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Halloween and the myriad of attention grabbing, imagination inspiring bits and pieces that are everywhere just beg for sensory bin creation.

Halloween sensory bins are quick and easy to put together - there are just so many possibilities.

It just isn't Thanksgiving without making a cute turkey to take home for the family to cluck over. 

Our shape turkeys start out as a collection of squares and rectangles. Quick and easy to prep with a paper cutter.  (No cutting lines for the kids...)

Each child needs ...

head  - 4.5 x 4.5" (11 cm)
body -  7 x 7" (18 cm)
tail - 9 x 9" (23 cm)
These need to be cut into circles by cutting "curvy corners". That sounds easy, but putting spatial thinking and fine motor skills together in the same action, can be tricky for 5 year olds.

legs - 2.5 x 3.5" (6 x 9 cm)
Legs are cut in half lengthwise.

feet - 3 x 3" (7.5 cm)
Feet are cut in half diagonally to make two triangles.

beaks - 2 x 2.75" (4.5 x 7 cm)
yellow diamonds

handprint feathers
construction paper cut in half lengthwise and then folded in half
students need three folded papers to make six feathers

There was lots of planning what colours would go where, 

Handprints were traced.

Lots of cutting.

Gluing everything in the correct place.

We learned that 3 circles, 2 rectangles, 2 triangles, a diamond and 6 handprints can make a turkey.

Skills practiced
• planning
• shape identification -- square, circle, rectangle, triangle, diamond
• spatial awareness - front, back, on top, underneath, how to divide a square into 2 triangles, cutting a rectangle in half, removing the corners to change a square into a circle
• fine motor skills - tracing and cutting

being thankful for small children, their laughter and their ability to live in the moment ...


A beach has the best collection of loose parts for playing with and exploring.

It makes complete sense, to take loose parts found at the beach, and put them into a sensory bin. For times that you can't get to the beach.

a learning adventure

Last year, with the hope of upping my play dough game, I did a bit of googling and decided to add some loose parts to the textured rolling pins, play dough knives and cookie cutters that I put out for the kids.

My hope was that the kids would be more engaged, interactive and creative with the play dough.

That happened ... and more. I learned something. Again.  (Sometimes I am a Slow Learner.)

Sometimes you need a kid-frienndly painting project that will put a smile on your face.

Something bright and cheerful.

Jame's Rizzi inspired birds fit the bill perfectly. 

Ten frames are an important math tool in many pre-school, kindergarten, and first grade classrooms.

So, we include it in our calendar time. (We actually call it "together time", since we are together, and do all sorts of things ... I like to leave things open ended.)

We know that a solid understanding of how "ten" can be taken apart and put together is crucial for successful future math learning.

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