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Volume 4, Issue 12
June 20, 2006


Summer Session #2
More Favorite "Anytime" Activities and Resources

WELCOME! to Education World's Early Childhood Newsletter. Every other week, I'll share some ideas on a familiar teaching theme. Hopefully you will find a new activity idea or two -- or a new twist on one of your old favorites! Since I know you are very busy, I'll be short and sweet -- like most of activities I suggest.

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Welcome to Early Childhood Newsletter's "Summer Session." During June and July, I will share some of my favorite "anytime activities" from newsletters published in prior years as well as some of the best online Web resources I've found for early childhood educators. I hope you'll find here some fun ideas and useful resources for engaging your students.

While this newsletter is in summer session, I am hard at work creating new themed newsletters that will debut starting in August. Among the themes I'm working on are Leaves, Who Hibernates?, and Staying Warm.

--Susan LaBella
Editor, Early Childhood Newsletter


Children will love making these Statue of Liberty crowns and torches for a special parade.

--- Cut strips of white construction about 2-inches wide and give one to each child.
--- Provide children with stars cut from red, white, and blue paper. Invite them to glue stars onto their paper strips.
--- Children might also add patriotic stickers if available.
--- Fit each child’s strip to his or her head and staple to fit.

--- Roll old newspapers into cone shapes and tape them. Give each child a cone.
--- Invite children to paint their cones.
--- When the cones are dry, stuff red and yellow tissue paper (flames) into the open top of the cones.

Encourage children to join the parade as you have them proceed around the room or school grounds on foot. Or create a mobile parade by decorating tricycles or wagons.

Provide materials for children to make starry art, then display the art in and around the classroom. Play "starry" music as children work.
--- Sponge Stars. Paint with star-shaped sponges.
--- Starry Sky Drawings. Draw stars with crayons, then paint over with thin wash of black or dark blue. Crayoned areas will "resist" the paint and glow!
--- Put Your Name in the Stars. Connect the dots (tiny gold stars) to make your name. Students, depending on level, can trace their names with the beginning and ending of each letter marked with gold stars; write their names and stick stars on the beginning and ending of each letter. Older students can begin with a blank paper. (Math connection: sort by number of stars, number of letters, and so on.)

Take a Mystery Walk through a garden or schoolyard. For readers, provide clues written on small cards; for pre-readers, call out what to look (smell, listen) for. Examples:
--- Yellow flowers (What part of your body are you using?)
--- A rustling noise (What is making the sound? What part of your body tells you about sound?)
--- A pleasant odor (What part of your body are you using?)
--- An unpleasant odor
--- Smooth leaves
--- Rough leaves
--- Round flowers (flat flowers, bell-shaped flowers, and so on)
Repeat this activity on another day, but have children make up the clues.

Serve watermelon as a snack to children. Then collect and wash all the seeds. Now give each child two pre-cut half ovals. The larger oval half is green; a slightly smaller oval half is red. Invite children to glue the red half onto the green half. Then have them glue seeds to their paper slices. Finally, ask children what their favorite summer things are and record them along the watermelon rind. Display the watermelons on an end-of-the-year bulletin board.


Check out the following Web sites for additional background and activities.

Happy Fourth of July
Look for some neat Fourth of July craft ideas, and pick up tips for a bulletin board display that celebrates the day.

Astronomy for Kids
Sky maps, planets, sky wonders, and constellations are sections of this site. Plus it has a special section just for "beginners."

Kids Gardening.com
This site from the National Gardening Association contains a wealth of information for teachers, including classroom activities.

Season Board
Involve your students in creating a bulletin board that changes with each season.