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Spiders, Insects and Easter!

What a special treat!!!!  Each of our classes got a surprise visit from the Easter Bunny!!  He hid eggs for the kids and they were very excited to collect them in their little bunny bags they made!  Holidays are magical times to create lasting memories and spark creativity!
We learned about more animals in April starting with spiders!  The children really enjoyed Eric Carle’s story of “The Very Busy Spider” and feeling the raised spider web in the book!
After we learned that spiders use their webs to catch their food, we made a class-sized spider web and filled it with insects.  The kids took turns walking their spider along the web and catching its’ prey.

We also learned about insects and how they differ from spiders.  We had lots of practice counting legs to see if it was an insect with 6 legs or a spider with 8.  
We made our own little insect color books to practice colors, reinforce our knowledge of insects, and practice reading with simple words.
This little preschooler was quite proud of herself after she put this puzzle with insects and bugs on it.  Puzzles are a great way to strengthen eye-hand-coordination, develop problem solving skills, and build self confidence!
For one of our projects, we split into small groups and played some insect and bug board games.  This game reinforced what we learned about ladybugs and that they love to eat aphids on roses.  The kids practiced number recognition and one-to-one correspondence as they moved their ladybug along the board collecting and counting aphids as they went.
We extended our learning and played a separate class game where the kids took turns being either ladybugs or aphids.  The ladybugs had to fly around our classroom and find all the aphids to eat.  They love make believe and learning through play!

This bug game is a great cooperative game and helps children work on identifying colors, shapes, counting and working together!  

As part of our insect unit, we focused on butterflies.  This boy loved this great life cycle book!

We introduced the concept of symmetry when we made beautiful butterflies after we talked about that real butterflies are symmetrical with their wing designs.  The kids chose the shapes and colors they wanted for their own unique design and did a great job making the wings symmetrical.

Another exciting thing we did as part of our discovery of animals was incubating real chicken eggs at our preschool!  The 21 days that we had to wait were filled with anticipation as the kids checked on the eggs each day!  
Luckily, one class got to see their classmate’s baby chicks already hatched!  So fun!
We also had a pet dog come visit one class.  We love meeting the other members of the kids’ families that they often talk about at preschool!
As always, we love when Mother Goose comes for story time!  The kids are always enthralled with her visits and all the special things she brings!
The Pre-Kindergarten kids got to paint with Q-tips when it was “Q” week.  They were so careful as they painted with this unique medium.  
As you can see, we also learned the letter V!
Outside fun!  This class had a blast as they tried to catch bubbles from the bubble machine!  Thanks for sharing your bubble maker for the day, Ryan!
Recess benefits children in so many ways.  Children need unstructured time to run, play, imagine, and rest from academic learning.  Here’s a link to a great article entitled “The Crucial Role of Recess in School” published by the American Academy of Pediatrics: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/131/1/183.full.pdf
  At Treasure Tree Academy, we know how important recess is and make time for it each day.