Saturday, June 30, 2012

BACKYARD SPORTS

Here are some great backyard sports!

Broomstick Hockey
You will need children's brooms and a rubber ball for this game.  Children hit the ball with the broom and try to get it in a box or designated area.

Bowling
Take several empty liter bottles from water or soft drinks and arrange them in a triangle.  Children stand behind a line and roll a ball, trying to knock down the plastic bottles.  Count how many they knock down.  Let children can take turns rolling the ball and setting up the bottles for each other.
Hint!  Fill the bottles with water if it’s a windy day.

Paddle Ball
To make paddles, place two paper plates together and staple ¾ of the way around.  Insert the hand and use like a paddle.  Roll up a scrap piece of paper to make a ball.

Balloon Tennis
Bend two coat hangers into diamond shapes.  Stretch the legs of panty hose over the diamonds and knot at the end.  Bend up the hook of the hangers and tape it to make handles.  Blow up a balloon and you’re set of a tennis match!

That's the end of my activities for crazy summer days.  You've still got two months to go, so revisit my June blogs whenever you need an idea.  Next month I'll focus on some back to school ideas so you'll be all set when the school bell rings again!  

Friday, June 29, 2012

ADOPT A TREE

Adopt a Tree
Let the children “adopt” a special tree on the playground.  Vote on a name for your tree and then take photos of it in different seasons.  Read stories or sing songs in the shade of your tree.
*Draw pictures of your tree or write descriptions.  (Great for non-fiction writing.)

Counting
Children can count trees, fence posts, balls, bushes, and many other items on the playground.
*Have them estimate how many and then verify their guess by counting.

Snack in a Cone
Serve crackers, pretzels, dry cereal, raisins, or other snacks in a cone.  Children can eat the snack and then eat the cone!  No mess to clean up with this snack!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

RUB A DUB DUB

Pet Rocks
Let each child find a rock that they can hold in their hand.  After cleaning their rocks, let them decorate the rocks with paints, wiggly eyes, yarn hair, etc.  Ask the children to name their pet rocks and make up a story about their rocks.
Rub A Dub Dub
Have children bring their washable dolls to school.  Fill tubs with water and soap, and then have a bathing party.  Add sponges, wash clothes, and squirt bottles.
Adaptations:  Let children wash doll clothes and hang them on a clothesline with spring clothespins.

School
Children sit on a bottom step.  One child is selected to be the “teacher.” The “teacher” takes a small pebble and hides it in one hand behind her back.  The “teacher” holds up both fists in front of the first player.  If the first player correctly selects that fist that holds the pebble then she can move up to the next step.  If she selects the empty hand she stays on the bottom step.  The “teacher” hides the pebble and then the second player gets a turn.  When every child has had a turn the “teacher” starts back with the first player.  The first child to reach the top step is the new “teacher.”
*This game can be played indoors our outdoors.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

CARDBOARD CASTLE AND DREAM SICLE DRINK

Cardboard Castle
An appliance box or other large box can be a "castle" to a child.  Cut out doors and a window with a utility knife.  (An adult will need to do this!)  Let the children decorate with paints, markers, or crayons.
*You can also make a car wash from an appliance box.   Open the box and place on its side so it looks like a tunnel.  Cut the bottom off of a large plastic garbage bag.  Cut up the seam on one side to open the bag.  Cut 2" strips up from the bottom of the bag stopping 3 inches from the top of the bag.  Tape the garbage bag to the top of the box to create the swishers, and then let the children ride their toys through the box.

Dream Sicle Drink
Orange juice
Frozen vanilla yogurt
Blender
Pour 2 cups of orange juice in the blender.  Add several large scoops of the vanilla yogurt.  Blend until smooth.
Adaptations:  Make a "purple cow" by mixing grape juice with the vanilla yogurt.

Geometry
Draw basic geometric shapes (square, triangle, rectangle, oval, rhombus, circle) on 6” cardboard squares.  Pass out the shapes and challenge the children to find something on the playground with a similar shape.
*Divide children into small groups and let them make shapes with their bodies on the grass.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

RAINY DAY BOOK OF IDEAS

What to Do on a Rainy Day
Give each child a sheet of paper and ask them to draw a picture of something fun you can do on a rainy day.  (Children can dictate or write a sentence to go with their picture.)  Put their pages together between construction paper to make a book.

Sidewalk Artists
Children can write, draw pictures, or make hopscotch with chalk on a paved surface.  They can also design roads on which to ride bikes and tricycles.  Challenge them to use their imaginations and create stores, traffic signs, and other symbols on the cement.
K.J. and Uncle Nick decorating the steps.
Monkey Tail Sandwich
You will need:
Hotdog buns
Small bananas
Peanut butter
Spread peanut butter in the hotdog bun and then place the banana on top.
*Omit the peanut butter and use cream cheese if children have allergies.

Monday, June 25, 2012

PINATA PARTY

Directions
Take children outside in the morning.  Point where is the sun coming up with your right hand.  That direction is north.  Point to the opposite direction with your left hand.  That direction is west.  Your face is north and your back is south.  Here’s a song to help you remember!
(Tune:  “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”)
The sun is rising in the east, uh-huh, uh-huh.  (Point with right hand.)
The sun is setting in the west, uh-huh, uh-huh. (Point with left hand.)
My nose is north.  (Point in front of you.)
My tail is south.    (Point behind you.)
And so I turn myself around  (Turn around.)
And the sun keeps rising in the east.
Uh-huh, uh-huh.

Human Sun Dial
Have one child face north at 9:00 in the morning.  Mark where they are standing and draw their shadow with chalk.  Have the child stand in the same spot and record their shadow at various times in the school day.

Pinata
Staple two paper plates together ¾ of the way around with the insides of the plates facing each other.  Decorate the outside of the plates with markers, paints, and paper scraps to look like a clown, sun, bear, etc.  Blue on tissue paper streamers.  Fill the inside with goodies and then staple the rest of the way around.  Punch a hole in the top and tie with string to a long stick.  Blindfold children and let them swing at the moving piñata with a rolled up newspaper.
*You can also make a piñata from grocery sacks.  Double the sacks and fill with goodies.  Fold the top half of the bag over the bottom of a hanger and staple.  Decorate with tissue paper, paints, etc.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

DID YOU FEEL THE LOVE?


We just had the FIRST College of Charleston Early Childhood Summit.  It was soooooo AWESOME!  The teachers who attended were the BEST!  You know that little child who sits in the front of the room and smiles and takes in every word you say?  Well, every teacher and student who attended was that gold star student!!!  I’m so pumped!!!  I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Here are some fantastic ideas that the teachers shared!

Friday Dance (Tarsha Walker)
Come on, everybody let’s take a chance.  (Motion arm “come” as you move from left to right.)
It’s time to do the Friday dance.  (Thumb over shoulder as you dance.)
Clap your hands (clap)
And stomp your feet.  (stomp)
Come and do the Friday dance with me.
It’s Friday!  (Throw arms in the air.)
It’s Friday!  (Throw arms in the air.)
It’s Friday!  (Throw arms in the air.)
YEAH!

Bubbles  (Erin Yarborough)
To help children remember to walk quietly in the hall, tell them to hold a bubble in their mouths.  When you get to your destination they can “pop” their bubbles.

Graduation Program  (MaryBeth Clark)
For graduation at Lambs Elementary they asked their students to bring in crazy glasses and hats (which they turned sideways).  They made microphones out of toilet paper rolls wrapped in tinfoil.  A bright colored letter was printed on each microphone.  The children pranced into the cafeteria looking like “sweet” rappers and singing “Happy Birthday Letters.”

I’m MAD!  (Joan Lee-Ikemoto)
We all thought this idea for diffusing anger was fantastic!
Teacher:  Make an angry, mad face.  (The teacher demonstrates this.)
Child/children respond.
Teacher:  Ball up your fists and squeeze them tight.  (Demonstrate)
Child/children show their fists.  (Fist is a good way to show knuckles, which is on the DIAL 3 Test.)
Teacher sings as she pounds her right fist onto her left palm:
         I’m MAD!!  I’m MAD!
         I’m MAD, MAD, MAD!
         I want
         To be
         So BAD, BAD, BAD!  (Put hands on hips and stomp 3 times.)
         I think I’ll eat a worm for supper!

Peanut Butter (Hedrick Lewis)
While singing the “Peanut Butter” song let the children march and pretend to spread peanut butter on their arms.

Walking Down the Hall (Carin Ragos)
Whatever theme you are working on (bears, butterflies, cars, etc.), invite the children to walk or move that way down the hall.  If they are not quiet or can’t follow directions they have to walk like a “regular person.”

Vowel Song
(Tune:  “BINGO”)
There are some letters I love to say
And vowels are their names “o.”
A, E, I, O, U
A, E, I, O, U
A, E, I, O, U
And vowels are their names O!
*Change the O to “YO’ and use rapper hands.

TIN CAN ICE CREAM

Tin Can Ice Cream
Homemade ice cream mixture
1 lb coffee can with lid
2 lb coffee can with lid
Crushed ice
Rock salt
Tape
Put the homemade ice cream mixture in the 1 lb. can and tape the lid on.  Put the smaller can in the larger can and then pack it layers of ice and salt in between.  Place the top on and tape it securely.  Kick the can around on the playground for 10-15 minutes until the ice cream freezes.
*You can do a similar activity by placing a sandwich bag of the ice cream mixture in a heavy duty gallon bag.  Fill with ice and rock salt and toss.  The ice cream will be runny, but children can poke a hole in the corner and suck it.

Water Painting
Give children plastic containers (margarine tubs, ice cream containers, etc.) filled with water.  Let them use paint brushes to “paint” the playground equipment, trees, toys, etc.

Hiker’s Necklace
Using a hammer and nail, make a hole in the bottom of a film container and in the lid.  (An adult will need to do this.)  Cut a piece of cord or string that can easily go over the child’s head and thread it through the holes.  Decorate with stickers and markers.  Put a band-aid, the child’s name and address, a piece of gum, etc. inside.  These would also be handy to hold money on a field trip.
Hint!  You can still find film containers where they develop pictures.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

RELAYS

Relays
Materials:  none
Divide the children into teams with five or six players on each.  Have the players line up single file behind a line and run one at a time to a designated point and back.  The first player tags the second player, who then runs the distance.  The first team to have all players run is the winner.
*Ball Relays– Have the children pass a ball over their heads and
under their legs.  The last person runs to the front of the line and
continues passing over and under.  When the first person is in his or her original position, their team wins the game.  Relays where children must dribble a ball, kick a ball, or throw a ball into a target can also be played.
*Animal Relays –  Let the children walk like crabs (on backs with
hands and feet), bears (on all fours), birds (flapping arms), monkeys (scratching sides), or elephants (swinging arms like a trunk.)
*Quick Change –  Prepare bags with a shirt, pants, and hat for each
team.  The first player puts the clothes on, runs to a designated point, takes the clothes off, then runs and gives the clothes to the second person.
*Pig Relays - Move the ball with your nose.
*Movements- Have children hop, jump, skip, gallop, walk backwards,
or do other movements.
*Toesie Relay – Have the children take their shoes off, pick up a peanut
with their toes, carry it to a basket, and drop it in.
*Potato Relay – Ask the children to carry a potato in a large spoon
without dropping it.
*Balloon Relay- Have children run with a balloon to a chair, then sit
On the balloon and pop it.

Sandbox Treasures
Hide shells and other small toys in a sandbox and let the children “dig” for treasures.

Tissue Fade
Let children cut or tear tissue paper into 1” pieces.  Arrange the tissue paper on a sheet of white paper and the spray with water.  Dry in the sun and then peel off the tissue paper.

Friday, June 22, 2012

GOOFY GOLF


Read a While
Let children choose a favorite book and take it out on the playground.  Find a shady spot and enjoy reading independently or with a friend.

Goofy Golf
You will need several empty cardboard containers or boxes.   Turn the containers upside down and cut an arch out of the bottom similar to a mouse hole.  Set the containers up on the grass and let the children practice hitting golf balls in the holes.
*You can also make a golf course with hula hoops.
*Use small brooms and tennis balls instead of golf clubs.
Measurement
Give children rulers and let them measure objects on the playground.  “Can you find something 2” long?  Can you find something smaller than an inch?   What’s longer than 5”?   How can you measure the slide?”

Thursday, June 21, 2012

FRUIT KABOBS

Maps
Let children make a map of the playground.  Encourage them to add the climbing equipment, sidewalks, trees, etc.
You can also make pirate maps from crumbled grocery bags.

Fruit Kabob
You will need:
Grapes, strawberries, blueberries
Pineapple chunks or melon cut into bite size pieces
Wooden skewers or toothpicks
Children thread fruit onto toothpicks or skewers and then eat!

Rain Gauge
To make a rain gauge, mark inches on a clear, plastic jar with a permanent marker.  Place the jar in an open area.  Measure and record rainfall. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

FITNESS/LEARNING TRAIL

Fitness/Learning Trail
Get scrap cardboard, a marker, tape, and you’ll be set to make your own fitness trail.  Cut the cardboard into 8” x 10” pieces.  Write different body and brain exercises on each card and tape to different locations on your playground.  For example:
         10 jumping jacks
         say a nursery rhyme
         8 windmills
         count backwards from 20
         12 squats
         name your city, state, and country
         15 sit ups
         name 5 insects
         7 push ups
         sing the ABC’s forwards and then backwards

Foot Painting
Roll out a long sheet of butcher paper on the sidewalk.  Take two pie pans and pour a little paint in each one.  Let one child at a time take off her shoes, step in the paint, and then walk across the paper.

Banana on a Stick
Peel a banana, insert a popsicle stick, place on a cookie sheet and freeze.  It’s a cool snack on a hot day.  Grapes, strawberries, blue berries, and many other types of fruit can also be frozen.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

PANNING FOR GOLD

Panning for Gold
Spray small rocks and pebbles with gold spray paint.  Dry.  Hide in a sandbox or around the playground.

Fruit Juice on a Stick
Fill paper cups with natural fruit juice.  Insert a popsicle stick and freeze until hard.
*You can also make your own yogurt popsicles.

Fly Swatter Painting
Tape a large sheet of butcher paper to a fence.  Put a small amount of paint on a paper plate.  Let children dip a fly swatter in paint and then “swat” it on the paper.
*Let children make bugs out of thumbprints on the paper before using the fly swatters.

Monday, June 18, 2012

BODY BUBBLE PAINTING

Sorting
Ask children to collect different items on the playground.  (This will vary with the season and your habitat.)  Put their objects together in a big pile.  Ask the children to put the objects that are alike together.
*Can they sort them another way?

Body Bubble Painting
Pour a small amount of water in a plastic bowl.  Add a big squirt of detergent and several drops of food coloring.  Beat with an egg beater until the bubbles overflow.  Let the children “paint” their bodies with bubbles and then rinse off in a sprinkler.
*You can also add food coloring to small bottles of bubbles and have children blow them onto a piece of paper.

Animal Picnic
Brainstorm foods that animals eat.  Write their suggestions on the board.  Let children circle the foods that they eat as well.  Offer those foods (carrots, celery, apples, nuts, berries) for snack.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

WINDOW PAINTING AND WHAT'S THAT JIVE?

Window Painting
Squirt shaving cream on windows and let children finger paint.  Hose off with clean water.

Sticky Picture
Cut clear contact paper into small rectangles and give one to each child.  Peel off the back and then let children apply leaves, flowers, and other small objects to the sticky side. 
*Cover with another piece of contact paper and use as a place mat.
What’s That Jive?
(Similar to Red Rover)
Materials:  none
Divide the children into two teams and have them stand in a line facing each other 30 to 40 feet apart.  One team calls for a player from the other team with this chant:
(Child’s name), (child’s name)
What’s that jive?
Come on over
And give me five.
The team calling the chant holds their hands out in front of them 
with their palms up.  The child called proceeds down their line giving each player “five” by slapping their palms.  If the child who is “it” slaps the palms and then slaps under their palms, that child chases “it” back to his or her original team.  If “it” is caught, he or she must return to the opposing team, but if not, the chaser must joint “it’s” team.  The game continues with teams taking turns calling players from the opposite side.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

SPOOKY WALK

Spooky Walk
When it gets dark, grab a flashlight and go on a spooky walk.
Hint!  Cut ovals out of reflective tape and put them on index cards.  Hide the cards in bushes and trees and then hunt for them in the dark.  They’ll look just like animal eyes peeking out at you!

Thermometer
Hang a large outdoor thermometer on your playground.  Before going outside have children predict what the temperature will be.  Read the thermometer when you go outside.
*Keep a monthly graph of the temperature each day.

Driving School
Have a safety lesson about riding toys.  Draw parking spaces and road signs on the pavement with chalk and have the children practice riding their bikes and obeying the signs.  Make a driver’s license with the child’s photo, name, address, and personal attributes.

Friday, June 15, 2012

BOAT BUILDERS

Boat Builders
Let children construct boats from two toilet paper rolls stapled together.  Glue a triangular piece of construction paper to a craft stick and stick it between the rolls to make a sail.  Use a tub of water or plastic pool to float the boats.  (These don't last long, but the children will have fun constructing them.)
*Mold boats from aluminum foil.  How many small toys can their boat hold before it sinks?
*Carve a boat from a bar of Ivory soap.  Glue paper to a toothpick and insert it in the soap to make a sail.  Make a raft from popsicle sticks.  Lay down two sticks.  Glue ten sticks on top of them.  Dry and then decorate with markers.
*Give children recycled materials (trash and scraps) to use to create boats and other things that float.
Life Preserver Sandwich
You will need the following
Bagel
Cream cheese
Blue food coloring
Fish Crackers
Add a few drops of blue food coloring to the cream cheese.  Let the children spread the cream cheese on one half of a bagel.  Decorate with 4

Seriation
Collect sticks of different lengths and have the children put them in order from smallest to largest. 
*They could also seriate leaves, rocks, etc.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

LETTER HOPSCOTCH

Letter Hop Scotch
Draw a hopscotch design with chalk on a paved surface.  Write letters in each section for the children to identify as they hop and play.
*You could also write numerals or words on the hopscotch.

Back Pack
You will need a grocery sack, a small piece of Velcro, and two strips of fabric cut 2” by 24” for this project.  Cut off three sides of the sack half way down.  Fold down the remaining side and secure with Velcro.  To add straps, cut four 2 ½” slits on the back.  Thread the strips of fabric through that and tie the ends in knots.  Let children decorate with markers or crayons.
Cloud Watch
When there are cumulus clouds in the sky, have the children lay on their backs and look for animals and other objects in the sky.
*Let them draw pictures of clouds with white chalk on blue paper.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

TEACHING IN THE DIGITAL AGE - TECHIES AND DINOSAURS!

TEACHING IN THE DIGITAL AGE
By Brian Puerling

Chapter Two
 “Using Photographs and Images to Inspire”

Oh, my goodness!  I haven’t written a book report since high school!  Let’s see if I can remember how to do this!

First, I feel like a kid who just learned to ride her bicycle!  This is a challenge for me, but I want to pat myself on the back for learning something new.  My techie mentor (Vanessa Levin) is an inspiring teacher who is helping me scaffold to a new level.  If you are a dinosaur or a techie, TEACHING IN THE DIGIAL AGE is a great summer adventure.  I’ve even learned how to use the QR scans in the book, which make it come alive.   Here’s your ticket to this amazing journey:

Several years ago I purchased a Kitchen Aide stainless steel mixer with all the bells and whistles.  I put it under the sink and it has sat there for 6 years.  I NEVER used it because it was easier to get out my old hand held mixer.   (I finally gave the Kitchen Aide to a friend last week.)  Why am I telling you this?  Well an iPad or interactive white board or any new tool doesn’t do you any good unless you KNOW how to USE it and you USE it to accomplish something.  Author Brian Puerling wants to help you make the most of the technology tools you have to connect with children…open the door to a new world…reinforce learning…capture children’s interest…and take them into the future.

When I saw the chapter “Using Photographs and Images to Inspire” I thought it would be about using children’s photographs to make books, name cards- etc.  Wrong!  It was about the power and opportunities that are instantaneously available through technology.  (A long time ago we had to go to a place called the library and spend hours looking for photographs.)   Puerling gives examples of how photographs can be used to facilitate conversation, encourage desired behaviors, develop schema, create interest in the world and other communities, and enrich all areas of learning.

My favorite vignette  from the book was a video with four-year-old Eddie.  Eddie’s parents have done an outstanding job TEACHING Eddie how to use the iPad as they capture his interest in learning.  I’m afraid too often parents use technology as a baby sitter rather than a one-on-one learning opportunity.

Now, here’s the grandmother teacher in me coming out.  As wonderful and powerful as technology can be, don’t forget to turn it off and sing a song and do a finger play.  Ask children to close their eyes and make pictures in their brains as you read a story.  Imagination is the greatest tool of all!

And, here are a few hands on activities that popped in my head as I read the chapter!

Swiper
Have children hold up their index finger.  Explain that is the finger they use on the iPad to swipe.  It’s called “Swiper.”  Put your index finger behind your back and begin singing the song below to the tune of “Where Is Thumbkin?”

Where is Swiper?  
Where is Swiper?  (Children repeat each line.)
Here I am.             (Bring index finger in front of you and wiggle.)
Here I am.
Ready to swipe.      (Move finger as if swiping.)
Ready to swipe.
Yes, I can!             (Shake finger as if saying, “yes.”)
Yes, I can!
SWOOOSH!  (Make a sound as you move your finger in the air.)

*Let children draw a face on a dot sticker and attach it to their fingernail.

iPads for All
Each child in your classroom can have her own iPad with this project.  Place your iPad on the copy machine and make a color copy.  Glue the photo to the inside of a pocket folder.  Children can practice identifying letters, typing their names, spelling words, etc.

Singing Books
Use children’s photographs to increase print connections and create interest in letters and sounds.

Welcome to Our Room
(Tune:  “Good Night, Ladies”)
Hello, Jason!
Hello, Jason!
Hello, Jason!
We’re glad you’re in our room.

The Alphabet in My Mouth
(Tune:  “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”)
I’ve got A /a/ /a/ in my mouth.
I’ve got A /a/ /a/ in my mouth.
I’ve got A /a/ /a/ in my mouth,
And I can read.

Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver and the other is gold.
Brian Puerling’s technology teaches something new,
But Dr. Jean has an old song for you, too!

Matt from Look at My Happy Rainbow (  http://lookatmyhappyrainbow.com/) will be the tour guide next week as we visit Chapter 3 “Rethinking Projectors.”

We hope you’ll share your ideas and comments by linking up!




Tuesday, June 12, 2012

DIRTY FUN!

Mud Pies
(Not edible, but definitely great fun!)
4 cups dirt
1 cup flour
Mix the dirt and flour with water until it molds and sticks together.  Shape into cookies, pies, birds nests, and other shapes.  Dry in the sun.

Mud Painting
You’ll need plastic containers, old paint brushes, paper, and some mud for this art project.  Collect samples of dirt from several different areas in the plastic containers.  Compare samples.  Stir in water and paint with brushes or fingers.
Hot Potato
Materials:  ball, whistle
Children stand in a circle and pass around the ball (hot potato).  When you blow the whistle, the child holding the ball must leave the circle.  The game is played until there is just one child left standing.
*This game can be adapted easily to play inside.  Have the children sit in a circle and pass a beanbag while you play music.  When the music stops, the one holding the beanbag is out of the game.

Monday, June 11, 2012

DAD-O'S DAY IS COMING!

Father’s day is this Sunday so here are some ideas to remember dad.
He’s My Dad – 3rd Sunday in June
(Tune:  “Day-O” – Happy Everything CD)
Dad-o, dad-o, he’s my dad and I love him so.    (Point thumbs to chest
Dad-o, dado, he’s my dad and I love him so.     as if proud.)
Works all day and he comes home tired,         (Bend over as if tired.)
He’s my dad and I love him so.
Still plays with me in the yard.                       (Pretend to throw a ball.)
He’s my dad and I love him so.

Dad-o, dad-o, he’s my dad and I love him so     (Point thumbs to chest.)
Dad-o, dad-o, he’s my dad and I love him so.
He reads to me and we laugh and play.             (Hold up palms like a book.)
He’s my dad and I love him so.
Helps me do my best each day.                        (Shake head “yes.”)
He’s my dad and I love him so.

Dad-o, dad-o, he’s my dad and I love him so.
Dad-o, dad-o, he’s my dad and I love him so.

Shirt and Tie Card
Fold a sheet of paper in half.  Cut in several inches from each end about 1” down from the fold as shown.  Bend each corner down to look like the collar of a shirt.  Add buttons, a tie, and a special message inside.

Belt or Key Rack
You will need scraps of wood (2x4x10 works well), nails, and hammers for this project.  Let children decorate the wood with paints or markers.  Next, let them hammer 4 or 5 nails in the wood.  Attach a hanger to the back. 

Tie Holder
Let children cover a cardboard roller from paper towels with masculine wrapping paper.  Insert a 24” piece of string and knot the ends so it can be hung from a nail to hold ties.

Note!  This is a great opportunity to talk about different kinds of families.  Some children may not have a father living with them, so those children can make a gift for a grandfather, uncle, or other special friend.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

DISCOVERY WALK

Discovery Walks
Go on a walk and have children touch various objects.  “How does it feel?”
Have them close their eyes and try to identify objects by their sense of touch.
*Take a listening walk where children close their eyes and try to identify different sounds in the environment.

Number Hunt
Take several lunch sacks and write different numerals on each one.  Give each child a bag and challenge them to find a set and put it in the bag.  Let children share what they have found with their friends.  Have children return the objects to where they found them.
Hint!  This can also be done with a partner or in small groups.

Food Color Dip
Fill several small cups half way with water.  Add 10 drops of food coloring to each cup.  Let the children fold a paper towel into a small square.  Dip each corner in a different color.  Open and dry.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

TENT ARCHITECTS

Tent Architects
Provide children with old blankets, table clothes, sheets, or bedspreads and let them use their imaginations.
*Drape a blanket over a card table or picnic table for a simple tent for younger children.
*Pin one end of a blanket to the railing of a deck or porch.  Pull out the opposite end and secure at an angle with bricks or rocks.  This is a "cool" place for a game or nap from the summer sun.

Board Games
Why not play tic-tac-toe, checkers, Candy Land or other games outside under a tent or a shady tree?

Nature Rubbings
Let children collect objects with different textures on the playground.  Remove the paper from several crayons.  Place paper over the objects and then rub gently with the side of the crayon.

Friday, June 8, 2012

BUBBLE CUPS

Bubble Cups
Cups
Straws
Liquid dish detergent
Fill the cup half way with water.  Squirt in some dish detergent.  Give children a straw and tell them to BLOW!  (If you'll put a pin prick at the top of the straw, it's less likely that they'll suck up soapy water.  I also have children practice blowing on their hand with the straw before we begin so they'll get the idea.)  The bubbles will spill over the cup and are fun to pat on arms, legs, etc.  It's great to run through the sprinkler after you "paint" your body with bubbles.
Adaptations:  Add a drop of food coloring to the solution to make colored bubbles.
Give children a pan of water and an egg  beater.  (Most children have never seen one of these before except in books!)  Add a squirt of detergent to the water and let them "beat" up some bubbles.

Dot to Dot
Take chalk and write numerals 0-20 randomly on a hard play surface.  Children start with zero and run, hop, march, or skip to each numeral in order.
*Adapt the amount to the ability of your students.

Mother, May I?
Materials:  none
Children line up with their backs to a wall.  One person is “mother” and stands about 30 feet in front of the others.  One at a time “mother” names a child and tells them a different motion they must perform.  For example, baby steps, scissor steps, twirls, giant steps, or frog leaps.  The child must remember to ask, “Mother, may I?” before performing the movement or he or she is sent back to the starting line.  The first one to reach “mother” becomes the next “mother.”

Thursday, June 7, 2012

SIT AND WRITE

Sit and Write
Each child will need paper, a clipboard or cardboard to write on, and a pencil or crayon.  Have children spread out in a comfortable area and write stories, poems, or descriptions of what they see.
*Make clipboards from recycled corrugated cardboard and a butterfly clip.

Can Catch
You will need a tennis ball and empty Pringle’s can for this game.  Children bounce the ball and try to catch it in the can.  They can place this game by themselves or with a friend.

Ants on a Log
You will need celery, peanut butter, and raisins for this project.  Cut celery into 4” sections to make your “logs.”  Let children spread peanut butter “mud” in the logs.  Place raisin “ants” on the peanut butter.
*For children with nut allergies substitute cream cheese “snow” and use ladybug “craisins.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

SIT UPON

Sit Upon
Cut paper grocery sacks into 12” squares.  Each child will need two.  Punch holes around the edges and then sew three sides together with yarn.  (Wrap a piece of tape around the end of the yarn to make a needle.)  Stuff with newspaper strips and then sew up the fourth side.  Sit “upon” it for a story, sing along, or picnic.
*Let children decorate the squares before sewing them together.
 K. J. made this sit upon when he visited over Memorial Day.  He was so proud and carried it everywhere he went.  It reminded me what Eric Erikson understood about school age children.  They are in the age of "industriousness" and love to create things.

Squirt!  Squirt!
Save spray bottles from cleaning products.  (Make sure you rinse them out well first!).  Fill them with water and let the children squirt each other, water plants, clean lawn furniture, etc.
Adaptations:  A sponge or paintbrush and a bucket of water will also entertain children for hours.  They can sponge off a tree, their riding toys, or themselves.  They can paint the house or playground equipment.

Hug Tag
Materials:  none
Designate a playing area.  One child is “it.”  “It” chases other children who must “freeze” when they are tagged.  Players hug those who are “frozen” to “unfreeze” them
*Stoop Tag – Children stoop down on the ground when they are tagged.
*Cartoon Tag – Children must name a cartoon show when they are tagged.
*Shadow Tag – children must freeze when “it” steps on their shadow.
*Sticky Tag – Children must hold the part of their body that is tagged.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

ALPHABET WALK


Alphabet Walk
Tell the children that you are going to go on an alphabet walk and look for things that begin with letters of the alphabet.  Start with A and work your way through Z.  Take a sheet of paper and write down the objects as the children identify them.  For example:  A-acorn, B-bird, C-cloud, D-dirt, etc.

Singing Tree
Ask children to bring in old wind chimes and bells.  Tie them to the branches of a tree and listen to the tree “sing” when the wind blows.

Nature Bracelet
Put a piece of masking tape or packaging tape with the sticky side out on each child’s wrist to make a bracelet.  Children attach small leaves, flowers, etc. to the tape to make a nature bracelet.
Note!  Remind them to only take objects on the ground.