Thursday, May 22, 2014

weather pick play

Back in the fall I was totally inspired by Twodaloo's  Fall Fine Motor Activity. I immediately made a set of Fall picks and the kiddos have been happily sticking things into foam ever since. These weather picks were made from a sticker set found at the dollar store and punched paper clouds using this cloud punch (the x-large isn't all that large). The stickers were stuck back-to-back and the clouds were glued to the picks (I used these picks with a flat top). The foam is a hard foam ball cut in half. The items were set up on a piece of shelf liner cut into a cloud shape. These were a hit!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

a little light table fun with Crystal Connectors and Constructive Playthings

Not long ago I was approached by Constructive Playthings to do a product review and I of course agreed. Being able to peruse their lovely catalog of developmental playthings, making a list, and sending it off  was a lot like writing a list for Santa. Each and every item on my wish list is something I think would benefit any child-full exploration time. I wasn't certain which I would get but I wasn't picky. When it was revealed I would receive a box of Crystal Connectors, I may have danced a wee jig as I do love an open ended building toy almost more than my kiddos do.

Back in April, before we got our own light table in the preschool room, I was able to borrow one from our Jr. K. I was very excited to see what the children would do with it and even more excited to add a little pizazz via Crystal Connectors as they are made of a sheer acrylic, perfect for light table play.
I plugged in our table and arranged a small portion (the box comes with a whopping 300 pieces) of the connectors on top and waited to see what would happen.
There were a lot of "ooohs" and "aaahs" as the children scurried to the light table to investigate. I teach threes and they are really into asking a lot of questions. "What are these?" "How you do it?" "I did it!" "I made green!" and "It's a flower!" were just a few of the exclamations flying around the room.
The children began by connecting a piece into each crevice on a large piece which resulted in the above mentioned flower. From there they began planning the colors they wanted to use, some using all of the same colors, some using one color for the center and another for each outer part. There was even a fair amount of patterning going on!
They built dragons that looked like dragons! They made a garden. They used the smaller pieces as magic coins to buy fairy food, and they stacked them up as tall as they could.
We talk a lot about color mixing and rainbows and one of the children discovered that she could mix the colors and make a rainbow. Which she did. It was all so really fun and cool.
The one thing I found was that while I was really excited about the light table and the connectors, the children were more excited about the connectors and I would often find the whole pile of connectors on the carpet amongst a wee pile of children building and planning their newest design whether it was a space ship or my favorite, a bicycle with no pedals.

My mind is swirling with all the fun developmental ways you can implement Crystal Connectors into your day. From math and engineering, to art (a few connectors ended up in our stamp pads and our play dough) and dramatic play, I think Crystal Connectors are a fantastic investment for your classroom and/or your family!

Thank you to Constructive Playthings for the opportunity to play with something new, the preschoolers at our school had a grand time! You can visit Constructive Playthings via their website and their Facebook page, have fun!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

playing catch up!

I know that this blog has turned into a preschool blog of sorts and I do hope you stick with me as everything we do in the classroom can be done at home as well whether you have one kiddo, two kiddos, or a party full of kiddos. That said, I was trying to write out our classroom shenanigans in the order we did them but the end of the school year is fast approaching and I want to get all the summery goodness on here before it is fall so I will be jumping ahead a bit to share with you all the fun we have had in our classroom. Stay tuned!