Olympic Headband

Olympic Headband

When the Games roll around this year, make a simple and colorful headband that’ll show his Olympic pride. Kids can wear it to an Olympics party or while watching the Games on television. Hats are not only a quick and easy way to make the events feel more celebratory, they’re also just plain fun to wear! This activity involves cutting, coloring, and gluing, all exercises that will help your child hone his fine motor skills.

 

Olympic Headband

What You Need:

  • Tape measure (sewing tape measures work best)
  • Ruler
  • Construction paper
  • Printer
  • Printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Crayons, markers, or colored pencils
  • White glue or glue stick
  • Tape (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Measure around your child’s head with the tape measure to figure out how long the headband should be.
  2. Help your child cut a strip of construction paper about 2 1/2 inches wide and 2 inches longer than the measurement of your child’s head. You may need to cut two pieces of construction paper and attach them together with glue or tape to make the strip long enough.
  3. Open a word processing program on your computer and ask your child to find a fun blocky font for his headband.
  4. Have your child type a fun phrase such as “Go for Gold” or “Olympic Champion” or make up one of your own.
  5. Make the text 72 points in size and add an Outline effect. In many other word processing programs you can change font effects through the Format menu.
  6. Change the page orientation to landscape. Go to the help section of your program if you have trouble.
  7. Print your page.
  8. Have your child color the letters with crayons, markers, or colored pencils. You can use the colors of the Olympic rings (red, blue, yellow, green, and black), or come up with a color scheme of your own.
  9. Cut out the letters.
  10. Glue the letters to the construction paper headband (the long strip of construction paper you cut out in step 2).
  11. Let the glue dry completely.
  12. Glue or tape the ends of the headband together so it fits snugly around your child’s head.
  13. Let the glue dry again, then place the headband on your child’s head and get ready to celebrate!

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Fun and educational activities for November

Fun and Educational activities for November

As the days get colder, it is sometimes nice to have a few indoor activities on hand to occupy your little one. It seems especially appropriate to tie these activities into the November Thanksgiving theme. And, of course, let’s make sure that your child has the opportunity to practice important school readiness skills while he is having fun!

  • Handprint turkeys provide practice with number writing and fine motor control. Ask your child to place his non-dominant hand on a piece of construction paper, spreading his fingers apart. With his dominant hand and a pencil, your child will trace around his thumb and each finger. (You may help with this step, if necessary, although precision is not required to have an adorable “turkey” shape!) Then ask your child to color the handprint, using the thumb as the head and neck of the turkey and his fingers as the feathers. He will need to sdd the bottom of the body and the legs. He can write the numbers 1 – 5 on or above each finger to show how he counts.
  • I Am Thankful list allows children to dictate their ideas or write alone using inventive spelling. This activity helps children practice early reading skills as well as fine motor skills. Sit with your child and discuss the things in his life for which he is thankful. He may dictate these words to you or try to write them himself by listening to the sounds he hears in each word and writing the letter that represents each sound. Then direct your child to draw a picture next to each word on his list. Pictures help children “read” the words on the list at a later time and provide opportunities to practice manipulating pencils and crayons.
  • Bead necklaces are a nod to Native Americans that celebrated the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims. Ask your child to create a necklace using small pony beads, found at any craft store. Children will practice color recognition, creating patterns, and fine motor control as they string the beads onto the lace. Your child may even practice sorting the beads into like-colored piles before he begins lacing. I suggest using tape to secure one end of the lace to the the table to help your little one control the lace and avoid losing his beads.
  • Woven construction paper placemats can dress up your holiday table and provide fine motor practice as well. First prepare the materials for your child. Cut strips of 9”x12” construction paper about 1.5 inches wide and 9” long. Then, using another color of construction paper, cut lines about 1.5 inches apart and 11” long. (This will allow for about a half-inch border on the side of the paper.)  Ask your child to take the individual strips and weave them up and down through the cuts on the large piece of construction paper. If the first strip started with a down motion, the second strip should begin the opposite way by coming up through the slit. As your child completes weaving a strip, use a glue stick to secure that strip in place. After each strip is woven into the larger piece of construction paper, slide it to touch the previous strip to create a solid, woven pattern. This is a challenging activity for young children, so be ready to watch and offer some gentle guidance as your child works.
  • Tracing Thanksgiving pictures is another way to decorate your home while giving young children important practice manipulating pencils, crayons, and scissors. These pictures can be found in magazines, on holiday cards, and on School Sparks worksheets. After your child has traced the picture, ask him to color it and then cut it out for more fine motor practice. Consider decorating walls or windows with his pictures.
  • Baking assistance will require your child to use his auditory processing skills as he helps you in the kitchen. Of course, choose an uncomplicated recipe and allow your child to be as independent as possible while he follows your verbal directions. This is also a great way for children to practice counting and measuring skills!  I suggest placing items on the counter to the left of the bowl so that your child moves from left to right as he adds the ingredients. This reinforces the direction that eyes move when reading.

Have a wonderful and fun-filled November!

Monster Dance

Monster Dance

Are you ready for a graveyard smash? Catch the dance mash fever with this catchy and foot-tapping activity that’s all about movement and Halloween fun!

What You Need:

  • Music
  • Construction paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Yarn
  • Black marker
  • Hole punch

What You Do:

  1. Help your child draw circles on the construction paper that are at least nine inches wide.
  2. Encourage her to cut out each circle.
  3. Have her use the hole punch to make a hole in the top of each circle.
  4. Help her cut pieces of yarn that are each at least a foot and a half long.
  5. Thread one piece of yarn through each paper circle.
  6. Help her tie each yarn piece in a small knot.
  7. Brainstorm dance awards with your child. Consider awards for Best Stomp, Fastest Dancer, Spookiest Moves, Silly Tapper and Best Monster Impersonator!
  8. Help her use a marker to write out one award on each paper circle.
  9. Set the awards aside.
  10. Gather up your monster dancers. Remember, this isn’t just a game for kids—no one’s too old for a monster mash!
  11. Turn on the music.
  12. Encourage everyone to show off their best dance moves. The sillier, the better.
  13. While everyone is dancing, have your child start passing out the awards. Make sure everyone gets one!
  14. After the music ends, let your child officially announce the winner of each award.
  15. Play the music again! See if your child’s friends and family members can win different awards this round.
“The Monster Mash” was written and performed by Bobby “Boris” Pickett in 1962.

I was working in the lab late one night.
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight.
For my monster from his slab began to rise.
And suddenly to my surprise,
 He did the Mash!
He did the monster Mash!
The monster Mash!
It was a graveyard smash!
He did the Mash!
It caught on in a flash!
He did the Mash!
He did the monster Mash!
From my laboratory in the castle east,
To the master bedroom where the vampires feast,
The ghouls all came from their humble abodes
To get a jolt from my electrodes.
They did the Mash!
They did the monster Mash!
The monster Mash!
It was a graveyard smash!
They did the Mash!
It caught on in a flash!
They did the Mash!
They did the monster Mash!
The zombies were having fun.
The party had just begun.
The guests included Wolf Man,
Dracula and his son.
The scene was rockin’. All were digging the sounds.
Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds.
They played the Mash!
They played the monster Mash!
The monster Mash!
It was a graveyard smash!
They played the Mash!
It caught on in a flash!
They played the Mash!
They played the monster Mash!
Out from his coffin, Drac’s voice did ring.
Seems he was troubled by just one thing.
He opened the lid and shook his fist.
And said, “Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?”

It’s now the Mash!
It’s now the monster Mash!
The monster Mash!
And it’s a graveyard smash!
It’s now the Mash!
It’s caught on in a flash!
It’s now the Mash!
It’s now the monster Mash!

Now every thing’s cool, Drac’s a part of the band.
And my Monster Mash is the hit of the land.
For you, the living, this Mash was meant too.
When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you.

 


Then you can Mash!
Then you can monster Mash!
The monster Mash!
And do my graveyard smash!
Then you can Mash!
You’ll catch on in a flash!
Then you can Mash!
Then you can monster Mash!

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Spooky Nursery Rhyme Songs

Spooky Nursery Rhyme Songs

Traditional nursery rhymes continue to be entertaining and educational for young children. Teach your students some kooky, spooky songs for a nursery rhyme theme for preschool. Kids will love singing about witches, ghosts and pumpkins while learning important language skills.

  • Why Nursery Rhymes and Songs?

    Nursery rhymes and songs continue to play a huge role in teaching small children music and phonetic awareness. The rhythm of predictable rhymes help children’s reading and speaking skills — these can be advanced so they can decode written text and become fluent readers.

    Nursery rhymes are silly and entertaining which keeps the child focused. Small children learn through play and rhyming is just that. For this reason nursery rhyme songs are an excellent tool for teaching thematic units. Rhymes can be used to teach math, science and social studies in addition to language. Children will love learning the old traditional rhymes along with these Halloween-themed ones.

     Spooky Nursery Rhyme Songs
  • Casper the Ghost Had a Spooky House

    OWL MOSAIC 001Looking for a new Halloween nursery rhyme song for your preschool class? Your students will love singing about witches, ghosts and spooky things to the tune of the classic, “Old McDonald Had a Farm.”

    •  The Ghost Had a Spooky House (Old McDonald Had a Farm)

       The Ghost had a spooky house,

      Ooky, Kooky, Boo!

      And in that house there lived a witch,

      Ooky, Kooky, Boo!

      With a cackle-cackle here,

      And a cackle-cackle there,

      Here a cackle, there a cackle,

      Everywhere a cackle-cackle

       The Ghost had a spooky house,

      Ooky, Kooky, Boo!

       The Ghost had a spooky house,

      Ooky, Kooky, Boo!

      And in that house there lived an owl,

      Ooky, Kooky, Boo!

      With a whoooo here, and a woooo there,

      Here a whoooo, there a whoooo,

      Everywhere and whoooo, whooooo.

       The Ghost had a spooky house,

      Ooky, Kooky, Boo!

       

       

      Math Activity:

      After singing the song, the teacher can use a felt board, haunted house, witches, ghosts, and cats etc. to help children practice counting skills. Sing the song again, only this time state a specific number of witches, cats etc. For example in that house there lived three witches, two cats etc. Designate a child to place the correct number of witches, cats etc. on the haunted house on the felt board.

    • Five Little Witches

      Five little witches flying through the air.

      The first one said “Catch me if you dare.”

      The second one said I’ll race you to the moon.

      The third one said “I’ll see you soon.”

      The fourth one said “Come on lets zoom.”

      The fifth one “I need a new broom.”

      Then Whoooo went the wind

      And out went the lights,

      And the five little witches flew out of sight.

    • Halloween Evening Song

      This is a great Halloween song to teach a Halloween safety lesson and remind children not to over indulge. After singing “Halloween Evening” have children dress up in their Halloween costumes or make masks and take your kids trick or treating around the school. Check with teachers and have students go from room to room collecting candy, pencils, or other small toys.

      Halloween Evening (Here we go round the Mulberry Bush)

      Here we walk round the neighborhood,

      the neighborhood, the neighborhood.

      Here we walk round the neighborhood,

      On a Halloween evening.

      We dress up like ghosts and witches

      Ghosts, and witches, ghost and witches.

      We dress up like ghosts and witches

      on a Halloween evening.

      We knock on the door and say trick or treat

      Trick or treat, trick or treat.

      We knock on the door and say trick or treat on a Halloween evening.

      The people give us lots of candy, lots of candy, lots of candy.

      The people give us lots of candy,

      on a Halloween evening.

      We go back home and eat the candy,

      Eat the candy, eat the candy.

      We go back home and eat the candy,

      on a Halloween evening.

      Oh, no we have a belly ache, a belly ache, a belly ache.

      Oh, no we have a belly ache,

      on a Halloween evening.

      We shut off the lights and say good night, say good night, say good night.

      We shut off the lights and say good night,

      on a Halloween evening.

       

    • Pumpkin, Pumpkin on the Vine

      Children will love investigating pumpkins and creating their own jack-o-lanterns after singing this song.

      Pumpkin, Pumpkin on the Vine ( Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

      Pumpkin, pumpkin on the vine,

      How would you like to shine?

      Sitting on the ground so low,

      I can make you shimmer and glow.

      I will carve a mouth, eyes and nose.

      Insert a candle and watch you glow.

      Pumpkin, pumpkin on the vine,

      How would you like to shine?