Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tape Exploration in the Block Area

November 5-25, 2013

Over the past several weeks, the children have shown an ongoing interest in using masking tape in the block area. Initially, Sage used the tape to create clothing for an “Animal Fashion Show” and the other children were drawn to her ideas. The interest in the tape continued over several weeks and led to a wide variety of creations and experiments in the block area. As their interest continued, the children added materials to the tape, including pom poms, pipe cleaners, sequins, animals, and much more.

Over time, the block area evolved into a Christmas party, a Birthday party, a playground with swings, a trap for “bad guys” and a spider web. The children also created “armor” for the dinosaurs, clothing for the animals, and traps for “bad guys”.

Some children utilized all of the materials, while others only used certain items for their creations. The children experimented with different methods of manipulating the tape and discussed their ideas with each other and worked collaboratively.

This activity supports fine motor skill development, use of scissors, creative expression, socio-dramatic play, collaborative play with peers, measurement skills, and math skills (counting).

We hope to continue this activity as long as the children show interest. We plan to add small “baby dinosaurs” to continue the project and will ask the children about their ideas for the next phase of the tape exploration.

Konichiwa from the afternoon program

It’s Sushi Time!

On Tuesday November 12, 2013, we made hand-rolled sushi maki rolls with the help from our very own sushi chef, Jenny! This fun and interactive activity allowed each child to participate in the preparation from start to finish. Making your own sushi is a great way to expose children to a little Japanese culture as well as introducing a new and healthy meal. Each child wet their fingers in a bowl of water before they began adding their sticky rice to their seaweed (maki). Then they were able to choose their fillers, which included avocado, cucumber, and cooked spam. Once their fillers were chosen, the rolling began! All of the children tried their sushi, with most of them loving it and making several sushi rolls.

This activity allows children to explore different cultures and foods freely.

-       enhances fine motor skills (rolling sushi)
-       math skills- sorting, counting, measuring
-       increases vocabulary
-       geography- learning about Japanese customs/traditions - eating with hands
-       social skills- cleanliness, sharing

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

      Today was a very special and exciting day! We had our Halloween parade! Thank you to everyone who was able to make it, we had a lot of parents and grandparents that joined us! Here are some pics: 

Zoo Mobile

On Wednesday, October 30th the Zoo Mobile from the San Francisco zoo came to visit our school. They brought animals that may be found in a city such as a: tiger salamander, turtle, gopher snake, and ferret. We were able to touch all the animals except the tiger salamander. Having the animals visit supports the following skills: Taking turns, Impulse Control,Shared Use of Space, and Curiosity and Initiative.

Lemos Pumpkin Patch

       On October 22, 2013, we took our field trip to Lemos Farm Pumpkin Patch. The children were very excited and had a wide variety of experiences throughout the morning, including, riding ponies, taking a hay ride, choosing pumpkins, riding the school bus, riding on the “choo choo train” and much more! After an eventful field trip, we asked the children to draw pictures of their favorite parts of the trip. We also asked them what they saw and did, and they had a lot to say.

This activity supports fine motor development (drawing), memory and knowledge, and language development.

Ariana: “Rainbow Dash goes on the horsey and the train. My daddy came too.”

Kaden: “I went on the horsey first and then the choo choo train.”

Mia: “I loved riding the horsey. The choo choo train was fun!”

Painting with Nature

        Taking advantage of this beautiful Indian summer, the children were able to explore our outside area for many natural materials that they thought would be useful to make a paintbrush. Each child collected their materials in a basket, which included twigs, leaves, prickly plants, weeds, and flowers. No living plants were hurt during this process. The goal was to give the children opportunity to discover the different textures, designs, as well as the process of being able to start a project from beginning to end. After a couple days of accumulating the desired materials, the children were able to create their paintbrush by putting an elastic rubber band around the materials and twig. Once the paintbrush was made, the painting began!


The children noticed that each paintbrush had a different type of plant attached to the twig, which created different patterns and textures on the paper. It was also discovered that one paintbrush was very prickly and hard and another was soft and smooth.

This activity allows children to explore their creativity and imagination freely. It also promotes self- expression with paint, hand eye coordination, fine motor development, experimenting and exploring with a new paint tool, and color recognition.


Many children have been interested in stickers! We have been using all types of stickers in our pictures ranging from small to large, foam or paper, and Halloween themed or letters. Some children have been using the stickers as a starting point for their pictures, whereas others have been using them to make a collage. Students have even been expanding their ideas by creating their own stickers to wear or put on their paper!

Stickers practice a variety of skills! They are a great way to practice fine motor skills, as well as attention to task. The teachers put out a variety of sizes and textures to challenge the class to work on their problem solving skills and observe the creative processes the children come up with to complete their ideas. This is also a fun way for children to practice letter recognition.