Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Preschool: Dinosaurs Week 1

Welcome back!  I have really been enjoying our transition to preschool, and I think Little Guy is, too.  I'm playing with how to share what we have been up to, so any feedback is appreciated!

When Little Guy turned 3 this summer, we had a dinosaur themed party.  We had not done many other things with dinosaurs, so I thought a preschool unit on dinosaurs would be fun.  This was a two week unit, so here is a snapshot of what we did the first week.  Little Guy is 38 months old.

It was fun to pull together some dinosaur themed activities.  We started each day by reading.  We went to he library and checked out many non-fiction books about dinosaurs.  There are some great books that are geared towards little learners. Two of my favorite brands were Acorn from Heinemann and 21st Century Junior Library from Cherry Lake Publishing.  These books had text that was simple enough for Little Guy to understand, but also felt like great non-fiction books.

After reviewing our calender, we started choosing activities to complete.  The first was an alphabet activity.  I laid out some ABC flashcards ad Little Guy had a dinosaur wand.  Now, this isn't just any dinosaur wand.  When you hit it, its starts flashing lights.  to do this activity, I would call out a letter, and Little Guy would hit that letter with his wand.  It was pretty fun! We did have to wait until the wand stopped flashing before moving onto the next letter, but that didn't take too long!
We have several plastic dinosaur toys, we we used them with playdough this week.  Little Guy would roll out the playdough, then push the dinosaur into it to make tracks.  We even got out some magnifying glasses to examine the tracks even closer.
What dinosaur unit would be complete without pretending to be a dinosaur?  We had some masks leftover from his party, so Little Guy and I put on masks, went outside, and pretended to be dinosaurs.  We stomped around, pretending to eat trees and leaves (we were herbivores), with a few mask changes!
We can't forget to work on those fine motor skills.  We got out his Toob from Safari Ltd of dinosaurs.  He had to use a pair of tweezers to put a dinosaur into each compartment of the tray, then take them back out.  The dinosaurs were a little tricky to grab, but he did okay.
You know how my Little Guy loves puzzles.  For his birthday, he received a large Melissa and Doug dinosaur floor puzzle!  This was a big hit!  We separate out the edge pieces for him so he can do the outside first, then he fills in the inside.  He can't do the puzzle completely on his own, but he is getting better.  I like to ask him what dinosaur he will put together first, then encourage him to finish that one before moving onto another dinosaur.  The inside is easier for him, and he is always so proud when he is done!
Little Guy also chose to do some coloring this week.  Coloring is not a regular choice for him, but this week he got to use colored pencils.  Some of the pencils looked like sticks from a tree, making them very interesting. 
Our preschool time would not be complete without a snack.  Little Guy was practicing spreading peanut butter (one of his favorite foods) onto animal crackers.  Then he would add another animal cracker to make a little sandwich.  Yummy!  The spreading was a bit hard for him, but it is great practice!
Come back next week to see what else we did in our dinosaur unit!

Looking for more dinosaur ideas?  Check out my dinosaur Pinterest board.

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