Fun with Fall Leaves

by Judy Mullican

fall-leavesDepending on where you live, the leaves may be changing colors or may be about to change soon. Even if you live in an area that does not experience fall color, leaves offer many opportunities for fun and learning! Some plants naturally produce leaves that are red, yellow, or orange all the time. Leaves also come in different shapes and sizes. Take your children outside to explore! (Caution: As always, be sure to explore safely. Check Know Your Plants or other sites to find out if any plants in your surroundings are poisonous or cause skin irritation.)

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Magically Clean Pennies

by Katie Brazerol

magically-clean-pennies“Find a penny, pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck!” Preschoolers are attracted to bright shiny pennies, but over time, they lose that polished look. Invite the children to help you create a magic solution to make tarnished pennies look new again. (This activity can be found in the October Fireflies® Curriculum Guide, p. 47).

Caution: Supervise this activity closely to prevent children from placing coins in their mouths.

Provider note: Pennies created before 1982 were composed mostly of copper. After 1982, they were made with mostly zinc. However, even new pennies are coated with copper, so this activity should work with pennies from any year.

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Dinosaur Egg Hunt

by Judy Mullican

Do your little ones love dinosaurs? There’s something about these prehistoric creatures that has huge kid-appeal! This fun Dinosaur Egg Hunt activity is from the October Buttercups® curriculum and is found on page 45. It’s part of the Big and Little theme that focuses on exploring big and little dinosaurs and more.

dinosaur-egg-huntWhat You’ll Need:

  • Small toy dinosaurs *
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Bowl or plastic tub
  • Spoon
  • Baking sheet
  • Trigger-spray bottles
  • Vinegar

*Caution: If you are working with children under three or older children, who still place toys in their mouth, be sure to choose dinosaurs that are not a choking hazard.

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Singing Through the Day

by Judy Mullican

Singing and Clapping During Circle TimeSongs and young children go together like cake and ice cream! I once asked a mother of young children if she thought her children were ready to learn a certain concept. She told me, “They can learn anything if you put it in a song.” There’s a lot of truth to that! Just think how easily children learn advertising jingles they hear only a few times!

There are many ways you can use songs to make your day go more smoothly. Here are a few ideas.

Sing a song to welcome the children to your group. Including their names will personalize the song and make each child feel special. Here’s one to try.

Hello Friends!
Sung to “Good Night, Ladies”

Hello, (Emily)!
Hello, (Emily)!
Hello, (Emily)!
We’re glad you’re here today.
Hello, (Emily)!
Hello, (Emily)!
Hello, (Emily)!
Oh, won’t you come and play?

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Modeling Clay

Modeling-Clayby Katie Brazerol

The second theme in our September 2016 Fireflies® curriculum is Fasten Up. Manipulating fasteners can be tricky work for little hands! A great way to help children strengthen their fine motor muscles is to provide activities that involve folding, sculpting, and manipulating clay and dough. The activity below is featured on page 51 of the September curriculum guide. This recipe is for two to three children. Heating times may vary.

Caution: This activity should be supervised closely. Only an adult should use the stove and oven. Allow the dough to cool thoroughly before allowing the children to manipulate it.

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The Importance of Play

by Kelley Jilek

Baby newborn in the shirt closeup on white background.When children play, they develop their knowledge of themselves and others, learn to make sense of the world around them, and learn to communicate with peers and adults. As children grow and develop, play changes, but the importance of it remains. There are a number of ways that educators and other adults can support play for various ages of young learners. But first, you need to understand how it evolves.

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