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  • Melanie Patric

Fingerpainting, Music, and Life Cycles

With another cold and rainy day on our hands, we knew that the best way to beat the blahs was to get creative with an art project, move our bodies to some music, and try to work in some fun learning, too.

We began our day with our regular calendar and weather time. We had lots of fun doing our circle time rhyme about rainy days that goes like this:

Pitter patter raindrops

Falling from the sky,

Here's my umbrella,

Hold it up high!

When the rain is over,

The sun begins to glow,

And all the tiny little seeds

Grow and grow and GROW!

After circle time was over, we talked a little more about our Earth Day celebration tomorrow. We hope the weather is better so we can get outside and pick up some trash, but if it's not, we deicided that we'll go out on another day that is nicer and do our Earth Day work. After our discussion, we looked at a picture of the Earth from space and talked about what we saw in the picture. The children said they saw "blue water" and "green grass." The white clouds were a bit more difficult to guess at- the children thought the clouds were snow. We talked about how our planet is very, very big. I pointed out that the green parts weren't just grass but were all the dirt, rocks, trees, houses and everything that is on the land.

We followed up our discussion with some fun fingerpainting. The children used blue and green to create areas of blue and green on a paper plate.

Fingerpainting is always a fun and intriguing sensory experience for the littles, and they particularly enjoyed the cool, squishy feeling of the paint.

While the paint dried, we had a fantastic time learning the movements to the song "I'm a Little Teapot," as well as singing many classic children's songs.

We also focused on building memory using the song "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly." It's tough to remember all the animals in the song, but the rhyming words are clues to help us remember. The big kids did a particularly wonderful job of singing along to many of the songs. I feel that they have a large repetoire at this point!

After a few minutes of free play time in which the children had fun pretending they were puppies, we sat down to learn a little bit about life cycles. I asked the children if they knew where baby plants came from, and they were able to figure out that they came from seeds. They were less clear about the origins of baby frogs. One ventured a guess that frogs came "from the water." We read a set of four simple books about life cycles to set the record straight, and by the time we were done, the big kids were able to tell me that some animals come from eggs and most plants come from seeds. We read a book about how foxes grow from infancy to independence and talked about how animals with fur or hair come from their mother's bellies and need extra care from their mommies and daddies. We took a few moments at the end of our life cycle discussion to compare and contrast how baby frogs and baby foxes grow.

Later in the afternoon we had a good time playing movement games like follow the leader and Simon Says. These games are also very good for helping kids focus and listen to an adult because they are disarming and fun.

See you tomorrow!

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