Monday, 22 October 2012

Pumpkin Science

Learn about pumpkins from a scientific point of view. Ask a question, conduct an investigation, get information, think about what you have observed, and reach a conclusion. Here are some questions to investigate on the interesting topic of PUMPKINS:

Are the seeds scattered randomly within a pumpkin or arranged in some sort of pattern?
Do BIG pumpkins have larger seeds than smaller pumpkins?
Is there anything in a pumpkin which lines up with the creases on the outside?
What does a pumpkin weigh?
How much does a pumpkin seed weigh?
How many seeds does a pumpkin contain?
Do all pumpkins have the same number of seeds?
Can you tell which side of the pumpkin was against the ground? How? Does the stem help you figure it out?
Will pumpkins float in water? If they do, will they float stem up, stem down, or stem sideways?
Can pumpkin seeds be sorted into groups?
How thick is the skin of a pumpkin?
Do birds eat pumpkin seeds?
Will pumpkin seeds grow if planted right away?
What stories can you find about pumpkins?
Where did pumpkins come from originally?
What other plants do we eat that are related to pumpkins?

Make a book to record your questions and answers!


Saturday, 13 October 2012

Pumpkin Puzzles

Using real pumpkins, let the children draw faces with washable Crayola markers. The ink will wipe off easily with a wet cloth. After a few days, you can make a pumpkin puzzle or "shape sorter."

Open the top of the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds. Let the children help!

Cut a good sized square, circle, rectangle, heart, and triangle out of the pumpkin. Allow the children to find the correct hole to put their piece back into the pumpkin!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Halloween Sand Table

Make a sand table by purchasing a bag of play sand at Toys R Us or Rona, or Home Depot. You can find different colors of sand as well. Pour the sand into a large plastic storage container. Clear ones are best. Add some water to keep the dust down if necessary.

Make your sand interesting by adding foam pumpkins or metallic confetti pumpkins. The children can hunt for the pumpkins by digging with shovels, using sifters, and funnels. Give them magnifying glasses to look closely at the pumpkins.

Make it a math activity by counting the pumpkins. You could also tape a number strip to the floor or table so the children can place a pumpkin on each number to help with counting.

Look at the dollar stores to find more items to add every two days. Spider rings, fingernails, silk leaves, skeletons/skulls, black and orange pom-poms, or nuts in a shell.

Spooky Halloween Sand Table:
You could put your sand table in a darker area and add Halloween lights above or give the children small flashlights or lights that strap onto their head and shine down where they are digging in the sand. Flashlights will work better in a darker area. Add glow in the dark skeleton bones, plastic spiders to the sand, rubber snakes.
Black Diamond Spot Headlamp                              

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes

2 1/2 cups pancake mix
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1/2 cup pumpkin
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
raisins or chocolate chips to decorate the face

Combine pancake mix, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add milk, pumpkin, vegetable oil, vanilla, and eggs. Blend together until smooth. Fry on griddle or skillet. Then have kids decorate with raisins or chocolate chips to make a jack-o-lantern face! Try other food items to make faces too.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Positive Behaviour Strategies


We are more inclined to resist if someone tells us no. Sometimes when adults are frustrated with children’s behaviour they say no. Children resist and ask “Why?” The goal of the following strategies is to create cooperation and reduce resistance by replacing no and redirecting behaviour successfully.

1, The Make-A-Big Deal Strategy:
Practice noticing children behaving appropriately and then point it out to them.
“I saw you share blocks. That was thoughtful.”
“I heard you solving the problem by taking turns”
“I noticed you helping your friend.”
“You worked hard at putting the toys away.”
When we give attention, thanks, specific and effective recognition we tell children that we care and make them feel proud of their contributions. By focusing on positive behaviours we reinforce those behaviours. The behaviour that gets our positive attention will grow. But we need  practice to notice children when they are behaving appropriately.

2. Replace With Something Appropriate Strategy
When children are behaving inappropriately, redirect/replace it by asking the children to do something appropriate. “Show me how to arrange the blocks by size.” Instead of saying “no” or “don’t do that”, tell the child what to do.
For example: Instead of saying “don’t run”, say “we walk indoors” or “come tiptoe behind me.”

3. The Choice Strategy
When we let children choose it makes them feel that they are in control. They will be more willing to cooperate. Give children two choices and both choices should be positive and acceptable.
“It is time to clean up. Would you like to put away blocks or trucks?”
At snack time, “I am serving fruit for snack. Would you like an apple or a banana?”

4. The When/Then Strategy:
“When you wash your hands, then you can have a snack.”
When there are too many toys on the floor: “When you put some toys away, then you can bring other toys out.”
When/then strategy communicates expectations. When children know what is expected of them they are mopre willing to cooperate. Caution: when using this strategy make sure your expectations are age and developmentally appropriate and respectful of the child.

Source: Young Children, July 2011, National Association for the Education of Young Children