DIY Grocery Store!!

Our up coming unit in our curriculum is about 'Our Community' and the dramatic play area calls for a grocery store. I promised myself I would NOT spend any money to transform our dramatic play area into a grocery store...NOT even at the 35dollar store.....I mean the dollar store ;) We asked our families to bring in/donate their empty boxes, containers, old receipts, coupons, old wallets or purses to help create our store. 

So here it is!! And I didn't spend a dollar!!! 

I turned around our fridge, stove and sink from our home center and taped up some grocery store ads  to the back.

 The green basket has grocery bags and coupons in it.
For the checkout stand I used our table and put a box top on a doll changing table to create the 'conveyer belt' 
A prop box with an apron for the checker, purses, money and a few credit cards (it's amazing how many children know 'credit or debit?') lol 

They quickly got a routine down: the customer put their groceries on the conveyer belt and the checker would scan the item "beep" and put it in the bag next to the table. It was fun to watch and guide them through play. Our amazing Speech Pathologist happened to be in our room and she was talking to them and asking great questions like "How do we behave in grocery stores? Do we leave boxes of food on the ground? How should we put the eggs in our bags? Gently or throw them in? What would happen if we throw the egg carton in the bag? It brought up some great discussion throughout the remainder of their play. 
Our home center is not huge so while some children were 'shopping' at the shops-a-lot store others were cutting coupons to get ready for their turn to shop! (Great cutting practice!!!) 

This unit in our curriculum is 4 weeks so we will have lots of fun learning through play! We will add props and expand on concept through play such as: 
•Money and counting
•Taking turns in the different roles
•What are fruits and what are vegetables?
•What do you buy from the refrigerated section? 
•What are healthy foods and not do healthy foods? And so many more!! 


Fine motor fun

We have been working on some fall themed activities and I wanted to share a few. 

Our wonderful Miss D. brought in these fun bug catchers and we put them to use in a few different ways. 

First we used them to pick up pom pom balls and then I introduced corn kernels in this invitation to test their skills picking up something smaller.

Miss D. got these bug catchers through oriental trading company but I was unable to find them on their website but here are the same ones on amazon! 
We did some counting with pumpkin seeds...

and put our fine motor skills to the test by putting the spider rings on the dowels.
We also used our patterning trays with our spider rings.

We used our fingers to form and roll out play-dough...

and made silly faces.
For this project we filled our bags with shredded paper and tied them tight with a pipe cleaner...
We painted them orange
and made some adorable pumpkins.
We displayed them on our wall.
We did apple tasting and created our own unique apples.
Miss D. and the kids created these awesome trees by painting the trunk of the tree with a paint brush and then using pine needles to paint the branches!! I love using new materials to paint with!! They added some tissue paper to create their apples.
We made some corn for our corn stalk by gluing on corn kernels.

Each of these activities are great to strengthen those fine motor muscles to help with writing and cutting!!

A few other fun projects we did over fall break. (we are year around)

 Growing Indian Corn

Did you know Indian Corn grows... Awesome right! After last years fail of not taking pictures, you can see that post here 
I was determined to document our Indian corn this year!!! 

Day one: planted in soil.
Week two: We keep this in our classroom and put it out in the sunlight each day so I had to take the pumpkin out because it began to mold.
Week three: The kids are loving it!

Look at our corn now. !!!! 

Hope you all have a great weekend! 

Coffee filters turn into Fall leaves

Items needed: 
Coffee filters
Fall color Markers (orange, red, yellow, brown) 
Spray bottle 

First the kids colored the coffee filters 
Then I drew a leaf and they cut it out.
Then they got to spray them with the squirt bottle!
Then we let the dry and hung them! 

I love activities that filter into the next day. The next afternoon a few kids asked to make more leaves, this time they did it independently, they got out the supplies needed, went through all the steps and even set up a spraying station and a drying station for their leaves!! 
One of my favorite things about being a preschool teacher is introducing something new, teaching them how to do it by modeling and then watching them do it independently and in their own way!! 

Just a heads up, the tables were slightly stained along with my finger tips ;) but with a baby wipe or magic eraser it came right off the tables!