What a perfect time of year for the story of Adam and Eve and the snake in the garden to pop up! We have been utilizing our Children's Bible Book and turning the stories into play for our little ones. My sweet babes LOVE playing dress up and we acquired some of the cutest snake puppets to go along with this theme.We have practiced high and low, slither and crawl, and a couple of fun new words; slinky and sly! We took FULL advantage of the gorgeous weather and spent much of our outdoor time spotting animals and insects in the trees, bushes, under rocks, and in the ground. Luckily...no snakes (real ones that is!) were reported!
Our sweet crew spotting animals "on the greener side!"
We also introduced a new song:
Slithery snake sly and slinky,
crawling and creeping,
Slithery snake on the ground,
up the tree, all around!
(To the tune of London Bridges)
I am so glad I get to capture these little moments!
We have been practicing how to make our snakes this week. I have a fairly young group of babes so this motor skill is not yet natural. They are still trying to understand how to make their hands move to produce shapes, balls, snakes, "worms" like it is called here. I LOVE this little captured moment. It just makes my day :)) We were happily playing, rolling, pounding, focusing on our skill and out of nowhere one of my little ones comes sprinting across the table to sit in my lap while he played.
What's the fastest way to cover a distance? A straight line of course!!! He is a naked noodle in the pic (except for the diaper) as we had just come inside from some dirty, muddy, sandy, squishy play and his clothing was a caked on mess. I just threw it all in the wash and we were off to the next moments of play!
A little more on our snaky adventures...
This little project was a mix of practicing following directions, determining where the "ends" were, and adding "one more" to make our snakes "longer." Whew! Now that is a LOT of learning for one sweet little lesson that includes ooey, gluey fun to boot!! We just cut curvy lines out of our construction paper with a snake shaped head at one end and lots of color choices for the rest of the pieces, passed out the glue and started trying to find the "ends." We practiced slithering and hissing the sound "s" all while engrossed in our play.
Just bake and take!
I wanted to use up the rest of the play dough we made last week as I try to keep this fresh. So after one of our fine/gross motor skill building/snake making sessions, we simply placed all the creations on a pan and set them in the oven at 185 degrees to dry and harden them for painting. They turned out dog-gone cute!
The only issue I ran into was that I forgot them completely. Thankfully, the 10 hours they spent in the oven (your welcome KCPL!) didn't harm them at all. They are crispy critters ready for little hands to craft and create!
Another sweet snaky moment...
With all the belly crawling we have been doing around here this week you'd think I was raising a "baby ops" team. No...really...it's not Navy training from the womb...it's just the "snake dance!"
The Name Game...
This is one of our favorite ways to learn name recognition and writing while the weather holds out...The Name Game! We have been blowing through the chalk outside practicing our letter, lines, shapes, numbers, squiggles and more. They LOVE for me to draw with them, grab the water, erase it, and do it all over again. For smaller hands the sidewalk chalk is also easier to grasp and writes in such larger lines that it is easier to follow. This is a GREAT way to practice writing, letter recognition, color recognition, gross and fine motor skills and simply have a break from the papermill.
What you FOCUS on you FIND!
I am going to be writing more on this and the effects of our choices in another post but I wanted to touch on this for just a moment. Since my little group is comprised of 2's and 3's, we, at times, find ourselves all having human moments of intense emotion. In the midst of these "moments" (I place that in parenthesis because it is WAY longer than a moment) it can be difficult to maintain calm, project peace, and understand that "this too shall pass." Yes, we must maintain boundaries in a loving and empathetic manner to assure safety and camaraderie for the group. But, we must also realize that this IS a developmental milestone. Temper tantrums, emotional outbursts, whining, temper tantrums (did I say that twice? :)) are par for the course. WITHOUT them we would have to wonder if we gave birth to Jesus...nope...mine is a normal one!! HA!! We know this IS a normal part of development that is spanned throughout the ages and generations, otherwise I do not believe that the phrase "terrible two's" would have come about. Yes, it is challenging...but consistency is king! When your tot is flailing, and boy do we have quite a bit of that going on right now, focus on calm...breathe...exhale...smile...know that "this too shall pass." Then hug your little one once they able to accept it, move on and know that when you focus on control, you get a little one also focused on control (just not YOUR control, but their own). When you focus on love, you get what you are hoping to find...more love.
I wish you well and I hope you get to play today!
"Be careful what you teach, it might get in the way of what they are learning...Magda Gerber"
The above quote from Magda Gerber is definitely what we have been experiencing around here lately. There are times when, as a homeschool momma, a pre-k teacher, and an all around servant of small children (I wear that proudly!!) that I have to take a step back and see what's working and what isn't. As our little group grows and changes from season to season and our old routines become...well...old...I am posed to put my thinking cap on and determine what our best, next course is.
During the winter months the children have been content with arts and crafts, letters and numbers, playdough and cooking, parties and paints, but as the temperature's rise, so does their longing for the outdoors. Their natural inclination for the undiscovered and yet to be touched. They need...NEED...to own their time, their activity, their autonomy. Part of this is the age of the children, moving from 1's and 2's to 2's and 3's, this is a natural progression of development. Autonomy, the ability to choose, to think, to reason, to be under no "man's" or "preschool teacher's" clock. Ms. Melissa and I have discussed how rowdy our storytime's have become, how they just want to PLAY! We still fit in our storytime, but it has morphed more into group-story-making-up. Their recognition of the world around them, their own creativity, and how they can imagine a story is much more exciting now than sitting around listening to a book. So, group-story-making-up it is... This happens indepently of me some of the time, as an extension of their peer to peer play, and at other times, I have learned to utilize it as a means of teaching the days lessons.
Not a day goes by with these children that I am not their student. They teach me far more than a classroom, more than a mentor, more than a book ever could or ever has. All they ask is that I listen with my heart rather than my ears to what they are wanting to learn, to what they need. And...on the days that I remember this, we have grand success. On the days that I allow "what I am teaching to interfere with what they are learning" even though we may have measurable academic advancement, I have not touched their heart with learning. When I do, what they learn becomes so ingrained in them, that they will never forget it. They may forget the subject matter or the situation, but they will never forget the kindness, the love, the life lessons of friendship, sharing, caring for one another, or the ease of childhood that they experienced while under my watchful eye.
This will be a LONG blog post. I am going to attempt to catch everyone up on all the activities we have engaged in over the past several weeks. And, I hope, you will see between the lines of the A,b,c,'s and 1,2,3's and see the joy, the looks, the excitement for learning. THIS is my #1 goal as a "student" and "teacher" of and to these sweet children; a love for learning...
"Today I shall behave as though this is the day I shall be remembered." Dr. Suess
Life is made of moments...
"There isn't anything more full of hope, joy and peace than a child's smile... It captures the mundane and makes it extraordinary." - LaDonna Woolsey
I am a Mother Goose Time Blogger. I decided to become one after trying their products because I they are comprehensive and serve my mixed age group well. I do receive products to review from Mother Goose Time and do so with my own honest and thorough opinions. For more information, please contact me at Ladonna@woolseyacademy.com