Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Sense"ational Learning Fun!

photo of: "Sense"ational  Recipes for Fun! at PreK+K Sharing via Amy Ahola

Young children are concrete learners.
This means that they learn through hands-on experiences.
They learn through active engagement of their senses.

At Child Central Station- we LOVE to make a mess and learn at the same time!

Here are some of our favorite sensory activities, follow the links to the recipes and/or enjoy the free download of my workshop handout!

Colored Gems aka Sensory Salts
Sensory salts are a simple and easy recipe that leave your room smelling delightful! Just a few drops of coloring and essential oil or extract added to epsom salt and voila! 

Shiny Paints
Homemade paints are also another great sensory experience. The shiny paints are made with corn syrup and food coloring.  You can also find our recipes for scratch and sniff watercolors and homemade finger paints on the blog.

Slime is one of our favorite things to play with! We decided to have a slime off to determine our favorite type of slime..... I don't think we came to a conclusion, but we did discover many similarities and differences in the various recipes.

These three slime recipes require you to cook them on the stove:

Flubber/Slime made with fiber and water

Super Sweet Stovetop Slime
Kool-Aid Slime

There are another couple of slime recipes we tested that did not require heat in order to make them:

Gloop/Slime/Silly Putty/Slime made with laundry starch and glue

Gak/Slime made with Borax and Glue
If you add styrofoam beads and adjust the above recipe just a bit- you can create your own fabulous homemade floam!

Homemade Floam! 

We are always making all kinds of different recipes and contraptions to use in and out of our sensory table. You can find over a hundred different ideas in my workshop handouts here! 

What is your favorite sensory activity (In or out of the table?) I'd love to hear about it! Please feel free to share your links in the comments! I'll be sure to share them on Pinterest and Facebook!

 More About Amy

Amy Ahola is the owner/operator of Child Central Station, group home daycare in Marquette, Michigan.  She has been running her own business since 2005. Prior to that time, Amy worked in a childcare center and public school. In addition to her childcare business, Amy also provides educational training sessions. Amy earned a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Northern Michigan University and a M.S. in Training, Development, and Performance Improvement.  For more information about any of her programs, please visit Child Central Station, AmyAhola.com or Find her on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr

Monday, April 29, 2013

Science for Kids: Honey bees, Flowers & Freebies!

Hi everyone! This is Sue Cahalane from Science for Kids Blog, I'm so excited to be here on the 29th of every month & I'm happy that spring has sprung! I just completed a flower & honey bee activity with my PreK students. Their little hands made the cutest flowers:

 We learned all about honey bees and their amazing eyes. Many of my students think honey bees see hundreds of the same image.  This is a misconception! Throw away those insect eye viewers!

(That comic above is entitled "The last thing a fly ever sees"! Pretty funny but it is bad science!) Bees see one image only: 

My kids are fascinated by the fact that bees actually have 5 eyes!

This is the worksheet I use:

Here are the patterns I use to create a little bee:

We planted Morning Glory seeds - they are fast growers! My kids say they look like little green dragonflies & I have to say I agree! Here they are in our greenhouse after just one week: 

For other science activities, please check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store, Facebook page, Pinterest page & my Science for Kids Blog!

Happy Spring!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Crafting with Boxes

There is nothing "new" about crafting with box, I think we all know how much children LOVE to play with boxes, be it large ones, that turn into ships, rockets or houses, or smaller ones that turn into treasure boxes or of course classics such as cars and buses!

I am a great fan of "Childhood Classic" crafts and I think sometimes, it is good to stop and revisit these. There is always someone, who will benefit from the idea, I am sure. A memory reawakened.

So we would love to share our little box play set:

We took a number of different sized boxes, one was to become a BUS, one a tram (we cut that box in half length wise to make to long carriages) and one an  RAC rescue vehicle (they are orange break down vans in the UK that my son was obsessed with at the time).

The kids painted!

We found some shiny tape to add as stripes on the side.

I then cut out some windows and doors and we discussed which people should go on it.

Finally, when all the vehicles were made - with details such as headlights and emergency lights added, my son took them all outside, on a make shift cardboard road we had and got playing. It was lovely to see how busy it kept him.

We then added some TP Roll Men to the equation and had a whole "Town of Activity" going on - all made from recycled materials!

If you  fancy more great Box Craft ideas check out the following two:

Maggy Woodley is a mum of two and blogs over at Red Ted Art, she has recently published her first book (available on Kindle in the US, hardcopy coming in Autumn and Hardback in the UK). She also writes at Life At The Zoo (about cooking, gardening and science) and Theatre, Books and Movies.

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