Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Joy of the Earth Invitations

We participate in a home preschool co-op with a couple of neighbors. It's very casual and completely non-academic. Twice a week we rotate homes and offer activities with a loose playful theme. This past month our theme was "Joy of the Earth." Here are a few highlights from my week hosting. On my days, we focused on introducing plant and animal life.

I held as much of the lesson as possible outdoors. I prefer this in general, and especially so with this month's theme.

Tent Center

Blocks, barn, and animals

Blanket Center - mammal/bird/insect/sea life puzzles

Sensory Table - Potting soil, faux flowers, shovels. The children chose to incorporate the hose into their play here, and not only planted the faux flowers, but cared for their "garden" afterward.

Art Center - Making seed collages

Ice cube tray with different seeds. I also provided the empty seed packets, so we could discuss which seeds grow into which plants.

My daughter's finished collage.

Welcome Activity - salt dough nature sculptures

Balls of salt dough for each child and baskets of rocks, pine needles, leaves, seed pods, etc.

I'll have to make a separate post on the children's different processes using the materials. They were really into this project.

Snack Center - Inspired by this post at Pre-School Play, I offer a self-serve and self-cleanup snack area. At snacktime, one child sets the table and another passes out the snacks. Afterward, each child takes their plate, cup, and utensils to a wash tub of water and scrubs them clean using their flannel napkins. They then set them in the dish drainer. I bought the wash tub and dish drainer from Dollar Tree. They're significantly smaller than most I've found, which is just perfect for the kids.

Some other activities my group did (my camera battery died before I could get pictures of all our fun):
  • field trip to a local farm
  • walk to a neighbor's garden
  • made birdseed feeders like these
  • painted with nature like this
  • made contact paper nature collages like these
  • made applesauce

Songs we sang:
5 Little Speckled Frogs and 5 Little Ducks with our felt board pieces

Books we read:
A Tree is Nice
The Snowy Day
The Very Hungry Caterpillar (We have a giant version of this book with a plush caterpillar, and the kids loved it.)
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf



Anonymous said...

Wow! This is amazing! So many great activities~ love how so much is outside!

Allison said...

I love the idea of a play based coop! I'm a little jealous. I can't wait to see the seed collage post. Thanks for sharing with The Sunday Showcase.