Spooky! Scary! Shoe Ghosts!

clock October 29, 2012 08:32 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Prepare for a ghoulishly good time with this spooktacular Halloween craft activity! Materials: White paper Black crayons Scissors Markers What to Do: Have each child place his foot, with the shoe on, on a piece of white paper. Trace the children's feet with a black crayon, or have the children trace each other's feet. Give the children scissors with which to cut out their feet. Encourage the children to draw a face on their "ghost." Show off your spooky, scary shoe ghost on the w... [More]

Oh! What a Tangled Web We're Weaving!

clock October 23, 2012 16:14 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Teach children to recognize numerals and explore the fascinating (and sometimes spooky) world of creepy-crawly bugs and spiders with this activity from Let's Take It Outside! Materials: Large ball of yarn, any color Number cards (index cards with the numbers 1-10 written in black pen) Tape Preparation: Write one number and the corresponding number of dots onto each index card. Shuffle the cards. What to Do: Look for spiderwebs outside. When you find one, talk with the children about... [More]

Festive Fall Nature Frames

clock October 18, 2012 10:35 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Glue natural objects to scrap wood to create a neat nature display with this crafty fall activity from 101 Great Gifts Kids Can Make. Materials Natural items, such as small pinecones, leaves, acorns, twigs, and pebbles Wood plaque, 4" x 6" Sandpaper Glue Screw-in hook Ribbon What to Do Go outside on a nature walk, and collect a variety of small nature items. Sand all rough edges of the wood. Glue all the natural items on the wood plaque. Attach a screw-in hook to the top of the wood p... [More]

Making Veggie Dyes

clock October 10, 2012 10:54 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  People all over the world use plants and vegetables to make inks and dyes. In this experiment from The Budding Scientist, you will make your own dyes too! What Will I Need? An assortment of veggies (ex. beets, carrots, and red cabbage) 3 clear cups 1 grater 3 sandwich-size resealable plastic bags Strips of various white fabrics, such as cotton, wool felt, and synthetics (at least three of each fabric) 1/4 cup of warm water for each bag What Do We Do? Ask an adult to grate about 1/8 cu... [More]

Graphing Apples on Johnny Appleseed Day

clock September 24, 2012 12:20 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Happy Johnny Appleseed Day! This tasty activity is sure to delight the children in your classroom as you explore math concepts and enjoy a sweet (and healthy) treat! Materials Red, green, and yellow apples Slicing knife (adult use only) Red, green, and yellow crayons Circles or apple shapes cut from white paper Chart paper for graph Tape What to Do Prior to the lesson, draw three columns on the chart paper and label them red, green, and yellow. Cut the apples into slices. Give each ch... [More]

We Found Buried Treasure, Matey!

clock September 17, 2012 11:08 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  AHOY THERE! Did you know that Wednesday, September 19, 2012 is International Talk Like A Pirate Day? Better get in the swashbuckling spirit! Batten down the hatches and set sail in the sea of imaginative play with this activity from Making Make-Believe by MaryAnn F. Kohl. Let's Play Pirate! Before you begin... Collect and assemble items as the pretend treasure (one or two items to start): Beads and hobby jewels Plastic beads on strings Play money Small figurines or statues Small r... [More]

Wacky Activities for Wild Wednesdays

clock September 12, 2012 09:33 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  At recess, between lessons, or on the way to school, these seriously funny games from Good Clean Fun are sure to exercise children's minds and even their abdominal muscles (from all the laughing, of course!). Fortunately... For ages 7+ 2 or more players needed This game has no winners or losers and no formal ending. The first player begins by stating an unfortunate circumstance in one sentence. For example, "The dog ate my homework Monday night." The second player chimes in with, "Fortun... [More]

Join Us in Our Commitment to Teachers in Need!

clock September 7, 2012 11:48 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Kaplan Early Learning Company has once again joined forces with DonorsChoose.org, an online charity connecting people to classrooms in need!  DonorsChoose.org provides an avenue for public school teachers to submit project requests for the specific materials their students need to learn. As their name implies, donors choose which projects to support. Once a project is funded, DonorsChoose.org delivers the materials directly to the school. As a partner of the DonorsChoose.org Doubl... [More]

Turn Down the Volume on Noisy Classrooms

clock August 31, 2012 14:43 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Children are noisy by nature. There are times, however, when the clamor and commotion of a preschool classroom needs to be taken down a few notches. The following “quieting down” techniques from Sharon MacDonald, author of Sanity Savers for Early Childhood Teachers: 200 Quick Fixes for Everything from Big Messes to Small Budgets, will work wonders on the noise level of any early childhood classroom. Rain Stick A rain stick makes the sound of rain falling gently when turned f... [More]

How to Encourage Curiosity in Your Child

clock August 24, 2012 16:45 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Young children are naturally curious. To a child, the world is full of infinite possibilities – pigs can talk, monsters can fit under their beds, and wolves are able to knock down a house with a simple huff and puff. Children's ideas are without limits, judgments, and bias. Curiosity encourages exploration, questions, experimentation, and a sense of wonder. It solves problems, clarifies values, and strengthens relationships. The more we know, the more tools we have to understand ou... [More]

Is It Magic or Is It Static?

clock August 16, 2012 09:06 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Everyone can have a summer of STEM! Channel your inner Benjamin Franklin with this electric activity from The Budding Scientist: What You'll Need: Balloon (Safety note: Balloons pose a choking hazard. Use with care.) Empty soda can, clean and dry Wool item (Such as a sock, scarf, or sweater) What to Do: Ask an adult to blow up the balloon and tie a knot in it to keep the air in. Rub your balloon on a wool sock, scarf, or sweater until you hear a faint crackling sound. (This "charges" ... [More]

Making Good Digital Decisions: Do This, Not That!

clock August 9, 2012 09:14 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  What does appropriate technology use look like in an early childhood classroom? Follow these do's and don'ts from Fran Simon and Karen Nemeth, authors of Digital Decisions: Choosing the Right Technology Tools for Early Childhood Education, and you are off to a great start!   Do... Be intentional with your technology practices. Incorporate technology into your weekly, monthly, and yearly planning for the group and for individual children. Don't... Put technology devices out without p... [More]

Create Your Own Preschool Olympics!

clock August 6, 2012 09:53 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Teach children all about the Olympics with an activity that will help them develop and strengthen gross motor skills while building self-esteem. Materials needed: Pictures of Olympics events Small table Chairs Scooters Balance beam Masking tape Balls Large blocks Tumbling mat What to do: Discuss the Olympics with the children and show them pictures of some Olympic events. Have the children do some mock Olympic activities in the classroom but avoid making them competitive. The followin... [More]

Pin It to Win It! Contest

clock July 31, 2012 09:39 by author Kaplan Early Learning
   Does your classroom feel more blah than beautiful this year? Pin It to Win It! Real Classroom Makeover Contest Enter for the chance to win $5,000.00 worth of teaching resources from Kaplan Early Learning Company and a signed copy of Real Classroom Makeovers by Rebecca Isbell and Pamela Evanshen.   Contest Entry Period:  August 1 - August 31, 2012 Step 1: Go to www.kaplanco.com/contest and pin the graphic to get started. Follow us on Pinterest & create a board on y... [More]

Make Your Own Plant Pal!

clock July 30, 2012 10:42 by author Kaplan Early Learning
  Grow a grassy guy or gal and play "hair" stylist -- creating everything from buzz cuts to ponytails and braids! Variations of this fun summer activity are quite popular on Pinterest. Our version is below (taken from The Budding Artist): What You Will Need: Black marker Children's safety scissors Grass seeds Large Styrofoam cup Potting soil Small watering can Trowel or large spoon Water What to Do: Draw eyes, a nose, and a mouth on the outside of the cup. Add potting soil to the cup, a... [More]