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  • Melanie Patric

Fine Motor Skills, A Rainbow of Flowers, and the Wet, Wet Outdoors...

This morning was perfect for practicing our fine motor skills. After our morning routine, we practiced putting toothpicks into the tiny holes in the top of a parmesan cheese shaker. The littles adored doing this, and it was a wonderful opportunity for them to practice taking turns as well.

The game was fast-paced enough that they didn't get frustrated while waiting for their turns and was engaging enough that we went through about 150 toothpicks before the novelty of the game wore off! I love the fact that we were able to use household items in interesting ways.

After our toothpick activity, we had about 15 minutes of free play, then we read the story That's What Leprechauns Do and we talked about the words "mischief" and "duties." In the story, the leprechauns make mischief on their way to do their duty of putting the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

From there, we worked on a science experiment in hopes of making our own rainbow with flowers. First, we checked in on all the seeds and bulbs we've been planting. Much to our surprise, the bulbs have already sent lots of roots out!

We reviewed what the roots are for- they act as "underground water pipes" for plants and suck water into the plant for the stem, leaves, and flowers. After that, we looked at some white carnations. We identifited the stem, leaves, and flower. I asked the kids if they thought we could change the color of the flower by putting the flower in colored water, and they thought we could. When I asked them why, they said it would work because "the stem is like a big straw and the

flower will drink up the water." That's the right idea!

When we finished looking at the flowers it was time to add some food coloring to the water. We only had red, yellow, green, and blue, so we talked a bit about what colors we'd have to mix to get orange and purple.

The children carefully squeezed food coloring into each jar and placed one flower into the water.

Drop by drop, we created a rainbow of colorful water!

We'll have to play the waiting game while the flowers slowly, slowly drink up the colored water, so we'll check on them tomorrow.

In the meantime, we put on our best combination of rain and winter gear and headed out for a splashingly good time in the back yard.

It was interesting to feel the dead grass and the cold snow runoff...

Walking through the slush and snow was like a natural obstacle course!

Some of us found interesting objects to play pretend with. The big kids made a pretend bonfire and asked everyone to come and warm themselves by the fire and then they made a pretend pie.

Splashing through the icy puddles was lots of fun, too, especially with a friend!

Later in the day, we looked at a touch-and-feel book about spring and read I Am a Bunny by Richard Scarry. It's a nice picture book for talking about the changing seasons and has fun, bright, realistic images to talk about with the children.

All in all, it was a fun day and I can't wait to share our lovely rainbow flowers tomorrow! See you then.

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