All about me theme – Feelings, family and friends for preschoolers

For the next few week I will be covering a variety of topics under the all about me heading.

Week 1 – feelings, family and friends

Week 2 – anatomy

Week 3 – healthy eating and the dentist

Week 4 – germs, illness and disability

Week 5 – our senses

Week 6 – taking care of ourselves

So as we will be covering a topic in one week rather than two I’m going to include all the areas (dramatic play, sensory play, art, literacy activities, math and science and resources) all in one post.

Dramatic play – I set up a baby nursery in the playroom using Twinkl printables and various toys from around the house. We had sleeping, feeding, changing and bathing areas as well as a variety of baby related items.     

Both Kealan and Elyse got involved with caring for our babies. I taught them how to dress them, hold them, changing nappies, swaddle them and, the most popular, give our baby born bottles of water and make them pee on the potty.     

Art – after having read some books about family I printed out pictures of everyone in our immediate family.  Next I prepared a basic tree trunk by gluing packing paper from an Amazon delivery to my favourite big picture resource Poundland wall paper backing paper.

Elyse used a sponge brush to paint the leaves and a paint scraper to make grass at the bottom of the tree.  Lastly, I glued on the pictures. As we have a combined family this was a great tool to explain how everyone in our family fits together. 

I asked Kealan and Elyse what would be a nice thing to do for someone in our family and they both decided to make pictures for their Nanny to make her happy.

  
Math and science – following on from this activity I introduced ‘Families, families, families’ by Suzanne and Max Lang which discusses all types of families. I used our counting bears to set up some of the various families (single parent, two dads, adopted etc) in the book and had the kids identify them as I read to them.  Then we had a chat about how all families were great as long as there was lots of love and we used plastic heart shape counters to try to balance the families with all the love that was right for them.   

Literacy activities – we focussed on a movie this week rather than a book. Inside out is a lovely movie to discuss emotions with preschoolers. It was a bit long for my two who aren’t used to watching that much tv at once but they watched enough to learn about the characters which is what I wanted.

A lot of our discussions about our feelings included how to manage them and how to respond to other people when we have strong emotions so it seemed a great opportunity to talk about friendship. I prepared by printing out pictures of all of Kealan and Elyses friends and then I asked them to stick them on the big paper using PVA glue. Once they were arranged I tried to get them to tell me what they liked in their friends and how they can be a good friend but they did struggle a little and needed lots of prompting.   

Sensory play – we made some calm down bottles to add to our feelings display shelves and I was thrilled with how they turned out. I laid out all the equipment we would need:- glitter glue, glitter, empty clear bottles (which formerly contained sprinkles), matching expression stickers and our Inside Out plush toys.  Kealan and Elyse squeezed the full tube of glitter glue into the bottle and then I added slightly cooled boiled water from the kettle. We closed the lid and shook the bottles until the glue started to disperse. They then tipped in the glitter and we shook again. 

I sealed the bottles with a hot glue gun and we added the matching expression stickers. Yellow for happiness, blue for sadness, red for anger and purple for fear.  The photos do not do them justice, they are beautiful and mesmerising to watch. 

Rather than a special bath to end this topic I placed our play table in the bathroom and squirted onshaving foam. I asked them to draw some faces showing different emotions.

Kealan also wrote a k for his name but really they just had fun making a mess.

Resources

Here’s our set up for this week:-

On the top I placed a mirror, a book about manners, a book about feelings, a game from the Early Learning Centre and some feelings flash cards from the same game in our tabletop pocket chart.     

The shelves below focussed on the 4 key emotions and our ‘Everybody feels’ books were immensely popular with both Kealan and Elyse.

 The ELC feelings game was simple but the flashcards that came with it were lovely. 

ELC felt faces was a charity shop find but there was so many pieces that by the time I had them organised she was bored with it.    

Melissa and Doug wooden family dress up – this is a lovely toy and perfect for this topic as the bears displays a wide range of emotions. We came across this little challenge by accident but it was a really good one because it demonstrated that facial expressions can be ambiguous. This gave me the opportunity to discuss how we need to listen to what people say, watch the body language and tone of voice before we can really interpret how they are feeling. The ‘today I feel’ picture above was from the same set as shown on the shelves and doors and can be downloaded for free from Teacher Pay Teachers.  The growing up posters on the left were from Twinkl.

Next week we move to a very exciting new topic – Anatomy – with lots of brand new resources so im very excited to see how much Quality Time we can make Together.

 

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