Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Scary hand sucking dryers...

We all have seen those dreaded hand dryers that push your skin around... But they are more than just a reminder of our wrinkles, they are also a frightening part of the bathroom for many children. 

Bathrooms can be a very frightening place for young children as well as for children with sensory disorders. The automatic toilets and crazy loud echoing hand dryers are beyond overwhelming. 
How in the world can you help a child overcome that fear? 

Enter: crazy hand dryer Vs. tongue monster

One of my favorite ways to help children overcome fears is to introduce humor to the fear. If you can show a child that it's funny instead of scary they will remember the funny rather than the fear. So one of the little kittens and I decided to create something scarier And sillier than the hand dryer. We made a monster that had a looong tongue that would wiggle wiggle wiggle when the dryer turned on. After two sessions of practice we actually built up the courage to Use the hand dryer! What an accomplishment! 

Here is a list of places here in Springfield that has the loudest hand dryers:
Discovery center
Truck stops and some gas stations
Incredible pizza company
Academy Sports
Movie theatres 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A balancing act!


A nature walk is always a Winderful way to spend a day! During my time with my little kittens we have probably taken hundreds of them! Each time I try to come up with an activity to keep the kids looking and learning as we go. This trip we looked for things that reminded us of summer. Oh and of course did some balancing on the curbs when no cars were coming!!! 

Here are a few things we found on our trip! As we noticed the rain garden we stopped and read the information. The kids loved looking through the flowers!

Oh cicadas... We found 28 cicadas this nature walk! We counted and touched, but left most of them for other kids to see. We discussed what the shell was and why in the world the cicada left it behind on that tree!!!

We also discovered some interesting things out about shadows! Go out at different times of the day and see what the kids say!!!

The littlest has officially learned my crossing the road chant. They all think it is Hilarious. They each get excited when we come to the edge of a road we need to cross. Sometimes I pretend to forget and they will scream "Sam!!! Wait , you can't cross yet!" it definitely makes me feel confident that they know how to cross safely. 

"Look, Look. Listen, Listen. Hold my hand now Run!" 

This helps each kiddo learn to look both ways and to be aware of car sounds, as well as to get across the road quickly to avoid any accidents!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

How does your garden grow?

I am occasionally amazed at how much you can learn from a garden. I am continually amazed by the little exposure to gardens kids have today... I am convinced that many of life's lesson are hidden within a garden and yet I realize a garden is not always an option for many kids to ever even see! I recently discovered a beautiful garden at Deleware Elementary School. I had my three little kittens out for a stroll and we came across this years creations by the students and staff of the school. I was shocked at how little the kids knew about a garden. Even at ages 9,7 and 4 they had no idea what was growing on that plant or what made it grow other than a textbook response of sun and water... How could they know about the hard work, the sweat, the planning and care, problem solving and love that comes from taking nothing but dirt and seeds and creating something that an be enjoyed, shared and of course eaten! In four whole years how could I have missed introducing this to them! How could they have NEVER seen a real garden in action??? 

Technology is a wonderful thing. Something that is practical and needs to be explored and learned from in order to live in our society. But at times we seem to overlook the basics that we grew up with! I still to this day remember the first carrot that I grew. I remember sitting by the row of seeds and singing to my carrots. I knew that if I really took care of those little seeds in the ground they would grow and my family would be so impressed. As you can imagine that was the Best tasting carrot and no I didn't even bother washing it off before I took a big chomp. I wiped it on my pants and ate it all up. 

So to get to the point, after spending some time showing the kids each plant and them discovering a bud here and a tiny watermelon there we will soon be making a small garden of our own. And of course as soon as I have my first classroom, I will have a garden right outside our room. What better way to learn????

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sharing vs. getting my way

I have been struggling lately to find the right way to handle a daily squabble with the three little kittens... It seems like I always here someone screaming about what character they want to be or what toy they get to hold. How as the teacher and the adult, do I decide who gets what? Today the youngest wanted to join in on a game that was already in progress. Of course this turned into the oldest pushing him, the middle screaming and the youngest giggling as he stole all the pieces! CHAOS! The youngest and I took a moment away from the game to discuss the issue. His response to me was to ask why he was in trouble when the other two were the ones not Sharing... Hmm... Good question. I explained to him that he was not in trouble, but that he had to be nice and ask to join a game. Yes the girls Should share and give him a character but he may not get his first choice. 
Both sides had good points! Both sides were correct, but it can be hard to explain the other perspective! A technique I often use is the peace table! Then the kids have a chance to talk out how they feel an must problem solve together! 
Any other ideas?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fourth Fun

Wow what fun we had during our fourth of July Celebrations! We did relay races that worked on team building as well as gross and fine motor skills. A huge issue lately has been waiting our turns and cheering each other on no matter if we are winning or losing. It is so hard for a young child to understand why they should be Happy when they are Losing?!? We had many conversations about being happy to play the game as well as cheering regardless of how well each child was doing! I am certain we will be working on this for quite some time!

Oh fireflies... It's that time of year! Get out and catch some!

Blind folded pictionary with American symbols? Oh it is much harder than it looks! But so silly and fun!

The Fourth Just isn't the fourth without a few fireworks. A Chinese lantern is a great way to incorporate other cultures into our own celebrations!

Last but not least this time of year is a great time to remind kids that there are many heroes that have sacrificed so much to give us the freedoms we enjoy each day. Kids do not necessarily know how lucky we are! Remind them of the things we enjoy each day because of those brave men and women. 

Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's HOT! 
We needed a nice cool way to spend a summer day. We found various items in the garage and house and created a Huge obstacle course. The course incorporated many different gross and fine motor skills as well as water games! The kids began by moving their bodies over and under pool noodles, then shot water balloons at target, into buckets and even in a basketball goal! The kids also carried water using a cup with holes in the bottoms throughout the remainder of the course. The kids Loved spending the day with the water activities. 

Do you have any hot day favorites?
Comment them below!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My Very First Post!

For my first post I thought I would share an activity that my three little kittens and I did recently! I noticed a need to work on hand eye coordination as well as one little kitten that is not crossing midline. How can I work on these issues without losing their interests??? As one came up to me with an iphone asking to play a game it hit me! Let's make a giant angy birds game. The kids get practice aiming at the targets, problem solving and of course throwing that ball as hard as possible will force that little kitten to cross midline over and over again. We spent HOURS playing this crazy game! At one point I had to pull out the ladder to get to the top of our crazy tower. We Really had a blast while working on those issues.