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$12.00Mud Unit of Study Highlights A bucket of water, a pail of dirt ….. Mix all together for ….. Mud squishing between our toes ….. Who has not done this before? Or at least found a puddle and walked in it to make mud?? Great childhood memories come from simple things like dirt and water! Mud is a very inexpensive (free even!) material that can be found almost anywhere and can be used in a variety of learning activities. Most children absolutely love the feel of mud on their hands and between their toes. It is a very sensory-filled medium in which to play and discover new things. Some children can spend hours making mud, shaping pies, and then serving them at their ‘restaurant’. When doing this Unit of Study, prepare parents for some dirty children. In fact, request that the children wear their oldest clothes, and that they have at least one change of clothing per day! Use mud for learning through these hands-on activities: • Sequencing with the story Mud Walk by Joy Cowley • Practicing counting by cutting a mud pie into pieces, (also fractions) • Building with adobe mud bricks • Creating a ‘Mud Kitchen’ for dramatic play Remember, the dirtier children are at the end of the day, the more their learning was enhanced!$12.00The Circus Unit of Study Highlights Peanuts, popcorn, and pretzels ….. Lions and tigers and elephants ….. Clowns of all shapes and sizes ….. Acrobats and tightrope walkers ….. The circus has so much for children to watch and marvel at. The ‘circus’ has something for everyone – whether it is eating popcorn, peanuts and cotton candy or doing amazing feats. Children love to imitate and act out what they see. Being a lion at the circus, or an acrobat crossing a tightrope, children are using many of their large muscles while developing balance and coordination. And of course, for those who are very verbal, being the ‘ring master’ is the perfect job for them! Children love to show others what they can do. Through circus activities, children have an opportunity to: • Cuddle up in a ‘circus tent book nook’ with a good book • Discover their silly self as a clown through creating a clown costume • Practice large motor skills as a ‘tightrope walker’, ‘stilt stomper’, and ‘fire jumper’ The circus can bring memories that last a lifetime.$12.00Mittens & Hats Unit of Study Highlights Thumbs in the thumb holes ….. Fingers all together ….. That’s how mittens keep our hands warm …… In cold, winter weather! Many of us remember the frustration of trying to get fingers in the right places when putting on gloves – mittens are so much easier! Teaching children how to put on their own mittens and hat helps them become one step closer to being independent – a goal we need to have for our children. This Unit uses hats and mittens as a tool to help children explore their world. Through hands on activities, children: • ‘Build’ a mitten to keep track of books read • Practice putting items in ‘sets of 3’, a great math skill • Use visual acuity to find matching mittens • Strengthen finger muscles through hanging up mittens and hats on a clothesline It is easy to take every day items and use them as teaching tools. Children are learning from everything in their environment – even their hats and mittens!‘Firefighter Frank’ Unit of Study Highlights Book by Monica Wellington Hat, coat and boots ….. Ladders and hoses ….. Lights and sirens …… These are all things that most of us can relate to the brave men and women who fight our fires. Firefighter Frank helps children to understand the work of a firefighter, AND the importance of good fire safety practices. Although October is generally thought of as ‘Fire Safety’ month, learning about fire safety and developing strategies to be safe is something that needs to be addressed all year long. Children are learning through everything they do and experience. Through hands-on activities, children: • Draw a picture of themselves as a firefighter • Create a fire truck from basic shapes • Develop large motor skills and coordination by climbing up and down steps, stairs, and ladders • Plan out a nutritious lunch The Fire Safety Unit of Study, available at http://earlylearningsuccess.net/product/fire-safety-unit-of-study/is a great companion Unit!$12.00Bread Unit of Study Highlights Measuring and mixing ….. The smell of yeast in the air ….. Melting butter on bread fresh from the oven …… Nothing better the smell and taste of fresh baked bread! Children today may not have experienced the yummy smell of yeast bread baking in the oven. But for many of us, it brings a nostalgic memory of moms or grandmas baking bread. Why a Unit on Bread? From Wikipedia “Bread is a staple food prepared from a dough of flour and water, usually by baking. Throughout recorded history it has been popular around the world and is one of the oldest artificial foods, having been of importance since the dawn of agriculture.” Bread is found throughout the world and is one of the many things that can show a connection between cultures and countries. Not only is bread good for eating, children can also learn many skills through the study of bread including: • Using fine motor skills to create letters out of dough • Practicing counting and naming numbers • Imitating life with the Bread Baking Dramatic Play box • Creating yummy bread art Bread is a staple in all cultures – just in different forms. Fun to try the many different types!$12.00Bats Unit of Study Highlights Silently soaring in a night sky….. Catching thousands of mosquitos each night ….. Pollinating plants and dispersing seeds …… Bats have acquired a bad reputation but are really very important mammals to eco systems and agriculture across the world. Bats are fascinating creatures to watch and study. Many American bat species are in severe population decline or are already endangered, as they are worldwide. Bats contribute to a healthy environment, productive agriculture crops, and have provided insight to the scientific world. The Bat Rescue website has a lot of great information about this helpful little creature http://www.batrescue.org/batfacts/batfacts.html Children that gain an understanding of how different animal species contribute to the Earth’s well-being are more likely to become ‘stewards of the Earth’. Bats can be used to inspire learning through: • Using the ‘a-t’ of ‘b-a-t’ to create other words in a rhyming word wheel • Encouraging children to become bat scientists or chiroptologists • Exploring painting techniques to create a bat mobile • Playing a game to experience ‘sound location’ Let’s all go ‘batty’ for the good of our planet!‘Alphabet Under Construction’ Unit of Study Highlights Book by Denise Fleming Airbrushing A ….. Buttoning B ….. Carving C …… In Alphabet Under Construction, Mouse finds 26 ways to add a construction ‘flavor’ to the letters of the alphabet. Children will have fun designing, creating and ‘constructing’ their own letters. The more children are exposed to letters and words, the more they see writing and reading as an important way to communicate. There are MANY books that use the alphabet to explore other topics or content areas. This is a great way to help preschoolers (and even school-agers) develop and expand their vocabulary. Loving letters and words can lead to a life-long love of reading and writing. There are a lot of fun, learning activities that can be planned using the letters of the alphabet. Through hands-on activities, children: • Create through illustrations a ‘word wall/pictionary’ of construction words • Use cardboard boxes to build, (and rebuild), a variety of structures • Demonstrate their agility and balance on ‘letter balance beams’ • Make yummy vegetable soup and fruit salad, (identifying vegetables and fruits based on letters of the alphabet) You will be amazed at how children start using more descriptive vocabulary when they talk about what they are doing. The more they learn, the more they want to share with you!$12.00Acorns falling from the trees ….. Squirrels and bees gathering food ….. Vibrant leaves and crisp foggy mornings …… All of these signal the change of seasons from summer to fall. The change in seasons can be invigorating. Summer may have gotten long and hot. Now that it is cooler in the morning, children can get outside and exercise those large muscles as they play running games, ride bikes, and go for long nature walks. Be sure to encourage children to find those changes in the season – squirrels scurrying around looking for nuts, leaves turning color and falling to the ground, and birds gathering together for their fall migration. Fall is a time of discovery and outdoor fun. Through hands-on activities, children: • Explore different fall items in a Sensory Box • Use crayon resist painting to create a fall tree • Listen and move to special directions while playing a Leaf Game Cooler days, sunny skies and wispy clouds herald in a beautiful fall day. Get out and enjoy!!$12.00Leaves whirling and twirling ….. Vibrant colors of red, orange and yellow ….. The crunch of leaves when walked on …… Fall is a time to engage our senses as we see the changes that occur in leaves. There is nothing more fun that to rake up a big pile of leaves and run through it, jump into it, or just lay on top of it! Children can make great mazes and obstacle courses using piles of leaves, and each day they can re-design it. Not only are leaves a very inexpensive and available resource, but they can be used in so many different types of activities that address all the developmental domains. Make sure to gather many, many leaves in order to do these hands-on activities: • Become an author through making ‘My Own Leaf Book’ • See how leaves fall from a parachute • Examine leaves using a magnifying glass in the sensory table Leaves are everywhere, in all different types of environments. Changing colors to brilliant red, orange and yellow heralds the coming of fall… enjoy!$12.00Coats, jackets and shirts ….. Big, little, round and square ….. Insert, push and pull …… Buttons can be a challenge for all of us sometimes! Learning to button, zip and tie are major accomplishments for children as they develop independence through mastering self-help skills. Providing opportunities for lots of practice ensures that children are able to master these skills. Children that are competent in taking care of their basic needs feel better about themselves and develop confidence in their abilities, which in turn supports school readiness. Buttons are an easy material to access. Through hands-on activities, children: • Discover what items of clothing have buttons • Practice math skills through graphing buttons • Use buttons as a material for creativity • Practice buttoning as they make a cool headband The more children have the opportunity to manipulate buttons, the better they will be at being able to dress independently – and that is a goal we are working towards! NOTE: Activities using buttons should be closely supervised; size of buttons should be appropriate for ages of children$12.00A hug and a kiss ….. The encouragement to try again ….. Celebrating accomplishments and victories together …… This is how family members show care and support for each other. Families come in all sizes and configurations. Each family is special and different from another, but each family is also the same as others. A family could be defined as a group of people that care about and take care of each other, related or not. Members of a family are a child’s first teacher, their safety-net, and their mirror for knowing what’s right and wrong. Family is constant and ‘forever’ which provides a structure for healthy development for young children. Preschool children are learning about themselves and the world from their family first. In this Unit, children: • Create a family picture album • Use language to discover and discuss things about families • Use counting and math skills to play a game based on the book A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams We are all a part of a unique family, help children learn about and celebrate theirs!$12.00Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus ….. Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale ….. Just Me and My Mom …… Just Me and My Dad …… Favorite books by well-known authors/illustrators! – Mo Willems and Mercer Mayer. Reading to children provides so many positive experiences – snuggling up to see the pictures, learning new vocabulary words, using higher level problem solving skills to figure out what the picture is saying, and gaining knowledge from the book are just a few! The more children are read to, the more likely they will become readers themselves. Being able to read is a key factor in being successful in school, and as an adult. Integrating other activities with reading a book helps children really ‘cement’ ideas and concepts. In this Unit, children explore some of the work of Mo Willems and Mercer Mayer through these hands-on activities: • Create their own finger print ‘little critter’ to add to their drawings • Play a counting game by adding ice cream scoops to their cone • Paint their own, special ‘knuffle bunny’ • Demonstrate things that they CAN do in a circle game Books are a window to seeing so many wonderful things in our world. Help children develop a love of reading by finding great children’s books – many which are written and illustrated by the same person!