March was a busy month for Z and for preschool. Highlights from face-to-face preschool included a green eggs and ham Dr. Seuss day and St. Patrick’s day “green party” where all things to eat were green. Z told me he tried everything (including pickles and grapes etc) but enjoyed the cookie the most (go figure).
At home we focused the first week on the water cycle. For our sensory bin I had out blue food dyed “rain water” and cotton balls. Z could fill up the cotton ball clouds with rain water and pour full “clouds” into the rain bin. I also put out bath toys that let out water like rain.
We enjoyed our rain in a jar experiment. Filling a jar with water, we put shaving cream clouds on top then used a pipette of colorful water to “fill” the clouds with rain water.
Z really enjoyed doing water cycle songs, learning about words the rhyme with “rain” and practicing his beginning sounds of words.
We also did an evaporation experiment. Putting a little water in a plastic bag, we drew a picture of the water cycle on it and put the bag in a window. When the sun heated up the water we got to see the water cycle in action.
For our craft we enjoyed making an umbrella with a coffee filter and marker. We sprayed it with water to watch the design spread out and change.
Some of these activities were repeated from last April (2020) weather unit and it’s amazing how much he remembers but also what new insights he gained this time around.
For our second week we focused on rainbows and light refraction.
For our sensory bin we did rainbow water beads with pop-lights underneath them so you could see light pass through.
Z made a rainbow arch we could but light underneath and a sun catcher he made at “big boy” preschool.
We tried out our hand at refracting light using a flashlight and CD on the wall. Z liked this activity but got frustrated when we went to try to paint the rainbows we saw. The paint I bought was watercolor and did not provide the vibrant color he was expecting.
We turned our snack time into an activity. Using rainbow goldfish crackers, we graphed and sorted to see how much of each color was in our bowl.
Another fun experiment we did was to color a rainbow with a marker on two ends of a paper towel piece. We dropped the arched paper towel into two separate cups of water then watched as the “rainbow” grew and filled up the paper towel.
Our third week was all about St. Patrick’s’ day. We took this week as an opportunity to learn about the culture or Ireland: folklore, history, and music.
Z loved learning about jigs and enjoyed pretending to leap and tap alongside the River Dance(rs). He also loved clapping and stamping along to folk songs that told the history of Ireland and St. Patrick’s day. One of his favorite actives was to fill in a limerick-aka mad lib about a leprechaun.
We read books about leprechauns and pretended to hunt for them. We did several coin/money activities including our sensory bin of “coin soup”. He enjoyed finding shamrocks with different coins on them hidden “by leprechauns” around our house. We then sorted the coins, learned about their names, and about their value.
We also sorted and estimated (how many in a shamrock?) the different types of marshmallow shapes that can be found in lucky charms.
We watched videos and read books about the real man St. Patrick, his life and why he is celebrated today. We looked for shamrocks outside and played with play dough to make shamrock shapes.
For our craft we did a fizzy shamrock finger painting. We mixed acrylic green paint with baking soda. When Z was done painting the shamrock he used a little vinegar in a pipette to make the shamrock fizz and bubble.
Our last week was all about water systems and hydro power.
I know that may sound like a complex topic, but Z is a huge fan of mechanical structures and how they work. One of his favorite things to do outside is play with the hose. For our sensory “bin” we took out all of our bathtub gears, pipes, and Z’s marble maze to try to control it’s flow.
We enjoyed watching videos and reading books about the water system, water treatment, water pipes to and from houses and hydro-power.
We talked about how water flows across the earth from mountains to the oceans. This was a great way for us to review and tie in the water cycle. For a hand-on activity Z built waterways with a shovel in both his sandbox and a sandy/mud area out on our property.
Z loved seeing diagrams of hydro power dams and dams/water divergent(s) used on rivers as well. For an experiment we made our own waterwheel using a foam ball, BBQ skewers, plastic spoons, and a bucket. Z thought this was amazing.
It was a little harder to find preschool activities for this-most of the resources I created myself by turning diagrams, pictures, pages from his books into mazes, puzzles, and story sequence activities. Z did enjoy a pipe burst game I found online that taught alphabet recognition.
This month we actually got to see rainbows and the water system in action. For daddy’s birthday weekend went on a short hike with some of L’s friends down to a waterfall where we could see a rainbow as the sun shone through the mist. We then had dinner at a restaurant that is on the river-watching the barges coming up from the ocean; bring supplies the the train station nearby.
Since this month’s activities, we have invested in PVC pipe for Z to use while playing outside with the hose. He loves using loose parts to play/experiment with to control, change, observe water flow. It keeps him busy for hours. (I need to get more recent pictures as this doesn’t even show what he can REALLY do with his water designs now.)
Plenty more to share coming in the next few weeks including: Easter preschool activities, April preschool themed: plants, and coming soon also May’s theme for preschool: bugs.