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Monday, August 29, 2016

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10 Apples Up On Top Preschool Apple Activity & Why We Retell Stories

Magnetic apples are super easy to make and are a wonderful hands-on manipulative to use with retelling 10 Apples Up On Top, a fun preschool apple activity!



Why is it important to retell stories with our preschoolers? Retelling stories, especially letting the children do most of the retelling, draws them into the story! It lets them experience the story elements, plot, and development from a first hand perspective. This helps strengthen their understanding and comprehension of stories (both the one you're telling and future stories). They also get feedback from their parent or teacher to help build their concepts of story line, characters, setting, plot, and even more complicated elements like motivation. As they retell the story, you can ask them things like, "What happened next?" "Why did that character make that choice?" or "Would you have done that too?"




To make your own magnetic apples, simply print this {FREE} page of apples. Then stick a piece of magnetic tape to the back of each apple! Or, if you don't have magnetic tape, use button magnets. Just tape the magnet on securely so it doesn't accidentally come off. Supervise your children closely so nobody puts magnets in their mouths!




Practice stacking up ten apples, taking them, counting them, and retelling the story 10 Apples Up On Top! I even printed out pictures of our kiddos, and they had a blast stacking the apples up on their own heads! It turned out to be a literacy, math, and science activity all in one! (Magnets are irresistable, by the way...even my older kids came to play with the magnetic apples and magnetic kids on the door! I'm getting all sorts of magnet-themed ideas after doing this!) It fit in perfectly with our apple theme, and could easily be done with an apple unit, or just on a nice fall day when you eat some aples!



Are you talking about apples this month? If so, you will love our edible bubble science with apples and our apple toothpick towers! Come back soon for a whole collection of apple-themed activities!





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Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!




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Saturday, August 27, 2016

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{FREE} Apple Race Preschool Game

Because everybody loves a board game, everybody loves a {FREE} game, and our preschoolers are talking a lot about apples...I made this Apple Race Preschool Game! And, I'm sharing it with you free!



This game can be used to teach/reinforce counting (up to six), taking turns, following instructions, and strengthening your preschoolers' concept of one-to-one relationships (an important pre-reading and early math skill)! 

It's also a lot of fun!!  In fact, my "older" kids were even excited to play with my younger preschoolers! I think it might have something to do with using real apples as your playing pieces?

Apples don't grow in Houston, so we went to the grocery store before we played and "picked" out different kinds of apples to "be" our playing pieces.

After playing, we cut up the apples and talked about differences in flavors, and what sorts of recipes/dishes would be good with which kinds of apples.

Anyway, to set up the game, you need print off all three pages and line them up to make a long playing board. If your kids are older, you may want to print extra copies of the middle page to make the game longer. Then use two dice and have them add up the pips to figure out how far to move their piece. For younger players, just use the three pages.



To play the game, have everyone line up all their "pieces" (apples) on the giant box with apple trees. Take turns rolling the dice to find out how far to move, then move your apple the indicated number of spaces. Keep playing until everyone's apple gets "picked" in a basket!



To store the game, I taped the three pages together and taped one of them to the inside of a file folder. Then I folded the three pages accordian-style and closed it up inside the folder!

Click HERE to get your {FREE} copy of Apple Race, a preschool game!







Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!




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Thursday, August 25, 2016

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Penguin Preschool Activities for Penguin Theme or Unit

Penguin preschool activities are the perfect way to mix one of our favorite animals with fun learning! Use them in a penguin theme this winter, an ocean theme in the summer, or just for fun any time you like!



Actually, I was looking through my {FREE} printables, and I realized I had several penguin activities. Then, I started looking through my archives, and I thought, "I've got to put the penguin activities all together!!"

So, today I'm sharing all our penguin preschool activities, organized by subject! I'll be adding to them soon, but I'll link everything back here!

PENGUIN MATH ACTIVITIES:
Penguin Ice Cube Counting With LEGOS {FREE} Printable that combines counting with LEGO fun and penguins!

PENGUIN LITERACY ACTIVITIES:
Penguin Party: {FREE} Emergent Reader Mini Book that rhymes and has pictures of real penguins!

PENGUIN SCIENCE & STEM ACTIVITIES:

PENGUIN ART & CRAFT ACTIVITIES:

PENGUIN SENSORY ACTIVITIES:

PAID PENGUIN PACKET:
Preschool Penguin Packet (& {FREE} Penguin Shadows Page): This could fit in the math, literacy, and science categories...it has over 30 pages of fun penguin learning activities!




Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!




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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

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Leaves Preschool Action Rhyme

I love doing action rhymes with my preschoolers! They help develop pre-reading skills while using large muscle, gross motor movements. It's wonderful for coordination, memory, and just plain fun! Today, I'm sharing an easy leaf-themed action rhyme you can do inside or outside...personally, I think doing anything outdoors is more fun!


Here's the easy Leaves Preschool Action Rhyme (suggested actions are in italics):
by Carla at Preschool Powol Packets


Leaves up high  (reach up high)
Leaves down low  (bend over and touch the ground)
Leaves are spinning (spin in a circle)
Everywhere you go! (spread arms out wide)

Touch leaves in the trees   (reach up high again)
Kick them on the ground   (kick imaginary leaves)
Jump in the piles   (jump up and down)
Of leaves all around!   (spread arms out wide again)





This action rhyme is perfect for leaf, fall, seasons, tree, or outdoor themes!  You can do it with your own child, in a group, or with a whole class at circle time or during other whole-group activities!  It also makes a great "time filler" for when you have just a few minutes between activities and need something fun (and still educational) to do!

Do you have a favorite action rhyme? I'd love to hear it--feel free to send me an email, leave a comment, or stop by my PreschoolPowolPackets Facebook page!


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Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!




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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

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Paintbrush Engineering STEM Challenge

This was the most perfect book-inspired, team-building, back-to-school STEM project we've done!



I knew we were going to be doing something like this a couple weeks ago when I saw this Bridge Building STEM activity, but since we changed a few things up, I decided to share our project with you today!

We read I Ain't Gonna Paint No More as our picture book of the week (more on that below), and then I showed the kids a pile of paintbrushes, an egg carton, a pile of rubber bands, and rulers. I challenged them to build a road strong enough to support a car. 



I loved watching them work through their different ideas! At first, everyone wanted to build on their own little section. They tried balancing the rulers on top of the paintbrushes. That didn't work at all! Finally, they realized they could balance the rulers on the rubberbands! They started working together, and created this fantastic "spaghetti bowl" road! They added the bus and a jet, and put at least five different small cars on the road at once! The cars came on and off, and they even played with it for a while! 



Eventually we had to take it down so we could paint...they managed to use more than a dozen paintbrushes in one amazing engineering design!



I love how STEM, engineering, and often science projects bring kids together to problem solve and work with each other. They were all so pleased with their work--they even wanted to take their own pictures! I doubt my youngest preschooler could have done this on her own, but since she was working with two older kids, she got to be part of the creation too! It was a wonderful way to start the year!




You will see a lot of book-inspired posts this year! The reason is we are using a picture book every week to base our themed activities on! We've done this before, but I haven't blogged about it quite the same way. This year, I'm focusing on a lot of book-inspired activities that will go great with my new preschool curriculum, HEEP! HEEP is a hands-on, themed curriculum perfect for preschoolers. You can learn more about HEEP here!


Do you have a favorite back-to-school activity? I'd love to hear about it! Feel free to send me an email, leave a comment, or stop by my PreschoolPowolPackets Facebook page!


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Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!




Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!




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Saturday, August 20, 2016

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My Secret Weapon for Sticky Fingers & ALDI Little Journey Baby Line!

You know that moment when your baby or preschooler has been eating crackers, and then they turn to you with a smile and give you a huge hug?! I'm always happy for a hug, but then I look down at my shoulder and see the remnants of post-cracker kid hug on my sleeve, and wonder if I should have been wearing full body armour! Luckily, I have a secret weapon that I pull out whenever my preschoolers make a mess or my baby feeds herself or my kids help cook or my sleeve gets... well, any time we have a mess! Have you guessed what it is?


You might use it too... my secret weapon for preschool, toddler, and baby messes is... {drumroll}  baby wipes!!  You can clean off wet crackers like they were never there, and then it just takes a few minutes for the sleeve to dry! Did you know? Give it a try...you'll love it!

Aaaaand, I have a new favorite brand of baby wipes!! Since baby wipes are such an important part of my sanity-saving protocol, I am very excited to share this discovery with you! There are three very important things that I look for in baby wipes: they need to be strong, thick, and have good ingredients, and these new baby wipes win in every category! Are you curious where I found them?  I'll tell you: ALDI!!



ALDI has recently released a new line of baby and toddler products, Little Journey, and I have absolutely fallen in love with the Little Journey Thick Quilted Baby Wipes! They are thick and strong enough that I can use them on any mess, and still soft and gentle enough that I can use them on my baby too! (I love that they are alcohol free, hypoallergenic, and have aloe and chamomile too!) I don't mean to sound like a commercial, but I am so excited to have a new "secret weapon" as I clean messy fingers...and the things they touch!

ALDI knows that every child and parent has a different "little journey," so they developed this line of over 50 products to meet the huge variety of toddlers and babies. And I've found that many of the products are also wonderful for preschoolers!

I already told you about the wipes. I also really love the Little Journey Diapers. This surprised me because I already had a brand of diapers and wipes that I loved, but I am replacing them with the wipes and diapers from ALDI.  That's how much I love them. I also love that it saves me several dollars on every package of diapers and wipes I buy! (Prices and availability may vary.)

We had a delightful time exploring ALDI too! ALDI is known for bringing parents the highest quality products for the lowest prices, and the Little Journey line is no exception! Here are a few highlights from our trip:

1- Check out this shopping cart! I LOVE when I can put my preschooler and baby in the front of the cart. (They were pretty excited to get inside the store too!)


2- The Little Journey Displays: Besides basics for young children (like wipes, diapers, and snacks), we found all sorts of fun toys and baby/toddler/preschooler supplies. There were plate settings, high chairs, toys, books, and more!



3- New snacks!! My baby is old enough that she really wants to eat the same snacks as our preschoolers, but I'm still really careful with what she eats. These Little Journey Baby Food Purees are her new favorite. The "older kids" love them because they taste so good, and the baby loves getting to eat with them too. I love the ingredients and the lack of added sugar. Her favorite flavors are Prune Apple Butternut Squash With Quinoa and Apple Carrot.


These Little Journey Baby Puffs have been popular with my baby, preschoolers, and even my oldest daughter! It's so nice to have a snack you can hand out to everyone! Flavored with fruit juice, easy to eat, easy to serve...yes, another new favorite from ALDI!


4- New Little Journey Nuby Sippy Cup! This kid loves sippy cups! They're appropriate for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, and their anti-leak lids cut down on the messes and spills! This new one  has now served her at meals, snacks, in the running stroller, and in the car. We all love it!



While we were at ALDI we also picked up some groceries, fresh bread, and a bathroom shelf! I also bought a two-week supply of baby wipes! I was originally excited about this project to learn more about Little Journey, but I never dreamed how much I would fall in love with the Little Journey Thick Quilted Baby Wipes. They are wonderful!

My kids also had a lot of fun bagging their own groceries, and I appreciated that the ALDI store model encourages us to recycle and use other Earth-friendly habits.

You can get to know ALDI and the Little Journey line more by visiting a store or visiting them online! You can find them at the Little Journey Website, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram

What is your favorite sticky finger, post-cracker, dangerous hug solution? I always love hearing from you!!


Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by ALDI via Momtrends.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of ALDI or Momtrends. 



Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!




Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!




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Thursday, August 18, 2016

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21+ Rock Activities for Preschoolers!

Do your kids love rocks? Use that passion to fuel a huge rock study with these rock activities for preschoolers!



You can use rocks for fine motor exercise, crafts, science, art, math, letter learning, and so much more!

If you're interested in a set of more formal lessons for a Rock Theme or Rock Unit, click here. I have a whole printable rock unit set up for you! If you're just looking for preschool rock theme ideas, you will love this collection:


CRAFTS:
1- Make rock pets (like these rock bugs)
2- Make rock weights
3- Make stone fish

LITERACY:
4- Make diy alphabet pebbles 
5- Make an alphabet rocks construction site
6- Play Construction Race to learn letters & numbers

LAB STATIONS:
7- Sorting! Sort by size, color, shape, or anything else!
8- Counting! Collect rocks and count them!
9- Weighing! Use a digital scale, a balance scale, or a triple beam balance to weigh your rocks. Weigh them one at a time, or as a group!
10- Magnifying! Use a magnifying glass to make close-up observations!
11- Testing buoyancy! Use a bucket of water to see if your rocks float or sink. Be sure to provide some pumice or some other rock that will float!
12- Rubbings! Explore texture by making crayon rubbings on paper over rocks!
13- Streaking! Test your rocks' "streak" by rubbing them on a streak plate (you can use unglazed porcelain tile).
14- Testing hardness! Try scratching your rocks with a penny, another rock, and other objects!
15- Testing with water! Depending on your kids' ability, measure water displacement, volume, and/or density!

EXPERIMENTS AND/OR DEMONSTRATIONS:
16- Fizzing sedimentary rocks
17- Erupting igneous rocks 1 (use eruption instructions here)
18- Erupting igneous rocks 2 (use eruption instructions here)
19- Crayon changing "metamorphic" rocks
20- Make soil from rocks

EDIBLE EXPERIMENTS:
 21-  Edible sedimentary rocks
22- Edible igneous rocks
23- Edible metamorphic rocks (instructions at the end of this post)


There is SO much you can do with rocks! What do your preschoolers love to do with rocks? How do you use them to learn? I'd love to see!!

You can get my {FREE} Rock Unit here and check out over 150 science activities here! There is something for everyone!!





Happy Educating, Carla
I may share at any of these parties!



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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

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Counting Apple Seeds {FREE} Preschool File Folder Game!

I love fall! Apple themes, pumpkins, and leaves are some of my favorite things to teach! These cute apples are perfect for practicing counting with a hands-on (and yummy) game!!


You can play this apple game one-on-one with your preschooler, with a small group of children, or let them play at a center or rotation station! It's great for math, counting to 21, colors, developing a concept of one-to-one correspondence while counting, and taking turns!

To make Apple Seeds! a file folder game, glue the two apple trees to each side of the inside of a manilla folder. Cut out and laminate all the apples so they will last for many games! Shuffle the
apples and place them in a pile upside down near the trees.


 


To play, Take turns drawing an apple, counting out the corresponding number of seeds (we used raisins, but you can use real apple seeds, chocolate chips, or even black beans!), and placing the apple and its seeds on the tree!

Everyone wins when the apples are all placed!

I like to tape a baggie or an envelope to the folder to hold the pieces:



Click {HERE} to get your {FREE} Counting Apple Seeds Preschool File Folder Game!!

BONUS: If you have an older kiddo that sometimes wishes for fun and cute hands-on activities, HERE is a division set too! Love our "older" kiddos!!




Are you teaching an apple preschool theme? Check out this apple engineering project and this fun edible apple bubble experiment!

And if you're looking for more theme ideas, you will want to see this list of 52 preschool theme ideas! 



Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!




Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!




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