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(Open thematic poster-Ants) Print, laminate, and display all kinds of posters.
(Open educa-decorate-Ants) Print, cut out, and laminate. Use the items to decorate the walls of your daycare and set the mood for the theme.
(Open educa-theme-Ants) Print and laminate the items that represent the theme. Use them to present the theme to your group (and parents) while decorating your daycare.
This special tool was created in response to a special request received. (Open group identification-Ants) Print and laminate the posters and illustrations to identify children's places and belongings.
(Open educa-chat-Ants) Print and laminate the cards. The questions will help children develop their observation skills, vocabulary, thinking skills, practice waiting for their turn and respecting the child who is speaking, and give them the opportunity to be successful. This tool will help you lead circle time discussions while exploring your theme.
- Have you ever seen an ant?
- Name special characteristics of an ant.
- Can you name other insects?
- Have you ever been bitten by an insect?
- What color are ants?
- Do ants bite?
- Have you ever seen an anthill?
- Are ants dangerous?
(Open picture game-Ants) Use the pictures to decorate your daycare or to spark a conversation with your group. Print, laminate, and store the pictures in a Ziploc bag or in your thematic bin.
(Open picture game-Ants) Print the pictures twice and use them for a traditional memory game.
(Open activity sheets-Ants) Print and follow instructions.
(Open writing activities-A like ant) Print for each child or laminate for use with a dry-erase marker.
(Open educa-nuudles-Ants) Print for each child. Have children color the sheet. Once they are done, they may use Magic Nuudles to turn the coloring pages into three-dimensional works of art. Variation: If you do not have Magic Nuudles, ask children to fill the spaces designed for Magic Nuudles with bingo markers or stickers. To order Magic Nuudles.
- Offer only black and red blocks and use them to build giant ants.
- Assembly games (K-Nex or Magnetix) children can use to create giant ants or silly insects.
- Drinking straws that can be inserted end to end to create bridges for ants.
Arts & crafts:
Plastic insects and paint. Children can make prints, make the insects walk over paper, etc. Attach plastic ants (or jelly worms) to a fishing rod and dip them in paint to make impressions on paper. Make ant crowns! Use a strip of black paper and add antennae. A roll of toilet paper, pipe cleaners for antennae, and a small quantity of paint can easily become an ant.
- An ant model and crumpled pieces of tissue paper that can be glued on it.
- An ant shape traced on a clear plastic cover sheet, colourful sand, and glue to create a fun stained glass decoration.
- Two egg carton sections, wiggly eyes, black paint, wings, and antennae to create an adorable ant.
- Insect-shaped hole-punches (scrapbooking).
- Paint an ant with glow-in-the-dark paint.
- Use a series of egg carton sections to represent an anthill.
- Insect, ant, and anthill stencils.
- Insect coloring pages.
- Create an anthill corner within your daycare. You will need several plastic ants (or other insects) and a large square box to represent your anthill.
- Set up a gardening area complete with gardening accessories (toys), watering cans, empty flower pots, etc. Add gloves, a sunhat, an old hose and knee protectors.
- Dress up like an ant. See the arts & crafts section for costume ideas.
- Books abouts insects or ants.
- Pictures of ants to decorate the walls of your area.
- Connect the dot activities to draw ants.
- Hunt and seek activities.
- Activity sheets where children must find the differences or errors.
- Activity sheets related to the theme.
- Games with educatall word flashcards.
- Children can pretend to be ants walking in the rain.
- An obstacle course with chairs children must crawl under, like ants in their anthill.
- Simon says... to act like insects.
- Treasure hunt.
- Wave a jumping rope back and forth and have children jump over it without touching it.
- I am flying like an insect.
- Children crawl around the daycare, placing their feet on the shoulders of the child behind them.
- Fill a large container with dirt and add real worms!
- Fill a large container with sand and hide plastic or jelly worms in it.
- Fill an old aquarium or plastic container with items found in nature to represent a vivarium.
(Open word flashcards-Ants) (Open giant word flashcards-Ants) Print. The word flashcards may be used to spark a conversation with your group, in your reading and writing corners, or to identify your thematic bins. ant, anthill, ant nest, black ant, red ant, sand, queen, antennae, legs, insects, colony, workers
(Open word flashcards-Ants) Print and laminate the word flashcards. Have each child pick a flashcard. They can take turns presenting the word they picked to the group. With your group, talk about each item. Ask children questions to encourage them to share what they know about each one.
Associating words and pictures
(Open giant word flashcards-Ants) Print, laminate, and display the word flashcards on a wall, in your circle time area or on a large piece of cardboard that can be moved around. Name a word. Children take turns identifying the corresponding word flashcard.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Game-This is my spot-Ants
(Open my ant path) Print two copies. Laminate and cut out the cards. Glue one copy of each card on the table using adhesive paper. Drop the other copies in a bag. Children take turns picking a card to determine their spot at the table for the day. You may also use the cards to determine naptime spots or for your task train.
(Open my ant path) Print, laminate, and arrange the pictures on the floor, creating a path within your daycare. The path may lead to various areas frequently visited by children throughout the day such as the bathroom, the cloakroom, etc. If you prefer, use the pictures to delimit your different workshops.
ACTIVITIES FOR BABIES
Collect several different pictures and illustrations of ants. Glue them here and there throughout your daycare. Display them on walls, cupboards, and even on the floor. Babies will have fun discovering them as they crawl around.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
(Open miniature ants) Print and laminate. Hide ants throughout your daycare and invite children to hunt for them. The child who finds the most ants can hide them for the next round.
This activity can be done outdoors. Set several hula hoops on the floor. To the sound of music, children crawl from one hula hoop to the next. When the music stops, they must quickly stand inside a hula hoop (anthill).
The ant race
Children are on a line at one end of your daycare or yard, on all fours. When you give the signal, the race begins. They must crawl to the finish line.
Going to the anthill
Divide your group into two teams. Children from each team stand in a line, holding the shoulders of the child in front of them. When you give the signal, the race begins. Each team moves towards the finish line, synchronising their steps (left foot, right foot).
You will need four shallow containers. Add one of the following ingredients to each container: sugar, maple syrup, salt, and flour. Set the containers in an area where you have seen ants and observe them with your group to see which container they will be attracted to. Are other insects attracted to the same container?
Where are the ants hiding?
(Open miniature ants) Print and laminate. Hide several ants among the toys in your daycare. Every time a child finds an ant he must hand it to you and say, "I found an ant!"
An anthill in your sandbox
Encourage children to play in your sandbox. Explain how ants dig their home in the sand. They dig holes and hide in them. Children can dig holes to represent anthills.
Help children strap a heavy backpack onto their back and encourage them to complete an obstacle course, just like ants. Children can walk through sand. If they are tired, they can lie down to rest before completing the obstacle course.
(miniature ants) Print and laminate. You will need ten Styrofoam drinking glasses. Number them from 1 to 10. Children must add the corresponding number of ants to each glass.
Ants in an anthill
(Open game-Ants) Print and laminate the illustrations for durable, eco-friendly use. Before beginning, hide the anthills in your yard. Give each child an ant. When you give the signal, children must search for the anthill that is the same color as their ant. This game can also be done indoors.
I am learning to count
(I can count-Ants) Print ant laminate. Stick pieces of Velcro behind each piece and each ant after cutting them out. Children take turns sticking the correct number of ants on each anthill.
Throughout the theme, a sand table should be available within your daycare. Offer plastic or laminated ants that children can play with in the sand.
The ant bites you, you fall asleep
Before naptime, tell children you have caught a very special ant. It is special because when it bites them, they will instantly fall asleep. Have children close their eyes. Go from one child to the next, gently tapping them with your index finger as you make a soft sound with your mouth to represent an insect bite.
Insect observation laboratory
Set up a small insect observation lab within your daycare. Display pictures of different types of insects on the walls of your daycare and provide clear containers and tiny nets children can use to capture insects when they go outside. Compare the insects they find, helping children identify their differences and their similarities. You will need:
- Clear containers
- Magnifying glasses
- Pieces of tulle or a screen
- Pictures of different types of insects
Transform an old aquarium into a vivarium. Deposit dirt on the bottom. Add a bowl of water and different items found in nature. Set a piece of tulle or screen on top to prevent insects from escaping. Children can add insects they find to your vivarium throughout the theme.
ARTS & CRAFTS
(Open finger puppet-Ants) Print the models on cardboard. Have children decorate them and cut them out. Show them how they can insert their fingers to move the puppets.
(Open models-Ants) Print the models and use them for your various crafts and activities throughout the theme.
(Open masks-Ants) Print and trace the models on cardboard. Children can decorate their mask as they wish.
Cut an egg carton so that two sections are stuck together for each child. Have children paint their ant eyes with black poster paint. Cut a hole in the bottom of each egg carton section and attach a pipe cleaner on either side to create glasses. Let children decorate their ant eyes as they wish.
(Open ant antennae) Print for each child. Have them cut out and color their antennae before gluing them on a headband (stapled strip of paper).
Give each child an egg carton section. Have them paint it using black poster paint. Once the paint is dry, they can add pipe cleaner legs and antennae as well as wiggly eyes.
Have children draw an ant on a piece of paper using white glue. When they are done, they can sprinkle sand over their drawing. Have them complete this step over a bin to collect any sand that doesn't stick to their drawing. You may choose to have children glue tiny pieces of crumpled black tissue paper inside their ant shape to complete their project.
(Open insect stencils) Print and trace the shapes on cardboard. Show them how they can place the shapes on paper and use a sponge to dab paint around the contour of each one to reveal insects.
Coloring pages theme-Ants
(Open coloring pages theme-Ants) Print for each child.
SONGS & RHYMES
(Opens songs & rhymes-Ants)
By: Patricia Morrison
Ants aren't long
But they are strong
Ants are small
But they can crawl
Heavy loads, they can carry
They're busy as bees, just not as scary
The Educatall team
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