Storytelling, Coffee Filter Art, and Backyard Fun...
Today was ripe with opportunities for storytelling. After our morning routine, the gray weather caused us to hunker down. At first, we thought reading stories would be a good idea, but then I suggested that we try to tell a story together, and the children loved the idea. We started out by recasting each child as a character in the story and we ended up with two dogs and their owner. Then we decided the story should happen outside and be about Easter. In the end, our story turned out like this:
Two dogs and their owner chased after a butterfly and a bunny they saw. The bunny leaped into a large cave with brown walls that turned out to be made of chocolate. The pals had followed the Easter bunny to his secret chocolate hideout, and before they went home, each dog and the owner got to chose a treat to eat. Soon after leaving the Easter bunny's hideaway, the friends encountered a rolling pumpkin. They followed the pumpkin and it led them to some flashlights. The dogs and their owner grabbed the flashlights and travelled to a corn field where they found a magical scarecrow who came along with them, and the whole group chased the rolling pumpkin until they came to the front door of a house where they went Trick-or-Treating, being sure to say "thank you" for the candy.
What a fun story and what a great way to develop listening skills, comprehension, and verbal skills!
After that, we changed our focus to some process art. We viewed an image of the Earth and I asked the children what they noticed. They quickly responded by naming the colors they saw- blue, green, and white. I asked them if they knew what made the colors and guided them to the conclusion that the green parts were areas made of dirt and rocks and plants, while the blue was water and the white was clouds. I presented the children with coffee filters and green and blue markers so they could make their own rendition of Earth. They enjoyed coloring with the markers, though I had to remind them to color gently because the coffee filters were fragile.
Once the filters were colored in, the children helped me adhere the filters to clear contact paper, and then we sprayed them with some water.
The children and I watched the colors flow together and change as the water dissolved and transported the pigments, then we left the artwork to dry and headed outdoors.
The sun was shining by the time we made it outdoors, and first we checked on the flowers we planted yesterday. It looked like they were doing well and we took turns holding the hose as we gave them a drink of water.
Soon after, the children and I had fun using the bat and balls. For a few minutes, I hit ball for the children to retrieve, and then they took turns practicing at swinging the bat and trying to hit balls.
After that, the children visited the sandbox and had lots of fun digging, making sand pies and cupcakes, and transporting loads of sand with trucks. Besides digging, the littles love to climb in and out of the sandbox, and doing so is great for their gross motor development.
We came back inside and after some thorough handwashing, the children and I enjoyed some lunch. After naps, we took a few minutes to read a book about different types of shoes called My Shoes Take Me Where I Want to Go by Marianne Richmond. It's a lively, colorful book about exploring different styles of shoes and what they are for and has a big emphasis on children using their imagination as they try on the different types of shoes.
See you tomorrow!