Saturday, October 27, 2012

Preschool Arts and Literacy Club - Leaves

We had our second meeting of our Preschool Arts and Literacy Club and our theme was LEAVES. Once again we had the meeting at my home, but this time we were a bit more smart in our approach.

First things first, the playroom was closed!  It made the whole event less stressful for me and clean up was a breeze.

We had many activities set up around the house for kids to participate in while we were waiting for everyone to arrive.  I had emailed the mamas beforehand to let them know where the activities would be located and what was available at each station.  Kristen and I hope to have these same sort of activities available each session so the kids can become used to going to an activity while waiting to come together as a group. This week we had:

Leaf rubbing plates....

Pumpkin Spice Play-Dough Tray

Fall Sensory Bucket

Felt Board Activities - both of these AWESOME activities came from the busy bag exchange I belong to - love that group!


Having the activities available for when the kids came into the house worked wonders - and kept them all engaged until we were ready to begin.

Our first book was Fletcher and the Falling Leaves - this was a sweet story about a fox and the changing of the leaves. 

After the story we made collages with "treasures" we had found out in nature. We displayed our treasures on contact paper.  We had pieces of scrapbook paper for the kids to use as a border or frame around their collage if they so wished.  We then covered over the top of the collage with another piece of contact paper.  The end result was a fabulous fall display, perfect for any window in your home. 
( Note: Sassy Sis used her scrapbook pieces as part of her overall collage, not just as a frame!)

Our second book was a perfect book for the little ones to get involved in the story. We read We're Going on a Leaf Hunt - adapted from We're Going on a Bear Hunt.  Since the story has a repetitive nature and many lines that lend themselves to hand motions - the kids were thoroughly involved in the story.

Our project after this book was a tree collage with stamped leaves. We used wine corks for the colorful fall leaves.  I found this awesome idea here. Both of my two loved this project - especially using the corks as a stamper.

Our snack this week was crackers and cheese - the cheese cut out in the shape of leaves, of course! 

And we sang some songs - the favorite being:

Creative Movement/Song: This Is the Way We Rake the Leaves(Tune: Mulberry Bush)
This is the way we rake the leaves, rake the leaves, rake the leaves
This is the way we rake the leaves, on an autumn morning
This is the way we pick the apples, pick the apples, pick the apples
This is the way we pick the apples, on an autumn morning
This is the way we feed the squirrels, feed the squirrels, feed the squirrels
This is the way we feed the squirrels, on an autumn morning

It was another great meeting of our club! We read, sang songs, did some art, enjoyed some treats, and had fun together.  One more week at my home and then we'll be on to having our group at the library meeting room - which I have to admit I'm a bit excited for! Stay tuned, our next session's theme will be PUMPKINS.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Finger Painting in a Bag!

 After our Preschool Arts and Literacy club did a project with painting in a bag I knew I needed to do it again! We decided to make some fall leaves - perfect for decorating our home.  For this project all you need are some gallon size plastic bags, assorted paint colors, and full cutouts from cardstock or heavy paper. 

Simply, put your cut out shape in the plastic bag.  Then add some globs of paint.

The the fun begins, all you need to do is spread out, smear, push, and squish the paint all around, trying your best to cover over the entire shape. This turns into a great color mixing activity as well. The best part....the mess stays IN the bag!

Now the actual painting portion of this project is mess free.  However, the mess does happen when you pull out the shapes, put in a new shape, and add paint.  Of course, my little ones had to be part of the switching...and the paint pouring....and well you get it, we got messy!

Our final products were beautiful - they were a melody of all fall colors.

My two LOVE when I use their art work to decorate our home.  These were perfect to use to make a garland.  All I needed to do was punch a hole in them, string through some ribbon.  And now they are part of our fall decoration in our play/school room!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall Themed Sensory Fun

I'm a huge advocate of sensory play.  I try to always have numerous sensory activities available for my two to enjoy.  A fabulous explanation on the benefits of sensory play, with ideas, can be found here.   The two activities I posted about today are simple to create - most use items around the house or which can be found at your local dollar/discount store.  They provide hours of creative play for your little ones as well.  Sounds like a win:win to me! 

Tomorrow we'll have two new sensory activities that are related to the season of fall.  First is our sensory tote. The filler for this tote is popcorn kernels and inside are all things fall: pumpkins, acorns, leaves, scarecrows. A simple walk through the Dollar Tree, Michaels, or JoAnns will provide you with numerous low cost items to make your own tote.

Totes are easy to put together ,but I know I can always use some inspiration.  Here are some ideas for an autumn sensory tote:

We also will have a new play dough set up.  For the past year I've been making my own play-dough.  I love to add scent and color to it and let me tell you this Pumpkin Pie play-dough smell delcious.  The recipe is easy to follow- in fact the Owl and I made it together today.  I wanted it to come out orange, but I'm pretty sure our pumpkin pie spice took over with the coloring.  Either way my two are going to love it! 

I've included some fall cookie cutters, some rolling pins and 4 plastic pumpkin cups of embellishments: foam leaves, mini pumpkins, fall table scatter, and fall themed confetti.  I can't wait to see their creations!