I wanted to do something totally different for my little ones and I stumbled upon the wonderful and awesome site from Abby the Librarian. As I was looking through her treasure trove of program ideas, I stumbled upon her Preschool Lab programs and knew I had to try it myself.
We started the whole thing with one book:
We owned the big book version of it and it worked perfectly.
After, I let the kids visit the various stations I set up.
Station 1: We own these great colored paddles that kids can look through as well as glasses where you can insert different colored lenses.
Station 2: This was my pom pom sorting station. On the left, I covered the bottom of a sorting box with different colored construction paper and the children had to place the pom poms by their color. To the right, I covered paper towel tubes with construction paper and taped them to the inside of a small box that I had covered in black paper. The children had to drop the correct color down each tube. They loved watching them fall. I had a spare tube not taped down if they wanted more freedom. The boxes needed a bit more shoring up, but it seemed to work fine.
Station 3: I don’t have a picture of this, but I had a table covered in our rainbow scarves for the children to dance around with.
Station 4: I printed out blank rainbows and left out tissue paper and glue sticks. I also put crayons on the table in case they wanted to color the sheet instead.
Station 5: Play Dough. Need I say more? I made sure to ask to children not to mix the colors and they were really good at doing so.
Station 6: Light table. I saw a light table at ALA and wanted to buy one. We found shaped and other materials for the table. The kids love the light table. The circular items to the right can be used by themselves. They interlock and the children made various objects with them on and off the light table.
I had 17 children attend the program and most stayed at least 40 minutes playing with the various stations. I have a few more planned in the future. This is a great, great idea. Thanks Abby!