Fruits And Vegetables Unit And Activities For Preschool with Free Printables

Fruit & vegetables unit for preschool

This week we are learning about fruits and vegetables. Our garden started to bloom and vegetables and fruits are growing very quickly. My daughter loves to eat colorful fruits and vegetables and she’s pretty much familiar with the name of the foods she have on her plate. In this unit, the child will learn the different kinds of fruits and vegetables as well as the part of the fruit.

Materials

I gathered my learning materials for fruits and vegetables unit such as books to read, object card, miniature fruits and vegetables, real fruit to cut, moveable letters and fruit puzzle with part labels. I divided my presentation into three parts.

Language

Pericarp, Exocarp, Mesocarp, Endocarp, Seed

Point of Interest

  • Each fruit and vegetables looks different and has a different name
  • Each part of the fruit and vegetables looks different and has a different name

Direct Aim

  • Development of an appreciation for plants
  • Development of knowledge of the parts of the fruit/vegetables

Indirect Aim

  • Different names of the fruit/vegetables
  • Different names of the parts of the fruit/vegetables

Fruits and Vegetables Unit and Activities for Preschool

Presentation 1

Presenting a picture card or page of the book with similar object. Matching the picture card to an object or fruit using the three period lesson.

Presentation 2 (Language extensions)

Word creation using Montessori Movable Alphabets. My daughter is just three year old to create a word by herself. To help her understand the concept, I show her a picture card of fruit and vegetables. Then I ask her what letters she sees in this card. With this, it’s easier for her to pick the letters from the box and arrange it in order.

Presentation 3 (Practical Life extensions)

Prepare a fresh fruit and cut it into half. Show the fruit puzzle and identify the parts with the labels.

  1. Exocarp– the outer layer of the pericarp.
  2. Mesocarp– the middle layer of the pericarp.

  3. Endocarp– the innermost layer of the pericarp that surrounds the seed.

  4. Pericarp– the part of a fruit formed from the wall of the ripened ovary.

  5. Seed– an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering.

Practical Life Extension

With each unit I present, I always include an extension of the activities we do at school or at home. In this blog I will give you an ideas about the different kinds of extensions you can apply with this Fruits and Vegetables unit of study. Here are some examples of extensions you can do as a Practical Life activities.

  • In a week rotate the snack to include different types of fruit or vegetables. Example: apple slices, oranges, fresh snap peas, fresh thinly sliced carrot
  • Each day dissect the fruit for observation.
  • Wash fruit or vegetables carefully.
  • Cut fruit or vegetables for snack preparation.
  • Squeeze oranges

Sensorial Extension

In this unit the child will be using her/his four senses:

Visual Sense

  • Color: Compare colors of different fruits or vegetables
  • Shape: Compare shapes of different fruits or vegetables
  • Size: Notice the different sizes of fruit

Gustatory Sense

  • Wash and cut pieces of different fruits for children to taste

Tactile Sense

  • Feel different fruits/vegetables and notice the differences; ex. cantaloupe, snap peas, blueberry.

Olfactory Sense

  • Smell variety of fruits and vegetables.

Ecology

You can always include ecology as part of the unit study at home or school to give child a better understanding about the care of the environment. This routine will help the child understand the correct disposal of fruit or vegetables. It is advisable for the school or at home that there is a designated place to put the compost.

Books and References

I compile this links for more resources and ideas of fun way to learn about Fruits and Vegetables in your classroom or at home.

Ways To Teach Letters And Alphabet To Preschool

In this blog I will share how I teach letters of the alphabet in a fun and age appropriate way. My daughter Audrey is almost three and continues to learn and explore all her language books. I prepare her five little books of a, e, i, o and u by Moncure. She loves to read this books repeatedly every morning and before bedtime.

She’s 18 months in this photo exploring the vowel sand paper letters and picture cards with both upper and lower case letters.

Her little “a” book. After reading this book I showed her the sandpaper letter a with miniature objects such as apple, ant, airplane. I try to limit showing her two to three different objects each letter.

I also showed her an object card for apple and ant.

If a child is familiar with the lower case letters, I will move on to introduce the upper case letter. In this clip board shows an upper case “A” with mini apple die cuts for her to glue on it. Because her name starts with “A” (Audrey) in preparation to write her name, I include to introduce the uppercase and the rest are lower case. In a Montessori learning, a child learns the lower case or “small letters” first before the upper case letters.

Showing below are printed images of objects that starts with an /a/ and /A/.

While learning the letters of the alphabet, it is highly important that the child will learn how /o/ feels like on her tiny fingers by showing her how to write it in a beach sand. Learning the alphabet in the early childhood works best using the multi-sensory method.

Multi-sensory or kinesthetic is a method of learning that uses the senses such as: touch, sound, sight, and even taste. That’s when the babies and toddler likes to put objects into their mouth. When I teach the letter /a/, I let her eat an apple while saying the word “apple”. Another example is letter /b/, you can give a banana to teach a child what does letter /b/ taste or “bacon” and “bread”.

What other fun ways your child learn the letters of the alphabet?

Spring Activities For Preschoolers

Spring time is here! I know many of you are excited for this much awaited season of the year and some had their spring activities planned for the following months. My daughter Audrey was born during spring season, and this is my favorite season of the year too! She loves going to the garden and play with butterflies, check the flowers and vegetables and  watch the bird sings. As a parent we love to see our garden blooms with variety of flowers, watching birds chirp, seeing rainbow after the rain showers and other signs of spring we love to watch and witness with our little ones. I want to instill in her the love for mother nature, and having this season of the year is a perfect time to show little ones the beauty of spring.

For kids spring symbolizes flowers, butterflies, birds, garden and rainbows so mostly of our themes for activity consists of this things. With an active little girl in mind, I am sharing this spring activities for indoor and outdoor that your kids can enjoy too! I will continue to add more spring activities each week while we also explore the beauty of nature. This activities are created for three year olds and older. Below are the list and photos of what we’re doing at home.

Spring Activities For Preschooler

Egg Transfer- Several colorful eggs in a basket and a green bunny egg holder. She will transfer one by one the eggs into the bunny egg holder.

Molding Bunny Using Cookie Cutter and Dough- I use non toxic purple dough and three part bunny cookie cutter with a rolling pin. She will roll flat three small balls of dough and mold each of the bunny parts.

She can use other dough colors such as red and green too as what shown below. This dough can get hard easily so it is best to place back into the container with the cover on.

Chalk Board Drawing- She likes to use the chalkboard and try to draw some shapes on it.

In this photo, I showed her how to put pink and blue shades into the flowers. She just watched me do it. I know she’s observing me how to do it, because next time I know she will be using the same chalk to draw in this board (this happens in my make up bag!)

Doily Poking- I gave her a round cute doily and marked a green circle in it. She will follow the green mark using a jumbo push pin. This activity is great for enhancing the hand muscles for pincer grip. This is an excellent way in preparation to hold the pencil correctly. I started to introduce this activity to my daughter lately when she was 33 months. A close supervision is needed.

Catching Butterfly With Handprints- A really cute activity and a precious keepsakes for your little ones. I traced her both hands with washable board marker then I let her put butterfly and flower stickers around it.

Salt & Pepper Shaker Easter Eggs- She scoop beach sand and put it in each eggs, then she will shake it pretending its a salt and pepper shaker! Your kids will love this too.

Bunny Painting- A cute bunny with primary color paints. She’s using a fine brush to match the size of the little bunny. This hand painted bunny can also be used as an ornament!

Cutting Leaves- A great outdoor activity. We love to do activities outdoor. This is perfect if you have a space for table and chair to set up for your kids. She’s actually sitting in an adult garden chair doing her leaves cutting. She’s using a pre-k scissor.

Sticking Easter Window Clings- I let her stick each letters at the glass door by giving her  the letter /H/ first then /A/ and so on until she finished everything and I let her read the words she created. Audrey started to read words when she was two years old.

Gardening Supply Shopping- I include this as one of our spring activities because a young child can learn tons of vocabulary words when they see, feel and touch objects.

She loves lily pad! This is the garden area of Lowe’s where she saw several plants, flowers, garden decors, bird feeders and bird house and a lot more.

Resources;

Here are the books we love to read and recommend for your little learners. All are scholastic books with different spring units that you can incorporate with your curriculum.

Flowers, The Egg, The Ladybug, Birds, The Tree, Fruit and A Seed Is a Promise

What are your favorite spring activities? Please share this fun spring activities. Follow my blog for more ideas and inspirations.

15 Effective Fine Motor Activities For Toddler

 

In this blog, my daughter was 33 months. It’s just like only yesterday when we celebrated her first birthday. Her milestones continue to progress that I needed to catch up and do a quick review on my observational skills.

I gather a compilation of activities that enhances the refinement of muscles or fine motor skills as well as hand eye coordination. Being a mother and a teacher plays a big role to deeply involved with every developmental milestones she’s into. Preparing a variety of fine motor activities each week is a must for a very active toddler.

At home you can always find materials you need to strengthen your child’s hand muscles. You can also check tons of ideas at pinterest and instagram. Here are my collections of activities at home that helps my child a lot with her fine motor.

Some of the links in my post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

1. Water Ball Play- This is one of her favorite activities at home. Something stretchy, gewey, sticky and wet put a spark on her eyes and get totally engaged with this.
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She’s about 15 months here and so fascinated with activities like this

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2. Watercolor Painting- Great for hand-eye coordination. She still working on mixing water with the color palettes. I love the glow on her face when she discovers different shades from mixing with variety of colors.

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3. Pegboard Activity- Putting pegs into a hole develops grasps and release, refined pinches and eye hand coordination.

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4. Color Sorting Cylinder- Master eye hand coordination, refined pinches and develops pincer grasps.

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5. Name Puzzle Tracing– In here I use small colored beads (choking hazard). She uses beads to trace each letters of her name. This is a great way to teach a child in preparation of using a pencil for writing.

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6. Molding Kinetic Sand- Instead of using play dough, I choose this plain colored kinetic sand and a set of 5 cutting tools. This activity strengthens her hand muscles.

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Below shows the five different play dough cutters. She loves to create different shapes and designs out of it.

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7. Foam Stickers– Stickers are always a big hit at home. It’s also another great fine motor activities that are easily available at home and a good calm down activity for toddlers.

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8. Coloring- Young children can grasp easily when they use a bigger or thicker crayons and markers. It is also advisable to use non toxic and washable crayons for safety.

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9. Block Stacking- Babies and toddlers loves to stack objects. It strengthens the whole hand by using all the fingers. This activity also enhances the hand-eye coordination.

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10. Letter Tracing- A good activity to efficiently use pincer grip.

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11. Dot Painting- The thickness of this dot paint fits well to a toddlers tiny hands.

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12. Cutting- This activity takes a lot of practice and observation. A close supervision will be needed. There are a lot of toddler friendly scissor that you can buy for your child. I got this pair of scissor at Dollar Store (teacher’s corner).

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13. Water Pouring- This is her favorite activity during spring and summer. She spends a couple of hours outdoor doing this fun activity.

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14. Sticker Peeling- I found this at school supplies section at our local store. I use this for her to follow the shape or pattern of an object. As long as you have a bunch of this at home or school your child will love sticking. A great activity to promote concentration, hand eye coordination and pincer grip exercises.

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15. Washing- There’s a vast washing activity for toddlers like baby doll washing, toy washing, play kitchen utensil washing, clothes washing, fruits & vegetables washing and a lot more things to wash.

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What are your kids favorite fine motor activities here? Please share this very helpful fine motor article that your friends and family will enjoy. Follow me for more fun and educational ideas and tips.

Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius

Montessori Terminologies For Beginners

Three years ago, when I started my Montessori training, I observed that the students are well-organized and independent. They have their own activity or we call that “work” in a Montessori terminology. The teacher or “guide” normally sits down in a corner with a pen and paper. The “guide” mostly records her observation of each child. She will then create an analysis and will work for a detail plan to make an improvement. A “prepared environment” is meticulously set up to create a nurturing space for children.

At first I struggle to understand some really deep but compelling terms. I know that you been to that experience too. I dig on my old notes and books for you to share the exact definition of each terminologies used in a Montessori setting classroom. I hope that these terms will help you all the way to better understand the Montessori Method of learning. If you think of other terms that you would like to discuss please share your ideas.

Absorbent MindA natural process which develops spontaneously to a human being. A part of the First Plane of Development (0-6 years). The skills that are effortlessly absorbed by the child through the manipulation of materials. 

Auto-Education- The ability to self-educate or construct knowledge in the brain. A prepared environment contribute to this, thus a child’s experience to manipulate materials makes neurological connections, and forms concepts about the world.

Control Of Error- Materials with specific purpose so the children will be able to work on it with minimal guidance. Ex. A spindle box had numbers on each slot. There are exact amount of spindles. If the child put more or less in a specific slot, there will be shortage or overage on the next number. He will then repeat it again to come up with the exact distribution of spindles.

Concrete to Abstract-Materials are presented to child in a concrete way that he can understand first. A sandpaper letter are used so the child can feel it using his two fingers. Once the child is ready, the teacher or guide can show more abstract activity of sandpaper letter like memory game.

Cosmic Education- Learning the universe as a whole. Educating the child to have a clear understanding of the natural world. Respectful of other culture and seeing it as an important part of the universe.

Development of the Will- The intelligent direction or inhibition of movement. Knowledgable movement. An ability to choose something without conscious intent develop gradually over the first phase of life and is reinforced through practice which is close to development of internal order of the child.

Didactic Materials- Are “designed or intended to teach” materials in a prepared environment. These materials are specially designed instructional materials 

Erdkinder- A german word meaning “child of the earth”. A learning environment for ages 12-15. This is likely a farm school setting wherein the students connects with nature.

Exercise Of The Will- The Exercise of the Will is when a child can balance between impulse and inhibition. If a child had an impulse to run but inhibit himself to walk. The observed behaviour from development of the will, when we see how a child is working. Exercise of the will can be seen by how they work by what their procedure. For example, we can recognize how the child carries out their sensorial materials. 

Free Choice or Freedom in Education- A child is free to choose any activity that he wish to use. Freedom to walk around and get a new activity when done with the first material. It also a freedom to observe other children so he can learn from them.

Grace and Courtesy- This is normally introduces to children during the beginning of the school year. These are social skills that they will use in their everyday life-like saying “thank you”, “excuse me”, “I’m sorry”, “please”. A learning approach to be polite, requesting rather than demanding, and greeting warmly.

Guide or Directress-The lead teacher in a Montessori classroom. The role of the instructor is to direct or guide children to an activity based upon the guide’s observation of each child’s readiness.

Isolation of Difficulty-Refers to procedures or movements that might prove troublesome are isolated and taught to the child separately. A good example, the simple movement of holding and tracing with pencil in a metal inset with simple shapes is shown before presenting the more complicated shapes.

Nido- A montessori prepared environment for infants ages 2-14 months.

Normalization- A love of work or activity, concentration, self-discipline, joyful work, healthy and well-adjusted child. The child develops her/his character and personality.

Order- This is a behavior a children develops during normalization stage. The child is aware of his environment thus developing the ability to put materials back into the proper place. 

Planes of Development- These are four distinct periods of growth, development, and learning that build on each other as children and youth progress through them:

ages 0 – 6 the period of the “absorbent mind”.

ages 6 – 12 the period of reasoning and abstraction.

ages 12 – 18 when youth construct the “social self,” developing moral values and becoming emotionally independent.

ages 18 – 24 years when young adults construct an understanding of the self and seek to know their place in the world. 

Prepared Environment-An environment designed or arranged according to child’s age or size. A child can function and concentrate better in a prepared environment.

Sensitive Periods- Stages where children are more readily able to absorb information than at other times. Children have sensitive periods for order, language, refinement of the senses and large motor skills, small objects, and social behavior. All of these periods take place during the 0-6 year plane of development. The sensitivity last lasts for a certain period and does not reoccur. 

Spontaneous Repetition- Is an inner desire of a child to repeat and master his work. Every child has an inner desire to repeat everything new to them and wanted to master it. It happen without an adult making the suggestion to repeat the material.  A normal child willingness to repeat comes naturally while non-normal child needs teacher to remind them which is a sign of a child with learning disability.

Three Period Lesson- Is a way of teaching using the nomenclature vocabulary using three stages:

  1. Naming or Introduction of an object. Example: “This is a skittle.”
  2. Association or Recognition. Example: “Show me the skittle.”
  3. Recall. Example. “What is this?”

Work- Dr. Maria Montessori uses the term “work” to any activity in a prepared Montessori environment that the child takes pride with. The child chooses work and is then able to take responsibility for it. This forms character and enables the child to have a sense of self-respect for what he or she has done.

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