Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pre-K Korner... Apple Time!

Hi, kids! Finding a job that will work with my erratic school hours has been pretty difficult. Most places that involve kids want you there on a regular basis, the same days and times every week, preferrably all day long, and for more than a few months at a time. Jobs that don't involve kids want to know, "Why do you want this job if you've always worked with kids before?" They wonder, did you commit some devious act that would ban you from working with kids and cause you to resort to applying to be a cashier at Target?
So I started babysitting, which can be more catch-as-catch-can... even though its embarassing to admit that I may be the world's oldest "babysitter!" I have one regular job, watching two preschool aged girls on Fridays. When I was a nanny I home-preschooled the kids and had weekly themes with activities, and so I've been trying to do that with these girls as well. And so, each week I will post my Pre-K Korner, with some fun, themed activities for the preschool crowd. These activities can also be adapted and used with older kids and kids with special needs. Enjoy!
This week's theme was apples. Our first activity was Hide-And-Seek apples. I had cut out apple shapes from construction paper, and wrote an alphabet letter on each apple. While the girls closed their eyes, I hid the apples all over the house. The girls then had to walk around and find the apples! To figure out if they'd found all the apples, they had to lay them out across the floor in alphabetical order. They loved this game, and they also loved taking their own turns at hiding the apples! (Unfortunately, when Girl 2 had her turn, she hid three of the apples so well that we never found them! U, Y and W are still MIA.) You could do this activity with just about any theme, or make it more fun by using real apples (if, for instance, you had gone apple picking recently and had a whole ton of apples on your hands!)

I didn't get a picture of the next activity, but we played "Red Apple, Green Apple," which was pretty much exactly the same as "Red Light, Green Light." I had a red piece of paper and a green piece of paper, each with an apple drawn on. The person who was "it" just had to hold up the green apple if they wanted the others to "go", or the red apple to make the others "stop." The girls don't really play by the rules all the time, but they do love the game!

Next we did the time-honored activity of apple stamping. I cut an apple in half so that the star in the middle was showing. I then stabbed a fork through each apple half, so the girls could use the forks as handles. They painted the bottom part of the apple, and then stamped it on construction paper. Fun!

Finally, the girls played with apple-cinnamon scented playdough. Sometimes I make playdough with the kids, but I made this ahead of time because I wasn't sure about the recipe. I found a recipe online that said to use 1 and 1/3 cup of cinnamon, 1 cup of applesauce, and 1/3 cup of glue. I followed this recipe, but I found that the playdough was super wet and gooey, and if I gave it to the girls, nothing good could possibly come of it. I took a bunch of flour and just kept kneading it into the dough until it became easier to work with. The girls used cookie cutters to make lots of different shapes. If you let these dry for several days, you can actually keep them, and put them in a little basket or bowl to use as air freshners. Just make sure to warn everyone not to eat them!

I also had other ideas... we were going to play Hot Potato with an apple, read apple-themed stories, and go to a local apple festival, but the girls got very tired and cranky and ended up taking a nap for the rest of the time instead.
Stay tuned next week for our Fall theme! And feel free to post your own ideas for Pre-K activities!

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