We had a great time making shadows on groundhogs day. Groundhog Day is a great time to explore shadows.
We have a great little groundhog pattern available at Printables! Print it out, add color, tape it to a craft stick. Send the kids under a table that has paper draped over one side, with a big bright flashlight. Does the groundhog see his shadow?
These little shapes are just stencils taped to craft sticks. Cut shapes from black construction paper so they look more like shadows. A big 9 volt flashlight propped up in a clear plastic shoe box will shine light right where needed. Simply drape a large sheet of paper over a little table. The kids love climbing under tables anyway, this just gives them a purpose.
A couple little chairs invite the audience to watch the shadow show. Make sure each child gets a turn to do both.
The kids learn quickly how to make the shadows interact. More shapes can be made with only the kids hands and fingers.
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Going to the zoo is a fun summertime activity. Many schools and child care centers go on field trips to local zoos. Even if you can’t take them to the zoo you can bring the animals to life for the kiddos. Welcome to the Zoo is a kind of play on words that most parents get when they see the sign on the classroom door. 😉
These are some of our favorite books that bring the zoo to life for little ones.
My favorite preschool site (besides this one) is teachpreschool.org. She has a really nice early math flannel board lesson using the book Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert.
After reading Goodnight Gorilla the zoo activity at simplylearning.com will be great fun for very young kiddos.
The blog 3dinosaurs.com has some great large motor activities, as well as some letter recognition ideas around the book 1, 2, 3, Zoo by Eric Carl.
Large Motor Zoo Fun
Kids In Motion
Year after year our preschoolers have loved Greg & Steve’s Kids In Motion CD. For this theme we play Animal Action I & II. They love doing their impression of each animal. You can purchase it here.
Another of my favorite preschool sites is pinkoatmeal.com. She does sell her lessons, usually for just $3.00. This lesson is all large motor activities.
Making Tracks This project is so simple. We’ve been doing this project for years with zoo, farm, pets, and wild animals. When I saw it on teachpreschool.org one of my favorite preschool sites, I knew I should share it too. Just round up a few of the appropriate animals, some corresponding paint, paper plates or some shallow trays for the paint, and paper. Have the children dip the hooves or paws into the paint and take their animal for a walk on the paper.
Handprint Zoo Animals
Handprint animals with teacher painted details.We began this labor intensive project Monday morning while the children did the Making Tracks project. The latter being a more open ended. This hand print project is so cute though!
Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!
Well lions anyway. Teachers just cut the center out of paper plates for the class. Teachers or children can cut brown, orange, and yellow strips. The children glue strips in a pattern, onto their plate. Orange, yellow, brown, repeat. Add a craft stick and they have their lion masks.
Add a drop of food color to cream cheese, spread on crackers and stand your animal crackers in the cream cheese for a fun zoo snack!
M?M this little handprint mom is so cute for a new mom’s first Mothers Day.
The teacher used masking tape to spell Mom. The children then painted over the tape. When it was dry the teacher carefully removed the tape revealing the name Mom.
Handprints For Mom
First, this is a simple heart with baby’s first handprint and planted in a pot. So cute for a first Mother’s Day.
This flower pot took a bit more work! Four handprints and the cute little poem in the middle make this flower great for babies to give to their mom on their first Mother’s Day
Tiny little bugs on the finger tips. Very cute. Paint the hands’ palm brown, the fingers and thumb are painted green
Bejeweled poem for mom. The toddlers enjoyed glueing all the jewels on the card for their Mom.
Old School Ideas
These ideas are tried and true old school Mothers Day cards and gifts.
Originally the poem was mimeographed and glued inside the tea pot with a tea bag stapled inside. This little tea pot is very fragile some 30 years after it was made! Cut these out so that the handle is the fold. Have your kiddos decorate the front. You’ll have to add the poem and a tea bag.
Flower Basket for Mothers Day
These flowers baskets are perfect for young toddlers to put together. Cut out enough for each in your care.
You’ll need Have lots of flowers cut from magazines, seed packets, or seed catalogs. You’ll also need a plastic strawberry quart container. The one we used has a grid almost. Like this… Quart basket .
You’ll also need brown paint and a paper plate or small tray used for the paint. Glue sticks or glue bottles will also be needed.
Begin by having the child dip the strawberry basket into the brown paint and the print it onto the basket cut out. Have the children do this several times to give the effect of a woven basket.
Next have the kids glue on flowers of their choice, keeping the handle free of any flowers.
Finish with a little bow on the handle. (Not shown)
Now let it dry and sign the back with a Mother’s Day message.