“Preschool Self-portraits” little ones event

This month we played with self-portraits!  Being able to recognize faces and emotions is an integral part of self-regulation and socio-emotional awareness. We held this event on a Tuesday, on Thursday at an outreach location,  and again on Saturday in the library.

 

We drew on mirrors with dry erase markers like this post from Preschool STEAM.

I set out a bunch of craft supplies (buttons, pipe cleaners, glitter glue, yarn, washi tape, pom poms, paint and brushes, googly eyes, beads, modeling clay, markers, crayons, glue, scissors) and let the kids go to town.

And sometimes just making bracelets is fun too.

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“If” Story Explorers preschool book club

We talked about imaginations and what it means to pretend and to think creatively.

We read If by Sarah Perry. 

I only had activity today. I put out stickers and magazines and told the kids to come up with their own “if” ideas.

This little girl asked what if suns could talk, and she “wrote” the words “I love you” coming from the sun.

This boy asked what if bugs ate mac n cheese.

 

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“Big Mooncake for Little Star” bedtime yoga storytime

Opening – How I explain the rules of yoga storytime: stay on your mat, and keep your hands to yourself.
(Skip to my Lou –  from Jim Gill)
Clapping hands, one and two
Clapping hands, one and two
But if my hands were covered in glue
I’d stick to the glue, my darling
(hands in Anjali mudra, or prayer position)

Extend and Stretch
Frere Jacques
Extend and stretch (sit in sukasana – easy seated pose, or crisscross applesauce- and do seated side bends)
Extend and stretch
Twist and turn (seated twists)
Twist and turn
This is yoga, (hands overhead on “this,” then bring to prayer position on “yoga”)
This is yoga
Om sweet om, (hands in prayer, bow forward)
Om sweet om
Source: I got this from Kids Yoga Guide teacher training, but here is another from Be Grace Yoga 

The Moon Shines
The moon (bring arms over head) is shining all around.
It shines on land (standing side bend) and sea (standing side bend other side).
It shines on cars (dandasana/staff pose, pretend to drive car).
It shines on boats (navasana/ boat pose.) 
It shines on you and me. (hands at heart) 

Crown, Heart, Tail. I saw this when I observed a Kids Crave Yoga class. Ask the kids where their head or crown is. Then where is their heart. Then tail (or where their tail would be). Repeat. Shake up the order: Heart, tail, crown. Tail, tail, crown, heart. Go faster and faster, and then slow it down. I love that these movements correspond to the 1st, 4th, and 7th chakras.

Open the Book – Arms, legs, both
Close the book. Open the book. Turn the page.Start seated with arms stretched out in front of you, palms touching. To “open the book,” stretch the arms wide. To close it, bring them back together. To “turn the page,” open just the right arm and close it, then the left arm and close it. Repeat “turning pages” until the kids giggle. Repeat the whole sequence using legs instead of arms. Then try arms and legs together. 

Book – Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin
Act out brushing teeth, washing face, going to bed
Remember the big mooncake – easy seated/sukhasana, hold arms overhead in a circle
Tip toe on mat, stretch up to eat mooncake
flew back to bed – warrior III/virabhadrasana III
the next night – sphinx pose
Tip toe on mat, stretch up to eat mooncake
flew back to bed – warrior III/virabhadrasana III
tiny nibble after tiny nibble – start standing, get small after each bite

Song: “Making Pie” – Kira Willey

Animals Yawning
butterfly – baddha konasana
owl –  seated twists, saying “hoo” like an owl on each side
cat/cow 
puppy – anahatasana

Savasana
Song: Kira Willey’s “When You Sleep” 

Peace begins with me
Hold both hands overhead. On the word “peace,” touch the thumbs and pinky fingers together. On the word “begins,” touch the thumbs and ring fingers. On the word “with,” touch the thumbs and middle fingers. On the word “me,” touch the thumbs and pointers. Repeat this four times, the first time loudly and hands overhead. The second time, bring the hands down a little and speak a little softer. The third time, bring hands lower and whisper. The last time, bring hands to knees and speak words silently to self.
Source: Kids Yoga Guide Teacher Training

Namaste!

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“Billions of Bricks” Story Explorers preschool book club

We read Billions of Bricks by Kurt Cyrus. 

We built with uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows.

This girl made a bunch of sticks for roasting marshmallows.

We played with blocks.

We built with Tubelox.

And everyone’s favorite: Makedo toys.

Some kiddos thought that shaving the styrofoam with the Makedo knife was more fun than building so they created “snow.”

Our janitor loves me.

 

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“Love” Story Explorers Preschool Book Club


We read Love by Matt de la Peña. This one is tough for me to read in public without crying. I think it’s a perfect read for the kids to grow with. There is so much to dissect here. 

We estimated and graphed with candy hearts like this post from Buggy and Buddy to learn about nonstandard units of measurement.

I set out a table of pipe cleaners to make various heart crafts like love goggles, heart rings, and heart chains.

We made Shrinky Dinks valentines like this post from TinkerLab.
 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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“Shape It Up!” little ones event

This month we played with shapes! We held this event on a Tuesday  and again on Saturday in the library.

We did big body tracing with hands and feet like this post from Stay at Home Educator. Of course, simply jumping in the shapes is lots of fun too.

We made shape necklaces like this post from EFL/ESL Preschool Teachers. The hole punches were great for strength building, while the threading was fine motor practice for little fingers!

We did a giant shape match like this post from Busy Toddler.

We made play-doh shapes like this post from Pre-Kinders.

We played with geoboards.

We put together shape puzzles like this post from Toddler at Play.

 

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“The Squiggle” Story Explorers preschool book club


We read The Squiggle by Carole Lexa Schaefer.

We built fine motor skills by sorting pom poms with chopsticks like this post from Living Montessori Now.

And of course, if you drop one on the floor, the only way to pick it up is with the chopsticks.

We made winds streamers with pieces of old fabric and sticks we collected like this post from Go Explore Nature. I wasn’t sure they would like this activity, and it was by far the favorite.

Of course, sometimes just the sticks are more fun too.

We also painted with yarn like this post from Teach Preschool.
 

Finger painting is also always an option.

 

 

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“A Bedtime Yarn” bedtime yoga storytime

Opening – How I explain the rules of yoga storytime: stay on your mat, and keep your hands to yourself.
(Skip to my Lou –  from Jim Gill)
Clapping hands, one and two
Clapping hands, one and two
But if my hands were covered in glue
I’d stick to the glue, my darling
(hands in Anjali mudra, or prayer position)

Extend and Stretch
Frere Jacques
Extend and stretch (sit in sukasana – easy seated pose, or crisscross applesauce- and do seated side bends)
Extend and stretch
Twist and turn (seated twists)
Twist and turn
This is yoga, (hands overhead on “this,” then bring to prayer position on “yoga”)
This is yoga
Om sweet om, (hands in prayer, bow forward)
Om sweet om
Source: I got this from Kids Yoga Guide teacher training, but here is another from Be Grace Yoga 

The Moon Shines
The moon (bring arms over head) is shining all around.
It shines on land (standing side bend) and sea (standing side bend other side).
It shines on cars (dandasana/staff pose, pretend to drive car).
It shines on boats (navasana/ boat pose.) 
It shines on you and me. (hands at heart) 

Crown, Heart, Tail. I saw this when I observed a Kids Crave Yoga class. Ask the kids where their head or crown is. Then where is their heart. Then tail (or where their tail would be). Repeat. Shake up the order: Heart, tail, crown. Tail, tail, crown, heart. Go faster and faster, and then slow it down. I love that these movements correspond to the 1st, 4th, and 7th chakras.

Open the Book – Arms, legs, both
Close the book. Open the book. Turn the page.Start seated with arms stretched out in front of you, palms touching. To “open the book,” stretch the arms wide. To close it, bring them back together. To “turn the page,” open just the right arm and close it, then the left arm and close it. Repeat “turning pages” until the kids giggle. Repeat the whole sequence using legs instead of arms. Then try arms and legs together. 

Book – A Bedtime Yarn by Nicola Winstanley
I read the first page “once upon a time” and then paper clipped pages together. The next page I read started with “Frankie’s favorite yarn was a smooth…”
underwater caverns – shalabasana/locust pose and swim
tiger – lion’s breath/simhasana
dragonfly on gray fog page – baddha konasana/bound angle
eggs/kittens – cat/cow
giraffe – upward salute/urdhva hastasana
green grass – tree pose/vrksasana
dandelions  – deep breaths to blow dandelion seeds
Skip to page “The next morning, just as the sun began to shine…”
dog – downward dog/adhomukha svanasana 
star – five pointed star

Song: “Colors” – Kira Willey

Animals Yawning
butterfly – baddha konasana
owl –  seated twists, saying “hoo” like an owl on each side
cat/cow 
puppy – anahatasana

 

Savasana
Song: Kira Willey’s “When You Sleep” 

Peace begins with me
Hold both hands overhead. On the word “peace,” touch the thumbs and pinky fingers together. On the word “begins,” touch the thumbs and ring fingers. On the word “with,” touch the thumbs and middle fingers. On the word “me,” touch the thumbs and pointers. Repeat this four times, the first time loudly and hands overhead. The second time, bring the hands down a little and speak a little softer. The third time, bring hands lower and whisper. The last time, bring hands to knees and speak words silently to self.
Source: Kids Yoga Guide Teacher Training

Namaste!

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“Life in a Fishbowl” preschool storytime

Opening Song
I wiggle my fingers. I wiggle my toes.
I wiggle my ears. I wiggle my nose.
I wiggle my shoulders. I wiggle my chin.
I stretch my arms wide and pull them back in.
I wiggle my elbows. I wiggle my knees.
I hop like a bunny. I smile and say, “Cheese!”
Now I have no more wiggles left in me
And I sit on the floor as still as can be.
Source: Storytime with Jason

Book- Prince and Pirate by Charlotte Cunnafson

Song – “The Goldfish Song” by Laurie Berkner

Felt Board: There are so Many Fishies in the Deep Blue Sea
based on the Nancy Stewart song

Book – Someday, Narwhal by Lisa Mantchev

Song – “Listen and Move” by Greg and Steve

Walking, Walking
Tune: Frere Jacques
Walking, walking. Walking, walking
Hop, hop, hop. Hop, hop, hop
Running, running, running. Running, running, running
Now we stop. Now we stop
Source: Super Simple Learning

Book – Henny, Penny, Lenny, Denny, and Mike by Cynthia Rylant

Song: “Slippery Fish”
I can’t find the version of the song I have, but here is one from Jbrary.

Once I Caught a Fish Alive
One, two, three, four, five
Once I caught a fish alive,
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
Then I let it go again.
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on my right.
Source: King County Library System

Goodbye
Bread and butter, marmalade and jam
Let’s say good-bye as high as we can
Good-bye! (in high, squeaky voice)
Bread and butter, marmalade and jam
Let’s say good-bye as low as we can
Good-bye! (in a deep voice)
Bread and butter, marmalade and jam
Let’s say good-bye as fast as we can
Good-bye! (very quick)
Bread and butter, marmalade and jam
Let’s say good-bye as slow as we can
Good-bye! (very slowly and drawn out)
Bread and butter, marmalade and jam
Let’s say good-bye as quiet as we can
Good-bye! (in a whisper)
Bread and butter, marmalade and jam
Let’s say good-bye as loud as we can
GOOD-BYE! (yelling)
Source: Jbrary

Early literacy tip: Consistent routines, activities that happen at about the same time and in about the same way each day, provide comfort and a sense of safety to young children. Whether it is time to play, time for a snack, a nap, or a loved one to return, knowing what will happen next gives children security and emotional stability. It helps them learn to trust that caring adults will provide what they need. When children feel this sense of trust and safety, they are free to do their “work,” which is to play, explore, and learn.
Source: Zero to Three

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“Hugs and Kisses for the Grouchy Ladybug” yoga storytime

Opening – How I explain the rules of yoga storytime: stay on your mat, and keep your hands to yourself.
(Skip to my Lou –  from Jim Gill)
Stomping feet, one and two
Stomping feet, one and two
But if my feet were covered in glue
I’d stick to the glue, my darling.

Clapping hands, one and two
Clapping hands, one and two
But if my hands were covered in glue
I’d stick to the glue, my darling
(hands in Anjali mudra, or prayer position)

Are you Ready for Yoga? 
Are you ready for yoga?
If you’re ready, then stomp your feet
Stomp your feet and make some noise.
Let’s stomp our feet and make some noise
And do it really fast
Then stop. Stretch your feet up, up, up
And down.
Repeat with arms then both. 
Source: Next Generation Yoga at the National Kids Yoga Conference

Song: “If You’re Happy” – Kidding Around Yoga

Open the Book
Arms, legs, both
Close the book. Open the book. Turn the page.
Start seated with arms stretched out in front of you, palms touching. To “open the book,” stretch the arms wide. To close it, bring them back together. To “turn the page,” open just the right arm and close it, then the left arm and close it. Repeat “turning pages” until the kids giggle. Repeat the whole sequence using legs instead of arms. Then try arms and legs together. 

Book – Hugs and Kisses for the Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
crocodile – crocodile pose/makarasana
seal – upward facing dog/ urdhva mukha svanasana, make seal noises
kangaroo – jump
giraffe – extended mountain/urdhva hastasana
monkey- hop around like a monkey and then go into tree/vrksasana 
peacocks – bear walks to show off tail
donkey – donkey kicks For more fun, kick up from down dog, like a handstand prep.
chameleon – lizard pose/uttan pristhasana
bear – bear twists (standing twists from side to side swinging arms wide)
grouchy ladybug – baddha konasana/butterfly(bound angle) with forward fold

Song: “Happiness Runs” – Shakta Khalsa

Hoberman Sphere Breathing Ball

Savasana

Peace begins with me
Hold both hands overhead. On the word “peace,” touch the thumbs and pinky fingers together. On the word “begins,” touch the thumbs and ring fingers. On the word “with,” touch the thumbs and middle fingers. On the word “me,” touch the thumbs and pointers. Repeat this four times, the first time loudly and hands overhead. The second time, bring the hands down a little and speak a little softer. The third time, bring hands lower and whisper. The last time, bring hands to knees and speak words silently to self.
Source: Kids Yoga Guide Teacher Training

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