Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Yellow Week


Yellow Week was loads of fun as we celebrated everything bright in the world. Walter said the sun was yellow. Talli said baby ducks were, too. Brooklyn remembered daffodils from our yellow song and Tanner, lemonade, Katelyn, scrambled eggs and Londynn, a happy face. Jace said bees were yellow and Trey named a lion. Davis thought of a giraffe. Isla said light. Mason D. noticed that even our preschool shirts were yellow and Karina thought of a school bus.


We sang about yellow, twirled around and spelled it, too. I think the best part about yellow this year is our bright yellow preschool shirts, all showing up, lining in a row or clustering on the carpet squares, looking so darling together. Yellow never looked better!




We learned about letter Oo and the sound he loves to make when going to the dentist. Ask your child to explain about that. I hope you get a full report!

We talked about the shape of letter Oo and discovered a circle. Our number this week was 6 and the children had fun watching Mrs. McClure keep a hoola-hoop in motion. Being a nice plump granny, I had to use my neck, but there are some things that only 4 year olds are allowed to witness in preschool and that, my friends, is one of them. Ha! Six looks like a hoola-hoop!

SIX POEM:
Go around the curb
and in a loop!
Six looks like a hoola-hoop!

We had great fun painting a yellow octopus with all it’s arms. The children did a great job. They were so cute.



We had a second octopus day on Wednesday, making an octopus puppet, and we especially had fun rolling out eight legs and a big head to make a pretzel octopus, too. Children this age love to sink their hands into a good blob of dough almost as much as I do. 

The octopuses were adorable and everyone was so proud of what they had created and what each had become after baking. This was the first year that I have ever attempted to make octopus, especially with so many. 


I heard about this idea in the summer and I have been thinking about it ever since. I just had to try it. Oh, we had great fun. I wasn’t sure we could get them all done in time, but wha-lah! We did it. Admittedly, we could not have done it without our dear, amazing Miss Kristin and Jaxson’s mom, Kelsey, and our student helper, Brittley, also helped, making it easy as pie! Thanks so much!




Thursday, we cut lots of circles and created an owl, the first of many Halloween decorations for your holiday pleasures. I am simply thrilled with how well these children are managing their scissors and cutting exactly on a line. They are making great progress.

September is rapidly coming to a close and Halloween is about to explode with black cats, and black hats and creepy black bats. Not hard to guess that next week is Black Week. We are very excited for the children to walk into a newly decorated room with Halloween fun everywhere.

We have been receiving lots of collectables for school. I thank you for those. They are invaluable for our projects. I feel to clarify the milk boxes on the list. I am seeking the large boxes that house two jugs full of milk from Costco or Sam’s, not the half-gallon milk boxes with the screw top. Thank you so much.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend, now that the weather is cooling a bit. The children especially loved a longer recess time. The cooler breeze was a delight and the children seemed to feel it, too, as they exploded with squeals and screams we had not the chance to witness until now. Aaaaaah! Maybe they were just rehearsing the sound of letter Oo! Ha! A nice thought, but I think not! Gotta love em, it’s in the contract! Until Monday! Wear black!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Red, White, And Blue. American Week!


Now, that my out-of-town family has just shoved off, I find myself in a nice quiet home to recap our American Week. This week is a favorite of many and I appreciated hearing it from several American-loving parents. Dusty, Walter’s dad, was especially vocal. Having lost his own dear brother in Afghanistan, he knows first-hand, the cost of freedom and the precious blood spilt to protect, defend and serve our country. I loved his expressions of honor and great meaning. I would just like to add my own feelings of love for this free country and reverence all those who have participated to help in this cause. May God bless this nation of ours.

In school, we talked about many who had fallen and had given their lives for each one us and even how the father of our country prayed to God at Valley forge and lead his troops triumphantly into battle, being miraculously spared, securing our freedoms.


We particularly made mention of 9-11 and the sad day in which we lost so many Americans due to the “bad” airplanes and the events that followed. Jace was very moved by this story and shared his brave, strong feelings on the matter, “Well, I would just kick ‘em in the nuts!” This incited many to share their own tales of bravery. Ha! Don’t mess with this crowd! I wish I had written all of their threats and promises down, along with who may have made them, but honestly, I was still giggling about Jace’s initial statement! Thanks, Jace!


We sang and twirled in our American colors and everyone got to hold and wave an American flag while singing, “My flag, my flag, my country’s flag. I love to see you wave!…” We talked about Uncle Sam and what he represented and how he wants each one of us to love, serve, and protect this country. We talked about George Washington, the Liberty Bell, the parts of our flag and Lady Liberty. The children had fun coloring and creating red, white and blue patterns on the hat and bow tie for Uncle Sam. They did a fabulous job.

We also learned the number poem for 5 and found 5 fingers on each hand and 5 toes on each foot. The revelation of having so many things of 5 was an astonishing event. “Wow! That is so cool!”

Number 5 Poem:
A big fat five is flat on top,
go down and around,
then you stop!


We have been learning America, the Beautiful as our flag song ever since the beginning of school, along with its sign language. While loading Benjamin in his car, I overheard his mom, Brittny, ask him if he had learned anything about America. He broke out in song, “America! America! God sent His face on thee!” So darling! Thanks, Benjamin. You made my day!

Wednesday, we painted an American eagle on a flag and twirled and waved and sang some more.


Thursday, we made our Statue of Liberty hats and the children squealed with excitement when they discovered they could each go home with their own bright torch of a cup cake in an edible cone. 



At the end of the day, I asked them all what they knew about America. “The Statue of Liberty!” shouted Scarlett. “The flag!” shouted Drew. Mason E. said, “America!” Six more in rapid succession, “The Statue of Liberty!” “The Statue of Liberty!” “The Statue of Liberty!” again and again and again! Does anyone else know anything else besides The Statue of Liberty? Quinn raised her hand, “When an eagle flies, it’s an American one!” Perfect!




Our "Lady Liberty Torches" were modified by using a simple cupcake recipe in ice cream cones. You can find a great tutorial here!


Our Statue of Liberty crowns were made with a blue paper plate with star punches glued on the front and red and white triangles glued on the back. They turned out darling and each little crown had it's own personality to go along with it. Some had great repeating A-B patterns and others were goofy with all sorts of patterns. We loved the all! 

Here is a little snippet of the many activities that happened during our Preschool American Week! Leave us a comment below and show us how you celebrated America.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Shark Hat Tutorial


This is by far one of my favorite projects to do during our Blue Week at preschool. We try to implement all of the skills we've learned so far. Cutting on the line, gluing, and matching things together. So here is the fun tutorial to make one for your own little explorers.


 We start off with a basic triangle "newspaper" design hat. Need some help folding? Check out this similar tutorial here. Make it big enough for your ones head. Our's measured about 17 inches on the longest side. We then hole punched (reinforced with tape) and added elastic string.


This is the shark tail. You can draw your own similar one, or print out from the PDF below. If you print it on white, be sure to print two copies. Otherwise, just add another sheet behind and staple them together so you have two of the same cut outs as shown below. Remember don't cut the dotted line!

Next step is to glue the bodies to the shark "head" triangle hat. The dotted lines are designed to line up perfectly with the top of the triangle hat angle. Shown below. Begin gluing one to one side, and match up the other body on the flip side of the hat. Glue all loose pieces down.

The rest is pretty simple, just glue on the eyes and teeth. One eyeball on either side.

Finish off with the best part! TEETH! We designed the teeth to fit perfectly inside the triangle hat. Glue them on the insides of the hat and on either side.

Don't forget to put them on your little one's! We'd love to see how they turned out, post a comment below and show us how your recreated them!

If you need more blue week ideas, check out our whole blog post here for some more ideas including B-L-U-E songs!









Funny Freckled Frog Face Tutorial- Green {Ff} Week


We had such fun putting a funny freckled-face frog together for our Green Week Day. His blow-tongue was so fun. The children squealed! “Freckles! Don’t forget the freckles!”

 Each child couldn’t make his frog fast enough to receive a tongue! They were so excited! I thought the whole room would explode as we watched 24 fly-catching tongues flipping and flying in every direction! There are days when I wish all the parents could be a spot on the wall just to witness such fun times in action. This was one of those. We also sang about speckled frogs on specked logs and read a fun story about catching a fly.

Watch the funny freckled frog face making video here!

The children are doing so well cutting on a line. I am most impressed with how so many of them have really improved since the first day of school. I hardly had to say, “Stay on the line!” I hope you noticed your child’s cutting and gluing abilities. Each project was completed solely by them, well except for the hot glue on the stick, but I am loving what I am seeing!

Funny Freckled Frog Face Tutorial 

 We began our day by having each child cut out all their pieces. They should each have two eye balls, a "banana" shaped mouth, two yellow eye sockets, and a green frog face to cut. Whether you choose to draw your own, or use the PDF files below, be sure to include a hole in the face for the blow tongue to stick through! That's the best part!!

Once they had the pieces cut out we moved on to the gluing part! We love to teach the children about using little tiny dots and not big gluey lakes! Begin with the yellow pieces as shown below.


From here we continued to the white eyes! We had fun doing a whole run through with instructions first, and seeing where the class would decide how to put their frog faces together. 

Finally, we finished off with the freckles. Don't forget the freckles!! For these we simply had white hole punch dots. Remember the tiny glue dots, not gluey lakes! It's so fun to watch them practice this.


  We finished our faces by practicing writing their names on the back and gluing a paint stick so each child could hold their face. The tongues can be found at most dollar or party stores. Have fun watching them use their "sticky" blow tongues to catch all the silly flies in the room. What fun!


Are you a preschool teacher or a mom of tots? We'd love to see how you used our green week project! Leave your comments or fun pictures below!

Green Week! Funny Freckled Frog Faces and Fancy Fishy Faces


Loved, loved Green Week! Even though it was only two days, the frog and the fish are some of my favorite projects. The kids just get such a big kick out of them! We sang and twirled around spelling and cheering for green. We named green things. Rudger and Drew said, “Leaves!” Quintin and Grace, “Trees!” Marshall named a cactus. Drew, broccoli. Lena and Scarlett, an apple. Bria named a frog, Tanner, a chalkboard. Isla, grass and Payson, an alligator. Emmett said, “Light sabers are green!” They are? “Well, some could be green!” Madden said, “I think a bed is green!” And Ammon, with his finger in an especially strategic position said, “Green boogers! They’re green!” Too funny!

We learned our number 4 poem and counted things that were four. We also introduced the letter Ff and the sound it makes and found lots of Ff words. Katelyn found freckles, Jane, finger, Nixon, Fuzzy, Marshall, frog, and Bria found fly. In preschool, an F word is fabulous and fine! Ask you children how to make a four and see if they remember our four poem!
 
Four Poem:
Down and Over
and down some more,
That's the way to make a Four!

Green Poem:
 G-R-E-E-N spells GREEN!
Green like a frog {ribbet!}
Green like a tree.
G-R-E-E-N spells GREEN!
Just like broccoli.

Wednesday
, we had such fun putting a funny freckled-face frog together. His blow-tongue was so fun. The children squealed! “Freckles! Don’t forget the freckles!”

 Each child couldn’t make his frog fast enough to receive a tongue! They were so excited! I thought the whole room would explode as we watched 24 fly-catching tongues flipping and flying in every direction! There are days when I wish all the parents could be a spot on the wall just to witness such fun times in action. This was one of those. We also sang about speckled frogs on specked logs and read a fun story about catching a fly.

Watch the funny freckled frog face video here!

 

The children are doing so well cutting on a line. I am most impressed with how so many of them have really improved since the first day of school. I hardly had to say, “Stay on the line!” I hope you noticed your child’s cutting and gluing abilities. Each project was completed solely by them, well except for the hot glue on the stick, but I am loving what I am seeing!
 
Navy, who is always peppering me with questions asked, “So, why are they called ‘fun sheets’?” I answered, “Because they are so fun!” That simple explanation made her face light up as if she had discovered something amazing, “Ohhhhh!” What’s not to love about that? Oh, these sweet children! I love hanging with them! They are so dang cute!


Thursday
, we colored stripes on a fish. I asked the children to color as dark as possible in an effort to make those stripes pop with brilliancy. They did not disappoint. Pushing hard, they worked and worked to fill in all the white places. The teeth were especially tricky to cut out, so we lost a few of those along the way, but for as new as they all are at cutting, this was an ambitious project. I noticed one fish tail was completely severed, but for the most part, “Good job!” After cutting, we had such fun decorating them with sparkling sequins. Some were determined to have a really fancy fish. “More sequins, more!”

Then, for the fun part. While their sparkly fishy scales dried, we gathered at the carpet squares. I folded the fish together for them to see how to display a simple striped fish. “Look! I’m a cute little fish, swimming, swimming, swimming…” and then I opened the fish, “Ahhhhhh!” telling them they could take this fish home and scare someone. I repeated it several times. Once again, the room exploded! They squealed with anticipation and sad but true, I only managed to record one above the rest. Quintin exclaimed, “This is going to be awesome!” I giggled with delight! These are the payoffs I cherish most.


We sang two fun fishy songs and read a very fun fish story about how a boy fed his fish too much. Ask your child about Otto, the fish and Mr. Carp. You may enjoy what you might hear.


Miss Kristin wrote down this from Rudger, who is never want for something to say. “You have boo boos!” Miss Kristin responded, “Me? Well, I’m a mom!” “Oh yeah! Mrs. McClure has boo boos, too!” Thank you, Rudger. Such an observant child! Ha!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Blue Week & Free Tutorials



Blue week was great as we sang about blue, twirled around and spelled B-L-U-E! We found blue things in the world; the sky, the ocean, even Jacob’s eyes are blue! Ask your child to spell blue or sing our blue song. Very fun! We also learned our poem for number 3 and we found things of three. Three Little Kittens, Three Pigs, and we learned a finger play with three bowls, three chairs, three beds and three bears. Ask your child to tell the story of The Three Bears. Help them get started, “When Goldilocks went to the three bears’ house…” You may be amazed and amused!

Three Poem
Around the tree,
Around the tree!
That's the way to make a three!

B-L-U-E SONG (To the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)
B L U E spells blue
B L U E spells blue
High Ho, Oh don't you know?
B L U E spells blue

The big sky is blue,
The ocean is too!
High Ho! Oh don't you know?
B L U E spells blue!


Monday, we painted hands and turned a handprint into a ship with sails. We added blue ocean waves and a few clouds in the blue sky. Most clouds floated sweetly in the sky while a few drown in the ocean and a few sails pretended to be clouds. I love to watch the children execute after instruction. I promise, as they all become more familiar with instruction time, their projects will show great progress. In the meantime, enjoy your treasures. They will never look this sloppy, this crooked or this twisted and raw ever again. By spring, we will never get to see a mouth stuck to a forehead or hanging from an ear!





Watch the full video here!



Wednesday, we built boats and set them a sail in pools of water in my backyard. The children had great fun pretending to be the wind, blowing their boats across the ocean. 

Then, we left our boats afloat and prepared for battle by grabbing loaded cannons. We ran back outside. Ahhhh! You sank my battleship! Great fun!

Watch the full sail boat video here!
Thursday, we turned a big blue triangle into a shark with rows and rows of sharp white teeth. Then, we glued on 

fishy white eyeballs and strapped them onto heads. 







Ahhh! Sharks! Don’t eat the children! It was especially fun, as we had also read a story about Sammy, the shark, who chomps on everything in sight! “Sammy, don’t eat the teacher!” Too late!

Watch the full shark day video!

We had a few delightful treasures this week that we raced to jot down.  Miss Kristin has great ears and is ever vigilant and especially helpful.

We discovered some ants in the backyard on Monday. Once again, Tallin was most helpful with his wisdom and advice, “You have to kill the shween, if you want to kill them all! I may never say queen any other way. From now on, it shall always be a shween! I’m still giggling about it!

Miss Kristin was helping, “Navy, we need to be nice to everyone!” “Well, my brother, Beckham, hits me sometimes, and I like it!” We laughed and laughed!

Regarding Talli’s budding romance with her boyfriend, Benjamin (the handsome one!). Ivy just happened to be sitting next to Benjamin on the carpet squares, obviously in Talli’s coveted spot. So naturally, Talli asked him, “So, is this your new girlfriend?” Sweet Benjamin was diplomatic, good and wise, “You’re both my girlfriends!” I swear, that Talli, is determined to be married before the end of the year! Too funny! Benjamin is so sweet and patient to be doted on so lavishly. It is such a sweet thing to watch.

Embree was telling me that she had an appointment for the dentist, “They will numb my cheek, but the best part of my life is the piggy part! They put a pig nose on me and it smells so good!!

After hearing it several times, Rudger asked me, “What does ‘darling’ mean?” Every year, I have to educate small children as to what the word, “darling” means. “Darling means you are precious! It means that I love you!” I guess this dates me. Only an old granny like me would be calling them my darlings!

Have a nice long weekend with your families! They never stay young enough, long enough! They are perfect, now! Let’s enjoy them while we can!
Blue week was a long full week of a lot of fun activities and learning! We really enjoyed each day.

Leave a comment below and share your experiences with blue week! We'd love to hear.

The BEST Homemade Little Red Hen Wheat Chia Bread Loaves

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Our Bearly Ready four Threeschool Preschool had Red Week! We read the Little Red Hen and everyone in our class helped us make their own homemade loaves of bread! See the full blog post here!
“Hurry, hurry! Come see the wheat. I need good helpers! Come help me make bread!” “It’s crunchy!” said Tallin. Everyone trickled over. Miss Kristin stayed to help the last cutters finally find their way over. We watched the wheat drop down to grind down into the hole. “Oooh!”
I put on my Little Red Hen hat. “Who will help me make the bread?” A resounding, “I will!!!” And they did, scooping up mounds of flour, adding sugar and oil to the warm water and yeast floating in the bowl. Everyone took a turn. The bread churned and churned.
We dumped it onto a greased cookie sheet and divided it into square blobs. Everyone put on a bib and we sprayed their hands with vegetable oil and let them knead away. “Make it like a big hot dog! Lay it in the pan like this!” I carefully folded in a beautiful mound of dough. “Now, give it a nice pat and we will send it off to the oven!” Some executed it perfectly. Others stretched it into snakes or flattened it like a pancake, but eventually, it all got wadded up into the pans and so it began to rise and form fluffy puffy loaves.

Little Red Hen Loaves

When we did our loaves during Red Week in preschool for our Little Red Hen Day, we purchased small individual loaf pans and sprayed them inside with vegetable coating and used a permanent marker to label them on the bottom ahead of time.
During the actual day, we passed them all out at each desk awaiting the blob of dough that would soon join.
We used two Bosch machines in order to make two batches simultaneously to accommodate our numbers, allowing the children to be good helpers by dumping scoops of ingredients into the mixing bowls. One batch yields roughly, 12 small loaves. 
Because we were adding scoops and scoops and nothing was really measured exactly, I had to rely on the look and texture of the dough more than exact amounts. Honestly, that’s what a good bread baker does anyway! Ha!
Here is what we dumped into the bowl. I had heated 6 cups of water ahead of time and had it sitting in each bowl when the children arrived. I added ½ cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast to each. (Yeast thrives with sugar, so adding a bit during it’s growing process really helps) We added the other ½ cup of sugar later as a helper scoop. I left the yeast to steep and welcomed the children in. We felt and tasted the small kernels of wheat and watched it grind down into flour. I put my Little Red Hen hat on and asked, “Who will help me make the bread?” We added scoop after scoop, making sure I didn’t get it too lumpy and dry. I sent the children off to make their hen hats while I churned and churned and added just enough flour to get it just right. It kneaded and mixed in the machine for about 7 or 8 minutes. Then we dumped it onto oil sprayed trays to divide it into blob sections to place at each desk. By having whole wheat or spelt as the main ingredient, we did not need to have it rise before putting it into the pans. Whole grains are wonderful that way!
Basically, this was our bread recipe:
  • 6 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons dough enhancer
  • 3-4 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
  • 6-7 cups whole wheat flour or spelt (I prefer spelt. It makes a lighter loaf and does not produce sugar as a body bulker like wheat does, however; as to the children and most anyone else, it appears to look just like grains of wheat)
  • 1/2 Cup Chia  Seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • Enough white flour to finish into a rather stiff sticky dough, but not too dry. I don’t know, maybe 3 to 5 cups of flour.
Knowing that salt kills yeast, I waited to put the salt in after adding a fair amount of flour to the yeast mixture. I could not afford to disappoint so many mouth-watering expectant children with the flop of a recipe! Ha! We bibbed each child and sprayed their cupped little hands held sweetly over their blobs. They molded and shaped what I had described and shown to “try to make a big fat hotdog shape!” Each managed to wad their dough into their pan and we set them all on large cookie sheets, trying to cram as many as possible side by side. They sat in a warm garage until almost double in size and then we baked them at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes while we finished up our hats. When they were done, we buttered the tops and brought the loaves in. They smelled delicious! “Who will help me eat the bread?” “ME!” “ME!” “ME!”
Because we were finished baking in just the nick of time before dismissing them from school, we had paper sacks labeled with each name on the front to lower the piping hot loaves and pans down into. We folded the tops down, donned the hen hats, and sent them off with their little hot loaves in tow. It was such a fun day!

Little Red Hen Hat Tutorial

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This tutorial is designed to be crafted along side the Little Red Hen book. It is made for toddlers and preschoolers working on their beginning motor skills. Have fun with tracing, cutting, and using glue.
We began instructing the children to cut out each of their pieces. As you can see, we like to create thick lines for children to cut along and encourage children to "get on the line!!" We walked around and helped each child trace their hands in a dark black crayon and had them cut out that as well. "AH! Don't cut off the fingers!!"
The most fun part was giving instruction to the children and watching them make their own little chicken faces! Some had eyes up high, others down low. Some ended up as "Picaso Red Hens" We teach the children how to make tiny drops of glue and stay away from big gluey "lakes". This is the most fun part for us, seeing the development from the beginning of the year towards the end.
Below you can see our simple Little Red Hen Hat Tutorial.
Start with a red paper plate and cut off the bottom half as shown below.
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This is where the children get creative! We encourage little parental involvement in this part of the process. A fun idea is to make one ahead of time while showing the child(ren) the directions, and then let the child(ren) follow along after from what they remember.
This is all pretty self explanatory from here on out! Just be sure the beak is folded in half so he'll have a little mouth to "cluck cluck" out of! It works best to staple along the outside of the beak so the children can cut the two layers together. Don't cut the fold! Get creative and make your hens "your own" with their own personalities. Another option is to do them on white paper and let children color in themselves.
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Like I mentioned above, pretty self explanatory, but you can see here how our Little Red Hens turned out!
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Don't forget the red hand print "comb" on top! The final step included stapling a white long piece of construction paper  around so each child could wear their hen hat and each be Little Red Hens! What a fun time we had during our preschool red week!
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Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to comment with a link to your projects or tell us how you personalized your project!