Monday, January 15, 2018

Montessori-Inspired Panda Activities Using Free Printables

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

One of my favorite themes for Chinese New Year or a study of China in general is the panda bear. Because the giant panda is the national animal of China, it's a perfect addition to almost any China unit. Of course, it's an important part of any bear unit study, too. 


At Living Montessori Now, I have a list of free panda printables featuring real pandas. The free printables include my latest subscriber freebie (a Montessori-inspired panda pack). Here, I'm sharing ideas for using free panda printables to create Montessori-inspired activities.  

You'll find many activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K Sharing. You'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities

At Living Montessori Now, I have a post with resource links of Free Printables for Montessori Homeschools and Preschools

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links (at no cost to you).

Montessori Shelves with Panda-Themed Activities

Montessori Shelves with Panda-Themed Activities  

My shelves with panda-themed activities include a free panda culture card designed by The Montessori Company. You’ll also find Montessori-inspired panda numbers, letters, spinners, and and more (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

I always have related books available throughout a unit. On my top shelf, I have the Scholastic Pandas, 40 Panda Facts for Kids, and a homemade Giant Panda book using the free printable Giant Panda by A Special Day in College and Career Readiness at Teachers Pay Teachers. A free printable reader with more words is the Panda Bear Nonfiction Reader from Simply Kinder. 

I have a number of other panda books in a book basket. I love the National Geographic animal books. There are a number of great National Geographic bear books. I have both Pandas and Mission Panda Rescue for this unit. I also have the National Geographic Red Pandas book. Even though red pandas belong to their own family, I think it's important to read about them since they share the name "panda" with the giant panda and also like to eat bamboo. 

I have fictional panda books in our book basket, too. I even have two books for babies and toddlers. My 4-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, loves to share books with her month-old sister, Sophia, so these are especially fun for Zoey. Sophia loves having Zoey read to her, although I'm sure she doesn't care if her books fit with a theme! I have the adorable Little Panda Finger Puppet book and Bill Martin, Jr.,/Eric Carle's Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? They aren't Montessori-style books, but they're favorites at my house. 

Zoey, loves puzzles, so I have a giant world foam puzzle with 54 pieces in a large basket (not shown in my photos). That's great for using with Safari Ltd. or Schleich animals. When Zoey was younger, I used the puzzle that I have displayed for  animal geography. I don't think it's available any longer. For home use, I don't use the Montessori continent puzzle, which is a bit too large and impractical. I like to get world puzzles that are less expensive and can be changed according to Zoey's developmental level. 

On another shelf, I have the beautiful world map from Pin It! Maps that's perfect for animals of the continents as well as other geography activities. 

You could mix your panda-themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special panda-themed area something like the one pictured. My shelves this month have a mixture of skill levels. Many of the activities can be adapted for a variety of levels. If you’re a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child’s interests and ability levels. If you don’t have room for all the activities you’d like to do, simply rotate them.

Panda Culture Card (on Shelf Introducing the Panda Theme)

Panda Culture Card on Shelf with Pandas Book and Schleich Pandas  

I'm happy to share with you this hand-painted panda culture card from The Montessori Company. You can use it on your shelves to introduce a panda unit or as part of a bear unit. I’m hosting the free printable as an instant download at Living Montessori Now. You can always access the free panda culture card here

The description says: “Pandas are a bear native to China. They eat almost only bamboo. They live mostly solitary lives except when raising cubs.” I displayed the card with a Schleich giant panda, Schleich giant panda cub, and Pandas book. 

Panda Same or Different Activity Panda Same or Different Activity 

Free Printable: Panda Same or Different Cards from Wise Owl Factory 

This activity just uses the printable and a  Montessori Services basket. It's simply a fun way to discuss panda photos and visual differences. 

Panda Skip Counting Puzzles Panda Skip Counting Puzzles Free Printable: Panda Skip Counting Puzzles from Wise Owl Factory 

There are a number of different skip counting puzzles in this printable. I used two puzzles, counting by 2s and counting by 10s, to make it more challenging. That way, Zoey has to sort out the two puzzles before putting them together. 

For a younger child, just use one puzzle in your basket, pencil box (often a good size for these types of puzzles), or other container. 

P is for Panda Salt Tray and Movable Alphabet Work

/p/ is for Panda Salt Tray and Movable Alphabet Work 

Free Printables: Panda Letters for Letter P Salt Tray (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

For the salt tray, I used the wooden tray from the Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Shapes. You can use whatever tray or container work best for you, though. I added a Safari Ltd. panda and cub from the Pandas TOOB for interest.

For the movable alphabet work, I used the panda movable alphabet cards from our subscriber freebie pack  for matching or spelling along with a traditional small wooden movable alphabet. I also used Montessori Services language objects pin, pin, peg, pan, and pot as objects for spelling with the movable alphabet. 

For children working on their phonetic sounds, they the /p/ objects could be used in an object basket. If you would like help with introducing phonetic sounds, introducing objects with sounds, or beginning phonics in general, check out my DIY Beginning Montessori Phonics with Preschoolers

Parts of a Giant Panda Activity Tray with Parts of the Giant Panda Activity 

Free Printable: Label the Parts of a Giant Panda by Green Tree Montessori School at Teachers Pay Teachers 

This can be a cut-and-paste activity or word tracing and writing activity. The control page is shown in the photo. I'm using the cut-and-paste page on a Multicraft tray. 

Heart Panda Paper Craft Tray with Heart Panda Paper Craft  

Free Printable: Heart Panda Paper Craft from DLTK’s Crafts for Kids 

Free Printable: How Many Hearts Do You Need to Make the Panda? (trace and color page with hearts) from Making Learning Fun 

I typically encourage process art activities, although it's fun to have a more structured craft sometimes for holidays or as an activity for following directions. As a child, I always loved making heart animals for Valentine's Day, so I couldn't resist this heart panda paper craft. It can be a simple cut-and-paste activity. 

Older kids can learn to cut out the hearts and create a panda without a printable. For young children who have difficulty cutting, you could have a pasting activity. The results wouldn't need to look like the model! The second free printable adds a math activity to making a heart panda. I have it on the same tray. 

Adding with Pandas Activity Adding with Pandas Activity Free Printable: Adding with Pandas from China Printable Pack at Every Star Is Different 

This is a fun hands-on addition activity. It uses the Safari Ltd. Pandas TOOB. (Mine had 11 pandas when I got it a few years ago, but now there are 9 in the TOOB. Use whichever cards work best with your TOOB.) I also used Montessori Services baskets, whatever size of clothespin you prefer (I like small clothespins, such as 1" clothespins for interest and extra fine-motor work), and a small container for the clothespins. 

I use a small dot to mark the back of the correct number on each card. Then the child can turn the card over to check his or her answer as a control of error. 

Matching Teen Numerals with Miniature Pandas and Bead Bars Adding with Pandas Activity Free Printable: Panda Numbers (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

This activity uses a piece of felt for a table mat (I used the Montessori Services felt table mat) and bead bars from the decanomial box in a Multicraft tray and a Bambu condiment cup (what I used here) or  Montessori Services basket. (My bead bars, which I love, are from Alison’s Montessori. You can get bead bars on Amazon, although I haven’t personally used materials from those companies.) I also added 20 Safari Ltd. Good Luck Mini Pandas. A great place to get them for a reasonable price is Alison's Montessori

Admiring Her Panda Bear Teen Number Wor

For the activity, you could start with a column of 10 bears and then spin the spinner to find the units. Zoey loves the Safari Ltd. Good Luck Minis, and she enjoyed lining them up and counting them before adding the bead bars. 

In my Montessori-inspired bear activities, I had another way to do the activity if you don't use the spinner. 

More Free Panda Printables 

Go to my post at Living Montessori Now for links to free panda printables from around the blogosphere: Free Panda Printables and Montessori-Inspired Panda Activities. I also have printables for a general bear unit: Free Bear Printables and Montessori-Inspired Bear Activities. If you're looking for more activities for Chinese New Year, check out my roundup of Montessori-inspired Chinese New Year activities. And be sure to subscribe to my email list if you'd like to get an exclusive free printable each month (plus two more awesome freebies right away): Free Printables.

HELPFUL ANIMAL CLASSIFICATION POSTS

Montessori at Home or School - How to Teach Grace and Courtesy eBook

If you'd like to focus on manners with children, please check out my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy! It's written for anyone who'd like to feel comfortable teaching manners to children ages 2-12. I'm also one of the coauthors of the book Learn with Play – 150+ Activities for Year-round Fun & Learning!

Have a Happy Martin Luther King Day today and a Happy Chinese New Year in February!
Deb - Siganture
Deb Chitwood
Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in San Diego with her husband of 42 years (and lives in the city where her kids, kids-in-law, and 3-year-old granddaughter live). She blogs at Living Montessori Now.

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Montessori-Inspired Winter Sports Activities Using Free Printables

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now 

My family has had many amazing experiences because of both skiing and figure skating, so I tend to focus more on the Winter Olympics than the Summer Olympics. It was especially fun to prepare activities for a unit on winter sports.


The printables and activities today feature winter sports that are Olympic events. At Living Montessori Now, I have a list of free winter sports printables. The free printables include my latest subscriber freebie (a Montessori-inspired winter sports pack). 

Here, I'm sharing ideas for using free winter sports printables to create Montessori-inspired activities. You'll find many activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K Sharing. You'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities

At Living Montessori Now, I have a post with resource links of Free Printables for Montessori Homeschools and Preschools. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). 

Montessori Shelves with Winter Sports Themed Activities

Montessori Shelves with Winter Sports Themed Activities  

My shelves with winter sports activities include a free winter sports culture card designed by The Montessori Company. You’ll also find Montessori-inspired winter sports numbers, letters, spinners, and and more (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

I always have related books available throughout a unit. There aren't a lot of Olympic books for preschoolers, but I have some I especially like. I really love the series of alphabet books from Sleeping Bear Press. I have two for my winter sports unit: A is for Axel: An Ice Skating Alphabet by Kurt Browning and Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet by Matt Napier. I like that series because it's a fun way to reinforce letters and letter sounds. And each book has a wealth of information. For younger children, you can just read the short part about each letter. You can include more details for older children. 

I also have A Kid's Guide to the 2018 Winter Games on my shelf. It's meant for older kids, but the information can be adapted for younger children, too. There will be more books with details about the specific competitors in 2018, but this one still has a lot of helpful information. 

I also have some fiction books about winter sports in my book baskets. One that's specifically about the Winter Games is Snowman Paul at the Winter Olympics. With an athletic snowman, it isn't a Montessori-style book, but it does give a memorable introduction to some of the Olympic events. 

You could mix your winter sports activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special winter sports themed area something like the one pictured. My shelves this month have a mixture of skill levels. Many of the activities can be adapted for a variety of levels. If you’re a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child’s interests and ability levels. If you don’t have room for all the activities you’d like to do, simply rotate them. 

Winter Sports Culture Card (on Shelf Introducing the Winter Sports Theme)

A is for Axel Book with Winter Sports Culture Card 

I'm happy to share with you this hand-painted winter sports culture card from The Montessori Company. You can use it on your shelves to introduce a winter sports or Olympic unit. I’m hosting the free printable as an instant download at Living Montessori Now. You can always access the free winter sports culture card here

The description says: “Winter sports usually involve snow or ice and include skiing, snowboarding, hockey, ice skating, sledding and much more!” I displayed the card with with some of the books and activities introducing the winter sports theme. 

Matching Winter Sports Photos with Pictographs Basket for Matching Winter Sport Photos with Pictographs  

Free Printable: Winter Olympics Pack from Imagine Our Life 

This was super easy to prepare. I simply printed out the cards and added them to a Montessori Services basket. There are 3-part cards you can use, but I just used these cards to match the photo with the event pictograph. 

French Winter Sports Vocabulary Cards Basket with French Winter Sports Vocabulary Cards  

Free Printable: French Vocabulary Activity by Terri's Teaching Treasure at Teacher's Notebook 

This activity couldn't be much easier to prepare. Just print and laminate (lamination is optional for home use). You can use these for matching, on a word wall, or set out one card at a time as you feature the name of the event in French. 

Letter W Salt Tray (seen in shelf photo) 

Free Printables: /w/ is for winter sports in manuscript, D'Nealian, or Cursive for Letter W Sand Writing Tray (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

For the tray, I used plain white salt (for snow, of course!) in the wooden tray from the Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Shapes. You can use whatever tray or container work best for you, though. 

Figure Skating 3-Part Cards for Sandpaper Letters and Movable Alphabet 

Free Printable: Figure Skating Printable Pack from Every Star Is Different 

I love the Montessori sandpaper letters and movable alphabet for teaching phonics skills. You can use have a child find the sandpaper letter that starts with the same sound as one of the pictures from the figure skating 3-part cards. When the cards are matched, the child has a self-check with the control cards.

Movable Alphabet with Figure Skating Phonetic Pictures and Words

The cards can be used the same way with the movable alphabet except that you'll want to chose the cards that are appropriate for a specific child's skill level. Have the child listen for the sounds in the pictured word and then find the letters to spell the word. 

Sports "or" Phonogram Card and Booklet Sports "or" Phonogram Card and Booklet Free Printables: “or” sports font cards (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber). The images on the "or" sports cards (and the /w/ winter sports cards are related to events in the Winter Games. They're tiny and could be fun to look at with a magnifying glass as well! 

Free Printable: Green Series Phonogram or with Pictures and Words from MontessoriSoul 

This was so easy to prepare, yet it isolates the "or" phonogram very well. I have a post and video on how to introduce words starting with phonograms, even with very young children. 

Winter Sports and Equipment Matching Basket with Winter Sport and Equipment Matching Free Printable: Sorting - Winter Sports Match from Creations by Mrs Mouse at Teachers Pay Teachers 

This was another activity that was easy to prepare! I just printed and cut out the printable. For younger children, you can leave on the matching colored outlines. For older children, you can cut off the outlines and have colored dots or matching stickers on the backs as a control of error (self check). I like that this activity matches the equipment with the sport. 

Hockey Cards and Counters Hockey Cards and Counters  

Free Printable: Hockey Numbers (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) 

I used a Montessori Services basket, 55 little wooden dots from my Spielgaben educational toy set as hockey pucks, and a Bambu condiment cup to hold the "pucks."

Hockey Cards and Counters Layout 

I like to lay out my numbers and counters in the traditional Montessori way of rows of two counters with a left-over counter centered below the bottom row. This gives a visual impression of odd and even. For more about creating DIY numbers and counters and a link on how to present the lesson, check out my DIY Cards and Counters post. 

You can lay out the activity from 1-10 as in the traditional Montessori cards or counters or 1-5 for a younger child. 

I used a Montessori Services rug for the layout. 

Winter Sports Tally Marks Creating and Number Matching Activity Winter Sports Tally Marks Creating and Number Matching Activity Tray Free Printable: Winter Sports Number Recognition by Mme Michelle at Teachers Pay Teachers 

The Olympics are a good time for children to learn about tally marks. This activity uses both tally marks and winter sports events. I didn't use the number cards from the printable because the images weren't the same as the matching cards with the tally marks. So I just printed out an extra set of my hockey numbers 1-10 and cut off the photo. 

If you have traditional Montessori cards and counters, the wooden numerals would be perfect for this! I used a Multicraft tray, 55 toothpicks, and a Bambu condiment cup to hold the toothpicks.

Winter Sports Tally Marks Layout 

I would have the child lay out the numerals from 1-10 before matching the cards with tally marks. Finally, the child can create the tally marks for each card with toothpicks. 

The Olympics are such a rich educational event! I'm looking forward to adding geography and other Olympic-related activities in the next couple of months!  

More Free Winter Sports Printables

Go to my post at Living Montessori Now for links to free winter sports printables from around the blogosphere: Free Winter Sports Printables and Montessori-Inspired Winter Sports Activities. And be sure to subscribe to my email list if you'd like to get an exclusive free printable each month (plus two more awesome freebies right away): Free Printables.

More Olympic Posts

I have links to a number of Olympic activity posts in my "Montessori-Inspired Activities for Winter or Summer Olympics."

Montessori at Home or School - How to Teach Grace and Courtesy eBook

If you'd like to focus on manners with children, please check out my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy! It's written for anyone who'd like to feel comfortable teaching manners to children ages 2-12. I'm also one of the coauthors of the book Learn with Play – 150+ Activities for Year-round Fun & Learning!

Have a wonderful holiday season!
Deb - Siganture
Deb Chitwood
Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in San Diego with her husband of 42 years (and lives in the city where her kids, kids-in-law, and 3-year-old granddaughter live). She blogs at Living Montessori Now.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Dance Activities That Help to Nurture Delaying Gratification and Impulse Control in Children

Happy Thanksgiving!     

There are so many benefits of creative movement for young children!  One of the most important is the fostering of social and emotional learning (SEL) in young children.  I have written about these benefits in earlier blog posts.  Some of these SEL skills include:


  • Self–Awareness (body awareness, spatial awareness, control of one’s speed, and control of one’s direction in space)
  • Understanding Personal Space vs. Shared Space
  • Group Cooperation
  • Self-Control and Delaying Gratification
  • Listening, Understanding, and Responding to Instructions
  • Reasoning and Problem-Solving Skills (individually or in a group)
  • Self-Expression

Today I am writing about one of these:  the importance of nurturing a child’s ability to delay gratification and strengthen self-control.  This generation of children is growing up in a world where they have instant access to information, technology, and media.  Structured activities can help counteract this frenzy of stimuli, and help children slow down, tune into their bodies and surroundings, and learn that sometimes waiting and anticipating an outcome can be fun and rewarding.



Lauren Tamm, writing for the University of Cincinnati website Kids Activities Blog (https://web.kidsactivitiesblog.com/84534/teach-kids-self-control asks this question:

What if I told you holding your boundary firm and making your child wait was the single most important skill you can teach your child. . .

Tamm continues: Research shows that children with worse self-control (less persistence, more impulsivity and poor attention regulation) at ages 3-11 tend to have worse health, earn less, and commit more crimes 30 years later than those with better self-control as children. (Source: the book Zero to Five, by Tracy Cutchlow).


Sarah Ramirez, writing for the website A Fine Parent (https://afineparent.com/emotional-intelligence/delayed-gratification.html), says her article 5 Easy Ways to Teach Kids Self-Control outlines some more of the reasons it is so important to nurture this trait in children:



  • Better emotional coping skills
  • Higher rates of educational attainment
  • Higher SAT scores
  • Lower BMI
  • Lower divorce rates
  • Lower rates of addiction


WOW!  Amazing.  And yes, research shows that children can be taught to delay gratification.

Ramirez explains that the above conclusions are the result of long-term follow-up research from the famous “marshmallow test” conducted by psychologist Walter Mischel and other researchers in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s at Stanford University:

One by one, 4-year-old children were presented with a marshmallow and informed that they could either eat a marshmallow now, or wait 15 minutes and receive two marshmallows. Some children gobbled the marshmallow immediately, while others managed to wait the full 15 minutes and receive the reward of a second marshmallow.

The researchers continued to follow up with the children for the next several decades.  They found that the 4-year-olds who had successfully waited for 15 minutes differed in significant ways from the children who couldn’t wait . . . Walter Mischel concluded that ‘preschoolers tended to wait longer when they were given effective strategies.’  In other words, self-control and delayed gratification are essential life skills – but they can be learned.



MOVEMENT ACTIVITIES 

I have taken ideas from the marshmallow test, Sarah Ramirez, and Lauren Tamm's University of Cincinnati Kids Activities Blog, and created four simple movement activities, along with some ideas for variations:  

1.  MIRROR GAME

This activity is a type of follow-the-leader game, which helps children listen and respond to instructions. They will need to watch carefully for their movement cues. It also allows children to practice controlling their body movements, and become aware of the speed and direction of these movements.  

Explain to the children that when they watch you, they will do the same things you are doing, by imagining they were looking into a mirror. Practice a few easy movements with your arm or leg, making sure they use the corresponding mirror-image arm or leg. Put on some fun music, and, starting out slowly, move as the children mirror your movements.

You can begin by trying the game sitting on the floor and using upper-body movements while the children get the hang of the mirror game.  Then progress to standing.  Challenge the children by turning, moving side-to-side, and trying balancing shapes on one leg.
 
Follow me while we are standing up!
Look into the mirror and follow me!









2.  DANCE AND FREEZE

The wonderful thing about dance/freeze activities is that they are easy and accessible (all you need is music!), children love them, and they are great for helping them to practice following instructions, listening, and body and impulse control.  Here are two simple dance/freeze games.


  Stop Sign Dance and Freeze

For this activity, choose a musical selection that the children like.  Use a homemade or purchased stop sign.  Ask the children what it is, and what the word on it means.  Explain that when you hold up the stop sign,
Watch for the stop sign!
they should freeze:  Don't move a muscle until I put the stop sign down. You may dance when the stop sign is down, but each time I hold up the stop sign, you freeze.  


Expand the game with different ideas for the freeze, for example: freeze in a twisty shape, or an upside down shape, or a shape with only one hand and one foot touching the floor.



Here is a variation with additional practice for the children to control the speed at which they are moving: 


  Traffic Signals Dance and Freeze

Instead of a stop sign, cut out three large circles of construction paper or cardboard, one green, one yellow, and one red.  Use a lively musical selection.

Explain to the children:  When I hold up the green light, you may dance as fast as you like.  When I hold up the yellow light, you will dance slowly, like a slow-motion action scene in a movie.  When I hold up the red light, freeze, and don't move a muscle!



Green means go!

3.  CHOOSE AN ANIMAL AND TAKE A TURN

Helping children to master the skill of waiting for their turn lends itself easily to movement activities.  Here is a simple lesson that also gives children the opportunity to practice large motor skills.

Start with the children in a line or gathered on one side of a space.  They will go across the space one by one.  Ask each child to name an animal, and then to move across the space like that animal. 

Free Dance:  Once the activity has been accomplished, and all of the children have waited their turns to go across, ask them what their favorite animal is.  Play some music, and allow them to dance freely about animals.

Variation:

Have animal names written on file cards, and when it is a child's turn to go across, he picks a card at random and moves like that animal.


Hop like a bunny!


4.  CAMPFIRE*

Calm an energetic class at the end of the day with a game about settling down, helping children to tune into their bodies, be aware of their senses (sight, smell, hearing) and relax.

This can also be used as a transitional activity, to quiet children down before moving on to something else.   


Say to the children:


Have you ever been camping in the woods? Did you sit around a campfire?  Let’s imagine we are spending the night in the woods.  It is a cold, clear fall night.  Let’s build a campfire to get warm!  We will build it in the center of our circle.

Continue with the following movement prompts:

Let’s imagine we are gathering wood.  Bring it to this spot in the center of the room.

Put the small pieces in, and I will pretend to light our fire.  Now let’s put some big logs on the fire! 

Let's sit near the fire and warm up our hands and feet.  Do you smell the wood fire?  Do you smell pine needles and leaves in the forest?  What else?

Let's lie back and climb into our sleeping bags.  Look up at the sky.  What do you see in the night sky?  Be very quiet.  What sounds do you hear in the forest at night? Be aware of your breathing, and try to feel your heartbeat.





*Lesson from: One, Two, What Can I Do?  Dance and Music for the Whole Day, Dow, Redleaf Press, 2011


Keep on Dancin',

Connie
MOVING IS LEARNING!




https://www.scbwi.org/members-public/connie-dow





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