Colour Games for Preschool - 3 to try!

This week we enjoyed playing a number of colour games at school.  

Colour Game #1 - Shades of Colour  

Many of our preschoolers know their basic colours.  We also try to introduce them to the concept that colours come in many different shades.

It's a new idea to many of them that although you may say the sky is BLUE, to be even more descriptive you could call it light blue, dark blue, turquoise, etc. depending upon the shade.

My co-teacher set up an activity for centre time that introduces students to this concept.

Students pin the coloured clothespins to the matching shades on the colour cards.  
It takes a discerning eye!

Here is a close-up of the purple card after the clothespins have been matched to the correct shades.
The colour cards are freebies from the paint store.  Just get two copies of each card so that you can cut the second one into pieces for gluing onto the clothespins.  

We store all the pieces in the decorated can shown below.  
   Another fun storage container for this game would be an unused paint can.  Some paint stores will donate one for free if you let them know it's for school.  At worst, I believe they charge only a few dollars for it. 

Colour Game #2 - Pom Pom Toss

Another colour game we set up this week gave the kids a chance to develop their gross motor skills.
We had an old box with lots of compartments that we had been saving for some sort of activity.  (You know how teachers like to re-purpose everything?!)

I cut up pieces of coloured paper and placed one in each compartment.  
We laid down a line of tape for the kids to stand behind, and then they attempted to throw the pom poms into the box.

The students' challenge was not only to get them into the box, but to have them land in the compartment with the matching colour.  
When they had thrown all of the pom poms, they counted how many landed in the correct spot.  Next round, they'd try to beat their score!     

Colour Game #3Rainbows

A whole class colour game that we like to play is called "Rainbows."

Every child gets a coloured item.  I usually try to use no more than about 4 different colours in total to keep it simple.

The items you use could be any object from around your classroom.  We sometimes use coloured blocks, coloured felt pieces, coloured squares of paper, etc.  

Whatever you have on hand will work!

Students sit on chairs in a circle.  When you call out a colour (i.e., RED) everyone with that colour has to quickly get up and change seats with someone else who has that colour.

Every once in a while, you call out "Rainbow!" and then everybody in the class must get up and change seats.  

It's lots of fun and could also be a great way to teach those trickier colours that some of the kids are less familiar with like grey, gold, silver, etc.  

If you're looking for more ideas to bring some "colour" into your classroom, you might want to check some previous posts under the label, COLOUR ACTIVITIES, on the right margin of my blog.   

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Watch out! There's Dinosaurs at Preschool!

BOOM             BOOM              BOOM

...get they come...

those amazing creatures from long, long ago...


I love dinosaurs (and my new dinosaur unit!) because I'm fascinated by "animals" (even extinct ones) and also because studying dinosaurs takes my curriculum into the realm of "science."  An area that, I must admit, is sometimes neglected in our classroom!

My dinosaur unit includes a puppet show that introduces students to basic dinosaur information; including a popular theory about why dinosaurs may have gone extinct.  

The puppet show is based upon a very easy to follow script that can be taped to the back of your theatre so that you can read it as you perform. 

Here is an image of some of the puppet show characters. 
Just print and add a popsicle stick to the back so that you can easily hold them.  
For those of you needing dinosaur images for other projects, I have also made the above dinosaur images available as a clip art set in my shop HERE.  They are png images on a transparent background and can be resized as needed.

Now, I don't know about your students, but I know my students love to perform in front of an audience.  All 20 of them!  

So in my unit I also included a modified version of the script so that students can perform a simpler version of the show for each other and/or a parent audience.  

This teacher narrated script for the students is designed to be very easy for a class of preschoolers to follow, and does not require a big time commitment to learn or set up.

The idea is just for the kids to have fun and to enjoy the experience of performing in front of an audience.       

Some of the props for the student version are designed to be completed by the children as an art activity.  Templates and samples have been provided.  

Additional props include a sign featuring the name of the puppet show and a set of puppet show tickets. 

The students can hand out the tickets to the audience as they arrive to watch the show and then collect the tickets as they enter the theatre area.  Just like a real show!

You can see a variety of these props in the collage below.  

If you're wondering how you'd create a puppet theatre for this show, I recommend using a table tipped on its side.   If you have a large class, just tip over a few more tables and then line them up edge to edge. 

Here is a picture of our "theatre" in use by a few students one day at centre time.        
It may just be a table, but it works!  And it actually works better than an actual puppet theatre because there's so much room behind it for the performers.

In addition to performing puppet shows, another great part about studying dinosaurs is getting the opportunity to play "scientist."  

One way we have students take on the role of a scientist is by having them "excavate" dinosaurs that are frozen in ice.
We freeze the dinos in a shallow plastic container and then students use hammers to "free" them.  If you have plastic safety goggles, those would be a great prop to add to this station, as well.   

As you can see in the above photo, all of the dinosaurs have been "lovingly" rescued!  

Another way for students to pretend to be a scientist took place at our little makeshift sand pit.  

We hid some Milk Bones (stolen from my poor, unsuspecting dog) in a shallow bin of sand. 

Students were instructed to find the bones hidden in the pit, clean off the sand with a brush (like real scientists) and then set up the bones in the "museum display." 
The students enjoyed this activity so much that I decide to include a similar I'm a Paleontologist activity in my Dinosaur resource unit.

In my resource unit, I included six printable activity mats featuring three different dinosaur skeletons.  Three of the skeleton mats include bones that need to be colour matched, and the other three include blank bones so that teachers can have the option of tailoring them to a particular skill that they want their class to practice.  For example, bones that need to be matched by numbers or letters.    

You can see the I'm a Paleontologist game in the collage below, along with some other activities.
If you are thinking of doing a dinosaur theme with your class, check out the complete list of ideas included in my Dino Unit below.
If you'd like to take a peek at this unit in my Teachers Notebook shop, please click on the image below. 
I am now running a contest to give away TWO of these units from my shop on Teacher's Notebook. 

(If you're not registered on Teacher's Notebook, it's quick and easy to sign up.  I do a lot of promotions through there (as do others!) so you'd likely find it worth the couple of minutes it would take!)

Visit this link if you'd like to enter the contest!  Good luck!

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Do Your Preschoolers Like to Wiggle? Try these Fun Preschool Movement Songs!

As we all know, preschoolers are wiggly little creatures. They can only sit for so long during circle time before needing to burn a bit of excess energy!

I incorporate at least one movement song into my circle time when I see the children are starting to lose focus. 

I recently discovered a site which gives me some great ideas in this area. The performer is a colourful character named "Debbie Doo." 

The songs she sings are on YouTube so you get the benefit of hearing the words AND seeing Debbie perform the actions. 

You can take a peek at one of her songs below.  If that one doesn't grab you, she has many more tunes (both oldy, but goody's and newer ones) from which to choose.

Three cheers for Debbie Doo!!!

Snow Much Fun - Snowman Art, Number Games, Stories and More!

Today's a sunny day and it feels like spring, but I know we'll be back to cold weather and icy windshields by tomorrow.   There's still lots of winter left to come!
And lots of time left for some fun SNOWMAN activities.

For art, we made ripped paper snowmen. 
The children could either rip the white paper themselves or use the pre-ripped pieces provided.

We encouraged everyone to first fill in the pre-drawn circle with glue, and then stick on the white "snow" pieces.  It helped make the process a little faster.

For centre time, we put out our Snowman Alphabet Match Game.  
The background sheet with the snowman bodies was taped to a magnet board.

A button magnet was glued onto the back of each snowman's head with a glue gun.

A sheet was provided to help students match the lower and upper case letters, or the correct snowman "head" to the correct snowman "body." 
For students who needed additional help, there was also a coloured stripe on each snowman's hat that was the same colour as the matching snowman's mittens.  The photo below is not too clear, but it will show you what I mean.

At the centre tables, we also put out our Snowman Number Match Game.
I used three sides of the folder when making this game so that I could fit on number lines to match with #1-10.  

Each snowman has a piece of peel and stick velcro on the back and the children get to "stick" it onto its correct place on the number line.  

At the writing table, students completed a mini book about Snowmen called "This is Snowman Big."
The mini book was based on a magnet board song I taught them at circle time.  

On each page of the book, the children could draw a face for the snowman and then colour his hat and scarf.  

Most of these items were part of the Winter Unit
I made over Christmas break.  It was nice to come back to school after the holiday and be ready for January!  

If you're looking for some awesome picture books to accompany the Snowman theme I highly recommend the following:

Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright

And Snowmen at Night by Caroline Buehner

They're both snow much fun!
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Stuck for Some new Center Time Activities? Try these!

I'm on a roll with creating new center time games since returning from Christmas break. With the start of a new year, it seems only fitting to have some fresh, new activities to keep the kids stimulated!

Here's what I created this week.

For this game, students use a set of plastic tweezers to pick up the marbles and place them on the golf tees. 

With this activity the children are practicing their fine motor skills and more specifically, the pincer grip necessary for holding and manipulating a pencil.  
I recommend placing this game on a tray to catch any stray marbles.

Here's a closer look at the base of the game.  
I found a square piece of styrofoam and then used a glue gun to cover it with pieces of yellow and green foam.  

Not only does the covering make the game look nicer, it will help increase the lifespan of the styrofoam.  

We once brought a piece of styrofoam that was unprotected into the classroom and it "died" a quick death.    
After 10 minutes, all that remained was a mysterious pile of white crumbs.  Lesson learned! 

If you'd like to adapt this activity for younger students, craft pom poms can be used instead of the marbles.  They're much easier to pick up with the tweezers.

For this activity, the children pick up coloured objects and drop them into the tube of the same colour. Again, the objects can be picked up using tweezers.  
I saw this activity on a number of Pinterest boards, but it was played using pom poms.  (By the way, don't look at the ugly tape I used to hold up the cardboard tubes!  Not so pretty.  I'll have to buy some of that cute patterned tape next time!)

We didn't have an abundance of pom poms to recreate the original version of this game, so we used our collection of coloured chains instead.     
Some of the chains were linked into groupings that were all one colour.  Those that were linked with a mix of colours could be dropped in the rainbow coloured tube.      

The children seemed to have particular fun trying to get the long chains through the tubes.  It was definitely more of a challenge!

3 Center Time Activities to Add to your Repertoire!

We are always creating new center time games to challenge the students and keep them engaged during our free play period. Hopefully you'll find some new ideas here that you may like to try, too!

In the past week, we added shredded paper to our sensory bin and then "hid" our collection of plastic multi-colored buttons underneath.   

The students search for the buttons, and when they find one, they drop it into the canister of the same color.  

There's something so satisfying about dropping items into a slot!  The sound of the item hitting the bottom, the way the item disappears...  
Not to mention the piggy bank connection.  Who doesn't love dropping coins into a piggy bank?!   
If you don't have enough cans for all of your button colors, just double up the colors on one can.   You'll see I did that with red and black on the can in the photo.   
Doubling up also saves on storage space!

If you want to save even more storage space, use a variety of can sizes so that you can stack them one inside another when not in use.  

Another center activity that has been popular with our class is a fine motor activity for which you'll need toothpicks (preferably colored), and a little spice container such as the one in the photo.  
This idea was brought in by my co-teacher.  I believe she purchased the the plastic spice container at the Dollar Store.    

The children pick up the toothpicks and insert them one by one into the tiny holes.  

When all the toothpicks are inside the container, the students can twist off the lid (another great skill to practice!) and dump them back out for the next person.

If you want your students to practice counting, one option could be an activity similar to my Cupcake Candle Count game below.
The children count the candles on the cupcakes and then place them on the plate with the corresponding number. 

When all the cupcakes have been placed in their spot, we often sing the Happy Birthday song and pretend to blow out the candles.   

I added a dot of peel and stick velcro to the back of the cupakes and then to the plate to add to the fun.
It's much more satisfying to play this game when you can stick and unstick the cupcakes with the velcro!  
We have a wooden tray from an old Melissa and Doug puzzle that we use to hold the pieces for games such as these so that they are kept orderly (and from falling off the table!) while playing.

This Cupcake activity is part of my Cupcake Crazy Unit which features a number of colour and number games.  If you like this game and want to save yourself the time of making it, you can check out the unit HERE.  It contains a number of different activities, songs, and felt board stories to teach colors and numbers.

I hope this post gives you some new ideas for your class.  
Have a great week, everyone!

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Free Valentine's Day Clip Art

I have been fooling around creating my first set of clip art to offer from my shop.  It took some time to figure out how to get the images on a transparent background, but I think I did it and it's ready to go!

I'd like to offer you this "commemorative" set for FREE from my clip art shop HERE.  

You may use it for personal use or for creating your own teaching resources to sell. 

All I ask is that you follow my terms of use specified in the product description.   Thank you! 

After creating this clip art set, I went on to develop two more resources to celebrate Valentine's Day.  

It's such a fun holiday and it's always great to have a few extra activities on hand to make the week special, or to add to one of your Valentine's Day party stations.    

First, I made a roll and cover game perfect for preschoolers. 

In this game, the heart monster wants to give away all his Number Valentine's, but he needs to wrap them first.  

To play, just roll a number and then cover that number on the game board with one of the gift images.  See who "wraps" all of their valentines first!

If you think your class might enjoy this game, you can view thumbnail images of the product HERE.     

I also created a set of images for a Valentine's Day card-making station.  It saves you the time of having to write the messages in the cards for the children.  

They can colour the images/messages and glue them right into their cards for family and friends.  15 images to choose from for $1.95.

If you think this would be of use to you, just click on the image below to see thumbnails of the product. 

I think I'll be making a card for my sweet husband at this station.  Ah, the fun of Valentine's Day!     

Parachute fun in the Classroom - Check out these 7 Great Ideas!

Life's been a whirlwind with Christmas and the re-entry back to preschool after the holidays.  Phew!

I'm still trying to settle back in to my regular routine.   Let's just say my coffee pot has been working double-time!  I've also been burning through my Starbucks gift cards like crazy.(Thank you so much parents!!!)   

But I'm sure I'll adjust soon!

The weather's been COLD, WET, and DREARY so we've been staying inside to do our gross motor activities at preschool for the past few days. 

One of our favourite indoor activities is playing with the parachute.  We have a huge one that we use when we get time in the gym, but we also have a smaller one that we can use right inside the classroom.

Here are some of our favourite games:

Hungry Bunnies
The children sit on the floor and hold the parachute with their legs tucked straight under it.   Their legs/feet are "the carrots."

One person is selected to start off as the Hungry Bunny.  S/he crawls underneath the parachute and gives a gentle little "nibble" with her fingers on the feet (carrots) of the other children.

When a child has been touched by the bunny, s/he too becomes a bunny and goes under the parachute nibbling on other "carrots" poking under the parachute.

The game continues until all the children are under the parachute acting as Hungry Bunnies.  Then the teacher gives everyone the signal to crawl out.

Switching Places
The children hold onto a parachute handle.  Everyone starts in a crouch. 

The teacher calls out the names of two students who are situated across the parachute from each other. They will be the ones who will switch places this turn.  

Upon the teacher's signal, everyone moves from crouch to standing and lifts the parachute as high as they can without letting go.  

The teacher calls "Switch Places!" and the two students who were chosen, run underneath the parachute to switch places with each other.  They must make it to their new spot before the parachute is brought back down to the ground. 

Continue playing until all students have had a turn to switch places.

The Grand Old Duke of York
Sing this slightly modified version of the song while doing the following movements.

The Grand Old Duke of York (march on the spot)
He Had 10 000 men
He marched them up to the top of the hill (lift parachute up)
And he marched them down again (bring parachute down)
He marched them to the left (walk left)
He marched them to the right (walk right)
He marched them up to the top of the hill (lift parachute up)
And he marched them down again (bring parachute down)

Squish the Bubbles
The children sit on the floor and hold the parachute.  Three or four children are selected to crawl onto the parachute.  

The rest of the class creates "waves" by shaking the parachute and sings this song:

Shake it, baby shake it
Shake it if you can
Shake it like a milkshake
Then do it once again

The teacher lets the children crawl around while everyone sings the song a couple of times.  She encourages the participants to move to different colours on the parachute by saying "Squish the red bubbles.   Now squish the green bubbles," etc.

When it's time for new children to have a turn, count down from 5 and then make a BEEEEEEP buzzer sound to signal that it's time for participants to crawl off.


Place light spongy balls on the parachute.  The children sing the following song to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot":

I'm a little popcorn in the pot
Heat me up and watch me......POP!!!

Once they say "pop!" the children start shaking the parachute to make the balls pop like popcorn.  
The goal is to keep the balls on the parachute while still making them fly up in the air.

Inside the Tent

Have the students raise the parachute as high as they can and then, without letting go of their handle, take a step under the parachute while it is up in the air.  Students then crouch down pinning the parachute to the ground behind them.  The parachute will stay up for a few more seconds and everyone has a moment to feel like they are in a big tent.  

Ring Around the Rosy
An oldy but a goody!  

I hope these games might bring some new ideas to try next time you are stuck inside!

Last, but not least, I want to thank everyone who entered my blog contest to win a FREE copy of my Winter Unit! 

Linda R. was selected as the WINNER last week!  Hope you enjoy the activities, Linda!

For anyone else who'd like to scoop up this great activity pack of winter games, songs, and centre activites, I decided to offer it at  15% off until tomorrow, January 9th! 

If you'd like a copy, click here to grab it while it's still on sale! 

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