Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pet and "C" Week

We talked about our "Pets" this week and the letter "C".  This past week was our first FULL week of school, five LONG days.  Man, either I am really out of shape (could be) or I'm really getting old (yes, I am).  Oh well, either way, I survived.  Tired, but still hanging in there.  The children and I are still trying to get use to each other and each week I try to do something a little "extra" fun.  This week we started off by painting with balloons.  I read, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  There were a couple of children who had not heard of this book so it was fun to watch their faces and hear them yell, "Read it again!".  After we read the book we talked about what we like to eat when we are hungry.  Much to my surprise, "cake" was a big response (more on this later!).  Anyway. . . we divided up into small groups and I headed over to the craft area to make our very own hungry caterpillar.  Everyone was so surprised to see balloons all blown up and waiting for us.  We started by dipping our balloons into yellow paint and making big "blobs" on the page. 

Next, we added big green blobs right on top.

And a big red blog for the head.

We added legs and little antennas and let them dry.  Afterwards, we added cute little eyes, a nose and of course, a happy smile!  

I just love these little guys, don't you?  I especially love the fact that they were 100% made by the child.  This is a little pet peeve of mine and I'm sure I will be mentioning it from time to time (sorry!). 
Another great book that we read this past week was If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by the wonderful Laura Numeroff.  I think this is one of my all time favorite books.  It should be, I've read it enough over the years!  We made a little chocolate cookie and added it to a "prompting note" to our parents.  It was easy, but it was fun.
I hope you can tell that the "chocolate chips" are our fingerprints.

This one made me giggle.  She said the mouse was hiding!
On of my special individual activities this week is our magnet box.  I was a little concerned about getting it out so early in the year.  I wasn't sure it we had people that put things in their mouths (something I am guessing is not a concern for Harvard professors!).  But, I kept a very close on it and everything went smoothly.  One of my students loved it.  He loved making a chain with the magnets.

During the week our circle time discussions generally were about our dogs and cats.  There was one day when we discussed what animal(s) we would like to have IF we could have any animal in the entire world.  Alligators and crocodiles were 2 of the favorites - YIKES!  It did make for a fun and lively circle time. 
Our letter of the week was "C" so we HAD to make a cat.  Now if you have read my blog before, you know that I big on giving the children choices.  Making our cat was no different, everyone decided on what color their cat would be.  First we painted a large paper plate and let it dry.  The next day we came back and cut some whiskers (it was "C" week after all!).  Most of the children had never cut with scissors before and most of them were quick to tell me they weren't suppose to use scissors.  After a little reassuring them that it was okay, they went to work.
Everyone did an amazing job cutting with scissors!!!
We added the freshly cut whiskers, ears, eyes and a little nose to make the cutest little cats!

On the back of each cat was a little note to the parents.  It said, "Guess who cut the whiskers?".  Everyone could hardly wait to show their parents!

On Thursday, we headed to kitchen to begin our weekly science experiment.  I had gone to my local Publix grocery store on Wednesday afternoon looking for fresh carnations (another great "C" word!).  The sweet manager finally located some for me way in the back of the store cooler.  It was a large bunch, big enough for EVERYONE to have flower!  We have a very sweet lady at the church who brings up empty Boost bottles.
She is so nice, she even takes the labels off of them for us!  They were the perfect size and shape for our experiment.   Each child selected his/her favorite color and we mixed the food coloring and water together.  Next, we carefully added our little flowers and waited . . . and waited . . . . and waited . . .

The next day we found a lovely surprise! 



Look very closely, can you see the colors starting to creep into the flower??  We sent them home on Friday and asked the parents to put them back into some colored water.  I cannot wait to hear how they are doing.

We read several stories about dogs this past week and one of the other teachers shared this next project with me.  It was really cute and easy.


I cut out the body, head and 2 ears.  The children had a great time painting them whatever color they wanted.  After they dried, we assembled them and added the cute little eyes.  One little girl was so excited, she now had a "real" dog of her very own!

Friday is always a fun day at school.  I want everyone to leave WANTING to come back.  After this week, I bet they ALL do!  We start our day with our Spanish class and everyone has so much fun with Mrs. Stacy.  Then we headed to kitchen to cook-up a little more science fun!  Our school is very good at using recycled products.  There is nothing that makes me happier then doing a project that cost little or nothing.  I found our big box of used and unloved crayons.

A lot of them already had the paper off so I just had to separate them.  The students picked out their favorite colors and put them into our little homemade bowl. 

We didn't have enough old muffin tins, so I just some aluminum foil
and made little crayon bowls. 

It worked pretty well.  They were funny looking and
the children loved it.
While the crayons melted slowly in the oven, we started working on our yummy "color-cake".  I mixed up 2 boxes of white cake mix (thanks again to Publix!) and each child got a large cup filled with batter.  Hold on, here comes the fun . . . . everyone got to add their favorite color of food coloring to the batter.  We spooned it into a cake pan

and popped it in the oven.  WOW, the entire school smelled SO good!  But we were patient and while it cooked, we got to use our new crayons!
I'm trying a little experiment myself.  On Friday's we are doing some free art.  This has no instructions and the children just have fun.  This week we had a lot of fun using crayons that we made ourselves!  INSTANT GRATIFICATION!!!
Soon the cake came out of the oven and we spread on some plain white frosting. 

As soon as we ate lunch we headed back to the kitchen to enjoy our cake!  

What a fun and yummy way to end our week!
Thank you for visiting with us.  I hope you stop back by and see what we will be doing next week!


  1. These are great ideas! I love the caterpillar with balloons and the colored cake. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love this blog!! I get so many ideas and it inspires me to take one of these ideas and change it into something else. I've been waiting all summer for it to be the new school year so that it would start up again!!

  3. Good Morning! I just found your blog and I love the ideas. Like you, I believe in ownership of the art project. I love the whiskers but it looks like an adult cut the ears, eyes and drew the mouth. Why not let them create the entire face? No judging, just wondering. Again, I really like your ideas and I appreciate you sharing them.

    1. Thank you for writing! This is a great question. We will eventually let the children do the entire project but because of time restraints and the fact that the children are only 3 (some of them just turned 3) we do a good portion of the cutting. Right now we are letting them do some amounts of cutting but as the year continues, they will be on their on! Again, thanks for writing!

  4. You make me want to come to your school! You have such fun ideas. I do Tot School at home with my son and your blog is so helpful. I think he'd love the carnation experiment. We might have to give that a try soon!

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  6. Do you know where I can get religious rugs for my nursery at home? I mean like those interactive rugs, but religious ones.

    1. No, I'm sorry I don't. But I will keep a lookout for you. Good luck!

  7. This is great. I hope you don't mind me using your ideas. I run a little preschool in Olathe, KS for the neighborhood kids and they love the crafts and things like that. Thanks for all your posts.

  8. I love knowing you are using some of my ideas!!! Please let me know how the children like them.

  9. Wow, this is perfect! I wish we had a preschool in Washington this close to a church. What a great way to spend the day.

  10. Hello,

    Your blog contains lot of good ideas, i really like your blog, thanks for sharing it.

    Creative Ways