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Early Childhood Newsletter: Ten Favorite Activities & Resources for Summer


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 Insects, Fire Fighters and Other Community Helpers, and Giving Thanks.

--Susan LaBella, Editor, Early Childhood Newsletter
Education World's Early Childhood Education Newsletter, June 8, 2006


Sand paintings
Help each child drip or paint glue on paper to make letters, numbers, or a design; sprinkle sand over paper and shake off the excess sand.

Sandy Candles
Cover a pillar candle with non-flammable school glue. Roll in colored sand.

Make a Mini Beach
-- baby food jars w/ lids (Other small jars -- such as jelly jars -- can be used. Small, clear-plastic ones are always preferable to glass. You might be able to locate small, plastic peanut butter jars.)
-- sand
-- shells (Pasta shells can be used to represent real shells.)
Fill a baby food jar to 1/3 with sand. Arrange pebbles and shells. If you want to add "water," place blue plastic wrap inside the jar before the sand and objects.

Set aside a day for a Friendship Fair. Have children play partner games, paint cooperative pictures, or use paper plates and scrap materials to create funny friendship hats for each other to wear. Encourage children to choose a new friend for each activity of the day; they can do that by picking a classmate's name out of a bag. At Circle Time, read the book Will I Have a Friend? by Miriam Cohen. Ask children if any of them ever felt as Jim felt. Continue the discussion by letting children share their "friend stories."

Talk about basic units of measure with children. Show children the length of an inch, a foot, and a yard. Provide small groups of children with pieces of string that represent an inch, a foot, and a yard. Invite the groups to search the classroom to find items that are best measured in inches, feet, and yards. (For example, a crayon is best measured in inches, a table in feet or yards, the classroom in yards or feet.) Create a chart with three columns: Inches, Feet, and Yards. Have children report their findings as you write the names of measured items in the appropriate column(s) on the chart. Finish by asking each group to choose an item to "measure' with the appropriate length of string. Write statements that tell about those measurements. For example, Our table is 2 yards long.

Pre-cut a very large sheet of paper into puzzle-like pieces. Be sure to have as many pieces as you have children and give one piece to each child. Encourage children to draw themselves on their pieces and to decorate the pieces as they wish. Write each child's name on his or her piece. Place the puzzle pieces together on the bulletin board with the title "We Fit Together."


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

Kids' Party Fun
Have an indoor beach party on a rainy day. Skip the sand, but turn up the heat, turn on the bright lights, play some beach music, and serve summer treats. On this site, you will find some great ideas for indoor beach days.

KinderKonnect Kindergarten Units
Discover a recipe for making Friendship Bread and learn about some other friendship activities.

Ocean Unit
An entire unit on The Ocean filled with activity suggestions and lots more.

America Zoo
Warm weather? See some really cooool animals here -- wonderful photos and information too.


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