This week in Yarok we focused our discussions and group time on our one and only moon. We talked about moon phases, distances from the Earth, and how the moon seems to glow. We wondered what it would be like to walk on the moon. Since the days are getting shorter, maybe families could take time at dusk to find the moon as it “grows” this month, checking out the phases in real time. I’m sure your PreKindie would love it! This is the link to the songs we’ve been playing in class about space: Solar System Song and Zoom Zoom Zoom if you want to check them out!
Monday: This morning, the kids helped me put the planets in order on our wall in the hallway. We brought a book so we would get the order correct. Asher decided to make the moons for each planet too.
During our meeting, we talked about how moon astronauts collected rocks from the moon. We made a few using tin foil, and then played a game to try and toss them into a toolbox. Later, the kids had the choice to paint a moon print by combining black and white, painting a plastic lid, and then stamping paper on top of it.
Tuesday: What does the moon feel like? We made some moon dough today using baking soda, water, a little black watercolor paint, and glitter (of course!). It feels a bit like wet sand. The kids played and played in it! I had them form some “moon rocks” that I saved for an activity we’ll do on Friday, and then kept it out all day for open play. They liked hiding toy astronauts inside and having me guess if there’s anything in there.
Most mornings this month, the kids have had the opportunity to color a space themed coloring sheet. I’m not really expecting them to all complete these coloring sheets, but I do set them out for kids who enjoy coloring. As long as I see everyone using their hands to grasp, whether it’s coloring, grabbing puzzle pieces, tying string, squeezing dough, and the like, I don’t need to see worksheets. Each preK’r is going to gravitate toward what they need at their own pace.
Wednesday: The space station is really busy this week, with the addition of the long-handled grabbers.
After a fun music class, we returned to class to demonstrate how moon craters may have been made using flour and rocks. Because there is no weather on the moon, whatever makes a print, stays there indefinitely. After the kids were finished playing in the flour, we took some and made salt dough. Most of the kids made a little sculpture that is drying now and will be painted next week.
Thursday: During snack, we read another Asch bear book. This time, bear wished he could taste the moon, so he builds a rocket to go find out, but falls asleep instead with hilarious results. Oh bear! Then, we made our own moon cakes, rice cakes, strawberry cream cheese, banana slices, and marshmallows. We talked about how a long time ago, no one knew what was on the moon. They guessed it was made of cheese, but now we know it’s made of rock. Our own moon cakes were delicious!
Friday: Today, we will take the moon rocks we made on Tuesday and attempt to explode them using some vinegar. Whatever happens, it will be a learning experience! After lunch, we will read a book about the moon phases. I will demonstrate the phases using an oreo. After talking about it together, we will enjoyed eating our moons!
A peek at next week: Aliens in outer space! We will read books and create our own stories about creatures and life beyond Earth. We will have lots of activities related to rocket power, using chemistry, water, and air. Be prepared, if next week is your child’s last, to take home lots of souvenirs from our time together. I’ll be putting their artwork and various name cards into bags for you- we are really going to miss you all!