Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Party

We had a great Christmas party that W put on for our last day of Blue Preschool of this year.  It was a lot of fun and we were so glad to have everyone there!

The kids started out by painting popsicle stick Christmas tree ornaments with their Moms.  After they were dry the Moms could put a picture of their child in the tree!
After the painting we played pin-the-nose on Rudolph (that R had made) and the kids thought it was pretty fun to put on a blind-fold.

 Next B helped the kids play Santa bowling. All the kids were pretty good at this and had fun knocking the pins down and helping B set them back up again.
The kids then got to take a whack at a candy cane piñata that C had brought.  Some of those kids have very strong arms!  They thought that was fun and were excited to get little airplanes and treats from the piñata when they broke it open.
B and J then took the kids into another room and they read some Christmas stories while the other Moms got lunch ready.  For lunch we made quesadillas, carrots, snowman pretzels, reindeer sausages, and had a wonderful fruit Christmas tree that J made.

Finally all the kids got to sit in a circle and pass around their white elephant presents that they had brought while singing Once There Was a Snowman!  After the song ended they got to open up the present and see what they got!  It was a fun party and we hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Temple Square

We took a fun trip to Temple Square for our Christmas Nativity week.  T, EW, and G loved all the fountains and also were excited to see the shepherds, wise men, Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus on the different nativities. 

Here is G and T at the waterfall- probably their favorite thing.
We had a fun time in the Visitor's Center and were even able to watch a 20 min presentation on the family be the sister missionaries.  They thought that was pretty fun- they liked moving from room to room- although they kind of wanted to run around at the end, but it was really nice that they could have that experience with the missionaries.  Afterward we went outside and looked at the fun Nativity displays.
 The last nativity we saw was a large white one right in front of the temple in the fountain.  It was beautiful and the kids were excited to see baby Jesus in the water and they loved the temple.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas and Giving Lesson

We had a lot of fun in preschool this week though we did miss little EM. I was sure grateful to have helper M (EW's daddy) around to help out too.

As the boys arrived we put on their paint shirts and had them stamp white paper lunch sacks with fun Christmas stamps. These were then put aside to be used later to wrap a parent gift.

We gave the boys a little free time while we cleaned up the stamp stuff then we gathered them back together and sang "Higgely Wiggely Bumble Bee" to get there attention. We went over the calendar, wather, etc., and counted the number of days until Christmas. Then talked about the letter G. I had each child trace an uppercase and lowercase G with a dry erase marker on a laminated sheet which they all really enjoyed.

For a number review I had 10 red ribbons with the numbers 0-9 on them hidden throughout the room and had the boys hunt and find them. We then put the numbers in order and counted them.

I then had each boy pick a nativity mask and we quickly acted out the nativity.

T, EW, J, and G showing off their masks.

Then we went back to the table for our blue binder project. We made pictures of baby Jesus with a red bow to remind us that Jesus was Heavenly Father's gift to us and Jesus made it possible for us to return to our Father in Heaven. (Not sure if the boys got this point but we tried).

Once again we gave them a little free time while we prepared snack.

For snack we had triangle shaped triscuits, peanut butter in a cup with a toothpick for spreading and craisins. The idea was to have the boys make trees with craisins for decorations. I don't think any of them actually put theirs together but they enjoyed the snack anyway.

While they ate their snack, helper M (EW's daddy) read "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" which the boys loved especially because he did fun voices and really got into the story.

T, P, Helper M, and G enjoying the story

Once again we gave them free time while we got the last activity ready.

We finished the parent gift (Spoiler alert: The parent gift was a 1/2 sheet of paper with a 2011 calendar printed on the bottom half. the top half had a picture of the boy and a space for the boy to color a picture. We then laminated them and put magnets on the back so they could be hung on a fridge or file cabinet.) The boys then wrapped their gifts in their stamped bags and wrote their names on the tag.

We finished with a little free time as parents arrived.

I really liked breaking things up with the short free times rather than one big free time at the end. Something to consider for the future.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gardner Village- Elf Hunt

We had a really fun field trip to Gardner Village for a Christmas Elf Hunt.  (We had been planning on going sledding for our snow/winter week, but the snow all melted before we got the chance!)  It was a lot of fun and the weather pretty much cooperated- it was a little cold at first, but once we started walking it was great.  C had printed off a bunch of Elf Hunt scavenger hunts for us to follow and we walked around the village looking for the Elves on our list.  We actually ended up finding all but one, which they told us later was up high on a building so we didn't see it.  They were nice and gave each boy a candy cane anyway.  Afterwards we went over to the bakery and got some lunch.  We missed P and EM and hope to see them next week!

Here's the whole group in front of some of the first elves we saw that were roasting marshmallows by a fire.
T and G in front of a cute covered bridge.
 The Preschool boys on a Christmas truck with some elves.  G did not want to sit on the truck so he sat on the wheel which worked out just fine.  (Boys from left to right: EW, little J, G, and T.)
 T about to blow a kiss to this elf carrying Christmas packages.
 The Elf barbershop.  Really cute. They had very clever displays like this all over the village.
**Moms: if you have more pictures please share them!

Snow/Winter Lesson

S gave a fun lesson about snow and winter on Tuesday.  The kids even got to put on their snow gear and play in the snow at her house!  Here are her lesson plan and pictures:

Gathering activity: Play in snow
Welcome: Song, pledge, calendar, weather.
Introduce: color White, pointed out things throughout the lesson that were white. 
Number 10:  Sang 10 little snowflakes....One little two little three little snowflakes, four little five little six little snowflakes seven little eight little nine little snowflakes 10 little snowflakes falling down.
Letter W...W is for Winter,  Learned the sound wuh wuh.
Shape:  Snowflake - Made snowflakes for book.
Free time
Snack time:
two biscuits with raisins as eyes and buttons
Reading time: Hurray for snow!Discussion:  Winter is one of the four seasons.    Snow is water that freezes as it falls to the ground.
Project: Made snowmen out of different shapes.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Aquarium

We took a fun trip to the Living Planet Aquarium for our Under the Sea week.  All the boys had a great time and loved looking at the fish, octopus, jelly fish, sea horses, manta rays, sharks, turtles, and penguins.  We were also sad that EM and P couldn't make it.

T, little J, and G climbing on the sea horses waiting to go in.
 T and little J cheesing it up on a giant frog.
Little J waiting to touch the manta rays.
The boys working on puzzles and matching games.
 E, little J, G, and T sitting in a little boat.
Before we left the boys all got their pictures taken in a little photo booth.  They all were really cute and had fun posing for the camera.
Afterwards we went to Chick-fil-A for a little lunch and playtime.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Under The Sea

We had a fun week at school. It was an "Under The Sea" theme. I had the boys use a fishing pole and they fished for sea animals then we talked about them.When we got to the crab I taught them about to do the crab walk...then they raced and had a fun time. We learned about the color blue, letter S and the number 9. This week we are also taking them to the Aquarium.
For their snack I made blue jello and put cut up grapes in it. I told them it was the sea with fish in it.

We made a fish bowl for their craft. I love how they all have thier own style when coloring.

They were so excited to take a fish home. We love these kids!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Feast

We had a great preschool "field trip" making a Thanksgiving feast together.  The kids first sponge painted a tablecloth for our feast.  Then we read a story about the first Thanksgiving and how the Pilgrims and Indians had a feast to give thanks for all they had. 

The kids then got to go around to stations to help make our Thanksgiving feast with the Moms helping- one kid at each station then they rotated.  Station 1: they helped make air popped popcorn and cut up apples.  Station 2: they made turkey rolls.  Station 3: they learned to make mini pumpkin pies and rolled up slices of turkey.  Station 4: they helped make green beans and stuffing.  (When they had extra time we wrote a list of all things each boy was thankful for which we read at the feast together.)

The kids then all learned how to set a table properly (using their place mats from their lesson on Tuesday as a guide).  Afterwards we laid out our whole spread of food and, after a nice prayer, had a great feast.  We all had a great time and it was so much fun for the kids to help make the food and set the table.  Happy Thanksgiving!!
Turkey rolls: You start with the Rhodes dough that comes roll shaped. You need two rolls per child. Take the first roll and just put it on the tray this is the body of the turkey. Take the second roll and with a rolling pin roll it out flat. With a butter knife have the child cut the flat circle in half. With one half of the circle roll it into a snake shape and this is the neck and head of the turkey. With the other half of the circle, cut with a knife to make the feathers. When you have all the parts of the body done, have the children brush on a beaten egg white. This makes it shinny and it also helps it to stick together. Bake the turkeys at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. You don't need to worry about letting them rise. When your turkey is done, place 2 pretzel sticks in the bottom of the turkey for the legs. *We found that one roll cut in half (half for the body and the other half for the head and feathers works best!)
Mini Pumpkin Pies for dessert!
Mini Pumpkin Pie:
Makes 12 mini pumpkin pies
1.      Use Pillsbury Allready Piecrust- Using a cup or 4 inch round cookie cutter, cut out 12 circles from your 2 9-inch pie crust doughs.
2.      Place each circle into a pre-greased muffin tin. Press them in, letting the sides come up for a fun look. Score the bottom of your dough with a fork to keep the crust from bubbling up as it cooks.
3.      Pour your filling into each muffin tin cup. Fill them to the very top
4.      Bake your muffin tin pumpkin pies at 425* for 15 minutes. Then turn your heat down to 350* and bake them for 25-30 minutes. (This is 15-20 minutes less than a regular pie)
5.      Add a dollop of whipped cream to each individual muffin tin pie.

**Blue Preschool mommies- if you have other pictures please post them!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving- Giving Thanks!

Today we had a great preschool for Thanksgiving. Here is my lesson plan:

Thanksgiving Gratitude Lesson
Objective: Students will learn about gratitude, what we can be thankful for, and how to give thanks.  Students will also learn how to form the letter T and learn what it says- be able to recognize and name the oval shape- be able to recognize and name the color brown- and recognize and form a number 8 and count up to 8.
Gathering Activity: Play-dough.  Boys will be able to play with the play-dough when they arrive and each have their own ball that will be put into a plastic baggie with their name on it for further use. 
Welcome: Welcome song, pledge, calendar, and weather. Here is T as the star helper!
Introduce: Color BROWN- sign brown and look at brown fabric then point out brown objects in the room. Number 8- form a letter 8 with play-dough and practice counting to 8 together.  Letter T- tuh, tuh, tuh (Turkey)- each form a letter T with play-dough.  OVAL shape- say oval and form an oval with play-dough.
Use all the information to create some tuh tuh tuh Turkeys!- Brown color with 8 ovals.  Have each kids pick 8 oval feathers for their turkey then bring them to the table and show them how to make the turkeys with glue.  While turkeys are being made one kid at a time will go to the bathroom with Teacher W to get hands painted for place mats.  clean up for snack- clean hands and table off.
Free Play
Snacktime/Storytime:  Use half apples, toothpicks, marshmallows, and raisins to make Apple turkeys- then eat! Discuss how Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all that we have and there are so many things in our lives that we can be thankful for.  Like in this book: My Book of Thanks by B. G. Hennessy.
Discussion: Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all that we have.  Another way to say that we want to give thanks is to say we are grateful. 
Grateful Song: "If you’re grateful and you know it, clap your hands… stomp your feet… spin around…"
We can give thanks by saying thank you and helping others.  There are so many things in our lives that we can be grateful for.  Like in the My Book of Thanks and in this song:
Let’s Be Thankful song: (to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star")
Let's be thankful for this day
For our friends and our play
Let's be thankful; let's be glad
For our food and the things we have
Let's give thanks for you and me
And our home and family.
It makes people happy when we tell them thank you.  We especially need to say thank you to our Father in Heaven for all that he has given us. 
Thank you jars: Brainstorm things that we can be thankful for- each kid takes a turn and we write it on their oval and stick it in their thank you jar along with a few others that will already be filled out- family, sun, food, bed, clothes, friends, happiness, no owies, no sickness, blue preschool, etc.  The jars will have this little poem I wrote on them:
This Jar is for you to use on your way
To help you be thankful night and day
At time for prayers just pick one or more
And you’ll always have something to be thankful for
 Place mats: After place mats are dry attach poem and draw feet, beak, and wattle.
"This turkey is a part of me—
It is made from my hand you see.
I have so much to be thankful for,
like my family and so much more.
 It is time to say:

Boys can use this place mat for our Thanksgiving feast on Thursday and remember as we eat our big yummy meal that we should think of all the things that we are thankful for. 

(P was not able to come today because he was sick.  We missed him and hope he feels better soon!)