Sunday, 27 December 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

December was a very busy month - the children were SO excited for Santa's arrival.  We had crafts do, presents to make, and parties to enjoy.  I will be back to more regular blogging in the New Year.  Enjoy this time with family and friends and I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Chicka Chicka

We have been very busy exploring letters and numbers the past few weeks with the help of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Chicka Chicka 1 2 3.  The children LOVED these two books!

We sang alphabet songs and letter sound songs during circle time.  We watched Chicka Chicka Boom Boom on You Tube.

The children created handprint coconut trees.  They painted their arm to create the trunk and used a circle stamp for the coconuts.  Once dry, they added sticker letters to their tree.

Everyone enjoyed their Chicka Chicka door hangers!

I printed a giant letter depicting the first letter of their name for them to decorate with fun foam shapes.

We then went on to explore numbers.  They went over to the 100"s chart often throughout the week to count on their own during child directed play time!  We sang number songs and fingerplays during circle time.  We watched Chicka Chicka 1 2 3 on You Tube.

The children created apple trees by gluing red and green circles onto a tree top shape and gluing that onto the trunk of the tree.  Our local Dollar Store had foam bugs so we picked out the bee shapes and used them on our trees. "GET OUT OF OUR TREE," the bumblebees shout!  Then they added round stickers with numbers on them to their tree.

I printed large numbers depicting their age for them to decorate with sparkle confetti shapes.

"Picking apples red and green" - the children stamped with apples dipped in red and green paint.  I cut the apple sideways to create an apple star.

Visit my website for printouts...

Chicka Chick Boom Boom Alphabet Matching Game

Chicka Chicka 1 2 3 Counting Mats

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Lest We Forget

I never got to meet my Grandfather, but he was overseas during WWI.  We are truly blessed with a wonderful country to live in, but getting here had its price and today is a day to remember, honour, and thank those who sacrificed so much... let us never forget!

I was so proud of my young crew (ages 2 - 4) during our moment of silence at 11:00 this morning.  We talked about it during circle time and one of the little guys kept asking "What time is it?" throughout playtime until I finally asked him why he was so interested in the time today.  His answer, "We can't forget 11:00"  Bless him!!!!  Not one sound was made during the silence - they closed their eyes and what we had discussed thinking about was saying thank-you to the soldiers.  It was an easy tie-in for them because we had Thanksgiving just last month and talked a lot about what we are thankful for.  Not one sound was made until I said, OK - great job everybody and they wanted to talk about Remembrance Day a little bit more then we coloured poppies before having lunch.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015


What better time of year to learn about bats than Halloween!  We had so much fun with this story. learning about bats, and decorating our room with our creations.

Pamela Reed does a wonderful job of reading the story of Stellaluna by Janell Cannon.

Stellaluna is a sweet story about a baby bat that is knocked out of her mother's arms by a swooping owl, but is saved when she falls into a nest of birds.  We follow Stellaluna on her adventures with the birds such as eating bugs YUCK and learning to sleep 'right side up'.  Children are over joyed when Stellaluna finally finds her mother and is able to enjoy life as a bat.  

Pop Bottle Bats

Cut a black garbage bag down either side and then across the bottom.  Cut one of the halves in half again for the wings.  Fold this lengthwise and cut out the wings so you have 2 sections together (like when you cut out a heart).  Use the large 1/2 garbage bag section to cover the bottle.  Simply stuff the excess into the opening of the bottle and use a glue gun to seal it.  Glue a dowel into the centre of the bat wings then glue the wings onto the bottle.  We used window cling eyes from the dollar store for our bats, but large googly eyes would look great too.  These look super cute around the room or outside in a tree.

Bat Puppets

These are super easy finger puppets to make.  We used ours during the telling of the story so the children could act out the parts with Stellaluna in them.  Cut a paper towel tube into sections and have the children glue on brown bat wings.  You can create a face by stuffing a brown pompom in the end and adding googly eyes if you wish.  Children insert their fingers into the puppet and simply move their hand up and down to make Stellaluna fly.

Bat Story

The children used the template below to dictate what they learned about bats and then drew a picture of a bat.

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.

We used our pop bottle bats to act out the song...

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Mouse Mess

In Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley, an adorable little mouse wakes up when the family heads off to bed and gets into all kinds of goodies.  When he looks around, "he can't believe the mess he's found"!  The children adore the little mouse and his antics and how he thinks that the people left all the mess.  He quietly slips off to bed as the family heads down the stairs in the morning.  Because of the all the food fun in this book, I used it as a tie-in for Thanksgiving.

Mouse pop, pop, pops off the tops of several bottles including ketchup... we made ketchup hand prints to get in on the messy fun.

Print these sequence cards to use with the story.  If you print two copies, they can be used to create a matching or memory game.

Mouse gets into a lot of different foods which is a good introduction to food groups.  Print this food group sorting/matching game for the children to play.

Hungry Mouse
Hungry Mouse
Sneaking in the house
What do you want to eat?

Have children pick a sequence card to choose a food item from the story.

Hungry Mouse
Sneaking in the house
Did you enjoy your treat?

I think mice
are rather nice.
Their tails are long.
Their faces small.
They haven't any
chins at all.
Their ears are pink.
Their teeth are white.
They run about
the house at night.
They nibble things
they shouldn't touch.
And no one seems
to like them much.
But I think mice
are nice.
~Rose Fyleman~

As a new take on the handprint turkey, we used this craft to create a picture frame.  I took a group picture and printed the words "I am thankful for my friends" across the top.  The children stamped their handprint turkey on the page and we cute out a rectangle to fit the photo.  When dry, they decorated it with foam shapes and glued a back page to the craft.  This was a big hit with my crew - they loved having a photo with them and all their friends to take home.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, 5 October 2015

One Grey Mouse

One Grey Mouse is a fabulous book about colours and number to 10.  The pictures are amazing and the children love the rhyming text.

Children used these craftivity pages to create their own book.

There are many ways to illustrate the text... here are two samples that we did.  The children cut and pasted a tree onto the worksheet then drew eyes and stripes onto their bee shapes.  They glued the bees onto the tree.

The children cut out a pink dish from construction paper and then stamped blue fish onto the dish shape.   They then had fun exploring the paint and stamping activity on a plain piece of paper to create their own 'blue fish' picture.

The children wanted to fingerpaint mice - they did a super job!

We made 3 orange snakes from clay then placed them in a lake made from blue card paper.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Cookie's Week

I just love this story!  It is simple to read and is a great way to introduce the days of the week to the children and it's about a CAT!!!

I printed the days of the week onto card paper and the children practiced reading the words and putting them in order.

We made cat puppets which the children used to retell the story.

I created a Cookie's Week matching game using clipart courtesy of Microsoft Clipart Gallery.  The children matched Cookie's activities to the correct day of the week.

Here is a worksheet I created for children to practice printing the days of the week.

Sweet Kitty (I was singing this version long before Sheldon!)

Sweet kitty, soft kitty
Little ball of fur
Sweet kitty, soft kitty
Purr, purr, purr.

I'm a Little Kitten
Sung to: "I'm a Little Teapot"

I'm a little kitten,
Soft and furry.
I'll be your friend,
So you don't worry.
Right up on your lap I like to hop,
Purr, purr, purr, and never stop.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Look Closer and A Pair of Socks

This past few weeks has been incredibly busy as my younger crew returned after being home for the summer and we had a new friend join our childcare family.  This year as well as our kindergarten and preschool programs, we will be exploring books in a whole new way with an Adventures In Literature theme for the entire school year.  Things are settling into a nice routine so I will hopefully be able to blog our activities more frequently.  Here are some of the activities we've been enjoying with our first two books.

Look Closer by Peter Ziebel  

We explored the world around us using binoculars, magnifying glasses and colour paddles.  The children made look closer pictures by cutting and pasting large magazine pictures onto a piece of construction paper.  We then cut a small hole from another paper and stapled it on top to create a book.  The children looked at each other's pictures with just the square showing; trying to guess what the picture was.  The children took their creations home, but this would make a great book for the classroom for all to share and enjoy.

We created blotto pictures and took turns identifying what we saw in the pictures.  I recorded each child's response and attached the paper to each blotto.  These look great on display in the play room.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Drama Camp

Our finale to the summer program was Drama Camp.  We were very busy this week learning our lines and preparing a play for the parents.  Everyone enjoyed our production of The Elves and the Shoemaker.  The kids were AWESOME!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Nature Camp

Time to get down to nature.  We went on a nature photo shoot which was so much fun!  Just check out some of the amazing shots I took!

The children made crafts using natural materials, and we went on a nature scavenger hunt.  I created BINGO type cards for each child and then we headed off to the great outdoors to find our objects.  Once the children spotted the item on their card, they crossed it off.  When they completed their card, they called out NATURE.  I had prizes waiting at the house for them to choose from when we got back.

We also made these super cute owls from paper towel tubes.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Sport / Computer, Math, and Science Camps

Sport week was all about the game.  Sorry for the lack of pictures, but we were super busy having fun!  We played basketball, soccer, water games, baseball, and practiced track and field events.  This coincided perfectly with the Pan Am games.


After sports week, we moved on to Computer, Math and Science Camp.  This was a huge hit with the kids.  They created animated gifs and each child designed a web page.  Check out their sites...

We played math games and had fun with numbers.

The favourite activity of the week was creating with the Snap Circuits Jr. set.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Art Camp

Hey everyone - sorry it's been so long since my last post.  Life has been SUPER busy!  My younger crew are off for the summer which made room for my older crew to return.  It's been nice catching up with the 'big kids' and hearing about all their exciting adventures at school.  Our summer theme this year is A - Camp - A - Week.  I have broken the summer up into camps that typically run for elementary children during the summer - Art Camp, Sports Camp, Math - Computer - Science Camp, Nature Camp, and Drama Camp.

Our first week and a half was spent exploring and creating art projects.  The children had access to a variety of art materials for free crafting as well as participating in planned art projects.  Here are some of our creations.

Yarn Dolls - these were super easy to make and so cute!

Rubber Cement Painting
Because the fumes caused by rubber cement are toxic, I had the children sketch their drawing onto the canvas lightly with a pencil.  I then went over the lines with the rubber cement after they left for the day.  This is best done outdoors!  When the cement was dry, they used a mini roller and acrylic paint to paint the canvas.  Once the paint was dry, they simply rubbed with their fingers the rubber cement areas to remove it.  The white image of their drawing remained.  I think they turned out pretty cool!

I purchased air drying clay for the children to create whatever they wished.  Once dry, they painted their sculptures with acrylic paint.

Tye Dye T-Shirts
Definitely the high light of art week.  I really lucked out - I purchased the tye dye kit on sale for $10... it had a whopping 8 colours included!  My local Dollar Store had white t-shirts for $1.00.  It definitely pays off to look for bargains when planning big projects.  A project like this can break the bank, but with some savvy  shopping, it was very budget friendly.