Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Letter S Preschool Ideas

We've been doing a small preschool home group with two other families for the last few months.  Every week we rotate houses and work on one letter of the alphabet.  This week was letter "S" at our house, which was really exciting for me because I had a ton of letter "S" ideas.  This was so much easier than the mom that had to think up stuff for the letter Q a few weeks ago (but she did an awesome job with quiche as a snack, yum!).

This is what we decided to do:

1) Make Sparkle Soap!
You need:
-plastic cups (or an ice cube tray, or candy molds, or soap molds),
-a microwave safe container,
-glitter (the finer the better to make sure it washes down the sink with no problems),
-food coloring,
-non-stick spray (not in the picture, oops),
-and pure glycerin soap that you can buy in craft stores.  This kind comes in little bricks from Hobby Lobby.

Spray down your cups/molds with cooking spray.  Melt the glycerine in the microwave according to package directions.  This brand took exactly 33 seconds per brick to fully melt without getting too hot, and I stirred after 15 seconds.  Add one drop of the food coloring of your choice.  You can also use soap colorings, but I didn't want to buy that just for this one project.  Food coloring seems to work well for this purpose.  I have read that it can bleed if you're trying to make multi-colored layered soaps, so use the soap dye if you're going to get fancy with this project.  Pour in a bit of glitter and let the kids stir it up with a spoon.  Make sure to carefully supervise because this stuff can get hot!  We have a small group so that was no problem.

Then pour it into your cup/mold/ice cube tray and let it sit.  They were firm within 1/2 an hour.  We used the cups so we could cut them off if the soaps got stuck inside, and they make a little number six on the soap, which also starts with the letter "S".  Bonus.
 The glitter will settle a bit to make the top extra sparkly.
Wrap them in plastic wrap for the kids to take home.  I must say, my child has never been so excited to take her next bath.  Green is her favorite color ever.

We also did a few other projects.

2) Do-it-yourself Shrinky-dink

This is a good way to learn the "sh" sound.   Remember shrinky-dinks?  Well it turns out that all you need to make one at home is #6 plastic and some permanent markers.  Over at the Curbly you can find the directions for making your own shrinky-dink.  We used clear plastic trays that hold cupcakes at our local grocery store.  They gave me one for free when I asked at the counter.  I pre-cut the plastic in a circle shape and let the kids color whatever design they wanted.  My daughter drew a green dog on hers.  Then you pop them in the oven and watch them shrink.

3) Snack Time

We made Spaghetti dogs.  Basically you take hot dogs and let the kids spear them with pieces of spaghetti.  Then you boil them until the noodles are done.  I think they were a hit. More photos (and the source of this photo) can be found at Plum Pudding.  They were tasty with a side of cucumber slices.

And I made Jello Spirals ahead of time to eat with the spaghetti dogs.  Directions can be found at Joy of Jello (pic source) and the Kraft recipe webpage.  They're kind of like fruit-rollups, without any of the actual... fruit... um yeah but very tasty.  You could also call them Jello Snails for another letter "S".

All of this stuff took about an hour to do.  We've had so much fun doing preschool at home with our friends.  I'm going to miss these days when my little girl goes to Kindergarten in the fall.