Thursday, February 26, 2009

"It's Chow Time" Books

These are some of the books I've used for my unit "It's Chow Time"
I love that this book makes it so easy to help the children understand the different food groups!!
"Eating the Alphabet" introduces different foods that start with the letters of the alphabet. It's fun to see the foods that we are all familiar with, but then others that the children might never have heard of!!

This book is always a favorite!! The monkey absolutley LOVES spaghetti and she doesn't want to do anything else. When her friend finally tries the spaghetti he can't stop eating it either.

As I have said before I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Robert Munsch. He is definatley one of my favorite authors!! "More Pies" is a book about a boy who thinks he is absolutley STARVING. When he goes to the fair and wins the pie eating contest he ends up getting sick!! The kids just laugh and laugh!!

A great Caldecott Honor book. It's fun to talk about all the fruits we like to pick and I love to hear about the kids who have helped their mommies can fruits into jams, etc!!
A CLASSIC and a favorite! Enough said! We read this book many times throughout the year. With this unit we talk about how the caterpillar got sick eating all of the junk food and how the leaf made him feel much better!! Another classic and children's favorite!
I have a few different versions of the Little Red Hen. It's a great book to tie into our Grain day!! The children love hearing all of the different versions and trying to figure out how they are different and the same! Great literacy development!!

Like I said before - ROBERT MUNSCH!! I just love him!!

This is another of my favorite for this unit!! Gregory is one of the only goats who likes to eat "regular" food instead of junk like tires, cans, paper sacks, etc. The kids just love all of the funny foods goats eat and we talk about healthy/unhealthy choices of food we can eat!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kitchen Utensil Painting

I found this idea at Lets Explore and I thought it would work great with our Food Group Unit. I cut our painting paper into the shapes of various foods and the children enjoyed stamping their foods with the utensils!!
I thought this was a great way to give the children a great new experience with painting and tie it into the unit also!!
Happy painting!!

ABC FlySwatter

We like to play this game every once in awhile and the children just LOVE it.
Basically the kids SWAT the letter the teacher calls out. The swatter on the bottom is the person who gets to keep that letter. This works best as a small group with kids around the same developmental abilities so one child isn't winning all of the cards. To help with the kids not trying to be first, I say, "Hold your swatters up" and they hold them straight up in the air so they are all in the same position.
Just so you know, these swatters are UNUSED!!
This game also works with any other concept you might be learning about.....shapes, colors, addition, subraction, numbers, patterns, etc. Just switch it around with the appropriate cards or answers the children need to SWAT!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fruit Kabobs

For snack today we had "Fruit Kabobs". What a better snack to have on "Fruit and Vegetable" day!!
We discussed the difference between fruit and vegetables (young kids have a difficult time distinguishing between the two). We also talked about how healthy it is for us!! The kids loved the idea of eating it WHENEVER they wanted. (I told them they had to make sure it was ok with mommy or daddy first). What is it with giving kids a little and they want it ALL!! They crack me up!
Here are some pictures of our awesome fruit kabobs!! They really enjoyed sticking these fruit pieces on a stick - oh the joy of simplicity of children!
This is the type of fruit we used for our kabobs!!

Yes, we talked about how POINTY these sticks are and that we have to be VERY careful when putting our kabobs accidents were had!!
Here is what some of the final kabobs looked like - they were so proud.
These were all eaten RIGHT up!!

Sand in the Messy Table

Sand is always a great experience to have in the messy table. This sand that I have I got at an Early Childhood conference one year. It's VERY fine, and just runs right between your fingers!! If we get it wet, it is PERFECT building sand. This time we kept it dry. A great experience was had by ALL!!

Squiggle Worms

I decided to set this game out for the children play together or alone. Since it's an apple I figured it would go perfect with our Fruit and Vegetable day!!
I'm constantly looking for great games for the classroom.
This one works on colors, eye-hand coordination (you have to grab the worms when they pop up) and of course small motor development!!
The kids really seemed to enjoy it!!

The "Corny" Counting Game

We played the "Corny" Counting Game on our Fruit and Vegetable day. With this game, I set out styrofoam food trays with numbers written on each section. A little bowl full of popcorn kernals and then tweezers. I wish I had some large plastic tweezers, but we compromised with regular tweezers.
This game is great for one-to-one correspondance, counting, small motor development (squeezing the tweezers), and hand eye coordination.
This is how I had the game set up.......some trays had numbers, and some trays had dots.

Painting Fishies

On our Meat, Egg, and Nut Group day we water color painted Fishes! Some children don't realize that fish is actually a meat!
It's fun to help these children LEARN by having them DO!! The activities I create in the classroom revolve around the theme. The activities not only develop certain skills but also help the children to REMEMBER what we were learning or doing that day!!

Ham and Eggs Anyone??

What a better snack to have then Ham and Eggs on "Meat, Eggs, and Nuts Group" Day!! Whenever we have something out of the ordinary, it's not uncommon for a few of the kids to say, "OOOOHHH YUCK!!" I NEVER eat that!!
As I've said before, that we have a rule in our preschool that if we make something as a group, each child needs to try ONE small bite. If they don't like they don't have to eat anymore!
"Try it, you might like it!!" That is the chant that is heard throughout our classroom on snack making day!
This day was no different..........but EVERY child LOVED this snack today!! They all were begging for seconds!!
After reading Green Eggs and Ham at the end of the day, the children were all laughing at them selves because they were JUST like the book!!
Funny kids!

Dramatic Play

Since we have been talking about ALL sorts of food, the children have really enjoyed the Dramatic Play area! I put out a few extra BAKING items, etc. They have been the greatest cooks and servers and I've seen a lot of discussion between the kids about the different foods they are eating or making.
One child was serving another child ice cream. Right before he gave it to him he said, "Now remember, this is only a SOMETIMES food!!
I love these little kids!!

The Fun of Flour!

Last week in the messy table we had FLOUR!! This is such a great sensory experience since most children are not allowed to actually PLAY in flour. Not only does it have the coolest feeling, but if you pack it in just right, it will stay in the shape of it's container!!
We also got to play with bread dough......grind some wheat......etc! It was fun to see the process that wheat goes through! The Little Red Hen book was definatley a favorite throughout the week!!
The children absolutely ADORED experiencing flour!!

Snacky Necklaces

When we were learning about our Grain Group, I put out multi-grain cheerios for the children to make Snacky Necklaces. These cheerios are not only whole grain (which goes great with our unit), but they are different colors with big holes. The children really enjoyed putting these neclaces together and snacking on them throughout the day!!
Patterns were seen and don't forget that small motor development which is so important for young children!

Puffy Paint

On our "Milk and Dairy" day, we had a great time finger painting with Puffy Paint! I figured this paint would be fun to paint on ice cream cone and pie cutouts since it has such a great creamy texture.
Even better, this paint dries puffy and creamy!! It's a wonderful sensory experience along with exploring and creativity!
To make this paint, you just add 2 cups of shaving cream to about 1/3 cup of elmers glue. Add the color of paint or food coloring you want and enjoy!!

It's Chow Time - finding foods in magazines

Our unit has been "It's Chow Time". We've been talking about the different food groups and "sometimes" food "all the time" food.
At our cut and color table we've had magazines out that the children have looked through to find the foods or food groups we've been learning about for the day.
They LOVE looking through all of the magazines and finding their favorite foods or even foods they don't like. I love to see their understanding bloom as they find a food and say....."Hey this is a GRAIN food" or "This goes in the MILK group!"
We can't forget to mention how great scissor cutting is for development. It's amazing to me how often I hear a parent say, "I didn't realize my child was old enough to use scissors." They definatley take practice, but it's such great small motor development!!! Writing comes much more naturally and easier to those who have worked their small motor skills!!