KinderGals: September 2019

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Monday, September 30, 2019

Apple Orchard Bakery Dramatic Play

Our kids love the dramatic play center. It is a magical area where kids can take on real-life problems and situations and role play their way through their emotions.  We recently added a bakery to our fall apple orchard themed area.  Here are some of the fun things that are happening there!
We set up our bakery on this simple shelf.  We have found this shelf very helpful in the dramatic play area.  It gives us a place to set up the different environments we are wanting to create. By displaying the items, it makes it easier for the kids to find and use.  It also serves as a reminder of the kinds of play you are encouraging.
We posted a sign to designate that portion of the dramatic play area as the bakery.  We also posted a sign that contained all of the items for purchase and the cost of each.
One of the items available to make---apple pie.  We picked up a round pie tin at the dollar tree. I used hot glue to attach a felt crust to the pan.  In a separate container, we added a supply of red, yellow, and green pompoms.  These serve as the "fillings" for the apple pie.
I cut the crust from more brown felt.  I cut both round pieces and strips to lay on top of the pies.
Once the pie is made, the "chef" can pop it inside of the oven!
Consider adding a timer to the area.  The kids can set the timer and wait for the pie to bake! And here you go! Doesn't it look delicious?
The kids can also make apple spice doughnuts! I cut some doughnut shapes from brown felt. Then, using a lighter color of felt, I cut some frosting for the top of the doughnuts.
Pop them in the oven and watch them bake! The pan was a little too long for the opening, but he just slanted it and slid it in!
And here you go! Doughnuts are served!
The kids can also make apple spice bread.  I picked this pan up at the dollar tree when I got the other pans.  Again, I added brown felt to make the crust. (Hot glued inside of the pan.) She filled the pan with "apples" and added the "crust".
Pop it in the oven and watch it bake!
Now it's time to check out.  The kids sold their delicious creations to their other friends! So much learning and fun!
You can find more about how we set up the other areas of the Apple Orchard in this blog post.
You can find the reproducible items for this dramatic play center in this unit:

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Apple Orchard Dramatic Play

Dramatic play isn't just an extra center. It isn't a time when teachers "get a break". Dramatic play is as important in the classroom as magnetic letters, pocket charts, and other teacher resources.  The dramatic play center offers the opportunity for kids to apply their learning through self selected activities.  It also provides the chance for kids to interact socially, work as a group, develop friendships, and become members of a society.  We recently set up an apple orchard in our dramatic play area.  Here's how we did it.
The Apple Orchard
To make the apple orchard we cut out some trees from pieces of poster board and added a brown trunk using bulletin board paper.  We laminated the trees but not the trunks.  We made the apples from 2 inch pompoms by adding foam leaves and stems that I just cut free hand.  I picked up some velcro dots from the dollar tree to attach the apples.  I added a few baskets from Goodwill for picking!
To play, the kids filled out an order form of how many of each color of apple they are picking.  Or, you could have them pick the apples and then fill out the form.
The Flower Shop
We also set up the fall flower shop.  I put some of the florist foam in the bottom of a few baskets.  I picked up the flowers at the dollar tree. Then, using a pair of wire cutters I cut the flowers off of the cluster of flowers.  I made some signs to attach to the containers, and the flowers to the correct container.
The kids used the flowers to make arrangements.
The Bakery
Our apple orchard also includes a bakery.  We picked up the pans from the dollar tree. I cut some brown felt that I glued into the pans (using hot glue).  I also cut some brown strips and circles for making crusts. We added pompoms for apples, and the kids are ready to start baking pies, muffins,and breads. I also cuts some doughnut shapes from felt and added a lighter brown felt circle to make the frosting.  I picked up some can food from my pantry (outdated food!) and removed the label.  Then, I attached an applesauce label to the cans. 
I found some red plates and added a stem and leaf to make it look like an apple.  I also found red bowls and muffin tins.  I made some placemats and the table is ready to set.
Time to play! After making the pies and other treats, the kids used a fall themed pot holder I picked up at the dollar store to pop them in the oven!
Dress Up Area
I set up a dress up area that contained the types of clothing that would support the play I wanted to see.  I added some fall themed tops and a chefs outfit.  I picked up the aprons in the play area of the dollar tree and just added a tag to the front.  I also hung our shopping bags on an empty hook.
The Tools
I scrounged around and found a wagon and a wheelbarrow to add to the area.  The shopping cart belongs to the classroom so I left it in the area as well. 
The Check Out Area
I added a "pay here" sign by our cash register.  The bakery and the apple orchard each have signs that tell how much the different items cost.
Along with other signs, we also added an "open" and a "closed" sign.
The "Office" Area
The last area to set up is the office area. We added signs for desk supplies, order forms, and price tags. We also set up our scale here. The kids can weigh the different apples they pick.
And there it is.  A perfect learning environment for fall! Go ahead...what are you waiting for! Set yours up too!
If you want to save time, I have a unit that contains all of the signs and other reproducible items. You can find it in this unit.

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Monday, September 23, 2019

Pumpkin Activities

Pumpkins are a favorite part of fall in most kindergarten and first grade classrooms.  Here are some of our favorite activities for learning all about pumpkins.  The pumpkin games are easy enough to become hands on independent literacy and math centers.
Parts of a Pumpkin
A brace map is a perfect way to identify the parts of a pumpkin.  I brought a pumpkin to school.  We cut it open to see all of the parts. Then, we worked together to draw the parts. Lastly, we worked together to stretch out the words
After making the class brace map, each of the kids made one of their own.  I painted their palms to make the pumpkin. Then, the kids wrote the parts of the pumpkin.
All About Pumpkins
We also completed this chart where we wrote all of the things that we learned about pumpkins.
Then, the kids each selected two facts that wanted to record.
Last, we made this fun pumpkin craftivity to store the writing.  If you look closely at the photo, you will notice that the pumpkin opens up right by the stem.  Each side opens up to show the completed writing.
Life Cycle of a Pumpkin
We also learned about the life cycle of the pumpkin. The kids colored the pictures, cut them apart and sequenced them in the accordion folded pumpkin book.
Pumpkin Literacy Games and Activities
To play this phoneme segmentation game, we gave each child 3 pumpkin seeds and a wagon with 3 pumpkins.  Then, we made a set of cards.  We named each picture. As the kids said the word, they slid one seed for each phoneme.
If you want to turn this into a phonics activity, invite the kids to glue down a cvc picture.  Then, write one letter on each pumpkin.
Cooking is fun, engaging and educational! We made pumpkin pizzas! Then, the kids wrote the recipe and sequenced the pictures to show the steps!
Pumpkin Math Games
This is a super easy math center that we use A LOT in our data center.  The kids spin the spinner. Next, tally if it lands on apple or pumpkin.
Once they spin a given number of times, they create a graph using the data from the tally marks.
Here is another fun math game.  Make some pumpkin cards with the words more and less.  Place a cup on each side of the card.  We drew jack o lantern faces on our cups for extra fun! Invite the first child to pour orange water into one of the cups.  The next child then pours water into the other cup on the card, making sure they make theirs either more or less depending on which side they are pouring. Have the children take turns going first.
We love this super easy number game.  Line up the 3 scarecrows on the game board.  We made ours stand up by opening a paper clip and taping it to the back of the scarecrows.  Invite the kids to roll the dice.  Then, the kids select which scarecrow to move towards the harvest.  If you would like, you can have the kids split the move between two scarecrows to create an addition equation.  The goal of the game is to get all three scarecrows to the harvest!

All of these activities are from this unit: Apples and Pumpkins

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