My favorite books and supplies to start our preschool year!

Monday, September 29, 2014

B is for Butterfly

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  • Read Butterfly Butterfly: A Book of Colors by Petr Horacek … this is a new book for us. We love it! A little girl finds a butterfly in her garden. The next day, she can’t find it, but she does find other colorful things. The last page is a beautiful fluttery butterfly pop-up.

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  • Read Are You a Butterfly? by Judy Allen & Tudor Humphries … this is a fun, simple, non-fiction book. I love it because the kids can really interact with it.
    1. Ask the kids to find the letter B’s on the cover.
    2. There are lots of opportunities to interact with the book:
      • Do their parents look like a butterfly’s parents?
      • Pretend to eat a leaf
      • Use their feelers (two fingers pointed up) to “smell” flowers
      • Use their long tongue to drink nectar
      • Fly around the room!

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  • Stickers on B page
    1. Draw a large B on a piece of paper.
      • I write it for my younger kids and they trace it with a pencil or crayon. My older preschoolers can write it themselves.
    2. Stick butterfly stickers all over the page. I got these at Michael’s. Several butterfly stickers available here.
    3. Draw half of a butterfly (the left half). Show your kids how to finish the butterfly by writing a B on the right side.

  • Watch “The Butterfly Colors Song” … my kids love this song. It really is cute.
    1. Cut out a simple red, green, yellow, pink, purple, orange butterfly shape. I used this one. Click the image below to print on colored paper.
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    2. Place them on the floor.
    3. Roll up six pieces of tape and stick them to the wall or a door.
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    4. Play the song again and have the kids pick up the matching color and stick it to a piece of tape.
    5. Point to each color during the chorus.

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  • Make B Butterflies
    1. Fold a piece of white paper in half vertically (hotdog-style).
    2. Help the kids draw a large B on the fold of the paper. I always tell my kids “Down. Bump. Bump.” Whatever works Smile
    3. Let them cut out their B.
    4. Unfold to see their white butterfly!
    5. Use several colors of paint (we use Crayola Washable Kids Paints) to paint one half of the butterfly.
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    6. Fold the butterfly in half again and press down.
    7. Open it again to see the beautiful, colorful, symmetrical butterfly!
    8. Let dry and add eyes, antennae, stickers or other decorations
  • Pony Bead Butterfly … I loved this idea from Where Imagination Grows! We didn’t get to this, but will pull it out again on a rainy day! So cute.

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  • Simple Butterfly Lunch
    1. Make your favorite sandwich and cut it into a circle. Then cut the circle in half.
    2. Use a cheese stick for the body. Turn the sandwich halves to make wings. Add pretzel stick antennae!
    3. Let the kids add grapes or raisins to decorate the wings.
    4. Cut out a simple flower shape (from paper or foam paper) and cut a hole in the center. Place it on top of a cup of juice (nectar). Place a straw in the hole and drink (just like a butterfly uses a proboscis to drink!) Thank you First Grade Shenanigans for the fun idea!

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  • Make Butterfly Treats … make these for a treat or do what we did and use them for treats after the following story.
    1. Decorate a clothespin.
    2. Use glue to attach googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennae. I use hot glue because it dries fast and is strong. Just be very careful when your little ones are helping you!
    3. Clip the butterfly clothespin onto a bag of treats (M&Ms, Skittles, fruit snacks, etc.)
    4. Several other healthy and not-so-healthy butterfly treats found here.
  • Family Home Evening Idea … every Monday is our family home evening. We do a song, prayer, short lesson, and treat with our family. This story and activity worked perfectly with our butterfly day.
    1. Prep: Make a butterfly finger puppet. Either with felt or print one and laminate it. Attach a loop to the back (for your finger). Hide the butterfly somewhere in the room.
    2. Read the story How to Catch a Butterfly by Marilyn Wood. Found here. You can also download an audio version on the right-hand side under “download”.
    3. TIP: Sometimes, I draw a few pictures to go along with the story (think stick people!) It helps the kids to pay attention Smile
    4. Give each of the kids a butterfly to hold and show you how to treat it reverently.
    5. Tell the kids to look around the room for the hidden butterfly and fold their arms once they spot it.
    6. Ask one of the kids to get the butterfly and everyone else to cup their hands like they’re holding water.
    7. Have the butterfly fly over and “sip” from each cupped hand. If they’re not being reverent, the butterfly will get scared and fly away.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

B is for Bike

We had such a fun day using BIKES for preschool! I’m glad we did it while the sun was shining, we’ve had rain the last two days.

  • Sing “The Wheels on the Bike” … just like “The Wheels on the Bus” but switch up the words. We sang:
    1. The wheels on the bike go round & round (arms rolling)
    2. The bell on the bike goes ding, ding, ding (like you’re ringing a bell)
    3. The pedals on the bike go up and down (stand up, crouch down…)
    4. The seat on the bike goes bump, bump, bump (bump up and down on your bottom)
  • Wear a helmet
    1. Talk about one of the important things to do when riding a bike = wearing a helmet. Click here for some simple bike safety to go over with your kids from Kids Health.
    2. Help your preschooler put their helmet on and make sure it fits correctly.
B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}
  • Read Duck on a Bike by David Shannon … this book is a lot of fun. I love the colorful illustrations and the way it lets the kids use their imaginations. Available here. 
    1. Ask the kids to look at the cover and tell you what they see.
    2. Have them point to the letter B.
    3. Trace a letter B in the air with your finger.
    4. Ask them what they think is going to happen in the book!
    5. As you read, pause before the animal name and let the kids “read” the animal name.

B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}

  • Help Duck Wear a Helmet! … so of course, after talking about wearing our helmets, we noticed that duck was NOT wearing a helmet in this book.
    1. Print out several helmets. You need about 20. Click the image below to use the page I printed out.
      B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}
    2. Laminate and cut out the helmets. I cut them out without the chin straps. I use this laminator and love it.
    3. Go through the book again. When you see duck on the bike without a helmet on, put a helmet on his head! My 3-year-old loved this Smile I just rolled up pieces of tape for her and she did the rest.
      B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}
    4. My 3-year-old noticed that one of the kids needed a helmet too. And, of course, all of the animals at the end need helmets Smile We didn’t have quite enough, but pretty close.
    5. NOTE: while we were doing this, I kept saying “Now duck is SAFE!” Hopefully the idea sticks Smile

B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}

  • Read Let's Go, Froggy! by Jonathan London … another fun book about a bike ride. And YAY! Froggy is wearing a helmet Smile Available here.

B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}

  • Cover the B’s
    1. Write the ABC’s all over a piece of paper with lots of extra B’s (depending on how many bike stickers you have).
    2. Have you preschooler point to several B’s. 
                     
    3. Have them cover the B’s with BIKE stickers. I got these at Michael’s. The same stickers are available here.

B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}

  • “B is for Bike” Treasure Hunt … a fun way to get out, ride bikes, and practice letter B!
    1. A LITTLE PREP:
      • Print out 2-3 sheets of B’s on bright paper (easier to find). Click the image below to print the page we used.
        B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}
      • Cut each page in quarters. We had 8 B’s total. That was plenty for us.
      • On the back of each B, write a simple clue that you can bike to outside. Some that we used:
        1. Ride your bike to the plum tree!
        2. Look by the tall tree at the end of the cul-de-sac.
        3. Pedal to our house and look by the hose.
        4. Look by Jack’s tree that is fun to climb!
      • Ahead of time, hide these clues outside. I made them pretty obvious with the big B facing out.
      • If you choose, hide a small “treasure” at the end. I put a new bike bell and some candies in the mailbox.
    2. Have your preschooler put on her helmet. Make sure shoes are tied, tires are inflated, chain looks good, etc.
      B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}
    3. Read the first clue together. I always draw a simple picture on the clue so she can try to figure it out.
    4. Enjoy a fun Bike Treasure Hunt together!
B is for Bike {Preschool Alphabet}
  • Bike Wash & Repair … a few fun ideas
    1. Have a bike wash. Use a bucket of soapy water and some sponges (and some clothes to get wet in).
    2. Bike Repair Shop … it doesn’t need to be fancy. Get out some tools and let the kids tinker and tighten the nuts. Make sure all of the wheels are spinning. If you’re brave, help them put a little WD-40 on their chain. Let them help inflate their tires .
    3. Invite some friends over and decorate bikes! Have a bike parade Smile

Friday, September 19, 2014

B is for Bear {Goldilocks and the 3 Bears}

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  • Read Goldilocks and the Three Bears … this is one of my very favorite versions. I love Caralyn & Mark Buehner’s books. The details in the pictures are a lot of fun too.

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  • Gummy Bears & Sizes
    1. Print out this Goldilocks & the Three Bears size page.
    2. Grab a handful of gummy bears or teddy grahams (nine to be exact).
    3. As you read the story and the bears come back home, place a gummy bear on each item they observe:
      • the big, medium & small bowls of porridge
      • the big, medium & small chairs
      • the big, medium & small beds

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  • Find Goldilocks
    1. Just for fun, dress up like a bear. VERY SIMPLE. My 3-year-old has been eyeing the Halloween face paint, so we painted her nose black. Add a couple of brown paper ears to a headband and you have a bear Smile
    2. Hide Goldilocks somewhere in the room.
      • I printed out a picture from the book, laminated it & attached a popsicle stick.
      • You could also hide a doll or print and cut out a cute Goldilocks clipart here.
    3. Have your little “bear” look for Goldilocks.

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  • Sorting Circles Sizes … sort circles, then use them for the next activity!
    1. Using different shades of brown, cut out the following circles.
      • 1 large dark brown circle
      • 1 medium dark brown circle, 1 medium medium-dark brown circle
      • 6 small dark brown circles, 1 medium-dark brown circle
      • 3 extra small black circles, 9 light brown circles
      • TIP: I used a plate, bowl, cup and glue cap to trace around the different circle sizes.
    2. Help the kids sort the circles into similar sizes.
    3. Use words like big, biggest, large, medium, small, smallest, etc.

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  • Build a Bear
    1. Using the sorted circles and a glue stick, help the kids put together their own brown bear.
    2. I showed my preschooler a picture of a finished bear to look at while we worked.
    3. She used the glue stick on her own to add the circles.
    4. Write a large letter B on his tummy. We practiced write ‘B’ a few times with several different crayons.

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  • Finger Paint a Brown Bear
    1. Print out this great bear outline at Twisty Noodle. I love that you can customize the text on the page.
    2. Trace the letters.
    3. Use brown paint to finger paint the bear!

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  • Make Porridge for Lunch … if you look closely in the Buehner’s book, you’ll see a canister of oatmeal (porridge) on the counter Smile
    1. Make a batch of oatmeal. My 3-year-old helped measure and add the water and oatmeal.
    2. Add your favorite toppings. We sprinkled brown sugar and blueberries on top.
    3. We also used a Papa-sized, Mama-sized, and Wee-Bear-sized bowls.
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