This is where you learn to play and find you've learned along the way!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fun With Word Clouds

The Tagxedo site is a great way to expand learning and have fun in your classroom.

These are a few examples of how word clouds can be used. 

Turn the story you are going to share into a word cloud. 

Use word clouds to display favorite songs.
I'm a Little Teapot

The Wheels On The Bus

Your only limit to fun is the end of your imagination!

Have some fun with TAGXEDO!

Introducing...... TAGXEDO! Sharing new sites is a must in the world of education. The Tagxedo site allows you to use whatever words you want to create word clouds, and the possibilities are endless!

These can be great fun for students to use in all areas of the curriculum, for games in the classroom, and to expand a unit of study.

Word clouds can be used in math to help preschoolers better understand how one topic is used more than another simply by using data collected in the class and then transposed into a word cloud on Tagxedo. For example asking a group of twenty what is their favorite type of ice cream and then adding each person's choice in creating the word cloud, will cause the flavor chosen the most to be the biggest in the word cloud.

By using the words and topics of stories and songs games can be easily made with word clouds. Guess that fairy tale. Guess the song.

Unit expansion ideas are always needed. Taking all the words to be covered in a weather unit and making them into a word cloud in the shape of an umbrella would give the students a chance to guess what topic they would be learning. Displaying the word cloud for the entire unit would be a great way to review all the ideas covered in the area of study.

Go ahead. Check out TAGXEDO! Click HERE, and have some fun! Want to see what we've created? Check back with me in the next post!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Make the Magic Part 2

Playdough recipes can be found online by the dozens. I'm listing a few variations of playdough and other fun mixes. My favorite can be found on the last post, Make the Magic.

No-Cook Play Dough
4 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 tbsp oil
1 and 1/2 cup water
Mix oil and food color together before adding to dry mixture. Mix until pliable. Keep in container or plastic bag.

Gingerbread Play Dough
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 tbsp. ground ginger
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup water
Mix together and knead until smooth.

Chocolate-Scented Play Dough (Non-Edible)
1 and 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup salt
1/2 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup boiling water
Mix the dry ingredients. Add the oil and boiling water. Stir quickly, mixing well. When cool, mix with your hands.

Nutty Putty (Edible)
3 1/2 cups peanut butter
4 cups powdered sugar
3 1/2 cups corn syrup or honey
4 cups powdered milk
chocolate chips (optional)
Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips. Divide mixture into 15-20 portions, place into plastic bags and refrigerate. Children mold dough, add chocolate chips for decorations, and eat.

Coffee Play Dough
2 cups used coffee grounds
1 and 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup salt
Mix all ingredients until pliable. Add water, flour as needed to achieve a working consistency.

Toothpaste Putty
1/2 tsp toothpaste (cream not gel)
1 tsp white glue
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp water
Mix toothpaste, glue and cornstarch. Add water until you have a lump of putty. Putty should clean dish. Wash and dry hands. Squeeze and roll putty into a ball, the more it is rolled and pulled the better it gets. Will begin to dry in 20 minutes. Just add a drop of water to soften. Will dry rock hard in 24 hours.

Oatmeal Play Dough
1 part flour
1 part water
2 parts oatmeal
Mix well and knead.

Cloud Play Dough
1 cup cornstarch
2 cups baking soda
1 and 1/2 cups water
Combine all ingredients in pan. Bring to a boil, then pour onto plate and cover with a damp cloth. Place in refrigerator for � hour then knead for 3-4 minutes.

Sand Play Dough
1/2 cup sand
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup boiling water
Mix ingredients together and knead.

For my daughter's birthday party I gave each girl pink playdough on a square of wax paper and a zip lock bag. The playdough was formed into a ball and the girls were told to find the surprises inside. Pulling the playdough apart, they found plastic jewels all throughout. They removed the jewels and then they were able to play with the playdough. As they played I labeled their zip lock backs with their names. When they finished, they wrapped their playdough in the wax paper and put it in the plastic zip lock bag along with all their jewels.

One last mix to try comes from Blog Me Mom. It's called Sudsy Goop.

Enjoy the video on how to make your own playdough, and she's adding Kool-Aid!

One last mix to try comes from Blog Me Mom. It's called Sudsy Goop. Go check it out and don't be surprised if you get carried away browsing. Great kid activities on her blog! See, she made The Teacher Table up on the right!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Make the Magic

Having the recipe for fun can be found in making your own playdough. The great thing about playdough is that there are so many variations you can use depending on what you want to do. Below is a basic recipe that I have used with my preschoolers. 

1/2 cup salt
1 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
food coloring

1. Mix all ingredients in medium sized sauce pan.
2. Stir over low heat until dough is pliable. 
3. Allow to cool and store in a well sealed plastic bag or container. 

*This dough makes enough for 2-4 children. You can refrigerate the playdough after use to last up to 6 months.

Check back for an instructional video of how to make playdough along with a few unique playdough ideas.  

(photo from While She Naps)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Here We Go!

Welcome to the new site for The Children's House Early Learning Blog. We're all about discovering new and fun ways to enjoy learning!

Join us each week for activities for Pre-K and Kindergarten age children. You'll find fun ideas used in my teaching and new ideas from many different sites. Let's get started!

Today, let's get connected. Pinterest is a great way to connect with other teachers. You can always find pictures of finished products, lists of supplies, age appropriate fun, and great advice.

Come follow me!

For preschool, follow one of my favorites - In Lieu of Preschool

Kindergarten ideas are in abundance! Enjoy browsing the kindergartenklub board from The Organized Classroom.

Remember that your classroom is a place to learn, a place to grow, and that's just you!