We are having a blast building with egg cartons this morning. And knocking them down is even more fun! It has been such a great opportunity for teamwork, negotiating, problem solving, structure/engineering experience, vocabulary building, and more!
The kids spent a lot of time this past week creating an obstacle course in the yard! The planning, trial & error, teamwork, and of course, large motor work were amazing to watch! #looseparts
We had tons of fun experimenting with our brand new pendulum today. This fantastic idea from Play Counts was an awesome lesson in physics, structure and stability, cooperation, teamwork, vocabulary, and so much more!
Now a full week into 2015, I have so enjoyed looking back on what an amazing year 2014 was! I was blessed enough to spend MANY special moments with some super special kids, and thankful that some of those moments were even preserved on camera. I have chosen my very favorite photos from the past year, and I hope you all will enjoy getting a glimpse of the joy, learning, friendships, and excitement that we have experienced together. As with all photos, what makes them great is the story behind them, so I've added descriptions to some that explain why they are my favorites. Just click the post link to see all the photos!
We started working on our Water Wall today! If you remember, we did a water wall last summer too and had a lot of fun with it. With as much rain as we have had around our area lately, rarely has learning about water flow been a more relevant activity! Since the kids were familiar with the concept from last time and since we have a couple of older kids with us now, this time I just set out the materials and let the kids work on building it.
I think it will be a work in progress for most of the summer so feel free to send along any fun plastic bottles as you empty them!
For our last official day of Dr. Seuss week, we read Yertle the Turtle and used a fun idea from Strong Start when we played with these egg carton stacking turtles.
We also had fun painting some of our own turtles!
We pulled out an old favorite today and we now have a pretty cool painter's tape farm being constructed. Lots of planning, spacial awareness, shapes, and fine motor practice (ripping tape is HARD work for little fingers!).
I have discovered something. Maybe discovered is not the right word, since I am far from the first to realize this, but it took me a while. In most cases (there are exceptions, of course) the LESS prep work I do, the MORE the kids get out of our experience. This realization has completely changed the way I do things, and the results we get because it is pretty much the opposite of how I used to run my program.
Take today for example. Thanks to our recent tree-damaging ice storms, my dad brought us some great new tree rounds to play with! They needed a quick sanding, so instead of prepping them the night before, I set out the box of un-sanded tree rounds and some small squares of sand paper. Each of them gave it a try, and a couple of them sanded off and on for the rest of the day! Call it child labor if you want, but the kids love to be involved in the process! ;) Sometimes they even enjoy the preparation more than the actual final "activity" I have in mind.
Not only do the kids enjoy it, but it also gives them a deeper understanding of whatever process we are involved with, which only broadens their learning. Now, I am looking forward to seeing what they might build with the blocks tomorrow!
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!
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!
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Welcome to Hilary's Home Daycare & Preschool! Take a look through these pages to get a glimpse of what our days are like! If your child is currently enrolled in Hilary's Home Daycare, be sure to check out the "Look what we did today!" section often to join in our fun!
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