Monday, May 20, 2013

Pirate Week for Preschoolers Part 1

Welcome to Sorting Sprinkles' 100th Post...and Pirate Week! I had hoped to hold pirate week later in the school year since it's more of  a "lighter" theme and more of summery/party theme but somehow, it came upon me that the school year was pretty much over (it is mid-May after all) unless like us you live in Germany where children like Adrian attend school until July 31 (Adrian attends a German Montesori-styled preschool 4 mornings a week). Anyhow, pirate week, whenever you choose to have it, is a blast! I am not big into pirates and don't know much about them but it seems like a topic well liked by children and I felt Adrian should know about "common" themes such a this one despite the fact that it's not exactly anchored in reality (at least not in the way it is usually portrayed to children).


 Parrot handprint footprint craft
Art: Handprints & Footprint Parrot Craft

Pirates are often seen with a parrot perched atop their shoulder or perched on top of their pirate ship so I tried to include the beautiful tropical bird into the week.  After seeing this beautiful craft on, I knew I had found what I was looking for. Adrian doesn't mind getting dirty so painting his foot red and stamping it on the paper was no trouble. For the hand painting, considering it was two colors on each hand, I had to help a bit. The next day, when the prints were dry, Adrian glued the goggly eye, the construction paper beak, leaf and branch (he rolled a sliver of paper). The tail of the parrot is an actual "oops" so don't ask me how to replicate it! :) While cleaning, the red paint fell and made a puddle. Adrian was not at all happy about his art having a mess on it so I had to think quickly and told him it looked like the tail of the parrot. He was happy with the possibility and didn't ask for a do-over.


Theraputty Exercise pirate coins
Fine Motor: Retrieving coins at the bottom of the sea

You are welcome to submerge your treasure chest and coins into a bin if you wish. I did not want our Theraputty or chest to get wet so I we just pretended the table was the bottom of the sea where a big chest fell and coins were stuck in the sand. Adrian the Pirate then had to retrieve them using his fingers. If you are not familiar with Theraputty, we've been using it for a few months now in medium strength to strengthen Adrian's fingers and hands. It is similar to silly putty but comes in different strengths. The activity could be done with Play dough or sand of course but the coins would not be stuck at all in this case so a pair of tweezer might be nice to add a little challenge.

Matching Opening Locks
Practical Life: Matching and Opening Locks

Looking for an easy set-up activity? This is it! It kept Adrian working for a loooong time! The task, as simple as it seems to grown ups, can be tough for kids. Adrian first had to find the right key for the right lock, insert, turn and get the lock to open. The first time around was the hardest. Finding how to insert the key took a bit of time. These keys are meant to go in only one way. Once he found how to get the key to go in, he had to realize that the key would turn only if it was inserted fully. Some help was required at that point despite the initial demonstration (excitement must have overtaken him during that time). Then, the real fun began. Unsatisfied with his initial speed at opening locks, Adrian set to perfect it the way a pirate would. :)


How Many Coins Continent
Math: How Many Coins did the Pirate Find on This Continent?

Adrian loved using the World Puzzle Map last week and has been wanting to do more with it so I brought it out thinking we'd revised the continent names. The scenario? Pirates are going around the world finding treasure chests filled with gold coins. How many did they find in Africa? To play the game, I would first ask Adrian to find a continent and to set it on the table. Then I'd tell him how many coins were found (practicing oral numbers is fun too!) on that continent and he'd set them down below the continent. Once finished, we discussed which continent had the most/least coins in their chest. We also discussed which continent had an even/odd number of coins found. The game was big success.

Making Fake Emerald Bracelet
Fine Motor: Making an Emerald Beaded Bracelet

Who wants to fool a pirate? Wanting to protect his real treasures, Adrian made a pony beads and pipe cleaner bracelet so the pirates wouldn't steal the real emerald bracelets in his chest! It could have been any color honestly but Adrian decided to pick only the green beads that day! :)  He's used to stringing only shoelaces and big beads so I was massively impressed by how well he could thread these small beads onto a fuzzy stick!

Beads on pipe cleaner
Adrian Focusing on the Task


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25 comments:

  1. I think it's time I invest in some theraputty. I'm loving all you're doing with it and I know it would help my kiddos. Although I'm not sure which strength is easiest compared to more difficult. Perhaps you can enlighten me. :) We are focusing on pirates in the fall! Can't wait to use some of your activities. I've pinned them already!

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    1. We love Theraputty. Adrian is always excited to see it out. It's like a hard kind of play dough that can be stretched, cut, and such. Best of all, you can hide things in it and if you put it in a container, the putty will cover it all up (takes the shape of the container) and then the fun of digging up the objects begin. For a preschooler, the medium offers great resistance. When I stretch it, it gives me resistance too. It really depends on your child's strength. I don't think we'll move up to Firm until he's 6, maybe even 7. Medium is plenty for us. :) Have fun with the pirate theme in the fall. It's a nice relaxing topic that was quite fun to plan.

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  2. The best ideas! I love all your pirate themed activities. I am going to put together a pirate themed play box for my son soon.

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    1. I hope you do. So much fun to be had! I was reluctant to do a pirate themed week since I know very little about them but I'm glad I did in the end.

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  3. My kids love pirates so this theme is perfect! The parrot is adorable! Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad it fits up your girls' alley too! :)

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  4. These are great pirate themed activities. I love the lock and key idea. That is really fun and a unique way to teach a skill. Thanks for linking to Artsy Play Wednesday. I pinned your post to our board.

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    1. Thank you Theresa for the opportunity. It was a a fun week and I hope other families will get to enjoy these activities as well!

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  5. Love your activities, especially that cute parrot! Nice thinking with the spilled paint - that could have been a real disaster in our house!

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    1. I thought it would be too honestly...:) Thankfully the spill landed in the "right" spot. :)

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  6. Super cute ideas! Pinning for sure! Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

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    1. Glad you took the time to comment Ashley and thanks for stopping by. You're welcomed to pin any ideas found here and have fun with them.

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  7. Your lessons are phenomenal! Thanks for sharing at the Virtual Fair!

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment Marnie! Sorry I missed last week's link up. :(

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  8. We will be featuring your post on a HUGE list of Rainy Day Summer Play activities on Share It Saturday this weekend! We will be sharing with all of our followers on our social media sites (including group boards and communities!!) Thanks for sharing with us at Share It Saturday!
    Colleen at http://www.sugaraunts.com

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    1. Thank you so much Colleen! What a honor to be featured again with you at Sugar Aunts! I hope people will have fun with the unit and I'll be sure to stop by and check out the compilation. I could sure use a lot of rainy day activities! :)

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  9. What a FUN unit! I am pinning to my Preschool Play & Learn board =)

    Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Hope to see you again tomorrow =)

    Beth

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    1. Thanks Beth! I must say I learned as much preparing the unit as Adrian did doing the unit! :) It was fun too so definitely a theme I'd recommend to everyone! :)

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  10. I suggest this site to my friends so it could be useful & informative for them also. Great effort.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you like it and found some ideas for your children's nursery! :)

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    2. The pleasure is mine! I am always waiting to read new posts from your Blog...:)

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  11. This is Adorable thank you so much!

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  12. Thank you for posting. Forgot about the locks and keys which we have in our closet at school.

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    1. You're welcome! Glad it was helpful. I always try to think of various items to link up to my themes and I the locks and keys was something I was very much looking forward to presenting in this unit. :)

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