k is for kansas

kansas turns 149 today (and no, i did not stay up until midnight to post this…i usually do a bunch of posts and schedule them for later).

butter time

our  kansas celebrations this week include making butter to eating zweiback brought by families.  its such a simple process, i don’t know why i don’t do it more often.

we used fancy local cream that came in a glass bottle, poured it in another jar and shook, shook, shook.

butter time

butter time

suddenly you hear a thunk, thunk, thunk and you know the butter is flopping around in there!

butter time

we sang happy birthday by “candlelight” (thanks for the inspiration, tom!) and enjoyed our feast.

butter timebutter timebutter time

it’s been a cozy week.

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s is for sunflower

sunflowers

all i could find was a slightly neon-toned yellow paper.  we put out yellow crayons and pens to soften the color a bit.

sunflowers

then snowflake style, we offered the preschoolers a paper folded in fourths with one petal shape drawn on.

sunflowers

some thought they worked better as airplanes.

sunflowers

then gluing them around a center and adding an O shape for the middle with a cardboard stem.

sunflowers

our state flower!

w is for wind

i was in charge of an intergenerational sunday school time on the topic of the holy spirit.  we made these wind catchers to demonstrate that even if you can’t see the wind, you know it is there because the fabric moves.  with church and preschool sharing space, we share these now too.

spirit

the children are surrounded by streams of color that move with every passerby.

spirit

i am surrounded by the reminder that goodness and peace are moving with us.

spirit

p.s.  to make one you need a panel from old wire shelving units and about 20 thrifted scarves. : )

n is for nut buddy

totally crafty.

nut buddies

totally not child-centered (all they did was choose a nut with eyes already hot glued on and an acorn cap for the teacher to glue on).

nut buddies

except for the moment they carry their nut buddy around the room and it enters their play.

nut buddy

w is for winter animals

we discussed ways that animals adapt to winter and hid some of our nuts to eat at home.

hiding nuts

hiding nuts

a paper “cave” glued to old mat board, covered with kleenex and paper towels, then nuts hidden inside.

hiding nutshiding nuts

we covered the cave hole with another kleenex.

hiding nuts

that way families didn’t know we had nuts in there.

l is for lame

seldom do i set up a project that is so lame that we don’t continue on.  don’t get me wrong, almost every project evolves once the children get going with it.  what i have in my lesson plans is almost never exactly what we end up doing.

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this project was supposed to provide pages and pages of wood-stamped “nuts.”

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but the wood pieces didn’t hold much wood for printing or rolling, the paint wasn’t a warm brown-more of a greenish gray, the paper kept tearing. i abandoned it almost immediately.

truly a process-only experience.

t is for tube

i had no idea the joy this tube would bring.  i expected cars racing through.  i expected blocks racing through.  i’m surprised it hasn’t been colored or covered with tape.

tube hauling

but i didn’t expect kids to figure out how to launch cars simply by slamming it down on a shelf.  yes, it was loud.

tube hauling

and i sure didn’t expect the sheer JOY that the kids show in simply hauling this thing around.  all classes.  they just walk around with it.  all around the room.  no one has been knocked down yet.  no tables cleared either.

tube hauling

tube hauling

amazing.

tube hauling

thank you, mr rob, for taking a break from cootie to bring us the tube.

cootie

h is for haiti

when a preschooler’s mama has traveled to haiti, it provides the perfect opportunity to hear what kids know.

letter to dr jenny

just like the public service announcements on pbs cautioning parents in terms of children seeing too many images of the destruction of haiti, i hesitate to burst bubbles of protection that parents have created.

letter to dr jenny

but in vague enough terms with plenty of compassion, preschoolers shared what they knew about the devastation in haiti.

and dr. jenny, we wish you well as you travel home.  thank you for sharing your gifts with the world.