Origami House (Front)

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

We kept going with our construction theme this week at preschool class!

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
CLAP, CLAP, CLAP!
Then I rest them in my lap

We did another rhyme today, an action rhyme called “Five Little Nails.”

Five little nails, standing straight and steady,
Here I am with my hammer ready.
BAM! BAM! BAM! That nail goes down!
Now there’s just four nails to pound.
Four little nails…
Three little nails…
Two little nails…
One little nail…

Now there’s no more nails to pound!

The kids can use their fingers and thumbs as the five nails. Their other hand can be the nail. As each “nail” is hit by the “hammer,” they can fold their finger in towards their palms, like a nail going into a piece of wood.

After our rhymes we grabbed our cushions and got ready for our first story, Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld. This is a favorite of mine, especially for reading aloud. The kids seem to really love the idea of a construction site going to sleep at night, just like they do. The pictures are also very sweet, with some of the construction equipment sleeping with blankets, teddy bears, and nightlights. This is one where we paused on nearly every page because they wanted to talk about what was happening in the picture. I love books like that!

We got up and moving after our story. We played a fun, easy game called Balloon Tennis. Before class started, I made paddles by taping some skewers (with the points cut off) to the backs of some paper plates. Then I blew up some balloons. When it was time for us to play, I gave each kid a paddle and a balloon.

Balloon Tennis

I told them I would play some music and they had to try and keep the balloon in the air while the music played. They had a blast! Some of them used the paddles, some used their hands, and some switched between one and the other. I got through three songs before it was time to move on, and they wanted to know if we could play it again.

For our craft this week, we built our own houses out of paper!

I used the origami doll house tutorial from Tuts+. I made a small modification. Because we were making our houses out of regular printer paper, I wanted to make the structure a little stronger by eliminating the vertical crease left by Step #2. So, I made a small mark on the middle of the page, right at the bottom edge. Then I folded each side in so that they met at the mark. I made a template that can be downloaded in PDF form. Just print, cut, and follow the the directions on Tuts+ to fold. I included small marks that can be used instead of the fold in Step #2.

After our houses were decorated, we took some time to play. I set out a track and car as well as a set of tubes that could be connected and several small balls that could be dropped in the tubes, like marbles in a marble run.

We followed play time with our second story, Demolition by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock. This one was a huge hit with the kids. Before we started reading, we talked briefly about the difference between building something and tearing something down. The book introduced us to all different kinds of machines that can be used to dig, tear, and knock down. There are lots of great noise words, like roar, clang, and snap. The pictures are large, colorful, and detailed. This book also presents a great opportunity to talk about how builders use old materials to make new structures.

After Demolition, we ended preschool class 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
ACHOO!
Touch your elbows
Where they bend
Jump right up and say
THE END!

We’ll continue our construction theme next week. Join us!

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