Our cold, wet spring has put us a few weeks behind, but we finally got MOST of our daycare garden planted today and had lots of fun doing it!  We still have a few things to add over the next couple of days because I wanted to  make sure those that weren't here today can get in on this too.  Today we planted carrots, peas, green beans, corn, sunflowers, and some tomato plants.  We still hope to get in our lettuce, spinach, pumpkins, a couple more tomato plants, and some potatoes in the next couple of days.
I have had so much fun learning right along with the kids!  This will be our first year trying potatoes, so we'll see how that goes and what we learn from that! :)
I also set out a box of dirt with some of last year's leftover seeds and gardening tools for the kids to play around with and they really enjoyed that, especially after we had finished the "real" planting.
Hopefully the forecasted rain will help out our new garden and we will get some warm weather to help it grow, too.  I really love watching the kids see their seeds grow and getting to harvest their vegetables, too!
Preschool painting color mixing giant rainbow
     Color, color, color!  The two weeks leading up to St. Patrick's Day were filled with all the colors of the rainbow around here.  We did lots of painting and color mixing (I provided only the primary colors and we discovered what happens when they mix together!) to make a giant rainbow, in hopes that it might bring a leprechaun to hide his gold here!

And it worked!  :)  We had a mischievous leprechaun stop by and turn our milk green, and he even turned the toilet water green!  He also left us some fun surprises: a "pot of rainbow" and some green glow bracelets!  He left a note, so we learned that his name is Sneaky O'Malley!

Baking Soda and Vinegar with Jello and painting
We had lots of other color fun too, like our baking soda and vinegar play, with red jell-o powder added in.  An idea that came from Footsteps In Growing Daycare that we had a lot of fun with.  When the kids were all done playing with the bubbling reaction, we used the resulting mush to paint with.  It left an interesting textured product that smelled wonderful! :)

     We also had fun with flubber, and a new-to-us sensory material: Rainbow dough.  We have made cloud dough before -- it consists of flour and baby oil.  Since the only moisture comes from the oil, when we added colors one at a time, they didn't mix together but stayed separate as we played to become rainbow dough!  It is shown here after we had only added green, but Play Counts has some fun pictures of the dough with all colors added.

Preschool rainbows

     We had fun with rainbow strips of paper available in the art area all week,

...and our new rainbow sensory bottles!   We also learned a couple of new songs that you may have been hearing at home!  If not, ask the kids to sing you the Rainbow song, or the Leprechaun song that they learned!

We even got to EAT a rainbow with these colorful rainbow fruit kabobs and explore new and fun green foods, like avocado. 

We worked together to build a tape rainbow and then used it as the base for our rainbow color scavenger hunt!  Some of the kids are really getting good at ripping tape off the rolls....such HARD work for little fingers!  But they are very motivated to learn how, so they work, work, work at it!

     We had so much fun learning and playing with colors!
     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!
    After seeing how much fun the kids had digging their very own sandbox river this summer, I thought we might try out another kind of river.  So today we got out some heavy duty aluminum foil and stretched it out to see if we could make a river out of it.  The kids all helped to roll it out and curl up the sides so that it would hold water.

    Once we had it all ready to go, we turned on the water and added a few bottle-cap boats to float. 
We floated boats, we splashed our toes in the cool water,
...and we even jumped OVER the river! :)
    After three days of hard-working play, the kids have completed their goal of digging a river ALL the way around the sandbox!  They are pretty proud and have had a lot of fun with it.  Over the past few days, they have used their cooperation and teamwork skills, have done some great planning and predicting, and have learned a lot about water flow, too.
    It all started when they asked if we could get out our rain gutters and the hose on a hot morning.   They began by digging a "lake" right under where the water poured into the sand, and just kept expanding their own goals from there!
 We have had so much fun building our new "water wall" this week!  With just a few plastic bottles, the fence, and some colored water, we put together a fun "wall" to explore and experiment with.  The kids have already had hours of fun with the few bottles we have up and I plan to keep building and adding to it throughout the summer.
The beginning of our work-in-progress water wall.
Today we added a pinwheel, some funnels, and some clear hose and had all new fun!
Preschool making paper quilts
    We continued our lessons on the letter Qq today by exploring quilts.  A few kids have special quilts at home, so some brought them to show and we got to see what it is that makes a quilt different from other blankets.  The kids also did a fun project to make their own paper "quilts."

     I gave each of the kids a patterned paper for them to color and decorate, making sure to explain ahead of time that these papers would be cut into pieces and shared.  :) 
    They then chose the color of the "backing" for their quilt, and each assembled their quilt squares to make their own unique quilts!
Preschool potato painting
    One of the words that the kids came up with yesterday that begins with the letter Pp was potato, so today I made a few potato stampers for them to use with their paint and paper!

    The stampers were a fun way to practice our shapes too, especially as the kids had to ask for their friends to pass them the one they wanted to use next.
    We also read the book called Two Old Potatoes And Me, by John Coy.  It made some of us excited to get gardening again!  We might just have to try growing our own potatoes this year.  :)
    Today we searched the Newspapers for lots of letter "Nn's"!  J hit the jackpot and found the TV guide section, so everytime there was a new episode listed, she found another N!  :)  Some were definately more interested than others in this activity, but the ones who did show interst had fun searching for those Nn's, and even helping each other out! :)