Not A Stick – Story & Creative Activity

Guest Post by Deborah J. Stewart, M. Ed. of Teach Preschool

I have been following No Time for Flash Cards for a very long time now and one thing I know about Allie is that she loves a good quality children’s book. So I thought I would share a fun little book we recently explored in my preschool classroom

The title of the book is “Not a Stick” by Antoinette Portis. The book is very simple to read and the basic idea is to get children’s imaginations going by imagining the stick in the book is anything but a stick!

As a class we have read this book at least three times and now as I read the book, the children shout out what the stick will be next! “It’s a fishing pole!”

After we read the book for the second time, I had the children go outside and gather sticks from our play yard…

As you can see, there is no shortage of sticks in our “play yard!” Once the children had selected a few sticks, we came back inside and each child taped their sticks to their own large sheet of paper…

The children then used crayons and their imaginations to turn the sticks into something that was “not a stick”…

This process was simple for the children and yet challenging too! The children tended to draw random lines around the sticks and talk about what they were making. When the children had finished their drawings, I had each child dictate to me a story about their stick. We started the story with, “It’s not a stick. It’s a….” and the children had to complete the sentence…

Our sticks turned out to be alligators, spiders, circles, swords, and more. A process like this is simple yet promotes great opportunity for story telling and imagination!

Whether you are a parent or a teacher, I would love to invite you to stop by Teach Preschool and see some of the other books and activities I share on my blog that young children will enjoy both at home or in the classroom!

St. Patrick’s Day – Lucky Gold Hunt

I read on a message board that had posted my link that one mom was disappointed that I don’t have more non art activities, so here you go ! This is mess free, fun and so easy to make more challenging for older children , or easy as pie for the little guys. My son and I played this from the time he got up from nap until dinner was on the table . I have a feeling we’ll be playing it tomorrow too! Oh and if there is something specific you would like to see us try- let me know I am always open to new things .
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some play coins, a marker and a green piece of paper. * For really little guys instead of the paper you can just use a change purse and simply have them hunt for the coins.
  2. Trace the coins on the paper
  3. Fill in the numbers, we are doing 10 coins but customize this for your child, more or less whatever works. Make it challenging but not impossible. Having the numbers offers up different options for how to play , you can simply hunt for the coins, and place them on the numbers. You can hunt for them then have your child specifically put them on the number you designate. I tried both and my son liked to choose which numbers to pop the coin on then count them and start over.
  4. Hide the gold. Can you see it in my picture? Make it obvious at first, with little guys make sure it’s in plain view, the goal isn’t to be a better hider than they are a finder, it’s for them to find them feel pride in it, then tag on a little math too !
  5. Go searching for the lucky gold .
  6. Count your gold , and start again !

 

Not Quite The NBA !

Weekend Re-Post
This post from February seemed perfect for the nasty weather we have today.
Have a great weekend and remember a new post will be up Monday!


Block Basketball

This simple activity is a great alternative to tv during extra early mornings, rainy days or just to have fun!
  1. Gather your materials. I used soft blocks, with my 15 month old because they are easy to grab but don’t roll away. With little guys rolling balls can be frustrating if they roll away as they are trying to make a basket. Bean Bags are great for this too!
  2. Get something to be the basket, I am using a small clean garbage can because my son has a slight obsession and he was in heaven , also it’s light and easy to handle. Laundry baskets, buckets and even just a target on the floor works too.
  3. Start playing. With little guys simply fill and spill , while they are handling a certain color label it for them, encourage them and toss some in yourself! Practice taking turns , it’s a great side lesson.
  4. For older children the sky is the limit, You can ask them to pop in a certain color, or even give them riddles to figure out. Like ” can you throw the bean bag that is the same color as mommy’s shirt?” Also you can grab a tape measure and see if you can make a basket at 1 foot away, 2 feet away…3 feet away! Or even just see who can make the most baskets in a row!

** This is a great group or circle time activity, although I would not throw the blocks or bean bags at circle time. You can have the children take the colors out, or put them in and identify them as they do. You can also use other objects that follow your curriculum such as different models of sea life or shapes! The sky is the limit and kids love this type of activity so much they forget they are learning! **

All about Seasons!

Paper Bag Season Sorting


By nature most young children like to sort things, you may have noticed your child lining up blocks, or toy cars, or putting all the dolls in one place, and teddy bears in another. This activity takes that desire to sort and uses it to learn about seasons. This activity seems very bland but I have yet to have a class who didn’t love it.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some old magazines or catalogs, clothing catalogs work great for this. Scissors, crayons or markers, some construction or card stock paper, and tape or glue. You will need a paper bag for each season you are going to include. I suggest for children just learning about seasons to stick to Winter and Summer only.
  2. Steps 3 and 4 can be done ahead of time or by a parent while the child is doing step 5.
  3. Find pictures in your magazines or catalogs that show people in warm or cold weather clothing. In my experience it is easier for everyone if you do this step a head of time, or even just help things along by ripping out these pages and have the child do the cutting.
  4. Once you have found enough pictures of both seasons, glue or tape them to the paper and cut them out.
  5. Decorate the two ( or more) paper bags with scenes or things that represent that season. I drew pictures. Label each bag with the name of the season.
  6. Sort your pictures into each bag. While sorting ask your child questions, and especially if they are putting something you think should go into Summer into the Winter bag, they may have a very good explanation to put you in your place!
**The subject of this activity can easily be changed to fit any theme, and length of activity lengthened by adding more pictures to sort. This is a great circle time activity for preschool and after playing it as a class you can put it on the shelf for free time and the students will enjoy re-playing it. **


Song!



Hurry, Hurry, Seasons Changing

Hurry, Hurry, Spring is coming
See all the flowers blooming
Hurry , Hurry Spring is coming
Baby animals everywhere!

Hurry, Hurry, Summer’s coming
See how the sun is shining,
Hurry , Hurry, Summer’s coming
At the beach and at the pool!

Hurry, Hurry, Autumn’s coming
See all the leaves falling,
Hurry, Hurry, Autumn’s coming
Grab a sweater it’s getting cold!

Hurry, Hurry, Winter’s coming
See all the snow falling,
Hurry, Hurry Winter’s coming
Bundle up like a polar bear!