I just recently shared the first three weeks of our preschool unit on construction with Z.
Here our the next three weeks:
For week four we dove into a subject mom was less familiar with: simple machines. For the sensory bin I included gears, wheels and axles, screws and nuts, and ramps from various toys.
On the first day we focused on wheels, axles, and pulleys. I showed Z an example of a how an axle works using pencils to move a heavy book. Z soon grabbed the wheels and axles from his introduction bin instead. He loved exploring the house looking for simple machines. He found more than I had noted for the activity.
For our pulley system we used a sand toy bucket full of heavy objects and ribbon then tried out door handles and G’s baby gym with a ribbon holder as the pulley.
Outside L set up a REAL pulley system. Z loved seeing how easy it was to lift a heavy full lunch pail up and down.
The next day we learned about wedges, incline planes, and levers. Z enjoyed using a ruler and binder clip to make a lever and balance objects on it. We set up a board along stairs and filled up Z’s suitcase with heavy objects. We then saw how much easier it is to carry the suitcase up with the wheels/axles and the ramp (incline plane).
We loved seeing how a lever catapult (made out of a spoon, popsicle sticks, and rubber bands)shot pom poms off and into cups. This week we learned about the letter M for machines.
Four week five we focused on another story: Joshua and the wall of Jericho. For an introduction activity I got out the Jenga blocks with concrete and brick colored play dough. Z re-enacted the story with a mega block wall and city.
Z also had fun making walls with his foam blocks and shaving cream. We learned bricks are a strong building material but require mortar or cement to glue them together. For a snack we did bugles as the horns and teddy grahams as the people marching around the wall.
Z did some wall mazes, sequence pages, picture puzzles all from the story as well. He really enjoyed watching videos of real live demolition both with a wrecking ball and with explosives.
I made structures with his mega blocks, took pictures of them, then wrote numbers at the bottom. Z had to count the number of blocks in the photo, mark it, then recreate the photo with blocks. Once the structure was made, he could destroy it with our wrecking ball (a juggling ball and a black sock) which we tied to the bottom of a stool.
This week we learned about the letter J for Joshua or Jericho and the number 7.
On the last week we focused on construction vehicles and signs. For our introduction/sensory bin I set up sand/rocks and pretend mud/asphalt play dough for Z to play with small construction vehicles.
Z enjoyed painting with his toy vehicles, watching what marks they made on the paper. We also made different construction vehicles with our imagination magnets and did construction vehicles puzzles.
One of his favorite activities was making and mixing pretend concrete using cornstarch, water, and sand. This was a bit messy but so worth it!
Z also enjoyed a game where he filled up his dump truck with the correct number and type of shape (as shown on a card) then dumped them in the right shaped space on the floor.
The next day we made red/green light signs and played with them with our vehicles and on our bicycle.
For snack we made a dirty construction site with pudding, crushed oreo, and candy corn caution cones and a graham cracker dump truck.
We also did several games with caution cones outside including finding/covering the right number or letters in chalk on the concrete. This week we learned about the letter C for construction and the number 6.
We did more activities then listed here including workbooks/sheets for numbers, letters, and shapes as well as working on introductions to the clock, days of the week, and our daily routine and weekly schedule. Z did a great job paying attention and being patient as mommy juggled his preschool activities with G’s needs and feeding times.
Next six week unit is all about fall, harvest, and farms! More on this coming soon!