Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring for Preschoolers - Part 1

If you happen to live in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring has officially arrived now but has it shown any "real" signs yet in your area? It was a very slow start for us here in Germany but last week was the first week where we actually got to enjoy sun, warmth AND beautiful blooms all at once. An absolutely perfect week to host our Spring themed week for Adrian, 4.5 years old.


Cherry Blossom Spring Craft
Cherry Blossom Craft

Aren't cherry blossom trees just magnificent? I know they have already gone through their peak in many places but ours hasn't even started blooming yet. *sigh* I had to remind Adrian of how beautiful our tree was last year and show him pictures before we started this craft to inspire him. To make this, you'll need black paint (we used washable tempera), straw, liquid glue (we used washable glue), and two tones of pink silk paper cut in small strips. Although I came up with the idea of having Adrian do a cherry blossom craft myself, the technique itself was borrowed from Meet the Dubiens with a little twist. They blowed the paint on their paper to make the tree trunk and branches and well, Adrian couldn't really get good shapes with the blowing so instead, I showed him how to paint with the straw. As for the rest, he crumpled the silk paper strips and dipped them in glue once the tree was dry and glued them on the branches.

Pot Pourri Smelling Matching
"Pot Pourri" Smelling Pouches

Spring always had a special smell to me. Maybe it's because of Spring cleaning or maybe it's because of the flowers. I'm not sure but I thought it'd be nice to bring in some olfactory activity in for the Spring week. I quickly picked the scent of lavender, lemon and orange to represent Spring. At my local Bargain store, I found a small bottle of lavender oil, then I had some lemon extract on hand and an orange I could use some peel for a good scent. The pouches were actually something I also had. They are spice bags for making bouquet garni. They can be washed after use so they were perfect. To assemble the bags, I put a few drops of oil/extract on one cotton pad and put it in the bag. As for the orange, I grated the peel and put it on the pad making sure there was enough to get a smell. I made two bags of each so they could be matched. Adrian sniffed one bag at a time and then tried to find its counterpart. He eventually had them all matched successfully. I personally chose not to put more than three bags out. I feel like sniffing any more than 3 can make things overwhelming for the nose. 


Pot Pourri Smelling Activity
Smelling Pouches Preparation


Tulip phonogram
Tulip Phonograms - Looking for the Intruder

Phonograms were quite popular for Easter so I brought them back for Spring with this cute tulip mat. It could obviously be done with any word family but I went with "at". I made all the combinations I could think of and then added one that did not exist. Adrian's task was to create the words and read them along. I told him he'd find one flower that did not represent a real word and he'd have to find out which. After trying all the flowers, he proudly handed me the flower "j". I am one proud mama. Original tulip mat idea: Little Family Fun.

Spring flower nomenclature
Spring Flower Nomenclature

Fresh off the presses are my Spring Flower Nomenclature cards including mostly what you'll currently find in our backyard (or what you will soon find anyway) As usual, some cards are not pictured. My goal was for Adrian to know the names of the most common Spring flowers but also to know the names of the ones that grow in our our yard.

Crocus
Our backyard Crocus! :)

Spring Cleaning Preschooler
Spring Cleaning

I had not intended for Adrian to do any Spring cleaning around the flowers actually but as it turns out, Adrian desperately wanted to get rid of the cobwebs in the trees and on the fence prior to completing any flower picking required for our next activity...I really had brought out the broom only for our garden house porch sweeping activity as part of our practical life tasks "classified" under "Spring cleaning" (along with painting the fence with water)! :)

Matching Spring Flowers
Matching flower cards and flowers + counting petals

Once Adrian was finished with the never-ending cobwebs removal, he quickly picked one specimen of each flower found in our yard. These were brought inside for identification. All our cards were spread on the table for Adrian to match flowers with the cards. As you can see, last week, we had some crocus in a variety of colors, some snowdrops and some scillas. Since then, snowflakes appeared, daffodils, and bluebells. Our tulips and hyacinth are slowly but surely under way...


Butterfly Foam Pattern BlocksFlower Foam Pattern BlockCaterpillar Foam Pattern Blocks
Spring block patterning

A beloved activity this week was this block patterning activity. I printed a few templates at Prekinders and cut out from foam sheets the needed shapes to make two different types of flowers, this caterpillar and butterfly. Adrian chose one of the templates and simply had to reproduce the  flower or bug he picked with the foam shapes. Adrian loved it so much that I'll be printing more templates for next week based on our "By the Pond" unit...


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Your comments make my day ! 

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Today, I'm happily linking up to


If you would like me to link up with you, please don't hesitate to ask, it might take me a week or two, but I generally do!

26 comments:

  1. I really likes these activities. I would like to invite you to link up this post to my Money Saving Monday Link Up so others can find these terrific ideas as well.

    Thank You,
    Stephanie
    http://lifesallaboutlittleadventures.blogspot.com/2013/04/money-saving-monday-week-2.html

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    1. I'll head over and check it out Stephanie! Thanks for the invite and the nice words! :)

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  2. This is a great spring collection of learning for preschoolers. I love that your details are so well written. Thanks for sharing at Look What We Did. -Savannah @ HammockTracks

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    1. Glad you took the time to invite me Savannah. I'll try to remember to link up every week or so since this is how often our theme changes! :)

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  3. I really enjoyed your post. It was very inspiring. :)

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    1. Glad you liked it Lorraine! Spring is my favorite season so ideas were flowing! :) I'm happy it shined through the post...

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    1. Thank you Debbie! Glad you enjoyed the post and found me through Mom's Library linky!

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  5. I featured you today by including this wonderful spring for preschoolers in a unit study for a new children's spring poetry book. Thanks for sharing at Look What We Did.

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    1. Thank you so much for the feature Savannah! How very flattering! I've checked it out already and will definitely keep the unit in mind for next Spring. We do need to do more poetry around here! :)

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  6. Visiting from TGIF Friday. I'd like to invite you to my Friday Flash Blog, where you can share your best blog entry of the week! And who knows, you may just get featured next week.

    Jennifer
    thejennyevolution.com

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    1. Thank you for the invitation Jennifer! I'll take a peek at your blog right away. Glad you stopped by! :)

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  7. We just finished up a spring theme too! Love seeing the different activities you did! The pattern block one in particular stands out. I may have to try that with my son!

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    1. I think we might have been the last one doing a Spring week! LOL I scheduled it late I guess but I tried to make it mesh with the arrival of our Spring flowers! :) The pattern blocks were wonderful. Wish we had sturdier ones since foam moves around easily (thank you static!) so next time we do it with another theme, I might just magnetize the foam and have Adrian do it on a cookie sheet or something! :) We just didn't have enough plastic or wooden pattern blocks...

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  8. Great ideas! I love your Tulip Phonograms! Stopping by from TGIF.

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    1. Thank you Beth! These were fun. A bit elementary for Adrian so I had to thrown in the "intruding letter" to make it more challenging! :)

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  9. What a great collection. I'll pin this for my 2.5 year olds. I'd love for you to share this at my Spring Bucket List Idea Share. Thanks so much and Happy Spring!

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    1. I will go check it out now! Thank you for the invitation Holli! Happy Spring to you as well!

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  10. I have pinned the tulip activity!!

    I would love it if you could share this on my link party Serenity Saturday

    Natasha xx

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    1. I will go check it out Natasha! Thanks for the invitation and for stopping by today.

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  11. I love the potpourri smelling pouches, such a great idea!

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    1. Thank you! It was easy to make and fun to do. I'm looking forward to doing something similar around the holidays! :)

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  12. What a fun spring unit!

    I featured you at TGIF this week - http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2013/05/tgif-linky-party-75.html ! Thanks for linking up and sharing your creativity with all of us! Feel free to grab an I was featured button if you like.

    Hope to see you linked up again later today! Have a great weekend,
    Beth =)

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    1. Thank you Beth! That's great! I feel so honored to be the Most Clicked on Link again this week! With all these amazing ideas people bring in each week, it's simply amazing! :)

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  13. What an extensive and fun way to introduce spring to preschoolers! I especially love the scent bags and the flower identification outside. :) I'm featuring this post at Stress-Free Sunday this weekend. Thanks so much for linking up! :)

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    1. Oh thank you so much for the feature Mary Catherine! What an honor! Yes, I do tend to cover my themes extensively. :) We focus on it for a week so I like to be prepared... :)

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