Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Every Spring I always get an itchy green thumb, so I decided to put that to good use and do a gardening unit with the kiddos.
Here are some of the fun things we did during this gardening unit:
 The first week we focused on flowers.  During calendar time I drew a flower on poster board and each day we labeled new parts.  Our planting seed song was sung to the tune of "The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock" and it went like this:
You plant your seed down in the ground (hold arm out in front of you like the ground then pretend to pick up a seed and slip it between your middle fingers)
You plant your seed down in the ground (repeat action)
You plant your seed down in the ground (repeat action)
And then it starts to grow (thumb up)
The roots grown down and the stem and leaves grow up (wiggle fingers down from your "ground arm" then point finger up above "ground arm" and branch fingers out like a tree)
The roots grow down and the stem and leaves grow up (repeat action)
The roots grow down and the stem and leaves grow up (repeat action)
And that's how your garden grows
All the girls can sing this song and proudly name all the parts of the flower that we learned (seed, roots, stem, leaves, petals) and they know what all the parts do.  :).
Each day we also watched a short video or cartoon clip about planting gardens.
We also planted flowers one day.  The seedlings all came up.  I'm waiting until they are just a bit bigger then we will transplant them to the lovely yellow buckets that are waiting on the porch.

All the girls enjoyed planting seeds.  They thought it was fun to try to guess what the seed would be like by looking at the flower.  They were pretty surprised by how different seeds can look.

 If they all make it we will have quite a lovely display

I made this flower blossom number game.  The numbers are separate so the older girls were able to count the stems, match the numbers to the correct flower card, then put on the pompom blossoms. I helped the younger girls find the correct number after they counted the stems and then they added the blossoms.  Even the youngest enjoyed just putting blossoms on the stems and counting with help.

Lots of fun times and a great taking turns small group activity as well.

These are the beautiful paper plate flowers that the girls artistically painted.  They loved doing this.  Each girl did at least three.  They took some home...
And we put some up on our wall.
For Mother's Day I thought it might be nice to make something for mommies to put in their gardens.  This is the frame for the stepping stones that my hubby made.  :). He does great work.
Here are the girls carefully (or not so carefully) adding their lovely stones and beads.  I had to frequently remind them not to push too hard, I think at least half of the treasures are buried under the cement.  :)
They all seemed to enjoy the process, though they weren't too sure about getting their hands messy in the cement.  (Well one of them probably would have happily done a full body print, but the others weren't so sure).  ;)
The finished products.
And the girls made fantastic Mother's Day cards.  I love how hard they all worked on these.  The insides were just as wonderful.
The second week we focused on vegetable gardening.  We planted bean and pumpkin seeds in ziplock in the window so we could watch the planting process.
As you can see, the beans shot up and were fascinating to watch, the pumpkins never sprouted.   we all brainstormed and decided that maybe they needed dirt and the dark to start growing.
Tis is th garden game I made.  Each section on the spinner has a few different vegetables so whichever the arrow lands on are the vegetables you add to you garden patches.  The first to completely grow their garden wins. (There is also a scarecrow for fun!)
We liked this game.  We played it again...
And again. (It is made with foam "garden patch" sheets, Velcro (just the rough side on the foam sheets) , and felt vegetables that stick to the rough Velcro.  The spinner is just card stock laminated and a brad.
One day our art was torn vegetables that we put into a garden on the wall.  :). Tearing paper is a lot of fun and good for kiddos to do also.
We also planted a vegetable garden.  First We planned out the garden, looking at our seeds and deciding where we wanted all the plants to be.
Then we went outside and planted it.  This is now a wonderful daily recess activity.  Everyone gets a ketchup or mustard squirt bottle then they go and water all our plants (and each other). :). I didn't get pictures of all the activities we did during this unit (like planting the flowers in the front, watering, drinking from straws like roots, and the flower dice growing game) but I covered most of it. We had lots of fun and learned a lot about gardening.

I loved gardening and planting seeds and the girls did too, but the hard part is, of course, the waiting.  Gardening takes a lot of patience, especially when you are  2,3, and 4.  

Friday, May 2, 2014


 This week was triangle week.  I'm happy to say it is our last week of shapes.  Shapes were tons of fun, but I'm ready to move on to something new.  :).
Day one of triangles:  our word today was triangle to introduce the theme.  Our triangle song this week is sung to Sally the Camel, and goes like this:
A triangle has (clap and jump) three sides (repeat)
A triangle has (clap and jump) three sides
1,2,3 boom boom boom (while shaking hips)
Above is our triangle window art.  The outline of the triangles is the plastic folders and the girls colored them in on the contact paper with sharpies.

Our word for day two of triangles was pizza!  I made a felt and foam pizza similar to the sandwich shop game from square week, and it was hiding in our surprise closet.  The girls had fun making pizzas for each other today.

Day four of triangles was tent day:  the word today was tent.  I absolutely love the tent my DH made for us for tent day.  I have no idea how he made it except that he used wood, drilled a hole in the top for PVC pipe, and rolled the sheet around a thin strip of wood then nailed it all around the frame. It is pretty sturdy.  We played bear hunt,camping, castle, laid in the tent to watch a video, and took it outside and rode our trikes through it today.  

Day four of triangle week was cone day.  We set up cones and rode around them with our trikes outside. (I did not get a pic of that).  I did get a pic of the sponge triangle art that the girl did.  The second picture is our Popsicle stick shape man.  I made Velcro Popsicle sticks and the girls have enjoyed making shapes, monsters, robots, houses, etc. during small groups this week. What a terrific triangle week!
Bonus pic:  Hanging out in the cubbies.  :)


Time to catch up on my blogs.  :)   Oval week happened to fall on Easter week, so I did a combination oval/Easter theme this week.
 Day one:  Our word was oval to introduce the week theme.  We sang two oval songs this week.  The first was sung to "oh oh oh It's Magic":
Oh oh oh an oval, you know, is like a stretched out circle
An oval, you know, is like a stretched out circle

The other was lots of fun mainly because of the last verse: (I gave everyone an oval cut out)
Wave your oval in the air in the air(repeat)
Wave your oval in the air
Wave it here and wave it there
Wave your oval in the air in the air

Wave your oval by your toe by your toe (repeat)
Wave your oval by your toe
That is silly don't you know
Wave your oval by your toe by your toe
(Stand and jump up and down flapping your oval on the next verse)
Wave your oval like its hot like its hot(repeat)
Wave your oval like its hot
Now sit on your spot
Wave your oval like its hot like its hot.

  During calendar time we also read The Story of Easter, which talks about the true meaning f Easter in a child friendly way.  Then when we did our window art (shown above) we put a cross in our egg shape to remind us of what Easter is really about.

 Day two of oval week:  our word today was egg.  We had Plastic Easter Eggs hiding in our surprise closet.  Along with our oval songs, we also did an impromptu egg song which the girls LOVED.  It went like this: ( sing while holding the egg in both hand and shaking it)
I have an egg, I have an egg, I have an egg and it is sad (the egg then cries)
I have an egg, I have an egg, I have an egg and it is silly (the egg laughs)
I have an egg, I have an egg, I have an egg and it is hot (throw the egg in the air)
"  ". And it is shy (pretend its shy and coax it to peek at the class)
". ". And it has a tummy ache (then open it and say "Burp, I feel better") -this was their favorite verse and resulted in tons of giggles
We did tons of other verses: angry, broken, scared, likes to roll, etc. anything I could think of.
We also made cookies today, the girls rolled and cut out their own, so some were more like biscuit cookies.  :).   We decorated them squeezing the frosting on out of ziploc bags, which was not nearly as messy as using knives.  They were quite colorful and very delicious.

Our day three oval week word was Jelly Beans!  We had jelly beans in our surprise closet and did a fun number identification/ counting jelly bean activity.  We also got to eat some of course.  We did egg hunts this week as well with empty plastic eggs to "practice" for the real thing.  They loved finding the,, hiding them for each other and finding them again.

Day four the word was just Easter.  We colored eggs today.  I love how some of them had a tie dye effect.  I had the girls use a wire whisk to dip their eggs and it worked great!  No dropping the eggs or spilling the colored water.  It was a outstanding Oval week.
Bonus pic of the week:  here are the girls playing making cookies with play dough.  Playdough was an extremely popular item this week.