Friday, March 22, 2013

St. Patrick's Day for Preschoolers - Part 3

In preparation for my St. Patrick's Day activities, I tried to stick with the symbols associated with the Celebration as well as with what Ireland was "known" for. Now I've never been to Ireland despite my really wanting to do so, so please don't take offense if I still associate the country with the potatoes and cabbage. :) In return, I promise not to take offense if you think of my home country, Canada, as a place filled with igloos, "American Indians" living in tepees, and Royal Mountain Police patrolling the streets of Montreal on their horses...

Pots of Gold cups and counters
Cups & Counters - Pots of Gold and Gold Coins

Math trays are always very popular here. This one flew off the shelves as soon as it hit them. A treasure chest filled with coins? Black cups and rainbow cards featuring numbers? Adrian just loved the sight; particularly the shiny coins. He quickly set to work. It was quite easy; put in the black cup (chocolate fondue bowl set) the amount of coins (from Hobby Lobby) listed on the rainbow cards (made by Carolyn Wilhelm from the Wise Owl Factory and available through Pre-K and Sharing). Now later that week, I changed the cards so they would feature higher numbers and present a further challenge. If you do want these, they are available through Pre-K and Sharing as well. It just so happens Ms. Wilhelm e-mailed me to let me know she had made them with numbers 11-20 after she saw my interest in having them in such a range. Yay! That  totally made my day! By the way, I first saw a presentation of these cards and coins on Living Montessori Now, reminding me I should not forget to include pots of gold in my activities!

Green Water Grading
Math Grading - Light to Dark Green Water Cups

Known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland is often associated with the color green. As such, I prepared here a math grading exercise consisting of five little water cups filled with water and green food coloring. Adrian then had to sequence the cups properly from lightest green to darkest green. At first, it was easy but the two darkest ones were harder. Adrian had to pull up the paper behind the cups to see the difference in color and look towards the window to confirm his decision. 

Shamrock Potato Print Art
Art - Potato Stamping in the the Shape of a Shamrock

The Irish Potato Famine is not something I really discussed with Adrian. He is a bit young to understand all the causes behind this tragedy but I wanted to involve a potato in this week's activity, as a way to remember what happened in Ireland in the 1800s. The printmaking pictured above is the result of a small round fingerling potato dipped in green washable tempera paint and pressed against the paper in a way to make it look like a shamrock. Dipping the side of the potato and dragging it on the paper will make the finishing touches to your shamrocks.

Trimming Leprechaun Beard
Fine  Motor - Trimming Leprechaun Beard for the Parade

Who needs a trim before the St. Patty's Day Parade? The Leprechauns of course! Using a Leprechaun clipart (source was a newspaper but works only under image search?), I  glued a piece of orange construction paper in different length to each Leprechaun and made little cuts all along. Adrian's job was to trim all the beard so the Leprechauns would look "presentable" and all even prior to the Sunday parade. Basically, all the hair had to be even with the white paper. The idea here is simply to make using scissors fun. Adrian is finally getting the hang of the scissors so I'm trying to keep him interested in using them by presenting fun activities. Cutting just to cut, I figured, will get boring...

Acid or Alkali Cabbage Experiment
Cabbage Experiment: Alkali or Acidic?

Would it be completely cliché if I included cabbage in my St.Patrick's Day activities? Because I did. I figured it'd be a good time to sneak in a little bit of cabbage science involving acidic versus alkali! As such, I bought half a red cabbage, cut up some chunks, soaked the cabbage for a while, pour the water into different cups. I then gathered different liquids we had in the kitchen, got some spoons out and invited Adrian in. The cups were all aligned and one was pushed aside as our control cup. Nothing would ever be poured into that one. 

Adrian was then asked to pour different liquids into different cups to see if there was a change of color. We discussed prior to the pouring that the water turning pink would indicate the liquid being poured was an acidic one and that the water turning blue would mean it would be an alkali. I also told him some would be more vibrant than others and that some might not change the color at all as they might be neutral liquids. Needless to say, seeing how his favorite liquids changed the color of the cabbage water was quite fun. We tried orange juice, milk, ketchup, tabasco, lemon juice, and toothpaste (we rinsed glasses in between since we still had some cabbage water left). For more information on this experiment, visit Fun Kids Live.

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  1. I'm doing colour as our theme in our preschool science and I love your graded colour water cups. I'm definitely going to do that with my little ones. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Glad you'll be trying it. My son loved this activity. We used tiny cups but bigger glasses will make it easier if planning on using more grades of colors...

  2. I love these activities. The Leprechaun beard trimming is great! My daughter will love it!

    1. I hope so. It was a fun twist on the regular cutting activity. Always trying to bring in some variety. :) Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  3. I love the cabbage water! Cool!

    1. Thank you! It was a very fun science experiment for all of us I think! :) Well worth the try.