What Can a Crane Pick Up?

This week marked the beginning of our new preschool class theme: Construction!

We started with “My Hands.”

Sometimes my hands are at my side
Then behind my back they hide
Sometimes I wiggle my fingers just so
Shake them fast
Shake them slow
Sometimes my hands go
Then I rest them in my lap

Then we read our first book, a favorite of mine called What Can a Crane Pick Up? Rebecca Kai Dotlich and illustrator Mike Lowery. This is a fun, silly story that asks the reader to imagine all the different things a crane might be able to pick up. Could it pick up logs? Another crane? Boxes and boxes of underwear? The story is written in lively, action-packed rhyme, making it a really fun to read aloud. The illustrations are colorful and funny. It’s a great book all around.

Next, I set out some foam blocks and wooden cars for the kids to build and play with. While they were doing that, I went around and put dots of red, blue, and yellow paint on the canvases I had set out on one of the tables. Once the blocks and cars were picked up, each child picked a canvas and sat down. Then I gave them plastic cars, which they used to drive through the paint.

To extend this activity, you could also do what the librarian who runs the evening preschool class program did. Draw some streets, buildings, and trees on large paper, and have the kids “drive” their cars through town, leaving paint tracks as they go.

Once we were done painting we had a lot of very messy cars on our hands, so we decided a car wash was in order. First, I prepared some rainbow soap foam bubbles, using the recipe from Fun at Home with Kids. I let the kids pour the water and soap into the blender, then we all watched it mix together with the liquid watercolor. Our blender is really loud, so I only blended the soap and water for maybe 10 seconds since the noise bothered some of the kids. It didn’t get to the stiff peak stage, but it was still extra foamy, colorful, and fun! I’ll have to try making it a little beforehand so I can blend it for 1-2 minutes like the recipe calls for.

I also poured a small amount of water into a plastic tub and put some of our water table toys in, along with some small plastic cups to scoop the water up with:


This way the cars got all that colorful soap off of them before they were set out to dry!

After our car wash, we sat down for our last story, Five Trucks by author and illustrator Brian Floca. Five different trucks do different jobs, but they are all heading to the same location. Where are they going? What are they going to do when they get there? How will they all work together to get the job done?

We finished up with “Touch Your Nose.”

Touch your nose
Touch your chin
That’s the way
This game begins
Touch your eyes
Touch your knees
Now pretend
You’re going to sneeze
Touch your elbows
Where they bend
Jump right up and say

Join us next week for more construction stories and fun!


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