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

Friday, February 27, 2015

Play Based Learning

Allowing the kids to play is a good way for them to learn basics.  We got out the playdough and instead of organizing activities with it, I just let them play.  I did, however, try to reinforce one rule: "If you would like to borrow someone elses tool, you must ask politely."   The kids learn manners just by playing.  
  They get imaginative, too.  
Before long, there were nice words exchanged about trading tools.
There was a low hum of busy voices as they all played and shared what they were creating with each other.  Kids need to be able to just play, and as I have said before, I am guilty of often just planning too much for them to do.  I think that part of the reason that I do that is because I love the way a busy day helps time fly by.  My preschool day is a long one, often 10-11 hours.  Free days can be really hard for me because I get restless.  It's because these kids are SO WELL BEHAVED all of the time that they need very little mediation from me.  I am really blessed by that.   Sometimes I can pass time by getting out a magazine or picking through the curriculum. 
He created a ring.  My camera flashed his eyes, oops!
This guy stood all of his tools up in the playdough pile and asked me to take a photo. 
Today I have written in the curriculum to have a movie day for all of the kids who have been working so hard!  It's a good thing, too.  My baby is home sick with a fever today and is needing me quite a bit.  Thank you God that I can work from home.  
♥♥♥Happy Friday!♥♥♥

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pete The Cat

We all love Pete The Cat.  
I'm not sure when these were originally published and I'm too lazy this morning to get up and find out.  (WOW!)  Pete The cat is relatively new to me, and when I realized how engaged the kids are when we read these books, I purchased every one of them I could find.  They love the four groovy buttons story the most.  When the buttons pop off, Pete doesn't cry, because he's groovy.  In the end, all he has left is his belly button, and the kids find this so funny!  None of them realize that cats do not have belly buttons.  
I cut out these pieces ahead of time.  I thought it would be fun to create a puppet, so we used some paper plates because they are more sturdy than construction paper.
A blue handprint created the cat body.
They were patient.
The kids completed Pete The Cat and immediately wanted to play with them.
I love this!!
They are all gone this morning.  I'm glad the kids take an interest in what they have created. 
Now, if I could get my hands on one of those Roomba vacuums, maybe I wouldn't have to sweep the floor a million times each day!  Adam and I were chatting one day about which chore we would do away with forever if it meant it would be automatically done.  My choice was easy- the floor would be swept and mopped all of the time.  He chose lawn mowing.  How about YOU?  What would you choose?
♥♥♥Happy Thursday!♥♥♥

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Garden Science

Who knew the kids would enjoy carrying a cup of dirt around so much?  
Last Fall, I dug up quite a few tulip bulbs to let them rest.  I re-planted several, and there were so many left over that I just left them in a box in the garage.  I noticed they are sprouting, so I thought we should try to plant some in cups.  The kids will enjoy watching them and eventually taking them home.
I labeled the cups with names.  I prefer to use clear cups so we can look for roots.
Out we went, to take a look at the bulbs.
We looked at some tulip greens that are already sprouting up in the garden.
The kids really enjoyed scooping dirt out of the veggie garden.  
I should let them play with the shovel in the garden more often in the winter.  
Some of us were worried about the worms.  I usually remind them that worms are the gardens little helpers.  Without worms, the roots of all of the plants wouldn't get enough oxygen.
They each chose two bulbs to plant in their cups.
They set them in the dirt.
When everyone had chosen their bulbs, we went back to the garden.
We added more dirt to "tuck them in". 
The kids became instant parents.  The care and concern about these little plant fellas was pretty evident.  They checked on their little plants every couple of minutes to see if they were growing yet.
We placed the cups in the little tray and moved that to the garden.  We have had so many plants knocked over in the spot where we had them in the photo above.
I hope they will flower, but I'm not sure that they will.  Gardening is my favorite kind of science.
 Inside, we got out the small chalkboards to practice writing our names.
 The kids did it on their own.  Without tracing, this time!
♥♥♥Happy Wednesday!♥♥♥

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"Our" Ducks Followed Us Home!

Look what happened this morning!  We were heading down the hill from the bus stop in the park, and our friendly ducks appeared.  I wondered if they were the two ducks who usually visit us at the house, because they ran right up to us. We just paused , said hello, and then marched along the path on our way back to the house.  We heard some quacking coming from behind us.  The ducks were following us home!!
Well, ok!  I called out to them the way that I usually do, "Come on, duck ducks!"  They waddled along.  Girl duck led the way, and boy duck followed her.  (I really had my ducks in a row this time!)
They didn't stop at all, and eventually came right over to the path to follow us all the way.
 I took a quick video.  Not sure if it will upload correctly, it was playing sideways on the computer.
Adam is working at home today and I called him to see if he would put some bread outside for us.  The kids fed the ducks.  "Our " ducks.
I'm glad they recognized us!
Here they were last Spring.  They had a friend with them.  They were pretty bossy and came right up to the back door for some bread.  I love them!
They just ate the bread and quacked about it the whole time.  The crows gathered on the power lines above to clean up any leftovers. Look at our horrible driveway. (Sigh.) Some year, when we get rich, we will pour a new one.
Saying goodbye to the ducks.  They waddled across the street.
Yesterday we worked on a simple project.  Ll is for lacing.
I taped the end of the yarn for smooth lacing.
They each colored a plate and laced the yarn around it's edge.
The finished project!
Out we went, into the sunshine.  It's been beautiful! (I'm still cold, though.)  The Wisteria looks nice after it's pruning several weeks ago. 
♥♥♥Happy Tuesday!♥♥♥