Rainy Preschool Theme

We have had a lot of cloudy rainy days recently. What better way to celebrate the weather than with a rainy preschool lesson theme?!

Introduce the theme by putting together the rain/number puzzle from the Rain preschool packet by 2 Teaching Mommies.

Read I love the Rain by Margaret Park Bridges.i_love_the_rain1

Make it rain! Follow the directions from Preschool Alphabet to conduct this science experiment. All you need is a pot of boiling water and a tin pie pan filled with ice cubes. The kids thought it was pretty cool when the droplets started forming, and I was able to throw in the words evaporation and condensation in our conversation.DSC08449_thumb

While we were waiting for the water to boil, we did some worksheets from the the Rain preschool packet by 2 Teaching Mommies. We especially liked the lightning letter match: matching uppercase letter clouds to lowercase letter lightning bolts.

Read Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld. This was a really cute story about a little cloud who dreams of doing great big things.9780805087765

Talk about the water cycle using this image from Deceptively Educational.WaterCycle_PrintablesCollage

Sing a few rain songs: Rain is Falling All Around or The Wise Man and the Foolish Man (from the Children’s Songbook).

Create an umbrella/rainy day picture from No Time for Flashcards. (Our craft didn’t actually turn out this cute. At this point the children were more interested in playing with ice cubes in a bowl, but oh well).


We didn’t have time for Disappearing Clouds by Teach Preschool, but will hopefully get to it later this week (draw clouds with chalk on black paper, then make the clouds “disappear” by painting over them with water).

You can find more great ideas at this Preschool Rain/Clouds/Water Cycle Pinterest board.

Further Reading

Rain Makes Applesauce by Julianne Scheer


Raindrop, Plop! by Wendy Cheyette Lewisonraindrop

Blue Sky by Audrey Wood


Little Cloud by Eric Carle443_MD

Split! Splat! by Amy Gibsongibson splat

Clouds by Anne Rockwellclouds-anne-rockwell

The noisy eggs game

We have been having lots of fun with plastic eggs this month–the fun didn’t end for us on Easter!

Today we played the noisy eggs game, inspired by Preschool Alphabet. First we sorted through our eggs and we each found six of one color (or at least a similar shade).IMG_0409

Then we searched around the house for items to hide inside that would make a variety of noises. We used a battery, cereal, glass gems, pennies, a chocolate egg, and another small candy (use your imagination here–there are lots of things around the house you could include). We made sure that we each had the same items in our eggs.

Then we took turns shaking the eggs and finding the matching noise. The kids thought this was great fun!

To finish it off, we read Bunny’s Noisy Book by Margaret Wise Brown.


Preschool Theme: Rainbows and Color

As I mentioned yesterday, this week we are having fun with rainbows and colors. Visit this post for a list of books to go along with a Rainbow and Color theme. Here are some of the activities we have done.

Make a cloud rainbow using pom poms and strips of paper (more details here from Live Learn Love)


Rainbow Letter R (more details here from No Time for Flashcards).


Sort pony beads into rainbow colors then string on pipe cleaners. Stick the chenille stems in an egg carton to make a rainbow.


Zach had a great time stringing the beads. We used a flower foam base I had on hand as a stand. 


Lily made her rainbow, then turned it into a garden complete with flowers, a sun, and clouds.

Play a matching game with paint chip samples. Make a color book using paint chip samples and ribbon (more details here from Nothing But Country).

 Rainbow number assessment (free printable here)

Roll and color a rainbow (printable from Criss Cross Applesauce here)

Sort fuzzy pom poms by color (use clothespins for grasping as an added challenge).


 Read My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss. Draw faces with different emotions (more details here ). Make a suncatcher with tissue paper (template available here).


Science experiment: colored water mixing (more details here from Make and Takes).


 Build a rainbow out of felt (more details here).


Additional Ideas

Play a matching game with the felt shapes.

 Play musical chairs-in color (using colored felt squares).

Make a Rainbow Fish (using colored tissue paper)

String colored froot loops and make a rainbow

Make marshmallow rainbows

Creative colors: make a rainbow using colored craft supplies (feathers, buttons, beads, etc)

End of the Rainbow game with Skittles

Pretty Rainbow Prints (fold in half and paint one side)

Make a rainbow bracelet using foam or beads

Popsicle Rainbow

Assorted Rainbow activities available here

Bubble Painted Shamrocks and other fun for St. Patrick’s Day

Today the kids and I made bubbles and called it art. It was great fun!

IMG_0020We were inspired by this Lucky Clover Bubble Painting post. The instructions are simple. Draw a clover on a piece of construction paper, place in a pan with raised edges. Put a squirt of dish soap in a small cup, then fill 1/3 of the way with water. Add a few drops of food coloring, stir. Then arm your children with straw and let them blow away until the bubbles overflow the cup. The kids loved this and happily blew bubbles and played for over 30 minutes.

*Note of caution: Be sure that your child knows to blow and not suck on the straw! My five year old had no issues with this, and my three year old started out okay. But by the end in his excitement he forgot and ended up with a mouthful of soap a few times. The soap isn’t toxic of course, but it didn’t taste too good!

We are having some fun with other St. Patrick’s themed activities this week. Check out the links below if you are looking for some inspiration for the 17th of March.

St. Patrick’s Day lunchbox notes

Handprint leprechauns

St. Patrick’s Day Printable Playset

Leprechaun and Rainbow Magnet page

Pot of Gold Letter Assessment

Color and cut-out leprechaun

I like to keep things simple for the holidays, but my kids will have this little cereal gift waiting for them on St. Patrick’s Day. Holidays are a sweet time to remind them how much I love them. Don’t forget something for the husband too!

001Printable available from Blue Skies Ahead.

Days with Dr. Seuss: Bartholomew, Yertle, and The Lorax

March is the month of Dr. Seuss, and we have been having a lot of fun reading his books and doing related activities. Some of his books are great fun, like “Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?“, but I have to admit that some of his books get a little long in the telling (we gave up halfway through “If I Ran the Circus“). Here are a few highlights of our preschool Dr. Seuss theme.

Note: These activities were done with my two youngest children, ages five and almost three.

Read Bartholomew and the Oobleck and make gloop.

IMG_9948This was an understandably messy activity, but the kids loved it. After a little while they added a few of their small plastic animals and had fun hiding and finding them. The recipe for the gloop can be found here.

Read Yertle the Turtle and make turtles that stack


IMG_9961Inspiration for the turtles came from Happy Birthday Author.

Here is a close-up of Zach’s turtles before we cut them out. Look closely and you can see the little turtle faces he drew (circle-ish with two dots for eyes) and the legs and tails. He has just started drawing people this week and I love it! The purple squiggles in the middle he said are slides.


Read The Lorax and make Truffala Trees

IMG_0011Inspiration for the Truffula trees came from I Can Teach My Child.

I gave the instructions on the trees to my husband on a Saturday afternoon, and he got busy with the kids and made quite a few trees. Once the trees were made they stuck them in some homemade playdough for more imaginative play.

The next day Lily wanted to do another craft, but we were getting ready for church and I told her no. She grabbed the Lorax book and started making her own book. She did four or five pages and it was so fun to see her drawings.



According to Lily, the Lorax is saying “Hey, who chopped down the tree I came out of?”

In Sum: 327 (or in other words, a post about Halloween candy and counting)

Our children ended up with a massive pile of candy after our Halloween activities this year. Really.*

One quiet afternoon I decided to have a little fun with our candy (and sneak in some learning at the same time). I dumped out our bowls of candy on the living room floor and asked the kids to sort and organize it. I got them started by saying “Here is a tootsie pop. Do we have any other tootsie pops? Let’s put them in a pile together.” They caught on quickly and jumped right in. Even the two-year old was happily picking up candy and saying “same…same!”

Once the sorting was done, we took a look at our piles and I asked them to estimate, or take a guess at which pile had the most candy. Then we started counting. Each child took turns picking a pile to count and we recorded the totals. We worked our way through the chocolate pile, the Tootsie Pops, the Nerds, the Laffy Taffy, etc. We were all correct in our estimation that we had the most chocolate–77 pieces! Hooray.

After all that counting and sorting, it was definitely time to eat a piece!

Then I suggested that we go the next step and figure out how many pieces of candy we had all together. I pulled out the dry erase boards for my almost-8-year-old and she started adding everything up.

Meanwhile my five year old and I pulled out the calculator and started adding up our totals–she punched in all of the numbers.

The grand total at the end came to 327 pieces of candy! Yikes, that is a lot of candy. And that is even after almost two weeks of eating a few pieces of candy a day, and sharing a bunch with our family who visited for a few days. I wonder how much we had to start with ??!!!

We made a few real-world applications and realized that if the 5 of us in our family each ate one piece of candy a day, it will last us for 65 days. But it is more likely that we will eat two pieces, in which case it will last for 32 days, or about a month.

I know I am a bit of nerd, but it was really fun to find some real life counting and math practice that worked for all three of my children! Thanks for the inspiration, Teach Mama! Check out her post for more ideas and great ways to play with candy.

*The long story: We attended our ward Trunk or Treat party the weekend prior, and then the children headed out with Dad on Halloween to knock the neighborhood. This is our first year in a neighborhood with houses and families and children (as opposed to just townhomes and mainly college students) so we weren’t exactly sure how much candy to plan for. Well…turns out that our street is not a popular place to trick or treat. At nearly every door they knocked they were handed an extra large handful of candy because the home owners were thrilled to finally have some children to give candy too. And while I eagerly waited at home with my own candy bowl primed and ready to go, I only had 4 children knock at my door. All of that combines to make one large supply of candy!!

Preschool Lesson Plan: M is for Monsters

There is no shortage of ideas when it comes to the theme of monsters (hello Pinterest!).  We decided to take advantage of this fact and so for preschool today our theme was M is for monsters.

We read a monster book (see the list below for ideas) and then we did a little monster math (disguised as googly eye fun). Inspired by No Time for Flashcards I cut out some simple monster bodies and gave each child a bowl of googly eyes. They took turns pulling numbers out of a bowl and counting out the corresponding number of eyes for their monster. After a few rounds of play the girls wanted to stick the eyes to the body with glue and add some other features (arms, mouth, etc) which was fine by me.
Our next activity was a reading of Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley. This book is a favorite at our house, and my non-reading four year old “read” it aloud to us today. Then we used these cutouts which I had previously colored to illustrate the story as we read it again.  For a follow-up activity we did the roll and color a monster game using the printables here.

After lunch we read a few more monster stories and wrapped things up by making monsters out of playdough. My favorite homemade playdough recipe can be found here (note-today I added almost another cup of flour to the recipe to make it nice and soft), and for added fun today we included googly eyes and pipe cleaners to create the monster body parts.

Further Ideas: we didn’t get to it today, but I love this cute monster matching game from No Time for Flashcards.

The Monster Book Reading List

Our favorite monster books to read include:
Go Away Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere
My Monster Mama Loves Me So by Laura Leuck
The Monster Who Ate My Peas, by Danny Schnitzlein

For more monster themed reading lists be sure to check out No Time for Flashcards and Serving Pink Lemonade.

Celebrating Friendship (and books to go along with the theme)

We have wrapped up another year of the Sweet Bee’s preschool co-op.  When it was my last turn to host, we celebrated the friendship and fun of these four cute girls!We had a mini photo session, and then the girls each decorated an inexpensive frame so they would have a place to keep a photo memory of this preschool year.

Here is our Friendship Theme Book List

City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems

My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems (and any other Elephant and Piggie book)

Friends by Helme Heine

You Will Be My Friend by Peter Brown

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead

My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohman

Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel (and any other Frog and Toad book)

How do Dinosaurs play with their Friends? by Jane Yolen

Preschool Lesson Plan: Life Cycle of a Butterfly

The Sweet Bee is a budding entomologist. She loves to catch bugs (usually roly polies) and keep them in containers (the poor bugs don’t last very long). She has been begging to talk about butterflies at school, so that’s we did today.

Play Time/Free Time Downstairs

Circle Time
Welcome Song—Here We Are Together
Pledge of Allegiance
Calendar—Talk about the day, the month, and the date.
Weather –look out the window and discuss the weather

Metamorphosis and Life Cycle

Introduce metamorphosis:  changing from one thing to another

Read: Are you a butterfly?

Follow the lesson plan from Not Just Cute to teach the butterfly life cycle: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly, egg, caterpillar, etc. I used flashcards found here.

Make bead caterpillars (from Make and Takes)

Make clothespin butterflies (inspired by Teach Mama and Make and Takes)Free Play Time

Snack Time: Froot Loop Butterflies (inspired by Teach Mama)

Nature Explorations

We took a walk to discover butterflies in nature. Along the way we found a ladybug.

We were thrilled to find an orange butterfly. It didn’t stay around too long, with 4 eager preschoolers chasing after it. I was only able to snag one quick picture.After our little nature walk we returned home and each child colored their own butterfly life cycle book.

The Butterfly Reading List

Ten Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin

Are you a Butterfly? by Judy Allen

Monarch Butterflies by Helen Frost

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

More Butterfly Explorations

Looking for more explorations? I haven’t tried it, but this Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden looks pretty awesome!

Bow Tie Pasta= Butterflies. Try making a sensory tub, or paint them and make a pretty picture.

Preschool Lesson Plan: R is for Rainbows

I had a lot of fun hosting the Sweet Bee’s preschool class today. March is the perfect time to  talk about rainbows, and we spent a few hours this morning full of color!

Play Time/Free Time Downstairs

Circle Time
Welcome Song—Here We Are Together
Pledge of Allegiance
Calendar—Talk about the day, the month, and the date.
Weather –look out the window and discuss the weather

All About Rainbows

Group activity: Build a rainbow out of feltI made this simple rainbow out of colored felt, to introduce our rainbow theme. Each child picked a color, and then we stacked the pieces on top of each other to form a rainbow arc.

Read: A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman

I just discovered this book and it is delightful, and the 4 year olds in our group were all pretty interested in it.

Science experiment: Food color mixing in water cupsThanks to Make and Takes for the inspiration!

Creative Crafts: R is for Rainbow–use pom pom, beads, feathers, and more to decorate a rainbow.

Free Play

Snack: Rainbow fruit kabobs

I wasn’t able to get all the colors of the rainbow, but our kabobs were pretty colorful with red strawberries, orange cantaloupe, yellow pineapple and green kiwi. A delicious healthy snack I need to remember to make on a regular day, too!

Alphabet Time: Letter R

ABC song-Sing while doing something silly like jumping up and down, clapping hands, swimming our arms, etc.

Introduce letter R. Use letter block, foam letter, magnet letter, puzzle letter, stamper—pull out of a bag.

Read: Duckie’s Rainbow

I read the book out loud once, and then I read it again and we all acted it.  (“She hopped under the orange bridge…” so we all hopped around the room).

Play: Roll and color a rainbow

Thanks to Criss-Cross Applesauce for the game template

Play: Musical Chairs (in color)

Instead of using chairs, we used colored pieces of felt for the children to step on.


End the day by blowing bubbles outside and looking for rainbows.

Be sure to check out my Shamrocks and Rainbows post for a few more ideas!