Monthly Archives: January 2013

Groundhog’s Day Shadow Puppet

It that time again! Time for groundhogs to shine in the spotlight!

groundhog puppet shadow

Ta daa!!!

What You Need: cardboard scraps, scissors, flashlight or lamp

Sample of cardboard groundhog cutout

Cartoon groundhog puppets add to the fun

Play!
1. Draw an outline of a groundhog on a stiff piece of cardboard. This can be a cartoon version like the example. It is fun to have the arms, ears, and tail stick out to create more interesting shadows.
2. Cut out the animal. Use a paper punch to make holes for the eyes. Cut out the mouth if desired.
3. Tape the groundhog to a pencil (eraser side down to avoid pokes).
4. Play together to hold the flashlight and move the groundhog next to a wall or door in a darkened room in order to see the shadow.

5. Hold and move the groundhog at different angles and distances from the light to discover how the shadow grow and changes. Move the flashlight as well to see how this changes the shadow.
6. Play and pretend with the groundhog as a character. Act out the groundhog getting ready for Groundhog Day.

Write About It!
What can happen when a silly groundhog puppet see’s it shadow? Kids will come up with lots of ideas when playing with their shadow puppets. Perhaps the groundhog is afraid of its own shadow, or thinks a bigger dark groundhog is following him. Maybe the groundhog decides to come up with a plan to make sure he does or doesn’t see his shadow on the big day. These fun observations and playful encounters create great Groundhog Day stories.

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Categories: Animals/ Nature, Holidays, Humor Writing, Science Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rainbow Writing- Guest Blogger Cristina Luther

Children help make homemade crayons to create colorful rainbow writing.  Submitted by guest blogger and teacher- Cristina Luther

What You Need: old wax crayons, muffin pans

Play Time!

photo of crayons with wrapper removed

Step 1
Remove paper from colors and place in muffin tin cups

For  this  activity,  I  had  four  children,  ages  three  and  under,  from   my  daycare  participate. Each  child  helped  me locate broken  crayons  in  our  drawing  drawer. While preheating  the  oven  to  300  degrees,  I  removed the  paper  from  the  crayon  chunks.

Melted crayons

Step 2
Crayons melted in warm oven

The  chunks were  placed  in  the  cups  of  an  old  muffin  tin.  Each cup  was  filled  about  half  way.  I  had  the   children  arrange  the  chunks  in  any  way  they  wished. Prior  to  placing  the  tin  in  the  oven,  I  turn  the  heat   completely  off.  The  tin  was  put  in  the  oven  and  left  in  until  the  oven  had  almost  completely  cooled. After  letting  the  tin  cool  off  on  the  counter  for  20  minutes,  we moved  the pans  to  the  refrigerator.

photo of cooled crayons

Step 3
Remove cooled crayons

After  another  20  minutes,  the  wax  had  hardened  enough  for  the  crayons  to  be  removed.  Each  child   immediately  took  the  crayons  they  had  created  and  began  doodling  on  their  papers.

children using crayons

Let the rainbow writing begin!

Play to Write! The  children  absolutely  loved  that  they  could  make  their  own crayons.  They  enjoyed  finding  the broken   crayons  in  the  drawer  and  sorting them  while  I  removed  the  papers.  Each  child  chose  which  colors  they   liked most.  Their  favorite  part  of  the  activity  was  getting  to  actually  use  their creation.  They  did  not   quite understand  that  they  would  be  making  something that  they  could  actually  use  until  I  handed  them   their  papers  and asked  them to draw.  Because  of  the  laughs  and  giggles  this  activity  was  responsible  for,  I  plan on  doing  it  again  soon!

Categories: Early Childhood, Science Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

97 Days on an Ice Floe

97 Days on an Ice Floe.

via 97 Days on an Ice Floe.

Categories: Talking Points, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I Have a Dream

Martin Luther King Day reminds us all of the power of words spoken with passion and conviction. What does this have to do with playful writing? Children love to act out important roles. Setting up a podium, microphone, and tapping into their own passions encourages children to speak out for what they dream about for a better world.drawing of child giving a speech

What You Need: a podium or make one from a tall box, a real or pretend microphone (a child’s karaoke mic works great allow even the softest voices to speak out), dress-up clothes, and a speech!

Play! Watch and listen to important and passionate speeches. A perfect example is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech available from History. com at the following link: http://www.history.com/videos/martin-luther-king-jr-i-have-a-dream#martin-luther-king-jr-i-have-a-dream

Ask children to describe what makes the speech effective. What speeches are long remembered? What does the speaker say to make people take notice? What body language and voice do speakers use to get points across?

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Categories: Holidays, Talking Points, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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