Thursday, April 30, 2009

May Day Celebration

May Day festivals are traditional in England and celebrated on May 1st. May Day is a fun springtime celebration. I thought that you might enjoy doing a few May Day activities with your children too.

~For a fun and easy craft, you can help transform your children into May Kings and Queens by making May crowns with them. To make a May crown, cut the middle out of a paper plate and paint the rim green. Onto the plate, glue pre-cut flowers from construction paper or tissue paper. You could also make a construction paper crown and attach pre-cut flowers to that.

~Take a nature walk and collect wild flowers on your walk or pick some flowers from your own yard. Your children can "go a-Maying" and surprise a friend or family member with the flowers.

~Another fun activity is to dance around a May pole. To create a May pole, attach ribbon, thick yarn or crepe paper streamers to a pole or tree. The children can wear their May crowns as they hold onto the ends of the streamers and dance around the "May pole" singing their favorite springtime songs.

~A May Day song by Elizabeth McKinnon (sung to "The Mulberry Bush")
Let's dance around the Maypole today,
Maypole today, Maypole today.
Let's dance around the Maypole today.
We're the Kings and Queens of May.

~Here is a link to another May Day activity that I posted about last year. I hope that you enjoy these fun May Day Activities. Happy May Day!

*Note, many of these ideas were inspired from the book Small World Celebrations by Jean Warren and Elizabeth McKinnon.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day!

Today is a great day to talk to your kids about doing their part to help take care of our world. My preschool students always enjoyed participating in Earth Day clean-up. I gave every child a pair of gloves and we went on a clean-up walk around the playground. It was fun for them to help make the playground look nice and I'm sure the groundskeepers appreciated our little contribution as well.

Another fun thing that I enjoy doing with my kids on Earth Day is a craft that I call a "Junk Collage". I simply collect "junk" that I would toss out anyhow and the kids enjoy making art from it. If you are a classroom teacher or daycare provider, you could send a note home for parents to donate a few items so that their child can turn trash into treasure. I realize this post is coming in a bit late as today is already Earth Day but you don't need this specific day to have fun reusing and recycling.

A sample list of items for a cool junk collage:
~Mismatched buttons of all shapes and sizes
~Shredded paper scraps
~Milk carton rings
~Bottle caps
~Toilet tissue tubes
~Cut up cardboard from food boxes
~Pieces of material

Pretty much anything goes as long as it's safe and clean. It's so fun to see the creative creations. I like to provide a piece of cardboard or poster board for the children to glue their treasures onto but some children might also enjoy making free standing objects.

Have fun and remember to reuse, recycle, pick up litter and possibly even plant a tree or two.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Looking for some fresh Ideas?

Spring is in full swing where I live and before we know it, summer will be here. If you are interested in some easy and fun ideas, arts and crafts and other projects to keep your kids busy this spring and summer, check out my Lesson Plans Plus website for fun preschool lesson plans. The lessons are a great way to stimulate and keep kids busy. Thinking ahead...whether you are planning to home school for preschool next fall or just looking to supplement an existing program, my lesson plans would be a good and inexpensive resource for you. You are welcome to download one free lesson plan at any time to give you a taste of what I offer. Check out Lesson Plans Plus.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Christian Easter Ideas

As usual, I had hoped to update sooner but life has again kept me busy. We got hit with several rounds of early Spring sickness which was not at all fun. Thankfully, we are mostly healthy again. As Easter is just around the corner, I wanted to share a few ideas for those of you who enjoy teaching your children that there is much more to Easter than candy and the Easter bunny. Of course, candy and the Easter bunny are great fun and I've been buying Easter surprises but Jesus gave us a gift far better than any Easter basket could contain.

I've been reading a great book with my kids this week titled "Benjamin's Box" by Melody Carlson. The book is appropriate for children ages 4-8 years of age. This book is a wonderful compliment to the popular "Resurrection Eggs" by FamilyLife. I have been using the Resurrection Eggs with my children since they were 3 years old. This year I purchased the Benjamin's Box book to go along with the eggs and my kids are really enjoying reading a couple pages each night before bed. Rather than read the book all at once, I like to break it up over a few days so that we open two or three eggs with the story each night. It gives them something to look forward to the following evening. When we are finished, I will let my kids re-tell the resurrection story on their own using the eggs.

We also have a great Easter DVD called "Miss Patty Cakes Easter Eggstravaganza". It's perfect for toddlers and preschoolers and gets the message across in a fun way. There is also a Miss Patty Cake book that compliments the Resurrection Eggs titled "The Story of the Resurrection Eggs in Rhyme & Song".

The Beginners Bible by Karyn Henly includes a preschool appropriate version of the Easter story that is broken into sections. My children have enjoyed stories from the Beginners Bible since they were 2 years old. By now we have read through the Beginners Bible several times, so last year, I purchased another great children's Bible titled "The Jesus Storybook Bible Every Story Whispers His Name" Written by Sally Lloyd-Jones. I recommend either of these Bibles for your preschoolers.

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