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Nihao School February Activity Highlight



Snowman and Me

As we wrap up our winter theme, we set up a final challenge called “Snowman and Me”. In this two-part activity, children are to identify body parts on themselves and on a snowman then make their very own snowman buddy. We also practiced pointing to other friends’ body parts and describe their differences (ie. Big foot vs. small foot, long arms vs. short arms). With the body part poster, we take turn describing and showing what each body part can do.


Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Self-Awareness and Self-Concept: develop awareness of self as separate from others; reacts when hearing own name; begin to recognize their own hands and feet belong to them; shows interest in mirror image

  • Receptive Language: follows simple one and two-step directions with adult support; understand and respond to verbal and nonverbal cues

  • Expressive Language: participates in simple two-way verbal or nonverbal conversations to express and talk about needs, wants, experiences, and ideas; begins to communicate in short phrases or sentences, combining two-three words

Play & Learn at Home:


 


Calling My Friends

We love playing telephone! Let’s play a simplified version of the telephone game with our hand-make phone prop! We will begin the telephone project by assembling and coloring our phone “box” or phone “bag”. Some children choose to write their name along the back of the telephone. When our phone is completed, we take turn identifying our friends’ telephone while spelling their name aloud. During the telephone game, we sit in a circle and listen for our name to be called. When a child’s name is called, he or she will say “hello” to his or her phone (or a sound that they like to make to the phone). With the teacher’s help, we practice creative version of saying hello to the phone. Some children may decide to make animal sounds, while others may sound like a truck or a windshield wiper. This game gets lots of laughter and clapping as we come up with funny ways to pick up the phone! We also practice passing the phone around, listening for commands such as “right!”, “now left!” “faster!” “put it down!” to practice our listening skills.


Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Creative Arts: shows curiosity, exploring a wide variety of art media through sensory experiences; responds to or shows interest in visual stimuli; shows interest in own work of art and the works of others with prompting

  • Fine Motor Development: uses hands or feet to make contact with mouth, objects, or people, eventually using hands to grasp small objects between thumb and fingertips; transfers objects from one hand to another; claps; uses more refined hand and wrist movements

  • Foundational Reading: beings to recognize and understand that pictures or symbols can be “read” by others and have meaning; beings to develop alphabetic awareness

  • Writing: makes purposeful marks with various writing tools

  • Receptive Language: listens and responds with interests to sounds and verbal communication of others; watches and response to body language, gestures, and other forms of nonverbal communication

  • Expressive Language: uses consistent sounds, gestures, signs, or words for a variety of purposes to express needs and wants which are understood by familiar adults

Play & Learn at Home:


 


Healthy Food & Lifestyle

Healthy eating is an ongoing lesson to encourage children in trying a variety of foods. In this series of activities, we review eating healthy by pretending to make healthy dinners using playdough, making their own place mat, sings the all-time favorite nursery rhyme “An Apple A Day!” and ending the theme by creating their own tooth puppet.


With the playdough, children place their pretend foods on plates. Some roll out the dough and cut shapes with cookie cutters, press the dough into molds or pans, or create in other ways. As children play, the teachers talk about what foods they are making for dinner and invite children to repeat their own or others’ foods.


As we complete our playdough foods, we move onto coloring our place met, cutting out foods and treats we think are healthy to be glued onto our placemat. While we continue to decorate our place mat, we extend the activity by reading the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. Children are encouraged to decide which foods the caterpillar ate were healthy and which ones were treats. As we get to the apple in the book, we bring out the “An Apple A Day” rhyme to chant together as a class. Children enjoy clapping to the rhythm or gesturing the motion of eating an apple.


The final activity is to make a toothbrush prop to brush our teeth after our class feast. We use class puppets and encourage children to pick their own stuffed toy to practice toothbrushing techniques. Don’t forget the little cups to rinse our mouth!


This series of activity are repeated several times throughout the month for reinforcement and we find different ways to play with our playdough, place mat, and the toothbrush.


Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Dramatic Play & Imagination: uses imitation or pretend play to express creativity and imagination; uses dolls and toys as if they were real; uses objects in new ways or in pretend play; uses multiple toy props

  • Science – Observation and Inquiry: explores objects and world through all five senses (touches and brings objects to mouth, focuses attention on people or objects); uses senses to explore and manipulate objects to observe how things work; shares what is seen, heard, and touched

  • Creative Thinking, Problem Solving, Reasoning: attends to objects, eventually experimenting with different ways to interact with them; finds humor in unexpected interactions; uses materials in new ways to accomplish a task or reach a goal

  • Visual Arts: shows curiosity, exploring a wide variety of art media through sensory experiences

  • Math- Patterns, Sorting/Classifying, Reasoning: Forms sets of like items; sorts/matches objects into sets

  • Physical Health: enjoys preferred foods, tries new foods; chooses from healthy foods; knows some foods are better than others for our bodies

  • Fine Motor Development: uses both hands to hold and manipulate objects; uses more refined hand and wrist movement

  • Foundational Reading: shows interest in songs, rhymes, and stories

  • Movement and Dance: moves body with some intent and control in response to music or songs; imitates some movements and sounds in response to cues in songs or fingerplays

Play & Learn at Home:

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