Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Preschool- Insects

Preschool at our house has gotten off to a great start!  I am loving the change of spending more time at once working with Little Guy, instead of snatches of time here and there.  Little Guy is 38 months old.

We started our homeschool preschool year off with a unit on insects.  Now, Little Guy is not particularly interested in insects. However, our local botanical gardens was having a "Bug Day," so I thought it would be a great way to peak his interest.  Our zoo also had a butterfly exhibit all summer, so we had an opportunity to get up close with the butterflies. 

We started with books.  We pulled out some classics, like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Quiet Cricket, and The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle.  We also made a trip to the library and checked out several non-fiction books about insects.  We spent time every preschool morning reading.  (These books were left out in a basket all the time, so many of these books were read throughout the week, at various times of the day.)

One book that was read several times was The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  You may recall that I made a busy bag to go with this book. I pulled out the leaf lacing, bead caterpillar, and felt pieces for this story.

Little Guy loved using the felt pieces to tell the story.  I would read the book, and he would put the story pieces on the felt board.  It was really cute watching him to pretend feeding the food to the caterpillar.
He also really enjoyed stringing the bead caterpillar and then wearing his necklace.  He wasn't too interested in the lacing (even with the cute caterpillar) but found another use for the leaves.

The favorite activity of the unit was probably the alphabet monster!  This was an idea I saw on I Can Teach My Child.  It is made from an old wipes container and milk bottle lids.  I made all the consonants red and the vowels blue, more for possible future uses than anything else.

Little Guy loved this activity!  He would shout, "Alphabet Monster, eat the (letter)!"  He got so excited about "feeding" the monster.  It was a great way to review the alphabet in a silly way!

To practice some counting skills, I would like us to begin using dominoes.  There are many things that can be done with this manipulative.  As a teacher, I know when I introduce something new, I must allow time for play.  It is no different with my own child.  So this week the dominoes were to play with and to observe.

We made several trails of dominoes to be knocked over (really, can you play with them and NOT do that?).  Little Guy stacked them and listened to the noise they made on the floor.  We also wrote what we noticed about them.  Little Guy would make an observation, which I wrote, then I would make an observation for him to write.  We did this twice during the unit because he asked to do it again.

I want to make sure to include name recognition or writing into our preschool time.  To practice his name, I wrote it out on a piece of paper.  He then had to cover it with bug stickers.

This is another activity that we ended up taking turns with.  He would choose a sticker, then me.  This only makes sense, as it is a difficult decision which sticker to choose next.

To go along with this unit, I purchased the insects Toob from Safari, Ltd.   One interesting thing is that there were three animals included that are not insects.  It was great to talk about why these are not insects.

Little Guy loved playing with the insects!  I ended up cutting leaves out of craft foam for him to put the insects on. 

We also worked on making insects out of egg cartons.  This idea came from Gummylump.  Little Guy actually got really into painting the egg cartons.  Mommy enjoyed helping, too! 

For this unit, I made some number cards and some 3-part cards, using the insects out of the Toob. For the number cards, Little Guy had to count how many insects were in the picture and match it to the number.  The 3-part cards had to be matched altogether, and you could even add the plastic insect. 

Little Guy completed the number cards, but not the 3-part cards.  Since the numbers went to 6, it was great to stretch him a little, since we have mostly worked up to 4 in the past.
I am trying to incorporate some food skills into our preschool time- during snack.  One thing that Little Guy practiced was using a butter knife to cut a banana into slices.  He was really excited to do this!
So there are our first 2 weeks of preschool!  Little Guy seemed to enjoy the time, as did I.  There were other activities that we did not complete,  but at the end of the two weeks we were ready to move on.

How is your preschool going?

Check out more insect ideas on my Alphabet I Pinterest Board!

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