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Monday, May 28, 2018

Official Kickoff to Summer

 Memorial Day Weekend is the official kickoff to Summer!  The National Parks Service is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year.  Let's go on a roadtrip!
 I love these vintage postcards that they put out to celebrate our National Parks.  It makes me want to travel to ALL of them.
 I have been to several National Parks.  Every year, my dad and mom would cram 3 kids, 2 adults, and one cooler into a Ford Topaz (small car!) and take a road trip.  Mostly, we went to Florida every summer, but there were other road trips to parks. I remember being a Melanie sandwich with my little brother on one side and my little sister on the other.  Oh, good times!
 When I became a mom and we took road trips, I became super organized.  Each child had a busy bag just for them full of things that they liked and would keep them interested.  I like to include maps, paper and pencil (crayons melt in hot cars! #lessonlearned), small toys, books, and some sweets.  That is my secret to keeping everyone happy in a car for 6+ hours.
Where are you going this summer?

Have a fun and playful day!
Mel

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring...finally!

 Last week in Ohio, we had a day where it was 70 degrees and the next day, it snowed!  Hopefully (all fingers and toes crossed), Spring is right around the corner.  There are sooo many learning opportunities in the Spring - plant life cycle, gardening, farm, baby animals being born.
 Just get outside and let the kiddos explore.
Have a fun and playful day!
Mel

Looks like a sensory table to me


Some people look at these and see side tables, but the preschool teacher in me sees sensory tables!  I know that I have a different way of looking at things, but can't you see this as a backyard sensory table for the littles?

Have a fun and playful day!
Mel

Color me learning

 Paint swatches are great for scissor practice.  They are colorful and FREE!
 The next time you are at the hardware store, pick up a handful and let the kiddos go wild with them.
They can also use paper punches to make shapes.  We plan to use these butterflies in a future spring art project.

Have a fun and playful day!
Mel

Scissor Practice - cutting herbs

 Cutting paper is fun.  Cutting fresh herbs is fun and stimulates the brain for learning.
  "Our sense of smell is the only sense that sends information directly to the brain...Researchers found that certain odors increase the ability to learn, create, and think" Pam Schiller, Start Smart 1999
 In this invitation to play, I added scissors, fresh herbs, and paint swatches.  Kiddos can cut the herbs, release the aroma, and color match the herbs to the paint swatches.
See previous posts for ideas on how we used the cut herbs to make soups and play dough.

Have a fun and playful day!
Mel

Fresh Herb Play Dough

  "Our sense of smell is the only sense that sends information directly to the brain...Researchers found that certain odors increase the ability to learn, create, and think" Pam Schiller, Start Smart 1999
 Simple ingredients made this play dough.
1 bottle hair conditioner
1 box corn starch
fresh herbs
The smell is sooo good!  Not only will this play dough energize brain cells, it will strengthen the small muscles in little fingers - those same muscles that will hold a pen and write their name.

Have a fun and playful day!
Mel

Herb Soup

 "Our sense of smell is the only sense that sends information directly to the brain...Researchers found that certain odors increase the ability to learn, create, and think" Pam Schiller, Start Smart 1999
Spring is an excellent time to awaken those brain cells.  Kiddos can gather greens, flowers, etc from the backyard and create soups, potions, and perfumes.  Here, I added some fresh herbs like rosemary, parsley, cilantro, and basil from the produce department of my local Kroger.  The smell is heavenly!

This would be a great outdoor activity or you could contain it to a sensory table as well.  The smells will energize little brains and bring nature in.

Have a fun and playful day!
Mel