1John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Take Them Outside!

We are moving along.  I know that in Kindergarten the kids don't work on the alphabet in order.  In preschool, we do.  Not everyone I have in my preschool group can sing the ABC's yet, so working on preschool letters in order is helpful for this reason.  We DO, however, review the letters out of order.  I want the kids to be able to recognize the letters without use of the song.
We cut up a worksheet to glue onto the paper.  I think the kids are enjoying this.  
It's a great way to further develop those fine motor skills. Just one added step keeps them busy a little bit longer.
We got down to business!  Look how well she is holding her crayon!!  
I liked this particular worksheet because it doesn't ask the kids to draw their own.  I know that can be valuable, but tracing practice is wonderful.  They traced all of those C's.

Something else I am encouraging them to do is to think about the colors they are using when coloring an item.  "What color is a carrot?"  "Can you find an orange crayon?"  We are also working on recognizing the color orange.
Some of the kids are excited to come in and see a new letter on the flannel board.
We are now looking at and counting to three!
Meanwhile, the rain took a break and out they went, to look for falling leaves.   
I am very blessed to have a job that sends me outside quite often.  Did you know that the Department of Early Learning only requires licensed childcare centers to take the kids outside for 30 minutes each day?  Between our bus stop walks and outside times, I think on average we are outside for about two hours every day.  Probably 3 or more, if the weather is nice in the afternoons.  Outside time is very important!!  Not only will the kids begin to enjoy noticing the things around them, but they are more active, less germy and generally more content when they haven't been cooped up all day.
Take them outside!
♥♥♥Happy Tuesday!♥♥♥

Monday, September 29, 2014

Batty About Pumpkins

We created some bats on Friday!  
The kids glued on the pieces, added clouds, eyes and mouths. 
Sometimes cotton balls can be tricky for kids to use because they are so easily glued to finger tips.  This can be so distracting that the kids can't think of anything else until their fingers are clean.  It happens every time.   That's when I have to start the pep talking.  "We will wash when we are all finished!"  "It's ok, a little bit of cotton and glue doesn't hurt us at all."  "Ok, I know... it's really going to be ok."   I usually end up picking cotton off for them so they can focus. 
I think the best part of creating anything with a face is the way the mouths are drawn on by the kids.  They create character.  Above, one is secure, while the other one seems a little worried.
Scared? Sneaky?
Confused? Befuddled? Your guess is as good as mine.  I love all of them.
I went a little pumpkin crazy over the weekend.  The front walkway has some beautiful pumpkins scattered along it now.  It's funny that I got them all at the grocery store, but promised my kids that if they want to wander the pumpkin patch, I will still take them to it.  At the store, someone I hadn't seen in a long time noticed my cart full of pumpkins and wasn't surprised to find that it was me behind it.  Pumpkin and Fall/Halloween obsessed Nicole.  I can't help it.  It's clearly the best and most beautiful time of year!!  
In fact, I had a fun time with Adam and the boys last night at Zombie Paintball in Arlington.  I'm glad it was a groupon deal, and that it wasn't too scary.  It was just right for the boys to enjoy!  (As far as adult groups go, this wouldn't have been worth it.  Not scary or long enough.)  
Hey- I'm looking for new music to download.  What are you enjoying lately?  Please share!
♥♥♥Happy Monday!♥♥♥

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Best Things Are Messy

We had a circle hunt yesterday.  The circles were hidden throughout the house.
This anxious group of kids waited until they were released to go find them.  They LOVE this game! 
We also had a leaf peeper hunt.  I hid two of them since that is the number we are working on. 
This would be a bit more challenging because I decorate with leaves already.  They enjoyed the challenge!
After several rounds, I was ready to move on.  The kids, however, could play this game all day.
It was very rainy outside.  Time to play some dress up!
He found some muscles and was flexing for me.
I love the play time that is a result of dressing up.
Group shot!
Some of the kids weren't in it.
There is always a costume change going on.
The girls particularly enjoy the shoes.
This one was ready to go grocery shopping. Alberston's Preferred Card in hand. :)
This is messy.  The best things usually are.
Pray for us!  Adam and I are taking our boys to wander through a zombie infested forest this weekend and will be defending ourselves via paintballs.  In the dark.  While attempting to hold flashlights.  
♥♥♥Happy Friday!♥♥♥

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fruit Fly Bait & Pumpkin Cookies

It's time to kill fruit flies that are bombarding the kitchen right on cue, once again.  Just pour some apple cider vinegar into a cup, squirt some dish soap into it and add water until there are bubbles on top.  The flies will fly straight to a bubbly death almost instantly.  They get into the bubbles, but cannot get out.  See that ugly kitchen window of ours?  Who know how many years ago, someone put some window tint on it.  
Now it looks like some sort of stained glass gone wrong, right?  Oh well. 
 We created two booklets yesterday.  One was about long things.
The other was about short things.
This was a bit harder for them to grasp.  They clearly understand tall and short, big and little, but for some reason the long and short concepts were harder. 
We worked through it together. :)
They enjoyed "reading" their little books about long and short.
I enjoyed cutting up the worksheet and repurposing it. 
I baked some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  Sweets for the sweets. 
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
1 heaping teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

**The original recipe doesn't call for pumpkin pie spice, but I always add it anyway.**
**I also ALWAYS add more chocolate chips.**

Drop by the spoonful onto a cookie sheet.  Bake for ten minutes at 350 degrees.  These are wonderfully moist, cakey cookies that are crowd pleasers.  Store in between sheets of wax paper, because they will stick together.  They are GREAT when chilled in the fridge, too.
♥♥♥Happy Thursday!♥♥♥

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Name Recognition

Hooray for Autumn!  The rain has returned, but it is still comfortable enough temperature wise for me to keep the doors open for fresh air.  It's one of the first things I do in the early morning.  Open the door to air the house out. It not only feels refreshing, but the air is not stale, and it helps keep germs at bay. 
We are working on recognizing our names!  This helps them to find their cup at snack and meal time, too.  I label the cups every morning with each child's name so they use only that cup all day.   They see their names displayed on cubbies.  We have cards that we get out at group time and when a child sees his or her name, the hand raises at lightning speed and we spell it together.  The goal for me is to have them all writing their name by the time they enroll in kindergarten.  You will probably find a similar blog post year after year about the things we are learning.  These implementations are effective!
This project was a simple one.  They just worked to color the shapes using different colors of oil pastels.
Concentration tongue!
This can be a large job, and no matter how far along the kids got, the art was bold and beautiful.
They were all able to recognize their name on the art wall!
Meanwhile, Smudge followed me around while placing corn stalks along the front walkway.  I need pumpkins to complete the look.
The front flower garden is kind of a wild mess right now!  The mammoth sunflower is hanging it's heavy seed laden head down onto the railing.  
♥♥♥Happy Wednesday!♥♥♥