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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Easter Sensory Bin

This Easter sensory bin assembly was completely effortless since we had so many cute goodies left over from our our 3D collage Hobby Lobby and Dollar Tree hauls. This time around, colored rock salt was used as a base. You can find the tutorial on how to color rock salt, rice, and macaroni in our post here.

Oh, look who is making yet another appearance! We cannot get enough of the soft little chicks. The great thing is, is that even though this bin will contain many of the same items that the children will have used in their collages, they will be using them in totally different ways, creating new learning experiences.

MATERIAL USED:

– Any suitable container
– A batch of colored rock salt (tutorial here)
– Plastic eggs
– Plastic bunny eggs
– Small glitter eggs
– Colored buttons
– Chicks
– Easter grass
– Small baskets
– Small cups
– Ice cream scoop
– Sand rake
– Tweezers

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Easter Peeps Math Activity

This math activity is sure to engage preschoolers while reinforcing size skills. Have the children arrange the Peeps in different ways before adhering them onto the paper. Ask them to arrange the pieces from smallest to biggest and then biggest to smallest. Also have them separate the two bigger from two smaller. Finally, let the kids choose which size order they would like to glue the bunnies in.

In addition, be sure to discuss other words that mean big (huge, large, etc.) and small (tiny, little etc.), and incorporate them into the task.

Download the free Easter Peeps Size Skills Practice sheet.


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Free Kite Scissor Skills Printables

St. Patrick’s Day is over, and we have had our fill of rainbows. So for the last few days, it’s been all things kites in the classroom. The end of the school year is creeping upon us, and I needed to see where some of my kids are at with their scissor skills. I made these kite cutting sheets, which proved to be a fun way to assess their progress.

There are 3 free printables available: one straight line, one curvy, and one zigzag.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE KITE SCISSOR SKILLS SHEETS

Straight line kite
Curvy line kite
Zigzag line kite


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Shaving Cream Easter Egg

Finger painting with shaving cream allows children to explore, experiment, and create – all while strengthening their senses. Let’s finger paint some Easter eggs!

Simply add a few drops of watercolor to the shaving cream, and blend. Give the children a large egg shape (download the free template here) or, depending on their age and ability, encourage them to cut out their own. Allow the kids to work the colors into the construction paper with their fingers.

What’s so great about this activity, is the way the shaving cream adheres to the paper. It goes on so lightly and dries almost instantaneously, yet it remains rich in color. The eggs don’t become soggy, making them prone to tearing or ripping like they normally would with regular paint or straight watercolor.

Preschoolers may then glue (a dab will do ya) their eggs onto a bigger piece of construction paper. Add some Easter grass, and voila! This colorful finger painted egg is the perfect Easter decoration for any bulletin board or refrigerator.

MATERIALS USED:

– Construction paper
– Glue
– Our free printable egg template
– Scissors
– Easter grass
– Shaving cream
– Watercolors

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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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Strawberry Math Activity

In a previous post, we used strawberry baskets for an art project. Well, now we are turning them into a simple, yet powerful math tool. This strawberry activity is a cute way to practice number recognition and counting skills. It is also wonderful for number quantity. The large numbers help the child to understand that numerals represent quantity and that quantity is represented by a numeral. Additionally, the strawberries can be used for set tasks; recognition, matching, separation, and combination.

And let’s not forget about quantity comparison. Children may use the baskets of fruit to make comparisons of weight, size, and amount.

MATERIALS USED:

-Strawberry baskets
-Pipe cleaners/fuzzy sticks
-Faux strawberries
-Our free printable numbers
-Double-sided tape


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Easter Bunny and Egg Match Up

I often use file folder games as teaching tools. Children love them, and they are cost effective and easy to make. File folder games are also extremely versatile and can be made to teach almost any concept.

This particular game is perfect for the Easter season and color recognition practice.

MATERIALS USED:

– File Folder
– Construction paper in colors of your choice
– Bunny and egg pattern (download the free template here)
– Scissors and Glue


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