Playin' Outdoors - Backyard or Playground Game Idea

When the weather's nice and you have kids to keep busy, the best place to send them is

The outdoor game I'd like to share today is called 
Target Ball!

All you need is:
  • fence or wall
  • sidewalk chalk
  • bucket with water
  • balls (tennis balls work great)
  • hula hoop (or other marker for where to stand)
Draw your target on the fence and indicate the points earned for hitting each circle.
We kept to small numbers to make adding the points easy.

Players stand in the hoop and throw wet balls at the target.

If you like, you can have the kids (or you) record the points for each throw.

We found that most of our throws were landing in the 
two pointer circle! 
Older kids might like to switch off until each player has taken 10 turns.  
Then they can add up the points they recorded to see who won the round. 

We played our first round by seeing who could hit the
 5 pointer target first.
If you'd like to see other ideas for summer outdoor games, link up with
No Time for Flashcard's post {here}! 

Fall Clip Art Set and Freebie

What?  Fall Clip Art in June, you say?

Yep!  It may be summer, but as we know, teachers 'round the world are still spending time preparing for next year. 

As for me, I just finished creating a
Fall Clip Art Set
for my Chirp Graphics shop!

It was fun to work with oranges and reds for a change!
You can almost feel the heat coming off of the page!  

This set of Fall clip art includes 30 images in total.
Lots of choice for your worksheets or other projects!  

There are 8 unique, resizable images that come in colour, blackline, and black and white.  

The images include:
  • acorn
  • basket
  • crow
  • maple leaf (digitally painted for a unique look in 5 different colours) 
  • leaf (red, orange, yellow)
  • fall tree
  • rake
  • scarecrow
If you'd like a FREE sample
 from this set, check out the digitally "hand painted" leaf below! 
I'm happy to share this freebie with you {here}!

The price for the set is usually $4.50, but I will be offering it for 20% OFF
Tuesday, July 1st!
You can grab it in my Chirp Graphics shop {here}! 

If you know anyone else who would be interested in this post, I'd love for you to share it by clicking one of the social media tabs below.  Sharing is good! :)

P.S. - I almost forgot to announce the winner of my Rafflecopter giveaway.  
Congratulations to Deana L.!!! 
She has been randomly selected by Rafflecopter to win my 58 page,
 Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses Unit!  
Thank you to all who entered to win! 

Caps for Sale - Great Picture Book with Activity Ideas

It's Tuesday and time again for my
 Picture Book Pick of the Week!
(Plus a collection of activity ideas to accompany the story!)

As I've said before, finding books that your class will love can be a challenge.  

Especially if you are picking books for younger students. 
I know my preschoolers sometimes usually have a very limited attention span so I have to choose wisely!

Today's tried and true pick is the classic tale,
 Caps for Sale, by Esphyr Slobodkina.

I love this book because the length is perfect for Preschool and Kindergarten and it's SUPER fun to read.

The story opens by introducing us to a cap peddler who has the unusual practice of selling his wares 
from a display on his head.  
Each day he puts on his checkered cap, then he adds his grey caps, then his brown caps, etc....

 As he walks, he sings, 
"Caps for Sale! Caps for sale!  Fifty cents a cap!"

On this particular day no one is interested in buying his caps so he decides to take a nap in the country.
When he wakes up, he realizes that all of his caps are GONE!

He discovers that a tree full of monkey has taken them.
  And they don't want to give them back!
 After a few tantrums and lots of pleading... 
...the peddler gets back his wares.
The peddler places all the caps back on his head and returns to town singing,
"Caps for sale.  Caps for sale.  Fifty cents a cap."

Caps for Sale is a simple, fun story and part of my no-fail book collection.  

I bought the book and CD combo so that I could sing snippets of the songs as I read the story AND when I perform the story as a puppet show.    

A fun way to follow up the story would be to:
  • celebrate HAT DAY at school
  • set up a HAT SHOP in your dramatic play center
  • make crazy HATS for ART
  • provide PUPPETS and props so that your class can re-enact the story
  • have students practice walking and BALANCING CAPS on their head
  • encourage children to SORT HATS by pattern or colour
  • use the story as a springboard for a MATH activity

Scholastic has provided a free printable to go with this book.
Just click to download

Also, today is the last day to enter my Rafflecopter for a FREE 
Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses Unit!
See the unit and click to enter HERE!

I have linked this post up with Deanna's,
 Let's Talk About Books Linky.

Why not pop over to see which books others recommend!

Five for Friday - Preschool Graduation

This was the last week of school before summer.
And it was a busy one! 

 I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share five happenings from my week!

We wrapped up the year with our three year olds by celebrating with a "glow in the dark" bowling party!

With the help of the gutter covers, our little guys actually made some really good throws! 

There may have been one or two lofted balls added into the mix, but no one seemed to mind!

Our 4 year old students each made a "mini me" in cap and gown to decorate our walls for graduation.  

I think the little "graduate" below may be wearing his cap upside down...
But no matter!  
We love it when each little character is unique - just like our students!
To see more of our preschool graduation decorations, click {here}.

After hanging all of our decorations on Thursday, the big day arrived and our 4 year olds had their graduation ceremony!  
I think I was more nervous than they were.... 
Why?  Who's to say?  But everything went smoothly!

Here is the song we played while the children did their procession down the aisle.

I don't know why this song moves me so much, but it does!
(Note:  If you are having trouble seeing this link, you may need to view it directly from my blog.)

At the party, Miss Danica and I were very spoiled with gifts from our preschool parents. 
We were so lucky to have such a helpful and supportive parent community this year.  

We will miss them right along with missing their kids!
I celebrated the end of the year once I got home by having a nice, big...
with my favourite napping partner!

Although I'll still be working at other things this summer, my schedule will be a little more flexible than when school is in session.  

I'm so looking forward to having the time to catch up on my sleep!

Ah, summer!

To check out others' Five for Friday posts, connect to the linky party 
on Doodle Bugs Teaching {here}!


Picture Book Pick of the Week - A Great Rhyming Book for Preschool or Kindergarten

You know a book is good when your students want you to read it to them over and over again.
And you know a book is great
when you don't mind doing it!

A book in our classroom that fits into this category is 
Here Comes the Big, Mean Dust Bunny by Jan Thomas.

After being asked to read it once again at school today, I suddenly realized it needed to be my  
Picture Book Pick of the Week.
This book doesn't have a lot of text, but each word is made to count.

It has fun rhymes, lots of humour, and the pictures are delightful in their simplicity.

The story opens by introducing us to a cast of friendly critters, as well as to the not so friendly dust bunny.
The dust bunny is definitely a grouch and he's not interested in playing nicely with the cute gang of critters when they approach him.

Instead he wants to do naughty things like...
and SIT on his companions.
But there's more than one naughty character in the book and soon the dust bunny finds himself in trouble when a bigger bully comes along.
Luckily he is helped by the other characters who tug on him until he POPS back to normal.

After being helped by his newfound buddies, the dust bunny experiences his first smile and realizes that perhaps having some friends around is a good thing!

This book is short, sweet, and never fails to entertain.

It teaches a cute lesson on friendship 
and its a great way to tie in with a lesson on 
rhyming words!

I've joined this Picture Book Pick of the Week post up with Deanna Jump's Let's Talk About Books linky party. 

You can check it out HERE!

p.s. - If you haven't already entered my Rafflecopter contest for my free Pete the Cat Unit, you can see the unit and enter HERE.

Father's Day Party - Fishing and a Barbecue!

On Mother's Day, moms tend to get the royal treatment they deserve.

When Father's Day rolls around, however, sometimes dads get a little gypped.

We didn't want that to happen to our dads!  
So we planned to honour them at a special party.  Something completely new, but lots of fun. 

We met up with all the dads at a U-Catch Fish Farm!  

The farmer handed out fishing rods, bait, and buckets and then we spread out and got fishin'! 
  The ponds were stocked with rainbow trout.
LOTS and LOTS of them. 
(Good news for the less experienced fishers among us!) 

Some of the fisherboys/girls caught a fish within the first 10 minutes.
Others had to wait a little longer.

Fishing certainly does help develop patience!

 After everyone had caught a fish (yes, everyone!) we headed to the picnic area for some hot dogs and other snacks.

Then it was time to break out some games!

It was too busy to get a picture of all the activities, but I do have some shots of our balloon stomp game...

We tied a balloon onto the legs of either the dad, the child, or BOTH.

Then they tried to POP each other's balloon by stomping on it. 
Some pairs ran all around chasing each other.  
Some just hopped this way and that trying to keep their balloon safe.

But ALL seemed to enjoy the game and there were lots of happy screams during the chase.

(Tip: If you play this game outdoors rather than on a nice smooth, indoor surface make sure you don't blow the balloons to full capacity or they can pop too easily on the grass.  Filling them about two thirds full seems to work best!)

Other games we played included:

three legged race
 beanbag toss
 and tug of war (my personal favourite!)

We finished the picnic with some fun, dad and kid parachute games. 
{click here for parachute game ideas} 

We wrapped up our party by handing out the bbq sauce the kids had made in class.

 All in all, a very active, very fun way to ring in 
Father's Day with our dads!

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