I would like to sincerely apologize for my lack of consistency with my posting lately. I'm truly trying to get myself back on track, and as of next week, I should have a more regular schedule which will actually have blogging time carved out (yay!)!
Anyways, hope you're all having a fun Sukkos. Although this isn't super preschool related, I'd like to share my latest "Craftcapade". This year is the first year we have our own Sukkah! My husband is super handy, so he went to Lowes, bought the wood for the frame and the canvas, built it in what felt like minutes (ok it was really hours, but who cares?), and then suggested that I paint the Sukkah. At first he was suggesting that I actually use a brush and paints (for those of you who don't know, I'm currently pursuing a BA in Art), but then I thought why not use spray paints? So- I headed over to Michaels, coupons and teacher card in tow (you get %15 your purchase with teacher ID) and chose my paints. I found some great Krylon paints that actually ha a vertical spray hole which was fun for the lulav in particular.
Anyways, I had a blast, and I highly recommend the experience- just prepare appropriately! I wore a pretty heavy apron and vinyl gloves, plus I had a thick newspaper to practice spraying on. Spray paint is extremely permanent so make decisions wisely, and then have fun! I sure did!
Before I begin, I want to let you all know that while I actually won't be working in a preschool classroom this year (I'm going back to school to continue my higher education! yay!) I will do my best to post 4-5 times a week, so please feel free to email me with any questions or ideas you might have...
Ok- so every classroom need that great Tzedakah box for circle time every day. This repurposed Tzedakah box made from an old oatmeal container is one of my favorites, because it's large enough for kids to always see, and easy enough to hold with both hands. It also has the simple empty to refill process aka the cap just comes on and off...
What you'll need:
Oatmeal Container or similar cardboard/plastic cylindrical container
tissue paper squares
*I prefer actual mod podge as opposed to just mixing glue and water because nothing will give you that same glossy finish, or hold up quite as well, but glue and water is a pretty good substitute when necessary.
Use the paintbrush to coat the canister with mod podge. Quickly apply the tissue paper squares until the entire surface is covered. Add a second coat of mod podge and then set aside to dry. Now take the lid of the container and use the razor to cut a fairly generous slit for coins and folded bills to fit through. Coat this with Mod podge, then tissue paper squares, then more mod podge. Once dry, you may want to add more layers of tissue paper depending on how opaque you want the Tzedakah box to be. Once you're completely done, you may want to decorate it further using glitter glue to write Tzedakah, or glitter...
Have fun with it! And remember to give tzedakah! :)
Yay! Did you realize that Purim is only one month away?!?
For Purim crafts, I'm not going in any particular order of ideas, so if there's something specific that you'd like to see, please ask on my Facebook
1, Firstly, for some ceiling decor. These hanging Hamantaschen are fun, colorful, and skillful!
You will need:
Cream colored paper
Tissue paper in Jelly colors- purple, red, orange
Single hole punch
Cut a rounded triangle from the cream paper. Cover one side with contact paper cut to size. Cut the tissue paper into small squares. ave the kids crunch each piece of tissue paper before placing it on the contact paper, holding it in place. Once the contact paper is full, punch a hole at the top of the triangle and tie a piece of string. Hang from the ceiling!
2. Purim Puppet Theater
In our classroom last year we had a toy grocery store
by Melissa and Doug. If you have something similar great, if not, improvise! Simply drape fabric over it to form a puppet theater. Have baskets nearby, or use the grocery bins of this set to place the various Purim related puppets in reach! If you live in New York, Amazing Savings has a great Cowgirl on a horse puppet for $3.99 that I converted into Mordechai on the horse. The kids loved it!
Have fun and Happy Purim!
I'm taking a quick break from Health, because I finally got around to doing this, and I'm super excited to show it off! The credit for this idea goes to The Growing Place, a Reggio school in Santa Monica, CA that I observed when I was in college.
You will need:
Full body photos of your students
Drawings of animals done by your students
Alligator/Binder Clips (I got mine from the dollar spot at Target)
First, cut out the photos and animals so that you have their actual shapes. Then laminate them using the hardest lamination possible. Cut them out leaving a 1/2" at the base of each photo/animal. Now you're ready for the alligator clips! Place one photo/animal into each clip so that when the metal prongs are up, the clip is standing, supporting the photo. Next, turn the metal prongs downward as though you are going to squeeze the clip open, and instead, squeeze the 2 sides of each individual prong toward each other and remove them from the clip. Repeat this with all of the prongs. You may want to save them as replacing the pictures is a lot easier with the prongs.
You now have your very own homemade play people and animals. Your kids will love playing in the block center "with their friends and drawings".
Ok, for real this is the final decor post for Chanukah!
Use the marker to draw your favorite Chanukah shapes on the poster, and then cut them out. Think dreidel, oil jug, latkes, Chanukah gelt, etc.
Use the collage materials to completely cover the shape and then hang it on your wall.
Do you have some form of a Mitzvah Tree in your classroom?
I always had a hard time getting parents to actually write the Mitzvah notes even when I sent blank Mitzvah notes home. So I brainstormed to see what I could do to change that. Why are Mitzvah notes so important? They give kids 30 seconds to shine and be singled out in front of everyone. For the shyer kids, this is a huge confidence booster. For the more outgoing child, these give them extra positive reinforcement.
So at first I sent home a sheet of 5-6 blank notes every Friday and told parents that if easier, they could just send in all 5 on Monday and we would read one each day. It still wasn't really doing the trick though. So I switched it up a bit. Now, I don't bother sending the Mitzvah notes home, I just keep a bucket of precut Mitzvah notes at the kids' cubbies with a sign above it asking parents to please write one. I keep an empty bucket next to it to place the written Mitzvah Notes inside, and then I can read them at circle time.
Now for the notes themselves. For the past few years, I've been changing the mitzvah notes every two weeks when we would switch units. This year I changed it up a bit. I'm switching by season. So when we started the year, it was Summer, so we had Summer fruit Mitzvah notes. For the Fall, we had different Fall leaves, and now, during the Winter, we have snowflakes. I've also been changing the actual tree and saving the notes. At the end of the year, I'll give each kid a bunch of his/her mitzvah notes to make a frame with, and then place their photo in the center. Another fun thing to do is simply collage with them. Parents get a real kick out of seeing their mitzvah note from the beginning of the year!
How do YOU get your parents tho write/bring them in?? Comment below!