My favorite books and supplies to start our preschool year!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

K is for Keys {Pirate Treasure Hunt}

We love treasure hunts around here.

And my 3-year-old has watched “The Pirate Fairy” almost every day for the last three weeks. So when I found this book for our {K is for KEYS} day, it ended up being a perfect fit!

{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys

  • Explore keys
    1. Place several different keys on the rug (we spread out a blanket). I used these two sets of keys from Michaels. The one on the left is actually a page of stickers, but I just peeled the sticky stuff off the back Smile You could also use any keys from your key ring!
      {Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys
    2. Give the kids time to explore the keys. My 3-year-old started noticing details and pointing out differences and similarities.
    3. Sort the keys … long vs. short, color, shape, etc.

{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys

  • Read “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: The Key to Skull Rock” … This is a Pre-1 reader. The story includes pictures above some of the words, so non-readers can “read” along. This is a fun treasure hunt type of story. Jake and his crew have to get a skeleton key back from Captain Hook to find the treasure Peter Pan left for them. Available here.
    1. Find all of the letter K’s on the cover.
      {Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys
    2. Use one of your keys to circle the word “key” in the story as you read. The story actually says “skeleton key” but I just read “key” through the story. My 3-year-old could spot the key picture and loop it with the top of the key.

{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys

  • Go on a {K is for Keys} Treasure Hunt!
    1. Cut out several large K’s from colorful paper. Write the clues on each of these K’s. I like to add little activities to do with the clues.
    2. Hide Clue #1 at the back of the book. When we finished the book, we had a clue waiting for us to find our very own treasure!
    3. Customize the treasure hunt to fit your house and preschooler. These are the clues and activities we did!

{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys

Clue #1 … “Fill up this K with keys to get your next clue.”

  • My 3-year-old used all of our keys to cover the big letter K. Then I handed her the next clue.

{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys

Clue #2 … “Find all the K’s in the basket of blocks”

  • We looked through our ABC blocks (found here) and found all of the letter K’s. It ended up being a good sorting activity. Yes-K blocks went in one pile. No-K blocks when in another.
  • And of course, stacking blocks happens naturally Smile

{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys

Clue #3 … “Use this KEY to open a lock in your bedroom to find the next clue!”

  • I taped a key to the clue. I got these locks at the dollar store!
  • I showed my 3-year-old how to put the key in the lock and turn it. She was thrilled to have it pop open and unlock the doors.
  • The clue was waiting inside! {Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys

Clue #4 … “Where do we hang our car KEYS?”

{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys

Clue #5 … “Open this lock to get your next clue”

  • I hung another lock (not from the dollar store) by the clue.
  • She fit the key in the lock, twisted and opened it. Then I handed her the next clue Smile

{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys

Clue #6 … “There is a lock in the bathroom. Use this KEY to unlock it and find your clue.”

  • I just snapped a lock from the handle of a drawer. Yes, she could have just opened the drawer without unlocking it, but she used the key to unlock the lock and open the drawer Smile
{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys

Clue #7 … “Search for 12 KEYS in the rice & match them to this page!”

  1. Ahead of time, I put a letter K and 12 keys on the scanner, then just printed out a page. All of the keys on the scanner went into a bowl of rice.
  2. The kids searched for the keys and matched them up to their picture on the paper.
    {Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys
  3. TIP: If you do not have a scanner, just trace around the keys and the kids can match the key to it’s outline.

{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys {Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys

Clue #8 … Yes, this is really clue #8. I lost track and wrote #7 again Flirt male “Open the dryer! You will need this KEY!”

  • Again, tape the key to the clue.
  • I put a small treasure box ($2.99 at Michaels before coupon!) in the dryer.
  • It was locked and my 3-year-old used the key to open it and find her treasure!
    {Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys
  • Chocolate gold coins and bead necklaces! It was a fun treasure to share with her little brother. Smile

{Preschool Alphabet} K is for Keys

  • Color your treasure box! … I purposely got a blank treasure chest, so my 3-year-old could have fun coloring it to make it her own.
    1. Instead of paint, we used markers today. We have these fun metallic markers and they made it extra shiny and looked like gold.

Monday, September 29, 2014

B is for Butterfly

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  • Read Butterfly Butterfly: A Book of Colors by Petr Horacek … this is a new book for us. We love it! A little girl finds a butterfly in her garden. The next day, she can’t find it, but she does find other colorful things. The last page is a beautiful fluttery butterfly pop-up.

P1019808

  • Read Are You a Butterfly? by Judy Allen & Tudor Humphries … this is a fun, simple, non-fiction book. I love it because the kids can really interact with it.
    1. Ask the kids to find the letter B’s on the cover.
    2. There are lots of opportunities to interact with the book:
      • Do their parents look like a butterfly’s parents?
      • Pretend to eat a leaf
      • Use their feelers (two fingers pointed up) to “smell” flowers
      • Use their long tongue to drink nectar
      • Fly around the room!

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  • Stickers on B page
    1. Draw a large B on a piece of paper.
      • I write it for my younger kids and they trace it with a pencil or crayon. My older preschoolers can write it themselves.
    2. Stick butterfly stickers all over the page. I got these at Michael’s. Several butterfly stickers available here.
    3. Draw half of a butterfly (the left half). Show your kids how to finish the butterfly by writing a B on the right side.

  • Watch “The Butterfly Colors Song” … my kids love this song. It really is cute.
    1. Cut out a simple red, green, yellow, pink, purple, orange butterfly shape. I used this one. Click the image below to print on colored paper.
      P1019821image
    2. Place them on the floor.
    3. Roll up six pieces of tape and stick them to the wall or a door.
      P1019796
    4. Play the song again and have the kids pick up the matching color and stick it to a piece of tape.
    5. Point to each color during the chorus.

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  • Make B Butterflies
    1. Fold a piece of white paper in half vertically (hotdog-style).
    2. Help the kids draw a large B on the fold of the paper. I always tell my kids “Down. Bump. Bump.” Whatever works Smile
    3. Let them cut out their B.
    4. Unfold to see their white butterfly!
    5. Use several colors of paint (we use Crayola Washable Kids Paints) to paint one half of the butterfly.
      P1019811
    6. Fold the butterfly in half again and press down.
    7. Open it again to see the beautiful, colorful, symmetrical butterfly!
    8. Let dry and add eyes, antennae, stickers or other decorations
  • Pony Bead Butterfly … I loved this idea from Where Imagination Grows! We didn’t get to this, but will pull it out again on a rainy day! So cute.

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  • Simple Butterfly Lunch
    1. Make your favorite sandwich and cut it into a circle. Then cut the circle in half.
    2. Use a cheese stick for the body. Turn the sandwich halves to make wings. Add pretzel stick antennae!
    3. Let the kids add grapes or raisins to decorate the wings.
    4. Cut out a simple flower shape (from paper or foam paper) and cut a hole in the center. Place it on top of a cup of juice (nectar). Place a straw in the hole and drink (just like a butterfly uses a proboscis to drink!) Thank you First Grade Shenanigans for the fun idea!

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  • Make Butterfly Treats … make these for a treat or do what we did and use them for treats after the following story.
    1. Decorate a clothespin.
    2. Use glue to attach googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennae. I use hot glue because it dries fast and is strong. Just be very careful when your little ones are helping you!
    3. Clip the butterfly clothespin onto a bag of treats (M&Ms, Skittles, fruit snacks, etc.)
    4. Several other healthy and not-so-healthy butterfly treats found here.
  • Family Home Evening Idea … every Monday is our family home evening. We do a song, prayer, short lesson, and treat with our family. This story and activity worked perfectly with our butterfly day.
    1. Prep: Make a butterfly finger puppet. Either with felt or print one and laminate it. Attach a loop to the back (for your finger). Hide the butterfly somewhere in the room.
    2. Read the story How to Catch a Butterfly by Marilyn Wood. Found here. You can also download an audio version on the right-hand side under “download”.
    3. TIP: Sometimes, I draw a few pictures to go along with the story (think stick people!) It helps the kids to pay attention Smile
    4. Give each of the kids a butterfly to hold and show you how to treat it reverently.
    5. Tell the kids to look around the room for the hidden butterfly and fold their arms once they spot it.
    6. Ask one of the kids to get the butterfly and everyone else to cup their hands like they’re holding water.
    7. Have the butterfly fly over and “sip” from each cupped hand. If they’re not being reverent, the butterfly will get scared and fly away.
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