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Thursday, August 25, 2016

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Penguin Preschool Activities for Penguin Theme or Unit

Penguin preschool activities are the perfect way to mix one of our favorite animals with fun learning! Use them in a penguin theme this winter, an ocean theme in the summer, or just for fun any time you like!



Actually, I was looking through my {FREE} printables, and I realized I had several penguin activities. Then, I started looking through my archives, and I thought, "I've got to put the penguin activities all together!!"

So, today I'm sharing all our penguin preschool activities, organized by subject! I'll be adding to them soon, but I'll link everything back here!

PENGUIN MATH ACTIVITIES:
Penguin Ice Cube Counting With LEGOS {FREE} Printable that combines counting with LEGO fun and penguins!

PENGUIN LITERACY ACTIVITIES:
Penguin Party: {FREE} Emergent Reader Mini Book that rhymes and has pictures of real penguins!

PENGUIN SCIENCE & STEM ACTIVITIES:

PENGUIN ART & CRAFT ACTIVITIES:

PENGUIN SENSORY ACTIVITIES:

PAID PENGUIN PACKET:
Preschool Penguin Packet (& {FREE} Penguin Shadows Page): This could fit in the math, literacy, and science categories...it has over 30 pages of fun penguin learning activities!




Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!




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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

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Leaves Preschool Action Rhyme

I love doing action rhymes with my preschoolers! They help develop pre-reading skills while using large muscle, gross motor movements. It's wonderful for coordination, memory, and just plain fun! Today, I'm sharing an easy leaf-themed action rhyme you can do inside or outside...personally, I think doing anything outdoors is more fun!


Here's the easy Leaves Preschool Action Rhyme (suggested actions are in italics):
by Carla at Preschool Powol Packets


Leaves up high  (reach up high)
Leaves down low  (bend over and touch the ground)
Leaves are spinning (spin in a circle)
Everywhere you go! (spread arms out wide)

Touch leaves in the trees   (reach up high again)
Kick them on the ground   (kick imaginary leaves)
Jump in the piles   (jump up and down)
Of leaves all around!   (spread arms out wide again)





This action rhyme is perfect for leaf, fall, seasons, tree, or outdoor themes!  You can do it with your own child, in a group, or with a whole class at circle time or during other whole-group activities!  It also makes a great "time filler" for when you have just a few minutes between activities and need something fun (and still educational) to do!

Do you have a favorite action rhyme? I'd love to hear it--feel free to send me an email, leave a comment, or stop by my PreschoolPowolPackets Facebook page!


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Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!




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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

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Paintbrush Engineering STEM Challenge

This was the most perfect book-inspired, team-building, back-to-school STEM project we've done!



I knew we were going to be doing something like this a couple weeks ago when I saw this Bridge Building STEM activity, but since we changed a few things up, I decided to share our project with you today!

We read I Ain't Gonna Paint No More as our picture book of the week (more on that below), and then I showed the kids a pile of paintbrushes, an egg carton, a pile of rubber bands, and rulers. I challenged them to build a road strong enough to support a car. 



I loved watching them work through their different ideas! At first, everyone wanted to build on their own little section. They tried balancing the rulers on top of the paintbrushes. That didn't work at all! Finally, they realized they could balance the rulers on the rubberbands! They started working together, and created this fantastic "spaghetti bowl" road! They added the bus and a jet, and put at least five different small cars on the road at once! The cars came on and off, and they even played with it for a while! 



Eventually we had to take it down so we could paint...they managed to use more than a dozen paintbrushes in one amazing engineering design!



I love how STEM, engineering, and often science projects bring kids together to problem solve and work with each other. They were all so pleased with their work--they even wanted to take their own pictures! I doubt my youngest preschooler could have done this on her own, but since she was working with two older kids, she got to be part of the creation too! It was a wonderful way to start the year!




You will see a lot of book-inspired posts this year! The reason is we are using a picture book every week to base our themed activities on! We've done this before, but I haven't blogged about it quite the same way. This year, I'm focusing on a lot of book-inspired activities that will go great with my new preschool curriculum, HEEP! HEEP is a hands-on, themed curriculum perfect for preschoolers. You can learn more about HEEP here!


Do you have a favorite back-to-school activity? I'd love to hear about it! Feel free to send me an email, leave a comment, or stop by my PreschoolPowolPackets Facebook page!


Amazon Affiliate Links:



Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!




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Saturday, August 20, 2016

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My Secret Weapon for Sticky Fingers & ALDI Little Journey Baby Line!

You know that moment when your baby or preschooler has been eating crackers, and then they turn to you with a smile and give you a huge hug?! I'm always happy for a hug, but then I look down at my shoulder and see the remnants of post-cracker kid hug on my sleeve, and wonder if I should have been wearing full body armour! Luckily, I have a secret weapon that I pull out whenever my preschoolers make a mess or my baby feeds herself or my kids help cook or my sleeve gets... well, any time we have a mess! Have you guessed what it is?


You might use it too... my secret weapon for preschool, toddler, and baby messes is... {drumroll}  baby wipes!!  You can clean off wet crackers like they were never there, and then it just takes a few minutes for the sleeve to dry! Did you know? Give it a try...you'll love it!

Aaaaand, I have a new favorite brand of baby wipes!! Since baby wipes are such an important part of my sanity-saving protocol, I am very excited to share this discovery with you! There are three very important things that I look for in baby wipes: they need to be strong, thick, and have good ingredients, and these new baby wipes win in every category! Are you curious where I found them?  I'll tell you: ALDI!!



ALDI has recently released a new line of baby and toddler products, Little Journey, and I have absolutely fallen in love with the Little Journey Thick Quilted Baby Wipes! They are thick and strong enough that I can use them on any mess, and still soft and gentle enough that I can use them on my baby too! (I love that they are alcohol free, hypoallergenic, and have aloe and chamomile too!) I don't mean to sound like a commercial, but I am so excited to have a new "secret weapon" as I clean messy fingers...and the things they touch!

ALDI knows that every child and parent has a different "little journey," so they developed this line of over 50 products to meet the huge variety of toddlers and babies. And I've found that many of the products are also wonderful for preschoolers!

I already told you about the wipes. I also really love the Little Journey Diapers. This surprised me because I already had a brand of diapers and wipes that I loved, but I am replacing them with the wipes and diapers from ALDI.  That's how much I love them. I also love that it saves me several dollars on every package of diapers and wipes I buy! (Prices and availability may vary.)

We had a delightful time exploring ALDI too! ALDI is known for bringing parents the highest quality products for the lowest prices, and the Little Journey line is no exception! Here are a few highlights from our trip:

1- Check out this shopping cart! I LOVE when I can put my preschooler and baby in the front of the cart. (They were pretty excited to get inside the store too!)


2- The Little Journey Displays: Besides basics for young children (like wipes, diapers, and snacks), we found all sorts of fun toys and baby/toddler/preschooler supplies. There were plate settings, high chairs, toys, books, and more!



3- New snacks!! My baby is old enough that she really wants to eat the same snacks as our preschoolers, but I'm still really careful with what she eats. These Little Journey Baby Food Purees are her new favorite. The "older kids" love them because they taste so good, and the baby loves getting to eat with them too. I love the ingredients and the lack of added sugar. Her favorite flavors are Prune Apple Butternut Squash With Quinoa and Apple Carrot.


These Little Journey Baby Puffs have been popular with my baby, preschoolers, and even my oldest daughter! It's so nice to have a snack you can hand out to everyone! Flavored with fruit juice, easy to eat, easy to serve...yes, another new favorite from ALDI!


4- New Little Journey Nuby Sippy Cup! This kid loves sippy cups! They're appropriate for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, and their anti-leak lids cut down on the messes and spills! This new one  has now served her at meals, snacks, in the running stroller, and in the car. We all love it!



While we were at ALDI we also picked up some groceries, fresh bread, and a bathroom shelf! I also bought a two-week supply of baby wipes! I was originally excited about this project to learn more about Little Journey, but I never dreamed how much I would fall in love with the Little Journey Thick Quilted Baby Wipes. They are wonderful!

My kids also had a lot of fun bagging their own groceries, and I appreciated that the ALDI store model encourages us to recycle and use other Earth-friendly habits.

You can get to know ALDI and the Little Journey line more by visiting a store or visiting them online! You can find them at the Little Journey Website, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram

What is your favorite sticky finger, post-cracker, dangerous hug solution? I always love hearing from you!!


Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by ALDI via Momtrends.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of ALDI or Momtrends. 



Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!




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Thursday, August 18, 2016

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21+ Rock Activities for Preschoolers!

Do your kids love rocks? Use that passion to fuel a huge rock study with these rock activities for preschoolers!



You can use rocks for fine motor exercise, crafts, science, art, math, letter learning, and so much more!

If you're interested in a set of more formal lessons for a Rock Theme or Rock Unit, click here. I have a whole printable rock unit set up for you! If you're just looking for preschool rock theme ideas, you will love this collection:


CRAFTS:
1- Make rock pets (like these rock bugs)
2- Make rock weights
3- Make stone fish

LITERACY:
4- Make diy alphabet pebbles 
5- Make an alphabet rocks construction site
6- Play Construction Race to learn letters & numbers

LAB STATIONS:
7- Sorting! Sort by size, color, shape, or anything else!
8- Counting! Collect rocks and count them!
9- Weighing! Use a digital scale, a balance scale, or a triple beam balance to weigh your rocks. Weigh them one at a time, or as a group!
10- Magnifying! Use a magnifying glass to make close-up observations!
11- Testing buoyancy! Use a bucket of water to see if your rocks float or sink. Be sure to provide some pumice or some other rock that will float!
12- Rubbings! Explore texture by making crayon rubbings on paper over rocks!
13- Streaking! Test your rocks' "streak" by rubbing them on a streak plate (you can use unglazed porcelain tile).
14- Testing hardness! Try scratching your rocks with a penny, another rock, and other objects!
15- Testing with water! Depending on your kids' ability, measure water displacement, volume, and/or density!

EXPERIMENTS AND/OR DEMONSTRATIONS:
16- Fizzing sedimentary rocks
17- Erupting igneous rocks 1 (use eruption instructions here)
18- Erupting igneous rocks 2 (use eruption instructions here)
19- Crayon changing "metamorphic" rocks
20- Make soil from rocks

EDIBLE EXPERIMENTS:
 21-  Edible sedimentary rocks
22- Edible igneous rocks
23- Edible metamorphic rocks (instructions at the end of this post)


There is SO much you can do with rocks! What do your preschoolers love to do with rocks? How do you use them to learn? I'd love to see!!

You can get my {FREE} Rock Unit here and check out over 150 science activities here! There is something for everyone!!





Happy Educating, Carla
I may share at any of these parties!



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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

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Counting Apple Seeds {FREE} Preschool File Folder Game!

I love fall! Apple themes, pumpkins, and leaves are some of my favorite things to teach! These cute apples are perfect for practicing counting with a hands-on (and yummy) game!!


You can play this apple game one-on-one with your preschooler, with a small group of children, or let them play at a center or rotation station! It's great for math, counting to 21, colors, developing a concept of one-to-one correspondence while counting, and taking turns!

To make Apple Seeds! a file folder game, glue the two apple trees to each side of the inside of a manilla folder. Cut out and laminate all the apples so they will last for many games! Shuffle the
apples and place them in a pile upside down near the trees.


 


To play, Take turns drawing an apple, counting out the corresponding number of seeds (we used raisins, but you can use real apple seeds, chocolate chips, or even black beans!), and placing the apple and its seeds on the tree!

Everyone wins when the apples are all placed!

I like to tape a baggie or an envelope to the folder to hold the pieces:



Click {HERE} to get your {FREE} Counting Apple Seeds Preschool File Folder Game!!

BONUS: If you have an older kiddo that sometimes wishes for fun and cute hands-on activities, HERE is a division set too! Love our "older" kiddos!!




Are you teaching an apple preschool theme? Check out this apple engineering project and this fun edible apple bubble experiment!

And if you're looking for more theme ideas, you will want to see this list of 52 preschool theme ideas! 



Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!




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Friday, August 12, 2016

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HEEP Hands-on Energetic Easy Preschool Curriculum

Are you looking for a preschool curriculum that is full of fun, hands-on learning and is easy to customize to suit your style and schedule? Then you will love HEEP!


I'm so excited to share this with you this year! It combines a little of everything that I think is important during the preschool years and answers the question, "How do I teach homeschool preschool?" At the same time, it is a great resource for daycares and full-time programs too!

What is included in this preschool curriculum?

* 52 themed "lessons!" Each lesson is designed to last a week, but can easily be condensed or expanded depending on the activities you choose.
* Book, Discussion Topics/Questions, Art/craft, Math, Science/Sensory, and Literacy Activities, Snack, and Field Trip Suggestions in each themed lesson.
* 52 "Hidden" Letter worksheets! One worksheet corresponds to each lesson!
* Dozens of pages of printable activities! These are a great variety, including puppets, story telling props, math games, and so much more!
* 26 Letter/First Sound Picture Cutting Strips Pages (one for each letter of the alphabet)!
* 26 Phonics/Alphabet Coloring Pages (one for each letter of the alphabet)!
* File size is 212 pages, 17.6 MB.

What does this preschool curriculum cover?

* 52 amazing books appropriate for preschoolers!
* All the letters in the alphabet
* Counting and recognizing numbers 1-20
* Name recognition and writing
* Kindness and other values
* Science experiments & science reasoning
* Rhyming
* First Letter Sounds
* Colors
* Shapes
* Patterns
* So much more!!

How does this preschool curriculum work?

I suggest spending about an hour every weekday in organized "school time." During that hour, mark a calendar, talk about the weather and your schedule, read the suggested book, and choose 1-3 of the suggested activities.  Over the course of a week, you will read the same book five times and do 5-10 activities related to the same theme you found in the book.

Outside of that hour, I encourage families to let their preschooler spend time playing and pursuing studies that interest them.

What teaching philosophies does this preschool curriculum follow?

After more than 20 years of working with young children, there are several concepts that I am passionate about. This curriculum is based on the fact that I believe...

1- that all children are capable of learning.  
2- that children are naturally motivated to learn about and explore their world.
3- that spending time with fun, exciting, funny, thought-provoking, and well-written books is the very best form of early literacy.
4- that play is the most effective form of education.
5- that being outside helps children self-regulate their emotions and enjoy learning and play more.
6- that real-world experiences are more meaningful that "seat-time" instruction.

As a result, you will see lots of activities that are book-centered, play-based, child-directed, outdoors-oriented. 

I still have questions?

Please send them to me!!  I would love to hear from you! You can email Carla at preschoolpackets at gmail.com.

Can I see some pictures?





Of course!! I'll be putting up more pictures over the next few days/weeks!

So, how much is it?

Similar sized electronic curriculum run $35-$50, but I wanted to make it affordable to everyone!  So, this full-year, full subject preschool curriculum is only $19.99!!  You are welcome to use it for as many children as you personally teach, whether in your own home or a classroom! This curriculum is designed to cover an entire year...that makes it only $1.66 per month or 38 cents per week! That's less than the cost of a donut!

AND, just for you, I set up a...

===>>> LAUNCH WEEK SPECIAL<<<===

I'm so excited for this week that I made a special discount code just for you!! Just type "LaunchSpecial" into the "discount code" box and it will knock more than 60% off!



Discount Code:



Last question...I homeschool and can't afford that much on curriculum?

I love homeschoolers and don't want to exclude anyone by the price! To apply for a curriculum scholarship, send me an email (preschoolpackets at gmail.com) explaining why you would like to use the curriculum and why you need a scholarship. I will respond to you as quickly as possible!



Discount Code:







Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!




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52 Preschool Themes (& FREE 2016-2017 Preschool Theme Calendar!)

My favorite way to organize preschool is to focus our activities around preschool themes!



You can choose themes based on holidays, your preschoolers' interests, or just fun topics! Using a theme groups learning activities together into a more cohesive format so your children remember new things better. Click here to learn more about how young children's brains work.

Sometimes it's just helpful to have theme ideas when you're planning, so today I am sharing 52 fun preschool themes and weeks that they could correspond with for the 2016-2017 school year! They are the same themes that I feature in my new preschool curriculum (more on that at the end of this post)!

I'm also sharing a FREE theme planning page for this school year (2016-2017). I'll put the link for that after the theme list!

So, here you go...
52 FUN preschool themes:

August 1-5: Apples & Princesses
August 8-12: All About Me
August 15-19: Cookies
August 22-26: Colors, Groups, & Bullies
August 29-2: Trucks

September 5-9: Busses
September 12-16: Leaves & Trees
September 19-23: Alligators
September 26-30: Sticks

October 3-7: Bats
October 10-14: Spiders
October 17-21: Pumpkins
October 24-28: Bones
October 31-4: Seasons

November 7-11: Dinosaurs
November 14-18: Harvest
November 21-25: Thanksgiving
November 28-2: Mittens

December 5-9: Elephants
December 12-16: Quilts
December 19-23: Gingerbread
December 26-30: Christmas

January 2-6: Penguins
January 9-13: Bears & Hibernation
January 16-20: MLKJ & Multiculturalism
January 23-27: Arctic Animals
January 30-3: Winter

February 6-10: Firefighters
February 13-17: Valentine's, Friendship, & Slugs
February 20-24: Teeth & Dentist
February 27-3: Dr. Seuss & Cats

March 6-10: Baby Animals
March 13-17: Rain & Umbrellas
March 20-24: Rainbows
March 27-3: Creating & Building

April 3-7: Cows
April 10-14: Farm
April 17-21: Ladybugs & Butterflies
April 24-28: Insects & Camping

May 1-5: Flowers & Seeds
May 8-12: Dots & Circles
May 15-19: Africa
May 22-26: Family **********
May 29-2: Where the Wild Things Are

June 5-9: Volcanoes
June 12-16: Windows
June 19-23: Kites
June 26-30: Nests & Birds

July 3-7: Patriotic
July 10-14: Ocean
July 17-21: Zoo
July 24-28: Watermelon
July 31-4: Space

Bonus Theme: Problem Solving

To get your own FREE theme planning page, just click here! I included two pages: one with these themes and one blank one if you'd rather just fill in your own plans!

And to learn more about my brand new, hands-on curriculum, click here! I have book-based activities for each of the themes above...everything from math and science to reading, letters, emotions, and so much more!!

And today I'm joining with a wonderful group of kid bloggers to bring you all sorts of Back-to-School ideas! Check out these other great resources:

The Best {Back To School} Books For Kids from Play Dough & Popsicles
Back to School Interview for Kids from CraftCreateCalm
Back to School Party Ideas from Schooling a Monkey
Not Back to School Picnic from Tales of Education at Home
Back to School Hand Washing Water Play from Play & Learn Every Day
Books for Kids About Starting Middle School from Planet Smarty Pants



Amazon Affiliate Links:



Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!



Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!



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