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24 Random Acts of Kindness for the Preschool Classroom

Getting preschoolers to do nice and kind things for others is a great way to teach the concept of kindness.  Talk to children about what it means to be kind to others.  Talk about how it feels when someone is kind to them.   Brainstorm ways to be kind to others and make a list.

 

Here are 24 random acts of kindness that you can enforce in your preschool  environment.

  • Tell someone in the class something that you like about them.
  • Help a friend clean up what they are playing with.
  • Open the door for your friends on the way outside.
  • Say hello to someone you haven’t talked to today.
  • Let a friend go first in a game.
  • Bring in a food item to donate to the food pantry.
  • Draw a picture for someone in a nursing home.
  • Make a card for someone in the hospital.
  • Bring in clothes that you outgrew to donate to a clothing drive.
  • Write a letter to a grandparent, aunt or uncle that you haven’t seen in a while.
  • Play with someone new today.
  • Tell someone “Thank you.”
  • Smile at someone.
  • Help your teacher clean up after snack time.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line.
  • Throw away garbage that you see.
  • Bring in a toy that you don’t play with any more to donate to a shelter or Goodwill.
  • High five a friend.
  • Write a nice note to a friend.
  • Take a treat to the director/owner.
  • Tell someone a funny joke.
  • Give your teacher a compliment.
  • Write a thank you note to the local police station.
  • Make “Be Happy” notes and pass them out to everyone.

Download a free printable with these Random Acts of Kindness.  You can cut and laminate them into cards and have children pick a card to complete.  Click Here to get your download.


Amazon Picks and Resources:

25 Books about Polar Bears for Preschool

25 books about polar bears for preschool

Polar bears and winter animals should be included in a preschool curriculum during January and February.   We have found 25 books about polar bears for preschool children that can be incorporated into your early childhood program.

 

25 Books about Polar Bears for Preschool:


Ten polar bear facts from National Geographic Kids

1) Polar bears are found in the frozen wilds of the Arctic, in Canada, Alaska (US), Greenland, Russia and Norway.

2) These are seriously big bears, gang. Adult polar bears can measure over 2.5m long and weigh around 680kg. Their huge size and weight make them the largest living carnivores (meat eaters) on Earth!

3) Polar bears are well adapted to survive in one of the harshest environments on our planet. As well as their thick fur, they have a layer of fat, called blubber, that insulates (protects) their bodies from the frosty air and near-freezing water. Polar bears also have black skin under their glistening coat, which helps them soak up the Sun’s rays and keep warm.

4) These magnificent mammals have an incredible sense of smell which they use to track their favourite grub, seals*. In fact, their sense of smell is so good, they can sniff out prey from up to 16km away!

5) Despite their size and bulk, polar bears are excellent swimmers, and have been spotted in waters over 100km offshore. They can comfortably swim at around 10km/h using their slightly webbed, 30cm wide paws like paddles in the water.

6) Although good swimmers, polar bears aren’t quick enough to reliably catch seals in open water. Instead, they depend on the ice as a hunting platform. They wait near seal breathing holes or at the ice’s edge for a seal to surface. They then snatch if from the sea and…gulp!

7) Did you know that a polar bear’s fur isn’t white? It’s actually transparent with a hollow core that reflects light. This helps the bears blend in with their surroundings – a useful trick, especially when hunting wary seals!

8) Female polar bears give birth to their cubs in snow dens (in November or December), where the family is protected from the harsh Arctic environment. At birth, the cubs are only around 30cm long and weigh around half a kilogram – that’s about the same as a guinea pig!

9) The polar family emerge from the den four to five months later. The cubs will stay with their mother for about two years, during which time they learn the skills needed to survive in the Arctic.

10) Sadly, these incredible creatures are classified as “vulnerable”. The biggest threat to polar bears is climate change. Rising global temperatures means that sea ice is melting earlier and forming later each year, leaving polar bears less time to hunt for food.

Preschool Graduation Songs

preschool graduation songs

At the end of the school year, many preschool programs have a graduation ceremony.  There is a lot of excitement as the children graduate from preschool and move on to kindergarten.   Included in a ceremony, the children can sing one or several of these simple songs:

 

Graduation’s Here
(Tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

Grad, grad, graduate!
Our day is finally here!

We learned so much the whole year through,
Graduation’s here!

 

I’ve Been Having Fun in Preschool
(Tune: I’ve Been Working on the Railroad)

I’ve been having fun in preschool,
Learning all year long.

I can tell you all about it,
Just listen to this song.

We’ve been learning shapes and colors,
Letters and numbers too!

I’ve learned how to share with others,
Now our year is through!

 

Kindergarten, Here We Come
(Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Kindergarten, here we come.
We know we’ll have lots of fun.
Lots of things to make and do.
Reading, Writing, Counting too.
Kindergarten, here we come.
We know we’ll have lots of fun.

 

Off to Kindergarten
(Tune: Oscar Meyer Weiner)

Oh, I’m ready to go off to kindergarten.
That is where I truly want to be.
‘Cause when I go to kindergarten,
Everyone will be so proud of me!

 

Kinder-Garten
(Tune: New York, New York)

Start spreading the news.
We’re leaving today.
We want to be a part of it.
Kinder-Garten!
We’ve worked very hard.
We’re ready to go.
We’re gonna be a part of it.
Kinder-Garten!
We know our ABC’s and our 1,2,3’s so well.
We’ve worked at sounding out words and stories to tell.
Just asked us to rhyme.
We’ll say hens and pens.
We’ve learned to share and get along with all our friends.
So now we made it here.
We’ll make it anywhere.
We’re on our way.
Kinder-Garten!

 

Leaving Preschool*
(Tune: Frere Jacques)

Leaving preschool, leaving preschool,
Yes we are…yes we are!
Our teachers were the greatest,
They taught us all the latest,
Things to learn, things to learn!

 

Graduation Day^
(Tune: When Johnny Comes March Home Again)

We are smiling great big smiles, hooray, hooray
‘Cause today is our graduation day.
We learned letters and numbers, too.
We learned about animals, in the zoo.
Oh, we’re all so glad, that you could come, today!  (Point to audience)

We are jumping up and down, hooray, hooray!  (Jump up and down)
‘Cause today is our graduation day.
We met friends and teachers, too.
We painted pictures, quite a few.
Oh, we’re all so glad, that you could come today!  (Point to audience)

We are standing up real tall, hooray, hooray!  (Stand up straight & tall)
‘Cause today is our graduation day.
We are proud of all we’ve done.
We loved preschool, we had fun.
Oh, we’re all so glad, that you could come today!  (Point to audience)

We are waving to everyone, hooray, hooray!  (wave hands)
‘Cause today is our graduation day.
“Goodbye, goodbye,” we now must say.  (Continue waving)
Kindergarten, we’re on our way!
Oh, we’re all so glad, that you could come today!    (Point to audience)

Download these songs:

*www.preschoollearningonline.com

^www.preschoolexpress.com


Amazon Picks and Resources:

Stress Relievers for Child Care Providers

stress relievers

Working as a child care teacher is one of the most important jobs out there.  However, it can also be stressful at times.  When you are starting to become stressed, here are some stress relievers that you can do while you are in the child care environment. These tips are in addition to making sure you get plenty of sleep, eat well, exercise, and carve out time just for you.

 

Palm Writing: Take a deep breath and trace the word CALM on your palm several times.

 

Keep a Positive Paper:  Keep a piece of paper nearby, and when feeling negative and stressed, write at least one positive thing about your day (or one of your children).

 

Dance Party: Turn on some fun music and invite the children to dance with you.  Dance that stress away!

 

Color: Grab a coloring book and crayons.  Coloring is a great stress reliever.

 

Laugh: Find a funny YouTube video (that is also appropriate for small children).  Play it for yourself and the kids and laugh!  Try: Funny Vines Try Not To Laugh series.

 

Strike a pose: Do some yoga.  Have the kids join in.  Get some kid-friendly yoga poses at Childhood 101.


 

Resources and Amazon Picks:

 

Favorite November Books for Preschoolers

November books

November is filled with excitement with Election Day, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving. There are plenty of opportunities to read to children, so here are some favorite November books for preschoolers:

Election Day Books:

Veteran’s Day Books:

Thanksgiving Books:


There is also the book, In November.

Description: In November, the air grows cold and the earth and all of its creatures prepare for winter. Animals seek food and shelter. And people gather together to celebrate their blessings with family and friends.

Cynthia Rylant’s lyrical language and Jill Kastner’s rich, cozy paintings capture the cherished moments of this autumn month–the moments we spend together and the ones we witness in the world around us.

Be sure to check out other our other posts:

5 Fine Motor Activities for Thanksgiving

fine motor activities for Thanksgiving

Here are five simple fine motor activities for Thanksgiving that you can do with preschoolers.

  1. Tweezer Sorting: Provide children with Thanksgiving Harvest Mix Bead Assortment, some fine motor tweezers, and a veggie tray from Dollar Tree.  Have kids use tweezers to pick up and sort the various beads into the divided tray.
  2. Turkey Lacing: Cut out a turkey shape from cardboard or thick paper.  After children decorate it, add holes around the edge for children to lace.

    Source: Kaplan Early Learning Company

  3. Colandar Turkey: We love this idea from A Dab of Glue Will Do.  Turn a colander upside down, tape on the turkey printable, and have children start decorating by placing feathers in the colander holes.play
  4. Golf Tee Turkeys: Make some brown playdough, add some googly eyes, and a playdough beak and wattle.  Let children push colored golf tees into the playdough for the feathers.

    Photo Source: icanteachmychild.com

  5. Turkey Baster Painting: Water down (a little water) some fall-colored paints. Dip a turkey baster into paint, squeezing the paint into the baster.  Then squeeze the paint onto paper to make a turkey baster painting.

    Photo Source: notimeforflashcards.com


Why is it important to help children develop their fine motor skills?

Improving children’s dexterity will help them be able to write, pick up items, hold books, and much more. Finding fun ways for children to develop their fine motor skills is an important part of your job as a caretaker or early childhood teacher. Activities such as the ones included in this article are great ways to bring fine motor practice into the classroom without letting children know that’s what they’re working on as they play and create. (Source: Kaplan Early Learning Company)


Resources and Amazon Picks:

Preschool Teacher Apps for Parent Communication

Preschool Teacher Apps

Technology can be helpful when it comes to communicating with parents.  There are many child care and preschool teacher apps that are recommended by early childhood educators to share pictures and updates with parents.  (*Note: The Early Childhood Academy is only sharing information and does not endorse or represent any of these applications).

Seesaw

Seesaw is a student-driven digital portfolio that inspires your students to do their best work and saves you time.  Seesaw helps you see and hear what each student knows so you can better understand their progress.  Click Here to visit the Seesaw website.

 


ClassDojo

ClassDojo helps teachers build a positive classroom culture by encouraging students and communicating with parents.  Click Here to visit the ClassDojo website.

 

 


Tadpoles

Share photos, videos, notes to parents throughout the day. Record meals, activities, naps, and more to daily reports. Prepare lesson plans up to 4 weeks in advance, and much more!

Click Here to visit the Tadpoles website.

 

 


Remind

Remind is a communication platform that helps every student succeed. Whether you’re in the classroom, at home, or anywhere in between, Remind makes it easy to stay connected to your school community.  Click Here to visit the Remind website.

 


Brightwheel

Brightwheel is the only app that integrates everything you need: sign in/out, messaging, assessments, daily reports, photos, videos, calendars, online bill pay for parents, and much more.  Click Here to visit the Brightwheel website.

 


Bloomz

Bloomz makes it easy for teachers to securely share photos, classroom updates and reach parents instantly through messaging, as well as to coordinate events (like PT Conferences) and sign up for volunteers.  Click Here to visit the Bloomz website.

 


HiMama

Complete your preschool daily reports, schedules, attendance, check-ins and meal planning in half the time. Send parents daily sheets, pictures, videos and invoices they will love.  Click Here to visit the HiMama website.

 

5 Creative Ways to Get Children to Clean Up

5 Creative Ways to Get Children to Clean Up in a Child Care Setting

clean up

Getting children to clean up in a preschool or child care setting can be tough. Check out these 5 creative ways to get young children to clean up.

 

Mystery Clean-Up: Before beginning clean-up time, look around the room and pick out an item that needs to be put away. Announce to the children that you have chosen a mystery item and that whoever puts it away will win a prize.  When the room is cleaned up, announce the winner.

 

Tong Challenge: Give each child a pair of tongs and challenge them to pick up toys, using the tongs, and put them away.

 

Color Call-Out: Call out a color and let the children find a toy that has that color in it to put away.  Continue until all toys are put away.

 

Clean-Up Train: Start a train and walk around the room to the first area that is cleaned up, picking up the kids in that area.  Keep the train going around the room until every area is cleaned up and all kids are part of the train.

 

Roll-A-Die Clean-Up: Roll a die and have each child put away the number of toys on the die (i.e. Roll a 2, and each child puts 2 toys away).  Continue until all toys are put away.

clean up


Clean Up Books and Songs:

5 Tips for Handling a Difficult Parent in Child Care

Written by Susan Gove, Ph.D. – CEO of Your Center Success

5 Tips for Handling a Difficult Parent in Child Care

difficult parent

Some parents walk through the door and you brace yourself for a challenge.  Others are so sweet that you think you could become friends.  That’s Day One.

 

You don’t always know how parents will interact with you on any given day.  After all, you are caring for their most precious child.

 

Here are a few tips on how to handle some of the most common difficult parent situations:

 

  1. The parent comes in and wants to carry on a lengthy conversation with you while you are trying to tend to a room full of children.
  2.  

    TIP:  You explain that you need to be engaged with all of the children you have in front of you right now and that a good time for the two of you to talk would be (fill in the blank).  Be courteous, but speak with conviction.
     

  3. The parent is upset because he believes that his daughter is not getting the same attention that all of the other children are getting because the staff member in her group doesn’t like her and he wants his daughter to be put into another area of the center.
     

    TIP:  You make sure that you manage his escalating temper and, don’t argue whether he is right or wrong.  Assure him that you are sorry to hear about his concern and that you will observe his daughter’s interactions with staff over the next few days and then you and he can talk again.  Assure him that his daughter’s success is very important to you.

  4.  

  5. The parent is complaining that her child is unhappy about coming to school and cries when he has to get in the car to come to the center. She wants to know what is happening to her son in your center to make him feel this way.
     

    TIP:  You show sincere concern and tell her that this is not uncommon, but something that you and she will want to work on together right away.  Schedule a time when you can talk together.  Tell her that you will do some extra observations of him and talk to other staff members about her son prior to your meeting.

  6.  

  7. A parent wants to talk with you; you are uneasy and expect confrontation.
  8.  

    TIP:  Parents just want to know what is going on with their child.  They care and they can’t be there with their child, and that is very disconcerting to many parents.  The TONE of their question may not really reflect how they feel about the center or you.  Listen to the content and skip all of the facial clue and voice tones that you would normally examine.  It is your job to talk to parents because their children can’t tell them about their day with any reliability.

     

  9. As hard as we try, we very often judge a book by its cover – or a parent by her appearance/attitude. Bad move.
  10.  
    TIP:  Don’t judge parents.  Listen to them.  Show that you care about their child almost as much as they do.  Show that you have a plan for their child’s success and that you want them to be a part of the process.

25 Books about Picnics for Preschool

25 books about picnics for preschool

Picnics are popular in the summer months and it is something that can be included in a preschool curriculum.   We have found 25 books about picnics for preschool children that can be incorporated into your early childhood program.  Keep in mind that picnics can be just as fun indoors on a rainy day.

25 Books about Picnics for Preschool:


Top 10 Health Benefits of Going on a Picnic (Good for children and adults)

  • Outdoors Spending time outdoors, basking in nature, breathing fresh air and enjoying a great view. The pure air invigorates you and leaves you feeling rejuvenated. For those with respiratory disorders, breathing clean air helps clear the lungs.
  • Family bonding Spending time with family is always a great bonding experience. In the fast-paced, urbane lifestyle of today there is often limited time for maintaining relationships with some of the most important people in your life. Staying engaged with your family and friends can help build stronger bonds and foster warmth, security and love, as well as feelings of belonging.
  • Enables communication Since picnics often take place in warm environments, the tendency to participate in relaxing small talk is high. Simply keeping updated on what is going on in other people’s lives and learning what their plans can improve relationships. Conversations during the meal provide opportunities for the party to bond, plan, connect and learn from one another.
  • Grants time for self-reflection While picnics offer many social benefits, you don’t have to spend the entire time chatting up a storm. Picnics offer an excellent opportunity for you to spend time meditating about your life, the decisions you have made and the decisions you will make.
  • Foster healthy eating habits – Meals prepared and eaten at home are usually more nutritious and healthy than eating out and particularly so for when you bring food for a picnic. The typical portrait of picnics present a wicker basket full of fruitsvegetables, dairy and grains. These foods provide nutrients such as fiber, calcium and essential vitamins.
  • Stay active – Regular picnics can foster a family ritual where young ones are introduced to sports, games, and nature and encourages adults to partake in physical activities as well. Mini games between family and friends like tug-of-war, 2-hand-touch or flag football and kickball can be played before a meal to help induce a feeling of achievement prior to a well-deserved meal, while playing more casual games like horseshoes and bean bag toss can serve as a relaxing but still active activity. Even consuming the healthy food usually provided at picnics keeps you energetic and active through the day.
  • Mood booster – Eating lunch outdoors is a natural mood booster. You can be amazed how much the lack of sun in your body can affect you mood. There’s something about fresh air, sunshine, or a nice breeze that just puts you in good mood and motivates you making you want to get some exercise.
  • Relieves stress – Picnics are a great stress buster as it helps reduce the stress and anxiety related to work and home. Being an adult isn’t always easy and it’s great to be able to ease up on the responsibility from time to time by lounging in the sunlight.
  • Builds stronger bones – The vitamin D we get from the sun is needed for maximum absorption of calcium from the intestine, which helps build strong bones and teeth. Getting enough vitamin D can help you reduce your chances of getting bone deterioration diseases like osteoporosis. For children, regular sun exposure helps increase the process of growth and height and can decrease the risk of rickets. The sun also provides benefits to your skin by providing a nice, warm, sun-kissed glow.
  • Saves money – Picnics are known to be quite inexpressive. All one has to do is prepare meals at home and head out to a park or picnic area. If you have a well-stocked refrigerator and pantry, you may not even have to spend a cent!