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Pre-K activities, learning games, crafts, and printables


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Recycling

This theme may seem different for young children but it is a very current and entertaining theme.

In the Educatall Club
Coloring pages, word flashcards, picture game, and activity sheets to complement your theme

CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK, MONTH, YEAR

This theme may seem different for young children but it is a very current and entertaining theme. Have fun making beautiful toys and games out of recycled material. The activities in this theme require little or no investment and they will provide hours of fun, while respecting the environment. We invite you to create your own thematic poster using newspaper and craft materials you have on hand. (Open thematic letter - Recycling) Print the letter and insert it in an envelope. Place the envelope in an easy to find location within the daycare. During circle time, have children find it and read portions of the letter to them each day.


AREA SETUP
Hang tons of recyclable objects from the ceiling using invisible thread (cans, plastic bottles, CDs, egg cartons, milk containers, juice containers, etc.).


PICTURE GAME
The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with the group. Use them to decorate the daycare or a specific thematic corner. (Open picture game - Recycling) Print, laminate, and store in a “Ziploc” bag or in your thematic bins.

ACTIVITY SHEETS
Make your own activity sheet using newspapers or old magazines. Have children cut out pictures of items which may be rRecycling-3ecycled.

VARIOUS WORKSHOPS
Have fun with these wonderful workshop ideas provided by Caroline Allard.

Construction or building blocks:

  • Make your own blocks out of cardboard boxes (cereal boxes, milk cartons, Kleenex boxes, etc.) Simply stuff them with newspaper and wrap them with wide tape!
  • Empty cardboard tubes (paper towels, toilet paper, wrapping paper) may be used to make tunnels. Who will make the longest tunnel?
  • Plastic bottles may be cut to make tunnels.

Arts & crafts:

  • Make various musical instruments using recycled materials.
  • Collect empty milk cartons and cardboard boxes to make a 3-D model (a village for example), with your group. Just add paint and you are set!
  • There are no restrictions! Gather scraps of paper and cardboard pieces which have been lying around and invite children to create as they please: a collective model, individual masterpieces, anything they can think of using recycled materials.

Role play:

  • Add several recycled food containers to your kitchen area.
  • Use your small cash register and pretend you are in a grocery store. Use empty food containers and paper bags.
  • Set up a recycling bin in your kitchen area, just like at home.

Manipulation:

  • Memory game using the educatall picture game.
  • Homemade modeling dough with cookie cutters.
  • Maracas made out of empty cardboard tubes. Add small recycled materials found in the daycare.
  • Scraps of fabric with different textures.
  • Clean out the puzzles and verify that you aren’t missing any pieces.

Reading and relaxation:

  • Books about nature, trees, paper transformation, etc.
  • Magazines of all kinds provided by parents.

Music and motor skills:

  • Parade around the daycare with the musical instruments made in the arts & crafts workshop.
  • Have a recycled objects race. Fill a bin with a variety of objects. At the other end of the room, set up three bins and identify them, one for paper, one for cardboard, and one for plastic. As a team, sort all the objects. You may even create an obstacle course between the start and finish.
  • Plastic bottles may be used for bowling.

Sensory bins:

  • Fill a bin with scraps of colourful paper. Provide children with hole-punches and scissors!
  • Water tables may be used to wash doll clothing. You may also add empty plastic bottles. Children will love transferring water from one bottle to another.
  • Add empty plastic bottles and containers to the sand box.
  • Fill a bin with items that have missing pieces or mismatched parts.

Science and kitchen:

  • Anything which may be found in nature and can be observed!
  • Prepare a bread pudding recipe, insisting on the fact that the recipe uses food which may go to waste otherwise.

WORD FLASHCARDS
The flashcards may be used during circle time to spark a conversation with the group or in your reading and writing area. They may also be used to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards - Recycling) plastic, metal, paper, cardboard, recycling bin, food, ink, glass, newspapers, magazine, can, bottle

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
I am walking on stilts

Make your own stilts using empty metal cans. Punch two holes on either side of each can, near the bottom.  Measure a piece of rope, cutting it to a length which is suitable for the children in your group. Thread one end of the rope in either hole and make knots. Repeat for the other can. Children stand on the cans, holding the rope in their hands. This will be a challenge! Some children may require lots of practice before succeeding.  Make sure the edges of the metal cans are not sharp. Add electrical tape for added protection.)

Feather race
Use adhesive tape to define a start and finish line. Deposit feathers on the floor, leaving approximately 10 cm between them. Provide children with drinking straws or empty toilet paper rolls and have them blow in them to move the feathers towards the finish line. The first child to successfully blow a feather over the finish line wins.  

Brown bag
Set up an obstacle course, depositing brown paper grocery bags on the floor. Children must hop from one bag to the other. At the end of the course, have them throw a brown paper bag in the air and catch it before it falls to the ground. If the bag touches the floor, they must start the obstacle course over!

Recycled construction
Provide children with a large quantity of plastic containers and empty cardboard boxes in your construction area. They will enjoy building castles with the recycled material. Ask your grocer for large boxes. Let children play with them as they wish. They will enjoy building tunnels, houses, towers, and structures of all kinds. When they are tired of “renovating”, have them put the boxes away. Invite them to store toys in them until their next renovation.

Recycle race
Recycling-1(Open I recycle well) Print. Prepare four boxes and glue one illustration to each box to represent the different categories: plastic, glass, metal, paper. Divide the group into two teams. Each team receives a bag containing a specific number of objects. Determine a start and finish line. The four boxes should be deposited at the finish line. Each team must take an object before leaving the start line, run to the finish line, deposit it in the correct recycling bin, and return for another object. The first team to have sorted all their objects wins!

Recycled basket
With children’s help, prepare a ton of paper balls, using different colours of paper. Have each child choose a colour. Deposit one brown paper grocery bag in the centre of the room for each child..Children try to throw as many balls as possible into their bag while you play music. When the music stops, count the balls in each child’s bag.

Bowling
Make your own bowling pins using empty 2-litre soft drink bottles. You may paint the bottles with poster paint.  Use a soft ball or a tennis ball for bowling.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
I enjoy recycling

Provide children with plastic containers and empty cardboard boxes. Ask your grocer for large boxes and let children build castles in the backyard.

ACTIVITIES IMPLICATING PARENTS
Recycling-2Have parents look for recyclable objects they may have around the house with their children. Children bring the objects to the daycare. We have prepared a printable list of items you may give parents (Open list of recyclable materials). Make something out of the items children bring in. The objects may be reincarnated as storage containers, stilts, musical instruments, etc. Children will be proud to show their parents what they made out of the material they brought. At the end of the activity, everything can be sorted and deposited in the appropriate recycling bins.

COGNITIVE ACTIVITIES
Recycled gift bag puzzle

Collect gift bags. Cover the surface of the gift bags with Mac Tac and cut them into three or four pieces. Children will enjoy racing to see who can finish their puzzle first.

Jars and lids
Gather an assortment of jars and lids. You should have approximately 6 to 8 sets of different sizes. The goal is to match the lids with the correct jars. Depending on the age group, you may use glass jars with screw-on lids.  This is a great manipulation activity. We do not recommend doing it over hard flooring, carpeting is preferable.  Remind children to be careful when they are manipulating glass jars.

I am finding pairs
Collect several identical objects (a pair of socks, two clothespins, two buttons, a pair of mittens, two forks, two pencils, etc.). Place all the objects in a large box and ask children to find pairs.

I am sorting
Deposit several different objects in a brown paper bag or a box. Select objects children are familiar with. They should be of different sizes and textures. Have children close their eyes or blindfold them. Invite them to pick an object out of the bag and try to guess what it is by feeling it. Ask them if they think the object is recyclable or not.

I am learning to recycle
(Open I recycle well) Print. Prepare four boxes and glue the illustrations representing the different categories on them. One box will be for plastic, one for glass, one for metal, and one for paper. Sit in a circle. Have children pass objects (plastic bottles, shoe boxes, glass bottles, metal cans, etc.) around the circle and have them identify which box they should go in.  

EARLY SCIENCE
Metal

Place various objects on a table (nails, paperclips, elastics, aluminum, crayons, blocks, lipstick, etc.). Place a magnet near each object, one at a time. Sort the objects into two categories, objects which are attracted by a magnet and objects which are not. Children discover which metals are attracted by magnets.

Magnetic memory game
Recycle and reuse the tops of frozen juice cans. Use an educatall memory game you have already printed.  Attach a magnet to the end of a fishing rod (stick with string tied to it). Arrange the covers face down on the floor. Children pick two illustrations. If the illustrations are identical, they keep them and play again. Otherwise, another player tries to find a pair.

SOUND RECOGNITION
Recycled sound

Fill a grocery bag with all kinds of recycled objects which produce sounds (scrunching up small brown paper bags with your hands, tapping on a metal can with a plastic spoon, etc.). Children explore the various sounds.

Musical bag
Deposit brown paper grocery bags on the floor. Make sure you have one bag less than the number of children participating in the activity (for six children you should have five bags). Children march and dance around the bags. When the music stops, children sit in front of a bag. This is a variation of the musical chairs game.

CULINARY ACTIVITIES
I recycle seeds, pits, and pips

You may keep different types of seeds. Show children how to collect the seeds. For example you can collect seeds, pits, and pips of melons, pumpkins, peas, apples, tomatoes, avocadoes, etc. Have children wash them to remove all pulp. Let the seeds dry flat on a sunny window ledge. Once the seeds are completely dry, deposit them in an airtight jar or plastic containers. Label the containers with the type of seed and the date. Keep the seeds and plant them in the garden in spring.

ARTS & CRAFTS
Recycled clothing

Use an old sock to make a snake. Stuff it with newspaper clippings. Close off the end using a piece of string.  Glue two wiggly eyes on the face and make a felt tongue. Add stripes, spots, or designs. You may want to add small bells with a hot glue gun to make your puppet a rattlesnake.  Remember to name your snake!

Recycled shoes

Use two empty Kleenex boxes per child to make shoes. On either side of the opening on the boxes, make holes using a hole-punch to thread laces through. Let children decorate their shoes using recycled materials. Variation: Have children bring an old shoe to the daycare. They paint and decorate their shoe. You may add feathers, eyes, buttons, etc. Display them on a shelf for parents to admire.

 

Recycled sweater
Make holes for each child’s head and arms in a brown paper bag. Have them decorate their sweaters using fabric and ribbon.

Lone glove finger puppet
Instead of discarding a glove which has lost its twin (or a sock or mitten), use it to make a puppet. Cut the fingers off and draw eyes, a nose, and a mouth on the fingertips. You can add yarn for hair.

Recycled robot
Give each child a brown paper grocery bag. Draw and cut out the eyes, nose, and mouth. Provide metal cans, empty toilet paper rolls, aluminum paper, and other recycled materials children may use to create their robot.  Help them attach the different pieces using hot glue.

Recycled guitar
Make a guitar using an empty shoe box. Make a hole (about 8 cm diameter) in the cover. Reposition the cover.  You will need different sizes of elastics. Slide them next to each other over the hole. Children pinch the elastics to produce guitar-like sounds.

Bottles
Collect different types of plastic bottles. Fill and decorate them with various recycled materials, dry food (rice, peas, etc.), tiny bells, coloured water... Seal the caps with hot glue and wrap with electrical tape. Children can decorate their bottles. Babies will love playing with them.

Reusable bag
Recycle fabric. Use a very large rectangular piece of fabric. You may sew it or use hot glue to make a bag. Add fabric handles. Have children decorate their bags with fabric markers. You could make small bags if you want children to use them as shoe bags or larger bags for shopping or travelling. Emphasize that these bags should be used instead of plastic bags.

COLORING PAGES
(Open coloring pages theme - Recycling)

SONGS & RHYMES
Recycle

by: Patricia Morrison
sung to: Do you know the muffin man?


Do you know to recycle
Recycle, recycle
Do you know to recycle
Paper, plastic, glass

If you always recycle
Recycle, recycle
Then we will always have
Paper, plastic, gla

 

Have fun!

The Educatall team

 

 

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