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!

 

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!

A Rainbow of Learning in The Den Classroom!

The Den Classroom has been on a Rainbow Aventure that lasted over a month! Each week they explored a different color of the rainbow and spent time studying the different shades and qualities of each. The activities they provided for their students were equal parts beautiful and engaging and helped ignite interest in all of their students. Take a look at this beautiful unit that started with the question…..what is your favorite color?

A beautiful way to document each child’s favorite color!
Asking each child the question, What is your favorite color during circle time!
Raibow Rice Sensory Bin! This table is almost TOO beautiful!
Color Mixing is such an important activity for young students. Providing each student with liquid water colors in the the three primary colors allows them to explore color mixing and sensory play….however, these teachers took it up a notch and added science materials that elevated the play and practiced those fine motor skills.
Explore the rainbow with a colorful mixture of dyed chickpeas, shapes and fruit manipulatives.
Organizing loose parts, building materials and figurines by color, ignites the imagination and completely changes the way students engage with the activity!
Rainbow Sensory Play! Shaving cream with water colors on top……just screams…..PLEASE MIX ME UP! This is always a favorite activity in our classroom!
Here comes the mess!
Can you make a rainbow that jumps off the paper?
Rainbow Bridges!
One of the really amazing activities The Den Classroom did this week were simple monochromatic tables that highlighted a different color each week. Students were able to explore one color at a time in a very intimate way. Each week the materials and color changed encouraging children to look closer at the table and use their imagination!
Rainbow Spagetti and Playdough Scissors! This is a great way to introduce scissor skills to your classroom if your students are not quite ready for scissors. We love using this activity at the beginning of the school year when students are first learning how to use and handle scissors.
More exploration with shaving cream…..How beautiful is this!
I love these small rainbow people figurines combined with blocks!

Space Adventures

The galaxy is full of wonder….limitless possibilities…..endless freedom……Kind of like childhood right? Bringing the solar system to your students is a way to give them a hands on experience with something that feels….well…..very distant. Our students have the BIGGEST questions about life’s biggest mysteries…and it’s not our job to provide the answer, but instead to give them the chance to explore, gather information, investigate….and Blast Off!!

Intergalactic Sensory Bin! Black water beads, black dyed water, glitter and planets…..how can you resist putting your hands in that!?

 

3….2……1…..Blast Off! Building these name rockets was…..well….a blast!

 

What an awesome invitation to create! When students walked in they were invited to mix the colors in the shaving cream to create their own planets! Afterwards they used circular paper to make planet prints!

Paper Plate Planet Art! Each child explored the colors of our earth by making their own version of our world!

 

DIY Constellations! Being inspired by the sky to recreate famous constellations or make your own is such a great way to practice fine motor skills!

 

I love this small world invitation for individual students! Using black sand, glitter, rocks and planet cards students can explore sensory elements while also exploring the solar system!

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!

Sensory Experiences!

The teachers at The Learning Loft know that as their director, there is no mess too big, no such thing as wasting paint and to encourage the process not the product! Our teachers encourage our students to explore new and interesting sensory experiences everyday…and to create an environment where investigation ad experimentation is encouraged!

Using different types of sponges and cut up pool noodles students explored with paint on paper and wood scraps.

What child doesn’t LOVE slime!?! This is a great way to add new textural and fine motor elements to everyone’s favorite sensory experience! We created this activity using drying racks from the dollar store, homemade slime and scissors.

Race Cars and Paint! This is such a great activity to help bridge the gap for your little ones that love planes, trains and automobiles….and not much else. This is a way to get our little racecar drivers excited about something new in a way that feels inviting, exciting….and speeeeedddyyyy!

Sometimes a REALLY great sensory activity doesn’t have to be messy. Using ziplocks with paint inside on a light table, students who may not be as comfortable with a mess can still enjoy a great sensory experience. Students can use different amounts of pressure to mix colors and practice writing skills.

If you haven’t used Shaving Cream in your classroom, I highly recommend it. Cheap. Clean. And incredibly engaging. Look how fun this activity is! The teachers used Shaving Cream to creative this beautiful heart and then added liquid water colors on top to encourage color mixing and a collaborative sensory experience.