Preschool @ Home :: Happy Fall Y’all Part 2

Like Kelly, I too found my home in the classroom, but my six year stint took place within the walls of high schools and with a healthy mix of literature, grammar, and writing.  As a stay at home mom, once I traded in chalkboards for nurseries and grading for blogging, I quickly discovered a world of fun that could be had with our wee ones, and within that world, the learning opportunities seemed endless.  In a Pre-Pinterest world, I ran across various blogs with creative homeschool lessons and activities, and I found a way to satisfy my inherent need to ‘lesson plan’ {so strange, I know} that also provided opportunities to play and learn during the day at home.  Reading, crafting, counting, and singing alongside my kiddos bring some of my most rewarding and memorable moments of the day, and I can’t wait to share more of our preschool journey with you!

Posting in this series with Kelly has me several shades of excited for planning at-home preschool holiday activities. While we don’t have much of a seasonal year weather-wise here in Houston, the holidays provide an ebb and flow to the year that I enjoy, not to mention the joy that comes with each special day! I’ll be borrowing Kelly’s ideas for sure and can’t wait to hear what you’ve got to share as well.

While we do most of our playing and learning with each other, play dates are a great way to build skills together, both social and academic.  Last year I stumbled upon these apple turkeys and scheduled a park play date to enjoy the bit of Fall weather that November sometimes brings. We shared supplies, smiles, and proud looks from our preschoolers over their very own turkeys. In fact, we had such a great time that these little gobblers will be part of our Fall preschool at home this year and for years to come.

Jenn - Preschool at Home Fall Part 2

Book :: Five Silly Turkeys by Salina Yoon 

Books are one of our favorite ways to jump into an activity, and honestly, as we rolled from Halloween night to the first day of November, I packed up the Halloween books and grabbed the first turkey book I could find to show Wyatt just what a turkey looks like. For some reason, turkeys, roosters, and chickens seem to mix themselves up in his head. Regardless, he loves the catchy rhyme and turkey countdown in this book, and after just a few readings, he has it memorized to read it to John and me, a new favorite activity!

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Skills – pre-reading skills, understanding rhyme, listening, building language, identifying numbers, print concepts, reading comprehension, retelling

Arts and Crafts :: Candy Apple Turkeys

John is into everything and finds himself everywhere these days, so I chose his morning nap as the perfect time to spend some one-on-one time with Wyatt for crafting outside. I’m fairly certain I will schedule another play date with our moms group closer to Thanksgiving Day to make these with friends. These turkeys lend themselves to all ages {well, maybe not those put-everything-in-my-mouth 8 month olds!}, and in fact, if your children are in school, this craft is perfect for meeting at the park with friends during Thanksgiving week when school is out.

Materials

{One of the great things about this activity is that you probably have many of these ingredients at home, and if you don’t, you probably have something that can be substituted. Check the list out before you hit the grocery store, and also keep an open mind for additions that you and yours might like a bit better!}

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  • Red/green apples {one per participant}
  • A box of toothpicks
  • Spice drops*
  • Candy corn
  • Circus peanuts
  • Cheerios or O-type cereal
  • Raisins/craisins/dried cherries
  • Marshmallows
  • Blueberries
  • Trays or paper plates {This LA girl is a huge fan of the crawfish tray – so multifunctional!}
*I used candy fruit slices last year and cut them into thirds, but somehow forgot this year and went with spice drops. The fruit slices are much tastier!
**Suggested additions/substitutions :: grapes, raspberries, oranges (peeled separated), or dried pineapple chunks.

 Directions

1.  Create your face first. The younger ones may need help with inserting the toothpicks into the apples, but they can also try on their own and develop some of those hand muscles needed for writing. Turn the apple so them stem faces you. Remove stem and insert toothpick as far as you can to create a bill, leaving enough out to stick a candy corn through, and then go ahead and stick on that candy corn.

PicMonkey Collage2

2.  Decide how many long, colorful ‘feathers’ you plan to use for your turkey’s tail fan. Yep, ‘tail fan’ my friends. Now you are increasing your child’s {and mostly like your own} vocabulary! In fact, with older kiddos, go ahead and learn all the parts of our favorite Thanksgiving bird! Slide goodies of choice onto each toothpick. Have fun exploring colors, patterns, sizes, and shapes, and leave a bit of room at the end of the toothpick to insert into the apple.

PicMonkey Collage

3.  Insert toothpick feathers into back of the apple to look like a turkey’s tail fan.

4.  Insert two toothpicks into the front of the turkey for eyes, leaving enough room to slide a couple of Cheerios. Wyatt chose to add yogurt raisins on top of his.

5.  And now it gets tricky! We broke quite a few toothpicks inside of our apples and went through several Circus Peanuts, but this struggle can also be a learning opportunity as well! Angle your turkey to lean back a little and eyeball where you think toothpicks should go. Insert toothpicks a little over halfway into the new bottom of the apple, one for each ‘foot.’ Stick circus peanuts onto each toothpick. If your turkey won’t stand, try again. Change your toothpick angles or even use more than one. This last step is not for the faint of heart!

6. Name your turkey, take some pictures, and find a spot for your family’s newest member.

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Skills – recognizing patterns, self-expression, counting, building vocabulary, fine-motor development, identifying shapes, identifying colors, exploring textures, healthy-eating discussions, creativity

{You could stretch this activity even further by sorting the candy items first. Also, there are lots of other food turkeys out there, including this pear lunchbox bird that might make an appearance around here. To bring our turkey theme to next week I hope to help the boys craft these Gratitude Turkey Treat Jars from Toddler Approved to bring to family and friends throughout the month.}

 

We’ve been reading our Five Silly Turkeys book over and over while exploring vocal inflections, and Wyatt beams with pride telling Daddy about the candy apple turkeys that have found a home on our dining room table.  These are my favorite holiday decorations – the ones that tell a story, that remind me of shared moments, that bring a smile to a proud preschooler’s face, and that can be tossed this year and created again year after year in a fun family tradition.

Whether you do them daily as part of your home’s rhythm or you squeeze them in on weekends when you have some moments with your little ones, preschool activities at home provide such magic. It’s time well-spent together where memories are made, conversations are exchanged, hearts are warmed, and yes, some learning is had.

If you missed it yesterday, visit Kelly’s post Preschool @ Home :: Happy Fall Y’all Part 1 and discover some great ways to explore Fall’s changing leaves with your preschooler. Feel free to journey along with us and pin any images as reminders of fun Fall activities, and be sure to let us know what you will be doing with your little ones this Fall. Leave a comment or link below!

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11 Responses to Preschool @ Home :: Happy Fall Y’all Part 2

  1. Meg O. November 4, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    Those little apple turkeys are just too cute! Love it!

    • Jenn November 13, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      Thanks Meg! Round 1 has found the garbage can already so I’m ready to make some more!

  2. Kelly D November 4, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Love those turkey apples! Definitely adding them to our to do list for this fall…Hayes will get a kick out of them!!!

    • Jenn November 13, 2013 at 10:17 am #

      They are seriously good fun! And by good I mean yummy too of course!

  3. Chelsea November 5, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    How cute!!! Thanks for sharing. What a great idea.

    • Jenn November 13, 2013 at 10:17 am #

      I bet J will be ready to make some next year!

  4. [email protected] November 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Thanks for the shout out!!! Your apple gobblers are so cute!

    A tip if you make the pear turkeys…insert your plastic lollipop sticks or skewers first and make sure there is enough room in between for your feather fruit. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!!

    • Jenn November 13, 2013 at 10:19 am #

      No problem on the shout out! I love that we have an alternative in the pear turkey now and even better that you gave us some hints! It’s always so great to get the scoop on making them from the source so you know what works and what doesn’t. Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to put in my son’s lunch.

  5. Heather M November 8, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    What a cute craft! Perfect for Thanksgiving!

    • Jenn November 13, 2013 at 10:19 am #

      I can’t wait to see Skeeter’s! 🙂

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  1. The Ultimate Fall Bucket List {Houston 2015} - December 3, 2015

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