Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer for Preschoolers - Part 1

Summer hasn't officially begun yet but we've already explored the theme over here. I think it's our way of trying to get the summer to come faster! :) 

  Ice Cream Play Dough Props
Play Dough Ice Cream & Props

This was by far the most loved activity of the week. Now that I'm not scared of how time consuming making my own play dough can be and now that I know how to make it, I have no further hesitation in making a batch and so one night, I put together this summery play dough for Adrian...who quickly showed Zahavah when she woke up. All through the week this play dough came out, school, or no school. It was first introduced in school though. I made a cocoa scented "chocolate" ice cream play dough, a "strawberry" one (strawberry extract will make it smell like it too!), a plain uncolored play dough (vanilla ice cream with vanilla extract for scent) and finally a green colored play dough with mint extract for our chocolate mint ice cream flavor. The chips are pieces of craft foam cut into squares. Had no brown so I colored mine brown with a marker. Made the sprinkles with colored foam too. The props are plastics foods we had on hand; strawberries, crackers and two cones with detachable soft serve ice creams.

Ice Cream Play Dough Bowls
Ice cream anyone?

Botanical Tic-Tac-Toe
Botanical tic-tac-toe

Here's an easy game to play outside this summer: tic-tac-toe. Props needed? Leaves or flowers. (We picked flowers that grow in our backyard) and some long leaves or sticks to make the grid. We played several times and had a blast. Playing this kind of quick game is good for teaching turn taking and reasoning.

Polishing Sunglassses
Polishing sunglasses

Summertime is not the only time when sunglasses are recommended but sure make me think of them profusely. Adrian got his ready by giving them a good cleaning. Control of error in this case was foolproof: no fingerprints were left on the glass when the sunglasses were held against the light provided by a window.

Clean Sunglasses Modeling
Adrian modeling proudly his clean sunglasses

Preparing Montessori Snack Watermelon
Preparing a summer snack: watermelon!

Melons are a summer favorite here. I usually serve them sliced though so when I presented the melon scooper to Adrian he did not like to idea one bit. It simply wasn't the way a watermelon was supposed to be prepared according to him. Hmm. I had not apprehended this discussion but went into how foods can be presented differently and even showed him pictures to support my argument. Convinced but still concerned he might destroy an otherwise perfect quarter of fruit, Adrian dug in with the scooper and tried his best to make balls. Wrist turning is still an issue so the balls turned out a bit more like curls but it was still very pretty and toothpicks were inserted for a final presentation. The snack was then shared in between Adrian and Zahavah when she woke up from he nap.

Watermelon Snack
Final presentation with toothpicks

Berry Patterns
Patterning with summer berries

Berries are now available year-round but they always taste their best in the summer for they are fresher and local. A fun to do with your berries before popping them in your mouth? Create patterns with them like we did above. I started a pattern which Adrian then had to finish with the berries available. When all was done, he happily was allowed to gobble them all up! :)

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  1. I keep meaning to color some clay for my kids to have permanent Ice Cream flavors besides the options that come with their toys. I'd love of you came by and shared this on our #kidsinthekitchen linky this week

    1. Thank you Melinda! I've been meaning to stop by. I just forgot it was Friday! :) Thanks for the reminder! :) The ice cream play dough was a very big hit. We have a Melissa & Doug set of scooping ice cream for a "permanent option" . Would never have thought of making a clay one! Good one.

  2. the tic tac toe game (I'm going to use this idea when we go camping!) and the berry sequencing are my favorites in this post. Thank you for sharing!

    1. You're welcome. Glad you'll be able to reuse some ideas. :)

  3. I love the botanical tic tac - so cute!

    I would love for you to link up at the Mommy Archive - we're focusing on summer holiday activities this week, Alice x

    1. Thank you for stopping by and for the invitation! I will go check it out! :)

  4. That playdough looks so fun. My kids love to play with playdough, but I can never keep them busy for more than 15 minutes or so. Maybe playdough ice cream was just the idea I needed. :)

    1. We have the sane issue here. Boredom hits quickly with play dough unless I come up with an activity to go with it. If it's just play dough, not much happen but if there are props or a plan, then, it lasts much longer and it is usually requested for weeks after it's been introduced! Well worth the effort of putting it together... :)

  5. What fun ways to encourage summertime! :) I think the berry patterns are my favorite. Thanks so much for sharing at Stress-Free Sunday!

    1. They certainly were fun to do...and eat after! :)