We don’t have an actual playdough “center” – we just don’t have the room. So I try to get it out 2 or 3 times a week because I know how much the children LOVE to play with it! This week I wanted to add something different to the playdough to inspire more imaginative play. Usually we have cookie cutters, plastic knives, molds – you know, the standard playdough accessories. I wish I had planned ahead for this – but it was a last minute idea – and so I scrambled around in my room looking for something, anything I could add to the playdough table! I imagine if anyone had seen me – the sight would have made them at least chuckle to themselves! lol
After looking through my room, I decided to add feathers, some plastic ocean beads shaped like starfish, seahorses, shells, and fish (yes, I know we’re in a space unit – but this is all I could find), and some glass aquarium (?) rocks (the kind that are flat on the bottom) – not sure exactly what they are supposed to be used for in the real world – in our class they’re counters.
The kids went crazy! This has been by far the most popular area in the room all week! And I LOVE to see the kinds of creations they are making – so imaginative! On the first day of this new exploration of playdough I heard two children, a boy and a girl, whispering to each other:
Boy: “Isn’t this fun?!?!”
Girl: “I love the feathers! They are soooooo soft!” (strokes one against her cheek)
Boy: “Do you know what we are doing?” (very excited – jumping)
Boy: “We are making real sculptures!” (biggest smile ever on his face)
I just got done making two batches of homemade playdough for my classroom! I made one green batch and one blue – I figured when they played with them and the colors mixed, it would turn a nice blue-green color – like the color of the ocean! This will be the first time some of my kids have played with playdough (sad – I know!) so I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with it! I put a couple tablespoons of vanilla extract in both batches to give it a nice smell – so I’ll need to talk about how we don’t eat playdough even though it smells good! lol Wish me luck!
Ms. Bennet and I are also working on turning our playhouse into a beach area. We have a couple beach balls, a couple small inflatable inner tubes, two child size beach chairs, a few beach towels, a small play barbecue, various sandles and flip flops, sunglasses, sun hats, child size Hawaiian shirts, and we are going to cover up our kitchen (a simple plastic one) with brown butcher paper and call it a sand dune! It’s not quite done – but almost there – we are aiming to have it completed by Monday! I think the children will really enjoy playing there! I know I’m excited!
Today was a great day! It felt like our classroom was running like a well oiled machine. The children are independent and confident enough to get through most of their centers without needing tons of help. They are able to resolve their disputes without constant tattling…a very nice feeling. Sometimes they need help finding the right words…but that’s natural. They are happy and engaged…you can see it in their faces. I like knowing this…it means I’ve done my job.
They are really enjoying our dinosaur theme. We still have our jungle in the playhouse area…but now it’s a dinosaur habitat! I put these inflatable dinosaurs in the playhouse/jungle area. I bought them on clearance 50% off at the beginning of the school year and I’m glad I finally have an excuse to use them! Despite the so-so reviews of them not working, mine seem to be doing fine! There is one that must have a tiny leak because at the end of the day about 1/3 of the air was out. But I don’t mind adding a little air each day – it’s a small price to pay for the children having sooo much fun with them!
I’ve also added some small dinos to our playdough – and the children have been having a blast using them to make footprints and landscapes with the playdough! Some of the kids even put a couple of them in a ball of playdough and pretended that they were hatching from eggs! Too cute! There are dinosaur rubbing plates to use with the crayons as well – a new experience for most of my class – but they’re starting to understand how to do it correctly! 🙂 Our oatmeal table now houses these skeleton dinosaurs as well as some brushes and scoops so the children can bury and them and then excavate the bones. I love these dinosaurs and the children seem to as well!
Right now, we seem to be working in perfect harmony with each other – an engaged, happy class! Let’s hope it continues! 🙂
Progress reports are done at last! It takes a long time to observe the children, see what they know, and then write it down and make comments to parents – but now it’s all done and tomorrow they can all go home! Yay! Finally! (insert sigh of relief here)
Today we made giraffes. I wouldn’t really call it art – more of a fine motor exercise. I die cut a giraffe for each child out of yellow paper then I gave them light and dark brown paper and a hole punch. They then punched out dots to glue onto their giraffe. They all enjoyed the process – some had a hard time with punching out the dots; others had a hard time picking the dots up off the table – but they all turned out cute!
We also started making lion masks today. Ms. Bennet and I cut the center out of a paper plate. Then we let them put a bunch of glue on the paper plate ring. After that they put on some crinkly shredded yellow and brown paper to make a mane (this paper was used as hay when we had a farm in our playhouse and I saved it to use for this project). Tomorrow I will let them cut out ears for their lion and they can help staple them on. I will enjoy watching them play with their masks and pretend to be lions! I’m sure they’ll look adorable!
They love playing with our green playdough! Our blue and yellow playdough turned into green weeks ago. Usually I put out plastic knives, sicssors, cookie cutters, and rolling pins with the playdough – but lately I’ve just been putting out playdough to see what they do with it. A first, they weren’t so sure. But today I was proud to see them trying to make the letters in their names! A few spelled thier names completely! All my children (except one) know their names – but some had trouble figuring out how to make the letters with playdough. It was nice to see them making the attpemt without me having to prompt them! I love my class! I don’t think they would have tried this earlier in the year – it appears my babies are growing up!
This probably shouldn’t excite me so much because teachers have been doing this forever! But today was my first time making playdough from scratch at home and I loved it! The colors, the consistancey, the ease – who knew?! Well – probably every other preschool teacher but me. But now I see the light! YAY! It feels so diferent from store bought playdough – much more plyable and smooth. Just great.
I made a batch of lemon yellow and then I made a batch of royal blue. I’m going to give each child a little of each color to play with so they can see how it makes green. Since St. Patrick’s Day is comming up, I thought this would be a good activity to use to show color mixing. Not to mention build fine motor skills and give them a chance to be creative! I love playdough – it’s just great! I really hope tomorrow the children are as excited as I am when I show them the playdough I made this weekend! I can’t wait! 🙂
Ms. Lezze-Faire sometimes astounds me. Last week we were playing with play dough at one of our centers when she came into our room. When she saw the play dough, she got this disgusted look on her face! I asked her what was wrong and she replied, “I hate play dough! It’s disgusting!” I gave her a quizzical look and she said that it’s just a germ spreader because children wipe their noses and put their fingers in their mouth and then touch the play dough.
I didn’t know what to say – I was dumbfounded! I told her that my children don’t wipe their noses with their hands – they use tissue – especially this late in the school year. I also said that we watch them carefully so nothing goes in their mouths. But she didn’t care – she said she still wouldn’t have it in her classroom!
Then she saw the unit blocks. When I came into my class 3 years ago – the only blocks I had were Lego’s. No wooden blocks at all! So, over the past 3 years I have accumulated about 100 unit blocks for my class and about 70 tree blocks. All out of my own pocket – and they’re not cheap! Which is why I got almost all used on eBay. When she saw them she asked where they came from. I told her I bought them because I felt the children needed them as part of a good preschool classroom. She just said, “Oh, I see.” and walked out. I still have no idea why she even came into my class to begin with – it’s a mystery!
In case you were wondering why she didn’t buy me wooden blocks out of the school’s budget? She told me, when I asked, that there were no wooden blocks in any of the classrooms because the children throw them and make them into weapons! That was her excuse! I couldn’t believe my ears! Who is running the classroom anyway?! Where are the teachers supposed to be?! I told her that has never happened in any of my classrooms! I set boundaries for my children and clear expectations and they follow along with no hassle.
It is very evident Ms. Lezze-Faire has no concept of developmentally appropriate practice…
*Picture found through Google Images*