Oct 27, 2013

Halloween Handprints

This activity not only creates a fun and playful Halloween craft, but the end result can be kept for a child's memory book collection. Whether with a group or just with one, crafts with older babies and toddlers can seem like a challenging feat. Yet, introducing children at a young age to art and craft activities provides them with opportunities to develop their creative selves. In addition, the sensory experience of paper and paint is greatly enjoyed by these little hands. In order to produce a finished result in this following activity, adult hands are definitely required to finish the project effectively. A good idea is to allow a toddler to have fun with the material and create his/her own masterpiece while simultaneously creating the ghosts.

Ghost Hands with White Paper

Material Needed:

  • White construction paper
  • Black construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Black felt pen or crayon

Fold the white construction paper into fours and trace one chosen hand from the toddler or older baby with a pencil, rounding at the top of the hand. Cut out the hands to create the ghost's body. On a black background, and with the toddler's help, glue the hands upside down onto the paper. Finish the ghost's body with two eyes and a circle for the mouth.

This song can be sung when the project is complete.

To the tune of I'm a Little Teapot

We are friendly ghosts up in the sky
All dressed in white, we fly so high.
Sometimes we call out, and say boo!
If you were a ghost, you'd say it too.

Ghost Handprints with Paint

Alternatively, this activity could be created with white finger paint. Allow the toddler to freely paint onto a separate piece of paper and during this creative process, guide their hands over to black paper and show them how to press their hands flat on the paper to create handprints. This can be tricky for the adult, and the best result requires the grown up to gently guide hand over hand. When dry, the paper can be turned around and the little ghosts completed with eyes and a mouth drawn on each handprint with black felt pen. When finger painting with toddlers, it is a great idea to be prepared for cleanup before hand with soapy water and towels. Have a painting smock for your young child to wear or make one with an old adult shirt. In addition, toddlers should be instructed to keep the paint out of their mouths, but because it will be so tempting, make sure to use finger paint that is safe for children to use.

Halloween is a memorable holiday for all children, and this craft can also be used to mark your child's handprint and perhaps store away or place into a memory book. Handprints are always amazing to look at later on for both the child and the parents and marvel at how small they once were.

Brown Bear Preschool Theme

A preschool theme about bears could easily be divided into smaller topics surrounding specific kinds of bears: brown bears, panda bears, polar bears, teddy bears and so forth. That being said, the following article predominantly focuses on brown bears.

Fun Facts about Brown Bears

Circle time is a perfect place to provide some simple facts about the preschool program's theme with or without a book. Start by asking children what they know and record their answers down. The early childhood provider can then fill in the information that may have not been mentioned. This process of group learning honours the children for their input, ideas and knowledge. Some fun brown bear facts to share with the children are:

  • During winter a brown bear sleeps for four to seven months which is called hibernation
  • Through the fall, the bear will eat almost all day to store up fat in preparation for his long sleep
  • The bear will sleep in a den
  • While hibernating, the bear's heartbeat slows down
  • Baby bears are born in the den during winter, and when first born are the size of a chipmunk
  • A baby bear is protected by its mother in the spring and stays beside her for up to three years
  • Brown bears are found all around the world
  • They usually eat fruit, insects, roots and bulbs.
  • By the coast, brown bears eat salmon
  • Communities that live near bears, should place their garbage in protective bins

Bear Crafts

Bear Shape and Collage Material

A bear shape made out of brown construction paper which can then be decorated is an easy and fun craft for a preschool activity. Older preschool children can practice fine motor skills with scissors and brown paper, folded lengthwise with half a bear traced on its edge (very similar to a classic Valentine's heart craft). When the bear is cut out, it can be decorated with craft material and glue. Following are some suggestions:

  • pom poms
  • buttons
  • pieces of scrap material
  • dry coffee grinds
  • brown tissue paper
  • googly eyes

Brown Bear and Marble Painting

Marble painting is a classic preschool craft activity. The materials needed are large marbles or golf balls, paint, paper and a shoebox. Place a bear shape onto the bottom of the shoebox created from sturdy paper. Place a dollop of brown paint in the middle, making sure the paint is not too thick, and a marble or two. Close the shoebox and let the child shake it all around. The marble will move through the paint leaving a design on the shape. This craft activity is a great choice for children of all ages and abilities.

Bear Songs

Music is such an integral part of a preschool program, and children not only are drawn to the sound, but can learn through the lyrical words.

Little Bear
To the tune of Frere Jacques

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping
Little bear, little bear.
You will sleep all winter
Through the cold, cold winter,
Little bear, little bear.
Are you sleeping, are you sleeping,
Little bear, little bear
You will wake in springtime,
In the warm, warm springtime,
Little bear, little bear

The Bear Went Over the Mountain
Sung To: For He's a Jolly Good Fellow

The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
To see what he could see
To see what he could see,
To see what he could see.

The other side of the mountain,
The other side of the mountain,
The other side of the mountain,
Was all that he could see
Was all that he could see,
Was all that he could see,
The other side of the mountain,
Was all that he could see!

Brown Bear Stories

Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Bears are a popular topic for children's story books. Childcare providers will surely be able to collect a bundle of books to place on the library shelves during a bear preschool theme. Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle is a wonderful book to relay with felt pieces on a flannel board. The repetitive words provide young children an opportunity to join and develop language skills. Another wonderful story featuring a bear, is The Mitten by Jan Brett.

The Mitten by Jan Brett

There are so many ideas that can be included into a bear theme, here are just a few more:

  1. Have a Teddy Bear Day, and invite each child to bring in there favourite
  2. Hide teddy bears around the room and send the children on a bear hunt
  3. Place plastic bears into a sensory table with nature items and material for the children to create dens , such as plastic tubs
  4. Make bear shaped cookies

Online Early Childhood Workshops with Circle of Ideas 

Oct 11, 2013

Preschool Songs for Autumn: Leaves, Pumpkins and Halloween

Song #1

To the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down

Autumn leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down
Autumn leaves are falling down, red, yellow, orange and brown

Song #2

To the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

I am a pumpkin, orange and round.
You will find me on the ground.
Sometimes big, and sometimes small,
You will find me when it's fall.
I am a pumpkin, orange and round.
You will find me on the ground.

Song #3

To the tune of I'm a Little Teapot

I'm a Jack-o-lantern, look at me
I'm as happy as I can be
Put a candle in, and light the light
Don't be frightened, it's Halloween night.

Song #4

To the tune of Sing a Song of Six Pence

First you take a pumpkin, big and round and fat

Then carve the top off, and that will make the hat
Then you carve the nose out, the mouth and the eyes
Show to the children for a Halloween surprise!

Song #5

To the tune of Frere Jacques

Trick or treat, trick or treat,
Halloween night, Halloween night
In our costumes playing,
You will hear us saying
Trick or treat, trick or treat