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Archive for February, 2016

Exploring the world of wheels

February 26th, 2016
Luzerne County, Stories

Little Meadows Learning Center in Dallas, PA invited families and friends to a “Preschool and Kindergarten Prep Preview” night to (more…)

Tiona wouldn’t have finished college

February 16th, 2016
All Counties, Stories

A graduate of the Nurse-Family Partnership program shared this note to her nurse.

I just wanted to let you know that I finished college and I would not have done so without you. Thank you so much for all your love and support. You have forever touched and changed my life. And I miss ya. Hope all is well.

Tiona


                    

Multi-Cultural Celebrations in Washington County

February 12th, 2016
Stories, Washington County

The Pre-K children at Washington SmartKids enjoyed a week of multi-cultural celebrations starting February 8, 2016 with Chinese New Year.

The class first studied paper lanterns and the dragon dance. Then they made their own paper lanterns to hang in the room. The dragon dance was so much fun! Everyone made their own dragon and danced around the room to the beat of a drum, just like in the New Year parade.

One of the parents gave instructions on how to use chopsticks. It was a hard task, but the kids did get the hang of it! The day culminated with trying out lo mien for lunch.

SmartKids President, Donna Shriver shared the importance of teaching children practices from cultures which may differ from their own. Said Shriver, “We feel that multi-cultural activities  are important at an early age in order to develop an appreciation and respect for others. At SmartKids we celebrate diversity every opportunity we can.”

On February 9, 2016, a Mardi Gras celebration was held. Classrooms were decorated with purple streamers and marble shape paintings using green, yellow and purple paint. The children made their own jester hats and Mardi Gras masks and danced to Cajun music.

The kids wore the traditional green, yellow and purple colors, and we chose a Mardi Gras king and queen of preschool. For lunch students tried Creole fish sticks and red beans and rice.

Shriver said of the learning experience, “Children need to learn at an early age to love what makes each of them different and unique. Learning about the different counties is very exciting and rewarding for the children.  They have so much fun doing things that are not ordinarily done by their families on a daily basis.”

SmartKids is a Keystone STARS participant.

6 fun Valentine’s Day activities using Conversation Hearts

February 10th, 2016
PA Counties, Resources, Stories

A Dauphin County mom and pre-k teacher, Jaimee, shares this fun Valentine’s Day activity that encourages children to learn and be creative!

6 fun Valentine's Day kids activities using conversation hearts.| PA's Promise for Children

Hands on learning is so much fun, especially when candy is involved! Grab a bag or two of conversation hearts and let the fun (and learning!) begin!

There are so many ways to use conversation hearts to help any child learn. For the youngest learners, talk about the shape and colors. Help young children recognize letters and words written on the hearts. Use them to teach counting, addition and subtraction, as well as fine motor skills by manipulating the hearts and trying to stack them.

The following activities and pictures are with my boys, ages 3 and 6, but I also do all of these in my preschool classroom.

First, talk about the shape and colors. We labeled all the colors and then sorted them.

Helping preschoolers learn colors and sorting with6 fun Valentine's Day kids activities using conversation hearts.| PA's Promise for Children

We counted each color to see how many there were. We wrote down the numbers and then compared them. Which one has the most? Which one has the least? Do any have the same amount?

Helping kids learn colors and numbers with 6 fun Valentine's Day kids activities using conversation hearts.| PA's Promise for Children

 

We took some of each color and placed them in a cup. We made predictions of what would happen if we poured hot water over them and wrote them down. Our prediction was that the hearts would melt. Then we poured the hot water in and set them aside.

Let's have fun with 6 fun Valentine's Day kids activities using conversation hearts.| PA's Promise for Children

We also made patterns like pink-yellow-pink-yellow or green-green-purple-green-green-purple.

We used the hearts to make the letter shapes and to spell sight words.

Helping kids learn letters with 6 fun Valentine's Day kids activities using conversation hearts.| PA's Promise for Children

 

We spent about 45 minutes doing all of these activities. My 3 year old had a harder time staying with the activities that long. He ended up building towers (a great fine-motor activity) while my older son continued with the letters and patterns.

Stacking can help kids learn fine motor skills. How about 6 fun Valentine's Day kids activities using conversation hearts.| PA's Promise for Children

 

We went back to check on the hearts we put in water. Our prediction was right! The hearts melted and turned the water the color of the hearts. Then we added flour to each cup to make them thick.

6 fun Valentine's Day kids activities using conversation hearts.| PA's Promise for Children

We then used that to fingerprint on aluminum foil! I taped the foil down so it did not slide while the boys were painting. My 3 year old refused to touch it, but my older son LOVED it!

6 fun Valentine's Day kids activities using conversation hearts.| PA's Promise for Children

6 fun Valentine's Day kids activities using conversation hearts.| PA's Promise for Children

Valentine’s Day Craft for Preschoolers

Jessica, a Washington County mom receives the monthly Learning is Everywhere enews and was inspired to create this Valentine’s Day activity to help her preschooler learn new skills and practice one she already knew. (more…)

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