Friday, May 3, 2013

Spring Theme for Preschool/Prek: books, art, science and more

Spring! Spring! Spring!

Spring in the Wild
It's amazing to think a few weeks ago we had snow. The weather has been perfect to study spring both with books and up close and personal with long hours outdoors. A few of the books we read were on trees. One in particular stands out. Love it. Still have it home from the library. It's called One Small Place In A Tree. Written by Barbara Brenner this book tells the story of a little chip in the bark of a tree. A bug gets in, a hole is made, tunnels bored,  fungi grows as a beetle colony takes over, woodpeckers come making more holes, the tree keeps losing bark and dies, animals move in, it eventually falls...and the story continues. 
T and I found a tree that reminded us of the book.

As time has passed we've noticed more

and more


You might enjoy reading Wildflower ABC: An Alphabet of Potato Prints by Diana Pomeroy and Planting A Rainbow by Lois Ehlert.

Listening to a bird songs CD is slowly starting to work. We're starting to recognize more songs!  Heard the song of this red-wingled blackbird before we saw it landing on this fence post.

It's exciting. 


A few miles from here is a dairy farm so one day we headed over. T got to stand next to a farmer as he milked the cows. It was fascinating. He can't wait to return!

We read some interesting books on farm life. "Farm" and Tractor by DK, "The Milk Makers" by Gail Gibbons, and a book on the different kinds of farms also by Gail Gibbons were particular favorites.

We even tried making our own butter and freezer jam.
Pour cream into a jar.


And shake.

And shake.
 Keep shaking until solid.

We built our own farm. Twice.

One way we did this was to take cut animal shapes out of play dough with cookie cutters. He arranged them on a piece of construction paper we'd written the word "farm" on together. 

Another way was with model animals and building blocks.

 First he separated farm animals from non-farm animals.

Then using his blocks he built his own barnyard.

 Another activity had to do with the weather in spring. We listened to "The Storm" and he was to draw whatever came to mind. He didn't like the piece one bit! "The music is scary," he said, "and angry! It's red, and fast!" Then he scribbled away with a red crayon to "The Storm".

We did a little spring science experiment all about water, rain, and evaporation.
He wadded up a tissue. It became our cloud. Also filled up a small cup with water. Our pond.
Here's where evaporation happened. He dipped the tissue into the water. The water slowly soaked the tissue, making it become heavier. It was evaporating, and the cloud would soon have enough moisture to...

I thought it was funny a few days later when they did the same experiment with cotton balls on homeschool class day.

Plants and Water

We learned about how plants need and absorb water.

Spring Sport

Enjoyed playing a warm weather sport- T ball!
Eyewitness  has a great book on baseball your preschooler might enjoy. 
Gail Gibbons has a fine book on the sport introducing the rules of the game to littles called My Baseball Book.

 Arts and Crafts

Project 1: Spring placemats.
We made spring-themed placemats. A very simple project but he loved eating from them.

Supplies: crayons, construction paper.
How to: Cut construction paper in desired shapes. Color if desired. Glue on a larger piece of construction paper.

Project 2: Fruit and Vegetable Prints
We also read the Lois Ehlert book Growing Vegetable Soup in Spanish and English.

 Project 3: Plant Print Shirt

We put fabric paint on flowers and leaves. Then we pressed them on the front of a plain white T-shirt to make a "spring shirt". It's now one of his favorite shirts.

Project 4: Flowers as Paint

 More fun: we painted using the natural pigments in flowers and leaves.

Field Trip To A Farm

This was a lot of fun. We've been twice to this dairy farm. First to watch the cows get milked. Another day to tour the land.

Watching a cow graze.

 Comparing tire tracks to his shoe size.

 Figuring out where to go next.

Linking up at Preschool and Kindergarten Community and Living Montessori Now