Earth Day and Arbor Day

With Earth Day being last week and Arbor Day being this week, we talked with the kids about how we can protect the Earth. Our center is based around the practices of environmental stewardship and we often incorporate recycling, reusing materials, and reducing waste in our daily activities. I first started off by telling the kids that Earth is the planet that we live on. I then asked them where they live on the Earth? I got the few classic responses: “Earth,” “Wisconsin,” and then of course one of our little girls had to pipe in with “a kingdom!” We then continued our discussion on how we can help our Earth. They came up with some great ideas :

  • “throw trash in the garbage!”
  • “use paper more.” ( now, you would think using more paper would not be good for the environment, but what they were getting at is that we re-use paper – if they only colored on one side during free-choice time, the paper goes back into the bin so someone can color on the other side).
  • “recycle.”

To go along with both Earth Day and Arbor Day, we decided to decorate our classroom door. As our art project for the day, the kids worked together to water color paint two large sheets of paper – one green and one blue. Once dry, I cut them out to make an Earth shape. I got out two different colored green stamp pads, and each child  made two handprints. With all of the handprints, we created leaves of a tree. Check out our awesome door below:

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Close up of the kiddos water color Earth

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Close up of our handprint tree (before I added the words).

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April

Being a kid is great all the time, but in my opinion, being a little one in April is the best! The month of April is Autism Awareness Month and April 2nd is World Autism Day. Working with young children, I see the effects of Autism on children and their families every day. As an educator, I believe that every child is important and special in their own way, but I love that there is a whole month devoted to fundraising and raising awareness for Autism.

As mentioned above, all children are important and special. That brings me to my next reason that April is a great month for kids – Week of the Young Child! Week of the Young Child is a special week designed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) that celebrates young children, their learning, and their teachers and families. Each day of the week brings special activities: Music Monday, Taco Tuesday, Work Together Wednesday, Artsy Thursday and Family Fridays.

My co-lead and I had a few special things planned for our 2’s this year. We started off the week tie-dying shirts, then made an All About Me book with each child. We ended the week on Family Friday by inviting the parents to join us for an afternoon snack and balloon launch. An explanation of each project is listed below:

Tie-dying Shirts

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We had the kiddos bring in a plain white shirt. We then showed them pictures of different designs they could create. We assisted in tying the rubber bands around the shirts. Next, we soaked the shirts in water. The kiddos picked their dye colors and helped squeeze the dye onto their shirt. We bagged the shirts for 24 hours, then washed them and hung them to dry. Here are some of our shirts drying:

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All About Me Books

Each kiddo brought in 5 – 7 pictures that portrayed their family, pets, favorite things, etc. We had the parents write a sentence about each picture. The sentences were typed on papers, and the kiddos glued their pictures down to each page. We then binded the pages together. Each child left with a special book that was just for them! They were so excited to share their pictures with their friends and show their books to their parents when they got picked up!

 

Balloon Launch

This was a new idea we tried out for the first time this year. We got a balloon for each child and on the balloon’s ribbon, attached a strip of paper that said: “Week of the Young Child” If found please return to (Center name) (Classroom name) (Address) (Child’s name). We gathered outside with the parents, counted down from 5, and let the balloons go! We waved them all goodbye.

It’s been just over a week since we launched our balloons, and we have received one back! It was found by a teenager about 35 miles North of our childcare center! The kids were SO excited to get a letter back and are anxiously awaiting the return of their own balloons.

The Week of the Young Child is a special week where we go all out just for the kids. We get to break out of our normal routine, do extra fun projects and make amazing memories with our class. What projects or activities have you done during Week of the Young Child?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Toddler Tales

Good afternoon and thank you for stopping by!

Teaching little ones is a wonderful experience. From having a child ask “Is that a beer?” as you open your can of soda at lunch time, to various messy times of the day, there is never a dull moment in a room full of two year olds! I have created this blog to share with you my experiences, projects ideas, and of course the funny things the kiddos in my room say and do.

One of the many things I love about teaching, is that teachers love to share. So, whether you are a brand new teacher looking for ideas, a parent looking for projects to do with your child, or an experienced, retired teacher, please feel free to share your stories and ideas here too!