Each week I will highlight some activities we did in our classroom. I may not go into the details of how to do the activities, or have beautiful photos, but I want to share some of the fun things we do to inspire other teachers and moms! Feel free to ask if anything is unclear though…
This week was week one of our Wild Animal theme! I do love this theme, there is so much one can do to make learning fun, so here is a few ideas:
Is this cardboard roll zebra not just too cute?! It took a few steps: it involved painting the body, and then cutting the mane, ears and fringe, waiting for the paint to dry in between the steps. Adding the eyes was the final step.
The paper plate and pasta lion was easy! Sticking down the pasta as the mane, and then(when dry) painting it!
The giraffe handprint craft also involved some steps. As the kids arrived the morning, I painted their hands so that by craft time(an hour later) it were dry. They had to add the neck and head, and the spots was done with their fingers that pressed into DIY stamp pads(see below). Later the day, when it dried, they only added the rest of the picture by drawing it with crayons/pencils. These pictures went onto the Art Brag Wall in class for the next week.
SENSORY PLAY IDEAS
For sensory play each day we have a large bin on a stand just outside of the class. It is positioned there so that I can still keep an eye on them while busy at the craft table with another group. Each day this week we had different “scenarios” in the bin with wild animals. One day were the big plastic animals with only wood shavings(“the Savanna”), the next day small animals with different smaller containers with the small plastic animals(“different habitats”), the next day the blocks and shavings(“the zoo”). The one day I added water buckets and droppers so that they can give the animals water(fine motor skills activity), that led to making mud with the sand “habitat”, so the next day we had to wash the animals(a bucket with soapy water and mini sponges did the trick)! Needless to say, this station is by far the most popular!
FINE MOTOR CLASS ACTIVITY
I try to do a class project once during each theme. This they do in groups, together, to strengthen collaborating skills. We made four different habitat pictures on large paper. I drew the outlines for them and we discussed which colours would be best for each habitat. They had to tear small pieces of paper and fill their large picture. We used these papers the next day to stick on the wild animal pictures they cut out of magazines, which provided us with a classification project: which wild animals live where aka habitat. (Unfortunately I did not snap a pic of the final product, will update as soon as possible!)
Another favourite side activity, is the playdough station. Each day another object(s) is provided with the dough and an instruction is given to create. For example: large lids and triangles- make animal faces, sticks-make cages etc. This is an open ended activity, and the kids enjoy it very much. (I would have preferred green dough, but the lady in charge of making the dough at school already made blue, so blue it was!)
These are only a few of the highlights of the week with wild animals. We do, of course do much more, but it will take forever to tell you about every little thing, so I hope this gave you just a glimpse of the fun learning we had in Week 1!
Be sure to check back next week for more learning ideas!
Also visit the Pinterest Board for more Zoo Theme ideas!