Earth Day in April

by Mary

April, springtime and Earth Day all go hand in hand! Here are some simple and fun-for-all-ages preschool science activity to try.  

I start by asking my preschoolers if they have ever heard of "Earth Day"?  Some have but for the others who are not sure, I offer a brief explanation and then begin the activities and stories to help illustrate it.

I tell them that Earth Day is a holiday in which we try to celebrate and show our appreciation for the the environment of our planet Earth and to come up with solutions to fight pollution. We talk about what pollution means as well.

Why is Earth Day Important?

To teach my preschool class about pollution, I asked each child to bring in a piece of recyclable garbage.  At circle time, I had prepared an imaginary pond filled with paper fish. We sat around my pretend pond while I told them a story about how the fish live in the pond surrounded by the beautiful woods and how happy they are to live in such a wonderful pond.

Then I explained that as people visited the area for picnics, they begin to throw their trash into the water. I let each child put their piece of trash in the pond and they have to remove a fish. I let each child do this, one at a time. As more trash goes in, the fish of course have to come out. Soon the pond is full of garbage and the fish are gone. How sad for the fish and the pond.

Next we all help clean up the pond by removing the garbage and placing it into appropriate recycling containers which I have made ahead of time by taping commonly recycled items (newspaper, glass bottle, plastic container) to the outside of a paper bag.

My preschoolers truly got the message of how important it was to have the pond clean and the fish can come back to live!

Another Activity:
Growing plants in earth friendly "pots"

Preschoolers love planting things and watching them grow. They do however prefer to see this occur quickly so here is an idea for a fast growing plant for them to try--grass!

Need: egg shells, cotton balls, grass seed, water

I wanted the children to explore the processes of being able to plant something. So we planted grass inside an egg shell.

We saved egg shells from home and washed them so there would be enough for all the children. We used a cotton ball and grass seed in 15 days we had hair growing inside the hollow egg! The children loved watching the process daily as we shared and charted together.

They can take them home, plant them outside and have learned how to recycle as well. What could be better for Earth Day!

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Rocket Tube

by Mary

For this craft, students will need a paper towel tube.

They can paint or decorate it however they want; it will be the main part of their rocket.

They will also need a conical shaped item for the nose of the rocket. This can be construction paper, part of a paper snow cone cup, or whatever else you can find around.

Then, students will also need construction papers for the bottom of the rocket. You need to slit the bottom of the paper towel tube in four places. Your students will slide two triangular pieces of construction papers in the slits to form the base of the rocket.

Encourage students to write their names on the rockets or distinguish it however they wish.

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Paper Worms

by Sammy
(United States )

What it should look like when it's done.

What it should look like when it's done.

You only need water and paper.

First, you take the paper and wrap it around a pencil or pen type thing. Then you dip the paper in the water until it is soaked.

Make sure it stays together.

Then put it in the sun to dry.

If you like, paint it and/or add beads and other materials.

This is safe and fun for all ages - 2 and up.

I love doing it with my 4 yr old cousin and I'm sure you will love it too ! :)

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How to overcome budget constraint

by Mary

So often I get e-mails from Preschool
Teachers who say they don't have a budget for
craft and school supplies.

Here's an idea if you are a little short
on funding....

Ask for parents and families "junk"!

Yes, because one person's clutter in a closet
can be turned into a beautiful Preschool
craft project in a jiffy (well, ok, in 30 minutes).

At my school we do this every season.

I distribute a "clean out your closet" list
to all families.

I review the Lesson plans for the
coming months and figure out what we'll be
needing in terms of supplies- these all go
on the list.

EVERY SEASON I get so many of the supplies I need
from within the school.

The first time I tried this I was a little worried
people wouldn't respond, but boy, was I wrong.

My office was flooded with crayons, markers,
shoe boxes, etc.

I had people thanking me for giving them the
nudge to clean out their closets.

Lots of the crafts in my lesson plans can be made
with household goods (think coffee cans and shoe

I've found this to be a great way to get the parents
involved in our lessons.

People are always curious to know what I'm doing
with their cereal box :-)

Give it a try this month- don't stress about not having
a big budget. Come up with a list and ask folks
for their clutter.

It's a win-win!

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