Friday Fun-Dad Edition!

For Friday Fun today we had three dads running the center rotations. What fun they were! We made candy corn parfait, pipe cleaner spiders, and even sewed a squash!

Sewing is such a great way to build fine motor skills. Before beginning to sew, I gave students a tutorial on how to safely use the needle….because we used REAL sewing needles. I was very impressed with how carefully the students were with them and with the seriousness they displayed while sewing. I don’t think there was even one finger poke!

I just love how these turned out!

In the kitchen, students made candy corn parfait….a healthy snack, of course! The chopped pineapple, peeled Cuties, and added them in layers to a clear cup. A dab of whipped cream added a sweet touch to the top!


The final rotation was pipe cleaner spiders. Students added eyes and colorful beads to their spider’s legs. Another great fine motor building activity!

We love Friday Fun!

Friday Fun: Welcome Parent Volunteers!

We had the first Friday Fun of the year with our parent volunteers. The students were thrilled. In the kitchen, students made apple juice. (Are you noticing an apple theme? We have so many apples on the ranch that I am constantly looking for recipes that use apples!) I pulled out the juicer and brought in two grocery bags full of apples, and we were all set! Students helped slice the apples and eagerly awaited the juice.


For the craft rotation, students made a pom pom pumpkin.

Students also continued to explore their pumpkins. Today they predicted how tall their pumpkin would measure using unifix cubes. Once they recorded their predictions, they stacked the cubes together to discover if their prediction was correct.

I love Friday Fun smiles!

Friday Fun

We had a great time during our Friday Fun centers today! Students helped to prepared apple-banana-oatmeal muffins! They strengthened their fine motor skills by chopping the apples into small pieces.


Students measured and added ingredients.

I even had help with preparing the muffin tins….

and with stirring, of course!

Students did a great job practicing team work!

Our second activity was patterning with cereal. Earlier this week we looked at AB and ABC patterns. Students were encouraged to make a pattern of their choice today.

I love seeing the focused looks on the students’ faces.


Play Dough and Friday Fun

Students PLAYED with the play dough today during Friday Fun.  There was building, squishing, cutting, rolling….all great ways for children to strengthen their fine motor. I had a very sweet request from one of my students to post the play dough recipe on the blog….get ready parents….I think this means they want to make a batch at home!!


1 cup of water

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 cup salt

1 tbsp cream of tartar

1 cup flour

Food coloring

Add ingredients to a pan (I use nonstick for easier clean up) and stir on low heat. Add the food coloring before the ingredients become solid. Continue stirring until the ingredients become the consistency of play dough. Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly. Knead the play dough to get out any remaining lumps and bumps. Once cooled, store in an air tight container.

In addition to the play dough center, students made mini chalkboards with me. We will use these chalkboards in the near future to play phonics spelling games.

The best part was that the students used smelly markers. It is always so fun to watch them sniff the different scents….there is usually some cleaning of noses necessary, as the marker tips tend to leave marks on the ends of the childrens’ sweet noses.

Students also listened to the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and made an alphabet coconut tree!

A perfect healthy snack!

Fairy Tale Friday Fun

It was a magical Friday Fun today as students made Rapunzel’s braid and a sparkly dragon. Here is how we made Rapunzel’s braid…

Using Trader Joe’s pizza dough, students divided their dough ball into three pieces. They then rolled three snakes that they attached together at the top. Next, students braided the dough. One of the last steps was to brush a little butter and olive oil on the braid and sprinkle some magical parsley over the top.

I baked at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, and the braids were ready to enjoy!

For the sparkly dragon, students painted glue on a toilet paper roll and then sprinkled green glitter on it.

To make the fiery breath, students placed yellow, red, and orange tissue paper strips on a piece of masking tape.

Students made eyes using pompoms and googly eyes. All the pieces were glued together, making this fun and interactive dragon!


We had a fun week exploring crabs. Students learned some fun facts about these creatures including they have eight legs and two pincers. (I had to convince the students that they are indeed called pincers and not pinchers.) We also learned that the largest crab is as big as a person! (eeewwwww!) I showed students this video on hermit crabs….so interesting!

On Tuesday, students participated in an experiment where they used the three types of claws that crabs can have: scooping, grasping, and scraping. They tried to “eat” different types of food to determine which type of claw worked best for them.

Students try collecting food using a scraping claw (small spoon), like that of a shore crab.

Students use a scooping claw (ice cream scooper and large spoon) like that of a porcelain crab.

H. uses grasping claws (chopsticks, salad tongs, clothespin), like those of a hermit crab.

After each student used each type of claw, we came back together to discuss our findings. Watch the funny video below. The crab eyes on the headbands are super wiggly!

During Friday Fun, students made a crabby crabwich. How cute are these?!

We changed the recipe a bit adding blueberries instead of olives for the eyes,  strawberries instead of peppers for the pincers, a slice of mandarin for the mouth instead of a slice of radish…we also added the CORRECT number of carrot legs…EIGHT!!

The added bonus fro this activity for me was that the students ate almost ALL the crab pieces! Looks like a good, healthy snack!

Friday Fun

We made the neatest edible seascape today during Friday Fun. The students loved creating (and eating) an ocean scene on a graham cracker!

Here is the recipe. We used vanilla yogurt (with blue food coloring) instead of frosting in order to keep things on the healthier side. Dr. Inman found gummy sea life at Trader Joes, so we used those instead of gold fish crackers.

Leprechaun Madness!

St. Patrick’s Day is here! Yesterday, Students were treated to a special read aloud and activity that was geared towards teaching them about those magical, tricky little critters called leprechauns. Dr. Kia-Keating returned to read students The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day by Natasha Wing.

Natasha Wing puts an Irish twist on a Christmas classic. It’s the night before St. Patrick’s Day, and Tim and Maureen are wide awake setting traps to catch a leprechaun! When they wake the next morning to the sound of their dad playing the bagpipes and the smell of their mom cooking green eggs, they’re shocked to find that they’ve actually caught a leprechaun. But will they be able to find his pot of gold?  (Amazon)

This read aloud worked so perfectly with the students’ STEAM project of the month….but I will touch on that in a bit! After the read aloud, Dr. Kia-Keating had prepared a loaf of banana bread for each student to transform into a leprechaun house. Look at these creations:

Students added a green tiled roof to the top of the banana bread.

They then sprinkled green coconut to give the roof a “thatched” appearance.

Students added a door, windows, a chimney, and decorative flowers to finish off the house. Fun!

Yesterday was also the day that the STEAM project were due. For the month of March, students were given the engineering opportunity to make a leprechaun trap with a moving part. Oh, I hope we catch a leprechaun! Take a look at some of the creations:

This trap has a special prop attached to a piece of gold that keeps the lid open. When the leprechaun grabs the gold, the prop is released and the leprechaun is trapped in the box!

The leprechaun is lured into this trap by the gold pathway. Once inside, the rainbow piece moves to trap the leprechaun inside.

This trap has a ramp up which the leprechaun is encouraged to climb. As he reaches for the gold, he will slip off, stepping on the rolling pin, which will then spin the leprechauns off balance and into the box!

We put the traps on the students’ tables before leaving yesterday, with the hopes of trapping one of these tricky little creatures over night. Well, look what those naughty leprechauns did last night:

They got into my Friday Fun art supplies…

danced all over the tables….

leaving messy green footprints and a trail of glitter….

The party ended at the sink! But they did leave us each a piece of gold!

What a treat it was to have Friday Fun today as well! In the kitchen, students made Rainbow Fruit Cups. Yum!

We also made glittery green slime!

What a fun day!

Kindergarten Paleontologists!

The kindergartners became paleontologists today during Friday Fun. Their task? To excavate chocolate chips from a chocolate chip cookie!

Using professional-grade paleontology tools, like a pick, brush, and small shovel, students worked to carefully unearth the chocolate chips. (Just kidding…students used toothpicks, paint brushes, and fancy square spoons…)

The results were exciting. Many of the students were able to dig out the fossils without breaking the “ground”! They recorded their data:

 Most students felt that being a paleontologist is hard work!

The Amazing Tomatillo….

Did you know that scientists discovered fossils of tomatillos that date back to the end of the Cretaceous Period when the last dinosaurs were roaming the earth?! I sure didn’t! A parent sent me this recipe as an idea for Friday Fun. And the students ate it up!! They loved chopping the ingredients and making their own batch of salsa.

Students had to wait until after PE to enjoy their hard work! But it was worth it!

The craft activity this week was a two-step process. Today, students chose a cardboard cutout of a dinosaur and used colored glue to add details and patterns. Once the glue dries, students will paint over the entire surface with tempera, creating a resist effect. I am excited to see how these turn out!

This was a great activity for building fine motor strength.