Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dino-Gourd Dinosaur Egg Hunt #playfulpreschool

     I hope you have been enjoying the Playful Preschool series.  If you have missed anything, just follow the hashtag #playfulpreschool across social media and you can catch up.  This week's theme is dinosaurs.  The Sugar Snaps love dinosaurs so it was not hard to pique their interest. We have Fall gourds throughout the house.  When I looked at one of them, it reminded me of a dinosaur head.  So, we added some google eyes and craft foam using white glue and it was easily transformed.  If you want to have a more robust dino-gourd, I would suggest using a hot glue gun. 

     The Sugar Snaps are fascinated with the notion of hide and seek and love to find things that are lost.  I decided to combine their excitement about finding things with their love of dinosaurs and do a nature walk to find hidden 'dinosaur eggs.'  The gourds were perfect pretend dinosaur eggs.  As soon as The Sugar Snaps found out what we were doing, they were immediately excited about the idea of being explorers on a hunt for dinosaur eggs. This activity is great for preschoolers as part of a dinosaur learning series or it would make a great dinosaur birthday party game. 

     First, we had them hide their eyes and count to ten as we hid the 'eggs' nearby.  They had a really hard time not peeking. So, we changed it so that I would sneak ahead and hide the 'eggs' and Greg and the Sugar Snaps would catch up to find them.  They each took turns being the leader.  We gave the Sugar Snaps a limit on how many 'eggs' they could find so they each found equal amounts.

At first we hid them in plain sight, and then varied the degree of difficulty.

     Their expressions captured how pleased they were when they found the 'eggs.'  They asked us to hide them again and again.  We discussed how dinosaurs are extinct and no longer live on the Earth.  They reminded us that they have seen dinosaur bones at the museum.  We discussed how that is all that is left of the dinosaurs and the fossils give scientists clues as to what the dinosaurs looked like, how they lived and what they ate.  The dinosaur egg hunt was a fun and easy game.  If you have a child who loves dinosaurs, I suggest giving this a try.  If you don't have gourds, use balls or something else you have at home.  The key is having them use their imagination and preschoolers are great at that!  For more dinosaur learning activities, please check out all the dinosaur posts in the Playful Preschool series. 

Additional Dinosaur Activities for Preschool by the #PLAYfulPreschool Education Team:
Dinosaur Math Play by The Educators' Spin On It
Dinosaur Dig for Fossil Puzzles by Mom Inspired Life
Dinosaur Theme for Preschool:  Hatching DINO Eggs - Early Math & The Preschool Toolbox
Dinosaur Activities:  Beginning Sound Fossil Matching by Growing Book by Book
Classification and Sorting of Dinosaurs by Rainy Day Mum
Can You Be A Dinosaur? by Learning 2 Walk
Dinosaur Sensory Play by Still Playing School
Dino-Gourd Dinosaur Egg Hunt by Capri + 3
Dinosaur Hatching by Tiny Tots Adventures
Dinosaur Hunting with Paint by Powerful Mothering
Hands-on Play-based Dinosaur Activities by Raising Lifelong Learners
Dinosaur Habitat Sensory Play With Slime by Little Bins for Little Hands
Backyard Dinosaur Dig by The Kennedy Adventures

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Artsy Play Wednesday-Spider Crafts

    Capri + 3,  Multi-Testing Mommy  Country Fit Family

     Welcome to Artsy Play Wednesday. In our ongoing linky, the newest entries always show first.  This is great for you if you are linking up because you will have weekly exposure for your posts.   We share different features which increases your chances of being featured.  If you are looking for creative ideas to try with your children or students, you can always check here and click through the links to find some inspiration.  This week, I am featuring Friendly Halloween Spider Crafts.

     Now it is your turn to share your posts and find new crafts and activities.  If you share a post you give permission for us to use one image individually or in a round-up collage with a link back to your post so that we can feature you.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Humpty Dumpty-A Lesson in Preschool Safety

This Humpty Dumpty Jack-o-lantern was featured at the Rise of the Jack-o-lanterns in Pasadena, CA.

         We have a pony wall at our house. I like it because it gives an open feel to the second story.  We can look over the wall at the lower level below.  It is high enough that it is not easy to climb.  It would not have been easy to climb that is, unless we mistakenly left a stepladder used for changing a light bulb in the hallway.  We intended to move it.  It was pushed up away from the pony wall closer to the wall on the other side. 

     I was getting the Sugar Snaps ready for the day, helping them to get dressed when I stepped into the hallway and saw Xayden.  He had moved the stepladder to the pony wall and had one foot on the top of the wall, ready to straddle it.  After I pulled him off the wall with an exclamation of "Nooooo!," and moved the step ladder far, far away, tears streamed down my face as I thought about what could have been.  I knew the moment I saw him that we could have lost him if he had fallen off that wall.  I  had nightmares about it the rest of that week, seeing him on the floor below, broken beyond repair. 

     The accident that almost happened was our fault.  We know they are capable of moving ladders.  But, we are with them all the time and had intended to move it soon.  We didn't move it soon enough.  The Sugar Snaps could see that I was upset.  They could read the fear in my eyes.  But, I knew that they really didn't get it.  They would climb the wall again if given the chance. I had to show them what would happen if they fell off the pony wall.  They did not know that people can break beyond repair.

     The classic nursery rhyme of Humpty Dumpty speaks about what can happen when something fragile falls off of the wall.  I knew they needed to see an egg dropped off our pony wall to get a glimpse of the fragility of the human body.  I discussed the nursery rhyme with them and talked about the bones of the human body being fragile like the shell of an egg.  If people suffer a "great fall," they will not be the same afterwards.  I showed them an egg, had them sit down, and then went upstairs and dropped it from the second level onto the slate floor below.

    They were a little surprised by what the egg looked like after the fall.  We talked about how it could not be put back together again, ever.  A doctor could not mend this egg.  No one could.  If they were to fall from the wall, they would never be the same again.  This was not a fun conversation, but it was one we needed to have.  I hope they understand the danger better than they did before. We will not leave the means to climb the wall in the hallway again. We are very grateful that a tragedy did not occur.  Have you had tough conversations with your children or students about safety?  Please share in the comments.  I'd love to read about it.
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