archive for the 'Social Emotional Development' category

Free Father’s Day Questionnaire

Looking for a little something extra to go along with your preschoolers’ Father’s Day gifts? Download this fun and free Father’s Day questionnaire. Your children’s answers will be sure to put a smile on their dads’ faces. Older children may be able to copy/write their own responses, otherwise just have them dictate.

DOWNLOAD THE FATHER’S DAY QUESTIONNAIRE.

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Garden Felt Board Activity

Children love to use the flannel board, and I give them that opportunity as often as I can. This table top board is perfect for a small group. I like to gather two or three children and have them work together to create a scene. Once the activity is completed, preschoolers practice pre-reading skills by telling oral stories (about their picture) and acting them out. The possibilities are endless. This springtime activity also teaches color recognition, association, and helps improve visual perception skills.

Materials Used:

– Flannel board
Felt
– Our garden board felt templates
Scissors
– A Ziploc to store the felt pieces


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Family Friday 2017

Today is the last day of (NAEYC’s Week of the Young Child™, and it’s Family Friday!

We are busy drawing family portraits, while discussing the wonderful people closest to us and our experiences with them. What a fun, meaningful week it has been!


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Work Together Wednesday 2017

I am happy to report that Work Together Wednesday (NAEYC’s Week of the Young Child™) was a success in my classroom. For me, as a teacher, watching children achieve the different levels of play, is one of the most rewarding. One of these boys spent his first year (I have all children for 2 years) at the solitary/independent level. Watching him, today, at the cooperative play stage, was so gratifying.

Evoking their problem solving skills, this little group worked together, trading ideas and pieces of Legos, to achieve their common goal of building “A cool castle with an X-wing fighter, and a super fast car that can fly.”

The castle is now sitting safely on a shelf, labeled with a “Save Me!” sign. Can’t wait to watch them play with it tomorrow.


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Yummy Rice Cake Pig Snack

It’s Tasty Tuesday of NAEYC’s Week of the Young Child™, and to honor this fun day, we are going to be making rice cake pigs.

Snack time for preschoolers is much more than enjoying a tasty treat. It is a time for children to build independence and develop self-help skills. They pour their own milk or water (“pour with your strong hand and hold the cup with your helper hand”), pass items to their classmates, clear their place settings, clean up spills, and, in some instances, even prepare their own food!

For our pig snack, this morning, each child will served a plate containing all of the ingredients. They will use their fine motor skills to spread the cream cheese, with a plastic knife, and to assemble their pigs. So much fun!

INGREDIENTS USED:

– Rice cakes
– Strawberry cream cheese or cream cheese with food coloring
– Marshmallows
– Raisins


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Charlie Rooster Shape Craft

This Charlie Rooster shape craft is a fabulous extension to the story Friends written and illustrated by Helme Heine. Together, these activities teach pro-social behavior, shape knowledge, and color recognition.

As children grow, they become increasingly interested in establishing friendships. Friends provide stimulation, assistance, camaraderie, and affection.

Charlie Rooster, Johnny Mouse, and Percy the pig are the best of friends. They do everything together. They ride their bike together, play games together, and even do their chores together. Because that’s what best friends do. This charming book glorifies friendship; proving that friends can make even the most simple, everyday delights seem extraordinary. In cheerful watercolors, Helme Heine depicts the tremendous spirit of these adorable animals, who are filled with the enthusiasm and pleasure of companionship.

MATERIALS USED:

– Construction paper
– Craft foam
– Our free circles template
– Scissors
– Glue
– Dot markers
– Googly eyes
– Heart cutouts/Fiskars heart squeeze punch
– Feathers
– Crayons


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The Colored Hens Circle Time Activity

One of my favorite children’s books is The Little Red Hen. I read it every year to my class. I often pair the story with this interactive circle time activity, which is designed to improve listening skills, and teach colors. It also gives children an opportunity to follow directions and to participate during large group.

Cut out colored hens to match the colors in the poem (the hen pattern is provided here). I happened to have some extra felt, so I just used that. However, construction paper will work just as well. Glue the hens onto paper plates, add some googly eyes, and coordinating craft sticks. I used watercolors to color the sticks.

During circle time, give each child a hen. Some colors may have to be repeated depending upon how many children are in the circle. Instruct the children to hold up their hen when they hear their color, then read the poem below. This is a fantastic attention grabber. My preschoolers, even my “busy” ones, hold their breath with anticipation, just waiting to hear their color words; they get so excited to spring into action!

THE COLORED HENS POEM:

This little hen is brown
You’ll never catch her with a frown

This little hen is black
She’s not a duck, so she doesn’t quack

This little hen is yellow
She’s friends with Mr. Rooster – he’s a happy fellow

This little hen is purple
She likes to walk in a circle

This little hen is green
On the farm she can been seen

This little hen is blue,
She likes to follow me and you

This little hen is red
She’s laid all her eggs in her bed

After the poem is read, and all the hens have been held up, talk about the different colors. To build phonemic awareness, the rhyming words should also be repeated and discussed.

MATERIALS USED:

– Colored felt or construction paper
– Our free hen pattern
– Scissors
– Tacky glue
– Paper plates
– Jumbo craft sticks/tongue depressors
Washable liquid watercolors
– Googly eyes


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The Power of Play Dough

I thought it would be fun to set up a play dough bakery. I made some chocolate colored/scented dough and some lavender glitter dough. I also provided birthday candles, wooden flower decorations, colored beads (sprinkles), pie and bread tins, rolling pins, ice cream scoops, silicone cupcake holders, a serving platter with a doily, cookie cutters, etc.. I had everything ready to go before my class arrived.

This is Chloe. She is always so serious and straight-faced in the mornings, so I was thrilled to see her chatting and smiling while making her “special star cookie”. Some of the kids made birthday cakes and cupcakes while singing “Happy Birthday” to each other.

There are so many benefits to playing with this squishy substance.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Play dough allows preschoolers to come up with unique and creative ideas. Children often express pride in accomplishments when they use play dough in purposeful and meaningful ways. Social skills grow as they share space and materials.

FINE MOTOR SKILLS

Children use their hands and tools to pound, push, poke, shape, flatten, roll, cut, and scrape the dough. Through these experiences, they develop eye-hand coordination and control, dexterity, and strength; critical skills they will need later for writing, drawing, and other purposes.

LANGUAGE/LITERACY

Working with play dough helps young children to enhance their language abilities. They practice listening, understanding, speaking, and communicating skills as they negotiate roles and engage in conversations with classmates and teachers. Materials like play dough encourage preschoolers to describe and reflect on what they are doing.

SCIENCE AND MATH

As young children discuss what they are doing with the dough, they often engage in scientific thinking. They learn through tactile experiences, observing and reflecting on how materials feel and change (grainy, smooth, round, flat). Math skills increase as children compare shapes, measure sizes, and count.

It’s safe to say, NEVER underestimate the power of play dough.


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