Friday, June 11, 2010

Flag Day-June 14th

June 14th FLAG DAY

I love patriotic holidays and even though we don't get this day off it is still good one to celebrate.  Here are some fun things to do.  I really like the idea of making a family flag to teach how flags represent a group of people and what they stand for.
  • Learn American Flag Etiquette. has a flag information site with audio for "Grand Old Flag"
  • Flag coloring page:
  • Make a family flag:
Use your imagination. There are so many ways to do this.Michaels Craft store has some project ideas:
#25311a or e05331 that can be adapted.
They also sell foam pennants and embellishments

My local Kinkos can print photos onto fabric, check out your local office supply store.

Use fabric paint that comes in tubes or pens.
Use iron-ons printed from your computer.

Size and durability depend on your choices.

Symbolically or realistically (using drawings or photos) on your flag:
Ideas you might include:

1. Number of family members
2. Pets
3. Favorite foods
4. Favorite pastimes
5. Favorite books
6. Favorite trips and outings (even locally)
7. Favorite colors
8. Favorite games
9. Family friends
10. Traditions
11. Special events or happenings
  • Fun Flag Holder Craft

United States Flag on a 8- 12 inch long dowel
Styrafoam cup or waxed paper cup (that will peel off)
Red or white beans (can use a mix of both)
White school glue that dries clear
Small paper plate
Aluminum pie pan

Step 1 Fill cup with beans then empty beans into pie pan
Step 2 Add enough glue to coat all the beansStep 3 return beans to cup, packing tightly into cup to prevent air pockets
Step 4 invert cup onto paper plate
Step 5 insert flag into bottom (now top of cup)
Step 6 let sit for at least 24 hours till glue sets
Step 7 peel cup off beans and trim paper plate to fit bottom of flag stand. The plate should be secured to the beans by the glue used on the beans.

Display the flag on a table or in a window year round or just on special flag days.
We had one made in Cub Scouts and it lasted for 10 years.

Visit Preschool Corner for more ideas of great things to learn and do with your kids.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Donut Day - June

I love any excuse to have a good donut so when my mom sent me this story we had to do it. (I barely got this picture before he had downed the whole thing in record time.)
The first Friday in June is National Donut Day. The holiday was proposed by the Salvation Army, in 1938, to honor their "serving ladies" and to raise funds for the needy in Chicago.  The Salvation Army created "huts" in France during the first World War. It had rained for 63 days and the solidiers were very discouraged. The "huts" were staffed by 4-6 women, who made coffee and other baked goods for the soldiers. They were the only women allowed on the battle field. The hot donuts were a big hit with the tired soldiers.  Legend has it that this was the origin of the term "doughboy" to describe soldiers. But the term has been found as early of 1846 in the Mexican American War.

Here a few ideas to celebrate donut day.
  • Check with your local donut store to see if they are participating in either giving away free donuts or donating matching funds to the Salvation Army if you buy donuts.
  • Make your own easy donuts from canned biscuits. 
  • Discuss the history of the Salvation Army that has the red kettles we see at Christmastime. 
  • This is also a day to discuss helping our soldiers and volunteeing.
  • Buy store bought donuts and enjoy!
We also reviewed the sounds and writing of the letter O since it is a donut shape.
For more ideas visit preschool corner.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Coupon Saver Activity

Argh!! The afternoon slump.  School is finished.  Lunch is over.  Still 2 hours until naps.  What to do?  Then we hear it.  Off in the distance.  Coming closer.  A low rumble.  It is thunder? a train? a bulldozer?  No.  It is the mailman (our is really loud).  Yea.  First he goes down the opposite side of the street and then we wait anxiously by the window for him to come back up our side.  What does he have for us today?  The highlight of our afternoon.
About once a month we get the coupon saver.  I give the envelope to my oldest and we have turned this into a little learning project to extend the joy of mail time.
Fine motor skills: opening the envelope without tearing the coupons
Sorting:  making three piles - the ones for momma (haircuts, pizza...), the ones he wants (builders, tractors...), and the rest
Cut and paste: cut out the pictures he wants and glue them to another piece of paper
Writing: label each of the pictures either by himself or by dictating to me
Thank you USPS for brightening each day!
Visit Preschool Corner for more great ideas.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Volcano Day- May 18

May 18th is the anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980.  I lived in eastern Washington at the time and although I was still a toddler I remember coming home from church and having our house and yard covered in ash.  My mom collected several jars of the ash and when we moved to California a few years later we would take the jars to school each year for show and tell.  Eventually all the jars were broken and we don't have any of the ash left but I decided it would be an interesting childhood memory to share with my kids.  So we this week we celebrated volcano day.
We started off by watching a short, simple video about volcanoes on How Stuff  I liked that it was not too complicated or scary!  We discussed the terms volcano, magma, lava, and erupt.  We reviewed the word igneous from an earlier lesson on the types of rocks.
Then we did a mini-book on volcanoes from
 Finally we made a little volcano in the sink.  I put some baking soda in the bottom of a cup and added a few drops of red food coloring.  Then I slowly added vinegar and the kids watched it "erupt".  We did this several times because they were enjoying it so much.  There was no clean up since we were doing it in the sink.
This seemed about the right level to approach the topic of volcanoes for the first introduction and we had a great time.
Find more ideas from other mothers at preschool corner.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bird Week

We started the week by looking up birds in our encyclopedia.  We talked about the parts of the bird (wings, feathers, talons, beak, etc...), the different types of birds, and where different birds live.  Our encyclopedia had full page pictures of five different habitats each with a few birds from that habitat.  There was also a picture of a bird skeleton (we reviewed the term vertebrate) and a section on the different uses for the different types of bird feet (webbed for swimming, curved for gripping, or sharp for ripping).
On Tuesday we read a book called Beaks! by Sneed B. Collard III.  Each page focused on a different type of beak and what its particular shape and make up are good for.  Some beaks are made for pecking, some for fishing and some for tearing food.  One type of beak is even made upside down.  The end of the book had a little quiz to test our new knowledge of beaks.  Tuesday night Dad and the kids watched a Woody Woodpecker cartoon and talked more about woodpeckers.
Wednesday we combined birds with another theme day - park safety and Dad took the kids to a duck pond for a picnic dinner and to feed the ducks (a nice break for Mom).  The ducks loved the bread and kids were able to share with Dad the parts of the bird they knew and what ducks webbed feet and beak were used for.
Thursday we talked about state birds and the national bird (bald eagle).  We have a flapbook that has the birds listed for each state so we looked up ours (Alabama yellowhammer), grandma's, and some of the other states he knows.  It was a good geography review.
Friday we wrapped up the week by making a bird.  I went to the DLTK site under listings by material type to the toilet paper roll link.  (I use this site all the time since we always have toilet paper rolls around.)  We looked at each of the birds they had on their list and he choose Tweety Bird since it is yellow like the yellowhammer.  So, we watched a Tweety Bird cartoon.  A nice end to a really fun week.

Hope this gives you some good ideas.  Feel free to add some more in the comments and look for more at preschool corner.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Since our first son was old enough to ask questions about anything and everything, I began encouraging my husband to help our son find the answers to his questions by first looking in one our books before turning to the internet.  I know the internet is a great resource but I wanted our children to think of books as a resource as well and there is just something different about having a book in your hands as opposed to looking at a computer screen.  My husband agreed and would look for answers in a picture dictionary that we have.  He began complaining though after he tried to use the dictionary and three times in a row the thing he was looking for wasn't there (a picture of a groundhog for instance).
We started looking for a better picture dictionary.  As we were doing this we both remembered having encyclopedia sets in our homes when we were growing up and loving to look through them.  Many of our friends shared similar memories when we were discussing our delimma with them.
So, we decided to buy an encyclopedia set for our home.  A quick investigation showed that a new set was not within our financial means.  There are several thrift stores in our area so be decided to look there.  Our first trip out we found a set that was only five years old and most of the books were still shrink wrapped.  We were able to purchase the entire set for $10.
We brought the books home, made room on a bookshelf and our oldest set them up in alphabetical order singing his ABC song.  We now use the encyclopedia set on a very regular basis and usually ending up finding out so much more than the answer to our original question.  The best part for me has been when our 3 1/2 year old was asking a question about firefighters and his face lit up as he joyfully said, "I know.  I will go get the F."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010



Being a west coaster I won't presume to tread on a Southern tradition. But this is a great day to Run your own race.

Using the small metal toy cars and pre-made ramps or making your own you can ESTIMATE, MEASURE and AVERAGE for distance, speed and weight.

Make it a Car day and learn to change a tire, check the oil and other fluids, and maybe even wash the car.

Have a tail gate BBQ, Watch the movie "CARS".

Learn about Route 66.  Play the Nate King Cole song "Get your kicks on route 66" 

Spend the whole day making left turns.

Run your own 500. Make cardboard cars with suspender type straps to fit over the shoulders or just have them hold them on with their hands. Let them decorate them. Run all kind of races, timed, obstacle, backwards.