We had so much fun last week celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday!  For the past couple of years, I think it has been the favorite "holiday" around here!  This year I brought out some old favorites (like painting with our feet, and then reading the Foot Book) as well as some new activities, art projects, and fun foods.  The kids had fun using tissue paper scraps to fill in their Red fish & Blue fish,  and loved dipping cotton balls into colored water to make colorful Truffula tree-tops!
     In addition to the fun art projects, we enjoyed some great Dr. Seuss themed games and activities, too.  The kids did some impressive building and patterning with our new Cat In the Hat foam stacking blocks, sharpened their fine-motor skills with some Tuffula tree beading, and even got to Hop on Pop!
     Of course we can't celebrate Dr. Seuss without having some Green Eggs & Ham, but we also had fun with lots of other Dr. Seuss themed meals and snacks.  One of their favorites was the fish cracker graphing along with some Pink Ink Drink (also from One fish, Two fish, Red fish, Blue fish).  We had colorful Lorax pasta with broccoli and asparagus "trees" and a blue alfredo river, played with Brown Bar-ba-loot bears and built our own Truffula trees (from the Lorax) using pretzel sticks and mini colored marshmallows, and at the suggestion of one of the kids, we even had a birthday cake for Dr. Seuss!
     We enjoyed celebrating Dr. Seuss once again and are now looking forward to lots of rainbow fun in the next couple of weeks, building up to St. Patrick's Day!
     It's not very often around here that we play with something that leaves the area cleaner than when we started!
Today we learned and experimented with bubbles!  I got out a few bowls of soapy water and some straws with holes poked near the top (to help prevent the soap from going all the way UP the straw and into mouths!), and we got to work blowing bubbles.  We learned that you have to blow soft and slow to make BIG bubbles, 
...and blow fast and hard to make LOTS of little bubbles.
We learned that if your hand is dry, it will pop your bubbles (aka, breaking the surface tension), but if it is wet, you can put it (and just about anything else!) INSIDE your bubbles!  
And since the letter list that we're working on right now is the letter B, we got out our Bugs to Blow Bubbles around and came up with lots of relevant words to add to our list today!
     A couple of the kids have been very interested in the letters of their names lately, so today I set out a pile of all the letters in each of the kids' names.  They sorted through them to find "their" letters.
     Next, they glued the letters down onto their papers like a puzzle, trying to get them in the right order to spell out their names and were very proud of their work!
    Most days I try to set out something in our environment that is new for the day and invites the kids to explore it as a self-led activity.  Today's invitation to play was a tub full of fuzzy craft pom-poms, some varying sized ice cube trays, and a jar of tweezers and clothespins.
    The kids really enjoyed this one and as you can see, as soon as it was discovered, they all gathered in close to check it out!  Right away they started doing what I had planned for them to do with these materials (which is not always the case!), and used the tweezers and clothespins to pinch the pom-poms and drop them into the compartments of the trays.
    The tools they were using are great for developing their fine motor skills, and they even worked in a bit of patterning, which is a pre-math skill, as well as pre-reading.  And the kids kept coming back to the tub to play some more throughout the day, so this will have to be a new one to add into our rotation!
    The kids enjoyed our Sticky Suncatcher so much last week, that we continued the activity this week, substituting in some patterning blocks.  I also used their interest in "Sticky" to focus on the letter "Ss" this week.  We have a growing list of words that begin with the letter S and have been having fun with our sticky window shapes, peeling stickers, and we might just have to mix up a batch of slime this week, too!

    Some of them really got into the pattern making, which is great since creating and recognizing visual patterns is such a vital pre-reading skill, as well as the math concepts it presents and the fine motor work it takes to get those shapes all lined up just right! :)
    We did a few fun projects to prepare for Father's Day last week.  On Wednesday, we used liquid water colors and droppers to mix our own unique colors.
We then dropped the colors onto some shaving cream, and pressed papers down on top of it all to make marbled art that we would later use in our Father's Day cards.
    On Thursday, we finished our cards by gluing our marbled artwork over the letter "D-A-D" cut-outs and cutting and gluing in a poem, and then writing our names.
Once the cards were done, we got to work making the gifts...sugar cookies! We had lots of fun taking turns measuring, counting, and pouring in the ingredients.  We made our cookies in the shape of the letters D-A-D and then the kids got to use lots of bright colored icing to decorate them.
I hope you all had as much fun on Father's Day as we had preparing for it! :)
    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!
    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!
    We had a lot of fun making all kinds of tracks today!  We gathered up all of the cars, trucks, planes, tractors, and anything else we could find that we thought might make some good tracks, and then drove them through our paint and right onto our papers.  After we were all done making the tracks, we had just as much fun with a mini "carwash" to clean up our mess! :)
    Today we got out a few Star Stickers, and our Scissors and used them to decorate a letter S.  Peeling and placing stickers is another one of those really fun fine motor skill activities for kids, and they even decided to make some great patterns (which is great pre-math work) with their star stickers, too, all on their own.  And, it was a fun way to learn about the shape of the letter S!