Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jamberry by Bruce Degen

Gathering Activity: Strawberry Streamers

Materials Needed: sturdy paper plate, variety of colored streamers cut into lengths, clip art of large strawberry coloring sheet, crayons, glue

Directions: Allow the children to color their strawberries.  Then glue streamers onto the bottom of the paper plate, so that they hang down from the plate.  Glue colored strawberry on top.  Allow to dry before use.

Circle Time:   Jamberry by Bruce Degen

 Jamberry is a beautiful picture book which tells the story of a young boy and his friend, the bear, who go on an adventure picking berries.  It is a nonsensical rhyming story with a fun rhythm that rolls off the tongue.  My own children ask me to read it several times in one sitting.  Each page is rich with humorous details.  
After reading the book, we sang our own version of "One little, two little, three little berries..."

Outside Activity: Strawberry Picking

A few weeks ago, we had planted strawberry plants in our garden.  Today it was time to harvest them!

Inside Activity and Snack: Making Freezer Jam 

We allowed the children to make freezer jam using the strawberries from the garden (plus a few additional berries from the local strawberry patch).  The children were each given a jar to take home.  After making the jam, we sampled several kinds of berries that we had read about in the story.   For directions, see the back of your freezer jam packet.

Dancing with our Streamers

In the book, the characters dance with streamers in strawberry fields.  Our little ones danced with their streamers to fun music.  It was hard to catch the action with my camera!

***We had some friends this week who were unable to come, so we had only 3 boys.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bug Books

Gathering Activity: Bug Table

We explored in our sensory table.  We added greenery, plastic bugs, and magnifying glasses.

 A real bug was crawling on the outside of the tub and this little guy is trying to feed him a leaf.

Circle Time: Bug Books

We did something a little different this week and tried multiple books.  Two would have been just right.  3 was one too many.

The first book was The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle.  A cricket meets many kinds of insects in the story and tries to communicate.  But each time he rubs his wings together, nothing happens, until he meets a girl cricket on the last page.  Then the book makes a beautiful chirping sound.  As we read the story, the children tried to make rub their wings together.  It was very cute.  They were fascinated with the chirping and tried to figure out how I was doing it.  They finally concluded that I must be pushing a button.  (which they were still convinced of even after I showed them how it really worked).

We read Bye-Bye Big Bad Bully Bug by Ed Emberley.  This is a great book with clever writing and even better pictures.  The kids loved when the tennis shoe came and got the mean bug and saved the little bugs.  I liked that the Big Bad Bully Bug then flew away in his spaceship and wasn't actually killed by the tennis shoe.

The last book we pulled out was Miss Spider's Tea Party by David Kirk.   It is a great story which includes friendship lessons, counting, and insect identification.  A lot packed into a very simple and sweet story. 

We also sang The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Raffi's "There's A Spider on Your Head."

Art: Playdough Bugs

The children used playdough, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, beads, and toothpicks to design their own insects.  It was so much fun to see what they each came up with!

Activity:  Bug Hunt

We each brought a bug catcher and the kids enjoyed the rest of the morning searching for bugs and worms.

Activity: Bug Sorting 

We sorted bugs by colors.

Snack: Strawberry Lady Bugs

Materials Needed: Grapes, Strawberries, mini chocolate chips, toothpick

Directions: Assemble to make a ladybug.