For the past few days, I have been gluing magnets to the back of just about anything I could think of.  :)  From craft sticks, to pom-poms, to pipe cleaners, we now have loads of new magnets!  Why?  We got a new giant magnet board (actually an oil drip pan from the automotive section at WalMart) that we have been having lots of fun with!
     Magnets are a great science material for kids to explore.   And they have just had so much fun doing it!  They have done lots of experimenting to figure out what magnets will and won't stick to...and were really excited when they discovered that some of the magnets will stick to other magnets!  :)
     And with the variety of magnet toys we have, there has been some great creativity, counting, cooperation, planning, and teamwork!
Preschool Valentine Heart Hop
     Our Valentine "Heart Hop" game turned out to be an even bigger hit than I could have predicted!  I have decided that I might just have to choose other shapes and ALWAYS have numbered shapes taped to my floor!  :)  I placed the hearts on the floor in the hallway that connects our toy room to the rest of the house, so every time the kids took that path, they were counting as they went!  We used them for various follow-the-directions type of games, but even before I led them in any of that, the kids were hopping, jumping, counting (forwards AND backwards), and even organizing and communicating their own games.  They also were able to reason that if this heart shows the number 7, and has 7 dots on it, then maybe that word there says "seven!" 

And, the hearts were a great way to get out some of that BIG energy that is always so abundant on holiday party days!
     We also had lots of fun with our themed breakfast and lunch, Valentine balloon play, painting, decorating Valentine treat bags (which led to a puppet-making session and puppet show!), and the highlight of course, passing out the Valentines they had brought for their friends.
     Today I used an idea that I saw recently on both House of Baby Piranha and Teach Preschool.  I set out the markers and some sheets of paper with various wiggle eyes already glued on. I love giving the kids a tiny suggestion and seeing how many ways they can all branch off of it from there.
The kids' creativity produced a lot of great monsters...
...and even a robot!
Since tomorrow is Groundhog Day, today we had some fun exploring light and shadows... a great way to make the events of the day relevant to kids!  First we used our hole-punches to punch holes in some cardboard tubes...
Just look at how hard these little hand muscles (which need to be built up and exercised in order to be ready for writing) are being worked!
Next, we darkened the toy room, passed out some flashlights and got to work!  :)