5 Ways to Take Your Sensory Table to the Next Level

  For over 27 years, Tom Bedard has been building apparatuses for the sensory table. And it all started with a bucket. The bucket answered a NEED at the sensory table - transporting the sand out of the table. Hello!  How many of you have fought the “there’s more...
Toddler Tales ~ How to Make Your Own Sensory Table Fairy Dust Teaching

Toddler Tales ~ How to Make Your Own Sensory Table

For my toddler's birthday this year, I decided to make him a sensory table inspired by Tom Bedard! I didn't really know how this would turn out since I was attempting to create this with items I had on hand, except for the bag of beans. However, I was pleasantly...
Making Reindeer Food Fairy Dust Teaching

Toddler Tales ~ Making Reindeer Food

Who knew making reindeer food could be so much fun?! Needing a quick and easy gift for my toddler to give to his classmates, I settled on reindeer food. With only 2 ingredients, it's so simple! However, I had no idea how much fun my little man would have with the...
Invitation to Build a Turkey Fairy Dust Teaching

Invitation to Build a Turkey

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and my little turkeys are super excited! I set up a simple invitation to build a turkey to keep them engaged this weekend while I got caught up on some much needed preparation for the upcoming holiday. The Provocation I used homemade...

Fall Leaf Investigation

One of the perks of fall is the gorgeous weather and a leaf investigation is a great excuse to go outside which makes it a wonderful addition to your fall activities! To begin our leaf investigation we read the book, Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. This book displays...

5 Ways to Take Your Sensory Table to the Next Level

  For over 27 years, Tom Bedard has been building apparatuses for the sensory table. And it all started with a bucket. The bucket answered a NEED at the sensory table - transporting the sand out of the table. Hello!  How many of you have fought the “there’s more...

read more

Toddler Tales ~ How to Make Your Own Sensory Table

For my toddler's birthday this year, I decided to make him a sensory table inspired by Tom Bedard! I didn't really know how this would turn out since I was attempting to create this with items I had on hand, except for the bag of beans. However, I was pleasantly...

read more

Toddler Tales ~ Making Reindeer Food

Who knew making reindeer food could be so much fun?! Needing a quick and easy gift for my toddler to give to his classmates, I settled on reindeer food. With only 2 ingredients, it's so simple! However, I had no idea how much fun my little man would have with the...

read more

Invitation to Build a Turkey

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and my little turkeys are super excited! I set up a simple invitation to build a turkey to keep them engaged this weekend while I got caught up on some much needed preparation for the upcoming holiday. The Provocation I used homemade...

read more

Fall Leaf Investigation

One of the perks of fall is the gorgeous weather and a leaf investigation is a great excuse to go outside which makes it a wonderful addition to your fall activities! To begin our leaf investigation we read the book, Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. This book displays...

read more

Toddler Tales: Outdoor Clay Play

Now that I'm not in the classroom, I get to spend a lot of time doing fun activities with my kiddos. I have a 20 month old and a 6 year old who still love doing fun activities with me so I try to take advantage of it every chance we get. I thought it would be fun to...

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How to Set-Up A Simple Outdoor Math Center

Creating simple centers outdoors is not only easy but economical.  To demonstrate this - I want to share a simple center.  This center could be a solo activity or group collaboration. OBJECTIVE: Sorting, Classifying, & Pattering. Sorting and classifying objects...

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Multi-Dimensional Sensory Table

There is something magical about boxes.  Add those to the sensory table and it is pure magic! Tubes and funnels where attached to a large boxes taped between two small sensory tables.  I put openings on all sides of the box so the children could move the rice in...

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A Fall Nature Table – How to Create Your Own

GUEST BLOGGER:  Elizabeth des Roches Elizabeth des Roches is a Wild Waldorf Mama & a Vintage Crafts Explorer.   Just over 3 years ago – she & her husband decided to sell their house in Toronto after buying a beautiful old house in the French countryside.  They...

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The “Three Little Pigs” Playdough

This is a super fun playdough center - perfect during the fairy tale, The Three Little Pigs.   I make a big batch of brown playdough and put out the three materials the three pigs used to build their houses.  I let the children know that they can build a house for...

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Sensory Table Mojo – Part 1

I love love love putting weird and wonderful things in my sensory table.  This is an old farm milk strainer.   I set it in the wire holder of an antique apple strainer.   It worked perfectly. It is magic. . . This was just a little sensory table that created big...

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Zen Playdough. . .

Begin with plain playdough.  No color, no scent.  Just plain old simple playdough. I set out little bowls of old grains and spices.  Flax seeds, chia seeds, basil leaf, a flower tea. . . . All set out with a zen like peacefulness.  Sniff.  Pick.  Mix. I added a mortar...

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Rock Puzzles

This is the coolest idea from my colleague, Patty. She calls them rock puzzles. It is very simple. You find nice sized, flat rocks. Wrap the rock in a towel and bam! Break a piece or two off with a hammer or another rock!   How to use the rock puzzles: Put four...

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Black Bean Sensory Tub

Materials: black beans and lentils lavender large glass discs (Dollar Store) little felted wool balls (Hobby Lobby) spoons and tongs little baskets tins and other containers on hand  Skills: Scooping beans with the spoons.  Pouring beans into the basket.  Filling the...

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Dem Bones

My kinders loved learning about bones. Here are some of the ideas I found online (links below) and of course, a Fairy Dust idea!  I love this idea from Dilly Dali. For instructions:   Cotton Swab Bones This would be so great to build as a class. Instructions at: ...

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Porridge Playdough for Baby Bear!

It took several years to master this playdough.  The traditional recipes for oatmeal playdough are sticky and - honesty - a mess to deal with.   I adapted my basic playdough recipe and have created a perfect porridge playdough!  This dough has a hint of vanilla and...

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Oh My Stars!!

Today I received word that my kindergarten class' fairy garden was one of the winners in the 2012 Fairy Garden Contest (sponsored by one of my favorite blogs -The Magic Onions).  What a special honor and treat!  I highly recommend going over to The Magic Onions and...

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2 Easy Tree Habitats – Part 3

Ohh, these are so fun!  Here are my tree habitats with nests. Here's how to make a simple nest:  Wrap a piece of brown tissue paper around your thumb. Glue with a glue stick.  Presto! A Nest! Owl Habitat Owls can live in tree trunks and tree holes.  They will make a...

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3-D Trees – The Four Seasons (Part 2)

This article continues a series on 3-D habitats and science topics. To learn how to make a brown bag tree, please refer to Part 1. Today, I am going to share how I use these simple bag trees to construct the four seasons.  You can have the children each make their own...

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3-D Paper Habitats 101 – Part 1

There are three basic 3-dimensional techniques to have in your teaching toolbox.  These three habitat basics can be used to have children demonstrate their understandings of current science studies or character settings. Over the next week, I am going to share how to...

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Volcanoes!

Start with all your old playdough!  Mix it together for that great swirly look!  (Or make a batch click here for recipe.) You will also need a big ole piece of sidewalk chalk. Place a handful of playdough on a plastic plate. Push the chalk into the playdough to create...

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Birds, Eggs and Nests: Playdough Fun

I love to use playdough as a medium for children to express what we are studying.  During our unit on birds - I put out three batches of playdough: brown for nests and limbs, blue for eggs and yellow for birds.   It was so popular!  The rule was "No mixing the...

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Earth Day Insects

I wanted to share one of my favorite Earth Day projects. The children design and create a clay insect that will air dry.   Once dry it is placed in an outdoor garden or plot of land. The insects are observed for the remainder of the year.  I like to place a plastic...

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Little Fairy Garden Habitats- Part One

Last week I had each color family create a little fairy garden for their table as a part of our study of plants.   I told the children we will be building the garden weekly.  This week we planted flowers in our gardens.  It was great as the root system in the flowers...

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Valentine’s Playdough!

Chocolate Playdough! I first found this idea at Counting Coconuts and loved it! Instructions here:  Heidi's Recipes Adding the empty chocolate candy box is key! Valentine's Bakery Playdough This is such a fun idea!  I adore the sprinkles - such a creative idea! The...

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Collaborative Scientific Drawings

Me oh my!  I saw the coolest idea ever!  Lacy Williams, an intern in the classroom next me, had the children in her class doing a collaborative scientific art piece.  I was so blown away by the wisdom of how she lead the up to the collaborative piece.  The topic was...

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Winter Dens for Bears

Make a hibernating bear den is one of the most beloved activities in the kindergarten.  See this post from last year:  Bear Dens.    This year I changed it up a bit and had the child glue the brown bag upside down on the paper plate.  I teach the children to use...

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Ideas for Winter Unit

Sitting on the couch at home,  I snuggled into the possibility of my next unit - Winter and the story "The Mitten."  Here are a few ideas I found: Hibernation Art Piece I love this!  I think the kinders would adore doing this! From:...

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Bread Dough Gingerbread

Sometimes I will adapt the traditional bread dough ornament recipe by adding brown food dye (Wilton brand makes it nice and dark.)  This gives the dough a "gingerbread look" for making gingerbread men and more. I feel it is important to bring a direct experience from...

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Crack! Yum!

I have an old nutcracker - I think it came from my grandmother.  Every fall I put it out as a center choice.  I first check to be sure there are no nut allergies and make all the necessary precautions.  (With some children - it is not possible to even have the...

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Seedy Necklaces

My current intern, Katie Downing, brought the neatest idea to the classroom.  Each student was given two beans, a cotton ball, a small plastic bag (I hole punch it for string the yarn) and a length of yarn.  The cotton balls where soaked in water.  The children put...

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Pricky Ball Spiders

This is an easy peasy spider to make.  I discuss the difference between a spider and an insect.  The children count out 8 legs for their spider.  Additionally,  we discuss how many eyes a spider has - (between 4-8 eyes).  What you will need:  sweet gum balls, black...

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Bat Habitats

Making habitats is one of my favorite projects for the children.  They love it too!   What you will need: brown bags, cheap paper plates, black construction paper, scissors, glue stick, crayons.  Step One:  Cut down the brown lunch bag.  Cut "tabs" in the corners. ...

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Them Bones!

 I saw this project at my friend, Terri's classroom several years back.  It is such a great way to introduce the bones.  I had two parents come in and help the children paint their bones.  We will be learning the major bones over the next two weeks.  The first step is...

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Clay Work: Owls

This is such a sweet clay project designed by Aubree Hayden, who worked with me at Philbrook during summer camp.  The children loved it!  I am so sad I did not get a final photo of the project.  But you can see the easy peasy way to make it in the video...

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Clay Work: Knee Turtles

This is one of those tried and true clay projects for early childhood.  It is very simple.  You give the student a ball of clay and a paper towel.  The student puts the paper towel over their knee and then pats the clay on top of their knee to create a "shell."  So...

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Guest Blogger: Running With Glitter!

I'm Kelly, I have a fun little blog called Running With Glitter.    My daughter is the luckiest Kindergartner this year.  She has Mrs. Haughey as a teacher. I'm so excited!  If could magically make up the perfect teacher she would be it!   Today I'm going to share...

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Making Clay Birds with Children

This summer, at the art museum, I had the children make clay birds.  The birds turned out so cute!  I failed to get photos of the finished birds.  I only have this photo - of a bird left behind by one child. INSTRUCTIONS:  The children will be making five basic...

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Pinwheels

Today at the museum, one of the art stations was designing a pinwheel.  The children loved it!  I asked where the museum purchased the pinwheels.  They were very economically priced at Oriental Trading!   This will be on my to-do list for...

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Beachy Moon Sand!

Okay, I just love other bloggers!  Child Central Station mentioned she had her own version of moon sand using baby oil (instead of water)!  I knew I had to give it a try with the Ocean unit the kindergartens at my school do at this time.   It is wonderful!  It...

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Make Your Own Moon Sand

MOON SAND RECIPE     It is a basic 2 to 1 ratio (sand to cornstarch) 6 cups of play sand (I used Crayola Brand - Blue) 3 cups of cornstarch  1 1/2 cups of cold water   Begin by mixing the sand and cornstarch together.  Next, add the water and mix it with your hands. ...

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Galaxy Playdough

What you will need: 2 cups of plain flour 2 cups of water with black and blue food coloring 1 Tbsp. of cooking oil 1 Tbsp. cream of tartar 1 cup of salt INSTRUCTIONS: Mix liquid ingredients in a large pan. (FYI: I found black food coloring in a large size at Big Lots...

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Rock Bugs and Habitats

I love using nature in art making activities.  The key to making bugs out of rocks and found nature is using artist's heavy gel medium as the glue.  This is like a thick paste and will join the pieces together so the children can do all the work themselves. Making a...

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Model Magic Insects!

This is one of those all time favorite projects of the children.   Each child designs their own insect using model magic.  I buy it at Michael's with a 40 percent off coupon.   I give each child a bit of each of the four colors.   A box like the one in the photo will...

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Make Playdough Dirt!

This is a oldie but goodie!  And it was a huge hit in the classroom today with my six year old boys!   Despite many blogs featuring this - I decided to post it because of the importance of playdough in the kindergarten classroom.  It is not just for preschoolers....

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Developmental Stages of Playdough

Playdough is an important facet of the early childhood environment.   Playdough exploration provides important opportunities for the development of fine motor skills (such as pushing, squishing, squeezing, and pinching).   And, as many early childhood teachers know,...

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Weather Parade!

I love the beauty of the parade puppets and pageant sticks!  This year, for only the second time in my teaching career, I am bringing pageantry to our weather time.   First, I talked to the children about what weather sticks we might need - and we went to work...

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Jack and the Bean Sprouts!

I like to start our study of seeds and plants with the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.  We plant pole beans and other seeds to grow over the next few months.  But in the meantime, it is so powerful to demonstrate how a bean "sprouts" by growing sprouts.  We observed...

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The Sense of Taste

There are two main ways we take in the world - through the sense of taste (food) and through the impressions of our senses of the outside world.   All eating is a communion.   Through the sense of taste we differentiate between the different kinds of tastes and in one...

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The Sense of Smell

It is through the sense of smell that we gather messages about the environment around us.  We are attuned to our environment with every breath we take by the automatic function of smell that detects dangers, food, and other people.   (Think about common phrases we use...

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