the children snuggled right in for a long look at a book of facts put out by National Geographic.
This fun book engages the children on many levels- there are names to be learned by the littles, simple concepts for the preschool set, and more in-depth answers for the bigger ones.
The colorful photos are fun to look at and the pages of facts framed in Q & A format are framed by silly "mashup" images that are designed to have children pick out what's out of place. This type of activity is wonderful for building verbal skills as I ask the children to tell me why a particular image is wrong or silly. We spent nearly an hour and a half looking at the book, and when we were done I could hardly believe the time!
We worked on learning a famous song by Carol Johnson called "Love Grows One By One." It seems particularly suited to Valentine's Day and celebrating the power of love and it has simple hand gestures that accompany the chorus. The children really liked it!
Next we started on some Valentine's artwork. We did wet-on-wet watercolor painting with two different reds and ultramarine blue. The colors mixed beautifully to give us interesting shades of red and violet. It was fun to watch the red and blue mix to make purple!
The littles in particular enjoyed painting- the colors were vivid and easy to lay on... but hard to resist touching with hands. We'll be using these lovely colored papers for a project next week... it's a Valentine's surprise! Shhhhh!
We moved on to some pretend play with the farm animals and some dolls. I had to give minimal guidance as I set up a barn, a fence, and a blue silk for a pond. The children did the rest themselves by creating animal and doll families and playing out scenarios. I interjected every so often with some love-minded scenarios- having a mommy horse put a baby horse to bed by singing it a lullabye and having a mommy dog bring her baby dog to where the dog food was. We talked a little bit about how our families show us love as we played. At the top of the list was "playing with me" and "giving me lots of hugs... and kisses too."
Later in the day, we read some more books about different kinds of love- parental love in I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rosetti-Shustack and Caroline Jayne Church, friend love in The More We Get Together by Caroline Jayne Church, and sibling love in Mercer Mayer's Me Too!.
It was a relaxed Friday, but that's just what the doctor ordered!
See you next week!