Tuesday, December 10, 2013

October 2013 Preschool Themes and Activities

In October, I did not do as much every day with preschool as I had in September. But I did do some things. We had the following themes for Preschool activities: Apples, In the Kitchen, On the Farm and Halloween.


I planned more than we actually did, you can see some of the ideas on this pinterest board. The things we actually did were to taste different kinds of apples, make an apple pie from leftover apple slices, make apple jacks necklaces, make a letter A mini book, do apple print painting, read many apple books, make caramel apples and color apple pictures.We also made apple pie spice playdough, but not until the following week.

For the apple tasting, I made a sheet for identifying characteristics of the apples, so we could evaluate them. The kids were to decide if it was a crisp or soft apple, a tart or sweet apple, a juicy or dry apple and then rate them from favorite to least favorite. Since the classification was science-y, this was a great activity for everyone!
 Tasting the different kinds of apples was so much fun! . I had collected 14 different kinds of apples from 2 different grocery stores.
In using my apple cutter on the very first apple - the apple cutter broke. Oops. So it was back to using a knife the old fashioned way!
 So eating a slice of 14 kinds of apples can actually fill you up! We had leftover apples plenty to make into an apple pie.
In this photo, I had Princess line up the apples by color gradient, from darkest red to red/yellow to green. I didn't tell her yes or no on the color choices she made, it was interesting to see how she did it.
We enjoyed tasting the apples so much that the next day when friends came to visit, we did it again! I had bought at least 2 of each apple, not being sure how much I'd need - it turns out 1 of each apple was plenty but having extras made it possible for us to repeat the experiment which was lots of fun.
13 of the varieties. The Sweetango didn't quite make it in the frame.
 We had made necklaces previously with froot loops and it was a popular activity. Repeating it with apple jacks during apple week was an easy activity. This is a great one for helping with small object coordination since they thread them onto the needle and thread. You can use beads, but edible sugary cereal is so much more fun. I did buy some cheap large plastic needles for these activities, and then I just use yarn because I have so much of it.

Big brother wanted a sugar necklace too! He started making patterns at first but I think got impatient.
Mmm... tasty!
A picture of the two littles with their necklaces before they ate them.
Eating caramel apples. (Later in the month, but we still did it!) I bought the caramel apple kit at the store. Sheets of caramel you wrap around an apple and heat in the oven for a few minutes. I can do that!
I did not get a picture of apple print painting since I was busy supervising the painting. But I cut the apples in half sideways so that you could see the star inside and put out red, yellow and green paint on paper plates with some apples for each color, the goal being they would not get covered in paint but use one apple for each color print. Princess LOVED seeing the star in her print. Dinoguy enjoyed smearing his apple with paint around on his page but was intrigued when I showed him the print. I had them do the prints on large pieces of paper and figure we can use the paper as wrapping paper now if wanted.

There are tons of apple books at the library and we had fun reading many of them, from fiction stories like Apples to Oregon to non fiction about Johnny Appleseed and the basics of growing apples.


In The Kitchen

I don't think it is a secret I like to cook and bake. I try to have my kids join me in this also so they will learn the skills and enjoy food preparation. So a kitchen theme seemed easy and fun, perfect for very pregnant mommy. We could cook! We could do food experiments!We also made a mini book for the letter K, colored food pictures and read some great food themed books like The Little Red Hen, Stone Soup and Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?

The first thing we did is to make another batch of play dough and make homemade pumpkin pie spice and apple pie spice to scent the dough this time. So we mixed in spices, coloring and glitter. You can't buy dough this awesome. It did smell fabulous, and I enjoyed playing with the kids with it more since it didn't just smell like play dough. I dived the dough into three colors and we had red apple pie, green apple pie and orange pumpkin pie.
Playing with apple pie spice playdough and pumpkin pie spice playdough.
Princess has the green apple dough here.

Little guy experiments with his orange dough.
One of the cool kitchen experiments I've been wanting to try for a while is the density jar of layers. Like this one or this one. What I learned is that it is harder than it looks to make! Some of our layers mixed and wouldn't separate, so it takes some skills to make them look as awesome as the pictures. But it was neat. However one suggested shaking and watching it separate again - ours never separated again. Oh well.
Our density jar and their pasta pictures.
I did not have penne pasta on hand like I thought so instead of making pasta necklaces, we glued elbow macaroni to stick figure outlines. Playing with glue is always fun!

Of course we baked cookies and muffins this week but I didn't even think to take pictures. That is just too common of an activity I guess. :)

One of the simplest activities that surprised me on how much the kids learned was freezing a small toy in ice and then melting it out. Both kids were genuinely concerned that their toy would melt also!

There were more things I wanted to do that we didn't do that week but that just means we can have more kitchen experiments in the future!

On The Farm

Honestly my reason for this weeks' theme was that we had a trip planned to a farm activity where the kids could see farm animals. I read them books about farm animals also this week but don't think we did much more than the field trip. There were other things happening like birthdays and Halloween prep. But I have great pictures from the field trip!

As in previous years, holding the baby chicks and sitting on the tractor were my kids' favorite things. Dinoguy wanted to pet all the animals while the rest weren't going near some of them. Goats sound more like what I expect from Sheep and the sheep sounds were kind of alarming. I learned about cold branding also which turns the horse hair white. That was interesting.

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