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Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011's Favorites!

If I had to pick our readers 2011's favourite posts here on Kreative Resources I wouldn't have been able to do it - but the stats show that you all enjoyed my Texture Boards the most. If any of you made your own I would love to see your variation.
Then storage ideas seemed to be an important choice - we all need storage ideas for our classrooms - since space is usually at a premium.

Then bulletin board ideas was an attraction. I like to see what others create as well - it inspires me to keep up with creative new boards when ever possible!

 Next came sensory activities. I love making these and the kids love playing with them!

 I would really love more feedback in 2012 - so that I can provide things which interest you or some inspiration for new sharing in 2012.

Teaching Essentials

It's amazing how each and every year I add to my stash of essential resources for teaching. Those resources have certainly changed over the years. Especially since technology has changed. I think of all the things I have provided for the children in my charge with out technology. Not to mention the hours and hours of prep time it took to make sure I could provide all I had envisioned in my mind.
At this time in my career I have a few essential tools to help with my task of providing a full and fun program.

First I got on to a computer - I am a late bloomer - I have only been on the computer since approximately 1990 (perhaps later than that). Wow this computer thing is really cool eh?! LOL Having really good programs is important to assisting in the creation of all those ideas stashed in my brain! I have had many different publisher programs - which I adore - I couldn't live without them. Now I have a husband who is 'Mr. Computer' and he can add anything I request. Of course that means that a printer is in order because you definitely have to print off all those ideas that you find and create!
The best part about being on the computer is meeting all the other great educators through blogging - Facebook and other social networks. Those people inspire me like I have never been inspired before!

The next important thing for me is a laminator - I LOVE MY LAMINATOR!
I recently had to purchase a new one since I jammed up my older one.
That was a sad day - I wanted to cry! :( Fellow laminator addicts know what I mean!

Now I have recently purchased Cricuts - OMG my new addiction!
If you don't know what they are - they are personal die cut machines to make letters and images for bulletin boards - calendars - class projects etc. Some people use them for scrap booking!
I got mine from Kijiji - the large machine was only used once - just not the ladies cup of tea - her hubby bought it for her as a Birthday present - she's not a crafty person. The small machine I got from a young lady who updated hers to a larger machine - it is in immaculate condition. I have already used both and they work like a dream - I can't wait to put up my bulletin board and have the children make their first project! I will definitely post pictures when I get back to school in a week or so.
I am so glad I have hobbies where I make additional income - because that paid for my new toys. :)
I got the 2 machines and 4 cartridges plus a 'Jukebox' (seen below) for the price of one of the smaller machines, retail.

Pictured below is the Jukebox - which holds up to 6 cartridges.
I don't have to keep switching cartridges as I create.

Here are the cartridges which have the designs available to cut.
Each one has many choices and there are many others available.

I am just so happy I am able to have all the resources I find essential to creating the things I want to enhance my classroom and my activities!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Created Resources for a New Year

I love to create resources as much as I like to seek them out at garage sales. Here are some of the ones I have been making while on the holiday break.

I made this with clip art from the web (laminated) so we could sing the Elephant song and count.
We can put it on our flannel board as I will affix Velcro to the pieces.

One Elephant went out to play
Upon a spider's web one day;
He had such enormous fun
That he called for another Elephant to come!

Two Elephants went out to play
Upon a spider's web one day;
They had such enormous fun
That they called for another Elephant to come!

Three Elephants went out to play
Upon a spider's web one day;
They had such enormous fun
That they called for another Elephant to come!

Four Elephants went out to play
Upon a spider's web one day;
They had such enormous fun
That they called for another Elephant to come!

Five Elephants went out to play
Upon a spider's web one day;
They had such enormous fun
That they all had a picnic in the sun!

This is to play a colour game - players roll the dice and select the corresponding star.
The game is over when all players can identify the colours in the game.
The stars are foam sheeting.

Counting cards - I made with 'word'. Laminated.
Students place the counters on the circles of each card as they count.

Watches for toddlers to play with, just for fun.

Cut and paste - no sewing!
I am not fond of sewing even though I know how.

Stop and Go sign to control the crazy traffic in my room!
We also have many games we can use this for - to make the stop and go visual - to eliminate the noise level - mostly mine! LOL Printed images from the web and laminated - then taped to a paint stir stick.

I'll be making a few more things I am sure - since I just got a cricut machine (for die cutting)

Old School

We are going to do some old school play with things that may not be familiar to this generation of toddlers - but they are certainly familiar to this old gal.
A gyro wheel - I always loved these! Oh and those funny trapeze monkeys!
I got these at Indigo - book store.

We are going to read some old familiar stories and play with some hand made finger puppets.

These are some of our favourites already - but reading different variations seems to make them refreshing and new!
I intend on bringing out as many 'old school' toys - books and activities as possible this year. I enjoy seeing the wonder of old things through young eyes.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Speed Racers

In my classroom I have a lot of boys - boys with tons of energy. No matter how much we move, they want to move some more. We even play hockey inside our classroom! Dues to this, I ended up buying mini hockey sticks with sponge balls and we took the hockey game to the gym.

We also made sure the girls got involved.

There is no lack of gross motor movement in our day. We even get up during our circle activities while we are teaching things like the ABC's, to 'shake our sillies out'. All this on top of our daily outdoor recess times.

So again - no matter how much we move, they want to move some more!

Which leads us to the new daily activity which the boys spontaneously get involved in. They race around the room as fast as they can - pushing the cars and trucks available on our toy shelf.

I get a little nervous when they do this - there have been some face planting moments - but I don't want to be a total party pooper and tell them to stop all together, so I simply ask them to slow down.

They go so fast it was even hard to take these pictures!
                                                                                       So they haven't really slowed down at all!


Sunday, 25 December 2011

Ideas to extend - challenge!

This is a little fun challenge!

I saw these ideas while peeking around at some interesting blogs - so now my goal will be to include them in my January activities and extend them with other fun things to do!

Have a peek at what I am seeing and please share an idea or activity that can be an extension of these great ideas. When I have compiled a bunch of fun - I will implement them and post our experiences!

I find you all such inspirational educators with so much to share - so don't be shy - please have fun participating!

Please post your link or idea in the comment section below!

Saturday, 24 December 2011


Wishing you and yours a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year - thanks for following Kreative Resources!
We hope to share much more fun and adventure with you in 2012!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

How to tame a toddler!

Here is a copy of my post over at Prek and K Sharing

Who am I?
I often get asked how I can deal with a room full of toddlers all day, and my response is, “With LOVE”!
I really enjoy toddlers – when they come to me they are still babies, some still on formula and in fact last year I had a little 16 month old boy who couldn’t even walk! Within a two week period I had him walking and interacting with the other children with great vigor. We are now ‘buddies’!

Success in the toddler room comes with a lot of hugs, sweat and tears, both theirs and mine! However we all pull through. J When the toddlers leave me they are little students ready to take on the world. That makes me very happy and proud!
Sometimes toddlers are extremely challenging, after all they are at the “it’s all about me stage of life”. Each child is vying for my attention for the entire time they are with me. I have learned to bounce four toddlers on my knee at one time. I can play cars with seven tots, all shooting cars down a ramp at me simultaneously.  I can also put multiple toddlers to sleep at the same time; I have learned to rub backs with my feet (kidding – maybe – LOL).
All kidding aside there are little tricks to the trade when dividing my undivided attention with 15 toddlers at the same time. First on a rainy day I can whip up a mean batch of play dough and provide a multitude of tools to manipulate this squishy, much loved concoction. [Editor's note: click here for a play-dough recipe.] This keeps at least 10 of them occupied while I colour with the remainder of ‘friends’. Funny thing is though when they are finished colouring, I am still sitting at the table completing my work of art.

Second, I have learned to provide a room full of very interesting activities, which get rotated and added to on a regular basis. There is no such thing as getting bored in my classroom. Garage sales are my friend! I can get inexpensive resources to ensure there are objects to explore, that have not been explored before. If I can’t find any I create my own. Topping that, I network with other Early Childhood Educators who not only inspire me, but they ensure that I am on my best game.

Alongside these points you have to ‘believe’ in the fact that at the toddler stage of life, their brains are like sponges, and toddlers must be given credit for being far more intelligent and capable than people give them.
That is all well and good but, what about the times when I have some behavioural issues in the classroom? Well I have developed a manner of selecting when the ‘quiet voice’ is used and when the ‘serious voice’ is used. How does that work? Let’s just say you get more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.  However I do admit the ‘grumpy voice’ has reared its ugly head from time to time. Hey I’m human! I have also realized that I will NEVER get Botox – facial expressions in a toddler room are gold! *smirk* :/
I could babble on with some other ‘stuff’ or jargon, but will it make sense to anyone but me?  I don’t want to bore you!
So what does all this come down to? What am I saying here? Well nothing really! LOL
I just resort back to my first point – LOVE! Just love them! If you truly love the children – love your job and love the experiences you have each and every day – you will be a toddler expert.

What does any child need? LOVE! They need to feel secure – they need to know they are cared for and that they have meaning in your life! The children light up my day – I feel joy when I see them come into the classroom. We have a connection. We ‘get each other’.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

One of 2011's Best New Education Blogs!

I was honoured to be nominated in the edublog awards as one of the best new education blogs for 2011 - we are mentioned in this article on the Edudemic website. Don't forget to check out some of my favorite blogging sites - which I love - that are mentioned as well!

Flights of Whimsy
Exploring the Outdoor Classroom
Happy Hooligans
Learning For Life
Teaching Blog Addict

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Our Toddlers Shave! :)

Today we had a spontaneous experience - which was brought on by someone claiming they had a moustache! LOL I told the little lad that he was much too young for a moustache so we had to shave it off. Then some of his friends decided they would shave as well - claiming they too had moustaches.
So off to the bathroom we went with shaving cream in hand!

Lathering up!

Like this?

Some of us may have gotten carried away!

Even the girls got involved!


We didn't use a razor - we simply wiped it off with paper towel but it was sooooo fun!
Deborah Stewart from Teach Preschool has a good suggestion below - use a craft stick to shave it off!
If this wasn't such an impromptu activity we may have thought of that - LOL

Hallway Decor

Here are a couple of things we made to decorate our hallway outside of our classroom!

We made snowballs - with coffee filters and fake snow!
We love to glue stuff! :)

We put them over our cubbies!

Then we made a handprint wreath and hung it over our notice board!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Peppermint Play Dough Santa!

We made a peppermint play dough Santa - he's cute and smells good! :)

We mixed our dough and added a ton of peppermint flavouring - it smelled sooooo gooood!
I simply mixed approx. 4 cups flour to 1 cup salt - add water to the proper consistancy and toss in the colouring and peppermint! We kept half white and the other half we made red.

Then we pressed the dough into a cool tin I found at he thrift store with Santas image - it's probably for cake decorating - I'm not sure?

After a couple of days we popped it off the tin!

It looks OK but I think when it dries a little more we will paint it and put on some glitter! :)
Everything is better with glitter!

The kids loved the colour and the smell - it was a great sensory experience!

Update: We added some glitter, wiggly eyes, and some coconut in his beard!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Do they use that stuff?

There are often times when I get asked if the children actually choose to use the practical life items I place out for the children in the classroom.
Indeed they do! I think it's because they are different. They are not pre-packaged toys - they are something outside of the box. I also present the objects before independant use, so the children have an idea of how they may manipulate the objects. Not because I don't think they would come up with their own solutions - but because some kids simply need a stepping off point. Besides I think it also makes the object more important since they were presented as something special.

Here the children use the I Spy Christmas Tubes and some Christmas icecube trays with glitter pompoms & Christmas erasers. Great for fine motor practice, sorting , matching, sequencing, counting and sensory stimulation etc. The presents our magical elf 'Stanley' brought for the children to count.  The puzzle the one boy is using was very difficult, but he is a really great puzzle expert! He even stumped one of our teachers - he had to show her how it went together! LOL It's really interesting to watch the children use the objects with great interest since most people would simply look at them as just stuff without a purpose.

So - do they use that stuff? YUP!

This week I added magnets with a jar of jingle bells and pipe cleaners bent into candy canes.

Fun to play with!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Open ended Christmas tree creatives?

So at this time of year we do a lot of creative activities and the tots like to use gluesticks, so we made some Christmas trees!
Although this cannot really be considered open ended (in my mind) the results
were of the children's own creation.
However the set up of the activity really left no room for interpretation.
Often times we do this kind of set up for the sake of time - not always a first choice.
Parents also like to see creatives coming home where they can determine what the object is.

We simply set out the shapes - gems - glitter and glue and let the children apply their
knowledge of creativity to the materials presented.

In this activity we simply put out some triangular green shapes and red construction paper with gluesticks.

The children began to apply the glue and attach the shapes to the paper.

I was told these are Christmas tree - indeed they are!

So in both activities the end result was a 'Christmas Tree'. Can both activities be considered open ended?
Well dependent on your interpetation of open ended. There is no right or wrong result in both activities - however the set up leaves little wiggle room in the first. An open ended activity is said to be undetermined with no predetermined outcome. However there can be some flexibility and adaptability in the activity that is set out for completion. An activity that can be changed dependant on skill level, mood and duration can certainly be considered open ended.
In both activities above there was no pressure to create a Christmas tree - the kids did love the results in both instances - open ended? Yup!