Carmel Mountain Preschool Blog

CMP Activities

5B’s Roly-Poly Inquiry

The children’s interest in roly-polies began when a few friends noticed them on our cement path.

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Spiders

This lesson I wanted to focus on fine motor skills and task resilience.
We not only had fun making spiders but also got our hands on a wide range of materials.

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Nature Banners

Our sunny days lately have made for some beautiful mornings in the Glenn.

That‘s why we kicked off this school year with nature banners!

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Bear Caves

Dramatic play can be defined as a type of play where children accept and assign roles, and then act them out. It is a time when they break through the walls of reality, pretend to be someone or something different from themselves, and dramatize situations and actions to go along with the roles they have chosen to play.

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Imaginary Playgrounds

What’s your favorite part of the playground?

Can you draw it for me?

Now let’s build our own !

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Wizard Wands

It’s incredible to watch each age group develop their drawing skills. From scribbles to recognizable figures each stage is necessary as they gain control of their cognitive and motor skills.

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What inspires you?

What Inspires You?
We started with a simple concept- a flower! Each child was instructed to inspect, touch, and smell their flower.

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June 2019 – You Rock!

Miss Calee donated a rock tumbler to Tinker Hollow. It was interesting to watch the children gravitated to this super cool tumbling machine.

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Bubble Hammer and Nails

Learning how to use tools builds confidence, creativity and lifelong skills that in turn, your children will teach their children.

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Bird Nest Project

We learned about different birds and what their names are by reading “Feathers for lunch” by Lois Ehlert.We talked about what a bird may use to build a nest and where some birds choose to build their homes.

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Face Painting Fun

Painting on yourself is often discouraged and that is why it was great fun to dedicate a special day for them to be the canvas.

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The Glow Room

WIth the Glow Room I incorporated a black light to show the children how their creations could be brought to life through luminescence.

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The Zone of Proximal Development

Teaching children to have a meta awareness of their emotions is a very helpful tool in Conscious Discipline. Knowing how I feel about how I feel, labeling our feelings, describing what those feeling look like and saying “it out loud” are types of metacognitive strategies.

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Bubble Wrap and Loose Parts Play

“I had an idea” to put all that Tinker Hollow bubble wrap that we have been collecting since the fall to use and have some fun. Miss Marcy helped Miss Carole create bubble shoes for the children. They loved walking and popping and jumping and popping.

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Dark Room Shadow Play

This week I decided to convert the art studio into a dark room for the children to create, play and explore silhouette art as a fun form of art medium.

Using shadow boxes and multi-colored click lights, the children made their own unique sculptures to cast shadows.

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Puffy Paint Cakes

Each child benefits from this form of role-playing in such a joyful manner, which is not only fun for them but also improves their social skills, confidence, creative communication, and problem-solving.

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What to do with a Hex Bug Robot

The children are having too much fun with Hex bug robots. To begin the lesson, we took the little Hex bug apart. We examined the tiny battery and the motor. The older children at CMP will be making a real robot with a battery pack and a larger motor soon.

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Children Learning Through Nature

Here at Carmel Mountain Preschool, we support and encourage children’s interest of the natural world by engaging them in real, hands-on investigations and learning activities both indoors and outdoors.

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The Maker Station: A dedicated area devoted to creative exploration and DIY projects.

The most popular center in ‘tinker hollow’ has become the ‘maker station’. It is so much fun to set up and works indoors or in a covered outdoor area. At the maker station the children are free to create, design, tinker and build anything that their imaginations lead them to.

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Rocks and Stones

Each playground at CMP has a special tinkering area for the children to create, design and explore in. Some of the new materials include rocks, stones and crystals of various sizes shapes and weights.

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What to do with all those boxes?

It is called Box City. Save the boxes! Tape them up, put some weighted items in some of them and start a collection. The possibilities and fun are endless. A roll of masking tape, some markers and paint will enhance their creations. Take a look at the pictures from Tinker Hollow and let your children’s own imaginations and inquiries lead you.

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Frida Kahlo Shadow Box Project

This was a fun project to do with the children since I love introducing new artists and ideas! Throughout this lesson, the children exercise proper pen holding skills, fine motor skills, and get to learn a little art history along the way.

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Spider Project

Early October we jumped right into our Halloween themed art projects starting with our web spinning and spider beading creations!

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Imagination Theater: Starring My Wooden Friend

This time in the tinkering hood, the children made awesome wooden friends and starred in a wonderful imagination theater production.

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Animal Movement

Animal movement is always a favorite with preschoolers. Getting to act out their favorite animal moves is fun for all.

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Hammer and Nail Butterfly Dot-To-Dot

This session in Tinkering the kiddos were given a refresh lesson on using a hammer properly and safely. Once we finished learning the correct way to hold and swing a hammer the children made “Hammer and nail butterfly dot-to-dot”.

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Clay Nature Prints

In this lesson kids get to explore how many different ways we can use the same materials and introduce the concept of clay printing by relating it to something students might already know/have used: stamps!

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Smash Art using Nature

Get kids to interact with nature by simply exploring your outdoors and have students try to find as many colors as they can! We had our students explore The Glenn and find as many different items as they could from nature to use and test on our papers.

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Using our Imaginations to Create with Nature!

We can use a stick and leaves to create our very own paintbrushes! By sparking a child’s creativity it allows them to engage and view the world around them through different lenses.

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Healthy Foods

We encourage healthy food choices, which is why we get the kids involved in making their food and to let them see where healthy foods come from.

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Spring Inspired Mixed Media

Spring is in the air at CMP! We talked about flowers, birds, grass, and trees.  Then they drew pictures inspired by the book and this special time of the year. This is a very fun and colorful project.  Try it at home or in your classroom!

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What are the Best Warm Season Crops to Plant with Kiddos

I often get questions from parents in passing about what they should plant in their gardens with their children. I love these questions but figured that my quick responses at pick-up and drop-off could be expanded upon. So here goes!

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A Very Special Mother’s Day

For the past three weeks, the children at CMP have been working very hard on a special project for their Mom’s for Mothers Day. Some drew pictures, others designs and most of them chose Mom’s favorite colors! The wood and photos dry clear and are a timeless piece of art that Mom can display forever!

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Squatty Body Cars

This week up in “The Hollow” the tinker tots built squatty body cars. This project was a lot of fun to teach, the children are getting so amazing with hammers and nails. It was so fantastic to see all the different types of cars roll off the tinkering assembly line.

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Nature Photography

If you are ever at a loss for what to do with your child some afternoon, hand them a camera. Sure, that’s usually the opposite of what you hear…it is a technological device after all…but I promise you won’t regret it.

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The Glenn Gallery – Our First Art Exhibition

Mr. Brian, Ms. Erin and I have been orchestrating a school-wide exhibition that will showcase Tinker Hollow, The Art Studio, and The Nature Lab.

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Mixed Media Nature Art

This week up in The Studio we had fun drawing in nature and using a variety of materials to create a colorful mixed media work of art. The children love to draw in nature, so we found a comfortable place to sit and draw in The Glenn.

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Scrap-wood Imagination Sculptures

This week in Tinker Hollow we are exploring new ways to build and create with wood, by creating sculptures out of scrap wood.

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Fairy & Dinosaur Gardens

We have two miniature gardens here at CMP as of late. One is a bird fountain fairy garden in the Glenn, and the other is a dinosaur succulent garden.

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Creating In Nature

By Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio, we got inspired by the book “Birds and Other Animals” by Pablo Picasso.  We read the book and counted each bird aloud that was drawn on the page.  Then we went out into The Glenn and created our own drawings inspired by things that exist in […]

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Interview with Tonya Torosian of Promises to Kids Toy Drive

By Arianne Bettazzi My parents, Dan & Pauline Condrick, have been involved in the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation (now called Promises to Kids) benefitting foster children since before I was born.  Both of my parents have served on the board and all three of us have been involved in numerous fundraisers throughout the years.  We […]

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How to Make a Simple Seed Starting Mix

By Julie Goldstein Why buy something when you can easily make it, right? Since the seasons are changing we decided to make some seed starting mix to plant some cool season vegetables in our garden here at CMP. Seeds do best in seed starting mix versus planting them in potting soil, or native soil. Seed […]

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Clay Nests

By Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio, we created bird nests with clay. We talked about where birds live and how they make nests. Then we played with clay, molding, pulling, poking and rolling it into a ball. After we created a small ball we used our thumbs to indent a small hole […]

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The Friendship Quilt

By Julie Goldstein This project all started with a book that we read up in The Studio called “The Friendship Quilt”. A story about a mouse that is very sad and her friends sew her a quilt to help make her feel happy. The children talked about friendship and how to make friends feel happy, […]

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Harvesting Our Vermicompost (Worm Compost)

By Julie Goldstein In previous blogs we’ve talked about the benefits of composting and how it’s done (link here). Composting with worms is a fun way to compost with your kids. Worms + Kids = Win! Recently we had fun harvesting the finished product from all our composting efforts with our worms. It usually takes […]

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Color Mixing and Collages

By Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio we learned all about colors. First, we read the book “Mix it Up” by Herve Tullet. Then we practiced mixing Primary colors: Red, Blue, and Yellow into Secondary colors: Purple, Green, and Orange. The kids painted 3 paintings of secondary colors then turned their brushes around […]

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Discovering Nature

By Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio our CMP artists inspired by the book “Leaf Man”. It is whimsical story about a leaf that explores different landscapes as he floats North, South, East and West. I told the story as if Leaf Man was traveling through The Glenn. The children then went on […]

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Recycling At CMP: Part Two

By Erin Tessier Missed Part One? Read it Here. After we took a look at our school’s overall recycling accuracy and took steps to improve it, it was time to bring that info to the kids. We have been talking all about recycling up in the Glenn the past couple of weeks. It can be […]

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Tie-Dying Smocks

By: Julie Goldstein For the past two weeks we have been tie-dying smocks up in The Studio. I thought it would be a fun idea for each child to make its very own “messy art” shirt. Every time they travel up to see me they will wear their colorful tie-dyed tee to protect their clothing […]

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Fresh Organic Eggs

By: Erin Tessier It’s time! The chickens have started laying eggs, and we are so excited. They are ahead of the game since usually chickens start laying around 5-7 months, but our chickens started laying eggs at 4 months. Lucky us =). We now have 6 hens. We had a lot of roosters to rehome […]

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Improving Our Recycling at Carmel Mountain Preschool: Part 1

By: Erin Tessier Recently I took a look at our current recycling practices here at CMP as part of a grad school project. We do a wonderful job as a school in recycling and reducing our waste by having a knowledgeable staff, lots of recycling receptacles, and by composting (nature’s way of recycling). But of […]

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Printmaking with Recycled Cardboard

By: Julie Goldstein I am a professional printmaker, so whenever I get a chance to teach the kids how to print and make editions, I get really excited to see what they create and always so inspired by their ability to have fun with such an amazing process. This week up in The Studio, we […]

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The Benefits of doing Family Yoga with your Preschooler

At Carmel Mountain Preschool we are lucky to have our very own expert preschool yoga instructor, Ms. Claire Cafri.  Ms. Claire offers weekly yoga to Carmel Mountain Preschool students – for more information see our Extra Curricular page.  We interviewed Ms. Claire to find out why she encourages families to do yoga together. What are […]

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Interview with Norm – The Rhythm Child Drum Circle

Interview with Norm How did you get started in drumming with Children? I’ve been a professional musician for thirty years. Drumming and percussion were my main instruments. When I had my first child back in 2000 I was trying to relate to him with something I knew. As a first time parent I didn’t know […]

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Dancing Popcorn Science Experiment

In this activity you will need: Tall jar or glass Popping corn Baking soda Vinegar Water Spoon DIRECTIONS: 1. Add 2 Cups of water to the jar 2. Take 2 Tablespoons of baking soda 3. Stir until it dissolves 4. Add corn 5. Add vinegar slowly (Dixie cup size) 6. Then watch it dance!!

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Farm Painting

Materials: White construction paper Green, yellow, brown, blue, and white paint Paint brushes This is a great activity to explore landscapes with children. After discussing the type of landscape you might see in the country or on a farm we painted these pictures. First, we folded the paper into 4 sections. I drew a light […]

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Coffee Filter Fall Leaves

Materials Coffee filters cut into leaf shapes Washable markers Spray bottles Water This is a fun process based art project for Fall. First, cut coffee filters into the shape of a leaf. Then, have your child color the leaf with various colored washable markers. When they are done coloring, have them use a water bottle […]

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Directed Drawing Pigs

Materials White paper Black marker One large cardboard circle and one smaller cardboard circle for tracing Pink crayons Blue, green, and yellow watercolor paint Paint brushes For this activity, your preschooler will be listening to and following multi-step directions. First, have your preschooler trace the large circle with a black marker for the pig’s body. […]

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Painting Fall Leaves with Acorns

Materials: Brown, yellow, and red paint White construction paper cut into leaf shapes Dried, brown leaves from outside Acorns Tray for rolling acorns on Spoons This is a great process art project for fall. First, have kids collect the leaves and acorns from outside. Talk about how seasons change and leaves begin to change colors […]

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Candy Corn Art

Materials: Black, white, yellow, and orange construction paper Glue Cotton swabs First, draw a candy corn shape on a piece of black construction paper. You can free hand each one or create a template to trace. After talking about the pattern of the colors in candy corn, have the kids use cotton swabs to spread […]

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Color Volcanoes

Materials: A variety of Kool-aid Water Baking soda Vinegar Clear bowls or cups First, you need to put a few scoops of Kool-aid into a clear bowl or cup. Then, add water to the Kool-aid so that it all dissolves. Give it a good mix! Once you have your Kool-aid mixture the fun begins! Have […]

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Pumpkin Lacing Fine Motor Activity

Materials: Orange and brown construction paper Hole punch Scissors Black Marker Orange yarn Newspaper For this activity we cut an identical pumpkin shape onto two pieces of orange construction paper. Then we used the hole punch to punch holes along the outside of the paper. Attach a long piece of yarn to the paper using […]

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All About Corn

This week, our 2 year old friends learned all about corn! The used a variety of skills to explore and investigate.

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Apple Volcano Science

Materials: Apples Equal amounts Vinegar and Baking Soda Tray Knife First, cut the top off the apple and make a hole for the baking soda and vinegar. We let the children scoop the baking soda into the apple. We then poured the vinegar into the apple. We stood back and watched the science happen!

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“Spookly The Square Pumpkin” Shape Craft and Fine Motor Activity

Materials: Assortment of large shapes Pencils Scissors Construction Paper Markers “Spookley the Square Pumpkin” by Joe Troiano Step 1. After reading the story, allow children to choose any colored construction paper they like and a shape that they can trace. Step 2. Have children trace the object and then cut out the shape. Step 3. […]

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