NATURAL MATERIAL ACTIVITIES
Now that the weather is getting more springlike, its time to venture outside and collect some nature items. Here is an activity to create some beautiful suncatchers from what you found in your backyard or nature walk.
Contact paper or clear packing tape
Mason Jar lids, or any round item where then center can be cut out. Plastic lids or even paper plates work for this.
String or Yarn
What to do:
Go outside and collect small items from nature such as flowers or leaves. Try to keep them small scale. Take your contact paper and trace circles onto it using your jar lids as a guide. Peel back the paper and stick your nature items into the circles. Place another piece of tape or contact paper on top to seal them up. Tie the circles to the stick with yarn and hang. Beautiful!
Make a Bird Nest
Go into your backyard or neighborhood and gather some small sticks, leaves, and grass. You will also need a small container such as a shoebox. Find some dirt and mix with water to create mud. Then add your leaves and sticks until they are covered with mud. Place the mixture into the box and mold into a nest. Leave it outside away from the house and see if any birds move in!
All you need is several water glasses, water, and a spoon. Fill the glasses with water to different levels. Tap with the spoon to hear the different sounds.
Which makes a higher sound? Which makes a lower sound?
Tapping the spoon on the glass creates a vibration sending a sound wave through the water in the glass. Each glass makes a different sound because the sound wave travels at different speeds through the water. The speed of the sound wave depends on the amount of water in the glass.
The glass with the most water makes the lowest sound because the sound waves travel the slowest. The glass with the least water makes the highest sound because the sound waves travel the fastest.
Why do you think this happened?
Track the temperature in a unique way, by creating a painting or drawing that changes colors as the temperature does!
For this project, you’ll paint each day, choosing your color based on the day’s recorded high temperature.
Check and record daily high temperature on your worksheet or calendar. This link will give you records for our area.
Make your own color assignments! Paint each color and decide what your temperature ranges will be. For example:
0° and below (purple)
1° to 10° (dark blue)
11° to 20° (light blue)
21° to 30° (green)
31° to 40° (light green)
41° to 50° (yellow)
And so on…
If you’re interested, look up and record the historic averages for each day and compare them with today’s daily high temperatures. This is a great activity to start a conversation with kids about our current climate crisis. Paintings can be as uniform or abstract as your child wants. Paint linear stripes next to one another to compare colors and days, or paint all over the page!
Do the same for daily precipitation if you enjoyed this project.
OLDER PRESCHOOLERS (By 60 months)
DEVELOPING SELF – APPROACHES TO LEARNING
Goal 1: Children show curiosity about the world around them and take action to interact with it and learn.
Demonstrate flexibility, imagination and inventiveness in approaching task and activities through play
Explore and discuss a range of topics, ideas and tasks)
Attempt to master new skills (e.g., riding a bike)
Ask questions to find out about future events
KITCHEN WHISK & FINE MOTOR SKILLS
BY SADIE, MOLLY AND KATLYN
Infants love putting things in their mouths, but they also love to take objects in and out of places, transferring them into bowls, jars, bins, baskets, you name it. This activity aims to strengthen eye-hand coordination and your kiddo’s control of small or fine motor muscles.
Two favorite toys in our classroom are the spatula and whisk that are part of our dramatic play kitchen set. Perhaps because they are easy to grip and carry while taking a few steps, their interesting shapes, or the funny sounds teachers make when we whisk, whisk, whisk our imaginary scrambled eggs. Whatever the reason, the kids love them.
This activity requires a kitchen whisk and whatever materials you have available around the house. Try placing a bowl or basket alongside the whisk so there’s somewhere to place objects once successfully removed from whisk. Some kids will enjoy this step, others will simply scatter them around their play space, which is fun too. Can you put the materials back in the whisk once they’re out? This can be tricky!
Here are some other suggestions if you don’t have a package of multi-colored pom poms laying around:
Yarn pom poms, drinking straws, blocks, baby socks, pipe cleaners or cut up sponges.
MOTOR DEVELOPMENT AND COORDINATION
Goal 1: Children develop strength, coordination, and control of their large muscles.
Maintain upright posture when sitting or standing
Move to explore immediate environment (e.g. scoots, creeps, crawls)
Pull to stand, cruise, then walk a few steps independently
Balance while exploring immediate environment (e.g., sit and reach for toys without toppling over)
Goal 2: Children develop strength, eye-hand coordination, and control of their small or fine motor muscles.
Transfer objects from one hand to another
Use both hands to hold, reach for and let go of objects
Coordinate movements using eyes and hands (e.g., bring hands together, stack rings)
EXTRA YARN BY MAC BARNETT
READ BY SARAH S.