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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

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Spider Songs: I Wish I Were an Eensy Weensy Spider

Rhythm sticks are one of of our favorite instruments during our Preschool Music Time class, so I always try to find a way to make one song work with them every week. This week we did a Spider Theme, and I saw a short list of spider songs at The Perpetual Preschool. I changed one of them just a little to use with our rhythm sticks! Here's how we sang:


Use the tune of the song "If You're Happy and You Know It," but instead of "clapping your hands" (or stomping your feet or whatever else you like to do,) "clack" your rhythm sticks together twice!

Sing: I Wish I Were an Eensy Weensy Spider

Oh I wish I were an eensy weensy spider!
(clack! clack!)

Oh I wish I were an eensy weensy spider!
(clack! clack!)

I'd wiggle and I'd crawl up the wall and down the hall,

Oh I wish I were an eensy weensy spider!
(clack! clack!)


We sang it twice because the first time through everyone was just figuring out the instructions, rhythm, and words. The second time, all the kids were right on beat!

I would LOVE to hear from you if you use this spider song for your Music Time, especially if you used rhythm sticks with it too! You can always send me an email or tag me on Facebook or Instagram!

And if you want more Spider Activities for preschoolers, check out my Spider Theme HERE! I have everything from science experiments to math games to crafts...and more!







Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!




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Preschool Spider Song & Parachute Game - Spider Theme Fun

I found this original spider song at Growing Book by Book and had so much fun using it during our music time!



Jodie at Growing Book by Book has some great suggestions for using it in different learning activities and to help with pre-reading skills! I also LOVE her book lists!

I wanted to make a few changes to the song so that it would work better for our purposes--I've already mentioned the Music Time class I'm teaching right now for preschoolers. This week we did a Spider Theme--we always do a spider unit with my kids in October, so it was perfect timing to do one with our preschool friends too! I also wanted to change it a little to use it as an activity with our play parachute. Parachute time is one of our favorite parts of Music Time, and I'm always looking for ways to twist activities into working with our parachute!

So, how did this work?

First, I scattered the cards in this file around the floor about 10 feet away from the parachute.

Then I taught the kids the song. It goes to the tune of I'm a Little Teapot, and is easy for kids (and adults!) to pick up:

I'm a hungry spider in my web
Looking for food that rhymes with *****!
Can you get a tasty treat for me?
Put it in my web where I can see!

Then I told them the kids I had some silly foods for the spider, and we were going to put it in our parachute "web!"

All the kids went and picked up a colored "dot card," and then came back to their spot at the parachute.

We practiced making "little waves" in our spider web because spider webs are so strong that when the wind blows, it just makes little waves in the web.

I chose one child to start. She told us the color on her card, and we sang the song with her color. When we asked her to get "a tasty treat" she went and picked out the "food" that rhymed with her color, and dropped both cards on the parachute. We made a few little waves, and then I chose another child to go next.


Once everyone had a turn and all the cards were on the parachute, we made "big waves" until they all flew off the parachute...and we all said, "YUM!" :D  

We actually had to gather up all the cards, toss them back on the parachute, and shake them off one more time because it was so fun!


(You can also use the free cards for memory games!)

I would LOVE to hear from you if you use this spider song for your Music Time, especially if you use a parachute with it too! You can always send me an email or tag me on Facebook or Instagram!

And if you want more Spider Activities for preschoolers, check out my Spider Theme HERE! I have everything from science experiments to math games to crafts...and more!






Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!




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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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

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Spider Headband--a Fun Craft Activity for Preschool!

I think kids have been making these spider headbands as a craft/activity since before I was a preschooler...and for great reason! They are fun to make, and even more fun to wear! Plus, they give you a chance to talk about spider anatomy and biology!


I've been putting together a collection of our spider activities and crafts, and I realized that I haven't written about this classic little headband! So today I'm fixing that!

Like most crafts, this project gives your preschoolers a chance to exercise their fine motor skills and still inject their own personal ideas into the project!

One of the reasons this is so popular is that it uses very basic materials: everyone has black construction paper, wiggly eyes, glue, and tape in their craft bin! And if you don't have black construction paper, my kids have actually made these spiders in a variety of colors...most of my girls have gone through a "rainbow" phase where everything they make (including spiders) is rainbow colored!

I especially enjoy making these little spiders during October because we usually do a week-long Spider Theme before Halloween each year. I actually love spiders, and I love encouraging my kids to appreciate them!

Spider Craft: an 8-Legged Headband!


Each spider will require one large piece of construction paper. I either pre-cut it as shown in the picture below or draw lines for the kids to cut on, depending on their scissor skills.


Let your preschoolers fold the "legs" back and forth to create a cool zig-zaggy effect.


Help your preschoolers attach the legs with either glue, tape, or staples. I prefer to use tape because it dries instantly and the kids can do it by themselves, but a lot of the kids are pretty good with staplers too. If you have another spider activity they can do while the headbands dry, glue works great, but most of the time I've noticed my kids want to wear them the instant they finish making them...and glue makes that a little tricky. :)  While we attach the legs we talk about how spiders have 8 legs, and they are all attached to the cephalothorax. (Spiders have two main body parts: the cephalothorax {made of the head and thorax fused together} and the abdomen.)

While you're helping with the legs, other preschoolers can start working on the eyes! Most spiders (like 99%) have 8 eyes, but some have only 6 eyes, and very few have 4, 2, or 0 eyes! Brown recluses might be one of the more famous spiders with only 6 eyes. This was actually once the source of stress for one of my daughters--she went to a summer camp about bugs, and answered a trivia question (How many eyes do spiders have?) with 6. Of course, she was right (because some spiders only have six eyes), but the counselor would only accept "8" as a correct answer. Fortunately, now that quite a few years have gone by, she is no longer stressed out by the situation. :) 



Anyway, I like to provide the wiggly eyes and glue, and let the kids get creative. It turns out that the arrangement of eyes in real life is actually consistent within a species, and you can use the arrangement of those eyes to identify a spider species! For preschoolers, though, I just like to let them put on the number and arrangement of eyes that they want.

Finally, I measure the headbands and tape them together. Most kids need the two lengths to go around their heads, but they usually overlap different amounts. It only takes me a second to measure it and stick a piece of tape on.


Then, ta da! Instant little spiders! I like to put the hats on and sing "Eensy Weensy Spider" with the kids before turning them loose to crawl around the house!


If you're looking for more spider crafts and activities, be sure to check out our collection HERE!  I have more crafts, printable activities, science experiments, and more!   I also have a couple dozen preschool themes HERE!


Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!




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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Staying With Preschoolers at Disney World's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

One of the biggest questions when you are getting ready to take preschoolers and toddlers to Disney World is where to stay. We spent five nights at the Grand Floridian this fall, so I'm happy to share what we learned!



First of all, you should know that staying at the Grand Floridian feels like staying at a castle! The Victorian-style elegance and ornate decor literally made our little ones stand still to admire (many times), beginning with the chandelier in the lobby as you exit the monorail and extending to tiny details and displays. The rooms and buildings are easy to find and navigate, and their convenience is perfect: our party of seven had two adjoining rooms that were connected by doors from the inside of rooms.

Rooms at the Grand Floridian are large and spacious and there are so many kid-friendly things to do that we actually didn't get around to everything during our stay!

This couch is actually a daybed that converts very easily:


I love having sinks separate from the toilet and shower:


The beds are both beautiful and an absolute joy to sleep on!



Our deck overlooked the bay. I was happy that the railings were a child-safe distance apart...and we all loved the view!



Here are a few "Must-Do's" at the Grand Floridian with your young Disney fans:

1- Dinner at 1900 Park Fare. This restaurant is adjoining the lobby, and absolutely delightful! During the buffet-style meal you meat Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, and Cinderella's two stepsisters (who, Cinderella told my daughter, are trying to be good now)! There was also a professional photographer at the back of the restaurant with a Cinderella-themed photo op (that included a glass slipper too)! You could let them take pictures or use your own camera:





Prince Charming took the time to talk with my girls and give them a little dancing spin...they were absolutely in heaven!





2- Swimming. There are two pools that our preschoolers loved: the "toddler pool" and the Beach Pool. (There is another pool also, but it is deeper and has a hot tub too--we stayed at the two I mentioned first since they are more kid-friendly.)  The toddler pool is actually a giant splashpad with an Alice in Wonderland themed water playground--complete with a toddler/preschooler sized slide!


 Right next door (literally through a gate) is the Beach Pool. This pool goes from a zero-depth entrance to about 5 feet, so it's perfect for wading with preschoolers! They also have life-vests that you can put on your kiddos and let them swim in the deep water! All of my kids (from 3-12 years old) LOVED the 181-foot long water slide and the huge waterfall that pours over a 27-foot tall mountain! 

This was a night-time shot of the pool--it was open until 11:00 pm.


You're not allowed to hold a 3-year old on your lap as you go down the slide, but our preschooler was happy to wear her life-jacket and go down by herself--in fact, she really loved it! We literally went swimming every chance we had! The pool has an on-site bathroom, bar, drink station, lots of seating, and tons of towels. It really is perfection.

3- Outdoor Movie. Every night a Disney movie plays on the lawn--my favorite was Frozen!

4- Fireworks. Just after 9:00 the Magic Kingdom lights up with fireworks around Cinderella's castle...and you can see them perfectly from the lawn at the Grand Floridian! If you watch from the lawn near Gasparilla you can hear music to go with the fireworks too! This was from the grass just outside our room:


5- Live Music. Most evenings around 6:00 or 7:00 there is a live band playing music in the lobby. Even if you only stop by for a few minutes, the music is wonderful and the lobby is-as always-delightful!

Other kid-friendly attractions at the Grand Floridian that we did not have time to check out include basketball courts, an arcade room, fishing, campfires, and the Pirate Adventure!


Here are a few Bits of Helpful Information and Planning Points:

1- The Grand Floridian is only one stop away from the Magic Kingdom on the monorail. You can also take the ferry, and save a little time when monorail lines are long.

2- You can take a bus from the Grand Floridian to The Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. To get to Epcot, you can take the monorail to the transfer station and then to Epcot.

3- Gasparilla Cafe is open 24 hours a day! They have cold sandwiches, snacks (both desserts and healthy snacks), and a hot grill all day and all night.

4- The Guest Services cast members at the desk in the lobby are the absolute most helpful people in all of Disney World! True story! They helped us with logistics on everything from our dining plan to our flight home. If you have any questions or need help, definitely walk over and talk to them!

5- Finally, you can literally check your bags for your flight home in the lobby. TSA has an agent and will take your bags from you there. It is wonderful, and makes traveling with children SO much easier!


Are you taking preschoolers to Disney World? Have you stayed at the Grand Floridian before? I'd love to hear your experiences!


Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!




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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Monday, September 23, 2019

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Spider Activities for Preschool - Spider Theme

October is coming up, and one of our annual October themes is a Spider Unit! I decided to put together all of the spider activities for preschool I've written about in the past in one spot and...you've found it!



I love putting these themes together for you because I think that preschoolers learn best when information is grouped together into a cohesive theme. You can read more about how preschooler brains work here

Anyway, spiders tie into Halloween just enough that we generally spend at least a week every October learning something new about them and doing a few spider activities too.

So here's the collection! You'll find that there's a pretty big variety of science activities, written activities, projects for older preschoolers, and activities for toddlers. There are even a few for older kids that I shared before I started Teaching Without Chairs (which focuses on homeschool activities for kids over 6 years old)!

I hope you love them!

Spider Activities for Preschool


Scroll down to see activities in the following categories: Crafts, Science, Math, and Printable!

Spider Preschool Crafts:


 



Science Spider Activities:


  





Math & Literacy Spider Activities:


   



Printable Spider Activities:


  





And if your October gets too busy to do a spider week, there is no reason why you can't learn about spiders any other time of year!

Also, be sure to check out my other preschool themes HERE !





Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!




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!!





Read More