Fantastic Fall Fun in The Forest Classroom!

The Forest Classroom always reminds me of Fall….it is warm and inviting and has that cozy feeling that makes you never way to leave. But over the past month they have brought even more beautiful Fall elements into their classroom. Check out the fantastic Fall fun the Forest had this month!

 

Using mallets and golf tees with pumpkins is always a favorite activity!
Leaf Painting! Our students love incorporating nature into the artistic process. Here is a simple way to take your leaf collection to the next level!
This ooey-gooey sensory table isn’t for the faint of heart! Search for bones, eyeballs, bats and creepy crawlies in the red slime!
Using scissors to cut leaves is a WONDERFUL way to practice those important fine motor skills! When it comes to scissors we want our students to get as much exposure as possible, but it can also get boring using them in the same way everytime. This is a great way to change it up!
Are you my mummy?! A simple project that is ALWAYS a big hit…in fact my little guy (in the blue sweatshirt!) made 6 of them! Students love getting to rip up the toilet paper and glue it on to the mummy! When else are you encouraged to rip up toilet paper!
When it comes to bugs the more legs the better!? Right!? Searching for insects in beautiful green and brown slime! What will you find when you start digging!
Loose part Jack-O-Lantern making! Using pumpin seeds and leaves, students made their own spook-tacular faces!

 

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!

 

 

 

Spooky Exploration in The Garden Classroom!

This Blog Post should come with a warning…..Not for the I-Don’t-Like-To-Get-Messy-Teacher! The Garden Classroom loves to push the limits of sensory exploration and create one of a kind hands on experiences for their students that are equal parts creativity and science….with a touch of creepy crawly! Check out the fun The Garden Classroom had the last couple of months!

 

You may have seen our popular “Flower Soup” posts, but have you ever seen “Leaf Stew?” Just add water, food coloring, leaves and of course spiders and flies to create this creepy concoction! A great activity to practice pouring, dumping, wisking and measuring!
Slime + Eyeballs + Pumpkins…..How could you go wrong?!
I love using natural materials to inspire the creative process! These students are using leaves combined with paper, markers and glue to create their own masterpiece!
Check out their beautiful creations!
Sunflowers forts are the perfect way to celebrate Fall!
Painting gourds and pumpkins to explore texture and make unique prints! This is such a fun hands on experience! As chidlren roll them across the paper the different vegetables create new and unique prints!
Now that you painted the pumpkins….you have to give them a bath of course!
Using sunflowers to make goregous prints! Another wonderful way to let nature’s beauty inspire an artistic masterpiece!
Loose part play with mini pumpkins and tree cookies! I often see classrooms with “decorations” that the children can’t touch or interact with. This is a perfect example of decorations that the children can manipulate, stack, play with and explore!
Fall Sensory Table fun!
More exploration of Fall Loose Parts!
Painting those pumpkins so that they are ready for bath time!

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!

ALL things FALL!

During the month of October the students in The Bridge classroom noticed the leaves changing colors on the trees outside….and so began the non-stop questions!

Their interest evolved into a month of exploring the season of Fall, specifically trees, their leaves, and the different fruits produced. Leading us into learning about apples and ending with an exploration of pumpkins.

Following the children’s interest allowed us to dig deeper into the different seasons we experience every year! We explored the different types of leaves and produce that grow locally in Southern Oregon.

Check out how we incorporated many areas of learning as this curriculum naturally emerged…..

 

Celebrating the PUMPKIN!

I LOVE Fall. I love everything about it. The changing of seasons, the holidays and the awesome curriculum that you can naturally dive into. We are an emergent style curriculum which means that we focus in on topics and themes that our students are interested in and connect to the experiences they are having in their lives. In the Fall, especially in Oregon where we live, Pumpkins grow in local farms and we are surrounded by fields of beautiful pumpkins of every shape and color. Because of this, Pumpkins always become a natural topic of conversation.

We don’t want to just talk about the Pumpkin….we want to touch it, taste it, smash it, build with it and manipulate it in anyway we can. By allowing our students to use all of there senses to interact with the Pumpkin, their understanding, interest and appreciation for vegetables increases. When we introduce Pumpkin vocabulary and life cycle information through hands on experiences, students are invested and interested in learning more.

Check out our investigation of THE PUMPKIN!

Using hollowed out Pumpkins as a bowl we made individual sensory stations. Each Pumpkin shell was full of homemade Orange Slime, Google Eyes and Plastic Bones! Such a fun Sensory exploration.

Giving students a variety of tools and manipulative to explore their pumpkin with. One of the favorites is always the mallets (search for Crab Hammers on Amazon) and golf tees. Students love pounding the tees into the pumpkins!

Isn’t it incredible what our littlest students are capable of?!? Using unifix cubes as a universal unit of measure, students can begin to understand size, measurement and order. Which Pumpkin is the tallest? Can you put them in order from biggest to smallest? How many unifix cubes wide is the pumpkin?

A close up of that Oooooeeeyyy Gooooooeeeeyyyy Sensory Fun!