Thursday, May 10, 2012

Preschool Projects!

As you might have guessed by now I've been having a lot of fun helping teach the afternoon preschool class associated with the local school.  We've done a bunch of projects during the year that I have enjoyed tremendously, but I have to admit the last few weeks have been even more amazing.

First we got a tadpole for the class around St. Patricks Day.  This isn't just any tadpole, this is OUR tadpole and he'll eventually turn into a water frog.  And OUR tadpole is named Leprechaun Flower (told you it was close to St. Paddy's Day when we got it). Now I've never heard of a water frog but he's pretty neat looking. He started out no longer than half an inch and probably a quarter of an inch wide, pale green brown, huge buggy eyes, and whiskers like a cat fish.  Now hes almost two inches long, super chubby, finally has back legs and he's now starting to use his back legs to help swim.  I swear he has a Buddha belly though we're definitely not feeding him more than he's supposed to get.  Hopefully he'll get front legs before too much longer and start losing his tail before preschool gets out for the year.  Each day the kids come into check his progress and make sure he's doing well.  All of them are commenting about how he's using his back legs and how much bigger he's gotten.  Apparently, he will always live in the water, contrary to most frogs, and will keep the catfish whiskers as well.  I'm really curious about what he'll end up looking like and can't wait to find out.  He's been a great mascot for our little kiddos this spring.

Secondly, because it is indeed spring, Meredith ordered a caterpillar kit for the preschool.  This kit arrived the first week of April and included 5 brown stripped caterpillars that were sooooo itty bitty.  For two weeks we watched them eat and eat and eat and eat some more, much like "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" which we read of course multiple times.  Then we watched them shed there skin once and start building a cocoon.  We then moved the cocoons to a special hatching tent and for the past two weeks have been anticipated their "coming out" as butterflies.  Well as luck would have it, Tuesday the first ones came out and of course the kids were enthralled!  We haven't named them all yet but I'm sure we'll get around to it once they are all out and about.  I think one of them died though because the cocoon started to crack and the wings started to come out but it's stayed that way for the past 3 days now and I don't think that bodes well.  Guess we'll just have to wait and see.  Next week we'll release them all and let them go on their merry way to find food on their own and hopefully lay some eggs.  Its been a great example of the life cycle for these guys and we've really had an awesome time with the whole process.

Lastly, we've been working for the past 3 days of preschool class on our Mothers Day gifts.  Now at Christmas the kids each made gifts for their parents in class and were hyped up about that... but that was nothing in comparison to how giddy they are about this project.  Each child made a fancy jar by coating them with glue and rolling the jar in multicolored glitter (made the jars look like jewels).  Next we made our own lavender scented bath salts that we filled the jars with.  Then each child made a card that was in the shape of a teapot and attached yummy flavored tea bags to so that mom and kiddo can have a tea party together.  All in all it was a great gift and they were all super excited to take them home today and give them to their Mom's on Sunday.  We made a huge batch of bath salts and I was lucky enough to get to bring home the left overs which I'm psyched about using. 

Here's the recipe if you are interested
3 cup baking soda
3 cup Epsom's Salts
4 tablespoon mineral oil
1/2 teaspoon of lavender oil or other scent of your choice
Mix this all up... let it dry a bit... put it in an air tight container and use to your hearts content

Yep... good times are being had by all (me included)!!!!

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