Teacher Lisa and I love to make the room as "spooky" as we can...preschool style! Every area of our room is thoughtfully assembled with toys, manipulatives, and experiences that scream "HALLOWEEN!"
The water table was a great place to integrate science, fine motor skills, and sensory play! Our first experience had various Halloween items such as spiders, bats, skeletons, and eyeballs frozen inside big chunks of ice shaped like spider webs and skulls. The children needed to "melt" the ice using water, pipettes, and salt!
We followed up with this activity using the same spiderweb and skull mold. They were set with Knox gelatin which created the ultimate Halloween "Jello Jiggler!" The childen carefully inserted pipettes filled with liquid watercolors and watched the colors spread on the inside of the mold.
After the enthusiasm and strength of preschool hands got a hold of the jello mold, it quickly turned into a soup! The children loved squishing the big chunks of gelatin through their fingers and adding spooky items to make it fit for a monster!
The next sensory experience in the table was a big pot of white ghost oobleck. This simple recipe of equal parts cornstarch and water provides endless opportunities to use the small finger muscles to dig, pull, and lift this hard, yet super slimy medium. We found by adding more water to the top and offering the children cinnamon to sprinkle in for a more appealing scent, it invited more children to play!
Monster soup was our last recipe for the water table. We incorporated cold noodles, eyeballs, bats, spiders, and skeletons for the children to stir and use tongs to fill bowls.
Our light table offered a clear slime filled with bats, spiders, and ghosts for the children to lift, drip, and ooze over the warmth of the table.
Both classes worked on strengthening fine motor skills with many different experiences using scissors, learning how to tear and cut colored masking tape, figuring out lacing cards, and peeling stickers.
One of the Older Class traditions at Small Friends is to create a Haunted House out of wood scraps, glue, paint, embellishments, and a WHOLE LOT OF IMAGINATION!! It is a project that takes a full week to complete. After reading through the stories A Dark, Dark Tale and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, the children got to work!
Day 1: Design and build your house.
Day 2: Paint your house with Halloween colors.
Day 3: Add spooky embellishments, dictate a story about your house to a teacher for your portfolio, and smile! We showcased our haunted houses for parents at the end of the day so all could be admired before the houses went home with children.
Haunted Houses and embellished structures came alive at the block area. We were so impressed when the children asked to use the loose parts to "decorate" the houses.
In the younger class, we captivated our love for the story GO AWAY BIG GREEN MONSTER and created fold over monsters on the first day and added the features from the story the following day. Watching the children participate in every step and being SO excited with the finished product was delightful!
The Younger Class also learned a new painting technique. We used fly swatters dipped into paint to *smack* a pumpkin. These pumpkins will be used in their nursery rhyme books to illustrate "Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater." We practiced this rhyme at group time using our own pictures!