Carmel Mountain Preschool Blog

Outdoors

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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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.

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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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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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Tinkering and Process Art and How do they work together.

This week we started a fun unit using found objects and paint. We began to sort and classify the rubber bands and had fun attaching our feet and hands together. I shared with them my idea: “I have an idea” and demonstrated a fun ‘process art’ activity’ that you will see in the pictures to follow.

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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 […]

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Nature Findings and Pastel Drawings

By: Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio our CMP artists had fun collecting small natural found objects in The Glenn. Then they created a design with them by placing onto a small mirror. After observing each object and describing the shapes and textures, they created a drawing. Finally, they used pastels to blend […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Creating Nature Journals

By: Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio, our Kinder-prep kids learned how to make a journal out of one sheet of paper. The journals are so small they can hold in the palm of their hand while drawing. We really enjoy going on nature hikes and get very inspired by all of the […]

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The Art of Observing Chickens

As I’m sure you now know, we have some new feathered friends here at CMP. Our chickens have taken up their permanent residence in their coop on the east side of the “soccer field” above The Glenn. We have a total of 14 chickens and they sure are growing fast! We won’t have 14 for […]

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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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Spring has Sprung

By: Erin Tessier The signs of spring have been present for a while now in San Diego and in our Glenn, but we were so excited to celebrate the official start of Spring on March 20th. We had fun going on a scavenger hunt looking for all that spring brings. The kids felt very official […]

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Nature Love

By: Erin Tessier Since it was Valentine’s Day, the past weeks in the Glenn have been all about love. We talked about loving our families, our friends, our pets, and also…nature! I asked the children if they loved being outside, if they loved sunshine, flowers, birds, trees…the list goes on. They of course said they […]

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Let’s Go Camping!

By: Erin Tessier We’ve had a blast camping here in the Glenn! We hiked through nature with our binoculars, finding different animals, their tracks and scat (that’s poop to the layperson, or as many of my fellow campers referred to it… “poo poo”). We then found sticks to help us roast our food over the […]

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Nature Habitats in Clay

By: Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio, we sculpted with clay and learned all about objects in nature and their habitats. The children went out into The Glenn and found leaves, sticks, small rocks, bark, and flowers. We talked about how leaves come from trees,  and rocks and clay come from the earth. […]

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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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Composting in The Glenn

By: Erin Tessier These past weeks in The Glenn we talked about composting. Each classroom has their own compost collector and the kids help add what they’ve collected to big compost bins on a weekly basis. They do such a great job and really enjoy helping. We wanted to tie it all together with a […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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Spring Into Art

This past week the flowers have been in full bloom up in The Glenn. The garden is full of oranges, yellows, purples and reds. These beautiful flowers inspired my art lesson for this week. The children at CMP are getting very good at mixing colors and I thought that a bouquet full of flowers would […]

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Out of the Box Christmas Project for Kids: Yarn Wrapping Stars

Yarn Wrapping Hanging Stars This month, the children worked with yarn and sticks to create an ornament that will remain timeless.  I am a fan of using naturally found materials in my art projects. Up in The Studio, we are surrounded by nature and the children love to explore and collect rocks, sticks, leaves and […]

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2 Fun Fall-Inspired Nature Projects for Kids

Hello, Creative Parents! This month Carmel Mountain Preschool is focusing on projects that are inspired by fall and the change of seasons. In The Studio we used nature as our muse and went on an outdoor scavenger hunt to collect all of our materials for the projects this week. The two projects that I’ll share with you […]

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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 […]

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How Does Your Garden Grow? Gardening with Your Preschooler

Think back and recall a time, as a child, that you spent exploring plants and trees. Perhaps during a school field trip? Or maybe a neighbor shared a freshly picked snap pea from his garden with you? Experiences like this cultivate a curiosity in children that is, sadly, often lost on today’s generation. Educating children […]

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