Monday, February 23, 2015

Branching Out

I recently decided to start a new blog to share lesson plan ideas and activities for two-year-olds.  I've been teaching this age group for awhile now, but initially when I started I felt a little out of my element as the majority of my work experience had been in the 3-5 range.  A lot of resources that you can find online have to be modified to be developmentally appropriate.  I decided I wanted to share the activities I use in my class and resources I've found to be useful as there were most likely other educators or parents in the same predicament.  Take a peek at Teaching Twos.


Frozen Chalk

Frozen chalk is a great winter activity to make with your students or children. My preschool class made this for an "Ice" theme and it is even appropriate for toddlers. We continued to refreeze the pieces and let the children use them throughout the week until there was nothing left. They absolutely loved this! Using cornstarch, water, and some food coloring gives you a fun project that serves as an art, sensory, and science activity in one. 

Materials:


To complete this project you will need cornstarch, water, food coloring, and an ice cube tray.
Here is our YouTube video if you are interested in watching the process:





Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Preschool Thanksgiving Lesson: The Mayflower

A preschool Thanksgiving art lesson on the Mayflower. The boat is drawn using water soluble oil pastels which can be spread using a paint brush dipped in water. This is a great lesson to correspond with the holiday and teaching about lines and shapes. Be sure to talk about the different shapes that can be used to create parts of the picture.

Materials:

- water soluble oil pastels
- white paper
- paint brush
- water

Preparation:

Print out a picture of the Mayflower to use it to discuss the Pilgrims journey.  Ask your child what shapes they notice in the boat.

Our YouTube Video Demonstrating the Lesson:







Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Wetu: A Preschool Thanksgiving Lesson

A wetu is a Wampanoag temporary house built of red cedar sticks and grass.  The Wampanoag tribe shared in the first Thanksgiving feast with the Pilgrims.  This is a drawing lesson that uses lines and shapes to create a simple holiday picture.  

Materials:

- Crayola drawing chalk or chalk pastels
- Blending stump or q-tips

The following is our YouTube video demonstrating the process:




Sunday, November 2, 2014

Jack O'Lantern Play Dough Mat

How to make a play dough mat from construction paper to encourage working on shapes. Play dough is a great fine motor activity and you can make play dough mats for any theme or holiday. Write or type prompts to direct specific skills you want to build on. These can also be made using clip art and a word document.  I get my assistants to make our play dough mats at school using construction paper since it is less time consuming and readily available.

Materials:
-scissors
-glue
-construction paper
-card stock
-laminator and laminating sheets

Preparation:
Come up with an idea for your play dough mat.  It is best to mount the pictures on card stock especially if you work with young kids to make it more durable.  Laminating is a must as well!

Our YouTube Tutorial and Example:






Monday, October 27, 2014

Gourd Ghosts!



This is a really simple Halloween art idea that can easily be completed by children as young as two.  We talked about fall harvest items this week such as apples, squash, and gourds.  Our parents brought in gourds for the children to be able to examine and afterwards each child painted a gourd to bring home.  They loved this art project!


Materials:

-gourd
-acrylic paint (white and black)
-paint brushes
-newspaper to cover work area

Preparation:

Prepare your work space by covering it with newspaper or art mats if you have them available.  Place the white acrylic paint into a container.  As you will have to wait for the white paint to dry you can hold off putting out black paint until the gourd is ready.

Our YouTube video demonstrating the process:




Saturday, July 19, 2014

Seal for a Preschool Zoo Theme

The following lesson is a preschool cut and paste lesson that uses gray tempera paint on a seal. If your children are capable of cutting the shapes themselves it will make it easier for them if you outline the shapes for them.  In this lesson I used a cut up cupcake liner to create the collar and ball. Not only is this lesson great for a preschool circus theme but it is a good way to discuss shapes.  As my students are two-years-old I pre-cut the shapes for them but allowed them to glue everything on in their own way.

Materials:

- Construction paper for the background in a bright color
- Seal cut out or outline if the children are cutting it themselves
- Trapezoid or rectangle shape for the seal's stage in construction paper
- Gray tempera (or white and black if you would like to explain making gray and what a shade is)
- Glue and scissors

Preparation:

If your class is young like mine and not able to cut for themselves, pre-cut the seal, stage, and cupcake liner and place into zip lock bags to keep them organized.  You can either mix the gray yourself or do this in front of your children as a way to explain how gray is made.

Our YouTube Video showing the process: