In the summer preschool teachers have time to play with the geoboards. We had some random free cards with ideas for students to create with the boards but I really wanted some cards that went along with some of our themes to use this year with my students. I started out with ideas based upon some fall shapes.
I picked up my geoboards from the Green Valley Book Fair, but they have a set on Amazon (aff. link) as well.
I discovered that my daughter’s abandoned loom bands (aff. link) work great with the smaller geoboards. I tested my patterns with both loom bands and regular rubber bands. Sometimes the regular rubber bands are a bit large and need to be wrapped to one side of a loop to curve around. The loom bands obviously will not stretch all the way across the board.
In my examples that I have shown in this post, the apple is made with rubber bands for the apple portion and loom bands for the leaf and stem. I used rubber bands for the leaf and acorn. The rake is made with all loom bands. As you can see from the photos I place both portions of the rubber band on one side of a post to change directions for curves or points.
As with anything with small parts, I do not start using geoboards with rubber bands or loom bands until I am familiar with my students and know if any still put things in their mouths.
These fall geoboard cards can be found in my shop separately or as part of my Fall Bundle. The bundle currently includes twelve different activities to use in your classroom.
Summer camp centers during our cooking camp needed to be mostly self led. I did get brave and put out my brand new Summer Qtip Painting because I had a feeling that several of the kids at camp would enjoy the challenge since the camp was mostly students who would be entering preschool or PreK in the fall, not moving on to kindergarten.
Other than ending up with quite a few papers that did not have an owner, this center was a great success. One thing that definitely helped were the color coded cotton swabs that I discovered at my local Dollar Tree. I did end up needing to clean up one set midway through camp when one camper decided that the science experiment of color mixing was very interesting.
I was pleased to see that some of the campers even decided to try tracing the words at the bottoms of the sheets. During the year in PreK I would probably have my students use a different writing implement to do the tracing part.
For summer cooking camp I knew sensory bins would be a hit and keep those who were not cooking very occupied. I also did not want something that was a challenge to clean up. My coworker had seen suggestions online for making the funnel contraption so I knew we had this to pull out of our closets. I chose the colorful died beans because they would be easy to see on the dark rug beneath the bin. The scissor scoopers were already in my stash, but I would love to pick up a set like the ones on Amazon from Learning Resources (aff. link.)
One sensory bin was not enough for the first week of camp, so I also set up one with a sunflower seed bird seed mix, magnets, and magnetic alphabet letters. The magnets (aff. link) are from Learning Resources. The magnetic alphabet set was one I had in my stash, but you can also find one here (aff. link) that I also own.
I realized that we had not pulled out the Cranium Fort set this year, so each day we started a building for the students and let them try to add to it. The older students spent more time building and the younger ones sat in it. This set is no longer manufactured, but you can see a link to it here (aff. link) so you know what it is in case you fall upon it at a yard sale or somewhere.
In addition to these activities and our cooking we also had out some puzzles, Potato Heads, Lego Duplos and our Ice Cream Shop Pretend Play. These kept our full house of preschoolers very busy during our cooking camp.
For our centers time in PreK for a birds theme, we worked our muscles in our fingers in many ways. I created birds from clothes pins to be Momma and Papa bird. I tried glue dots for the feathers, but hot glue definitely works better and I repaired them with hot glue. Students grabbed pipe cleaner worms and fed them to the baby birds, which are large pom poms with google eyes and beaks glued on them. I found similar ideas that inspired mine here and here.
We also placed beads on the matching color feathers for more fine motor practice. Just a warning–be sure that the beads will fit on the feathers. Our blue feather had quite a thick quill, which made it a bit difficult to get started for some students. We used goose feathers (aff. link) for this center. This center idea came from ChildCareLand.
We share some of our supplies in our preschool, so the bug play dough tools came to my class this week instead of during bug week. My students enjoyed pressing these down into their play dough. I also had several play dough mats, including some from 1+1+1=1 . The bug dough tools are from Lakeshore and are called 3D dough stampers.
To prepare for our build a bird craft you saw in my last post I had a bunch of bird wings for students to cut out during the week in a few colors, including white so they could color them if they wished.
I also found several bird themed pattern block pages to put out on the table. This site has a bunch, just be sure to always print actual size and NOT to fit so that your blocks will fit on the page. I made that mistake a couple times in the past and could not figure out what I was doing wrong.
And now for my giveaway. Since this is Teacher Appreciation Week, I will be doing a giveaway for a $10 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers. Giveaway starts at midnight Monday night/Tuesday morning. Winner will be announced Wednesday morning so that you can use your card during the sale. Be sure to use the code THANKYOU18 when doing purchases during the sale on Tuesday and Wednesday. Even if you don’t win the giveaway you can get great deals, especially on bundles, which will be an extra 25% off.
The bundles I use every week in my classroom include these:
And here is the giveaway!!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway