Tuesday, April 15, 2014

birds and nests bin

Spring time -- green grass, tree blossoms, birds gathering twigs and grass, and the chirping of baby birds.  

A good time for a birds and nests sensory bin. 



It started with a beanie baby robin and a nest-like basket.


I used shaved cedar for the base. I wanted a natural look and feel. Cedar pet bedding would also work well.  Or crinkly brown paper.  

The robin needed some bird friends.  Somewhere I have a mini beanie bluebird - I am sure that I will find it as soon as I put this bin away!

We found an eagle and a West Coast First Nations style Raven in our stuffy bin. 

A trip to a local toy store and another robin and a hummingbird (both by Folkmanis) fluttered into the bin. 

I looked for natural looking eggs and nests at dollar stores.  They will probably be even cheaper for a couple of days after Easter.
I would love some painted and natural wooden eggs.  One day ....

The last addition was some sticks for nest building. 



The kids have been building nests, laying eggs, making sure that they eggs stay warm.  And letting the cedar shavings run through their fingers.


I put out a few real nests and some bird books with the birds and nest bin.  Trying to inspire curious minds. 

Click on each book to read a quick summary/review from GoodReads. 




happy Spring time, 







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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

10 (non-fiction) books about chickens

it all started with Rosie



At the end of Spring Break, I was wondering what to read to the kids the first day back to school.  As I was changing my big books, I came upon Rosie's Walk.

Haven't "done" Rosie's Walk for a few years.   We are still a little anti-fox since the episode with the gingerbread man, so it would be fun to see karma deal with him.  We would read, reread, act out and retell Rosie for a few days.

Well, it seems as if you can't read just one chicken story.


Monday, April 7, 2014

plastic easter egg number fun

As well as hiding chocolate, (and all the other wonderful uses), plastic Easter eggs are great for practicing number sense.




Monday, March 31, 2014

planting milkweed seeds


March 31

The World Wildlife Federation gave us milkweed seeds to provide food for migrating Monarch butterflies.

It all seemed to work together to make part of our Monday plan. 


Last week our milkweed seeds arrived in the mail from World Wildlife Fund.  

Researchers have found that the Monarch butterfly numbers have dropped worryingly low in the last few years.  One reason is the lack of milkweed - the Monarch's only host plant.  WWF is asking folks to plant milkweed in your backyard, cottage, farm, or in our case, school yard.  


Thursday, March 27, 2014

planting potatoes

Yesterday our spuds were planted in our tubs.




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

African safari bin

in the jungle, the mighty jungle 
the lion sleeps tonight


In the interests of full disclosure, I should admit that I spent six weeks in South Africa last December, 
and my husband was (usually) very patient while I searched market stalls for the "perfect" spoons, bowls and animals.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

sensory bin filler: aquarium gravel


40 days.   40 bloggers.  40 different sensory bin fillers.

Now that's a sensory bin fix!  

One of my go to sensory bin fillers is found at your local pet store.


Aquarium gravel is  shiny. 

It has a wonderful texture. 

It comes in all sorts of colors - bright, natural and multicolored. 

It has many different "personalities".  Everything from neon loud to thoughtful neutrals. 

It makes a satisfying clinking sound when poured into or from a container.  

It sweeps up easily.  

It happily mixes with other fillers.   It "plays well with others". 

And that is why I like aquarium gravel so much.  It plays well with others.  It provides a wonderful backdrop to other sensory materials and small world play items.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

sharing kindness and peace - a video

Sadly being mean and bullying is a problem.

In our schools, in our workplaces, where ever people gather. 

Instead of focusing on "anti-bullying", we prefer to focus on kindness and spreading "a little peace".

We like to be proactive.  

And to spread the message that we respect each other's differences.  Wouldn't it be boring if we were all the same?


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring Break to do list

It's Spring Break.

Here are some activities that I hope that my kidlets enjoy.

Skills to practice:  love, co-operation, kindness,  embracing serendipity, being brave, observation, creativity, perseverance, laughter ...

Get outside.
Check out a new park.
Go for a walk.
Explore a beach.
Hang out with trees.
Fly a kite.
Get a garden ready for planting.
Play.

Get into the kitchen.
Bake some cookies.
Make pancakes for dinner.
Make a salad with all the colors of the rainbow (I guess it will have blueberries in it!)

Get together with non-school friends.
School friends are great. Kids get to see their school friends lots.  
Connect, or reconnect with some other friends and families.
Bring enough cookies to share. 

Build a fort.
Inside with cloths and sofa cushions.
Outside with sticks and branches.
Every fort needs a snack. Maybe some cookies.  

Have a book fest with a story reading adult.
Grab a stack of books.
Find a cosy spot.
Feast on books.
And a cookie or two.  See above. 

Plan an adventure.
Choose a new place to visit and explore.
Or something new to do and experience.
Or something new to make.
Or something that has been visited/done/made before and bears repeating.
Adventures are always better with cookies.

Have un-plans.
Unscheduled time that leaves room for magic to happen. 
Be prepared with extra cookies. 





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Saturday, March 8, 2014

rainbow science

This experiment was so easy to prep and so effective, I can't believe that I didn't do it with the kids years ago.



To prep, I went to my fridge for milk, to the sink for dish soap, the cupboard for food coloring and the bathroom drawer for q-tips.  So easy.  And a class set of bowls.  

The tricky part was getting 24 bowls with milk ready for 24 scientists without anyone spilling.  


Friday, March 7, 2014

rainbow hair

The last day of kindergarten before Spring Break is a good time for a little rainbow fun.



Saturday, March 1, 2014

100 penny hunt for 100 days in school

100 days of kindergarten is worthy of celebration.

So, we celebrate.

Big time.  Because I00 is a pretty big number.

One of the 100 Day traditions is the 100 penny hunt.



Somehow, I suspect it is Zero the Hero, 100 pennies get hidden in the classroom.  (Yes, Canada phased out the penny last year, but we have "leftovers" from our penny counter project - and if desperate, I can always head south of the border into Washington State).

The pennies are hidden ...

The penny chart is ready - taped to the table.



And the hunt is on.

The rule is that after a child finds ONE penny, the penny is to be brought to the chart and filled up from number 1.



The kids were expert penny finders.



In no time (it seemed), they had found all 100 pennies. (One year they managed to find 102!)


Next time, I think I will use a stopwatch to time the hunt.  How many seconds does it take a kindergarten class to find 100 pennies?

Enjoy a song about 1000 pennies by Norman Foote from his cd 1000 Pennies!  





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Thursday, February 27, 2014

practicing kindness

The Dalai Lama said:  Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.

But kindness does not always come easily.  Practice generally makes things easier. 

So, I like to give my kindergarten kids opportunities to practice being kind.


To give of themselves.

Without expectation.  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

100 cookies: a lesson in number sense

We don't need an excuse to make cookies.

We do need a reason to make 100 cookies.

100 Day is a good reason to make 100 cookies.

We figured out that  20 kids each had to make 5 cookies.

And we set to work. 


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