t is for tape playmobil fusion

not at all in the lesson plans…and if i had been asked if playmobil pieces could be taken to the project table, i likely would have paused.

but this lasted a long, long time.  little fingers got a work out.  and nothing was ruined or lost.

p is for picnic

surely there is time for a picnic…way back when style all wrapped up in a cloth of your own.

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note: this activity was done during a week long camp
called “way back when…” for 4 & 5 year olds at our local museum.

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during our week of exploring life way back when, we ate snack on bandanas and called them our “picnic cloths.”

picnic cloths

the first day children chose a bandana and we wrote their names on them.

there was a place in our “classroom” to hang them when they weren’t in use.

our snacks for the week were related to our themes:

on transportation day we ate wagon wheels and horse food (honeycomb cereal and carrots)

picnic cloths

on homes day we ate big and small logs (pretzels).

on clothing day we ate washtubs and fabric squares (individual applesauces and saltines).

there was also quite bit of creativity expressed during our relaxed snack times:

picnic clothspicnic clothspicnic cloths

picnic clothspicnic clothspicnic cloths

picnic cloths

it sure was funny to go home and tell families we ate logs, wagon wheels, horse food, wash tubs and fabric squares. hee hee hee.

picnic cloths

it was wonderful to be graced with beautiful weather for outdoor picnics 3 days of the week…but our inside picnic worked just fine.

inside snack day

h is for home work

this post from my personal blog reminds me of the work that can happen during those unstructured moments.  posted first in 2007 when my kids were 2, 5, and 9.  wow.

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i love
when ordinary items
are used for play…
here we are embracing
the last days at home
before school starts…

we were imagining how eliza might make her “e” some day…

compost soup…mmmmmm…to sally at least…

newspaper soaked in water and rolled to a ball…

w is for wedding

i’m reposting this over a year later in honor of my marriage…15 years ago today.  it’s been as full of color and intensity as this photo.

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i was simply taking a picture of the “wedding” that was happening and then helped clarify that if someone wanted her name to be sally it could be even though that is the name of another someone’s (ah-hem) dog.

i didn’t realize i captured this on the photo (and the dozen others taken around this one).


i am fascinated looking at each child.  it seems as though everyone is aware of the conflict and reacting in their own way.

we work every day to find ways to work together.  lately one class is working to include anyone who wants to join in already established play.  the latest “rule” is that everyone has to have a role and they have to be pleased with it (within reason…if this isn’t able to be figured out, we teachers move in to facilitate a bit).  just today i watched a little girl with puzzled expression grumble to no one in particular, “yeah, but if i tell him to do that, he won’t be happy.”  somehow it all worked out.

m is for mirror

come on, find a child safe mirror and shaving cream and take it outside!  this post is from last june.

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• Kids Club • by you.

and s is for shaving cream. : )

• Kids Club • by you.

our mirrors came in handy for a multi-age kids club meeting (the first ever). the activity was shaving cream and water play. honestly, shaving cream play always makes me nervous…the eye stinging possibility.

• Kids Club • by you.

there was one moment. luckily he is 10, can stay calm with his eyes closed and can even laugh when i said i would take a picture of him.

• Kids Club • by you.

the mirrors not only provided a place to see our silly selves all shaving creamed up, but a finger painting surface and most exciting, an instant fun house. because these are shatterproof acrylic, they are bendable (yes, one mirror did crack, but one out of 6 isn’t bad…and then we knew how far they could be bent):

• Kids Club • by you.

• Kids Club • by you.

• Kids Club • by you.

• Kids Club • by you.

• Kids Club • by you.

• Kids Club • by you.

this is the outside of our original and now returning preschool.

• Kids Club • by you.

and ahhhhh, this big boy was a preschooler of mine way back in the early days.

c is for chocolate playdoh

i forgot about this stuff!  first made in may 2009.

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note: this activity was done during a week long camp
called “way back when…” for 4 & 5 year olds at our local museum.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

i know i’ve seen this recipe for a long time…just never made it.

chocolate play doh

but i am teaching a week long camp at the museum based on pioneer days and i wanted a “baking” looking color to go with our enamel dishes. usually i do a plain play doh with a bit of cinnamon.

play doh table

this year i also made a batch of chocolate play dough…the first batch not working (way too crumbly…not sure what happened). very quickly the chocolate and cinnamon/vanilla batches are blended.

chocolate play dough:

combine (i do all the mixing in my kitchen aid):

1.5 cups flour

.5 cup cocoa

3 tsp cream of tartar


2 cups water

1 cup salt

2 tbs oil

mix it all together (at this point i had to add quite a bit of extra flour…not sure how much)

r is for rice bottles

first posted in 2008.  now is a good time to start drinking and start collecting little things for some new alphabet i spy bottles!

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my kids were glad to help drink 26 bottles of gatorade and vitamin water so i could have wider-mouth bottles.

alphabet rice bottles 0809 - 13

the preschoolers help me fill bottles with rice and then i hide something inside correlated to a letter.  i tape the lid on with colored duct tape and write the letter on the lid.

so far there is one little apple hidden in the A bottle

a plastic baby, a bird and a button hidden in the B bottle

plastic cows hidden in the C bottle

dice hidden in the D bottle

an egg and an elephant hidden in the E bottle

i’m thinking feathers in the F bottle, blades of grass in the G bottle, horses in the H bottle, ivy in the I bottle, jacks in the J bottle…on and on.

a rice bottle 0809 - 12

a little guy told me today that the A bottle was his favorite thing at preschool. wow.

i is for ice

the first of a few revisited posts from the summers of 2008 and 2009:

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i did this for micah’s birthday once with a dinosaur theme.  at preschool we use this for any letter of the alphabet since we can hide anything in the ice (except maybe u or x things…ideas, anyone?)!  appleseeds, counter bears, coins, dinosaurs, elephants, fake flower petals, green things, horses, jewels, keys, lace, money, nuts, o ring shapes, paper clips, quills, red things, snakes, turtles, valentines (plastic hearts), white things, yellow things, zoo animals.


but i like to use it during i week since that’s kind of a tricky letter to find things for.

frozen treasures

ahead of time the teacher fills containers of any kind with water, then drops in some objects that won’t break when hit, then freezes.

preschoolers are offered tools for excavating the treasures…wooden blocks work the best in my experience.

take this as an opportunity to discuss the wonder that our eyes will blink or squint to protect themselves.  encourage this against the flying ice. : )

and if it is warm outside, take it all out!  when i week falls in a cooler month, we wear our mittens and break the ice chunks on art trays.