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Thursday, October 7, 2021

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Water Cycle Activities for Kids -- Preschool - Middle School!

Coming November 8th: Water Cycle Activities for Kids!!


Water Cycle Activities for Kids:


I'm teaming up with a group of amazing teachers, homeschoolers, and authors to bring you the ultimate set of Water Cycle Activities for kids from preschool age up to middle school!!

You will LOVE what we have coming!!

There are science activities, art projects, STEM projects, free printables, and so much more!

And all the details will be right here on this page--bookmark it, stick it on your calendar, and come back on November 8th for ALL the details!!








Happy Educating,
Carla


Coming Soon: A Dinosaur Made Me Spill!

Now Available: A Dinosaur Made Me Sneeze!
This awesome book introduces the rock cycle with dinosaurs, volcanoes, and more!
(hint: You can buy it on Amazon or use the code Dinosaur25 at OakieBees.com!!)



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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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

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New Preschool Christmas Train Playdough Mats -- Free!!

Do you ever get excited about Christmas when it's still just October?? Thinking about my preschoolers and the lights, trains, trees... I can't help wanting to start planning new activities!

That's why I'm super excited to share these new Christmas Train Playdough Mats--they're perfect for pre-K classrooms, homeschool, or kids who just like to play with playdough and talk about their awesome trains!

preschool Christmas train playdough mat

You might have noticed I already published a Christmas Dinosaurs Preschool Packet, and I am beyond excited to share these little Christmas trains! 

These train playdough mats would go perfectly with a unit study or theme about trains, Christmas, or even gingerbread (if you make gingerbread trains)!! 

You can print a bunch or just print one set and laminate them! Use the playdough to add train decorations, people or animals or luggage to the trains, or any other accessories you want! Let your preschoolers build a playdough bridge for the train to go over! Line the pages up and build a big ol' train! 

And the best bonus? They're free!

Choooooo! Chooooooo!!

Preschool Christmas Train Playdough Mats






Happy Educating,
Carla


Dinosaur Made Me Sneeze!
This awesome book introduces the rock cycle with dinosaurs, volcanoes, and more!
(hint: You can buy it on Amazon or use the code Dinosaur25 at OakieBees.com!!)



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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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

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Christmas Dinosaurs Preschool Packet

What are you doing with your preschoolers this winter? Do they love dinosaurs? Or games? What about... dinosaurs AND games?!  

The Christmas Dinosaurs Pre-K Pack is full of fun math, language arts, and logic (pre-science) activities!

*** Purchase here! November ONLY: Click HERE to find out how to get it for free!! ***

Christmas Dinosaurs Pre-K Pack

If you've ever wanted to merge Christmas lights and trees with smiling dinosaurs, this is the perfect packet for you!

It has 50 PAGES of printable activities to keep you and your little dinosaur-lovers playing and growing!

I've always been slightly obsessed with dinosaurs (my first picture book was even about dinosaurs!), and I am always delighted when my kids go through dinosaur phases! We always pull dinosaurs out for "Dinovember," so I was just thinking about what kind of fun dinosaur activities we needed, and I realized: Christmas Dinosaurs!!

So, what's in this packet? Here's a list:

1- Shadow Matching Cards (4 pages, 16 cards)

2- Board Game (1 page)

3- Count & Clip Cards (3 pages, 12 cards)

4- Shape Matching (3 pages, 7 dinosaur shape cutouts)

5- Number Puzzles (1 puzzle with numbers 11-20, 2 puzzles with numbers 1-10)

6- Coloring Pages (4 pages)

7- Dinosaur Dot Pages (5 pages)

8- Playdough Pages (4 pages)

9- Mazes (4 pages)

10- Memory Game (3 pages, 26 matching cards)

11- Cutting/Tracing Pages (3 pages)

12- Dino Baby Letters (13 pages, 52 cards)

You can see there are literally dozens of different activities you can do with these festive dinosaur printables! They are perfect for preschool classroom activities, games with your own children, "school time" activities, or just a fun way to spend time with your kiddos. I'll even give you permission to play with these dinosaurs when it's not Christmas time! ;) 

I usually put our printable activities in a folder in a filing cabinet bin, and the kids will pull them out whenever they're in the mood!

I would LOVE to see how YOU use them! Feel free to tag me on Instagram (Carla.Mae.Jansen) or Facebook (PreschoolPowolPackets)!


And if you're looking for a fun dinosaur-y book, be sure to check out A Dinosaur Made Me Sneeze below!


Happy Educating,
Carla


A Dinosaur Made Me Sneeze!
This awesome book introduces the rock cycle with dinosaurs, volcanoes, and more!
(hint: You can buy it on Amazon or use the code Dinosaur25 at OakieBees.com!!)



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

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

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Community Helpers Preschool Writing Activity Sheets

Today I have some adorable community-helper themed activity pages for older preschoolers!


Actually, they're great for any age (preschool or kindergarten) that likes to write or draw!

I've always been passionate that younger preschoolers should not be "burdened" with writing--they should be allowed to explore it whenever they want. I still believe this, but as I've got older I've met several very young preschoolers who love writing and drawing. It's definitely less-common to see a 3-year old holding a pencil like a 7-year old, but it totally happens! And there are lots of 3-year olds who will love coloring all over these pages with no regard for lines or letters...and that is absolutely fantastic too!


So, what's in this little packet? There are five community helpers with names to trace, and things to circle: Baker, Fire Fighter, Police, Doctor, and Construction Worker. There's also a page to add any other community helpers you might know!

If that sounds like something your kids would love,


I'd love to know how you use it! You can tag me on Facebook at PreschoolPowolPackets or on Instagram @Carla.Mae.Jansen


Happy Educating,
Carla


Dinosaur Made Me Sneeze!
This awesome book introduces the rock cycle with dinosaurs, volcanoes, and more!
(hint: You can buy it on Amazon or use the code Dinosaur25 at OakieBees.com!!)



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

Monday, May 17, 2021

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Fossil Activity ~ Preschool Dinosaur Camp Day 1

The third activity in our first day of our little preschool dinosaur summer camp is a fossil matching game! 


Preschool Dinosaur Summer Camp (or Unit Study)

Day 1


You can see the 4-day outline for our DIY preK summer camp here!  

The third activity is a fossil matching game!

Everything we know about dinosaurs comes from fossils, and there are a lot of fossils in the world! 

This matching games is super flexible--for younger kids, just print two sets of the images and match them together. 

If you have kids that can read, print the text cards, and let them match labels to each fossil image!


While you play, I like to talk about how many fossils were made from buried layers of mud, but fossils were also made in these ways:
* freezing
* fossilizing in tar
* fossilizing in amber or other saps


After you play a few times, go back to this outline for more activities for the first day of the Preschool Dinosaur Summer Camp!



Happy Educating,
Carla


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



(hint: You can buy it on Amazon or use the code Dinosaur25 at OakieBees.com!!)


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, May 10, 2021

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Rock Painting - Day 1 - Preschool Dinosaur Summer Camp (or Unit Study)

The second activity in our first day of our little preschool dinosaur summer camp is painting some of those rocks you just collected! 


Preschool Dinosaur Summer Camp (or Unit Study)

Day 1


You can see the 4-day outline for our DIY preK summer camp here!  

The second activity is rock painting!

If you didn't find any rocks you wanted to paint, you can always get stones from a garden shop or craft store.

We have found that acrylic paints work best for painting on rocks, but they also work really well for painting on clothes! Since they will stain any clothes they get on, I like to make sure the kids are wearing clothes that I'm 100% happy with getting paint on! 


I like to give them total creative freedom on activities like this! Sometimes they put cool designs on the rocks, sometimes they paint a solid color, sometimes they write things, and sometimes they paint scenes or other pictures!


(hint: You can buy it on Amazon or use the code Dinosaur25 at OakieBees.com!!)



While they paint we can talk about what they're working on, how dinosaur bones turned into rocks over many years, and some of the things we can learn from bones and fossils. Here are a few fun facts that might come up:

* Fossils can tell us what kinds of food dinosaurs ate!
* Fossils can tell us how big the dinosaurs were!
* The last big dinosaurs died about 65 million years ago.
* Birds have all the same bone structure "requirements" to be a dinosaur that the ancient dinosaurs had!
* When we first found T. Rex bones, there were no finger bones available. Scientists guessed that T. Rex had 3 fingers on each hand because other large carnivores we'd found had 3 fingers on each hand. Decades later, we found a T. Rex fossil that had hand bones available, and we learned that T. Rex actually only had 2 fingers on each hand!


After you paint rocks, go back to this outline for more activities for the first day of the Preschool Dinosaur Summer Camp!



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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Rock Hunt & Crack ~ Day 1 of Preschool Dinosaur Summer Camp (or Unit Study)

Almost everything we know about dinosaurs comes from rocks, so the first day of our little preschool dinosaur summer camp is also all about rocks and fossils! 


Preschool Dinosaur Summer Camp (or Unit Study)

Day 1


You can see the 4-day outline for our DIY preK summer camp here!  

The first activity is a rock hunt!

Rocks can tell us incredible stories about where they have been! Smooth, shiny rocks have usually spent some time in a river where their rough edges were worn away. Some rocks have crystals or other minerals inside them that you cannot see on the outside.

A Dinosaur Made Me Sneeze is a great introduction to how rocks can change with time. It also ties into the dinosaur theme brilliantly! (Of course, I'm the author of this one, so I am a tiny bit biased!)

(hint: You can buy it on Amazon or use the code Dinosaur25 at OakieBees.com!!)

After you read the book, go on a rock hunt and see if you can find any cool-looking rocks!  Do any of them match the pictures of common rocks on the inside cover of the book? If you crack them open, do they look different on the inside than on the outside?

IMPORTANT: To crack it open, place the rock in an old sock. This is especially important for young children. Still give them science goggles or some other eye protection. The sock will let them hit the rock with a hammer without shooting little rock pieces everywhere! 

If you have access to geodes, it is fun to "hide" them in your yard, have this discussion with your kids, and then let them crack the geodes open. My kids have always loved finding unexpected crystals inside rocks! 

It's even more exciting when they find them on their own near a stream or some other foresty area, but there is nothing wrong with "planting" a few geodes or other rocks too! 

What can you tell about your rock's history by looking at it? Rocks are made from different minerals. Can you find any of these minerals in your rock?

After your rock hunt, go back to this outline for more activities for the first day of the Preschool Dinosaur Summer Camp!



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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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

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Preschool Dinosaur Summer Camp (or Unit Study)

Summer is coming up, and one of our preschool traditions is to do a "summer camp" at home! We never really planned it that way, but one activity led to another, and one year led to another, and... here we are!

As I set up the schedule this year, I'm doubly excited to be doing a dinosaur theme! This fits right in with our Dinosaur Day Celebration (May 15th-June 1st), so we will be sharing even more awesome dinosaur-themed ideas and activities in my STEM group on Facebook.

You'll notice that each day comes with a book recommendation. This is because literacy is SO critical for young children! It ties into everything we do with them because it prepares them for independent learning in the future!

Since we generally do 4-5 day "camps," I'm setting up the format so that between May 10th and 21st you'll get links to all the activities right here! It would be waaaaay too long to put it all in one article, so this "landing page" will link out to 10 activities that I'm scheduling for the camp.

Here's the schedule (subject to change!):

Preschool Dinosaur Camp


Day 1: Dinosaurs, Rocks, & Fossils (oh my!)

Book: A Dinosaur Made Me Sneeze by Carla Mae Jansen
Activity 1: Rock Hunt & Crack 
Activity 2Rock Painting
Printable (Quiet) ActivityFossil Matching 
Snack:  Dinosaur Dust (Coming May 13th)

Day 2: Meat-Eating Dinosaurs

Book: How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food by Jane Yolen
Activity 1: T. Rex Teeth  (Coming May 13th)
Activity 2: Big & Small Carnivores  (Coming May 14th)
Printable (Quiet) ActivityI Am a T-Rex foldable minibook
Snack:  T-Rex Print Cookies (Coming May 14th)

Day 3:  Plant-Eating Dinosaurs

Book: We Love Dinosaurs by Lucy Volpin
Activity 1:  Stegasaurus Teeth  (Coming May 17th)
Activity 2:  Life size  (Coming May 18th)
Printable (Quiet) Activity: Dinosaur Egg Number Matching
Snack:  (Coming May 21st)

Day 4: Paleontologists 

Book: Titanosaur by Diego Pol 
Activity 1:  Feather & foot prints (Coming May 19th)
Activity 2: Excavation  (Coming May 20th)
Printable (Quiet) Activity: Dinosaur Shadow Matching
Snack:  (Coming May 21st)

Did you know that there are TWO "Dinosaur Days" celebrated around the world?!! The third Tuesday in May AND June 1st are both "Dinosaur Day" for different people!

Soooo, I decided to have a BIG 2-week Dinosaur Days Celebration!! There will be giveaways, games, contests, and so much more!!  You can sign up to get email announcements about the events HERE!! I would LOVE to "see" you join!! 

AND, I am joining with another dozen homeschooling moms to bring you fun ideas to do with your kids this summer! This Preschool Dinosaur "Camp" and the Dinosaur Days Celebration are perfect if you have preschoolers!! You will also want to check out these other homeschool series coming in May:

Fun Space Activities for Kids by Living Life and Learning

Ten Summer-Themed Unit Studies by The WOLFe Pack

Summer Skill Builders by Schooling With Grace 

Fun Summer Worksheets for Homeschooling Preschoolers by Homeschooling 4 Him

Educational Summer Bucket List Activities by Whole Child Homeschool

All About Oceans: Printables,Lapbooks, Units, & Notebooking by Homeschool Helper Online

Summer Homestead Activities for Your Homeschool by An Off Grid Life

Ten Days of Nature Study Activities by Julie Naturally

Books with activities by Organized Homeschooler.com

Top Educational Apps for a Techie Homeschool Summer by Techie Homeschool Mom

Preschool Dinosaur Summer Camp (or Unit Study) -- RIGHT HERE!! :)

Beach Themed Summer Preschool Printables by The Life of a Navy Nuke Wife

Summer Term Learning by Simple.Home.Blessings.

10 Summer Boredom Busters by Living and Writing with Whimsy and Purpose


There will be announcements, giveaways, and freebies to go with the homeschool summer series in this FB group!

Do you have plans for summer already? I'd love to hear about them!! Feel free to email me or say hi on Facebook or Instagram! 



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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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

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DIY Preschool STEM Summer Camp Day 5: Electricity & Robots

Day five of our Preschool STEM Summer Camp is all about electricity, robots, and art! I could call it STEAM, but I think STEM Creation Camp has a "catchier" sound. Anyway, it's perfect for homeschool, summer camps, maker spaces, and more! Here's the step by step science, art, and storybook lesson:



{To see the rest of the themes, supply list, and lesson plans (5 days, with one and a half hours of STEM activities planned each day), click HERE!}


Today is the DIY

Preschool STEM Summer Camp

DAY 5: Electricity, Robots, & Art


Supplies: book (That's Not My Robot), squishy circuits set (or batteries, wires, and LED lights), paper or plastic cups, glue, and art supplies

Gathering Activity: As children arrive, direct them to a building station. Today I put out (Amazon affiliate links):  Magna-Tiles and flashlights. The lights create a really fun effect as you shine them in, around, and through magnatile buildings!  We often build on the floor, but today I put the blocks on a table for everybody since we have a child in a wheelchair. This also gives everyone a chance to get to know each other while they build next to one another and, if they choose, together.


Group Circle Time: Gather everyone in a circle, and ask if anyone has ever seen or used a robot! Talk about their experiences and some robots that might affect them (for example, we use robots to control airplanes, do surgeries, build cars, and explore Mars)! You can see pictures from Mars rovers here.

Story Time: I have everyone stand up and form a new semi-circle in another room for the story, mostly because I wanted everyone to have a chance to move and stretch between introductions and a story. Today's story is That's Not My Robot.

Discussion Points: If you could make any robot, what would it do?

Today we're going to explore electricity and then make our own robot art projects.

Science Project #1: 

Electricity exploration. Pull out your squishy circuits set, and let your kids explore electricity! I introduce how I use these sets in detail in this article. This project can take anywhere from 5-200 minutes, so gauge yourself!



I LOVE how this is an open-ended experiment session!! 



Science Art Project #2 / Extension Activity: 

Cup Robots

Supplies: paper or plastic cups, glue (I prefer hot glue, but use whatever you feel is safest), and other craft supplies (especially wiggly eyes).

Step 1: Show the kids the craft supplies and tell them they get to design their own robots!

Note: If you have older kids or lots of helpers, you can make use little motors to make robots that rock and bump around. With a large group of younger kids, though, artistic robots are a lot of fun!


Free Play & Wrap-Up: Regroup, thank everyone for coming, talk about their favorite parts of the day or week, and let them play again before they leave! Free play is important for kids because it gives their brains a chance to process what they've learned. It also lets them create their own environment (to a degree!) for interacting and socializing with other children. I still supervise young children closely! 


And if you want to see a huge collection of STEM projects we've done with preschoolers, click on over HERE!


I'm so glad you're joining us for this Preschool STEM Camp, and I hope to see you again next week!! I would be delighted if you shared this post on Pinterest or Facebook! Be sure to see the whole camp layout HERE!!




Happy Educating,
Carla

Use the code Dinosaur10 to get an extra discount!! 




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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Preschool STEM Summer Camp Day 3: Create!

Our Preschool STEM Camp Day 3 is all about states of imagination and creation! It is full of art, so we could label it STEAM too! And like the rest of our STEM Camp, it's perfect for homeschool, summer camps, maker spaces, and more! Here's the step by step science, art, and storybook lesson:


DIY Preschool STEM Summer Camp


{To see the rest of the themes, supply list, and lesson plans (5 days, with one and a half hours of STEM activities planned each day), click HERE!}

Today is 

Preschool STEM Camp

DAY 3: Create

Supplies: Book (The Most Magnificent Thing), velcro, slinky, play doh, random art supplies (suggestions: cardboard boxes, paper cups, egg cartons, paper plates, feathers, wiggly eyes, pompoms, paint, pipecleaners, craft feathers, glue, tape, etc)   NOTE: velcro, slinky, and play doh are optional, but will make the discussion more fun! 

Gathering Activity: As children arrive, direct them to a building station. Today I put out play doh!

Group Circle Time: Gather everyone in a circle. Review names and ask everyone what their favorite part of last week was. Pull out some velcro, and let everyone try sticking it together and pulling it apart. Velcro was actually invented in the 1940's when a man named George was walking through a forest in Switzerland. He got covered in "cockleburs" -- little pokey plant seeds that stuck to him and his dog! After he peeled them all off, he took them to his engineering lab and put them under a microscope to see what they looked like. He wondered what their shape was up close, and how it made them stick to him so well! He discovered that they were full of little hooks! He had an idea--he could make something similar to stick things together! He worked with some friends in a weaving business and a manufacturing plant to create the first VELCRO!
Discuss: Have you ever had an idea to make something? Do you think it was easy for George to make his velcro? Do you think his idea worked out the first time?

Story Time: I have everyone stand up and form a new semi-circle in another room for the story, mostly because I wanted everyone to have a chance to move and stretch between introductions and a story that takes at least five minutes to read. Today's story is The Most Magnificent Thing.
Discussion points: Did her idea work out the first time? The second time? Have you ever done something that took more than one or two tries to get the way you wanted it?

Today we're using the engineering process to make something fun and new!

Engineering Project #1: 

Make something awesome!

Supplies: assorted craft supplies

The engineering design process begins when we ask questions! What do you want to make? What problems do you want to solve? Your project for the day could be something that solves a problem, creates a tool, or meets a need (even if that need is just to look awesome--a lot of famous artworks are also engineering projects)! Once you have an idea of what you want to do, make a plan for how you will do it and build your prototype. Look at your prototype. Are there any changes you want to make? Ways to make it better? More cool? More efficient? You can change your prototype or build a new project! When you're ready, share it with everyone!  

Step 1: Share the process with your kids, share the supplies with them, and let them get to work! This is a VERY open-ended, child-led project!

If they don't have a lot of experience with things like glue, tape, and scissors, you may want to provide some extra help in those areas. 

Resist the temptation to tell kids how to make their projects! Let them be the creative force, analyzing force, and the expert who decides when they are done!

HINT: Keep the play doh out from earlier for earlier finishers! You can also put out slinkies--another fun invention to play with!

I always LOVE the huge variety of projects we get when we have days like this!! 
(uploading pictures takes me FOREVER--hopefully I'll get some up soon!)

We followed this activity with a snack and Engineering Project 2:


Engineering Project #2 / Extension Activity: Solving Problems


Supplies: 3 bath towels (perfect for about 6 kids--feel free to adjust if you have more or less!)

Part of the engineering design process is problem solving! This activity requires the kids to work together to solve a problem. It's good for team-building, confidence-building, and problem-solving practice!

Step 1: Line up all the kids on one end of the room. Explain to them that the floor is actually lava, and they need to cross it together! The only thing that is lava-proof are these strange floating rocks (the bath towels). They must use them to get everyone on their team safely to the other side of the room (or hallway or two rooms if don't have access to a room about 20 feet long). If anyone falls into the lava, everyone has to start over!

Step 2: Let them figure out a solution!



Free Play & Wrap-Up: Regroup, thank everyone for coming, review their favorite inventions, and let them play with play doh, slinkies, or velcro before they go! Free play is important for kids because it gives their brains a chance to process what they've learned. It also lets them create their own environment (to a degree!) for interacting and socializing with other children. I still supervise young children closely! 


And if you want to see a huge collection of STEM projects we've done with preschoolers, click on over HERE!


I'm so glad you're joining us for this Preschool STEM Camp, and I hope to see you again next week!! I would be delighted if you shared this post on Pinterest or Facebook! Be sure to see the whole camp layout HERE!!




Happy Educating,
Carla

Use the code Dinosaur10 to get an extra discount!! 





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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