This week is STEM!
We started with a rhyme called “Five Pretty Flowers in My Garden Grew” from Tell Me a Story:
5 pretty flowers in my garden grew.
“Hmmm,” I said, “I bet they smell pretty too!”
I bent down to sniff, but they tickled my nose.
Aaah-Choo! Oh no! (with exaggeration!)
Away one flower blows!
Remove 1 flower & repeat rhyme counting down
Instead of getting out our flannel board to do this rhyme, I used the Felt Board app on one of our iPads. I used AirPlay to display the iPad screen with our projector. This has the benefit of making the flannel story much larger and easier to see.
We were going to move on to our book next, but the kids requested a game called “Little Mouse” that we often play with the app. To play “Little Mouse,” you need a felt mouse and a variety of different colored felt houses. Felt Board doesn’t have many houses to choose from, so we use shapes and pretend they’re houses instead. I hide the mouse under one of our shapes, then I ask the kids which house we should look in first. I pick the first color I hear, and we say the following rhyme together:
Little mouse, little mouse, are you hiding in the [color] house?
We keep picking colors and saying the rhyme until we find that tricky little mouse. The hide and seek element of the game really seems to appeal to the kids.
After “Little Mouse,” we read our book, Flowers by Rebecca Stromstad Glaser. We don’t read nonfiction all that often at MAPS, but this series is very short and very colorful, so it’s great for younger readers.
After our book was done, I passed out one plastic cup and a sheet of stickers to each kid. I told them to decorate their cups with the stickers and then wait by the door to our program room.
In the program room, the kids gathered around some tables. With the help of their grandparents, parents, or caregivers they scooped soil into their plastic cups. Some of the kids used the little sand shovels I had provided, and some preferred to use their plastic cup to scoop. Once they had about 2/3 of their cup filled with soil, I gave them a small number of flower seeds. They sprinkled them on the soil, then used their fingers or one of the shovels to cover them up.
Each child also got a paper bag to take their cup home in. This was a useful place to write the children’s name and the name of the flower seeds they’d planted. Hopefully, in a few weeks, they’ll look something like this!
As the kids finished with their planting, they were allowed to play at today’s stations:
- Sand table. We moved our sand and sand toys into our water table this week.
- Invitation to Create: Flower Garden. This idea is from Cutting Tiny Bites. Kids can use the pieces to assemble their own garden.
- Finger paint flowers.
- SumBlox. These are great for building and knocking down, but they also help kids understand how numbers work. For example, if you stack a 2 block on top of a 3 block, they will be exactly the same height as a 5 block!
We’re taking a break from MAPS in May so we can gear up for Summer Reading! In the meantime, I’ll be posting some of our favorite MAPS and Storytime activities each week.