This space is to share fun preschool ideas and activities. I am also passionate about children exploring their outdoor surroundings. Thanks for stopping by to see the latest Adventure with the Kerr's!

Thursday, September 15

dinosaur language

I'm not really sure what I think of this whole blog thing anymore. I haven't blogged since Valentine's day, so I apologize if and when I do post if it doesn't seem too correlated.

A few weeks ago we went on a Field trip to the Dinosaur park in Ogden and had a lovely time.

Ever since our trip we have been reading books and talking about dinosaurs, naturally. Rue and River have been playing dino tag where they ROAR at each other as they run around. We were playing in the playland at Del Taco and 2 brothers about the same age as my adventurers came down the slide and were obliviously perplexed. 

I asked if my 2 kids had hurt their feelings somehow. The little boy said, "That little girl was speaking spanish at me." The older boy replied, "Yeah and that boy went ROAR in my face." 

I then yelled up the slide, "River and Rue can you come down here please?" They came down and I told them that these 2 boys were upset. River then explained, "We were just playing dinosaurs."

So, Rue's dinosaur language got interpreted as Spanish and River's dinosaur language was just a scary ROAR.

Monday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day

(We made a heart shaped peanut butter and honey sandwiches)

I have always loved valentines day ever since I was a little girl. I loved choosing each individual card out for my classmates and delivering it to them. As a teenager we would pass out Valentine's to random people in the halls and ask for their name so we could properly address the little card attached to the lifesavers lollipop. Now as a Mom I enjoy cutting out hearts to make Valentine's with my kids and I love making my homemade Valentine card to exchange with my husband. It's a day of love for everyone right?

Sunday, February 13

Heart donuts

This week we talked about the Letter D: Valentine's Day, Mail Delivery, and Donuts.

I thought about buying donuts and letting the adventurers set up a bakery store front but the quest of making donuts in preschool with the 8 children was beckoning me.

I found this recipe where all you need is pre-made biscuit dough from a can, vegetable oil and sugar. So I asked my husband to set up the camp stove on a folding table I brought indoors. He was a bit hesitate about having a camp stove with a pot of hot oil and preschoolers all in the living room. I am the kind of person that once I have an idea I will make it happen, so I listened to his concerns while I was scheming in the back of my mind how I could make this potentially dangerous situation... well safe.

I gave each adventurer their biscuit dough.

They rolled, flattened and then used the heart cookie cutter to punch out a heart!

I ran back and forth from my hot oil table that no one was allowed to come near to pick up the dough and fry them into donuts. You need to watch the dough closely because they only need a few minutes on each side.

 Once the donuts cooled down a bit, I took them over to the "bakery work area" to be shaken in a Ziploc bag with powered sugar. The powdered sugar was on the table, on the floor, all over clothes and especially all over faces!  The adventurers really did look like they has worked in the bakery!

What I would NOT do again:
*Make donuts on the day of our Valentine's Day party. The combination of candy, excitement, and party atmosphere turned me into a loud, stern, dictator to keep everyone safe around the hot oil. 

*Use biscuit dough from the can. Using pre-made dough was great for the preschoolers who could care less about how it tastes. I don't every buy that stuff so I thought the taste was awful.

Saturday, February 12

Candy heart drop: beat, beat, beat

The candy heart drop was a fun and colorful game!
I love how the the hearts looked inside the jar:

First, cut out a paper heart that matches the 
color of the conversation hearts. 
Place the paper heart at the bottom of the
quart size mason jar.

We used Brach's candy small and large hearts. 
There were 6 different colors.

We put all 6 of the jars on the floor and each child picked up a handful of hearts and dropped them into the jar. Beat, beat, beat was the sound of the hearts as they fell into the jar. The adventurers loved sorting out the hearts and pulling out the wrong color if it fell in. This sorting activity was great because it was movement based, rather than standing or sitting on one place.

Sunday, February 6

Igloo story telling and constructing

I love story time with my adventurers and decided that instead of reading a Picture Book we would do something else...they would just listen as I held up 1 picture of an igloo and told the story.

The story I shared can be found here, it's called "The Fire Owl- an Inuit folk tale". It's about a little Inuit Family who had their fire stolen from their igloo and how a snowy owl brought it back.

After I told the story there were supplies waiting for each adventurer to create an igloo.

marshmallows, tortilla chips, 
and rice crackers shaped like disks

She wanted to build a big wall for the igloo. 

There was some smashing of marshmallows involved to 
build what was needed.

 Here are some of the finished projects

From left to right: A big wall with people inside the igloo. A dog sled, fire, and a minimalist approach to an igloo. An Igloo with the fire outside, and a dog sled by a small igloo.

Friday, February 4

I for instant ice cream

One reason I love to work with Preschoolers is that I get to choose activities that I never did as a child. Making ice cream in Ziploc bags is one of those! We have been talking about ice this week so it was a great science project, snack, and movement activity all in one!

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon sugar
4 cups crushed ice
4 tablespoons salt (just regular 'ol salt)
2 quart size Zip-loc freezer bags
1 gallon size Zip-loc freezer bag
a hand towel or gloves to keep fingers from freezing as well!

Mix the milk, vanilla and sugar together in one of the quart size bags. Seal tightly, allowing as little air to remain in the bag as possible. Too much air left inside may force the bag open during shaking. 

Place this bag inside the other quart size bag, again leaving as little air inside as possible and sealing well. By double-bagging, the risk of salt and ice leaking into the ice cream is minimized. 

Put the two bags inside the gallon size bag and fill the bag with ice, then sprinkle salt on top. Again let all the air escape and seal the bag. 

Wrap the bag in the towel or put your gloves on, and shake and massage the bag, making sure the ice surrounds the cream mixture. Five to eight minutes is adequate time for the mixture to freeze into ice cream.

 I rolled 2 ice cream bags in a towel and everyone had fun shaking and 
jumping... making their ice cream firm.

The anticipation was high as each adventurer opened their milk bag to
eat the first bite of ice cream.

Yum, yum!

It may seem odd to make and eat ice cream when it's only 20 degrees outside, 
but we all loved it!

Wednesday, February 2

Brown, Bear what do you see outside activity

We read "Brown Bear, brown bear what do you see?"

All of the Eric Carle books have great repetition and pictures making them classic preschool books.

When we went outside to play I thought we could play a little, eye-spy game using the same repitition of brown bear, brown bear. 

It goes like this,"Ava Bear, Ava Bear, What do you see?"
Ava: "I see a big tree looking at me."
Class: We all look for the tree she is talking about, "Is it this one?" Yes!

Teacher: "Carl Bear, Carl Bear, What do you see?"
Carl: " I see a snow patch, looking at me."

I repeated this until everyone had a turn and they all wanted 2 or 3 turns! It was a big hit! 

Thursday, January 6

Simultaneous meltdowns

This pic was taken in the summer.
If the skies are blue and it’s not snowing it means I can go on a short bicycle ride with my two adventurers to our local grocery store. As we finished our shopping and began walking towards the exit to leave both children ages 4 and 19 months decided to have a meltdown at the same time for different reasons.  There seems to be some kind of pattern or equation… shopping for over 1 hour = a meltdown as we are trying to leave the store.

As I was attempting to strap them into the bike trailer, both crying, both not wanting to leave, I just started to laugh. Laughing during this moment not only released tension, but it also allowed me sing out in my best Spanish accent, “Esta bien ninos”.  During this moment I was able to step away from the emotional chaos and see this scene like the spectators who were giving me both pity looks and encouraging smiles. The 4-year-old was melting down because he found a $1 bill in my wallet and wanted to play the crane game because he saw the blinking $1 bill insert. The 19-month-old didn't want her jacket on and was trying with all her might to escape her jacket and the harness strap of the bike trailer becoming quite the contortionist.

During this approximate 5-10 minutes meltdown scene (time sort of just warps) I was able to keep my cool and laugh instead of scold. Since I was looking onto this scene as a spectator instead of the Mom, I realized how frustrating it would be for each of them to not be able to have what they wanted in that moment. A 19-month-old could care less if her jacket is on as she rides home in the bike trailer.  A four-year-old doesn’t understand that his Mom is on a budget and can’t afford a crane game for $1 dollar, or the heartache she is saving him from once the prize is not won.

 I wish I could say that I am always able to laugh during simultaneous meltdowns and see my children as individuals trying to understand the rules of their world. But the truth is I may scold, or become impatient, or have a really bad “Mama Meltdown”. However, if I can remember to laugh and try to act silly before getting tangled into the emotional chaos of the moment, the meltdowns seem to resolve smoother and we may all even have a smile on our face when it's over.

Thursday, December 30

Noise maker Party Fireworks

I know quite the title right? I apologize for the lighting and the overall quality of these pics. When we sat down tonight to see if this would be a good craft for the kids at the New Year's eve party I saw the point-and shoot camera on the table so I thought why not blog about it now!?!

Materials needed:
toilet paper/ paper towel rolls
black beans
crepe paper or streamers whatever you choose to call it

Take the edge of the roll and staple it down, make sure you have no large gaps.

Fill with black beans. For the toilet paper roll we used 22 black beans. Remember you don't want to over fill it drowning out the sound. Then staple it closed. Be sure to shake down the black beans before stapling.

Attach your streamers on the edges, we did 2 of each color on each side. Then wrapped some streamers around the middle. You could use paint, stickers or anything else that sounds fun for the exposed part, but I kept this really simple tonight.

Time to shake, shake, shake. My adventurers love to throw up any random objects (today it was game chips from Sequence) in the air and scream, "Party!" The mess to clean up afterward becomes somewhat annoying so I thought attaching the streamers to the noise maker will make a fun firework party, without the huge mess on the floor.

We are excited about bring in the new year with our friends and family tomorrow. Enjoy your New Year's eve Celebration!

Sunday, December 26

family card 2010

Snowtastic Snowflakes Christmas 5x7 folded card
Create unique Christmas cards with Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

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