Experimenting with Density

by Katie Brazerol

This fun little experiment will help children begin to understand the concept of density. The activity is featured in our December Fireflies® Curriculum on page 17.

What You’ll Need:density1

  • unbreakable clear glass or jar
  • water
  • vegetable/canola oil
  • pancake syrup or dark corn syrup
  • small items (marble, bell, plastic lid, button, paper clip)
  • paper
  • markers

Step 1:  Talk with the children about density. Density is the amount of parts squished together to make up a liquid. The more tightly packed the parts are, the more dense the liquid. (This is difficult concept to explain, so experiments like this will provide a visual aid.)

Continue reading

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.)

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Welcome
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?

  Continue reading