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  • Melanie Patric

Favorite Flowers, Mud Kitchen, and Puzzling it Out...

As the children trickled in after breakfast, we started our day working on a large jigsaw puzzle.

We worked on sorting the pieces into groups by color and texture or by what small pictures they had. Some pieces had tiny purple flowers; those pieces all went in one pile. Another group had the chestnut color of the horses pictured. Those went in another pile. Sorting and figuring out where puzzle pieces go is a wonderful early math activity. It helps children develop their ability to percieve patterns and shapes, think logically, sort, and develops their spatial awareness. It's great for fine motor skills, too. Once everyone had a chance to sort and help put together parts of the puzzle, we moved on to our morning routine.

We did our calendar, weather, and circle time routine as usual. Our circle time focused on the busy buzzing bees that are visiting the flowers this time of year. The children always laugh and get lots of great practice making the "zzz" and "mmm" sounds as we recite the following:

Zum, zum, zum!

Listen to the bee's song

Hum, hum, hum!

The big bees zum

And the little bees hum!

Zum, zum, zum, zum,

Hum, hum, hum!

What do you suppose?

A bee sat on my nose!

And then what do you think?

He gave me a wink.

He said "I beg your pardon,

I thought you were the garden!"

After circle time, we went outside to look at our own flower garden. Each of us took time to look at the different sizes, shapes, and colors of flowers and leaves. Some leaves are purple; others are green. Some flowers are tiny, some are quite large! Some smell nice, some... not so much. Each child got to pick her favorite flower and say or show why she liked it.

After our tour of the flower garden, we checked the vegetable plants for ripe veggies. We found a few cucumbers that were ready to be picked. So many more are coming! The children took turns holding the prickly cucumber. They were all surprised that the cucumber was so picky and thought it would be fun to try slices of one of the cukes for lunch.

After taking care of the vegetables, the children moved on to the mud kitchen. We did some math work as we figured out how many different ways we could divide five "treasures." We made groups of four and one, groups of two and three, two groups of one and one group of three and so on. It was a fun, hands-on way to explore math!

After the math lesson, the children had fun making custom meals of "noodles," "cupcakes," "doughnuts," and more in the mud kitchen and sandbox.

By the end of the day, the whole jigsaw puzzle was put together and after admiring our work, we took it all apart to assemble again another day.

See you on Monday!

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