Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fairy Houses

Autumn Fairy House
Today's theme was all about Fairy Houses! We began our day with our first morning meeting. We sat in circle and learned how to greet one another by name. We sang "Hello World" as we danced in group and then read Fairy Houses by Tracy Kane

Fairyhouses.com describes fairy houses as small structures for the fairies and nature’s friends to visit. Sticks, bark, dry grasses, pebbles, shells, feathers, seaweed, pine cones and nuts are just some of the natural materials that can be used. Ranging from simple to intricate ‘Fairy Mansions’, these whimsical habitats are built by children, families, gardeners and nature lovers reflecting their creativity, joy and pride.
The simple challenge of creating a fairy house offers children a unique activity that encourages them to go outside and connect with the natural world, nurturing care and respect for the environment.

There are a few tips on how to make a fairy house. 
1. Fairy houses can be created in many different natural places like a field, woods, beach or back yard.
2. Try to find a place away from roads or busy areas. Close to the ground is best.
3. You can only use natural materials like dry grasses, pebbles, sticks, shells, feathers and pinecones are just some items.
4. Do not disturb living things like flowers, ferns, moss or leaves still on trees.
5. Try to make you house look so natural its almost hidden.
Visit fairyhouses.com to get connected to Tracy Kane and the wonderful world of Fairy Houses!

Early Literacy Station (Letter Stamps)
After exploring outside we came into play with our school materials. The girls love to see what's hiding in my school buckets. Today we strengthened our fine motor skills by using letter stamps. These stamps are smaller than an inch and require a patient pincer grasp to select a letter, ink it and stamp it on the paper. The girls are also learning how to write their own name. 

Sewing Station

Our next early literacy station took place in the sewing area. We love to sew around animals like giraffes and cats on the Playschool sewing boards. Weaving and sewing is another great activity to help strengthen fine motor skills in preparation for coloring and writing. 

We also enjoyed a fun Lotto game about animal habitats. We described each environment and discussed the animals that live in the arctic, savanna, desert, rain forest, ocean and forest. 

What a wonderful day full of learning! See you Thursday!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Baking Bread

Today was a bring-an-umbrella-just-in-case kind of day! It was even more delightful when we discovered we all had FROZEN umbrellas. We shared, traded, opened & closed them over and over again. What great friends!

Umbrellas can help us enter the forest
Umbrellas are great on a resting rock

On our way back from our morning hike we found a young snake. It had a black body with gray markings/stripes. It looked like a newborn Northern Water Snake seen here.

These snakes are usually found in habitats such as streams, ponds, swamps and marshes. They often use logs or branches overhanging the water for basking. They are rarely found far from water.
From August to October they can give birth to 20-40 live young. During the winter they hibernate underwater or in holes near the water.

Water snake

Wow! What a discovery!

We came back to camp to make some fresh zucchini bread! After harvesting some overgrown zucchini from the garden we gathered all the ingredients, measured, poured and mixed them all together and voila! We had a nice homemade gift for our families.

While we waited for the bread to bake we had plenty of time to play inside. We love our new puppet theatre!

HEY! What's that outside our window? It's...Turkeys!! They've come to see us! Let's go back outside!

We wrapped up our 1st week of school with some delicious snacks and outdoor social time. Looking forward to our year together girls!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

1st Day of Preschool

It was a beautiful morning for the 1st day of school! We enjoyed a hike through our woods with lots of discoveries. First we saw a Hairy Woodpecker pecking a dead tree at the edge of the woods. The girls found walking sticks and collected some fallen natural items to bring back to school. 

Here a list of everything the girls found in our backyard:
Hairy Woodpecker
Turkey Feather
Red Berries
Beaver sticks
Fallen Trees
Birch Trees
Maple Tree
Deer Tracks & Scat
Long rock wall
Blackberry Bushes

Snack Time as we reflect on our morning
Pulling up carrots in the garden

We took a peek in the garden to see what we could find. The girls harvested, carried and washed the carrots, tomatoes and Jack-Be-Little pumpkin. Next we returned inside for a little cool down drink and puppet play. We sang songs like Hokey Pokey, Ring Around the Rosie, London Bridges and Itsy Bitsy Spider. This led us back outside for a more singing and free play on the structure, but it was already time to go home!

Throughout the morning we also had the chance to have a little independent play in the sand station, play structure, as well as inside exploring the nature table and the coloring station.

Our day went by so fast! Thank you for coming to explore with us today. See you next time!