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Monday, May 2, 2016

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Ice Egg Dinosaur Preschool Science

Do your kids love dinosaurs and science?  Then they will love this ice egg preschool science exploration activity!



Let your kiddos explore states of matter (solid, liquid, gas), melting, freezing, and different temperatures with these cool ("cool"...get it?!  haha...) dinosaur eggs!!

We reviewed that dinosaurs, like other reptiles, grew in eggs.  We even have evidence that some dinosaurs guarded and protected their eggs and nest!

You do need to plan this activity a day in advance, but preparing for it only takes about five minutes...and when you pull it out, your kids will play with it for much longer than that!

To prepare your own dinosaur eggs, simply wedge a dinsosaur into a balloon. I like to use the little dinosaurs and the 12" balloons to make it easy.  Then add water, tie a knot, and stick it in the freezer over night.



When you're ready to play (or use it for science or fine motor time!), just pull it out of the freezer, snip the balloon off, and give the ice eggs to your kiddos.  I also gave them a bowl of warm water and pipettes to work with.  They loved them!!








Even if you do not discuss any science concepts, your preschoolers and toddlers can experiment with different temperatures of water, melting, freezing, solids, liquids, and different tools.  Older kids can use it to create a common experience that can be used to discuss any of those concepts and others (like heat, energy, and molecules) in more detail.









They also had a great time throwing the last remaining chunks of ice egg to try and get it to break faster!  Some of the dinosaurs were stuck a long time!!



This science experiment/activity goes great with themes like spring, eggs, Easter, or (what we did) Dinosaurs!

This month's Virtual Book Club book is Goldilocks and the 3 Dinosaurs by Mo Willems, so we've been doing lots of dinosaur activities!

Amazon Affiliate Link




Be sure to check out the Virtual Book Club's Facebook Page and these other activities that go with Goldilocks and the 3 Dinosaurs from the other Virtual Book Club hosts:







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Alligator Action Rhyme for Preschool

Lots of animals have babies in the spring, including alligators!!



Actually, alligators are born in the late spring or early summer--usually June or July.  As they emerge from their eggs, their mother will carry them to shallow water where she can protect and feed them.  Alligators are amazing mothers!  They will take care of their babies for several months, up to a year!


Today, I'm sharing an alligator action rhyme!  Go outside, pretend to be baby alligators, and do this rhyme!  Use the suggested actions, or some of your own!


Alligator Action Rhyme for Preschool!

by Carla at Preschool Powol Packets

Baby alligator rolled up in an egg. {Bend down and wrap arms around legs in a "ball."}
Baby alligator breaks out its arm and leg!  {Point to head and stretch out arm.}
Then stretch and stretch all around,  {Stretch up with both arms to the sky.}
And crawl away on the ground!  {Crawl away!}



Action rhymes are wonderful for preschoolers because they develop important pre-reading and early literacy skills while using large muscles and muscle groups.  Gross motor activities paired with literacy activities actually lead to faster and more fun learning!

Are you learning about alligators or the letter A?  Be sure to print our FREE Letter A Animal Dots page!  It's an alligator too!

And do you LOVE spring learning!!  Today we're joining with some of our favorite kid bloggers to bring you A-Z Spring Outdoor Activities!  There is one for every letter of the alphabet!!  So go ahead, go outside, and enjoy learning in the fresh air!!

Alligator Action Rhyme from Preschool Powol Packets
10 Favorite Outdoor Ball Games from Creative World of Varya
Chalkboard Pretend Play from Our Whimsical Days
Dandelion STEM Activities from My Bright Firefly
Froggy Fun Outdoors from Mrs. LeBlanc's Learners
Growing Tuff Spot from Tuff Spot Play
Ice Play from Kori at Home
Jungle Gym Fun  from Something 2 Offer
Let’s Go Fly a Kite from Something 2 Offer
Mud Kitchen Tuff Spot from Clare's Little Tots
Obstacle Course from Play & Learn Every Day
Exploring Life at the Pond from Natural Beach Living
Rock Painting for Kids from Something 2 Offer
Ways to Play with Sidewalk Chalk from Crafty Mama in ME
Underground Scavenger Hunt from Preschool Powol Packets
Water Play from My Bored Toddler
Xylophone Jars from CraftCreateCalm
Y is for Yellow Photography from Preschool Powol Packets
Our Zoo Atlanta Visit and Review from Crafty Mama in ME





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Saturday, April 30, 2016

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Y is for Yellow Photography

Y is for Yellow Photography!  This is the perfect spring activity, though it also works well in any kind of warm weather or with a Letter Y letter-of-the week theme!



This is the sort of activity you can do when you look outside and think that there is no possible way to stay indoors and do school work.  Grab a camera, your kids, and go outside!

Talk about how yellow starts with y, the sounds y makes, and how pretty the yellow flowers are.  But also talk about everything else. We talked about flowers, super heroes, Star Wars, tree houses, decks, and more!  My kids decided that our "Yellow Scavenger Hunt" would only be for natural things, so the truck, fire hydrant, and a few other yellow items "didn't count!" They did decide to allow items that had yellow among other colors.

As you find you yellow treasures, let yourkids take pictures of them!  This gives them technology experience and expensive modern tools at their fingertips!

When they're done, let them use their pictures tomake a collage, either online or by printing, cutting, and pasting their work.  These are their pictures:



Ta da!!  Y is for Yellow Photography!!


We are joining with a group of kid bloggers to bring you A-Z Spring Outdoor Learning Activities for Preschoolers & Toddlers!  Check back here on Monday to get the links for fun outdoor activities you can do that tie into all the letters of the alphabet!!

Alligator Action Rhyme from Preschool Powol Packets
10 Favorite Outdoor Ball Games from Creative World of Varya
Chalkboard Pretend Play from Our Whimsical Days
Dandelion STEM Activities from My Bright Firefly
Froggy Fun Outdoors from Mrs. LeBlanc's Learners
Growing Tuff Spot from Tuff Spot Play
Ice Play from Kori at Home
Jungle Gym Fun  from Something 2 Offer
Let’s Go Fly a Kite from Something 2 Offer
Mud Kitchen Tuff Spot from Clare's Little Tots
Obstacle Course from Play & Learn Every Day
Exploring Life at the Pond from Natural Beach Living
Rock Painting for Kids from Something 2 Offer
Ways to Play with Sidewalk Chalk from Crafty Mama in ME
Underground Scavenger Hunt from Preschool Powol Packets
Water Play from My Bored Toddler
Xylophone Jars from CraftCreateCalm
Y is for Yellow Photography from Preschool Powol Packets
Our Zoo Atlanta Visit and Review from Crafty Mama in ME




I may share at any of these parties!



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Friday, April 29, 2016

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U is for {FREE} Underground Scavenger Hunt!

What will you find underground?  This exploratory sensory activity is perfect for the letter U (U is for underground!) and spring, summer, fall, outdoor, and bug themes!



Just give your kids a little hand shovel and let them get started!  Or use a big shovel!  You may be amazed by what they find!

Or they may find exactly what you expect!  You never know!

You can repeat the activity in your backyard, at the playground, and at the beach!  You will probably find different things underground at each location.  Ask your kids why!

I also made a {FREE} Underground Scavenger Hunt printable page for you!  You can use it when you go outside, or for an outdoor challenge, or just to see what critters and objects you can find!


Click here to get a {FREE} copy of the Underground Scavenger Hunt!!




We are joining with a group of kid bloggers to bring you A-Z Spring Outdoor Learning Activities for Preschoolers & Toddlers!  Check back here on Monday to get the links for fun outdoor activities you can do that tie into all the letters of the alphabet!!

Alligator Action Rhyme from Preschool Powol Packets
10 Favorite Outdoor Ball Games from Creative World of Varya
Chalkboard Pretend Play from Our Whimsical Days
Dandelion STEM Activities from My Bright Firefly
Froggy Fun Outdoors from Mrs. LeBlanc's Learners
Growing Tuff Spot from Tuff Spot Play
Ice Play from Kori at Home
Jungle Gym Fun  from Something 2 Offer
Let’s Go Fly a Kite from Something 2 Offer
Mud Kitchen Tuff Spot from Clare's Little Tots
Obstacle Course from Play & Learn Every Day
Exploring Life at the Pond from Natural Beach Living
Rock Painting for Kids from Something 2 Offer
Ways to Play with Sidewalk Chalk from Crafty Mama in ME
Underground Scavenger Hunt from Preschool Powol Packets
Water Play from My Bored Toddler
Xylophone Jars from CraftCreateCalm
Y is for Yellow Photography from Preschool Powol Packets
Our Zoo Atlanta Visit and Review from Crafty Mama in ME





I may share at any of these parties!



Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!





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Thursday, April 28, 2016

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Ancient History: Roman Road

One of our favorite subjects is history!  My kids especially love the projects we've been doing at a homeschool co-op every other week that tie into each week's theme.  We loved learning about ancient Rome and making these super cool Roman roads!


I love the huge age range of kiddos that fell in love with these roads: everyone from preschool to 5th grade had a great time making them and playing with them at home!

We are using the Story of the World Volume 1 and its associated activity book as a history curriculum.  Chapter 28, The Roman Empire, suggests making these ancient Roman road models to help learn and reinforce how the Romans built roads.

Our history group meets every two weeks at our wonderful host's home where everyone takes turns preparing different activities.  Our host prepared this one for the kids, and did such a wonderful job that I wanted to share it with you!  I'm sure you and your kiddos will want to make something similar!

Ancient Roman roads spanned thousands of miles and connected cities across the empire to the capital city.  They allowed armies to travel quickly and goods to be shipped easily.  And they were quite the scientific feat!  The ancient Romans definitely used ash to make their concrete, but they also had a lot of other layers!  Check these out:

Layer 1: A ditch or hole in the road (we used cardboard).

Layer 2: Sand (we glued sand to the board).



Layer 3: Small Stones (we used fishtank pebbles).


Layer 4: Concrete made from sand, soil, and volcanic ash (we used sand dough...see below!).


Layer 5: Paving stones (we used round rocks and marbles).



Aren't they pretty?!!  My kids have displayed their ancient Roman roads for two weeks now!  Everybody loves them!

Let's talk about Layer 4 for a moment.  We used Sand Dough (our host used the recipe in Story of the World), but you could also use an air drying clay (like Sculpey).  The sand dough recipe we used suggested 4 cups play sand, 2 cups cornstarch, 4 teaspoons cream of tarter, 3 cups hot water, and cooking them all over medium heat until stiff, then removing it and letting the dough cool for 15 minutes.  If it's still sticky, cook it longer and repeat the cooling!  Otherwise knead it slightly and store it in a zip lock baggie!

Also, just so you know, this is NOT a sponsored post.  We use Story of the World and love it, so I thought I would share an activity we've done with it.  :)


What do you use for history?  Do your youngest kiddos study history too?  I'd love to hear from you!!

I'm sharing this as part of the Early Elementary Blogger's Transportation Day!  Check out these other transportation learning ideas:

Tracing Shapes With Hotwheels from Parenting Chaos
Monster Truck Math from Look! We're Learning!
Transportation Subtraction Cards from The Kindergarten Connection
Roman Numerals Matching Game: The Glorious Flight Storybook Go Along from School Time Snippets
Language Arts Story Trains from Schooling a Monkey
Ancient History: Roman Roads from Preschool Powol Packets





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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

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{FREE} I Can Count to 10: Ocean Animals

Use this fun and colorful {FREE} ocean-themed counting page to practice counting and to teach 10 and one-to-one corresponding relationships!



This {FREE} printable has 4 different ocean animals appearing 10 times each!  Practice counting the critters, mark them off as they're counted, and do it again!   Use coins or BINGO markers to cover the fish you've already counted, or use a dot marker!  Print on cardstock and laminate for repeated use! 

Click HERE to get an Ocean-Themed Counting Practice Page for FREE!!

Are you talking about oceans or ocean animals?  Be sure to take a look at my {FREE} Ocean Count & Clip Cards and {FREE} Dolphin Dots Pages!






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Saturday, April 23, 2016

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Raising Painted Lady Butterflies and Watching them Hatch!

We absolutely love growing butterflies--it is one of our favorite spring activities!  Every time we do it, we hope to be able to see the butterflies actually "hatch," or break out of their chrysalises!  Sometimes we catch it, and sometimes we don't!  I thought I'd share some pictures from the Painted Ladies life cycle, how you know when they're about to hatch or break out of their chrysalis, and a video of one of them actually climbing out of the chrysalis for you!  You can use this as you plan your own butterfly growing experiences!




You can order Painted Lady Butterfly caterpillars from several companies--I'll put Amazon affiliate links at the bottom of this post.  They usually arrive about 1-2 centimeters long in a little ventilated cup full of food.



For about a week these caterpillars are the perfect pet: they require absolutely no care, but you can watch them grow and grow and grow!  They will outgrow their skin four times during this "larva" stage.  Each time they will molt or shed their skin.  You will start to see piles of poop and shed skin build up at the bottom of the little cup.  This part of the painted lady life cycle lasts 5-10 days.

After about a week the caterpillar will climb to the top of the cup and use its spinnerets (just below its mouth) to spin a silk pad to attach to the ceiling of the cup with.  Once it attaches, it will hang in a J-shape as it molts one last time into a chrysalis.

Sidenote: Butterflies molt into a chrysalis.  Moths spin a cocoon.

Your instructions usually say to move the chrysalises to a butterfly home after about 2 days.  This is ideal because you don't want to interrupt the amazing change going on inside the chrysalis, but one time we were out of town and were not able to move them until they had been chrysalises for 5 days.  We were very gentle!!  Even though we moved them at the wrong time, both butterflies came out fine!

The chrysalis, or pupa stage, lasts 7-10 days.  I have heard that it is faster when the weather is warmer, but it may just be heresay.  Either way, we have had some caterpillars hatch in exactly 7 days and others take the full 10!  Everyone always wants to know how to tell when the butterflies are getting ready to hatch.  And this time, I actually paid very close attention to the entire process so I could tell you exactly what to watch for!  Of course, yours may develop faster or slower (remember they can be inside the chrysalis for 7-10 days!), but hopefully this will give you an idea what to expect and how to know when it is time for your Painted Lady butterflies to hatch! I know my kids asked me several times a day, "Is it time for the butterflies to come out of the chrysalis yet?"

So how do you know when it is time for a Painted Lady butterfly to hatch?  It's hard to know for sure, but here are my best tips:  Sometime after about 7 days, the chrysalis darkens.  Shortly after that the chrysalis becomes more transparent, and you can see through the chrysalis and even identify spots and patterns on the wings of the butterfly.  At this point, you are down to under 24 hours before your butterfly breaks out of its chrysalis!  I put together this little infographic to help explain it with pictures:


Watching the butterfly actually break out of its chrysalis is incredible!  Here are some pictures from our last set:



And in case you miss it (the whole process only takes about 3-5 minutes!), I made a video for you too!  Every time I see it, I am amazed at the transformation these little insects go through!

If the video doesn't load for you, you can click HERE to watch it at YouTube.




And finally, the Painted Lady Butterfly!  When it emerges, it has wet, folded wings that take hours to stretch out and dry.  It also has to assemble the final pieces of its proboscis so it can eat.  At this point, we usually place an orange wedge in the "butterfly habitat" and watch it for a day or two.  Then we have a "releasing party" where we set it free!










Are you growing Painted Lady butterflies?  I would LOVE to hear about your experiences!!  Feel free to leave me a comment, send me an email, or stop by my PreschoolPowolPackets Facebook page and leave a picture!  You may also want to check out my collection of Cool Facts About Painted Lady Butterflies!  And if you're doing a butterfly theme, try this gorgeous butterfly craft or these fun butterfly songs and fingerplays!

A couple of my blogging friends have written about their Painted Ladies too!  If you want to see their experiences with these butterflies, visit Craftulate and  !

Did you know that on Saturdays the STEAM bloggers bring you a variety of science, teachnology, engineering, art, and math activities?  Check out this week's fun:

Water Cycle Activity Science Discovery Bottle from little Bins for Little Hands
DIY Recycled STEAM Notebook from Handmade Kids Art
Magic Milk | Process Art and Science from The Science Kiddo


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