Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter for Preschoolers - Part 1

Ha! Funny how things work sometimes. I usually plan only one week per theme, even for special holidays and occasions such as Easter and Halloween, but this time, I thought I'd plan two since Easter is so special. Well, I guess Someone is trying to tell me I should have stuck to the plan! :) Adrian was sick for quite a few days last week and as such, missed quite a bit of school time. As such, I won't have as much to post this week sadly. On the other hand, the virus is now gone and my "baby boy" is now fully recovered. :)

Easter eggs phonograms
Language - Easter Egg Phonograms

Word building. Adrian has been wanting to build words for a while now and thanks to a LeapFrog Fridge toy we own, he does get to build some but cannot think of all the possibilities and sometimes asks me for some new words he could build. I figured I'd introduce the moveable alphabet but it still hasn't arrived (our KidAdvance package has gotten lost apparently and a new one has been sent). As such, I thought I'd present this Easter basket filled with eggs presenting a dozen phonograms. I made these based on Jan Brett's beautiful Phonograms posters after seeing similar eggs presented on Kids Matter 1 who had linked up their posted to Living Montessori Now. Adrian was so delighted to to see the eggs. He quickly set to read all the word possibilities and then set to try them in the LeapFrog reader. The excitement in his eyes was worth the work on these little eggs. If he really cherishes them, I'll make them more permanent by writing the combinations with a permanent marker and thus remove the tape. 

Easter chick cotton balls
Art & Fine Motor: Easter Chick with Pulled Cotton Balls

This craft was one of Adrian's favorite in a while. He is not really artsy at the moment but he really loved doing this craft which I first saw on a blog hosted by the Conseil d'education Montessori. I first printed the chick template, cut it and glued it on yellow construction paper, colored the beak, legs and eye. Then, I told Adrian he'd have to cover the chick in feathers everywhere, except where there was color. He found liquid glue with a cotton ball in a bowl and another bowl filled with cotton balls. I showed him how to stretch the cotton balls to make them look feathery and then he was off to do the stretching and gluing himself. Once that was finished, I brought some corn which he glued for the chick "to eat" and finally, using white washable tempera paint and his index, he made dots all over the paper illustrating snow. Hey, it is still snowing over here...What can I say?

Flipping felt Easter eggs
Practical Life : Flipping Easter Eggs

Made out of felt, these pastel-colored eggs made their appearance this week, along with a kid-size spatula (made by Kidkraft, borrowed from Zahavah's kitchen) for a flipping activity. Unfortunately, Adrian did not flip for the activity. He flipped the eggs quickly but well and went on to the next tray...

Pulling Pipe Cleaner Carrots
Fine Motor - Pulling Carrots out of the Garden

Knowing your own finger strength is important. As such, I prepared here, a garden (egg carton) with twelve carrots (orange pipe cleaner pieces folded in half with a green pipe cleaner piece twisted around its top) to pull with fingers only. I guess they could be pulled by tweezers too but I was wanting Adrian to use his thumb and index today and feel how stronger or lightly he had to pull to get the carrots out. (Some holes had been poked bigger than others in the the egg carton). This activity was the biggest sensation this week. It was done, and red-done, and re-done. I mean, I thought it was cool too but I didn't think he'd like it THAT much! :)

Easter Eggs Pre-Writing Practice
Language: Pre-Writing Skills: Copying Lines and Shapes

I've been trying to evaluate Adrian's writing readiness lately. We've been working at strengthening his hands and thought I'd sneak in a fun way to see if he was making any progress. I don't want to rush him into writing letters as it would be counter-productive but I also know he should be able to draw some more shapes at his age. Here, I pre-cut some pastel-colored eggs, provided a pencil (equipped with a Grotto Grip for the first time) and showed him a progression of 10 eggs to copy. I asked him to look at what I had drawn on my eggs (one at a time) and to draw the same thing on his egg to decorate it. The first four were deemed acceptable and after that, it went nowhere. Technically, at his age, he should have been able to "write" pretty all of the eggs I presented him but his fine motor skills have always been rather below the norm. Back to our fine motor exercises and hand strengthening we go! If you wish to know the progression of our eggs to copy, here it is:

1. Horizontal lines
2. Vertical lines
3. Circles
4. Crosses
5. Right-to-left diagonal lines
6. Squares
7. Left-to-right diagonal lines
8. Letter "X"
9. Triangles
10. Diamonds

Easter Eggs in bushes
Decorating Bushes with Easter Eggs

Shortly after we arrived in Germany last year (yes, we have now been living here for just over a year), we noticed people decorated their bushes for Easter! We loved the idea and this year, Adrian and Zahavah came with me to purchase two dozens of plastic egg ornaments at our "euro shop". The very same afternoon, we decorated our bushes. I must admit some of our neighbors' bushes look much better because they have so many more eggs and they have perfectly round trees but I really wanted the kids to participate. Anyhow, isn't the grass always greener on the other side of the fence?

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  1. Hi there! I loved your carrot game idea. We used it this week while reading The Carrot Seed. I'll be linking to your blog! Thanks!!

    1. What a great idea! I haven't done any book units with my kids but the entire family loves "The Carrot Seed" and indeed, the pipe cleaner pulling activity would be fun to do with it. I'm glad this "Easter" game got to be "recycled"! :)

  2. The pipecleaner carrot activity is my favorite, too! Very cute and perfect for fine motor!!

    1. I think it will have to come out this year again. :) Fun and good for dexterity...

  3. This is so great. I'll be featuring this tomorrow at Meaningful Mama. Thank so much for linking up at Meaningful Mama. I hope you'll join us this week again.

    1. Thank you for providing us with an opportunity to link up each and every week Jodi. I'm glad you like my post and thanks for the feature! :)

  4. You have SO many super cute idea here! Pinned it to my Easter Board!

    Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a GREAT weekend,

    1. Thank you Beth! I really ought to get on Pinterest too! So many great ideas linked up each and every week on your blog too! Writing them all is starting to take a while! :)