All Around Child-Outside

I have been sharing the wonderful things I saw while visiting All Around Child in Overland Park, KS. So far we have explored the common areas, hallways, and the beautiful classrooms. Now you will get to see the masterpiece that is the outside play areas, but they are so much more than that. They are […]

All Around Child-Inside the Classrooms

Recently, I posted about All Around Child, a Reggio-Inspired preschool in Overland Park, KS. I loved the school so much that there was no way I could have condensed my thoughts and pictures down to one post. We are about to explore the magic inside the classrooms and you will see why… I quickly learned […]

All Around Child-A Reggio-Inspired Preschool

I had the pleasure of taking a tour through All Around Child, a beautiful Reggio-Inspired preschool in Overland Park, KS. This school serves children 6 weeks to 6 years. I was so impressed with this school that I took way too many pictures to put into one post. This will be a glimpse into the […]

The Story Table

The Story Table is a vital part of my classroom.  It is a miniature world of nature complete with animals. STEP ONE:  The Base – I like to use a strong base so children can push on it and it will not collapse.   This is a shelf laid flat. STEP TWO:  Cover the shelf or […]

Dramatic Play: It’s Brain Smart!

Dramatic Play is not only a source of wonder and magic — it is good for cognitive development!  Pretend play requires the ability to transform objects and actions symbolically; for example, pretending to be mommy or a doctor; pretending a bowl of nuts and leaves is oatmeal for Goldilocks. There is research that has shown […]

My Favorite Things: Playstands

I cannot imagine my classroom without playstands.  These simple structures are truly the heart beat of my room.   I house my housekeeping center under these canopies. There is this natural impulse in children to seek hidden, tent-like places.  The playstands satisfy this inner need with such beauty and grace. The playstands can easily be transformed […]

Cheap Imaginative Play Ideas!

I am such a huge advocate for imaginative play.  I think children need a good daily dose until at least 9 years of age.  There is a developmental unfoldment of the imagination that provides the ground work for higher order thinking.   Imaginative play provides nourishment for the frontal lobes.  In reality, imaginative play is a […]

Preparing for Chinese New Years

This last week my classroom has been a buzz preparing for Chinese New Years.   Here’s a peek into our preparations:  Each color family designed a Dancing Dragon.  Colors and designs were recorded.  We built the head of Dancing Dragon out of cardboard boxes.  Painted it with acrylic paint. I am traveling this weekend – later […]

Ooo yummy felt foods!

I absolutely adore making my housekeeping a yummy place to play!  Loading it with real props and avoiding plastic toys are my starting point.  I try to keep those ugly plastic food sets out of my housekeeping center.  It is so much more fun to make our own food out of the “bread dough ornament” […]

Invasion of the Bats

Black construction paper, a lesson on bat making and well, the rest is history. . . BEFORE:   AFTER:

Playdough Bakery is Open!

 During the Little Red Hen unit – I add a wonderful selection of pans, bowls, buckets, muffin tins, plates. . . even a cheese slicer.  The boys love that slicer!  Wooden spoons, pizza slicers. . .  Several colors of playdough. . .  Ooo, how the fun abounds!  I need another cheese slicer!  The girls adore […]

Little Red Hen’s Bakery

A little peek into my current housekeeping center:  I stock the center with lots of baking tools, containers of baking ingredients, the pretend bread items the children made, and more.  I put a little lamp on the table.  It creates such a special mood.  I love to use the bright red and white gingham print […]

A Peek into My Classroom

The story of the Three Pigs offer so many extensions.  Here are a few currently underway in my classroom:  I set up my IKEA roadway rug (super cheap and wonderful) with matchbox cars, little wooden cars and a set of little wooden traffic signs.  I like to bring the idea of the neighborhood, community, community […]

Playstand Transformation – Tiki Hut

 This week the theme in the kindergarten classes at my school is “Hawaii.”  We make volcanoes, have an Hawaiian Luau, to name a few things.  So, of course, I had to transform the playstands!  I found lots of Hawaiian themed items at my local party supply and Big Lots.  It does not take much to […]

Making a Space Ship Play Center

I absolutely love my playstands.  I think I would rate these as the one of the best buys I have ever made for my classroom.  They are so easy to transform into a variety of things to fit the mood of current happenings.  And they make great space ships!  I start by putting the playstands […]

Farmer’s Market

With the study of plants and flowers – it only made sense to open a farmer’s market in the classroom.  The first thing we did was discuss and brainstorm what was found at a farmer’s market.  We then decided what we would make. The children made green beans, peas, tomatoes, and cherries. STEP ONE:  We […]

Post Office is Open!

This year it has taken a while to open our classroom post office.  I think the two weeks lost to the snow storm took it toll on several projects.  Nevertheless, yesterday the post office officially opened.   Every year this becomes one of the favorite spots in the classroom. I made my post office boxes out […]

An Artful Housekeeping Center

There is this gasp of joy in the classroom when housekeeping center transforms.  It is my kinders favorite center.  It is my goal to transform this center every two weeks.  I notice that this refreshes the childrens’ play as well.   There is an art to this – having enough materials to create new settings! First, […]

Making Chinese Red Lanterns

Chinese Red Lanterns are a part of the festival life in China.  The color red is believed to bring good luck and happiness.  They are simple to make.   You will need white cardstock, black sharpies, red copy paper, red yard, red watercolor paint, crayons, stapler, and single hole puncher.   Step 1:  Let the children […]

Chinese New Year Around the Classroom

Every year I spend two full weeks inside the mood and inspiration of China.  Over the last ten years, I have collected many wonderful items for this exploration.   My daughter went to China at 13 years old as an exchange student and brought back many things for my classroom.  My family has hosted two Chinese […]

Creating A Native American Structure

This week my class built their own Native American home.  It was super easy.  What I love about this process is the ownership the children take in the process.  Here’s what we did:   I used a queen size flat sheet and water based markers.  I put out papers with Native American picture writing examples.  […]