Thursday, February 28, 2013

Teeth, Tea, and Trains all start with T!

Recently, I have been super thankful for other educators and parents who take the time to share their ideas on websites and blogs. It's basically how I have created Ava's first year of preschool. I love being creative and coming up with my own ideas. However, with 3 little ones at all different stages, it is really challenging to find any time during the day to get creative on my own. A quick search on Pinterest can be quite inspiring and get my creativity going! Sunday night I found myself in a lesson planning slump. We had a busy weekend, it was late, and I had nothing planned for Monday. I knew a few things. This week we would be working on the letter T. I wanted to have one day on teeth, one day on tea parties, and one day on trains. Pinterest pulled through once again and led me to some fun ideas! 

Monday: T is for teeth! 
All of these fun teeth activities were inspired by a visit to the blog From the Hive

Book: Going to the Dentist By: Anne Civardi

After our introduction to the letter T and reading the story Going to the Dentist, we took some time to talk about things that are good for our teeth and things that are bad for our teeth. Ava and Dominic took turns picking a picture and deciding if it should go with the happy healthy tooth or the sad unhealthy tooth. 

Our art project today was simple, but allowed more practice using small amounts of glue. Ava was given a large mouth without any teeth. Her job was to put the teeth back in the mouth. She is getting better at not using large globs of glue on small pieces of paper! 

Our math activity worked on using a dice. We took turns rolling the dice. The number displayed on the dice was how many teeth we were allowed to add to the mouth. The game ended when all the teeth were added to the mouth. I like these types of games because there is no winner. Everyone plays for the same goal! Dominic joined in too!

Ava practiced writing her letter Ts. Notice the lines are colored. I found this idea from It has really been helping Ava understand the concept of size when she writes. 

This activity I knew would be a hit! I boiled eggs in tea. The tea stained the eggs. The eggs represented teeth and the  tea stain represented what happens to our teeth when we don't care for them. I gave Ava and Dominic each a toothbrush (new of course), water, and tooth paste. They went to town brushing their egg. Though the egg never became as white as it was in the carton, the brushing and toothpaste did help clean it up a little. 
Ava brushed her egg for a long time (like maybe 25 minutes!) After all that brushing the egg cracked. She asked if she could see what it looked like inside. I said sure and then the phone rang. That 5 minute phone call led to some unsupervised time with the egg. Before I knew it, Ava had quite the concoction of mashed hard boil egg, toothpaste, and water. It was all stirred together with her toothbrush. Oh well, she had fun and I was going to throw out the toothbrushes anyway. 
For a treat at lunch, I made the kids mouths using apple slices (for the lips), peanut butter (for the gums), and mini marshmallows (for the teeth). 

Tuesday: T is for tea party! 
Tea parties are the new activity of choice at our house. It only seemed natural to have a T is for tea party day. Actually it was a tea is for tea party evening. Kyle took the little ones out for the evening while Ava and I had our school time. 

Book: Miss Spiders Tea Party By: David Kirk 

As we read our story, we had a little tea party for two. We took out some very special teacups that my grandmother gave to me and Ava shortly before she passed away. Ava was excited to use real teacups and have real tea. 

The pattern for this craft came from Kiboomu. Since I didn't have to juggle my time between 3 kids during school time,  I did the project with Ava. We each decorated a teacup and Ava assembled it on her letter T. 

I actually did create one of my own ideas this week!  This activity was  created to review capital and lower case letters. I made a teacup for each capital letter. Together, we put the teacups in alphabetical order. Ava then had to take the lowercase "tea" (brown ovals that fit at the top of each cup) and match it up with the right teacup.
We worked on identifying and writing the numbers 17 and 18 
Wednesday: T is for trains!
We didn't accomplish a ton of official school time today. The older two were having so much fun planning and were getting along so well all morning, I didn't have the heart to stop them to do school work.  

Book: Trains By: Gail Gibbons 

We made name trains to go along with the theme. The activity was a great way to  practice writing our names. Since Ava's first name is so short, she also added our last name. She drew train tracks and added a person on the train. She said her train was a passenger train. This idea came from Tippy Toe Crafts

Dominic has been really into Thomas the Train lately. He is not one to usually sit through many projects, but he was excited about this one! We worked together to find all his letters and put them in the right place.

The kids also worked together with Daddy to put together the Melissa and Doug alphabet train puzzle, but I didn't snap a picture of this activity. 

Next week we will have a week filled with the under the sea theme! 

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