Preschool 2.1: C is for Caterpillar and Pancakes

This is technically my 3rd year participating in a neighborhood preschool group – and I’ve mentioned before how thrilled (read as terrified) my preschooler is about actually going to preschool. The first 3 times I brought him to preschool he came home with me after 10 minutes or less and then I just stopped trying to bring him after that.

But this week it was OUR turn to host. So we did. And I made him come.

We had the hard consonant “C” and the theme was “cooking.”

So we started out with caterpillars! Yay!

the-very-hungry-caterpillar

We had our little opening around the couch and did a little show and tell of all of our “c” items. And then we read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. That one is always a winner. (The fun thing about reading to little children is just asking them questions throughout the story and getting them involved, “Raise your hand if I read off a food that you like to eat,” or “Which do you like better, apples or pears?” or “Have you ever eaten too much and felt sick like the caterpillar did?” because kids will shout out random answers that have nothing to do with what you are talking about and it reminds you how cute they are. And how little their attention span can be. 🙂 )

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All our “C” stuff

Then we colored (“c” word, bonus point) and glued little pompoms onto our caterpillars. Some were cool, some were cute, and some were crazy (my points are piling up now!) And since the regular Elmer’s glue was less than stellar at glueing pompoms to paper, I pulled out the hot glue gun. (Points for efficiency, maybe minus points for danger factor.) It got the job done.

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Now, I haven’t yet mentioned it, but this year we have 7 children (when mine decides to attend) and excepting one of them, they are all three years old. I found last year that when doing complicated projects it was best to do them in smaller groups while the remaining children just played with toys. So for our next two projects we worked in groups of 3s and then 2s.

The food from “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” was a great segue into cooking (food)! And you can’t very well cook without an apron, right?

So we used puff paint and decorated aprons three at a time. (We left them at my house to dry overnight and I delivered them the next day.)

Then, just two at a time, I took them up to do some real cooking, which is where the pancakes come in. Really, what can you cook, not bake, with 7 three year olds? I kept thinking soup, but I couldn’t picture doing that with 7 cute little people swarming the kitchen. So each child got a chance to pour the batter (pre-made earlier that morning of course) and flip their very own pancake. Which, by the way, they loved doing and felt so proud of themselves when, no matter where the pancake landed on the skillet, I congratulated them for a successful flip.

And then we ate them with syrup.

Which… segued perfectly into our nursery rhyme for the week, Pat-A-Cake.

Ok, so in our house pancakes are falsely, yet affectionately called Panna-Cakes, which is a strange and somewhat illogical morph of Pat-A-Cake and St. Patty Cakes (green pancakes for dinner on St. Patrick’s Day), and no matter how many times I try to correct the children, we still end up with Panna-Cakes. So… I guess that’s why my brain thought pancakes would be a natural segue.

This is a cute book we read, although meant for younger audiences I suppose, about patting different things – like cakes, pickles, potatoes, puddles, a CATERPILLAR (bonus point), and then finally your mother and father before you go to bed. It’s a board book. But the children (probably because they are 3 years old) really loved it.

pat-a-cake

And then we went downstairs again and cleaned everything up as the moms came to take them all home.

Two hours done. My next turn isn’t until sometime mid November. I have yet to think about what I am supposed to do then.

But here is my favorite part about this entire thing. During preschool, after I furiously cleaned my house so to impress all those 3 year olds (why? I still don’t really know) I put my older two into a bedroom with all their morning school books and a few chocolate chip cookies (good mom) and pleaded with them to get their work done even though I wasn’t there.  Besides grammar, technically they can get done all of their morning work without me, but we are having a hard time developing and practicing this kind of independence. *sigh.*

Except for on THIS day, they actually did it.

HALLELUJAH!

Ok, so they both forgot their spelling practice. But other than that, they did it! They even helped each other out, too! It was a beautiful thing which is encouraging to me. Homeschool, that small part of it at least, will be that much more easier once we get into that habit.

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