Friday, September 24, 2010

log hotel

I was first introduced to Log Hotels when my daughter was a toddler and we took several classes at our local nature center in Michigan. As part of each class we would take a walk in the woods, stopping to observe nature all around us. When we'd come across a fallen log we would stop to examine the plant and animal life that had moved in and taken up residence.

Our logs are painted forearms/hands. We used photos from old Ranger Rick magazines, stickers, foam leaves and acorns, and silk leaves to adorn our logs. Some of the littles really got into this activity - making up elaborate stories about the animals inhabiting their log hotels.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What's in a name?

I gave the littles watercolor paint and the first letter of their first names cut from watercolor paper. Once the letters were dry we glued them on black cardstock and the littles tucked a photo of themselves somewhere on the letter. I do a lot with the children's names all during the school year because their names are a meaningful connection to the world of reading and writing for them. Next up: a class alphabet book using our names.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I try to stay away from themes that aren't really relevant to the experiences of four year olds that are growing up in hot and humid southwest Florida. That being said, we do explore apples every fall. Even though we don't grow apples here and can't go to the orchard, apples are still "in season" at our local grocery stores. Today we cut open some apples and explored them with our 5 senses. We talked about what we call the different parts of the apple (core, seeds, flesh . . .) and we also discovered the "star" surprise inside when you cut an apple horizontally. Then we put all of those apple halves to good use making apple prints. I also found some large green, red, and yellow apples in an old Mailbox magazine and after laminating them they made good sorting bases to be used with stickers. Because they were laminated we can re-use them.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

circle prints

I found some heavy duty tubes in different sizes last summer at The Scrap Box in Ann Arbor. I'm not sure what we'll use them for but this was a start . . .

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

You never know . . .

You never know what the littles are going to love. What they will come back to over and over again. What will hold their attention in a room full of activity. I usually have a pretty good idea - but I'm still occasionally surprised. Today we tried an activity I found at It involves taping bubble wrap to the table and laying a large sheet of butcher paper over it and then coloring with unwrapped crayons. As you color, the bubbles pop and a neat pattern appears. The littles liked this activity and it did hold their attention for quite some time. Then, one of the littles started pulling the bubble wrap out from under the paper in order to pop the bubbles by hand. Everyone loved this idea! Silly teacher. We just want to pop the bubbles. That's the real fun!