This week for our story time co-op, E's mommy planned the learning activities and B's mommy planned the craft. I got off easy and just had to provide the snack. Even though it was unbearably hot outside, the boys had a ton of fun!
Theme: Camping & Outdoors
Of course, we had to read the books inside the tent. The boys also enjoyed eating their picnic lunches in the tent.
Songs and Rhymes:
This is how we pitch a tent, pitch a tent, pitch a tent.
This is how we pitch a tent when we are camping.
This is how we chop the wood, chop the wood, chop the wood.
This is how we chop the wood when we are camping.
This is how we... (start a fire... roast a marshmallow.... go to sleep, etc.)
We had to have a fire (fake, of course). E's mom made it out of toilet paper rolls and orange tissue paper. If you give the kids popsicle sticks and white squares, they can count out fake marshmallows to glue on the sticks to "roast" over the fake fire. (Math and Craft Activity) We ran out of time, so we didn't actually get to do this.
Learning Activity: Fishing for objects that start with the letter ??? E's mom put a bunch of objects/toys that she had around the house in the water table. When she held up a letter card, the boys had to find an object that started with that letter. It was a great way to review letters and the sounds that they make. This activity was actually quite challenging, because they had to skim over all the objects and process the names/initial letter sounds. Also, some items could be called different things. Cowboy instead of Woody, or truck instead of roller, for example.
You know when kids are having fun with something when they don't want to take a time out to go use the potty. One of the boys just dropped his pants and peed in the grass so he wouldn't miss his turn. His mommy was so proud!
Snack & Another Learning Activity: S'mores, of course! The boys had to count out 10 chocolate chips and five mini marshmallows to place on their 2 graham crackers. Microwave for 20 seconds and you have a delicious treat.
Craft: Bird feeders - Spread some peanut butter on a pinecone and roll it in bird seed. Don't forget to tie a string at the top of the pinecone first, so you can hang it from a branch. Craft activities are actually learning activities disguised as fun. Besides giving the kids an opportunity to strengthen their fine motor skills, crafts often require them to follow directions. Also, we worked on some vocabulary developement.
Me: "These pinecones are prickly! Do you guys know what prickly means?"
E: "Yeah. It means it can hurt you."
Me: "That's right. they are sharp."
Children learn and actually retain new vocabulary through real-life experiences and conversations. Don't be afraid to use big words with your preschoolers. Just don't be surprised if he at some point comes up to you and says, "Mommy. You being obnoxious!" (True story.)
Next week we are doing a water theme. I'll be planning the learning activities. Can't wait!!!