Showing posts from September, 2017

Clay Babies

After observing some of our preschoolers frequently gravitating to our set of baby dolls, we decided to encourage their play by adding new baby clothes for the children to dress the babies. We also added diapers and blankets for the children to use in their play. 

We chose to provoke a discussion about babies. "Did you used to be a baby?" "Were Mommy and Daddy babies once?" Most of our children agreed that in fact everyone was a baby at some point.

We knew we eventually wanted to draw ourselves as babies, but before that we decided to mold babies out of clay. This gives our children a chance to develop  a sense of body awareness and become aware of proportion, size and how much they have developed since infancy. While looking at pictures of babies we asked questions like "Were you as tall as you are now when you were a baby?" "Were your legs really long or very short?" 

Using clay as a medium gives children an opportunity to make as many changes as…

What is a birthday?

In the beginning of every school year we update our birthday mobile. It's a great time to start a conversation about why we have a birthday. So, what does it mean to have one? Our children gave us all kinds of answers. Many said things like: “ It's when you get presents” and “You get cake”. We tried to take it a bit farther. We asked them to break the word ‘Birthday’ down into two words. This is the first time we brought up the concept of compound words this year. So, we asked, “What does the word ‘birth’ mean?”  This time we got the answer, “It's when you come out of your mama’s tummy.”  Now we are getting somewhere! The conversation continued on to acknowledge that a birthday  is a celebration of the day you were born. We asked each child to draw a picture of themselves as a baby to hang on our birthday mobile. 


One of the things we do in the beginning of every year is work on name recognition. It starts with their cubbies and water cups. The seniors are starting to recognize the names of their friends as well.

Aside from the everyday things like their cubbies and cups we have some activities that also encourage name recognition. 

We put out name cards and letter tiles and invited the children to match the  letter tiles to their name. This is a great way to introduce letters and letter sounds in a functional way.

We also set out clay and letter stamps and the children chose the letters in their name and stamped them into the clay. This activity is always a big hit.  We talk about beginning letter sounds, and how our name is written from left to right. We also counted the number of letters in our name and compared it to our friends. Who's name is the longest?, whose name is the shortest? In another fun activity we shaped our name out of clay. 

In a related activity we invited the children to w…


We gave the children a chance to express some of their feelings about hurricane Irma.  We had classroom discussions where children were encouraged to share what they were thinking about their recent experience with this very big storm that effected everyone in one way or another. Cecelia told us, "It made me sad because all the trees broke." Emerson said, "The storm kind of sounded like lions and I was a little scared."

We decided to paint the hurricane.  We first talked about colors we would use.  Some of our friends painted wind and rain, while a few others tried to capture what trees would look like when faced with such strong wind. 

In our free play room the children used our blue silkies to act out the wind and rain that we experienced as a result of Irma. 

In our final discussion about the the storm we talked about feeling safe. Luca said, "My Mommy and Daddy kept me safe during the storm." Others expressed that there were parts of the storm that they lik…