r is for roll

our giant tape ball had some action a few weeks ago.

from the sanctuary (also known as “big church room”) down to our classroom.

ball rolling

ball rolling

(i was on my back taking these and the ball rammed the camera into my face.  yikes.)

ball rolling

ball rolling

ball rolling

and if the ball made it’s way around the corner like this to the classroom, that was a “goal.”

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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.

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it’s been a cozy week.

b is for bell

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more thrifted wooden pieces, a bit of pipe cleaner, a jingle bell, watercolors and GLITTER!

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we used a couple of techniques to get glitter on:  glue and shaking it on and dipping the wet paint bell in a cup of glitter.  both worked fine.

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and yes, we have glitter all over the room (and i am guessing in back packs and homes too).

p is for paper ball

for great arm muscle work, make a ball (or snow ball or hail ball) out of crumpled paper.

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then fore great fine motor work, cut or tear tape to keep the paper ball together.

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make as big as children want to.

d is for dog bones

“d is for dog” week had many dog bone moments.

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first of all, we had an ongoing list of things we know dogs need.  dog bones came up more than once.

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this was not my plan.

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i have a hard time using food products for art projects.  and while dog bones are not people food, we made them inedible for the dogs.

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my plan was to sacrifice about 10 of the dog bones for us to make prints using paint.  the rest we would share with our dog visitors.

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i left the bag of dog bones near the paint table (to show the children the package, etc.).  within moments, the bag had been opened up and children were hand painting the bones.

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i brought out paint brushes, quit trying  to make excuses of why we were painting perfectly good dog bones, and let them enjoy the process.

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we glued them to old foam board and sent them home.  by the way, if your dog does eat them, the paint is officially non toxic.

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we made our own dog bones one day.

the recipe was very simple (and good enough for people to eat too):

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1/2 c corn meal

2/3 c meat broth

6 T oil

2 c whole wheat flour

Mix ingredients well.  (we smooshed it by hand)

Roll out to 1/4″ thick. (we each took a clump and flattened it with our hands)

Cut into shapes with cutter. (we shaped them by hand)

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 min. (we overbaked them each day but the dogs still ate them)

Cool on wire rack.  (we left them on the pan to cool because we had to hurry to show and tell time)

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some of our snack friends brought dog bones for people to eat!

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when we get prepackaged snack items, i like to put the scissors on the table (preferably only a few pair per table so problem solving and sharing comes naturally) so they can open their snack on their own.

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m is for mother’s day

SPOILER ALERT:  if you are a mama from preschool and you have not opened your green tissue paper or white lunch bag present, stop reading (and check your child’s backpack…)!

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but may you all know the joy children take in making something for someone special.  this year they were “found items necklaces” (or “things to hang on a nail if the mom doesn’t wear necklaces” as one friend said) with 1 inch photos of each.

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yes, my mom would want this.

mother's day 09

oh, my mom loves this color.

mother's day 09

my mom needs a lot of these.

mother's day 09

my mom wants one of everything.

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totally worth the mess.

mother's day 09 by you.

m is for may day…and mother’s day!

may day

we made these flowers on may day (though several kids said i should bring these supplies out to make their mamas flowers next week!  but we will do a new project…hopefully as fancy as years past).

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this is a very simple eye-hand coordination activity. pre cut flowers with holes punched in the middle fit perfectly on straws!

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we also made may day baskets out of folders (folded in half, glued on the bottom half edges). the children cut on two lines to create the handle (which fits just so on a door knob).

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writing and decorating was optional.

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after snack time, the children usually head out into the classroom for work time or project time. not today! after snack the preschoolers went for book time (when they sit in our circle time corner and look at books together) while i hid the flowers.

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my favorite hiding spot.

may day

then we did some math to figure out how many flowers each could find…and they were off.

may day

no pictures at the end, but trust me they were cute with their baskets of 5 flowers each. : )

b is for BIG collage carrot

i decided to use a piece of cardboard and left over orange paper to make a BIG version of our collage carrots (in case that maybe real-maybe not real easter bunny is really hungry).

BIG carrot collage

again, we pretended there were no scissors.  again, we used up all the glue we had (for real).

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and i should not be surprised that my TTH class thought to dig through the shelves to find orange/green ribbon and lace. i love that!

BIG carrot collage

it wasn’t dry when we left school for easter break, so i am excited to see it finished and shiny from all the glue.

e is for easter bunny food

i was inspired and changed plans. we pretended our school didn’t have scissors and we needed the paper to be small enough to cover the cardboard carrot shapes.  hmmmm, shall we tear it with hands?  rip it with teeth?  both techniques were tested.  tearing by hand won out.

c is for carrot

show and tell this week is “easter decorations.”  we’ve had crosses, palm branches, easter eggs, and easter bunnies.  we have rabbit books out in honor of spring and making these carrots (a.k.a. easter bunny food) seemed like a natural project.
c is for carrot

c is for carrotc is for carrotc is for carrot

i loved seeing the variety.  smooth, bumpy, sparse, heavy with layers.

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but then i was asked the question, “is the easter bunny real?”  out come the cries of YES and NO and a little girl looking at me for answers.  in these moments, i have learned to defer to the parents.  to explain that some of our preschool friends think yes and some think no, so find out what your family thinks.  she was satisfied, but smirked a little and as she was walking away said, “no… right?”