A Collection of Halloween Treats!

Each year our teaching staff go ABOVE AND BEYOND to make the month of October extra special for our students. Our students this year have been thrilled to find each day full of interactive, hands on exploration of all that is icky sticky and creepy crawly.

Get inspired to bring the spirit of the season into your classroom and encourage your children to explore their favorite holiday in a whole new way!

What can you find in the Witches’ Brew? This sensory search was so much fun! Students loved trying to find and count out the different creepy crawly items!

 

A dollhouse is fun…..but a Haunted Mansion is even better! Simple touches create a whole new space and elevates the play!
Using Leaves as an art medium, inspires creativity and innovated thinking. Students made masterpieces by simply using leaves, markers and glue!
Orang felt pumpkins and black shapes are a great way to explore making Jack-O-Lanterns!
The Painted Pumpkin Roll! One of our favorite activities! Painting pumpkins and rolling them around on large sheets of paper to create prints, shapes….and a beautiful mess!
Using seeds and leaves to make a face!
Playdough and “Mr. Potato Head Pieces” are such a fun way to make unique and spooky monsters!
Inspired by Room on the Broom, students can use manipulates and counting cards to make their own story!
Make your own Witches Brew! What will you add? What ingredients do you need to make the perfect potion?
More Pumpkin Painting!
Another fun way to use the “Mr. Potato Head” pieces with Foam!
Providing scientific tools for pumpkin exploration elevates the activity and encourages students to take a closer look!
Pumpkin Prints! What does it look like when you paint a pumpkin and make art…..a gorgeous way to explore shape, texture and patterns.
Can you paint with a sunflower? What kind of prints will you get? What types of texture?
More Pumpkin Painting!
Using seeds in water trays for sensory exploration! Seeds, water, pinchers, measuring cups and bowls make a great sensory exploration activity!
Can you make a Mummy?! Simple cut outs and ripped up tissue paper make for a very simple Halloween Craft!
Encouraging children to make Pumpkin Shapes out of playdough using a premade laminated template and actual pumpkins for inspiration!

 

 

 

An Apple Adventure in The Bridge!

With an emergent curriculum, it is important to our staff that we follow the interests and curiosity of our students….so when students strike up a conversation during snack time about Apples….you follow! In Oregon we are lucky to have beautiful orchards filling our valleys and most of our students eat Apples daily in their classrooms and at home….but often this simple fruit is overlooked and underappreciated. Check out how The Bridge classroom showed the Apple some much needed LOVE!

The Apple Core-er and Peeler is ALWAYS such a hit! Students love getting to help use it and of course eat the different shaped pieces! It’s also a great opporutnity for STEM based conversation…How does it work? What parts are used to create this simple machine? What shapes does it create?
How can you mix colors to make your shade of Apple?! Some of the best conversation starts when children realize that apples come in many different colors….and that most apples, are not just one color. Exploring different shades and tones of colors, and using real apples to inspire the art piece is such an incredible actitivity!
How many apples belong on the tree?
Making Apple Pie outside with just the right ingredients!
Another option for this simple activity…pinching playdough to add apples to the trees! Great fine motor activity that also practices cognitive counting skills!

Chicka Chicka…

Creating opportunities for children to explore and interact with letters is incredibly important, but they also need to have meaning and context during this exploration. If we just throw a bunch of letters in front of children and expect them to care about them…..were kidding ourselves……

However, when we connect them to an experience, suddenly, there is meaning. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom By Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault does that ENTIRE job for us. The story personifies the alphabet and invites the reader to care about their safety and comfort as they fall from the tree and search for loved ones. Its simple. Its catchy. Its rhythmic. And it lends itself perfectly to a bunch of literacy extensions in the classroom!

Check out some of the fun ways we used Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to explore and engage with the alphabet.

Using colored table on a magnetic surface we were able to create this Coconut tree for children to re-tell the story! Simple alphabet magnets were an easy way to allow children to manipulate and move the letters!

 

These SUPER inexpensive foam alphabet puzzles are kinda lame as puzzles……but they really do make the best stencils! They are easier to hold and no so wiggly on the paper, our students love using them to practice those fine motor skills!

 

These alphabet blocks are fun to stack and build with, but they are even better for making prints in Kinetic Sand! Our students love exploring the different letters they can make by pressing them into the sand!

 

Alphabet Soup! These personal sensory bins using colored water and colored water beads (we buy them in already separated color packs) are SO much fun to explore! Just add the foam letters from the puzzles in the previous picture, and start searching for letters! The laminated coconut trees on the table added another element and encouraged students to retell the story!

 

We love using a story to encourage a fun transition game! After students read this story at circle time, the teacher asked each child to come add a letter to the Coconut Tree before heading to the sink to wash their hands for lunch! Each child took their turn carefully adding a letter to the tree!

 

What fun ways have you used this wonderful story in your classroom? Is it a favorite with your littles? We would love to hear your ideas!

 

Read to Your Kids!

One of the most important things you can do with your child during these young years. Reading to your child strengthens bonds, develops language and vocabulary….and of course is an incredible way to connect with your child. These are some of the books we have been LOVING this year…and some of our kiddos favorites! All of these books are available online or in your local libraries! Check them out!

This is such a fun twist on a classic! The Three Little Pigs gets a revamp with three ninja pigs who defeat the big bad wolf!
Girl Power! Rosie Revere, Engineer is such an amazing story about a little girl who never gives up on her dreams! Such a great story for your favorite little engineer.

 

My Heart is a Zoo is such a sweet story! A simple read a loud for children of all ages!
Actual Size is an incredible non-fiction book that allows children to understand the actual size of animals and compare them to their own bodies! This book gives quick and simple facts for children to better understand the world around them….and get excited about it!
ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS! This book has been around for many years, but is still always a favorite. It is simple and sweet and loved by even the littlest readers.
Reading Adam Rubin’s books is like listening to your favorite uncle tell a great story. They are clever, imaginative and feel like they are being told personally to you and you alone. I promise if you ask your child about this book….they will smile.
The perfect book for your perfect perfectionist. Beautiful Oops is such an inspiring book, that helps us all to remember it is okay to make mistakes 🙂
Lines that Wiggle will inspire your child to look at the world around them and find beauty in everything!
One of my favorite Eric Carle books! A simple book that is great for your youngest and will get your oldest moving!
NEVER GIVE UP! The Most Magnificent Thing might be one of my favorite books I have read this year….a great story about what it feels like to get frustrated and how to overcome life’s challenges.
This whole series is amazing…and great for your favorite little biologist! Each page allows you to image what it would be like to have different animal parts! The conversations that happen after this book are some of my favorite!
If you haven’t met Piggie and Elephant…..you better run to the bookstore. They will be your new best friends.
Go Away Big Green Monster is such a fun story! And always a hit! The fun artwork and powerful ending is engaging for even your most wiggly child!
Want to make your kid laugh……read this book. I promise you, it wont disappoint!
Learning how to manage our emotions is a critical step in our development. Mouse Was Mad allows children to practice self regulation skills while reading this fun and silly story!
Last but definitely not least….my all time favorite book to read to children. This story has so many layers, but ultimately is a sweet story about kindness.