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Volume 5, Issue 14
August 28, 2007



Help children understand that no matter where they live, a home's warm feelings of love and security make it a special place to live. Then invite children to say this rhyme and perform each motion.

My Home

People say a house is made of bricks or wood or mud.
(Hold up arms into a roof's point)
But it is not a home until it is filled with love.
(Draw heart in air with both hands)

I am still very small, but one thing I can see
(Point to eyes and look around)
A home filled with my family's love is the best place for me!
(Point to themselves and smile)

Susan LaBella
Editor, Early Childhood Education Newsletter





--- Gather objects from different rooms or places in the house -- kitchen, bathroom, garage, and so on. Place them out on a table. Let children examine the objects and categorize them by the part of a home in which each object belongs.
--- Arrange students into small groups. Assign each group a room in a house. Let children go through old magazines and cut out pictures of items that would be found in that room. Children can paste their cut-outs onto a piece of colored paper. Arrange all of the children's papers to form an entire house of rooms.
--- Bring in old household items such as toothbrushes, hairbrushes, sponges, whisks, and so on. Invite children to dip each item in tempera paint and create pictures.

Create a chart with columns. At the top of each column paste a cut-out picture of a home (one of brick, one of wood, an apartment house, a mobile home, and so on). Let each child describe where he/she lives and place a tally mark in the correct column. (Add columns for any kind of home you may have overlooked.) Add tally marks and create more or fewer questions about the chart for children to answer. For example: Do more children live in brick homes or apartment houses?

Read to children A House Is a House for Me, by Mary Ann Hoberman (Puffin Books). Ask children what surprises they found after listening to the story. (For example, students might share that the author described a glove as a house for a hand.) Invite small groups of children to look around the classroom to find all sorts of homes. (For example, students might share that a box is a home for crayons.) Have each group work together to illustrate the "home" they found. Display pictures on a bulletin board titled "A House Is a House for …"

Give each child a saltine or other square cracker on a paper plate. Provide triangles of sliced cheese to create a roof. Let children add pieces of carrot, cucumber, broccoli, or other small food bits to make windows, doors, chimneys, and trees or bushes for their houses. Finally have everyone enjoy their house snacks.

Provide simple picture books that show various kinds of homes such as houseboats, adobe homes, igloos, straw huts, and so on. Talk about why those houses are built of the various materials; you might share how available supply of materials or climate can affect the kinds of houses in an area. Then read to children, This House Is Made of Mud, by Ken Buchanan (Rising Moon Books). Follow up your reading by giving each child a sheet of paper with an outline of a house similar to the one in the story. Supply each child with brown paint, sand, and broken sticks of uncooked spaghetti. Help children mix some sand and spaghetti pieces into their paint and invite them to paint their adobe houses. Finally ask children how they might show the family's (from the book) love in their house pictures. Encourage them to draw a heart on the door of their house or to use any ideas they might suggest.



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

Home Songs
Let your children join in for a fun tribute to the places they live.

The Three Little Pigs
Create a Home themed unit with the Three Little Pigs. Try these snacks and activities.

My Home/Family Life
Scroll down for some really nice activity ideas relating to children and their homes.

House Coloring Pages
Print them out -- a great variety of houses, including a lighthouse, a hut, and a windmill.

Art, dramatic play, science and more -- activities for preschool children here.