Today, the weather was pretty mild. The little ones and I took advantage of this and decided to walk to the bus stop to pick up Engineer. I’ve been taking the kids in the car recently — due both to the cold, windy weather and the fact that Determined Diva keeps stripping out of her outerwear!
While waiting for the bus to arrive, Little Hurricane and Captain America had fun running around and playing with sticks. Some pine branches had fallen on the ground, so I picked up a couple to let the boys feel the pine needles. This led them to find more pine branches that still had needles attached. They also grabbed some pine cones lying around and brought them to me. I asked how the pine cones looked different, and how they looked the same. We talked about how they felt rough on our fingers, and Little Hurricane even attempted to taste one. Our conversation melded into a game of “let’s collect all the pine cones we can find”.
When Engineer stepped off the bus, it was to a rather large pile of both pine cones and sticks. Not one to be left out of anything involving dirt and nature, he quickly joined in. We all attempted to bring our stash back to the apartment, with a good amount of success. Little Hurricane kept putting the pine cones down until he realized he could bring them into the house . . . then he was all for it!
The boys ran into the house and out onto the back porch. All of our findings were deposited into the empty water table, followed by cries of, “can we have some water in here pleeeeeeeease?” Little Hurricane was picked up at that point, and his mama didn’t bat an eye that we practically had a pine tree out on the back porch! Frat Boy woke up from his nap and gleefully joined in on the requests for water.
We added a few pitchers of water to the water table, and the boys set about playing with the sticks, pine cones, and pine needles in the water. Captain America was pretty into swishing one of the branches in the water, then shaking it out at his buds. He had a little too much fun threatening to shake it out all over his brother’s head at one point! 🙂
Eventually, more toys were brought into the water table, but not too many. Cups, a few action figures, and the “iceberg slide” were added, with the focus still mostly on the nature items. Captain America and Engineer set about trying to float the pine cones down the iceberg slide. They determined that the pine cones were either too fat or too long to make it down the slide well, but they had fun trying.
Engineer also decided he just had to know if his old bus would sink or float. It sunk into the water, and he was incredibly interested in finding out why that was. After multiple experiments, he observed that the water was somehow creeping up through small holes in the wheel well. I had fun watching him run through a rudimentary version of the scientific process!
After about an hour, the boys were rather wet and starting to get chilled. I talked them into coming inside and getting some dry clothes on, which led to a declaration of, “it’s snack time!” from Frat Boy. All three boys changed into some of Engineer’s shirts while I ran the wet clothes through the dryer. They were unified in not wanting to wear pants, but decided they still needed a blanket to keep warm! So they snuggled up under a blanket, had a snack of Pirate Booty, and watched cartoons for a bit. All in all, a nice afternoon of randomness!
Done-for-You Preschool Resources
Planning meaningful lessons for students week after week while balancing other teaching responsibilities and a personal life can be a daunting task. That’s where Preschool Teacher 101 comes in to save you time!
Preschool Teacher 101 has created some amazing preschool lesson and activity plans that will be perfect for your classroom.
Click on the images below to learn more about some great ideas for outdoor-themed lesson plans. The pinecone and tree branch sensory play will be the perfect addition to these lesson plans!
Join The Pack from Preschool Teacher 101 today for exclusive access to our content. We have a variety of membership options to suit your needs.