Discovery Bottles are a great way to enhance sensory process while helping to focus on a few scientific facts. Two bottles in the science area this month have water, glitter pom pom balls, Make it Glitter, and black and blue coloring. Take care to use very little black coloring, it gets dark fast! Shaking the bottles is just plain fun. The glitter pom pom balls hold up well in liquid and float around when the bottles are moved.
While watching the swirling motion in the bottles questions about day and night, planets, and space lead to dictation and artwork
later in the day. OR just have fun!
Foam stars are ready for stringing together on a piece of lacing. This tray activity can be used at a table, on a rug, or in a learning center. I recommend concentrating on patterns and keeping the lacing short enough that it cannot be tied around the neck.
I can spot a pattern already!
Lacing activities can reinforce classroom vocabulary and help define shapes and colors. Eye-hand coordination and the development of small muscles in the hand are enhanced while handling the lacing and the beads. Visual Perceptual Skills grow and help the students make sense out of what they are seeing. It is such a simple activity loaded with Fine Motor Skills that play an important role in preparing children to be self-sufficient, write legibly with a pencil, to dress, or to use a toothbrush. It takes years to develop these skills that adults take for granted. Another important aspect of lacing beads: It is FUN!
The Sticky Board is in the classroom’s Library. This month’s theme is Space and I have added shapes to help students explore the theme. It would be expected to have stars, circles and crescents. I also added spaceships, astronauts and a sun shape. Students spend time together or alone playing with the Sticky Board. It is a place use imagination, act out stories, or try to represent things they know about our universe.
The board itself is a recycled dry erase board that has become dull. I tape down a piece of contact paper, sticky side out, and it has a new use! Its sensory experience is quite different from the felt board or the magnetic board. Its stickiness makes it easier to have 3-D props. It is also a story starter for dictation. Students enjoy having pictures taken of their boards and adding them to their stories about Space.
Summer is winding down and the new school year is about to start. My classroom runs year round for children ages 2½ to 5. VPK students have already said their goodbyes and are busy getting ready for Kindergarten. That leaves a short time in August to tackle the final theme… The Final Frontier… Space! Each year I add to and subtract from this theme. There are many ways to approach Space. Planets, star gazing, astronauts, constellations, and rockets are a few of the subjects that seem to be of great interest to preschoolers.
The light table in my room has been transformed into a Planetarium. I covered a piece of tissue paper with contact paper (best done alone in a very quiet space). This made the tissue paper durable, but still translucent. It was well worth the struggle. After punching a few holes in the paper, I added some window clings that are space themed (planets, stars and rockets). The students arrange the objects on the table. This is a good activity for dictation. Interview the child working at the light table and ask why the pieces are arranged the way they are.