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$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!‘Planting A Rainbow’ Unit Book by Lois Ehlert Sunny days in the garden ….. The sprinkler swishing to and fro ….. Amazement as the seeds turn into beautiful flowers …… The book Planting a Rainbow can evoke these memories of childhood gardening. Planting seeds and watching them grow into beautiful flowers or wonderful vegetables is a great way to expose children to the wonders of the environment. Once children have experienced the colors that can be found in the garden, they will be more aware of colors in every part of their world. Gardening is also great physical exercise, can be a tool to teach scientific observation and recording, and may instill in children the love of caring for our environment … all good things! There are so many great activities that can be based on gardening, and all the colors that surround us. Through hands-on activities, children: • Write their names (letters or other words) using seeds • Use rainbow ribbons in a Maypole dance • Squish-paint to make a crown of rainbow-colored flowers • Turn fruit into rainbow skewers, yum! Planting A Rainbow by Lois Ehlert may inspire young children to become ardent gardeners, a practice that can become a life-long interest.$12.00Doors that open magically ….. Riding in the cart, up and down the aisles ….. And an entire row of candy! …… Children are amazed with the many things that are part of a grocery shopping trip. The grocery store is a cornerstone of many neighborhoods and communities. Grocery stores provide food from a wide variety of sources that encourage children to learn more about their world. Visiting a grocery store provides learning opportunities that support social skill development, helps children understand the work and support of people in their community, and provides real-life learning in social systems understanding (how we get food from ‘farm to table’). Learning about the grocery store provides children real-life knowledge that will be useful throughout their lives. Through hands-on activities, children: • Practice writing skills making a grocery list • Fill a paper bag counting grid with grocery items • Use tempera paint to create their own grocery ad • Make a grocery cart out of a cardboard box for fun races Children love to visit the grocery store. Providing trips to local businesses and places of interest help children develop important social skills and increase their vocabulary about the world around them.‘Harold and the Purple Crayon’ Unit Book by Crockett Johnson A cardboard box made into a spaceship….. Blankets tossed over a table that turned into a castle….. Making the most delicious cake out of mud …… Imaginary friends and pretend play made up much of our early years. Through this, we learned to be creative and problem solve – just as Harold does in the story ‘Harold and the Purple Crayon’! Problem solving and creativity often go hand-in-hand. Usually, to solve a problem, higher level thinking, analysis, and innovation are needed which is part of the creative process. Every day, children are thinking about the things in their lives and what to do with them or how to use them. As children solve problems, they gain knowledge and self-confidence in their ability to succeed. There are a lot of fun, learning activities that can be developed based on this book. Through hands-on activities, children: • Increase their usable vocabulary (helps them get ready to read!) • Discover how to make the color purple • Strengthen finger muscles and fine motor coordination through a cutting activity. Harold has several other adventures too. Crockett Johnson wrote stories that children could easily relate to.$12.00Puffy as marshmallows ….. Streaks across the sky ….. Playing peek-a-boo with the sun ..… Clouds can be a sign of things to come, or a sculpture in the sky. No matter what, they play an important part in our weather. On a warm spring or summer day, it is great fun for children to lay on their backs and gaze up into the clouds to ‘see what they can see’. Children that can ‘see’ various things in the clouds are more apt to look at other things in their world with more imagination and interest. Teaching children to really look at things in their world helps them to become better observers, and to develop language skills to describe what they see. Exploring clouds provides many learning experiences for children. Through hands-on activities, children: • Learn about the different types of clouds • Explore how a cloud is made through a great science experiment • Strengthen fine motor muscles and coordination • Use their imagination to ‘see’ sculptures in the sky Children are so open to new ideas and learning. Showing them how to discover pictures in clouds is an activity that they can do for the rest of their lives.‘Marshmallow Kisses’ Unit Book by Linda Crotta Brennan Picnics and lemonade ….. Blanket forts ….. Beach balls and sand castles …… ‘Marshmallow Kisses’ brings these great summer memories back to us! Infants, toddlers and preschool children are all developing memories of the events and activities they experience every day. This memory development helps in their cognitive growth and development. As children develop memories, they become more conscious of things around them, helping them to acquire knowledge of their world, and to become who they are. “When you put together all these different modes of remembering -- intellectual, practical, and autobiographical -- the awesome role that memory plays in our lives becomes apparent. We are who we are largely because of what we can remember.” http://www.parenting.com/article/developing-your-childs-memory Reading this book can help create and trigger memories, as do the activities included in the Unit. Through hands-on activities, children: • Create stories of their summer memories • Use common summer items to practice counting sets and complete easy numerical equations • Make Styrofoam prints of summer memories The early years in a child’s life are the perfect years for creating lasting memories!$12.00Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry piled up high ….. Dripping down the side of the cone ….. A cool treat on a hot summer’s day ….. Ice cream can bring a smile to most faces, and it is a great antidote for the blues! Almost everyone loves ice cream! Not only is ice cream great to eat, a lot of knowledge can be acquired by exploring the science behind how ice cream is made, and the social systems aspect of where the raw ingredients come from. Children will also have fun making an ‘ice cream sundae’ from art materials. Through hands-on activities, children will use all of their senses to explore ice cream: • Participate in a flannel board story of Five Ice Cream Cones • Create a group mural after listening to the story Milk to Ice Cream by Julie Murray • Sculpt an ‘ice cream sundae’ using air dry clay and puffy paint • Make Kick the Can ice cream Children will love exploring how they can make ice cream on paper, use cones and scoops of ice cream in a game, and make a yummy-to-eat ice cream treat!‘Olivia Forms A Band’ Unit Book by Ian Falconer Marching bands and parades ….. Picnic on a blanket under the stars ….. Fireworks on the 4th of July …… Summer memories usually include at least one of these happenings! Olivia wants to be sure that her memory of the 4th of July includes a marching band …. even if she is the one providing it!! Not only is this book about a common summer event many of us attend, it also shows how determination and problem solving can make things happen. Through this book, children can see how Olive solved her problem, hopefully encouraging them to find solutions to solve problems that they encounter. Music is a huge part of summer. There are a lot of fun learning activities that include music on all levels. Through hands-on activities, children: • Create their own ‘one-man’ band in a math game • Explore the different tones of ‘musical glasses’ • Move their bodies to music using scarves, ribbons and paper plate ‘skates’ Olivia is a well-loved children’s literary character. Children will delight in her ability to create her own ‘music’.$12.00The rumble of a garbage truck….. Dogs barking in the night….. Fireworks in celebration of the 4th of July…… Our world is full of different sounds – loud, soft and in between. Noise can be found all around us. We hear different things every day, from birds singing in the morning (early!) to the sounds of people coming home from work in the evening. Teaching young children to listen to and recognize the various sounds in their world is a skill that can help them stay safe as they grow up and go out into the greater world. This awareness of sounds not only helps keep us safe, but it also enriches our world. In this Unit, children explore sound and noise through hands-on activities by: • Taking a neighborhood ‘noise’ walk • Experimenting with sound using boxes, cans and tubs as drums • Building a wooden tower … until it comes crashing down • Making a noise maker for different celebrations Take the time to really listen and hear all of the beautiful sounds in our world.$12.00The fun of using blankets to create a fort in the backyard….. Finding an old toy and using it to rocket off to outer space….. Turning paper and paint into a dragon, dinosaur or diner….. Many of us remember the fun of using whatever materials we had at hand to turn them into a magical land of make-believe with our imaginations. Children use their imagination and pretend play to discover and learn about their world. This is important for cognitive development. Through imagination and pretend play, children are ‘trying out’ things they have seen or heard in their everyday life. This helps them develop skills in higher level thinking, problem-solving, analysis, and to understand the connection between people, places, and events. Imagination is key to inventing, creating, and implementing new ideas. Through exploration, children learn to distinguish between fantasy and reality. This Unit can help you provide an environment rich in imaginative play so that children: • Follow their ideas using a crayon as their tool for creation • Explore the world using a box • Build a unique robot from a collection of ‘junk and stuff’ When children use their imaginations, they can own the world. This is a great place to be!$12.00‘I Like Me’ Unit Book by Nancy Carlson I am unique ….. I am special ….. I am different, but I am the same …… These are things that are true for each and every one of us. The understanding of ‘self’ is central to how everyone sees and interacts with their world. Educators and parents know that an infant’s first awareness is of themselves and their needs. As they become toddlers and preschoolers, they become more comfortable in expanding their explorations to what is in their world. Supporting young children in developing a positive self-concept and self-esteem will help children feel confident in their ability to explore and conquer everything in their world! Through hands-on activities, children: • Practice writing words to describe their abilities and likes • Use their visual discrepancy skills to match different wallpaper patterns • Create a chart to explore similarities and differences in their group • Make a ‘Me!’ paper bag puppet Using I Like Me by Nancy Carlson as the book for this Repetitive Reading Unit is a great way for children to see all of the wonderful things to celebrate about themselves.