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  • Melanie Patric

Making Gardens, Life Cycles and Pretend Sleepovers...

April showers officially arrived as rolls of thunder and flashes of lightning proclaimed to us this morning. The children all seemed a bit apprehensive of the loud thunder as they arrived, so we turned our attention to playing with bouncy balloons. Soon everyone was relaxed, the thunderstorm subsided, and we settled into our usual morning routine of calendar, weather, and circle time. Today's circle time fingerplay was about a bunny and went like this:

Here is a bunny with ears so funny

And here is his hole in the ground.

When a noise he hears, he pricks up his ears,

And jumps into his hole in the ground.

After our morning routine, I brought out the brown play dough we made in the beginning of the week and each child had a chance to use it with an array of faux flowers, faux leaves, and rocks.

Some of the children wanted to make a garden; for the littles, it was more fun to poke, prod, press, and squeeze the play dough.

The older children negotiated and swapped flowers and stones to improve their gardens, and in the end, the children created a very nice group of miniature spring gardens.

After our process art session, we had fun reading some small books about plant and animal life cycles. To begin, we talked about similarities and differences between plants and animals. The children offered up that animals "can move around," "have eyes," "eat bugs," and "drink water." They also said that plants "can't move," "have leaves," "are green," and "drink water, too!" That was good beginning knowledge. From there, we read books about the life cycles of apple trees, pumpkins, butterflies, and frogs. When we talked about what we learned, I helped guide the children toward the conclusion that some plants come from seeds and some animals come from eggs. We thought of some animals that do not come from eggs, but it was much more difficult to think of plants that did not come from seeds. We also looked at the structure of plants and named the roots, the stem/trunk, leaves, flowers, and fruit.

Later in the afternoon, we succumbed to the drowsiness-inducing weather and had a pretend sleepover complete with pillows, blankets, stuffed animals to cuddle and even a few flashlights.

Once everyone was sufficiently comfortable, the big kids and I read How Foxes Grow and The Carrot Seed as the littles played with blocks.

In the afternoon, we had a nice time going outside. We went for a stroll in the neighborhood and then returned to our yard and played with balls. We just may have some budding baseball players- time will tell.

See you tomorrow!

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