Tuesday, October 15, 2013

{Ten for Tuesday} Tot School + PreK Learning Activities: G is for Ghost...and so much more.

Last week, we explored the five senses through the Letter G, our Letter of the Week, and had so much fun. I'm excited to share everything we did -- and it's quite a lot! I'll start off nice and easy. 

1. For taste, we went with grapes - doing a simple color by number sheet (part of our Romero Britto-inspired sheets made for the boys by a friend) and, of course, eating some grapes too. Look closely, Caterpillar's cheeks are full of grapes! 

2. Moving on to sight, we focused on the color green and worked together to create a green sensory basket. First, Wild Thing and Caterpillar helped me find green things around the house for a basket. Then, we went for a walk and added some green things to our basket during our walk. 



3. We also read Green Eggs and Ham, several times!

4. Then we did some simple sorting and grouping of our green items: plants, animals and toys. Wild Thing did most of the grouping - that's why everything is in such neat rows. Caterpillar enjoyed looking at the items and picking up various items to play with and explore every now and then. 



5. We also made green playdough. The boys enjoyed helping me make the playdough. We used a basil playdough recipe from The Imagination Tree and added in some savory herb we happened to have and a few drops of green food coloring - I've also had success coloring playdough light green using water that I've cooked the pods of peas or edamame in after shelling them - it's a nice natural dye option.



This set up would work well for Christmas too with a few adjustments. 
6. For touch, I we explored gel however, since I knew my boys would not really enjoy touching the gel directly because neither of them likes to touch anything sticky, I put the gel in a plastic bag and had them explore it that way. (Gak and/or goop would be another great letter G activity related to touch. I just didn't have the energy to do either!)

7. Our fun gel activity brought together another item we made to go with things that we hear. Since, Halloween is approaching and my boys love scaring each other by hiding and then jumping out and saying "boo" (so simple and yet so fun for a 2 and 3 year-old), we decided that we can hear ghosts! So, I made some simple ghosts by cutting up a milk jug and made a g is for ghost notecard. 



Then, I put the ghost in a ziplock bag and squeezed in some hair gel that has been under our sink for years! Initially, it looked like this...

I also wrote "ghost," "boo," and upper and lowercase g's on the milk carton and cut those out as well for the bag.

It became a hide-and-seek bag of sorts as they pressed the gel around to focus on different ghosts or letters or words. To make it more challenging and fun, we added some food coloring to the bags, which for some reason inspired Caterpillar to drive his car on the bag to move the coloring around. 





Wild Thing preferred to push the colors around with just his hands and really got quite into it. 


Finally, as an experiment we also added some Kool-Aid to the bag -- just one pink packet, no liquid. It created a pretty cool affect. The ghosts became very spooky. 


One note of caution: I recommend double bagging. I didn't. Caterpillar's bag did not get punctured and leak, but Wild Thing's did. The milk carton edges can be a tad sharp, so if you try this activity (and you should, it's really cool and so simple), double bag it! When we were done with the bags, I dumped the liquid out and rinsed off the ghosts to reuse. One worked perfectly in our latest Halloween Story Box and the others are being utilized in lots of fun ways, which I plan to share soon!

8. For smell, garlic was an obvious choice. I opened one clove of garlic for the boys to smell and also laid out several garlic skins that I kept after using a bunch of garlic in a dinner dish the previous evening. Then, I mixed together some glue with a little bit of water to create a quick modge podge and laid it all out for the boys. Can you guess what we created? Garlic Skin Ghosts, of course! 


The translucent skins of the garlic really lend themselves to ghostliness. 

We also made one mummy - top right. 
9. Another activity we did also related to something we hear - which is the words "Goodnight." The boys both love Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. I knew a traditional story box for the book would have too many components, particularly for a calming night time box. So, instead we painted the inside of a small egg carton, and I added a few elements that referenced the book as something simple and small they could explore as we read the book. They also love to hold the moon up as high as they can and pretend they are getting it down from the sky as in the book Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me by Eric Carle, another of their nighttime favorites.


10. Finally, we did a fun Globe-Making Paint-in-the-Box Art Activity. I happened to have two green styrofoam balls left from when my husband used them as trees when building Wild Thing's train table (two years ago, I think). With some simple paint and a box, the boys could make their globes. 

A simple layout.

I absolutely loved this activity for them -- it was not messy at all and was so much fun. 
Though the "globes" look much more like the earth from space than actual globes. 



I'm realizing this could be a really fun way to create a solar system! 

I'll be linking this up over at Here Comes the Girls who shared Gel Writing as part of 31 Days of ABCs, a linky hosted by All Done Monkey. Here Comes the Girls is the featured blogger for the Letter G, so if you have a Letter G post to share, pop over there and share it! Also sharing at Montessori Monday, Tuesday Tots, Artsy Play Wednesday, Mom's Library, the Ultimate Sensory Play Party and It's Playtime! 

I'd also love to see your favorite ghost crafts and activities, as obviously we've gotten pretty inspired by ghosts this Halloween. Leave me a comment with your favorite ghostly fun or share it with me on Facebook

You might also like:
Tot School: Letter C
Tot School: Letter D
Tot School: Letter E

11 comments:

  1. I love your recycled ghosts! Actually I like everything you did.

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  2. I love all the letter G crafts. the galric skin ghosts are great! I have never seen a craft before using garlic skins. Love it!

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  3. Great activities. I love the milk jug ghosts. How fun to let your boys explore the garlic. It's fun for kids to get to experience those sensory activities. I'm just wondering how long they smelled like garlic? ;)

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    1. Actually, the garlic smell wasn't that bad. I think that's because I peeled the garlic the night before and the skins set out for quite awhile before we did the craft. It allowed the scent to dissipate a bit.

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  4. The greens look wonderful this time of the year! Looks like the kiddos had a ton of fun from the activity :)
    Thanks for sharing on Mom's Library.
    -Reshama @ Stackingbooks.com

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  5. I love everything as well :)
    I had the same question as Jackie, how long did the garlic smell last, lol :)

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    1. Actually, the garlic smell wasn't that bad. I think that's because I peeled the garlic the night before and the skins set out for quite awhile before we did the craft. It allowed the scent to dissipate a bit.

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  6. Hey Jennifer, You are so creative. I love all activities that you have mentioned in this post. Keep sharing !

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  7. Great ideas! Featured you on Mom's Library this week!

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  8. Awesome ideas, thanks for sharing

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