Sunday, March 24, 2013

Easter Hunt

Spring is kind of here, the grass might be green under all the snow we have received in Edmonton... but we celebrated in the class no matter what it looked like outside!

On Monday and Tuesday morning we had a visit from some sneaky friends - the Leprechauns!
They played some tricks on us and made our room a huge mess over the weekend! They split the green paint, made a mess of our calender and left our toys everywhere - silly Leprechauns.

In the circle center, we found a note from them that I read to the children at our circle time. It apologized for leaving such a large mess, but told us if we followed clues they left us, we would find a surprise!
The Leprechauns told us the pictures we found would rhyme with the place of the next clue. I explained to the children what rhyming was, and we did some examples of rhyming words (Bat and Cat, Dog and Log).
Our first clue was Hair. It was a little difficult, but we decided to look on all the chairs, which is where we found our next clue - a picture of a mouse (house).

Our last clue was found on the shelf, in a basket, enclosed with this note.

The kids were ECSTATIC to  find this treasure of money and stickers. Before handing out the gold coins, we spoke about loonies (Canadian $1) and what we use money for. We discussed a couple things we could exchange money for like clothes, food and toys before eating the chocolate in the middle. 

It was also backwards day at the beginning of the week! Many children, including myself, wore our clothes backwards. We also did our day backwards, starting with a game and show and share. During our last circle we sang our "hello song". This had the children laughing hysterically. Turning our day around was a smige stressful, as children really rely on routine and structure to cope. And although children do best with structure, it's never a bad idea to stress children out a little bit though, by changing routine or introducing them to something new. It really helps children experience that we can not control everything in our environment. This will help develop their coping skills, and help them  learn to control their temperament. 

Luckily, our children at Capilano Playschool are easily adaptable and could find the humor in doing our day backwards.


During craft, we traced our hands and cut them out. 
After we wrapped them around a pipe cleaner and made a classroom bouquet of Easter lilies! 

These will be displayed for the rest of the year in our class

On Tuesday, the children used marbles to decorate paper Easter eggs. We mixed our red, yellow and blue to make pretty spring colours.

Rolling the marbles around was so much fun. We could feel the marbles hitting the walls of our painting box. It was exciting to anticipate what the eggs would look like once we opened the lids.

Our sensory experience was playing with Easter grass in a HUGE basket! Inside the basket were bunnies and various sized eggs. We could put some of the smaller eggs inside the larger eggs which we shook as noise makers.

Decorating the Easter eggs was a big hit with all the children.
We mixed kool-aid with water to create the colours. The exciting thing about using Kool-Aid was the children had a chance to smell the jars. Some knew the smells, grape, lime and cherry. Others assosiated colours with what you would think they smell like, such as green smelling like grass. Others would smell the jar and think of other items that had the same smell, such as gummy bears.

Our five scenes are so important! It's always exciting when we can explore them in unexpected ways, such as decorating Easter Eggs!

After the children wrapped elastic bands around the eggs to create stripes and designs.

When they were dry some still had a faint smell of the Kool-Aid, while others smelt of hard boiled eggs.

For our game on Wednesday and Thursday, the children enjoyed looking through the room to find Easter eggs! The children were given instructions to find two eggs, and come back to the circle but not open them. They did a really good job with their self control and listening to my words.

Our eggs were not normal Easter eggs though, they were Sound Eggs! I opened a bunch of the eggs first, to example what we were doing. I wanted the children to identify the letters, and tell me the sounds the letter makes. 

Inside the eggs were one letter each. One by one we went around the circle and opened each child's two eggs. The children did exceptionally well sitting and waiting for their turns. It's crutial Kindergarte readiness to teach pre-schoolers turn taking.
They were very proud to announce to their peers what letter they had inside their eggs, and seemed to enjoy making the beginning sounds.

Once we were done playing with the eggs and letters, I exchanged their letter eggs for real Easter eggs, with a fun yummy treat inside.

I hope everyone has a special and amazing Easter.

Christian Notes

Easter is an exciting time to enjoy egg hunts and the Easter bunny, but in our Christian community it's important to remember why we celebrate Easter and what Jesus did for us.

We sat in circle and spoke about Jesus going on the cross, and how important it was for Jesus to do this for us. The Resurrection is a complicated concept for some, especially our younger friends.
To simplify it for our playschool friends we spent time talking about butterflies.

I showed the children this image I found on Google 

I passed the image above around, and told the children about how butterflies start out as caterpillars. Jesus' life was like this beautiful butterfly. The caterpillar represents Jesus' time on Earth. After Jesus was placed on the cross he was wrapped in strips of linen, like how a caterpillar makes a chrysalis. In that chrysalis the caterpillar transforms and grows. Lastly, the caterpillar comes out of the chrysalis and emerges a beautiful butterfly, and rises.
I hope the story really helps create beautiful images for the children to understand what happened when Jesus was Resurrected. 

During craft the children enjoyed making their own butterflies!

After decorating the clothes pins, the children received Jelly Beans, and placed them in a small ziplock bag. As they picked their colours I read them the Jelly Bean poem, which I put onto a strip of paper for them to take home with the jelly beans.Each colour jelly bean represents a different part of what Jesus and God did for us. We then clasped the cloths pin butterfly to make beautiful butterfly wings.


Our Jelly Bean Poem read:

we shall all be changed
1 Corinthians 15:51

RED is for the blood Christ gave,
GREEN is for the grass God made,
YELLOW is for the sun so bright,
BLACK is for the sins that were made
WHITE is for the grace Christ gave,
PURPLE is for the hour of sorrow,
PINK is for the new tomorrow.
Celebrate! Jesus is Alive!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16


Ms Asha

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Luck of the Irish

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

During our week the children and I spent time talking about St. Patrick's Day. We pointed out where Ireland is on the map in our circle center. Once we began playing, the children noticed a basket with items in it and a note that read:

 The children were very excited to be left gifts from the Leprechauns. They enjoyed the toys during play time and in our gym time where we played "what time is it Mr. Leprechaun?"

We also read some St. Patrick's day books! It helped me explain the personality traits of a Leprechaun, which can be hard when playing make believe. 

Our creative expressions experience was a lot of fun this week, when the children got to get really messy!
Our first craft let the children do a lot of mixing. We mixed white paint and white glue to create a sticky paint. We also mixed that white paint on the paper with some yellow paint. It's always exciting to have the permission to PLAY in the paint. After mixing and painting, the children added gold sparkles, foam stickers and picture stickers.

Lastly, we sat down and explained to the children about what "lucky" meant. I told our preschool friends that being lucky is having something we don't HAVE to have. We have to breath, and stay healthy, but we are lucky to have good friends, family (and in our Mon/Wed class - God and Jesus). Feeling lucky makes your heart and tummy warm, and makes you happy.
Then, we asked the children what made them feel lucky, and added it to our art.

The answers were ADORABLE
Our second craft of the week was a pot of gold!
The children were told the story of how a Leprechaun's job is to hide gold at the end of rainbows, under shamrocks and 4 leaf clovers.We took the time to decorate our own rainbow to a pot of gold with our hands.


Ms Asha

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tails are not for pulling

On Friday, March 8th 2013, we went to the Edmonton Humane Society.
It was a spectacular field trip to expose children to various pets and how to care for them. The Edmonton Humane Society has created an extraordinary program for young children called tails are not for pulling..
Sadly, the smart board wasn't working so we all sat together and read the actual book.

We learned that animals have feelings, just like people! That they can feel happy, sad and scared. Sometimes when animals are scared they may growl and bite. They taught us how important it is to not touch a strangers pet  in case they like their space - but ask "may I pet your pet?"
After, the SPCA staff brought out various pets for us to meet. The playschool children did extremely well using their words to ask permission to touch the animals.

First, we met Nevel the guinea pig.

"May I pet your pet?"

Next we met Francis, the Bearded Dragon!
He was not as soft as Nevel. We know that is because he is a lizard, and guinea pigs are mammals. Nevel had hair which was soft, but Francis has rough scaly skin.
Some playschool friends were not as excited to pet Francis.
The parents were brave and pet Francis as well.

The last class pet we met was Edgar the ferret.
The children really liked him as well.

Edgar made us laugh when we found out if you hold him by the scruff of his neck it makes him yawn and get sleepy.

After the presentation, we were allowed to have a tour of the facility. It is a gorgeous center which can home many animals until they are adopted. It was amazing to see the baby puppies before they are placed out for the public to adopt.

It's sad to see so many animals in the need of new families, but it really is peaceful to know that the Edmonton Humane Society is such a wonderful place for them to stay at for a short term.


Ms Asha