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$12.00Cranes lifting items high ….. Bulldozing large piles of dirt ….. Scraping the surface smooth ….. Trucks hauling away rocks and dirt …… These are all activities frequently seen at a road construction sites. Many children are fascinated by big, heavy construction equipment. They love the size, the noise, and the actions of these big machines. When children use trucks in the sandbox or sensory table, they are using their imagination to mimic what they see in their real, everyday life… this is how they learn about the world around them. Exploring road and bridge construction provides hours of imaginative play. Through hands-on activities, children: · Re-create sounds and actions seen and heard at construction sites · Transform boxes into ramps, bridges and tunnels · Use their gross muscle coordination to move a ball along an obstacle course · Play a game by following a ‘road’ to park their car in a ‘garage’ Our world relies on safe roads and bridges. Encouraging children to learn about roads and bridges could spark an interest that eventually results in them becoming architects and engineers.‘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.$12.00Children are born with such promise and potential! As early childhood educators and providers, it is our responsibility to support and nurture each child’s development, and to encourage and celebrate individuality. In order to do this, it is important to know the children in care, understand ‘normal’ development, have knowledge of early learning standards, and be able to assess where each child is in their development. Activities that help children recognize their strengths and areas of growth include: · Learn · Explore · Practice · Discover Children that recognize and celebrate their skills are developing positive self-esteem, which is critical for school and life success.$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.‘Sneezy the Snowman’ Unit of Study Highlights Book by Maureen Wright Rolling, rolling, rolling ….. Stacking huge snowballs ….. Adding nose, mouth, eyes and a hat …… Making a snowman is something many of us have done time and time again. In this story, Sneezy the Snowman is cold. In trying to warm up, he makes choices that are not in his best interest! Children will find the humor in this story as they realize that the choices made have a negative consequence. This is a good way to talk about choices with children. The story is also written with rhyming words which can help children develop listening and literacy skills. There are a lot of fun, learning activities that are inspired by this book. Through hands-on activities, children: • Develop visual discernment skills in playing snowman matching games • Use higher level thinking and problem-solving skills to describe why their snowman melted when creating their own melted snowman • Discover the ‘life cycle’ of a snowman, and snow or ice • Create a unique, one-of-a-kind snowman with a balloon, paint, and art scraps$12.00Festivals of Light$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.Messy but fun concoctions$12.00Spiders can be very interesting to watch as they spin webs, stalk prey, and speed across an open space. Learning about spiders encourages children to develop research and organizational skills as they collect interesting facts about spiders. See the list of spider facts in the Template section. Encourage children to explore spiders through these hands-on activities: · Hear folk tales about Anansi the spider · Watch live spiders in an aquarium or clear plastic container (really fun!!) · Match numbers for the 8 legs of a spider · Make spider hats Teaching children to be respectful of all creatures in our world can foster an attitude of caring for everything in our world – not just spiders, but the different people they will meet and the lands they will visit.‘Where the Wild Things Are’ Unit of Study Highlights Book by Maurice Sendak Talking back or sassing ….. Consequences ….. Re-instated with the ones we love …… Most of us have experienced this sequence of events when we were children… misbehaving, having a consequence, and then back in the fold of our family’s love. Children will act out and push their boundaries … this is how they learn about their boundaries, and how to interact in an appropriate what with family members and out in society. There are consequences for all of our behaviors – some are positive consequences, and some are ‘learning experiences’. When positive behavior guidance strategies are used with love, children learn what appropriate expectations are. There are a lot of fun, learning activities that can be developed based on this book. Through hands-on activities, children: • Write a letter to a loved one • Create their own monster using a variety of art materials • Use ‘monster feet’ and their large muscles when following an obstacle course We all have a ‘wild thing’ inside of us…. we just need to know how to tame it!$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!$12.00Chocolate, 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!