Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Apple Theme Unit for Daycare and Preschool

With every alphabet book read, every bowl of applesauce served, and every red, green, or yellow variety sliced for lunch, "A" is for apple, a child's most recognized fruit. Apples are begged for and bobbed for, sliced, diced, peeled, polished, and most especially offered to the teacher. Share these activities with the children to get them familiar with this healthy and tasty fruit.
There is So Much to Learn About Apples
Dissecting an apple is an easy science project to do that teaches children about fruit in general. On a sheet of paper, write the words leaf, stem, flesh, core, seeds, and skin. Take half of an apple and ask the group to look at it carefully; ask questions such as: "Does the apple have a stem or leaf? If it doesn’t have a stem, can you find the place where the stem was? What color is the skin on this apple? Can you name the different colors of apples? What color is the flesh of the apple? Where is the apple core? What is in the core? How many seeds are there?" Now, bring out the paper and crayons and have the children draw this apple half and help them label it.
Apple Tree Craft
Draw a tree on a sheet of white paper. Invite the children to color the tree trunk brown and the treetop green. Help young children dip their thumbs into red paint and print their thumbprints on the tree to represent growing apples. Below is a poem to write under the tree.
These are special apples hanging on this tree.
I made them with my finger prints, they are a part of me!
(Author Unknown)
Apple Stamping
Apple stamps are great on T-shirts, hats, tote bags, pillowcases, book covers, or just artwork. Slice the apple in half, and blot the cut side on a paper towel to absorb the juice. Apply paint to the apple's cut side with a brush. Test the apple stamp on scrap paper to determine how hard to press and see how much paint to use. Reload the paint and press the apple stamp onto the real surface. To finish, paint on green leaves, a black stem, and seeds with a fine tip brush. Use tempera paint on paper and fabric paints for any washable surface.
The way the apple is cut determines the print made. If the apple is cut horizontally across the core, there is a hidden star in the middle. Count the seeds together for simple math.
Apple Smile Treat
Cut the apples into wedges. Smear peanut butter on one side of two wedges. Stick a few miniature marshmallows on the peanut butter on one of the apple wedges and top with the other apple wedge, peanut butter side down. This treat looks like a smile (the red part of the apple are the lips and the marshmallows are the teeth). Children will be smiling too after they taste this delicious snack.
There are so many ways to use an apple with early childhood children; as these ideas are only a few. Think about a class outing that takes students right to the source; an orchard where children can pick apples from trees (if available locally). Learning about apples can be done today or any day of the year.
Until next week - happy learning and hugs those precious children~~
Photo courtesy of morguefile
Photo of apple smile

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Teaching Alphabet Letters to Preschool Children

Welcome to a new school year - whether you're a teacher or parent, these ongoing lesson posts will help you with ideas to foster early learning skills with your children.

When we think of preschool, it's as easy as ABC - well, there is more to learning the alphabet than just singing the ABC song. Here are some ideas to get you started.

When you allow young children to create alphabet letters using different art tools, materials, and techniques, they are more likely to recognize and learn how letters are formed. This article has five alphabet art ideas for your preschoolers. Let the children partake in these crafts where they will learn and become creative as well.

Make Collage Letters

Draw a box-type letter on a piece of cardboard or poster board. Invite the children to spread glue onto the letter and adhere any of the following materials to make a raised textured letter that they can feel. Think about using sand, seashells, crushed egg shells, paper scraps, dried beans or pasta, buttons, seeds, and even spices (so they can smell the letter). These are just a few ideas and I'm sure you can think of others. Sometimes it is best to coordinate the letter and the material used in the collage to make the letter sound. For example, when making a letter B, use buttons or with the letter S, use sand.

Create Letter Characters

Give each child a block letter and colored markers. Invite them to 'dress up' the letter by drawing in facial features, hair, and designs. You can even give the children scraps of fabric for them to dress up the alphabet letter with clothes. Challenge the children to give their letter a name, such as "Billy B" or "Tara" T.

Unique Fingerprints
Do the children know that they have unique fingerprints and that no one else has the same prints? Even though they are young, it's a piece of information well worth mentioning. For this alphabet art craft, have the children stamp thumbprints to create letters. Take a foam produce tray and place a few layers of paper towels inside. The towels act as a stamp pad when tempera paint is poured on top. Have each child put a thumb into the paint tray and stamp out a thumbprint in the shape of a letter. It's best if the teacher lightly draws the letter on paper for the children to follow. Another variation is to fill in a block letter with a number of fingerprints, maybe in different colors too.

Continue reading...

Keep this page handy for more lesson plans each week. Consider this blog a guide for Preschool 101~~

Happy teaching and hug your little ones each day,

Photo courtesy of Morguefile