archive for the 'Social Emotional Development' category

Charlie Rooster Shape Craft

This Charlie Rooster shape craft is a fabulous extension to the story Friends written and illustrated by Helme Heine. Together, these activities teach pro-social behavior, shape knowledge, and color recognition.

As children grow, they become increasingly interested in establishing friendships. Friends provide stimulation, assistance, camaraderie, and affection.

Charlie Rooster, Johnny Mouse, and Percy the pig are the best of friends. They do everything together. They ride their bike together, play games together, and even do their chores together. Because that’s what best friends do. This charming book glorifies friendship; proving that friends can make even the most simple, everyday delights seem extraordinary. In cheerful watercolors, Helme Heine depicts the tremendous spirit of these adorable animals, who are filled with the enthusiasm and pleasure of companionship.

MATERIALS USED:

– Construction paper
– Craft foam
– Our free circles template
– Scissors
– Glue
– Dot markers
– Googly eyes
– Heart cutouts/Fiskars heart squeeze punch
– Feathers
– Crayons


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The Colored Hens Circle Time Activity

One of my favorite children’s books is The Little Red Hen. I read it every year to my class. I often pair the story with this interactive circle time activity, which is designed to improve listening skills, and teach colors. It also gives children an opportunity to follow directions and to participate during large group.

Cut out colored hens to match the colors in the poem (the hen pattern is provided here). I happened to have some extra felt, so I just used that. However, construction paper will work just as well. Glue the hens onto paper plates, add some googly eyes, and coordinating craft sticks. I used watercolors to color the sticks.

During circle time, give each child a hen. Some colors may have to be repeated depending upon how many children are in the circle. Instruct the children to hold up their hen when they hear their color, then read the poem below. This is a fantastic attention grabber. My preschoolers, even my “busy” ones, hold their breath with anticipation, just waiting to hear their color words; they get so excited to spring into action!

THE COLORED HENS POEM

This little hen is brown
You’ll never catch her with a frown

This little hen is black
She’s not a duck, so she doesn’t quack

This little hen is yellow
She’s friends with Mr. Rooster – he’s a happy fellow

This little hen is purple
She likes to walk in a circle

This little hen is green
On the farm she can been seen

This little hen is blue,
She likes to follow me and you

This little hen is red
She’s laid all her eggs in her bed

After the poem is read, and all the hens have been held up, talk about the different colors. To build phonemic awareness, the rhyming words should also be repeated and discussed.

MATERIALS USED:

– Colored felt or construction paper
– Our hen template
– Scissors
– Tacky glue
– Paper plates
– Jumbo craft sticks/tongue depressors
Washable liquid watercolors
– Googly eyes



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The Power of Play Dough

The Power of Play Dough

I thought it would be fun to set up a play dough bakery. I made some chocolate colored/scented dough and some lavender glitter dough. I also provided birthday candles, wooden flower decorations, colored beads (sprinkles), pie and bread tins, rolling pins, ice cream scoops, silicone cupcake holders, a serving platter with a doily, cookie cutters, etc.. I had everything ready to go before my class arrived.

The Power of Play Dough

This is Chloe. She is always so serious and straight-faced in the mornings, so I was thrilled to see her chatting and smiling while making her “special star cookie”. Some of the kids made birthday cakes and cupcakes while singing “Happy Birthday” to each other.

The Power of Play Dough

There are so many benefits to playing with this squishy substance.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Play dough allows preschoolers to come up with unique and creative ideas. Children often express pride in accomplishments when they use play dough in purposeful and meaningful ways. Social skills grow as they share space and materials.

FINE MOTOR SKILLS

Children use their hands and tools to pound, push, poke, shape, flatten, roll, cut, and scrape the dough. Through these experiences, they develop eye-hand coordination and control, dexterity, and strength; critical skills they will need later for writing, drawing, and other purposes.

The Power of Play Dough

LANGUAGE/LITERACY

Working with play dough helps young children to enhance their language abilities. They practice listening, understanding, speaking, and communicating skills as they negotiate roles and engage in conversations with classmates and teachers. Materials like play dough encourage preschoolers to describe and reflect on what they are doing.

The Power of Play Dough

SCIENCE AND MATH

As young children discuss what they are doing with the dough, they often engage in scientific thinking. They learn through tactile experiences, observing and reflecting on how materials feel and change (grainy, smooth, round, flat). Math skills increase as children compare shapes, measure sizes, and count.

All in all NEVER underestimate the power of play dough.



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