Great books and supplies for March and St. Patrick's Day

Thursday, January 30, 2014

P is for Princess and the Pea!

P is for Princess and the Pea

With my two older boys in school, my preschoolers at home are both of my girls. When I suggested to my 4-year-old daughter that we could have a P is for Princess day, she was pretty excited. I don’t think the boys would have been quite so thrilled Smile The baby decided to take a 3 HOUR NAP (heavenly!) so the girls and I just kept playing. Fun morning. (These activities would also work for handsome little princes too!)

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  • Getting all Dolled Up … a little princess prep Smile Not necessary, but definitely fun!
    1. Do your hair … my older daughter was happy to have her hair done “fancy” today. Ribbons, bows and all. My 2-year-old has a little cold and was grumpy today. She preferred her bedhead hairdo Flirt male That works too.P1303946
    2. Make princess crowns … these two got new fancy tiaras for Christmas, but of course, they wanted to make their own Smile
      • Cut out a simple crown design.
      • Add long strips of paper to each side.
      • Decorate with stickers, crayons, jewels, and glitter (I didn’t dare today!)
    3. Add a gown … they each picked out a dress-up princess gown to wear.

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  • Peas and Carrots Snack
    1. Spread out a blanket on the floor
    2. Put carrots and peapods in a bowl for the kids to snack on while you read the book.

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  • Read The Princess and the Peas and Carrots by Harriet Ziefert … the illustrations are one of my favorite things about this story. And I love that Rosebud’s dad tells her the real “Princess and the Pea” story as a bedtime story (a fold-out book inside). A cute little twist on the traditional tale. I made sure to add that Rosebud’s mom HELPED her clean up her room after her tantrum Smile
    • NOTE: You could always go with a more traditional Princess and the Pea story.

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  • Where is the Pea? … my girls loved this game
    1. Cut a simple bed frame out of brown paper.
    2. Cut out several colorful “mattresses”. I used one of each of the basic colors because I wanted to work on color names with my 2-year-old.
    3. Cut out a smallish green circle for the “pea”
    4. TO ASSEMBLE:
      • Tape your bed frame to the wall (down low)
      • Stack the colorful “mattresses” by taping the top edge (so it flaps open from the bottom.
      • Hide the “pea” under one of the mattresses
    5. TO PLAY:
      • With the kids, count the mattresses. We had 10!
      • Name all of the colors.
      • Have the kids tell you one color. Lift the mattress to see if the pea is hiding underneath!P1303947 princess 001
    6. NOTE: my girls’ favorite part of the day was these little paper princesses I made with their faces. I just google searched “princess clipart” and chose the one I liked. I cut out the face and substituted one of my girls. They loved them. I tried to draw my own so you can print them out and color the hair and dresses … not bad Smile

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  • Our ‘P’ pea banner … we had to have some decorations for our fancy princess day.
    1. Cut out several circles from green cardstock.
    2. Think of as many ‘P’ words as you can.
    3. Write the word & draw a picture of it.
    4. String them on a ribbon and hang up!

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  • The Pillows and the Pea Game … this game was pretty entertaining Smile
    1. Spray paint a golf ball green = the pea.
    2. Set out several pillows on the floor.
    3. TO PLAY:
      • Hide the golf ball “pea” under one of the pillows.
      • Have the kids take turns sitting on the pillows to discover where the pea is hiding! To make it harder, try stacking 2 or 3 pillows together.
      • When they find the pea, let them hide it under a pillow for the next person to find.

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  • Princess & the Pea Lunch … it just makes lunch more fun Smile
    1. Mattress sandwich = layer bread, PB, bread, jelly, repeat.
      • We topped our mattress sandwich with a green M&M “pea”
    2. Frozen Peas
    3. Cheese cut with P cookie cutters. I have ones similar to these here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

P is for Pizza

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We are off to a good start this week. I stayed up way too late last night getting some things ready for today, but it ended up being a lot of fun. Today, we had a great P is for Pizza day. Lots of counting and creating and we ended up with yummy homemade pizzas for lunch!

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  • Read “The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza)” by Philemon Sturges … I thought this was a cute story. The little red hen has run out of bread and decides to make a pizza. The cat, dog and duck follow the traditional tale and refuse to help. The ending has a new twist where the hen actually shares her pizza.

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  • Build “P is for PIZZA” … my kids love using this Letter Construction Set.
    1. Set up all of your pizza books for the kids to see.
    2. Help them find the word “PIZZA” on each book cover.
    3. Build the word “PIZZA” with the Letter Construction Set. Available here. Instruction cards that come with the set have directions for upper and lower-case letters.

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  • Pizza Parlor Game … after a little prep the night before, this was a fun game.
    1. Cut out several pizza crusts by tracing a small bowl or plate on orange foam craft paper.
    2. Cut out pizza sauce by tracing the same bowl or plate on red foam craft paper and cutting out in a slightly smaller wavy circle shape.
    3. Cut out your choice of pizza toppings from foam craft paper! We used:
      • cheese = yellow
      • pepperoni (or canadian bacon) = pink
      • olives = black
      • green bell peppers = green
      • mushrooms = white image
    4. Make a “Pizza Menu” or print out the one I made here!
    5. Laminate your menu and cut it in half (so you have 2 menus). I use this Scotch laminator and love it.
    6. HOW TO PLAY:
      • Welcome your kids to your Preschool Pizza Parlor!P1273818
      • I started with all of the toppings in a big pile and they sorted them into this veggie tray.
      • Tell them that their first customer has arrived! Show them the menu and fill in the number of toppings you would like. I use Crayola Dry Erase Crayons. Seriously, the best and they’re washable!P1273826
        • NOTE: they also liked it when I just put an ‘X’ next to the toppings I wanted and they could put as much or as little on as they wanted.
      • Have them follow the menu and count out that many toppings.
      • Make a big deal about checking your pizza and gobbling it up when they’re done.

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  • Make homemade pizzas for lunch! … we were all hungry by lunchtime and this was the perfect meal.
    1. Let the kids help prepare your favorite pizza dough recipe. We used our go-to recipe and cut it in half.P1273829
    2. Give each of the kids their own ball of dough. Put a little flour on the table and help them roll it, squish it or stretch it out into a pizza shape.
    3. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet.
    4. Let the kids spread pizza sauce and choose the toppings they like. My 4-year-old wanted plain cheese. My 2-year-old likes olives and mini pepperoni. I had all of the above, plus orange bell peppers. Mmmm.
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  • Peg’s Pizza Place … a fun pizza game while we waited for our pizzas to cook!
    1. Play Peg’s Pizza Place on PBSkids.org
    2. The kids follow the directions to make simple pizzas.
    3. They are also introduced to simple fractions. 

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  • Fruit Pizza … this was our treat after our family night this evening. Half of it was eaten before I remembered to take a picture Smile with tongue out A perfect way to end our P is for Pizza day.
    1. Make a sugar cookie crust (or use store-bought sugar cookie dough!)
    2. Mix 8 oz. cream cheese, ½ cup sugar (I used powdered sugar) and 1½ tsp. vanilla. Spread on cooled crust.
    3. Top with sliced fruit.
    4. TIP: The best tip I read was to slice the frosted crust before putting the fruit on. So much easier (and prettier) than trying to slice through all the fruit!

Friday, January 24, 2014

O is for Outer Space

O is for Outer Space

To be honest, I’m usually scrambling to get preschool ready in the morning. Our baby just turned 6-months-old and I’m just starting to feel like I’m getting life under control. Smile The main reason I started this blog was to have a place for me to keep my preschool plans and ideas just for times like this. I was able to put a few ideas together, grab a book from the bookshelf, scissors, gluesticks and we were ready to go. So, here is what we pulled off today …

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  • Astronaut Balloons … I gave these to the kids while I finished getting some things ready. Astronauts float in outer space, so we taped an astronaut clipart to a balloon so the kids could bop it and help him float around the house.
    1. Print your favorite astronaut clipart.
    2. Have your preschooler cut it out.
    3. Tape it (I used packing tape) to the balloon.
    4. Bop it!
  • Sing a few songs … we have been starting off with a couple of fun songs. Today it was “The Wheels on the Bus”.

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  • Read “Me and My Place in Space ” by Joan Sweeney … Show the kids the cover of the book and ask them what they know about Outer Space.

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  • Outer Space Pictures… this was our big project for the day. They worked out really well.
    1. Name Rockets
      • Cut out squares in several colors. Ours were 2½” x 2½”
      • Cut out triangles for the wings and one for the nose of the rocket.
      • Have the kids count how many letters are in their name and pick out that many squares.
      • Write one letter of their name on each square. My 4-year-old wrote her own name. I wrote my 2-year-old’s name.
      • Glue the name squares vertically on a large piece of black paper (I taped 2 pieces of black cardstock together). Add the wings and the nose. Resist the urge to straighten everything for them SmileP1243726
    2. Planets & Stars
      • Print all of the planet images from The Center for Science Education at UC Berkeley here.
      • Have the kids cut out each of the planets and glue them onto their space picture. My 4-year-old did the cutting all by herself, but got tired and left three planets off. Totally fine. I cut my 2-year-old’s planets out and she glued them on.
    3. Add STAR STICKERS! … Amazon has several kinds available here.P1243722
    4. Write with white crayon!
      • My kids are always amazed when the white crayons actually “work” Smile
      • Give them a white crayon and let them see how it shows up so bright on the black paper. They can write their name or circle the stars (to practice writing Os!)

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  • Build Rockets!
    1. We got several sets of Magformers for Christmas. I can’t say enough good about them. My 2, 4, 6, and 9-year-old all LOVE them. My husband and I can play with them for hours. Even the baby loves to chew on them Smile They have magnets inside the plastic that snap together easily. We’ve build some pretty neat creations.
    2. They are a little expensive, but since they’ve been pulled out every single day since Christmas, I can see them being a favorite for a long time.
    3. Duplo blocks or wooden blocks would also work to build rockets Smile

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  • Outer Space Lunch … this idea is compliments of my 4-year-old. I was going to make PB&J. She decided we needed Outer Space Rocket lunches. Definitely more fun Smile
    1. Rocket Body = graham crackers with PB inside
    2. Wings = cheese slices
    3. Rocket Boosters & Nose = fruit leather
    4. Windows = mini pepperonis
    5. Meteorites = blueberries
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