R is for Red…& Raspberry Jam! ( Adventures in Preschool )

Do you love the smell of homemade bread, baking in the oven? It’s one of my favorite smells! So, while looking over the Preschool Alphabet Lesson Plans for February, I was a bit excited about the suggested book and bread-making exercise.

1.) Activity #1 : R is for Raspberry Jam

I love to squeeze seeds and avocados into the kids’ diet any chance I can get. They occasionally complain, but not with this recipe for 5-Minute Chia Seed Raspberry Jam! It is seriously delicious (& healthy)!

Raspberry Jam 1Raspberry Jam 2

Since the recipe author gave a range for some of the ingredients, I’ll encourage you to look at her original post, but will also let you know that these are the proportions we used, and loved…

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam

Ingredients

  • 2C Frozen Raspberries (run under water for a minute to defrost)
  • 2Tbsp. Chia Seeds
  • 2Tbsp. Raw Honey
  • 2Tbsp. Hot Water
  • 1/2tsp. Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  1. Have kids measure and pour ingredients and Blend!
  2. Let it set in the fridge for about one Hour.
  3. And check out the original source (Happy Healthy Mama) for more wonderful, kid-friendly, recipes!
http://www.janemarieblog.com/2016/02/r-is-for-red-raspberry-jam-adventures-in-preschool/

2.) Activity #2 : Circle Time / Story Time

We sang a song, talked about the letters in our names, and then I showed them a book of colored construction paper and we flipped through to find the color that starts with the letter “R”, Red!

We then red this book: “The Little Red Hen”, making funny animal noises for the dog, pig & cow. If you haven’t read the book yet, it’s a classic tale of a hardworking Hen on a farm who, not only makes her own teas from flowers (cool!), but also harvests some wheat one day and goes through the laborious process of milling the wheat and baking bread. 

3.) Activity #3: Bake Bread

We used this simple recipe for easy baked bread. The kids loved being a part of the process. They helped to knead…

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…and they helped to “decorate”…

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…and taste…

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4 .) Activity #4: R is for Red

While the bread was baking, we used red play-doh on our giant “R” sheets.

Red

And O practiced writing the word, “Red”.

5.) Activity #5: Homemade Bread & Raspberry Jam (Snack Time!)

Raspberry Jam Snack

Just to Re-Cap, last week was our first week of “Blue School” (as the kids call it). It’s basically our attempt at having some fun preschool lesson plans for Z (age 3) throughout the week, since he is not yet in school, but shows interest in this type of playful learning process. And O (age 5) loves it too! We’re following the Preschool Alphabet Blog’s plan for February, as a structure, and picking/choosing, adding/subtracting activities to suit our needs & interests. 

Last week we did 4 days of “Blue School”; R is for Rocks (& More), Groundhog’s Day, R is for Rain, and R is for Red & Raspberry Jam! 

We have some fun ideas for this week as well – We shall see where it takes us! I’m thinking about Rockets, Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Activities & reading “Wacky Wednesday” to the kids. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have you ever tried to do lesson plans at home with your kids? What types of activities did they like best? I’d love to hear thoughts/suggestions!

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R is for Rain… | Adventures in Preschool

Continuing our “R” Series this week, today we talked about RAIN. I purchased this book for the kids and could hardly wait to do some activities to go along with it; “Down Comes the Rain” (from the “Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out-Science” series). This book is AMAZING. I love this series in general. Z (age 3) has so many questions about thunder and lightning, so I plan to check out this book next.

1.) Activity #1 : Condensation and Evaporation

We poured a glass of ice water and watched as the outside of the glass began to get wet. We talked about how “water vapor in the air is condensing on the glass” (pg. 14, “Down Comes the Rain”). 

The kids then put 2tsp. of water into a bowl and set it outside. Several hours later, there was no water! It had all evaporated! O (age 5) thought that was pretty remarkable!

evaporationWe talked about how the “heat from the sun causes the water to evaporate. The water changes from a liquid to a gas and the water vapor goes into the air“. (pg. 10-11, “Down Comes the Rain”) 

2.) Activity #2 : Making Rain Experiment

We did this awesome experiment by filling an aluminum pie pan with ice…

Ice Cloud …and holding it over a pot of boiling water on the stove.

IMG_6838-blogsize 3.) Activity #3 : R is for Rain

I put out these giant blue R’s, cotton balls, water droplet construction paper cutouts, and glue, as an invitation-to-create (inspiration here). 

R is for RainIt was a full day today so we only did these three activities about Rain. I did notice them chattering about rain throughout the day, pretending it was raining in the bathtub (using watering cans), and I even caught them climbing into the pots-and-pans cabinet, pretending to hide from the rain. So, I think they found it interesting.

Maybe we’ll do a dance party to this song soon. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m looking forward to our next Letter “R” activity inspired by the Preschool Alphabet Blog! And I’d love more ideas if you’d like to share! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Happy Groundhog’s Day!… | Adventures in Preschool

I have to admit, I’ve never really paid much attention to Groundhog’s Day before. We live in Texas and, with the exception of a few cold weeks each year, it’s all just Summer and “Summer-Lite” around here! (Okay, sometimes there is actually a gorgeous Spring too.) Needless to say, I don’t worry too much over whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not. But, I do think he, and all groundhogs for that matter, are incredibly cute! That’s neither here nor there…

I used this lesson plan as my foundation, and here is what we did today, after gathering together with a song and name tickets.

1.) Activity #1 : Groundhog Treasure Hunt

This was AWESOME! We used the blank printables from here and only made a few slight modifications.

IMG_6728-blogsizeGroundhog Treasure Hunt

We ended with watching a re-broadcast of Punxsutawney Phil’s Prediction while the kids ate their lollipops.

Shadow

2.) Activity #2: Groundhog Dot-to-Dot

We used this printable for a dot-to-dot drawing. This was easy enough for both of them, but a good chance for O and I to talk about numbers as well.

Groundhog Dot to Dot

3.) Activity #3: Groundhog Shadow-Matching

We used this printable for a shadow-matching worksheet. Note: I don’t think you actually have to sign up to print this document…You can just save and print.

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4.) Activity #4: Groundhog in a Cup

We used this printable for this fun groundhog-in-a-cup craft. We also used chopsticks, disposable cups & tape. This was their favorite!

I made up this song while using their groundhogs as puppets; (to the tune of “Frere Jacques“, with some “artistic license”, shall we say)…

“I’m a Groundhog, I’m a Groundhog,

Small and Brown, Small and Brown,

If I see my Shadow, If I see my Shadow,

We’re Winter-Bound, Winter-Bound….

Coming Out Now, Coming Out Now,

No Shadow Here, Spring is Near…”

groundhog in a cupIMG_6782-websize

5.) Activity #5: Dirt Cups (Snack Time!)

The original versions of this snack suggest a chocolate pudding cup, but I wanted to keep it healthy and use things we already had, so I mixed Greek Yogurt and Cocoa Powder and mixed in some Granola for effect (dirt/rocks?) and I took the easy way out and used a Cinnamon Graham Cracker Bear in lieu of something more closely resembling a groundhog. 

I think they liked it anyway!

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What do you think…Are you ready for Spring? 

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R is for Rocks…and more! | Adventures in Preschool

O goes to an AMAZING co-operative Preschool here in Houston, and Z still stays home with me. It’s been great, though ever since his third Birthday or so, he seems like he could use something a little more. So, this week, I’m starting a little daily lesson plan, for both kids, and I’ll see where that takes us!

I stumbled across this lady’s alphabet plans and I’m mostly following it, with a few revisions here or there. 

This week, we’ll talk about the letter R.

I started by getting us together in a circle, having the kids have a “name card” because they love that kind of thing. You can sing a little song to bring the lesson together. And then ask, “If you have a ‘v’ in your name, can you bring me your name ticket? And can you show us the letter ‘v’ in your name?”. And repeat for the second child. Then…

I introduced the letter and asked them for ideas of words that start with the letter R. And proceeded into this activity…

1.) Activity #1 : R is for Road

Link to printable giant “R” . I printed this on thick paper and used it to cut two R’s out of black  construction paper and then drew the road lines with white crayon. I dug through the kids’ desk drawers and located some car stickers, and *poof!*…that project was prepped! The kids LOVED this!…

R is for Road - 1

2.) Activity #2 : Writing Practice

Link to printable “R” letter writing sheets. I printed this on thick paper and let O & Z write away. Admittedly, Z (age 3) only loosely did this and it didn’t hold his attention for long, but I think it is great practice for both of them.IMG_6634-blogsize copyIMG_6637-blogsize

3.) Activity #3 : R is for Rocks

Link to printable giant “R”. I printed two more copies of this, and gave each child a copy. We talked about how the word “Rock” starts with an “R”, and we ran outside to gather up a collection of pretty ones. The kids filled up the letters with rocks, using their toy trucks to do the “heavy lifting”. Then we set that aside and moved on to the next activity…

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4.) Activity #4 : R is for Rubber Bands

Link to Rubber Band pegboard kit. I know there are great ways to make your own pegboard, but we already had these on hand, and we love them! I showed how we could make a blocky letter “R” out of rubber bands, and we also quickly realized we could also make Rectangles! Fun times!

R is for Rubber Bands

5.) Activity #5 : R is for Raisins (Snack Time!)

I slipped the giant letter “R” sheets into clean plastic sleeves and let the kids fill them in with Raisins. They also gobbled up lunch, which totally did not start with the letter “R”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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6.) Activity #6: Coloring Rocks

Link to Coloring Rocks tutorial. We set the oven to 250F and baked our rocks on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet for 15 minutes. We took it outside and colored with glitter crayons. So fun! But it was indeed really hot, so I put thick oven mitts on the sides of the trays to help give the kids a little buffer.

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This was our first day of “Blue School” (as the kids like to call our “homeschool” lessons – it’s named by Z, because blue is his favorite color ;-)). We started just after breakfast/getting dressed and the whole thing took about 2 leisurely hours, ending with Snack/Lunch and then coloring rocks and then they just played outside until it was time to go on with our day. They seemed to love it and, I have to admit, so did I! I am so excited to try more of the lesson plans from “Preschool Alphabet” and more! 

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Strawberry-Banana Ice-Cream | Kids in the Kitchen

Strawberry-Banana Icecream

YUM! Here in Houston, the weather is only tip-toeing slowly in the direction of “cold”. It’s still incredibly hot at times, though I suspect these hot days are soon ending. So, we’re enjoying a fun hot-weather treat today! There are so many ways to do this, but here is one of our favorites;

In a Food Processor (with the S-Blade) or in a Blender, add…

  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1/2 C Frozen Strawberries
  • Delicious Almond Milk (vanilla, sweetened or unsweetened, whatever you prefer) as needed to reach a “soft-serve” consistency

Other potential add-ins/swaps…

  • Vanilla or Cinnamon
  • Swap the strawberry for a different fruit (The frozen banana really helps give it the creamy texture, so we use that as the “base”.)
  • Cocoa powder (We like adding cocoa powder to a version that is just banana and vanilla almond milk. We’ve added a date to that recipe before as well, for a super sweet treat.)
  • Sprinkles (The kids love adding traditional ice-cream toppings to their “nice-cream” – Things like sprinkles and maraschino cherries are a big hit!)

I love that this is so easy to whip up, and that the kids enjoy helping with it. It works well for a spontaneous after-dinner treat.

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ElijahBeaumontApril 24, 2016 - 11:48 am

It is always a pleasure to see your photography of nature and kids. I have followed your kid’s photography techniques and everybody loves it. I have written an article about it with the consultation of prime papers but it is not published yet.