Thursday, November 3, 2011

Little pumpkin playschool


A friend of mine in the neighborhood recently started up this play school for any 2 and 3 year olds who wanted to participate.  Right now there are 6 of us and we take turns each week hosting the kids at our house. 

The moms bring their kids and drop them off for 2 hours once a week.  It gives each of us a nice break in our week to get something done we normally wouldn't be able to.  This week {on Halloween} was my turn to host the group at my house.  I have to admit I was a little stressed about having such a young group with no extra help.  To my surprise, the group was very calm, got along well, and stuck to the planned activities. 

In planning the activities for the group, I was inspired by Kristina at Toddler Approved.  She recently started a Mom and Me book club and mapped out on her blog the activities to go along with her "5 Little Pumpkins" theme. 


Before the kids arrived I had set up our craft in the dining room.  Immediately Mina began working on it.  I had to get a quick picture of how excited she was and then divert her attention elsewhere so she'd have something to do when everyone else was doing the craft.


I had taped off some shapes on cookie sheets so that when the kids arrived they could start to work on these shape puzzles. I have a set of magnetic geometric shapes that worked well for this project, but cut out foam shapes would work nicely as well.




I also had my 5 little pumpkins set in a bucket with some blocks for the kids to build and play with just in case the puzzles didn't interest them.



To make sure my bases were covered, I set out a little table set out with some Halloween books on it in case the first two activities failed.  After the kids began to lose interest in the puzzles and blocks we read 4 of these books {Max's Halloween, The Very Best Pumpkin, Ladybug Girl Dresses Up, and The House That Jack Haunted} and then they crowded around each other to check out I Spy a Skeleton on their own. 



For a craft I had drawn out some pumpkins on a piece of cardstock {although I would recommend something a little thicker} and dyed some pumpkin seeds for the children to glue on.  I dyed the seeds the same way I dyed my rice.  The kids really love squeezing their own glue.

 I like how different everyone's art turned out - from the minimalist, to the perfectionist, to the kid who is never quite finished.  The kids all wondered why I only had orange, green and brown - they wanted to do rainbow pumpkins.  Wouldn't that have been fun?  I shouldn't have been so conventional.


After the craft we had a snack - cheese cut in the shape of pumpkins {the extra pieces made it possible to create faces on the cheese}, crackers, and grapes. 

Then we played Don't Eat Jack using m&m's.  Click here to see how the game is played.  One of the kid's names was Jack so he thought this was so fun - and he happened to be the first one to play.  When it was someone else's turn, the kids decided that instead of saying "Don't eat Jack", they would use the person's real name in place of Jack.  So clever they came up with that on their own.  Everyone loved this game and especially loved having a few m&m's while playing the game. 



Our last activity was pumpkin bowling.  The kids set up a fence using the blocks and placed the 5 pumpkins on it.  Then each child took a turn tossing a bean bag to see how many pumpkins they could knock down in one try.  It was kind of a real life version of Angry Birds.  They loved to rebuild the fence and place the pumpkins back on top. 


I would definitely say that my first time hosting this cute group of kids was a success. 
 Have you participated in a group like this? 
The experience resurfaced my {long-lost} desire to be a preschool teacher. 

7 comments:

  1. I'd say it was more than a success! It looks fabulous!!!!

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  2. It looked like a great time!! I wish I was brave enough to do something like this. I've wanted to, but I think I'd need it to be a "mommy and me" type thing. Haha. I'm glad everyone participated calmly! I bet that was hard for them because they had to be SUPER excited.

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  3. Very cute dyed seeds activity! You are so crafty!
    Thanks for linking up to TGIF Linky Party =-) I love seeing what you link up!
    Beth

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  4. What a cute playdate! Looks like so much fun - and I think I would be stressed having that many children in my house with no help too!

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  5. What a fabulous blog you have here! I found you through mom2poshlildivas. I am your newest follower :)

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  6. That all looks like so much fun! Especially Pumpkin Bowling.

    Thanks for linking to Fun Sparks. xx

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  7. Came over from the TGIF linky party. Your pumpkin activities look like a lot of fun! My little boy really enjoyed squeezing the glue for his pumpkin seed pumpkin too!

    Sierra @ his4homeschooling.blogspot.com

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