Thursday, January 31, 2013

Valentine Sorting and Counting

Try this easy sorting activity with mini erasers!!

 Materials:  Cupcake liners, mini erasers.
 Set out as many cupcake liners as you have style of eraser.
 Put erasers in a small bowl and set near cupcake liners.
 Invite your child/ren to sort the different types of erasers.
 They may stop here or....
 count each category and chart the amount.

When children are done they can take home an eraser!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hugs and Kisses! Valentines/Placemats

 Materials:  2 different colors construction paper, print out of x's and o's , ribbon, scissors, glue stick, Sharpie
 Make a print out of the letters X and O in various fonts.  Explain to children that the X looks like the crossing of your arms when you hug and the O looks like the shape your mouth makes when you give a kiss.
 Cut out all the letters and place in a bowl.
 Program a piece of construction paper with the phrase, "Hugs and Kisses!" or whatever else you want your valentine to say.
 Glue Xs and Os onto the paper.  Encourage children to not cover the writing on the paper.
 Turn paper over and add glue all around.
 Glue onto a larger piece of construction paper so that it makes a border.
 Cut off excess construction paper so that it is even on all sides.
 Glue ribbon all around the border of the smaller paper.
Laminate your valentine and you could use it as a place mat for your Valentine's Party!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Heart Match/Musical Chairs

These number matching hearts can be placed in your math center or used in a game of musical chairs to help your little ones with number recognition and counting.

 Materials:  Construction paper, Sharpie, heart stickers, scissors, Ziploc bags
 Draw a large heart onto a piece of construction paper.  Make one heart for each number you wish to represent.
 Cut out heart.
 Cut heart in half.
 Write numeral on one side of heart.
 Put corresponding hearts on the other half.
 Make a set of hearts with as many numbers as you would like to review.  The higher the number, the smaller the heart stickers you will use so that they fit on the heart half.
 You may place all the pieces into a Ziploc bag and place in your math center for your little ones to match.
 Children dump out contents of the bag and proceed to match the hearts.

Musical Chairs:
The hearts can also be used to play musical chairs.  Make sure to have enough numbered hearts as you have children.  Children hold one half of heart and the remaining halves are place on the chairs. Make sure to have one chair for each children have to be "out" in this game.  When music stops, encourage children to find a match for their heart.  When they find their match they sit on the chair where they find their match.  To play again, each child places half of their heart on their chair and then trade their other half with a classmate.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hand-picked Valentines

Practice fine-motor skills by making your own Valentines!

 Materials:  Plastic sandwich bags, pink construction paper, white paper, Sweethearts candies, scalloped scissors, glue stick, pink pen (or printer), tongs(optional)
 Write or type this poem onto a piece of white paper.
 Cut the poem out using your choice of scalloped scissors.
 Glue the poem onto a piece of pink construction paper.
 Cut out poem leaving a small border all around.
 Children may pour desired amount of candies into a plastic bag.  For added fine motor skill practice, child/ren may use tongs to transfer candies from a bowl into the bag.
 You may then place the poem inside the bag along with the candy or...
You may staple it to the outside of the bag.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Love-ly Snack!

Celebrate Valentine's Day or surprise your loved one with heart-shaped toast!

 Materials:  Sliced bread, strawberry cream cheese, sprinkles, butter knife, heart-shaped cookie cutter, toaster (optional)
 Give each child a slice of bread. They may toast it, if they want. Encourage them to place the cookie cutter on top of the bread and gently press down.
 Gently remove the cookie cutter and reveal the new shape of your bread.  Discard the remaining pieces.
Encourage your child/ren to gently spread some strawberry cream cheese onto their heart.

 Add a bit of sprinkles on top.  If you do not want children putting their fingers into the sprinkle bowl, you may either scoop some onto their plate and they can sprinkle it on or you may put the sprinkles into a shaker and they may shake them on.
If you are having a Valentine's Party, serve these with some strawberry milk and fresh strawberries. Yum!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Number Heart Match

Make this number match for you Math Center this Valentine's Day!  All you need is an old deck of playing cards!

 Materials:  Deck of cards, scissors, plastic bag
 If you will be making this number match game thematic for Valentine's Day, pull out all the heart suits.  If not, use the whole deck.  If you are using it for number matching, leave out the un-numbered suits.  If you are just doing basic matching, use the whole deck.
 Cut each card in a zig-zag pattern horizontally.
 Place all the cards in a plastic bag and place in your math center.
 Children visit the math center, dump the cards out and proceed to try to match the cards.

If you want to focus on the actual number of the suits, make sure to not cut through them.  That way, when the children match them you can help them count the suits as well.  Ex. "1,2,3,4,5 clovers plus 1,2,3 clovers equal 8 clovers all together.  Let's count all the clovers to check and see if we are correct.  1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. It's a match!"

Friday, January 11, 2013

Broken Heart Name Puzzle

Practice name recognition with this heart themed activity!  After making these heart-shaped puzzles, your children will have plenty of fun and practice putting their name together.

 Materials:  Red construction paper, Ziplock bags, Sharpie, scissors, Contact paper or laminator.
 Draw a large heart onto the construction paper.  It does not need to be perfect, just look at mine!  But if you do want perfection, there are plenty of patterns you can find online.
 Cut out your heart/s.
 Write child's name in big letters across the heart.  You may write in all capital letters or lowercase, however you choose.
 Cut heart into zig-zag peices.  You can cut between each letter or group of letters. However, do not cut through a letter because that would be confusing for the child to recognize.
 Cover each piece, front and back, with contact paper or laminate.
 Cut out, leaving a little bit of an edge.
 Write each child's name onto a plastic sandwich bag.
 Place broken heart pieces into appropriate bag. You may put them in your literacy center and invite children to find their name and try to put together their broken heart.

Children may use the name on their bag to help them spell their name and put their broken heart back together!