January Themes

Winnie the Pooh Day is an opportunity to enjoy your favorite bear and all of his friends. This day was created to celebrate the birth of A.A .Milne. Born in Kilburn, London on January 18, 1882, Milne is best remembered for his Pooh books, about a boy named Christopher Robin (which is also the name of his son), and characters inspired by his son’s stuffed animals. Of these the most important is Winnie-the-Pooh. The others include Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore and others. The actual setting of the Pooh stories is Ashdown forest.

A. A. Milne, who wrote Winnie the Pooh, set his stories in and around a village, named Hartfield, which is in East Sussex, southern England.
A.A. Milne grew up at Henley House School (now Crescent) in Kilburn, London. It was a small independent school run by his father. One of his teachers was H. G. Wells 
who taught there between 1889–1890.


Winnie the Pooh was first conceived when a soldier, Harry Colebourn, adopted and brought a black bear cub to England from Winnipeg, Canada, after its mother had been killed by hunters He bought the bear from the hunter which killed its mother, and took it to London Zoo for a long loan. Christopher Robin favoured this bear and spent many an hour in the cage, playing with it. The bear was named Winnie, as a shortened version of the place whence he came. So, the bear became Christopher Robin’s inspiration for calling his own teddy bear Winnie.


For the first time in over 80 years, a sequel book to A.A. Milne’s “The House At Pooh Corner”
will be released this October 2009. 

some Winnie the Pooh books
by A.A. Milne include:

“Winnie the Pooh”
“When we were very young”
“The House at Pooh Corner”
“Now we are Six”


Color some teddy bear pages


Here is some of what we did when we covered a bear theme.





Bear File Folder Game
The game below is the “Roll over” game. I precut teddy bear shapes out of grocery bag paper, used a blue pocket folder to make the bed and cut some light blue colored paper for the pillows. Then I printed the saying “There were ___ in the bed and the little one said, “Roll over, Roll over.”
So they all rolled over and one fell out!
It is a counting/subtraction game that my youngest
enjoyed playing.



Teddy Graham Math. (see picture below)
I pre-made cards by drawing small teddy bears that displayed the amount of each number 1 – 6. My son used Teddy graham cookies to match with each card and counted outloud the number of bears he placed on the card.

Flannel Board Story
We did a flannel board story after reading the book, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin Jr. and Ecic Carle 
This book is a favorite of both my sons.

Here’s hoping you enjoy your Winnie the Pooh day!

Other bear books to read:
“Curduroy” by Don Freeman
“Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you see? by Bill Martin
In honor of Winnie the Pooh day and
the author A.A. Milnes birthday, here are some
activities you can do with your child.

Play a teddy bear color matching game.
Click here to print out your cards!


Gather all the stuffed teddy bears you have at home
and sort them by size or color. We have plenty of bears
here at home including my oldest stuffed pooh bear
that is over 25 years old.





This week is the first week we are introducing at our Preschool to Pre-K blog “the book of the week.” 

The current theme is Martin Luther King and our book of the week is “The Crayon box that Talked” by Shane DeRolf and illustrated by Michael Letzig.

In Shane DeRolf’s deceptively simple poem, a child’s box of crayons conveys the sublimely simple message that when we all work together, the results are much more interesting and colorful.

Mommy and Me Toddler Discussion:
We talked about what is our favorite color and why? Mine is purple and son’s is green. We also talked about imagining if everyone was the same color and what we thought about that.

Art/Craft Activity
Make you multicolored crayons!
Broken pieces of crayon
aluminum pan

Peel broken crayons and melt in a small aluminum pan at 350 degrees for 15 -20 minutes. Cool and break into new multi-colored pieces.

Science/Art Actvity
Mixing colors and finding out what they make.
Materials: watercolors, brushes, water and paper
Here’s a Color Mixing Poster to learn what colors you can make! Use the color mixing activity page to mix your colors on.

Early Math
Make your own color book to help learn and remember colors!
Materials: Scissors, glue, magazines, construction paper, paper

Directions: Gather pictures of different colored items and place them in a photo album or glue onto paper. Your child may choose to draw pictures instead of cutting them out.

Color Mixing Snacks
Get blue Jell-O and yellow Jell-O. After jello sets, take a small zip lock bag and put a tablespoons of yellow on one side and a tablespoons of blue on the other. Then give child a bag and ask them what they think will happen when they squish it together.

After they guess, have them squish it and once it’s mixed to green, cut the corner off the bag and let them squeeze it into their mouth.


Click on image for Activity

Click on image for Activity

This morning I came across a group activity from   Education World that I think could be adapted for the pre-kindergarten level.  

Those Tear-Me-Apart, Put-Me-Back-Together, Never-Be-the-Same-Again Blues

This powerful activity illustrates how words can hurt — or heal.

My recommendations:
There are areas that you would omit but for the most part I would use the discussion on how words can hurt others, how it is to be the new student or person in a group.

I found the use of making a construction paper siloutte of a classmate with no features that the children could address was effective for this activity.  I believe that if tailored for younger children (ages 4-5) that it too can be effective as a tool for teaching children that words can hurt.  

I would use some discretion for a pre-k group when using this activity based on the children’s understanding.  

This is a wonderful presentation of Martin Luther King, his life and work for young children. It is presented as a book to view. Martin-Luther-King

Video that I found online:
Shahada/Peace song in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (below)
It includes sayings from world leaders and philosophers through the ages.

Most of my friends were surprised I was able to find science activities that could tie in with a Martin Luther King theme. After much research I found two listed below:  


1. Color mixing
Decorate an old sheet by spraying different colors (food coloring and water) from a spray-bottle all over it.
By mixing primary colors (red, blue, yellow) you find secondary colors (orange, green, brown, etc) 
Have the children watch the colors mix and talked about how people are different, just like the colors, but how they can live/work/share together (just like MLK believed). Then after the sheet dried I cut it into squares and let everyone take a piece home.
2. We’re All the Same on the Inside

This is a simple look at how we can look different on the outside, yet be the same on the inside. We use this activity around Martin Luther King day after a discussion about prejudice.
one or more brown eggs
one or more white eggs
a bowl

Plan: Following a discussion with the children about how people are alike (we all have two eyes, we all have hair) and how we differ (blue eyes vs. brown eyes-long hair vs. short) show them a brown egg and a white egg.

Discuss the similarities and differences in the eggs. (They are oval, they are different colors.)

Break each egg into the bowl and dispose of shell. (Hint: this is best done above their eye level because if they see which yolk came from which egg, they will be able to make a distinction). Can they tell which is which? No–because just like people,even though we may LOOK different on the outside, we’re all the same on the inside!

Source: http://www.atozteacherstuff.com/pages/404.shtml