Monday, December 5, 2011

K is for... Kites and More Kites!

     Welcome back!  Sammy the Toucan finally gave me my camera back; however, I had to promise him that I would promote his Victorian Christmas PSA.  There Sammy, are you happy?
     I know that we have been on bit of a break, but now that we are back into the swing of things, let me introduce the letter of the week- Kk!  Kk is one of those letters that lends it to many proper names; at least it seems that was all my four to six year olds could think of. When I asked them words that start with Kk, I received, “Kate, Katie, Katherine, Kalyn, Kelsey, and Kennedy.”  Haha, I just love the way kids’ brains work.  I did, however, get kite and kids, also with a little prompting, koala. 
     My kids were at able to at least get this week’s theme: Kites!  Below is the alphabet card of the week.

Materials:  Index card with capital K, string, construction paper diamonds, crayons, and glue stick

Front of card

Back of card

1)    Color the capital K.

2)    Trace the capital and lower case Kk on the back of the card.

3)    Glue the string to the kites.

4)    Glue the kites to the card. Glue the knot of the string to the card!

5)    Add the letter K the other completed alphabet cards!

     As for the second craft for the four to six year olds, I continued with our kite theme.  Just like the kids when I asked them for “K” words, I had a hard time find other “K” crafts that I liked.  I thought about doing something with kittens, but everything I thought was cute and creative was either a bit too hard for the kids, or required too much time.  Thus, we ended up making kites out of cardstock, string, and crepe paper.  Although minimal in resources and prep time, the kids really seemed to enjoy being able to color and decorate their kite however they wanted. 
     As mentioned before, my four to six year olds are ALL ABOUT their independence!  I cannot tell you how many times a class I hear, “No Mom, I can do that by myself!”  I always encourage the kids to try the crafts on their own, but also remind them that it is okay to ask for help.  This kite craft was great because it required little assistance from the parents, which, in turn, really helped the kids’ self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.  Below is the finished craft that I created.  Needless to say, the kids' kites were MUCH more decorated than mine.

     I had a really good time picking out kite books this week.  I was a bit worried that finding a book solely about a kite would be hard, but I ended up finding a gem of a book called, Gilberto and the Wind by Marie Hall Ets.  First let me start by saying this book is OLD, which is why I love it!  Kids these days are inundated with so many colors, pictures, and words, I thought it might be nice to show books with simpler illustrations.  Although a big long, this book lends itself to skipping a page here or there without ever losing the plot of the story.

     As for the second book for the Story Time kids, I had ulterior motives in choosing this title.  This week, my library received THREE “Flat Stanleys” from a friend of mine who teaches school in Lithuania.  Cauli, our roving reporter, received a friend and blogged about their adventures here.  In order to introduce Geidre, my “Flat Stanley,” to the class, as well as continue with the letter K, I chose the book, Thank You, World by Alice B. McGinty.  You can use this book for many themes, however, I liked the fact that it not only had kites in it, but also allowed for me to discuss with the kids Flat Geidre and that she came overseas from another country. 

     Look for Flat Geidre in our video this week.  I also posted a few pictures below of some of the adventures Geidre went on.  This mostly included things we do during Story Time!

Geidre likes to listen to music on the library iPod.

Can you find Geidre in the toy box?

Geidre made the craft this week!  It was perfect size for her!

HO HO HO! Look who Geidre got to meet?

     Music this week was fun, fun, fun!  Because it’s December, I could care less if my music goes with the letter theme for the week, it is all CHRISTMAS music ALL THE TIME!  I am a stickler for the Polar Express Soundtrack, so my kids blow bubbles to it throughout all of December.  I also use a song from the Seasons and Celebrations CD by Kidzup Educational Music appropriately titled, “Winter.”  Both of these music videos below I found on YouTube.
     Lastly, I always try to introduce the kids to one new song a month that covers basic knowledge skills for preschoolers.  This may be a number, alphabet, color, or body awareness song.  However, this week, I found a fantastic shapes song by Parachute Express on the CD Sunny Side Up called, “The Shapes Game.”  I actually had a little bit of time, so I created the video below! I hope you enjoy it!

"When Christmas Comes to Town"
on the Polar Express Soundtrack.

"Winter" by Kidzup Educational Music.

"The Shapes Game" by Parachute Express.

     Well, that seems to be for this installment of Explore to Learn.  Next week will be our last letter update for the year.  After that, I will have my much anticipated Christmas Story Time followed by a few weeks of break, which really just means planning everything for January through May.  Stay tuned next week to see what happens!  Thanks for stopping by!

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