Carmel Mountain Preschool Blog

Child Education

5B’s Roly-Poly Inquiry

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

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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!

Read more »

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.

Read more »

Imaginary Playgrounds

What’s your favorite part of the playground?

Can you draw it for me?

Now let’s build our own !

Read more »

Chores in the Nature Lab

These past weeks in the Nature Lab we’ve been busy working in the garden and caring for the animals. We are developing routines where the children will become competent in many of the tasks that are regularly required to keep our garden and animals happy and healthy.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

Styrofoam Sculpture

Children love stuff that sticks together. These super cool and colorful pieces of Styrofoam can be used for making all kinds of interesting sculptures.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

How to deal with your child having FOMO when taking a nap.

Creating and implementing an effective nap routine is sometimes easier said than done. Especially if your little one is refusing to take a nap.

Read more »

Learning How to use Scissors

Learning how to use scissors is an important skill, it helps children develop the fine motor strength needed to use a pencil. Strong fine motor skills help children as they begin to learn how to write, and are the foundation for gripping and manipulating objects.

Read more »

My child loves books, do you have any favorites for preschoolers?

Of course. I love books, too! While as parents we intuitively know that reading is beneficial for children, more and more research is being collected proving the significance of reading for the developing brain.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

Watercolor Art

This fun watercolor project is all about the exploration of color and magic and of mixing! This exercise gives each child a chance to work on their brush handle it skills, color identification and inspiration for working with different mediums.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

Building With Cardboard

This week up in The Studio we used cardboard to create a sculpture that resembled a place, a space and also a “huge” dinosaur!

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

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, […]

Read more »

Interview with Gigi Schweikert

I first encountered Gigi Schweikert at a childcare conference. She is hilarious and is super easy to relate to as an educator and a mother. She is very down to earth and has the ability to give parenting advice and advice to teachers in a way that is easy to understand and implement. We are […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

Welcome to our New Hermit Crabs!

By: Erin Tessier Recently in the Glenn we got some new additions…three to be exact. Join us in welcoming our new hermit crabs! The kids loved meeting our three new friends and getting acquainted. We read the wonderful Eric Carle book, A House for Hermit Crab. We learned that hermit crabs use other animal’s shells […]

Read more »

Rain Fish

By: Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio we started our art lesson by reading a whimsical book called “Rain Fish”. It is a story about fish that were created with trash and recycled materials. The children loved describing the different materials that they saw within each fish; bottle caps, feathers, newspaper, even old […]

Read more »

Interview with Andrea Racca of Bobboi Organic Gelato

Finn’s 1st Gelato My husband, Massimo, is from Florence, Italy, so food plays a big part in our life. Anyone who knows me also knows that I am super anti-sugar but I make exceptions for amazing specimens of sugar, for example real Italian gelato. When my first son, Finn, was born I had a goal […]

Read more »

Interview with Enrique “Hank” Feldman

Introduction At Carmel Mountain Preschool one of our core values is that, “We strive for excellence.” We feel that part of striving for excellence includes continuous learning and growing. Whenever we come across an individual that we feel can impart wisdom to our staff and parents we try and make sure we can get them […]

Read more »

Birding Blog

Recently in the Nature Lab we’ve been talking about birds and how they provide us with beautiful songs and are beautiful to observe. Many birds help with controlling pest populations as well as pollinating and spreading seeds. We love birds! So these past weeks we’ve learned about some local birds that we often see in […]

Read more »

Wire, Cork and Paper Sculptures

By: Julie Goldstein This week we tinkered around with recycled corks, oil pastels, paint, and wire. The kids were excited to click on their “listening ears” and follow three steps in three different locations in The Studio. First, they painted a cork with white paint. Then they moved over to the drawing station where they […]

Read more »

Animal Body Language

Recently in the Nature Lab we’ve been discussing body language, with a particular focus on animal body language. We not only have several animals up in the Nature Lab (both domestic and wild) but kids and animals are like magnets so it’s important for children to be aware of animal posturing and vocalizations and what […]

Read more »

Rose Paintings

By: Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio we were inspired by our beautiful rose garden. The kids had fun drawing the roses, observing the different shapes of the petals, leaves and stems. Then, they used red, white and bright pink to paint the flowers. While they were painting, some students used the back […]

Read more »

Environmental Education in Early Childhood Education: Why it’s So Important

You’ve probably heard us here at CMP talking about the importance of Environmental Education (EE) in early childhood education, and we’ve touched on it a couple times in our blog as well, but we wanted to show you that it’s certainly not just us that feel it is important. In this blog, I want to […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

Interview with Abbi Kruse of Conscious Discipline

RSVP for the 2019 Conscious Discipline Parenting & Teacher Night Abbi Kruse is from Madison, Wisconsin, where she serves as the executive director of an early education program, she founded. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother and enjoys providing support and education to help parents in their important and challenging role of raising children. […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

Wire Sculptures and Line Drawings

By Julie Goldstein This project is one of my favorite lessons. I document the children’s development from the beginning of the school year to the end by teaching this twice. Children practice engaging their fine motor skills as well as planning, organizing and problem solving as they bead and weave with wire. After they create […]

Read more »

Open Ended Art

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once [s]he grows up.” ~Pablo Picasso The Art Studio at Carmel Mountain Preschool is a magical place. It is an outdoor space that exists in a garden full of palm trees, garden beds, a butterfly garden, and a quiet reading nook where tree […]

Read more »

Looking for Lizards

These past weeks in The Glenn we’ve been talking about lizards. We got to meet our gecko friends, Lenny the leopard gecko and Stevie the crested gecko. The kids learned that lizards are reptiles, have scales, and that our gecko friends can lick their own eyeballs! We also talked about some species’ defense mechanism of […]

Read more »

Meet Ms. Erin our new Glenn Coordinator

Hi all! Introduction time! My name is Erin and I’m the new Glenn curator and science teacher. I’m so excited for this opportunity to teach at Carmel Mountain Preschool. I haven’t been here very long, but I know it is such a special place and I feel so lucky to be involved. I have a […]

Read more »

The Friendship Quilt

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, loved and comforted. […]

Read more »

The Importance of Raising Risk-Takers

At the start of our summer program,  we had our annual teacher in-service.  Ellen Veselack from the Child Educational Center spoke to our staff and faculty about the importance and benefits of risk-taking and encouraging our parents and teachers to develop a trusting relationship with the children to romp in the mud, run around barefoot, […]

Read more »

How to Create Your Own Mud Kitchen

When I was a kid, my family lived in a town called Medford Lakes, NJ. We had 5 lakes total and from time to time after a rainstorm they would flood. My best friend and I would walk these mud trails for miles. I remember fresh as day the smell of mud, leaves, and rain. I remember playing […]

Read more »

The Importance of Music Education for Young Children

“LISTEN, LEARN & PLAY” These are the three components of the My Music Workshop at CMP. This extracurricular activity is designed specifically for preschool students and gives the students firsthand experience with musical instruments. We sat down with My Music Workshop founder Miss Lianna and she shared with us what inspired her to get into […]

Read more »

Taking ‘Playing in Nature’ to the Next Level

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge”  – Albert Einstein I remember running around barefoot in my neighborhood as a child. We created forts in our backyard, climbed trees, and played “Ghosts in the Graveyard” until dark. Things were different 30 years ago. We didn’t have electronics, […]

Read more »

The Benefits of Yoga for Kids at Carmel Mountain Preschool

Here at CMP we’ve worked closely with master yoga professional, Claire Cafri, to develop and implement a special yoga program for our students. She is a master yogi and certified to teach both children and adults. Claire is originally from South Africa and is a full-time dance teacher. She has always had a love for Yoga […]

Read more »

“Cool Tools” — Creating Art with Hardware

I was organizing my studio last week and came across my husband’s old toolbox. I started tinkering around, looking for interesting objects that could make different shapes and textures when printed. I found all kinds of interesting hardware and immediately thought that the kids at CMP could use these objects to create shapes and textures […]

Read more »

The Benefits of Reading Poetry with Your Child

Poetry reading can have a profound effect on the development of your child. In fact, experts in literacy have discovered that if a child knows a variety of nursery rhymes by the time they are four years old they are quite advanced little readers. Reciting and reading poems with your child allows your preschooler to focus on a […]

Read more »

2 Fun Science Activities to Teach Kids About Germs

A great way to teach your preschooler about germs is through fun, educational activities. We have two science activities to teach your little ones how to avoid spreading germs and how to stay healthy: 1. Glitter Germs For this activity, you will need glitter to show how germs are spread from one person to another, or […]

Read more »

3 Lovely Children’s Books About Autumn

Autumn means pumpkins, gourds, changing leaves, shorter days, longer nights and every shade of orange. While it’s still warm in Southern California, we’ve (finally) been experiencing some cooler nights and seeing fun fall decorations lining neighborhood houses and local shops. The changing seasons are a wonderful time to educate your children about your local climate, region and […]

Read more »

Get to Know The Glenn: A Special Place of Learning at CMP

Over two years ago I met Arianne Betazzi at a baby shower. I was there with my son Frankie who was about six months old and Arianne was eight months pregnant. We connected over motherhood, surfing and organic gardening. We became instant friends and soon after spent many days with our sons and husbands at […]

Read more »
x