For our very rainy morning, we got out a few bags of marshmallows and a box of toothpicks, and had lots of fun making all kinds of "houses," "garages," "monsters," "swords," and lots of other shapes, too.  It is always fun to see what the kids come up with when I have something that I can just set out and let them go.

"Look! Heavy weights!"
There were patterns,
...and imaginary creatures,
...lots of fine motor work,
...and so much FUN, that even the "big kids" wanted to get in on it, too!  :)
    Over the past few weeks, we have been working our way through a great book list that is made up of the favorite reads of the kids at a really great preschool in Sioux Falls.  Today we read the book "Chalk" by Bill Thomson and then carried the story into our play, outside.  To summarize, the story is about some kids who find a bag of magical chalk that brings anything they draw with it to life. 

    We had lots of great pictures.  Some flowers and butterflies...
A house...
and a great big T-rex! 
And, just like in the book, if the drawings got too scary (or just for fun), they could be washed away with just a little water!
We had so much fun letting our imaginations run wild!
Preschool garden
    Today we planted our garden for the year!  We planted lettuce, carrots, green beans, peas, sweet corn, sunflowers, and tomato plants.  The kids really enjoyed finally getting to plant the seeds they have been so excited about!  They dug, planted, covered, and watered and had fun trying to figure out what the next type of seed would grow into.

    There is so much to be learned from participating in the process of a vegetable garden from start to finish!  In planting, caring for, and harvesting from our own vegetable garden this summer, we will learn about the science of raising plants - what they need to grow, parts of a plant, that the root and stem grow out of the seeds we planted, how tall sunflowers can grow, and even that some plants have a flower that, in time, is replaced by food!  When we planted our garden today, there were math skills involved as we counted out our seeds, counted how many rows we had planted, how many kinds of vegetables we will grow,
graphed our favorite vegetables, and had to pay attention to the depth and spacing of our seeds, too.  Having a garden is also a great hands-on lesson on health and nutrition when we harvest the vegetables we have now planted as seeds, and then get to eat them! 
The kids have been waiting and it is finally time to put in our vegetable garden for the summer!  The actual planting will happen on Wednesday, but today we started getting ready by talking about what kinds of seeds we want to plant, what kinds of vegetables we want to grow, and making a seed-to-flower picture.
We started by finger painting some bright blue "sky."
Then we carefully placed some seeds at the bottom for the plants to "grow" out of, added pipe cleaner stems, and tissue paper flowers.

    We also took a quick trip out to our garden site to see how the dirt has been prepared for our seeds by being all weeded and tilled.  The kids felt the difference between the hard, packed dirt that was out there last week and the newly softened tilled dirt today.  Almost ready to start planting! :)
    As the school year winds down, so does our focus on the letters of the alphabet for the year.  We are almost to the end of the alphabet, so today we had some fun with the letter Yy.  I put out some yellow paint and yarn for the kids to use on their letter Y papers.
Some chose to finger paint, some went for the yarn, some used a combination of both and some just dove both hands right into that paint! :)
And as the kids were working on their Yy papers, I pulled them aside one at a time to start on some special surprises for Mother's Day...I'll wait to post any pictures of that until next week!