At “big boy” preschool this month, Z enjoyed celebrating mother’s and father’s day. For the mother’s day event we were asked to bring a creative floral arrangement. Well, I gave Z a bright red plastic pot, we filled it with real dirt, pretend worms, and colorful pretend caterpillars and centipedes. I gave Z permission to choose any of my pretend flowers from around the house. He asked for sunflowers (not out on display-in my fall bin). The result was very colorful and definitely showed Z’s personality. At the Muffins with Mom event Z got nervous standing in front of all the moms to sing. He sat in my lap and sang the songs directly to me instead.
Later in the month the school did Doughnuts with Dad (since Father’s day is after the school year). L took Z to school and Z loved getting a chance play with loose part building toys with Dad. He also made an amazing structure for Dad out of toilet paper rolls, beads, googly eyes, ribbon, and pipe cleaners. When I picked Z up his teacher told me: “I think he’ll be an engineer”.
Our at home preschool theme was all about bugs.
On week we focused on worms. We had two sensory bins that week. Outside I used the dirt bin we had for our pretend vegetable/fruit garden and put in some pretend slimy worms. Inside the house we had a cocoa powder bin filled with gummy worms (I had remind Z several times not to eat those gummy worms). For snack we did make oreo dirt pudding with gummy worms in them. This week we had plans to find some worms outside to collect in a jar for a worm home.
We filled a glass jar with sand, dirt, and rocks in layers all ready to observe the worms movements and find out what they ate. But go figure, this week was very hot and there were no worms in sight. So our hands-on activities were limited. Z enjoyed learning about how worms help our gardens, creating paths for water to flow under roots and cleaning soil as they eat (an easy connection to last months lessons). He really liked doing a wormy mad lib and poem about a worm called “wiggle woo”.
Week two we focused on caterpillars and butterflies. For our sensory bin I colored pasta of three different shapes to represent the three stages of a butterfly life cycle then hid pretend caterpillars and butterflies in the pasta for Z to find. I was having a hard time keeping Z interested in activities especially the life cycle ideas. Come to find out, they had just covered a lot of this topic at “big boy” preschool (go figure).
I tried to keep it fun and not repeat what he “already knew”. Z enjoyed making a caterpillar out of pom poms on a construction paper leaf and punching holes in the leaf to show where the bug had eaten it. He also had a great time making a giant rainbow butterfly out of tissue paper and pipe cleaners.
Z had fun doing a butterfly rhyming puzzle game, a measuring bugs and putting them in jars game, and making butterfly and caterpillar prints in play dough.
On our last preschool week we focused on bees.
Z had an unfortunate encounter with a yellow jacket nest last summer. Since then, he has had a understandable hesitation about buzzing bugs. I thought before heading into summer, it would be helpful for Z to learn what buzzing yellow bugs (even ones that sting) are actually helpful. Our motto for the week was “let the bees be! (or buzz). This was also paying homage to my own childhood learning. I have always had a phobia/hesitation around yellow buzzing bugs as well and in an attempt to teach me their purpose my parents helped me with a school bug project on honey bees.
Our sensory bin for this week included green and yellow rice, pom poms to look like pollen, flowers from our flower puzzle, pop fidget toys that looked a lot like honeycombs and mini (tiny) bees.
Z enjoyed the pretend play we did this week including pretending to be a bee: we used felt bees to act out the steps in a busy bees work day: from hive dance to flower to collect nectar, back to hive to mix up the honey.
Z really loved the game I made called “the bee dance”. Z pulled one random action card and direction card for our own bee dance.Example ” take a step back then jump up and down”. We made up a pretty long dance that he loved to shared with L when he got home.
Z also enjoyed the pretend play of bee keeping. We pretended to smoke the bees (we used air pump), brush off the hive (a pastry brush), turn the honeycomb and collect honey. We also pretended to inspect the hive for any predators, counting the different types of bees we had as well. Z liked learning how bees collect pollen and how this helps plants to grow.
For this we used double stick tape on the back of a popsicle stick and design of a bee. Our pretend bee flew from flower to flower (my cupcake tins) collecting nectar (also known as cornmeal) as he went.
For crafts this week we made a honeycomb out of toilet paper rolls cut and shaped into hexagon and painting a hive using bubble wrap to look like the hexagon of honeycombs. We were able to use the fuzzy bees and the yellow hexagons from one of Z’s puzzles counting/addition and alphabet/beginning sounds activities as well. It was a great end to our bug unit.
Unrelated to any specific week, Z enjoyed using his bug-noculars to find slugs, rolly pollys, ants and other bugs to look at before putting them back in the grass. We were surprise at how skilled he was picking up bugs and gently putting them back. He even caught a moth in the house and let it fly away safely back outside.
And that is our May preschool month. Coming soon: June: preschool: the end of the preschool year parties and activities.