Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cinco De Mayo Preschool Lesson

Today was my last day to teach preschool this year! I thought about doing a May Day theme, but after an Easter lesson and a Spring lesson, we're all Spring'd out. So I decided to go with a Cinco de Mayo theme, and the kids loved it!

Coloring Page
I always have the kids work on a theme-oriented coloring page with crayons and stickers until everyone arrives. Click here for the one we used today.

Our little library branch has a section on "Upcoming Holidays," and I was hoping they'd have Cinco de Mayo books. Sure enough, they had tons! We read Cinco de Mayo by Mary Dodson Wade and Celebrate! It's Cinco de Mayo! by Janice Levy.

Simón dice...
The kids had a great time playing Simon Says in Spanish. I found instructions here, as well as a diagram of the body with body parts labeled in both Spanish and English. The kids and I stood up, and I told them to do what I did. I said, "Simón dice toca la cabeza," put my hands on my head, and the kids copied me. Then they guesssed what la cabeza means in English. We went through all the body parts and had lots of fun.

We made maracas out of little bathroom cups. The kids danced around the room shaking their maracas for a full 15 minutes while I sang every Spanish song I could remember from school. They loved it!!
4 small paper cups per child
a handful of dry beans, rice, or unpopped popcorn kernals
clear packing tape

Have the children use the crayons and stickers (or whatever else you want) to decorate the paper cups. To assemble each maraca, tear off a piece of packing tape about 18" long. Place one paper cup bottom-side down right in the middle of the tape and press down. Place about 10 beans in the cup and place another cup bottom-side up on top of the first so that the openings match up. While holding the cups in place, pull one side of the tape up over the top. Repeat with the other side of the tape. Tear off another piece of tape about 8" long. Wrap this piece around the middle of the maraca where the two cups meet. Gently smash down all parts of the tape that are sticking out. Repeat with the other maracas until each child has a pair.

Fruit Nachos
I don't know what the other moms do for snack time, but I like mine to be in-theme. Today was no exception. We had fruit nachos! They were easy and delicious. I took 2 flour tortillas, sprayed them lightly with nonstick cooking spray, sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar, and cut them into 8 wedges each with a pizza wheel. I put the wedges on a cookie sheet and baked them at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. These were the "chips." For the toppings, I cut up apples, pears, oranges, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi, and also put out a bowl of raspberry yogurt. I put the chips on their plates for them, but I put all the fruit in bowls on the kitchen table and the kids were allowed to assemble their own nachos. They were delicious!

Mexican Jumping Bean Painting
As each child finished their snack, I helped them make a Mexican Jumping Bean Painting.
1 box with a lid, or flaps that close completely
scotch tape
dry beans
paper that fits flat against the bottom of the box
liquid paint--we used tempera paint that was thinned with a little water

You can only do these one at a time. Tape a piece of paper to the bottom of the inside of the box. Tape it in two places; you want the paper to stay put. Let the kids dip the dry beans in the paint and then place the beans on the paper in the box. When they have as many beans/colors as they want close the box. Have the child shake the box as hard as they can for about 30 seconds. Open the box up, remove and disgard the beans, and take out the paper. Each painting will be colorful and unique!

Mexican Flag Mosaics
Our last acitivity was a torn-paper mosaic Mexican Flag. I printed blank black and white Mexican flags on 8.5x11" paper (click here for the link), and tore up red and green construction paper, magazine pages, and scraps of old scrapbooking paper. In a perfect world, I would have had a gluestick for each child, but we had to share, which was exciting! The kids spent the last 15 minutes of preschool gluing green and red mosaic pieces to their flag. Green goes on the left and red goes on the right with white in the middle.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Max and Ellie is having it's first official give-away! Ok, ok, it's actually the second, but the first one was a really long time ago and only 8 people entered, so we're not counting it! Celeste at Etsy It Up is graciously hosting a Max and Ellie give-away this week. You can win your choice of one of our fabulous onesie/t-shirt designs. Click here to enter!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Itty-Bitty Boo Boo Kits are here!!!

After many, many months of thinking about it--like, it's one of the first things she thought about making--E has finally made the Itty-Bitty Boo Boo Kits! And are they ever adorable! At a pint-sized 3x4 inches, they are small enough to fit in your purse, diaper bag, or clutch. They come in an array of bright, beautiful colors, and are fastened with handmade cloth-covered buttons. And they are complimentarily (probably not a real word) filled with adhesive bandages and antiseptic alcohol wipes! Check them out in our store now!

Our Onesies and T-shirts

All of these fun designs (and a few more) are available in our shop!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Moon Memory

In an effort to cut down on the candy in our Easter baskets this year, I decided to get everyone nonedibles like books, movies, dolls, etc. We still got way more candy than we needed, but the sweetest thing in our Easter basket was I Took The Moon For A Walk by Carolyn Curtis. I was first drawn to it because of the enchanting illustrations by Alison Jay, but then fell in love with the beautiful poem the first time we read it. It is now our most-requested bedtime book, and I'm happy to read it every time!

At the end of the book, there is a diagram showing the phases of the moon. My oldest is so taken with it that I decided to make her a Moon Memory game. We printed ours on heavy card stock, cut them out, and took them to Kinko's and had them laminated. She plays with it by herself, but I made 4 different-colored sets so that 4 kids can play, either by themselves, or by combining all of the sets together into one giant memory game.

Directions: Click on the thumbnails below to get the full-size image in pdf format. Once the image opens, print it! If you don't have Acrobat, you can download it for free here. If you don't want to download it but would still like copies, please contact us at and we will email them to you. Then all you have to do is open the attachments and print!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Easter Preschool Lesson Plan

When we first got together to set up our preschool co-op, we decided that whoever taught the Wednesday immediately before a holiday got to do that holiday as their theme. I've missed every holiday by a week until now! I finally got a holiday, and what a fun one! Here are some of the fun things we did for our big Easter lesson:

Coloring page
I found a cute coloring page here.

And I discovered a few months ago that the kids will color at least 3 times longer if stickers are also involved!

Our Easter books included Barney's Easter Basket by Donna Cooner

Hungry Bunny by Margaret Wang

and The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown.

Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his ear.
Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his ear.
Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his ear,
And he flicked it til it flew away.
**Each child took a turn picking a different body part for the fly to land on, and we did actions. They thought it was really funny. I don't know the name of the tune, but it also works for "John Brown's baby had a cold upon it's chest, and they rubbed it with camphorated oil."

Spring is here now, Spring is here now.
How do I know, how do I know?
Because the flowers are blooming, because the flowers are blooming.
That's how I know, that's how I know.
**Again, each child took a turn choosing some sign of Spring. We also had "I see baby animals," and "Leaves are turning green." Sung to the tune of Frere Jacques.


Our snack was a Build-A-Bunny feast. I put out bowls filled with the following: Kettle Corn-flavored mini rice cakes, skinny pretzel sticks, raisins, freeze-dried strawberry tidbits, and banana slices cut diagonally and then in half. I made a bunny face on my plate so the kids would have a guide, and then they each used whatever they wanted to build their own bunny. They had a lot of fun and actually ate everything, which isn't always the case!

Easter Egg Hunt
Of course, we had an Easter egg hunt, but we didn't use baskets. I gave each child a plain white gift bag and a lot of Easter stickers, and they decorated their own Easter bag.

Instead of filling the eggs with candy, I printed up two sets of ABC's on cardstock. One set was uppercase printed on green cardstock, and one set was lowercase printed on pink cardstock. I cut the letters out a put one in each egg. Except that I somehow thought 48 eggs would be enough and had to double up on a few letters!

After the kids had discovered all the eggs, we opened them in the middle of the room, took the letters out, and started sorting them. I had them put the uppercase letters in ABC order, but you could also have them match up the uppercase and lowercase letters (we just ran out of time).