Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Cutest Skeleton Ever

My 2 boys are so into Halloween this year that it is making it so much fun!  Here are a few more activities we have added to our theme.

Skeletons:
I printed the free skeleton game from Activity Village and we attached the body parts with brads then used a small pipe cleaner for hanging.  They are the cutest skeletons I have ever seen!




Ghosts:
I found this template free on the web YEARS ago (my daughter whose almost 20 made the witch when she was younger so that will tell you how long ago I snagged this awesome freebie!).  There was a set of 3... a witch, ghost, and a scarecrow.  All I had to do was print the template onto card paper; the children coloured them and then we cut out the head and arms and stapled them onto a white kitchen bag.  Easy peasy and sooooo incredibly cute!

Bats:
I found this very large bat sponge several years ago and we used it to make a bat sponge painting picture.  This is our favourite bat song which we had to sing as we painted (of course!)

Bats Are Sleeping (Sung to: Frere Jacques)

Bats are sleeping
Bats are sleeping
Upside down
Upside down
Sleeping in the morning sun
Waiting for the night to come
Then they fly around
Then they fly around.


Happy Halloween!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Happy Halloween

My crew is getting excited for  Friday's big day.  We have been singing our Halloween songs, decorating the house, and crafting away.
Their favourite songs at the moment are 5 Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate and Bones Inside of You.

Some of the crafts we have created are...

Garbage Bag Spider - he is sitting pretty in our garden!  I found a set of spooky eyes window clings at the dollar store.  We used one set for our spider and the rest we put on the window of our front door.

 

Pumpkin Balls - we cut the top off a pair of white socks and soaked the sock in watered down paint then let dry overnight.  The children used batting to stuff their socks and then added felt faces.  I tied the top and voila fun balls to toss.  These are fun to just throw around, but are also great for Halloween party games.  Make some with faces and some without for a tic-tac-toe game or cut holes in a box and let the children try to toss them into each hole.  Another game these can be used for is to cut pumpkin shapes and place on the floor (or use fun foam ones available at the dollar store) and have the children try to toss and land their pumpkin ball on the pumpkins.  These can be used for so many fun activities.





Fingerpaint Pumpkins - cut out a pumpkin shape from large paper and let the children go to it.  Nothing like some messy fun!



Handprint Ghosts - what can I say except these are SUPER CUTE!!




For the older crew, I created these Halloween Story Starters.... Enjoy!!


Thursday, 25 September 2014

All About Apples

The past two weeks have been all about apples.  We taste tested apples, cooked with apples, sang about apples, and crafted apples.  It's been a lot of fun learning about this popular fruit!

Here is a worksheet I created for my crew to fill in before and after our taste test.  We tasted yellow apples (golden delicious), green apples (granny smith), and red apples (royal gala).

The children drew a picture of an apple tree.


They finger painted circles and added a stem and leaf to create an apple.



The favourite craft we did was stuffed apples!  I cut an apple template out of felt and hot glued it 3/4 the way closed.  They stuffed the apples with batting then I glued them closed and we added a felt leaf.



You can find more apple activities on my blog:

September 2013 - Apple Time

September 2012 - Apple Counting

September 2012 - Apple Picking Time

and on my website:

A Child's Place - Apples


Sunday, 7 September 2014

Sight Word Worksheets

It's been a busy start to the new school year.  I had to say good-bye to my older crew and welcome back my preschoolers after a summer home with Mom.  One precious little girl started my program and another little guy will be starting in October.  I do have one more space available for a child aged 2+ years so if you are interested in childcare in the Mississauga, Ontario area, please email me for information at childsplace@hotmail.com

My preschoolers are finishing up the keys to learning portion of my program and will be moving on to the beginner reading curriculum.  I created these sight word worksheets to accompany the words we will be reading in the coming months.  A special thanks to Laura Stickland of My Cute Graphics who created the clipart used in these sheets - she is very talented and so very kind to share her graphics with others so that we may create games and activities for the children in our care!  





Saturday, 9 August 2014

Mad About Science

We have had an incredibly busy summer here at A Child's Place.  I broke our theme down into weekly categories and the children had a blast exploring and experimenting.  We ended the summer with a Mad Scientist party.

Week 1 - Magnets
This week we explored the properties of magnets.  The children experimented with horseshoe magnets, bar magnets, fridge magnets, magnets attracting and repelling, magnetic marbles (these are so cool!), and magnetic games and toys.  One of our favourite activities was building with magneatos!


Set of Magnetic Activity Cards

Magnetic Pick Up

Week 2 - Life Science
This week was all about the creatures that we share this wonderful world with.  We were fortunate to find a baby snail and larger snail together (Mommy perhaps?) on a leaf on our wanderings at the beginning of the week so we created a habitat for them in our magnifying bug jar and learned about the Life Cycle of a Snail.  We, of course, released them back to their home the next day.  We also studied the butterfly and frog life cycles.

Life Cycle of a Snail

The Caterpillar and The Pollywog

Week 3 - Light and Colour
This week we had a blast with glow in the dark materials as well as colour glasses.  We explored colour through art as well.





Week 4 - F\orce and Motion
This week was all about pulling, pushing, and building ramps.  We experimented with moving heavy objects and the affect a ramp's slope has on speed.  We also made a balloon rocket.










Week 5 - Water Experiments
This week we were a-splishing and a-splashing.  We experimented with the buoyancy of items in fresh and salt water.  We were able to cut an ice cube in half with just a piece of string!



Cut Ice Cubes in Half Like Magic

Escaping Water

Floating Egg

Week 6 - Kitchen Science
This week was all about experiments using items found in the kitchen.  We created a density bottle, explored mixing ingredients such as water with juice and then water and oil.  We created an eruption using baking soda and vinegar.  








Mad Scientist Party
Our Mad Scientist party was a big hit!  We played pin the mustache on Albert Einstein and then did the experiments in our test tube kit.  We finished the party off with a big BINGO game and a BBQ lunch.  A great way to end the summer program.  

















Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Surprise

I truly have the greatest parents.  On Saturday, they threw me a surprise BBQ.  Hubbie and my daughter managed to get me there without me figuring it out.  They said they were taking me out to lunch at a cafe - I was curious when we pulled onto J's street, and then was asking why are we at J's house, but still didn't clue in to the fact that ALL the families and kids would be there.  It was super nice to sit back and relax with the families and the kids all had a blast.  I received this beautiful piece of art for my wall (which fits PERFECTLY in the stairwell leading to the childcare room) and a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers.



Monday, 2 June 2014

Lepage Super Glue

Yippee... I was chosen to do a test of Lepage's Super Glue.  This Ultra Gel is awesome!  The thing I like the most about it is that you can reseal the container easily for the next use.  The easy to use applicator ensures that my fingers aren't stuck together which is something I frequently did with the other stuff (OUCH!)



The children love my pirate ship bead activity toy, but the whale kept coming off - I think the screws were stripped as it would only last a few days when I tightened them.  I added some of the super glue and voila... good as new - weeks later, it is still holding strong :).



Today we used the glue to create toothpick marshmallow structures.  The children placed their first layer on the cardboard and I added a dab of super glue to hold them down so they would stay in place while building.  This made creating structures so much easier for the little guys!  Check out what my two girls made...




This glue works on almost anything so check it out.... happy gluing!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Worms

Although they give me the creepy crawlies, children absolutely love worms so I bit the bullet and did a worm theme after Earth Week (sorry about the lack of posting... we were busy saving the Earth from pollution!).  Here are some of our activities with the squiggly guys.

Worm Tracks - Cut snips into a piece of green paper to create grass.  Sponge paint a piece of paper a muddy colour - we mixed brown and white together to make our 'mud'.  Use a piece of wool attached to a clothes pin then dipped in brown paint to create the worms.  Glue the strip of grass to the top of the paper.


The children drew pictures of worms.  The sun is sad because worms like to come out when it's raining. Judging by all the hearts, this little one really loves worms!


Lowly Worm - the most famous worm of all - Richard Scarry's Lowly Worm (and the cutest!)  We used construction paper to create ours, but wouldn't he be awesome made out of felt!


You can find a template for a felt lowly worm here.

In Richard Scarry's Best Sing-A-Long Mother Goose Video, Huckle can't find Lowly and dreams he is searching in Mother Goose Land for him.  You can view the video here.

It's been raining a lot here in Southern Ontario. so we had lots of opportunities to view worms outdoors and rescue those stuck on the sidewalk to a safer place in our garden.  The children loved watching them lay on the garden and then quickly disappear underground.

Here are some great sites to learn more about worms and how they help the Earth.

Discovery Kids Worm World

Kids National Geographic - Earthworms

The Adventures of Herman the Worm

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Desert Animals

This was a short week for us so we concentrated on three animals in the desert; the desert chameleon, rattlesnake, and the scorpion.

I used the information sheets from this printable for the children to complete about each of the three animals.

3D Chameleon - we used this Disney printout to create these cute little guys.





Pipe cleaner Chameleon - This cute little guy is from Lines Across.  We made them white as the desert chameleon uses its colour changing ability to regulate body temperature.



Paper Bag Rattlesnakes - Open up a brown paper lunch bag and cut into three sections lenghthwise.  Children draw diamonds on the back in the center of the bag then roll it up so the diamonds are on the back.  We added a jingle bell to the tail end so it would 'rattle'.  They drew on eyes with a marker and we added a pipecleaner forked tongue.  Their favourite part was shaking the rattle as a warning to others!



I printed this scorpion colouring page for the children to colour.

We watched these informative short videos to learn some fun facts about each one.

Chameleon's Way of Keeping Cool in the Desert - BBC

Richard Hammond Talks to a Rattlesnake - BBC

Desert Insects - BBC

You Tube also has desert animal themed stories available for viewing:

A Colour of His Own

The Mixed Up Chameleon

Baby Rattlesnake



Monday, 31 March 2014

Under The Sea

We've had an exciting time discovering the array of creatures that live in our seas and oceans.

Paper Bag Fish - paint a brown paper lunch bag and let dry.  Stuff with crunched up newspaper then seal with an elastic.  Children can add features with markers and construction paper.



Handprint Angel Fish - we used bubble wrap to stamp our ocean onto large pieces of paper.  When dry, I painted each child's hand with yellow and black paint then they stamped their handprint onto the paper to create the fish.  When the paint was dry, they glued on a googly eye.



Dolphin Bracelets - I cut a dolphin shape from funfoam and the children cut a wavy strip from a different colour of fun foam.  They glued the dolphin to the centre of the strip.  When dry, we connected the ends to create a bracelet.



Jelly Fish - We dipped coffee filters in food colouring and let them dry.  Cut a slit in the center of one of the coffee filters to push the crepe paper through and secure with a bit of glue then add some batting on top of the glued crepe paper.  Cover with a second coffee filter and glue around the edges.  When dry, the kids will have a blast helping their jellyfish swim and 'sting'.




Ocean Bottles - Originally, I wanted to put small ocean creatures in the bottles, but after trips to 5 different stores with no luck, I gave up on that idea and improvised when my 5th store had self sticking fun foam ocean shapes.  The children placed the shapes on the outside of their bottles then we filled them 3/4 of the way with water.  We added some sparkles and blue food colouring.  I glued the lid down and tightened it really well so hopefully the bottles won't leak at all.  We had no leaking issues when they played with them here.



Ocean Pictures - We had tons of stickers left over which I left out on the craft table for children to create their own ocean scenes on blue construction paper.

Songs we enjoyed during our theme included...

Baby Beluga

Baby beluga in the deep blue sea,
Swim so wild and you swim so free.
Heaven above and the sea below,
And a little white whale on the go.

Baby beluga, baby beluga,
Is the water warm? Is your mama home,
With you so happy?

Way down yonder where the dolphins play,
Where you dive and splash all day,
Waves roll in and the waves roll out.
See the water squirting out of your spout.

Baby beluga, oh, baby beluga,
Sing your little song, sing for all your friends.
We like to hear you.

When it's dark, you're home and fed.
Curled up snug in your waterbed.
Moon is shining and the stars are out.
Good night, little whale, good night.

Baby beluga, oh, baby beluga,
With tomorrow's sun, another day's begun.
You'll soon be waking.

Baby beluga in the deep blue sea,
Swim so wild and you swim so free.
Heaven above and the sea below,
And a little white whale on the go.
You're just a little white whale on the go.

~Raffi~

If I Lived Under the Sea

If I lived under the sea, sea, sea
I think it would be neat as it could be, be, be
I could visit all the fish
Any time I wish
If I lived under the sea.

I could ride on the tail
Of a great big whale
Wow! that would be great!
I could count the legs
On an octopus
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8!

If I lived under the sea, sea, sea
I think it would be neat as it could be, be, be
I could visit all the fish
Any time I wish
If I lived under the sea.

It would be so new
To watch a tuna,
Talking to an itty bitty snail!
Or to see the pretty fin
On the back of a fish
Who carries his very own sail!

If I lived under the sea, sea, sea,
I think it would be neat as it could be, be, be.
I could visit all the fish,
Any time I wish,
If I lived under the sea.
I could visit all the fish, Any time I wish,
If I lived under
If I lived under
If I lived under the sea.

~Barney~

We watched these You Tube videos...

The Pout Pout Fish Song

The Pout Pout Fish In The Big Big Dark Song

Baby Beluga

You can watch Alex In The Sea videos and print colouring pages from the Motion Kids website.


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Luck of the Irish

We've had a couple of busy weeks with our Rainbow and St. Patrick's Day themes.  I know this is too late for this year, but hopefully you find some ideas for next years' celebration!

We made fruit loop rainbows.



I love the 3D paper strip rainbows.



We also painted paper plate halves as rainbows.



We sponge painted shamrocks.



We had fun with our shamrock wands.  I love that I can buy packages of fun foam shapes at the dollar store now!




I saw this shamrock rolling pin painting activity and knew we just had to try it.



The children built a leprechaun trap.

The trap is set.

Uh oh - looks like it's been tripped.

My daughter wrote an amazing poem for my pot of gold chocolate coins that the tricky leprechaun left behind when he took our piles of st. patrick's day coins that we left in the trap as bait.

I've been searching for a treasure
Since the Irish days of old
Imagine just my luck
When I found your pot of gold
I've taken it in hiding
You won't imagine where
But in its place I left for you
Some chocolate coins to share!

The note was the teeniest tiniest little scroll tied up with green and left on the top of the coins and placed in the tripped trap.



We played a Pot of Gold Roll and Cover game.



Games for our St. Patrick's Day Party included...

Shamrock Bean Bag Toss (the older children had to match the colour to get a point, and the younger ones just needed to land a bean bag of any colour on the shamrock.





St. Pattick's Day coin toss.





What's missing? - green things.  The children studied the tray and then I removed one of the items.





Leprechaun, Leprechaun Game - I hid a coin under one of the leprechauns and the children took turns guessing which leprechaun it was under until the coin was found.
We chanted...

Leprechaun, leprechaun
Where can it be?
A gold coin
Just for me!





Some of the songs we enjoyed over the past few weeks included:

The Rainbow Song

Red, yellow, orange
And green followed by blue
Indigo and violet
It's a rainbow song for you!

I'm a Little Leprechaun 
Sung to: "I'm a little teapot" 

I'm a little leprechaun
Dressed in green
The tiniest man
That you ever seen
If you ever catch me, it is told
I'll give you my pot of gold!

Do your Ears Point Up? 
Sung to: "Do Your Ears Hang Low?"

Do your ears point up?
Do you have a lot of luck?
For gold do you dig?
Can you dance an Irish jig?
If you answered, "Yes,"
You're a leprechaun, I'd guess!

Our March project was on Ireland and St. Patrick's Day.  The children read a poem, wrote on a shamrock shape and had two games in their folder.  One was matching opposites, the other was putting St. Patrick's Day words in alphabetical order.








Here is the Roll and Cover Game I created.