Sunday, November 23, 2014

Christmas Sensory Bottles

Happy Sunday evening! I am just wrapping up another very productive weekend. I'm hard at work getting stuff ready for my Christmas lesson plans.... So, I thought I better give you guys a peek at what I've accomplished!

I made a whole row of fun sensory bottles!

 
First, I dyed a bunch of rice red and green. I will be using some in my sensory table, but I filled up a bottle with colored rice and added buttons so the kids will have a Christmas Eye Spy bottle. The buttons are Santa, a red bird, a pinecone, a snowflake, a gingerbread man, a Christmas tree, and some pine needles. This turned out so cute!


This bottle is filled halfway with water, halfway with corn syrup and then silver glitter was added. This will be for my sensory center.


This bottle has water, glitter and pine needles. When its shook up it looks like a winter storm blowing around a pine tree!
 

These are red and green pipe cleaners. When the kids rub a magnet wand up and down the bottle the stems will attract to the magnet!

And the last one is filled with red and green pom poms!
 

I glued each bottle shut with E6000 glue. I can't wait to see my kids enjoy them!

This is just the tip of the iceberg, so stay tuned for more fun Christmas projects!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christmas and Winter Sensory Bags


Happy Sunday Evening! I don't know how the weather is all over the rest of the world, but we are dealing with our first little bit of snow today! We only got about 2 inches of snow, but man does it have me in the Christmas spirit!
 
I am trying to get a little bit of a jump on my Christmas and Winter themed toys for my classroom so I'm not trying to get a lot done in one weekend so tonight I threw together some new sensory bags!

Aren't they too cute?
 
 
 
And they are super easy to make!
 
Here's what you need:
1 bottle of white hair gel (found at the Dollar Tree)
Foam Christmas Trees
Foam Snowflakes
Glitter
 
Fill a sandwich bag with hair gel. I didn't use any real measurements, but we did use the entire bottle between 6 sensory bags. I used just enough so that after you close the bag you can manipulate the stuff inside.
 
Throw in some glitter, trees or snowflakes.
 
Tape the bags closed with packing tape!
 
I'm going to take my Christmas ones to school after Thanksgiving break, and then take the Winter ones in January. My kids love these so I know they will be excited!
 


Stay tuned for more DIY Christmas and Winter classroom projects! What toys are you making for your Early Childhood Classroom?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

10 Things I've learned in my first 90 days of teaching Early Childhood

I can't believe it's only been just over 90 days since I started my new job. The amount of lessons I have learned in the past three months is amazing... and none of them were mentioned in my Early Childhood Education Textbooks. So, consider this a public service announcement!

1. Go ahead and plan to be sick for the first month of working in the classroom. If there was an available germ, I picked it up!Vitamin C is your friend, wash your hands constantly!

2. Floats and Subs are your best friends. You can not (and will not) survive without them... which leads to #3.

3. If you get a chance to go potty... take it! Even if you don't really need to, just go! You never knew when you will have another opportunity. Like seriously... take them as they are offered to you.

4. If you think you can go to work without wearing makeup, just this one time, forget it. Your kids will notice and call you out. One girl said "You look really sleepy since you don't have any makeup on." Haha, whoops! Point taken!

5. Comfortable shoes > Cute Shoes   I walk 5 miles every day at work, and comfortable shoes are a staple. I'll stick to my cute shoes on the weekend instead.

6. Cheap and free classroom toys are better than expensive ones anyway. Hair gel taped inside ziploc bags are the most sought out toy in my classroom, while my new store bought toys collect dust! Pinterest is overflowing with ideas!

7. Build up your collection of songs, and have them ready. I now have a running list going through my head, but some that I didn't think of before were "I'm a Little Teapot", "Old McDonald" and "BINGO". These come in handy whenever my kids are getting a little antsy in the classroom. I randomly burst into song all day long!

8. You can never have too many sensory recipes on the back burner. Homemade scented play dough and slime are great rainy day activities!

9. You'll never really learn to dislike rainy days until you have a classroom full of kids that need to get outside and run.

10. Even a rough day at a job you love is 100 times better than a good day at a job you hate. Every. Single. Time.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thanksgiving Dramatic Play Prep

This week my class and I will be starting our Thanksgiving lesson plan for the month of November. It's full of turkey's, manners, and lessons about lots of yummy food!

Last night and today I sat down and made some felt food for my dramatic play center. I made turkey legs first and loved how they turned out....




So I got to work on making more. I did mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and corn.


While I was moving along I copied my templates so I can share with you!  Print off the template on card stock, and then trace onto the felt, and some card stock. I used fabric glue to stick the felt to the card stock to make them sturdy.

 The only one that doesn't have a template is the green beans. I just cut slits of green felt and made a pile of green beans.

Here are the templates:


Excuse my amazing drawing skills. ;) However, these work great as basic shapes.
I used the following colors of felt:

Turkey leg- Brown and white for the bone.
Cranberry sauce: red
Gravy: Light brown
Mashed Potatoes: Off white
Pie: Orange
Corn husks: 1 yellow, 1 green. Cut the green one in half, length wise and attach as husks.


In addition to my food I hit up Hobby Lobby and bought a few things.  I got a child's apron a child's chef hat, and some paper plates.. (I'll just give them a few paper plates at a time.)

I also picked up some fabric scraps to use. I got the gingham to use as a tablecloth for our dramatic play table and red fabric to use as cloth napkins. I can't wait to see how much fun they will having cooking Thanksgiving dinner!


I'm about ready to start coming up with ideas for Christmas! I will definitely do a felt tree. Any other suggestions?