July 2012 Happenings
Summertime is here! A special time to take a break from rigid schedules and get outside to enjoy nature!
An outdoor classroom can be created with plenty of learning opportunities for children. A garden project can be created and evolved over the summer to incorporate lessons on plants, growth, change, nutrition, and nature.
SUMMER PRESCHOOL GAMES FUN TO PLAY OUTDOORS:
Trike lanes with chalk, trike races
Mudpies, mud pizzas
Fossil dig, volcanoes, dinosaurs, plaster of paris with dried animals inside, children need to chip away with popsicle sticks
Bike wash - provide soapy buckets and wash all the bikes
Egg spoon races - but use marshmallows for younger kids and for less mess!
Duck, Duck, Goose
Mother May I?
Hide and Seek
Throw wet sponges through hula hoops held by partner several feet away
Shaving cream on the slide with bathing suits (with caution, and on slides not too big), place tarp at bottom
Shaving cream on tarp for homemade slip and slide (use caution!)
Balloon pop - Set timer for 1 minute, provide bag of inflated balloons, how many can pop in 1 minute and use legs, push against walls, sit on)
PAINTING IS FUN WITHOUT
Plungers (clean plunger of course, at the Dollar Tree), dab into paint - make large circle art on paper on fence or ground
Frozen popsicles (made with water and paint color)
Salad spinner art
Line slide with butcher paper and dip golf balls into paint and slide them down the slide for art project
Marbles rolled in paint rolling around paper on cookie sheet
Paint with feet
For children entering
Kindergarten in the Fall, offer a Kindergarten Boot Camp style program
that mimics what will happen during the first month of Kindergarten.
Not necessarily an academic program, more of a social and skills based
program to help children have a better transition. Returning from
Disneyland the day before a child's first day of school is not going to
help a child!
Practice all the skills needed for a successful transistion to Kindergarten:
*Taking shoes on and off.
*Hanging up jackets on hooks.
*Practice lining up at the door and at transition periods.
*Join a Summer Reading program and read together everyday for at least 20 minutes. Most Kindergarten programs request that parents read with their children for at least 20 minutes every night as part of their "homework." Start now!
*Cut pictures out of magazines
and paste onto paper to improve scissor and pasting skills
*Go shopping for a new backpack and lunchbox.
*Sit at circle time and listen to a story and learn to raise hands and
share or ask questions when asked.
*Practice asking for assistance when needed (i.e., straw in juice box, where is the bathroom?)
*Practice writing name in new and fun ways.
*Before school starts, make sure you transition to earlier bedtime and earlier wake times.
*Take an outside walking tour of the school so you can show your child where the location of the bathrooms, playground, and office. Best to do before the first day of school to help ease transition without so many other children on campus at the same time.
during the fun Summer Months!
Summer provides an opportunity to ease the heavier academics and explore the outdoors. The key to a successful Summer program is to BUILD EXCITEMENT. You can BUILD EXCITEMENT many ways by making small changes to the program's layout, schedule, and environment. Move around furniture, add outdoor toys/activities.
THEMES BASED DAYS or WEEKS:
Bring your wheels to school (scooters, trikes, bikes, helmets)
Sports Camp (try out a new sport each day, or bring the sport out of the normal environment, i.e., play soccer in the soccer field, or play baseball at the baseball diamond)
Game Day (bring games from home to share for the day)
Special Visitors (bakers, dentists, family pets)
Dance Week (each day focused on different style: hip-hop, scarf dancing, ballet)
Different ideas, materials, set-up, and activities provide new and engaging activities for children, improve morale for providers, show parents that your program is not stagnant. Consider changing the dramatic play area for the summer. Remove the kitchen and tool bench and add one or more of the following:
Beauty salon: Twirly office chair, Hairstyle picture book, barrettes, headbands, hats, spray bottles for that gel look on boy’s faux hawks, combs, brushes, mirrors.
Shoe store: Shoe boxes, children write numbers on shoe boxes, foot
measuring tape, print out shoe sizer template from internet and laminate
for extended use. Chairs to sit on. Parents can donate old
children’s shoes and even adult shoes for fun. Shoe workers need
to match up shoes in the same box. Play cash register and play
Pizza Store: Donated pizza boxes in different sizes from pizza store, coupons for pizza, pictures with labels of types of pizzas, play cash register and play money.
Bakery: Cookies sheets, muffin pans, muffin liners in many colors, whisks, rolling pins, pictures of bakery items, playdough to make the items, price sheets, play cash register and play money.
Children’s Hospital or Stuffed Animal Hospital: Crutches, napping cot, bandages, notepads for symptoms, toy stethoscopes, scrubs donated or bought from costume shop, name tags for doctors and nurses.
Costume shop or Dress up Closet (armoire at garage sale).