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$12.00Butterflies bring color into our world$12.00Bugs and children go hand in hand in the summer!$12.00Whether children are blowing or chasing bubbles, painting with them, imitating them or studying them, most children will have an emotional reaction to them. Just listen to the excited voices of children when you bring out that bottle of bubbles!$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!$12.00A dark sky alight with stars ….. Planets viewed through amazing telescopes ….. Is there really life on Mars? …… The idea of what outer space holds is intriguing to many of us. Children are too young to grasp the entire concept of space – solar systems, galaxies and our Universe…. For that matter, many of us are confused!! Here is a great explanation of the difference from NASA. The following is excerpts from https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/news-display.cfm?News_ID=573 Our Solar System consists of our star, the Sun, and its orbiting planets (including Earth), along with numerous moons, asteroids, comet material, rocks, and dust. Our Sun is just one star among the hundreds of billions of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. The universe is all of the galaxies – billions of them! NASA’s telescopes allow us to study galaxies beyond our own in exquisite detail, and to explore the most distant reaches of the observable universe. In this Unit, children learn about space through these hands-on activities: • Create a picture of planets and orbits using various painting techniques • Use rockets for a trio of mathematical activities • Pretend to ‘walk on the moon’ like an astronaut There are so many things to do in the great outdoors. Invite the children to come up with other ideas to incorporate into your planning all year long. Think about this (again from https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/news-display.cfm?News_ID=573) You are one of the billions of people on our Earth. Our Earth orbits the Sun in our Solar System. Our Sun is one star among the billions in the Milky Way Galaxy. Our Milky Way Galaxy is one among the billions of galaxies in our Universe. You are unique in the Universe!$12.00Spring is the time to look for our feathered friends$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.$12.00Sharing stories and secrets….. Discovering hidden treasures on a neighborhood ‘expedition’….. Making up games in the back yard…… Many of us have memories of doing these things with childhood friends. Learning what makes a good friend, and learning how to be a good friend is something that we should be teaching our youngest children. The character traits that make up a good friend are the same ones that will help alleviate bullying in the classroom. We need to help children feel special and that they are a valuable, contributing member to the group. This nurtures a sense of ‘community’ which promotes kindness, understanding of others, celebrating accomplishments, and the goal of working together. Learning about being a friend is a fun and joyful experience. Through hands-on activities, children: • Concretely see how each person is an important member of the group when they take ‘attendance’ • Practice measuring skills as they see how tall they and their friends are • Create a group ‘friendship quilt’ where every square is unique • Work their large muscles in an action game The more children are involved with each other in positive activities, the more they will see how valuable each child is to the group… and that everyone can be friends!$12.00Help children better understand the importance of bees$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!$12.00Bunnies, piglets and lambs herald spring!