Mother's Day Tea Party Ideas

Mother's Day is fast approaching.

And although my co-teacher and I haven't firmly decided which gifts we will be making or which songs we will be performing, we do know one thing...

we will be hosting our annual

Mother's Day Tea Party!

I've hosted this event for the past four years and it's always a big hit. 


The moms get a chance to be pampered and feel appreciated. 

The children get a chance for some fun playtime with mommy at school.  

It's all good!


I will have pictures to include from this year's Mother's Day Party, but I will only be able to add them to this post after the event.

  So let me apologize now for the current lack of photos.

Hopefully there will be some helpful ideas that will compensate for the lack of imagery!
We usually start the event with the children serving the moms a drink and a snack and then joining them at the table for their own snack.  

Food includes simple items like scones, cookies, and fruit.
All items are prepared or bought by the school. 
Moms are off the hook on this one!  

After snack time, the children carry their mom's dishes, as well as their own to the sink.  (All part of the pampering!)  

Then the kids and moms participate in the station activities that we set up around the room.  

Some stations in the past have included:

1.  Sniff and Smell Game 


Moms and kids take turns wearing a blindfold and sniffing and then guessing the contents inside various plastic cups.

The cups are covered with a bristol board paper "lid" until someone is ready to do a sniff test and then the lid is temporarily removed.

Some items we have placed in the cups include: toothpaste, mustard, crayons, banana, chocolate syrup, cinnamon, pepper, garlic, maple syrup, lemon, and coffee.

Basically anything commonplace with a strong scent is a good choice!

This station is guaranteed fun - and the kids especially love wearing the blindfold!

2.  Storytime Centre 

We stock a quiet(er) corner with comfy cushions and chairs and set up a selection of books about moms and kids.

Below is my all-time favourite book for this collection - My Mother is Weird by Rachna Gilmore. 

It's funny, yet respectful and very true to life. 


3.  Manicure station

The children buff, paint, and "beautify" mom's nails (whether they need it or not!)

Supplies for this table include: a selection of nail polish colours, nail polish remover (a must for obvious reasons :)), cotton swabs, Q-tips, a nail fan, nail stickers, and lotion.

4.  Massage station

Moms sit in the chairs provided and the children use various wooden massage tools on their head and back.  

If you don't have any massage tools, even a basic back scratcher device from the dollar store will work.

No matter what you use, the moms tend to enjoy this station a lot.  It's suprising how good a preschooler's back rub can be!  

5.  Game station 

Simple games that are new to the kids (and relatively quick and easy to play) are set up on tables and in other cozy spots. 

Some game ideas include:  Connect 4, Guess Who?, X's and O's (especially on a spring themed game board), Memory Card Games, etc.   

Other station ideas could include:

Makeup station
For the bravest moms and/or the girls who like to play "dress-up"

Photo booth
Provide various silly hats, boas, sunglasses, funny signs, plastic tea cups, mirrors, and other props at the station. Take photos of the moms with their kids on camera cell phones.

Active group games
Choose a game that your students are familiar with that could also involve the moms.  A parachute game or "rolling dodgeball" has usually been my pick.

Art projects
Any project that moms and kids could do together would be fun.  
This year our craft will involve making handprints on the colour or b & w worksheet below.


If you'd like a copy of this worksheet, I am offering it for FREE at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Just Click HERE to get your copy!

We end our tea parties with the children singing songs that we have practiced in class.

Then the children hand out their mother's day gifts.

A post on gift ideas will be coming shortly!  

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Easter Golf

It was raining outside today, but that didn't stop us from playing a little golf --  
indoor Easter Golf, that is!

This bunny has his mouth open and he's ready for some "snacks!"

Bunny golf can be played with plastic golf balls 
or
with plastic eggs like you see in the photo.

The eggs don't roll as well as the golf balls,
 so they are great for players who want an extra challenge!

The ears for the bunny were cut from the bottom of the box.
Once they are painted, just slide them into the opening at the top.

A fun way to involve the children in creating the bunny is to have them help with painting.  

We often hand out a set of small foam paint rollers when we have a project that needs paint.

Our students love it and it saves us teachers time, too!

If you're looking for an Easter themed story to go along with your activities, you might want to try one of the books below. 

Happy Easter!



Easter Eggs and Baskets

Hippity Hop, Hippity Hop, Easter's on it's way... 
At least I think that's how the song goes!

With Easter coming up in a hurry, I wanted to squeeze in a few Easter craft ideas before it's too late.

Today we dipped some plastic Easter eggs in paint and created some neat marble effects on our paper eggs.
The class was BUSY today, so unfortunately I did not get a chance to photograph the craft in action.


But the steps are easy and listed below:
  • Place paper Easter egg cut out in a shallow bin or box
  • Dip plastic Easter eggs (found at any Dollar Store) in paint
  • Drop the plastic eggs onto the paper egg in the bin or box
  • Tip the bin around to get the plastic egg to roll and create tracks 
  • Repeat with as many Easter colours as desired


To see images of this process (although with marbles), just click on my Valentine's Day post HERE 

At our other craft table we made Easter baskets for today's egg hunt.  
(Did I mention today was a busy one? :))

This Easter chick has his mouth wide open.  
I think he's saying, "Happy Easter!"

The children glued all the following parts to the bag:

  • oval body/head piece
  • wings
  • accordion legs
  • googly eyes
  • folding triangle beak
  • feathers

If you have a purple,yellow, or blue bag it would be particularly cute, I think!

Once the bag was finished, the children put in a handful of Easter grass.

The teachers then stapled on a pink bristol board handle. 

Voila!  A cute and easy "candy collector!"


Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses

Warmer weather is here!  
Now is a great time to pull out the book, 
Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses 
by Kimberly and James Dean!

In this latest Pete the Cat book, 
Pete suffers from a case of 
"the blue cat blues." 
And the book shows us just how he deals with it!

Pete's such a cool kitty with so much to teach, I decided to feature him in my latest unit below.

In this unit I included 10 different images for re-telling
Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses to your class.

 Just print the pictures on cardstock and add magnets to the back! 
   This unit also contains: 

 Pete the Cat Feelings Cards  
(These come with 3 different game ideas!)
Colour and B&W Poster for your classroom
Student Mini-books
5 page Class Book with worksheet
Centre time game
Additional Magnet Board Story
Art Project with templates
Art/L.A. Worksheet

58 pages of fun for under $7!


If you're interested, please check it out in my 
Teachers Pay Teachers shop HERE!  


Bring Your "Stuffy" Pet to School Day


This past week we had a bring your "stuffed" pet 
to school day. 

We had quite a variety of creatures - everything from giant snakes, to monkeys, to your every day puppies and cats.

The children all had a chance to introduce their "pet" to the class at circle time.  It was interesting to note how the pets names changed throughout the day. :)

At the craft table, we made collars and name tags for the pets.  
Here's our friend, Twigs the giraffe, with his sparkly new collar and tag.

The supplies I put out for this activity included:  

  • strips of bristol board for the collar (I created long strips that could be cut to size for each stuffy)
  • oval and/or heart shaped tags cut from bristol board
  • piece of pipe cleaner for attaching the tag to the collar (I created a hole in the tag with a hole puncher)
  • stickers, sequins, and felts to decorate the tag and collar
  • round sticky velcro dots to attach to the ends of the collar (optional, but it's a nice touch when the collar can open and close)
  • pieces of yarn for a "leash" to attach to the collar
After the pets were all suited up, the children took them for walks (i.e. slides) around the classroom.

They also stopped at our Pet Shop (see post HERE) to buy them treats.

And they made little homes for them with blankets and boxes. 

At the end of the day, we dropped all the pets on top of our parachute for a trampoline ride.  The stuffies tended to bunch in the middle as we bounced them, but the kids didn't seem to mind.

Then we treated the pets to a parachute game of ring around the rosy.  

Did you have a fun day at preschool Bunny?  I think so!

Preschool Pet Theme - Pet Store

Our PET theme has been lots of fun for the kids this week.  

Part of the fun came from the PET STORE we set up in the dramatic play area.

This sign for the shop was a bit of a quick one (plus my felts were running out, as usual!), but it still helps set the stage for the shop.

My co-teacher and I both have pets so we raided our cupboards and closets to find extra leashes, bones, dog treats, and other paraphernalia to sell at the shop.

And here's our store - open for business!


As you will note on the shelves under the sign, we included a collection of animals to sell. 

 As long as my daughter doesn't check her toy box this week, I should be fine! :)

Here is a closer shot of some of the goodies we laid out.

Note:  You may just want to give the children a reminder not to eat the dog food.  

We had a couple of curious kids give the bones and treats a few licks!

Here you'll see our collection of "doggy bags."

When setting up the shop, we had joked about crumpling some brown paper and leaving it on the floor for the children to put in the bags (teaching good citizenship!), but in the end we decided that might not be appropriate. 

So...the bags were used for shopping!  

The balls were used for playing fetch and roll.

And the leashes and pet crate were used for walking their new pet friends around the classroom.  

Stay tuned for next week's dramatic play centre
 - Vet's office!


Preschool Pet Theme - Cat Craft and Story

I love animals and so doing a PETS Theme in our preschool class is a must!  

There's lots of fun activities, stories, and songs to go with this theme AND it gives you an opportunity to talk about how animals should be treated.  

(I volunteer at animal shelters so being kind to animals is a topic near and dear to my heart!)

If you are doing a Pet theme, you may want to try this easy and fun CAT craft with your class. 
 I took the photo with the cat lying flat on the table, but it can actually "stand up" since the body has two sides folded like a card.  

All you need for this craft are:
  • body and head cut-outs similar to those shown below
  • paper whiskers and a triangle nose
  • googly eyes
  • markers or bingo dabbers for decorating

     








 Standing Cat Craft Cute, easy, and lots of fun!


If you'd like a good book featuring a cat to go along with this activity I highly recommend, 
"The Cat Came Back." 

 I have the version by Bill Slavin featured in the image below.
  
I like this book because the pictures are cute and you can "sing" the story.  

 The tune is catchy and the children usually pick up the chorus pretty quickly.   

At the end of the story, I just make a point to mention how "we"don't try to give our pets away like Mr. Johnson does!  



Chick Crafts

Every month we choose a new theme to feature in our classroom. 

When we did our FARM theme, we hatched chicks in the classroom (click here for the related post).
That was an awesome experience for both kids, parents, and teachers alike.  

To see something come from nothing (especially when that something is a fluffy little chick) was pretty neat!   

On the day the chicks hatched, we commemorated the big event by doing the craft below.  
The materials include:
paper cut outs for the head, body, wings and beak
white paper ovals cut jaggedly in half for the eggs
googly eyes
feathers 

As the chicks grew, we did another craft in honour of our fluffy little guests.  
The idea below was brought in by our ECE student, Christine.


The children painted a paper plate, and then glued on the feet, beak, eyes, and wings.

This chick appears to be chirping loudly as his beak his wide open! :)

The wings were made from tracings of the children's hands.  You could trace each child's hand individually and/or have pre-cut tracings ready to go. 

Here is the bulletin board Christine set up which showcases our chicks as well as a few more of the crafts she developed for this unit.
  Thanks for all your hard work, Christine!






My Video Debut

I just finished a new Spring Unit to sell from my shops on Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher's Notebook.

One of the songs in the unit, didn't have a tune that corresponded with a well-known song for reference, so I had to resort to making a video to demonstrate how it goes.

I pulled out the puppets that I made to accompany the song (all available in my unit) and then hit the stage! 

And then, I hit the stage again....and then again....and then one more time....

  It actually took about 5 tries to get a version that was acceptable to post.  Between the dog barking, the dog begging for me to throw his ball, me dropping puppets and commiting various bungles...let's just say it was a bit more challenging than expected!  

But I'm not too proud to share my video debut
 here with you. 
(By the way, my voice is not really that high in person...   
 I was just trying to "be the crow."  :))

 Thank you to my daughter for doing the filming! 

video

This song has been a big hit in my classroom.  
It's unique, has a quirky ending, and the kids can learn it quickly due to the repetition.  

The words and puppets for "Baking a Pie" are included in my Spring Unit along with 7 other great activities for Centre Time and Circle Time.

If you'd like some fun new ideas for the season, please check out this resource posted in my shop.
 To view, click HERE!

  
   

Colour Song




Every morning at circle time, we do a quick fingerplay and then enter into a Good Morning Song.   I have a few favourites, but I do like to switch things up regularly.  Variety is good!

One great way to start our circles is with a colour song.  I pick a colour that each student is wearing and then move my way one by one through the class.  

The tune for this song is "The Colour I See."
The words go like this (depending, of course, on what colour each student is wearing): 



Red, red is the colour I see
If you're wearing red please show it to me.
Stand up and turn around.
Show me your red, then sit back down.

Green, green is the colour I see
If you're wearing green please show it to me.
Stand up and turn around.
Show me your red and then sit down.

etc.

To turn this song into a game, you could also hand out 4 colours of paper to the class.  To make the game more challenging for older students, choose colours that you think they are less familiar with - grey, silver, gold, etc. 


Tell the children that when you sing about the colour they are holding, they can stand up and turn around.  

For more fun colour activities and games, click HERE to see a previous post.