Saturday, March 29, 2014

Shape Clock For Preschoolers

Fun way to teach kids shapes as well as time at the same time with this recycled cardboard clock.Children can learn colors, 12 different shapes, numbers, counting  and of course time. Their little hands can easily move minute and hour hands(arrows) very smoothly  and the best part is that it stands at the back .I used different colors for shapes so that kids can learn different colors as well. kids above 5 yrs old can easily be taught time with this clock, they can easily move minute and hour hands and tell the time. I match the time of this table clock with my actual clock every hour on the  hour and ask my 3 year old kid to tell the time, he looks at the big clock and then to this cute clock and tells the time, often incorrect( we just started learning time from this clock) . Put  it on the table and let them play with the time, i added back stand to this cute little clock .
Let me show you how and what you need to make this clock.This is very simple and easy to make, won't take much time and the material needed to make this can be easily found in your  home or school.
Here is what u will  need
Cardboard, different color construction papers, glue, scissors, shapes chart( you can download this from any site and print it) metal brad/round head fasteners (one) , masking tape

If you are pizza lovers, don't throw empty pizza box, clean it because we are using it to make our clock. If you don't have empty pizza box, you can use any cardboard you have.
Take the cardboard (pizza box, cereal box or any other cardboard) and use a medium plate to trace and cut circle with scissor. Circle size depends on how big or small you want your clock to be.Now cut the brown construction paper in the  circle shape the size of the circle cardboard and glue it on the cardboard.Cut blue construction paper in circle smaller than brown circle and glue it in the center of the circle cardboard. Using green construction paper cut small circle, smaller than blue circle and glue it in the center over blue circle.
Now cut shapes from shapes chart  and glue each shape on the circle cardboard. Write clock numbers on  the shapes with the marker or crayons. Cut two arrow strips from cereal box,  big for minute hand and small for an hour hand and for the kids to recognize write "minute" and "hour" on the  small  blue construction paper and glue them on the arrows. Now poke a small hole in the center of the clock.With the  puncher, punch holes on the two arrows and insert metal brad through the arrows into the cardboard where we poked the hole.

 For the back support cut small strips of cardboard in a triangle shape and stick it to clock using masking tape as shown in the picture  below

And your clock is ready.This clock can be very useful in teaching children  about daily activities, routines  and discipline.Some other activities you can do with this clock is that ask the child to move the hands of the clock to the time he/she eats lunch say at 12 O'clock or at time he/ she goes at bed and ask the child to move the clock hands to say at 8 O'clock. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Introducing Weight Balance to Preschool Kids

It is not too early to introduce weight balance concept to Preschool/Pre K kids,  without complicating the subject this topic can be easily introduced to Lil ones.Balance scales provides Hands on learning  tool for young kids and it enhances their math skills.

I made this balance my self and it took me just 15mins to make it, 10 if you have everything in hand.

This is what you will need for this project
Egg Carton( for base), Egg Carton Baskets,  Straw, Binder clips, Round head fastener, Glue, Scissor

Here is how you make it
I had some left over egg carton baskets that i made a while ago, but if you don't  want to make these you simply cut two egg carton cups  and either glue pipe cleaners or yarn for handle. Now when your baskets are ready, take a straw and punch a very small hole in the centre of straw. On the two ends of straw attach binder clip which holds two baskets on the two opposite ends.

Cut  the tall part of egg carton, you will need  around seven to eight of them and stack them up as shown in the pic below,  this will be the base of the Balance.Insert the fastener through the hole that was made in the middle of the straw to the top hole  of the egg carton base. Balance is ready for the kids to explore the world of measuring.

When my Balance was ready i took it to my class and showed it to my students, they started  to explore it a while.In our small group activity i put balance on the table and gathered bunch of  mini plastic clips and put them on the table near the balance, i wanted to show children  how balance measures two items by placing objects(clips) on each side(basket). first we balance the scale by putting two equal sized objects i.e 2 clips on each side. after that i gave 3 kids 2 clips and asked 2 kids to put their clips on one side of balance and 1 kid to put his clips on the other side.they could easily see that the basket with 4 clips weighed lower than the basket with only 2 clips and  to make it more exciting i asked kids to put 2 more clips on the basket that was sinking lower until it touched the bottom. This  gives the students idea about weight, they also counted the clips in each side of the balance .

Then i wanted to show them what happens if we measure two different objects, so i put a small eraser in one side and pennies  on the other side, until both the sides became balanced.This activity will help children know and learn about weights and balance.
This is perfect  activity for kindergarten kids as they can relate to weights and measurements more than preschool kids. There are so many ways to make children  understand and introduce the concepts of weights and measurements , you can use any small objects for weighing e.g  small crayons, coins, erasers, small rocks, rings, basically  any small thing that can fit in these baskets, look around and you'll find no. of  small  items for ready for weighing.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bird Nest for Preschool Kids

Spring is almost here and our curriculum  theme was Birds, we talked about birds in the classroom, where they live, how they feed their babies and how they make their home "NEST", to make the topic more interesting i thought to make bird nest with the kids.This was a group project,  we all sat  in  circle and i  put all the items needed( twigs, dry grass, small branches, Mod podge, small to medium disposable bowl) to build  our nest in the center. Here is how we made our bird nest and Lil birdies in it.

Since it was raining from few days  so i couldn't get chance to collect dry branches from the park, then I  thought i would go out in our preschool backyard in the morning  with the  kids and collect things that we would use to build our nest but had to drop the  idea  because of rain, and  i went alone to collect some twigs, small branches and dry grass which was all wet , to my surprise i found all of these things in my preschool small yard. I put them in small bag and made  them dry with paper towel.

After circle time we started to work on our project,i added  some mod podge  in small disposable bowl  and asked children to put small twigs one by one in the bowl, i keep adding mod podge and they keep putting small twigs inside the bowl , then i gave it a Lil bit shape of nest by arranging twigs on the inner side of bowl and keeping center of bowl free from twigs.At the top i added grass and  it looked perfect nest but something was missing----- yes  Mama Bird and Baby Bird, so here is how we made our birdies

All we needed for birds was Pom Poms, Pipe cleaners, googly eyes, glue and scissor
Glue small yellow pom pom (this will be head of the bird) to big yellow pom pom. Glue googly eyes on the  head. Cut very small triangle out of construction paper and fold it in half length wise giving it a shape of beak, glue this beak on the bird, now cut two small pieces of pipe cleaners, matching color, and twist one side of the pipe cleaner inwards making it look like kind of a bird feet, glue the other end of  the  pipe cleaner to the bird, and there you have your Mama bird, repeat the same steps for the  baby bird, we chose our baby bird white in color, be careful to chose small pom poms for baby bird than mama bird. Of course children wanted to add  more babies but i stopped at only one.  Now put the birds in the nest. They look so cute. I have never seen kids so excited like this, Every one was like "i like birds, i like birds"     :)

Bird legs are completely optional, you can skip that part, so is adding mod podge.