Sunday, February 26, 2012

What's in your sand table and . . .A FREEBIE!




I often wonder if I'm the only kindergarten classroom left that still has a housekeeping/dramatic play center AND a sand table.  The Early Childhood teacher in me just knows that my students still need that sense of play and fun.  So, of course, I spent the better part of yesterday dying rice in prepartion for a favorite game of 'Searching for Leprechaun's Gold.'

First of all, I assume you all know how to dye rice and macaroni but in case you don't, let me just tell you, it IS the easiest thing ever and make HUGE brownie points with the kids.

What do you need? A good ziploc bag, a 1/4-1/2 cup rubbing alcohol, rice (or noodles) and several drops of food coloring.  That's it!



Pour your bag about 2/3 full of rice or noodles, dump in the alcohol and then the dye. Close up the bag good and tight.  Mush it around (this is my 4 year old's job).  And then I like to let it set for 1/2 hour or so to really get the rice covered with dye.  Lay out some tin foil and dump it all on there to dry.  And that is it!  Most of you probably already know this technique but for those of you that don't, you won't believe how easy it is.



Searching for nonsense and real gold!

Of course, your sensory driven little ones LOVE to feel it, to play in it, to mix it around.  And they'll also love playing math or literacy games in it too.

One of favorite games, 'Searching for Leprechaun's Gold' is a nonsense/cvc game (I also have a 4 lettered/ccvc/cvcc game for those kids who are working beyond 3 letters).  I was given a big bag of old gold takens a couple of years ago and on the backs of them I wrote cvc and nonsense words.  I hide about 50-60 of those in my sand table.  Then, using only tweezers (I am SO mean), they search for the gold and decide whether it's real of nonsense and record their answer on a recording sheet. 

It's all quite fun and theirs lots of giggles and laughing but also tons of work being done sounding out words and recording answers.

So I was thinking about how I could make this game available to EVERYONE that falls upon my little website and here is what I came up with:


Instead of a sand table, you can use a pot, bucket or whatever you have handy. And instead of gold tokens, you can use these cute little shamrocks I've made up for you.

Of course I have tiered this activity to meet the needs of various learners' readiness.  There are 3 lettered cvc and nonsense word cards and a set of 4 lettered nonsense/cvcc/ccvc cards.  You can click on the picture above or HERE to download a copy.

If you enjoy this activity, I hope you'll drop me a line, follow me or tell a friend. 

By the way, next on my list is a PERMISSION TO PIN button, but until then, feel free to pin anything on my blog. 


31 comments :

  1. Thanks- making it now for my kinder stars!
    Beckie

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    Replies
    1. Yeah! So glad someone can use this Beckie!
      Marsha

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  2. Thank you, Marsha. Unfortunately, you may be the only kdg. teacher w/a sand table still. Perhaps by sharing this wonderful, age-appropriate learning game, MORE teachers will bring out their sand tables if only for a day...and some may even leave it out! Let's hope!

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    Replies
    1. I know it's sad when kindergarten classrooms are forced to remove those things that make them developmentally appropriate. I am fortunate to have an adminstrator that encourages us to incorporate those traditional play centers into something fun and academic.
      Marsha

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    2. My kinders are lucky to have a sand table, housekeeping center, puppet theater, and blocks! I agree that young children need to play. After a full day of learning they need some creative free play. And, I think that this may be the only time some kids play with their bodies and brains - not their thumbs! It seems that video games are all they do at home.

      PS. Visit my new blog: kindergartensdoodles.blogspot.com. I just started it so I don't have much, but you can look around my classroom.

      Delete
  3. Hi, I'm Sydney one of the administrators from Teaching Blog Addict and I just wanted to say welcome to the blogging world. We're so glad you are here!
    :)
    Lessons Learned

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Kaylee. Yes! Anything in the sand table is a much loved activity in my classroom.

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  5. This is a great activity! We don't have sand tables, but we can put them in a different container like you suggested. Thanks for sharing! And congratulations on posting first freebie using Google Docs. The blog looks great!

    Jana
    Thinking Out Loud

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jana! Yes, I know alot of people that just use a short clear tote when they want to do sensory related activities. They just kind of sneak it into their curriculum. Thanks for your kind words!

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  6. I love it. Makes me want to go back to kindergarten! If you keep sharing ideas like this, I predict more sand tables popping back up in classrooms.


    Christi =)
    Ms. Fultz's Corner

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    1. Let's hope so Christ! Thanks for the encouragement.
      Marsha

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  7. Oh, that's so cool! I'm your newest follower - found you over at TBA! Welcome to blogging! :)

    Holly
    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

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    Replies
    1. Holly, I'm a Michigan Blogger too. You MUST let me know the next time you have a get together. I'll travel all the way from Cadillac to join up with you all.
      Thanks for finding me.
      Marsha

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  8. I LOVE your blog and I am sharing the love and awarding you the Liebster Award. Head over to my blog to find out what to do next! Keep up the great work!

    Barb
    meet me at the zoo...
    kinderzoo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously? Oh my gosh. Thank you so much! You made my day!
      Marsha

      Delete
  9. Just found your blog, and I'm so glad that I did! I love my sand table, and your post reminded me that I should use it more often! I look forward to following you!

    Mrs. Krull
    Of Primary Importance

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. I know it's easy to forget these old favorites . . .sand table and dramatic play! I'm still trying to figure out how I can justify keeping my too large for my way to small room light table. Sigh. We'll see . . .
      Marsha

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  10. That was so sweet of you to make a printable version of one of your favorite activities! Thank you for sharing:)

    We are ALL Special!

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. Marsha- Congrats! You have won the Liebster Blog award! Go to our blog to claim!

    www.3teacherchicks.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Still have my block, housekeeping, sensory table and light table! =) Thank you for sharing with this post!!! It is so important to keep these centers in Kindergarten. It helps to know that other teachers out there still feel the same.
    Thanks again!
    Bobbie

    thedailycupcake-akindergartenblog.blogspot.com

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  14. I also have a housekeeping centre,dress ups, playdough, sand table and want to make a small light table.

    Right now I have a number - I Spy collection in my sand table. We are on Spring Break over St Patrick's Day, so I am pondering what to put in next.

    Play and exploration is so important for kindergarten kids - isn't it amazing seeing the kids discover and learn while they think they are just playing!

    Sandi

    http://rubberbootsandelfshoes.blogspot.com/

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  15. Hey Marsha!! I just awarded you the Liebster Award!! Come on over to my blog and check it out!! Congrats!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love these! My kids definitely need lots of help with all of these, so this is wonderful! Thank you!!! :)
    Crayons and Curls

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  17. Thank you so much for the great idea! Time to die some rice!

    I have a rice table, dramatic play center, blocks, toys etc... The truth is though that they kiddos nly get to play in those areas about 1-2 times per week at this time of the year. They LOVE Free Choice and really need it, but there are so many things to teach and cover, that it gets harder and harder. I wish I had extended day K. Thank you for your great ideas!

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  18. Thank you for all of these great ideas, I love your blog!

    I am an early childhood teacher candidate and we are planning an Ireland Expo exhibit. I think this is a great activity for a sand and water table, I love the colored rice.

    Do you have any other art activities for Pre-k/Kindergarten aged children themed around Ireland?

    Thanks for your help,
    Allison

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  19. Thanks for the great sensory table ideas and materials. My classroom is very small but I think I could find room for a plastic tub to do some of these activities.

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  20. THANK YOU so much Marsha for giving this to us for free! We are celebrating St Patty's Day on Monday so I'm getting it all ready to set up this weekend. I absolutely LOVE my sensory table and so do my kids. We just took down your Valentine's Rhyming one today. I so appreciate all that you do to make all of our classroom's better <3

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