Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"E"xcellent days!!

Our week is a little out of sorts because we didn't have our usual schedule...and with a couple sick and one out of town--smaller classes too. Today we focused on the letter of the week--E. I started the kids out by giving them 4 popsicle sticks and a bottle of glue. They had to figure out how to make a letter E. All of them did a great job!
I was a little adventurous since we only had 7 of our 12--and did paint. I'm happy to report that there were no ruined clothes and or permanent frown lines here! We made elephants by putting our hands in gray paint and then pulling our finger away to make a trunk. I figured I would take it in stages and go from there. Gray went we moved on to brown and then red paint for apples. I told the kids the cutest apple story [below] and we made apples on paper by using half an apple, cut horizontally, and then dipping it in red paint. If there wasn't too much paint, you could see the star in the center of the apple on the white paper, just like how it was mentioned in the story. (We added some red glitter to add to the novelty).

"Once there was a little boy who went to visit his grandmother. He was getting restless, so his grandmother told him to go out on her farm and find a little house with no windows, and no doors, and that has star on the inside. The little boy met his cousin. "Do you know where I can find a little house with no windows and no doors, and that has a star on the inside?" "No," said his cousin. "Maybe farmer Jones will know." The little boy continued to walk and he so enjoyed the countryside. He looked all around him, but still could not discover what he was looking for. "Hello, Farmer Jones, do you know where I can find a little house with no windows or doors and that has a star inside?" "Sorry, son, I don't know, maybe if you walk into the orchard over there, you may meet my wife and she may know." "Thank you, sir," said the little boy. He skipped merrily into the orchard. He didn't see the farmer's wife. But he heard the wind blowing. Hooo...Hooo....Hooooo! Just then an apple fell at his feet. Out of the apple came a little tiny worm. The cutest, smallest little worm that he ever saw! "Hmmm..." thought the little boy. "This apple is the little worm's house. I don't see any windows or doors, and I don't see a star either!" Well, he picked up the apple and went home to Grandma. "Could this be the little house with no windows and no doors?" "Why, yes it is, honey. Good job," said Grandma. The little boy looked sad. "But, Grandma, there is no star!" Grandma cut the apple in half and revealed the inside star in the core!---Author unknown
We enjoyed fresh apples and some Apple Jacks cereal at snack time--but we weren't done with apples yet. One of the great things about preschool is that no matter the activity or craft, the kids are working on some kind of motor skills. Today we worked on "eye-hand" coordination. I took some red paper plates (ie. "the apple") and punched holes around the edges. I gave each of the kids about 2 feet of ribbon and they had to lace around the apple. Most of them set off on the challenge immediately. A couple of the younger of the crew got frustrated. It's truly amazing what a year in age will do for refining some of those skills.
What caught me off-guard about this simple activity, was that they wanted to know where their worms were. Woo! This activity was about an hour after I told the story using the real apple and showed them the star inside by cutting it in half. The worm in the story was just a sideline to the main focus of the boy's quest to find the apple home. But all the little ones wanted a worm to go with their apples today. Thus, the ugly little worms made out of foam board in the their back packs :) They were delighted with my crude cutting skills and a simple smiley face with a permanent marker! I aim to please (wink, wink).
Because we are to apples, that means that we are starting to focus on Autumn themes. Lots of great activities and learning opportunities are coming up with the lessons on leaves, pumpkins, and harvest. Be sure to check weekly for fun updates and pictures of your little ones.
Just a REMINDER: Pumpkin Field Trip coming up next week------Thursday-OCTOBER 21st, at Walter's Fruit Ranch. We will meet at the entrance at 9am. The tour will be 1 1/2 hours long with a train ride through the orchard, tour of the cider press, and picking a pumpkin from the patch. Each child is $4--parents and little ones/babies in strollers are free.

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